In today's world, cyber-crimes are more prevalent than ever – no wonder so many people use VPNs (virtual private networks) to hide their online location and stay more secure. VPNs are useful not only for browsing, but also for gaming and streaming. Find out how you can benefit from them.
How does a VPN work?
In short, a VPN connection means you access the internet through a third-party intermediary – in this case, the VPN provider's server.
Adding another step to the data packet journey seems unnecessary at first glance, but is it really? Redirecting data through a good VPN server can actually be helpful, as it hides the user's real IP address and location. It also provides an extra layer of security, lowering the risk of needing malware removal services later on.
Does a VPN slow down your connection?
Connecting to the web via a VPN means that your data must travel further to reach its destination. Logically, it means that your connection might slow down. This should not be the case with leading brands – their numerous, stable, and accessible servers ensure no noticeable speed loss.
Are VPNs useful for gamers?
Have you ever considered using a VPN while gaming? If not, we recommend it. Here are only a few reasons why:
- It can protect you from malware
- It encrypts your data
- It allows you to play on foreign servers
- It can protect you from DDoS attacks, swatting, and more.
Encryption and malware protection
We all use a public Wi-Fi network from time to time. And when you just find yourself in a situation without any mobile data, you have to connect to a restaurant or supermarket Wi-Fi to play your favorite mobile game.
These types of networks are not always safe. Owners of public hotspots may not take care to properly secure their services. Public networks are a great place for hackers if you connect to unsecured Wi-Fi. They use them to infect devices with malware and/or steal personal data through Man-in-the-middle and other attacks.
How can a VPN help with this? It's quite simple – a VPN encrypts your data, so only you, the VPN administrator, and your target (the website you visit) can access it. If any of your data falls into the wrong hands – it becomes useless.
Protection against hackers
In 2021, a guy named Dani single-handedly created a game that conquered the world. It was Crab Game, a simple title based on the popular Netflix series: Squid Game.
Many well-known Twitch streamers fell in love with Crab Game, but – as revealed later – this simple game developed by just one person was not very secure. Streamers suffered from DDoS attacks because the game was built on Steam's Facepunch P2P network, which tended to leak players' IP addresses.
Would a VPN have helped in a similar situation? The tool hides your real IP address and replaces it with the VPN server's IP, so probably yes. Using a VPN for games is a good idea, especially for indie, low-budget titles.
Gaming on foreign servers
Some multiplayer games allow players to choose their preferred servers, but some don't. And if you have ever played online with others, you know that communities vary from country to country. There are also niche titles unpopular in certain areas – what if you want to play, but the local servers are deserted?
You can try using a VPN to pretend you are somewhere else and “convince” the game to connect you to a server in another country. This is a good way to make friends in international communities.
VPN and streaming services – is it worth it?
If you are a regular user of streaming services, you are surely aware of the changes in media libraries worldwide. That's why, for example, you can't watch some of your favorite shows when you are temporarily abroad. A VPN can come to your aid in this regard. How to use it?
- Install a VPN tool on your device.
- Connect to a server located in your home country.
- Enjoy your standard media libraries!
Let's also keep in mind the differences in pricing between countries. If you play around with your VPN location, you may discover that a $20 per month streaming service in the US is much cheaper elsewhere. This can be a good way to save some money but bear in mind that some service providers ban using VPNs for buying from cheaper markets – do it at your own risk.