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Getting the gaming experience right can be tricky. You’ve sorted out your display and sound system, installed the right graphics card for your PC Nvidia Graphics Cards: Which One Is Right for You? Nvidia Graphics Cards: Which One Is Right for You? Nvidia graphics cards are the most popular for a reason. But which model should you buy and why? We explain the jargon, the cards, and their performance. Read More , and ensured you have a good seating position. Before long, you’ll perhaps be distracted by cooling for top performance, or maybe develop an interest in live streaming.

But what about the advantages that using a virtual private network (VPN) might bring 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using a VPN 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using a VPN Virtual Private Networks are affordable and easy to use. Along with a firewall and antivirus/anti-malware solution, here is exactly why you should have a VPN installed. Read More ? Whether you have it set up on your gaming PC or console — or on your home router — a VPN account can improve the gaming experience in ways you maybe didn’t consider.

Below, we’re going to look at seven reasons you should subscribe to a paid VPN service to enhance your gaming experience. Which VPN service you use is totally your call, but our list of the best VPN services The Best VPN Services The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. Read More should help.

1. Play New Titles First!

Everyone wants to get their hands on the newest games 2017 in Gaming: New Releases You Must Know About 2017 in Gaming: New Releases You Must Know About 2017 is going to be a big year for gaming. Here are all the game releases you need to know about! Read More , but launch dates can be frustrating. Often, games are released at different times around the world. They may release during the same week, but even so, a few days difference can impact your performance long-term.

So, what can you do about it?

With a paid VPN (don’t use free VPNs 5 Reasons You Need to Stop Using Free VPNs Right Now 5 Reasons You Need to Stop Using Free VPNs Right Now Free VPNs are very tempting, but hold on. If you're thinking of signing up to one, you should read this article first. Here are the biggest risks with using a free VPN service. Read More ) installed on your PC, router, or console, you’ll find that you’re able to connect to a game server on the other side of the planet via a server in the same region. This simple feature of VPNs could be the difference between playing the new game today, and waiting a week.

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2. Play While Traveling

You’re normally based in North America, but you have to head to, say, Japan. How on Earth will you maintain a connection with your usual gaming server? As soon as you connect to the internet in the destination country, you’re often forced to use the local servers.

man gaming in an airport
Image Credit: alexandre zveiger via Shutterstock

The solution lies with a VPN. With a high-quality, fast service featuring a wide choice of servers, you can simply connect to a VPN server in your home country. Once the game is loaded up, you should see that you can access your usual preferred game servers.

Thus you can jump on your home servers even across the world. Just make sure you keep your laptop plugged in — and watch those roaming data charges!

3. Access Xbox Live and PSN Exclusives From Anywhere

Feel like you’re missing out? Heard about a new PlayStation Network exclusive that you want to play but can’t, because of where you live? You’re not alone.

But there is a solution. With a VPN, all you need to do is switch your connection to a VPN server in the country where the exclusive is available. Login, grab the exclusive, and enjoy! Note that you may need to retain your connection to the appropriate server to play the game, however.

4. Cut Ping Times and Latency

With a fast connection to a VPN server in the same region as the gaming server, you can reduce lag and ping times. When it comes to online games, speed is more than a matter of simply having a fast download and upload speed. Any ISP can provide this.

Ping, meanwhile, is the reaction time Networking 101: Ethernet, LANs, and How They Work Networking 101: Ethernet, LANs, and How They Work Even for modern users, the language surrounding home networking can be a little confusing. What's a LAN? Why do I need an Ethernet cable? Isn't it all the same? Read More — the duration between data being sent and received. A ping of 50 milliseconds is the time it takes your computer to respond to a request from another machine.

The lower the ping, the better. Online games will display your ping rate, which should remain under 1,000 to avoid being hit by network delays. User a VPN to help here, so that you don’t face a disadvantage in the gaming arena!

5. Play Multiplayer Titles in Any Region

Players can also access region-locked multiplayer games via a VPN. Common reasons for a this include when a game is yet to launch where you live, or because servers are grouped for language purposes.

Whatever the reason, with a good quality VPN subscription, you can circumvent any region-blocking (just as you might for TV-on-demand services DNS Is Just A Proxy - Use A VPN To Access Region Blocked Video DNS Is Just A Proxy - Use A VPN To Access Region Blocked Video For copyright reasons, certain media companies only allow their content to be viewed in certain geographic areas. In plain English, what this means is that they are meanies who suck. And what does the Internet... Read More ). Again, simply switch the VPN server you usually use with one in the region where the game is based. A few minutes later, you’ll be knee-deep in dungeon-style multiplayer carnage!

6. Protect Your Data

Online gaming servers require constant attention from admins, who monitor performance and security. Patching occurs regularly, both at the server end, and on the game client, to deal with security issues Are Video Game Developers Taking Online Security Seriously? Are Video Game Developers Taking Online Security Seriously? Read More .

Should a hacker find vulnerabilities in the game you’re playing, they can exploit them. This might mean that they break into your account and steal your in-game inventory and gold collection. Worse still, malicious folk could hijack your game connection and use it to gain access The Worst Security & Malware Threats for Online Gamers The Worst Security & Malware Threats for Online Gamers Hackers and scammers are salivating at the chance to steal a cut of the gaming industry pie. Don't be a victim; stay protected against security and malware threats to gamers like you and me. Read More to personal data on your PC.

However, a VPN can stop this. With an encrypted connection to your game server, it will be difficult for an attacker to access your game account. They’ll ignore your connection in favor of some low-hanging fruit — an account (or perhaps computer) that they can gain easy access to.

7. End ISP Throttling

You like your ISP, right? They give you vast amounts of bandwidth, the top speeds, and perhaps even a free static IP address. In return, you tell all your gaming buddies about how great that ISP is, and they sign up too.

Occasionally you get some bad connections to your games, though, and you assume it’s just because “all my neighbors are online.” And while there is a truth to this, it’s not quite as straightforward as it may seem. ISPs use throttling Is Your Carrier Slowing Down Your Unlimited Data Connection? How To Avoid Data Throttling Is Your Carrier Slowing Down Your Unlimited Data Connection? How To Avoid Data Throttling If you are on an unlimited plan that's throttled once you exceed certain limits or you have a data cap, as most people do, this article offers advice on how to ease the pain. Read More to reduce overuse, supposedly to reduce network congestion, and give all users a uniform experience.

This can, of course, result in your gaming suffering.

Throttling occurs when your ISP inspects data packets and identifies them as coming from online gaming (or, in other circumstances, streamed TV services like Netflix). But employ a VPN and your data packets are encrypted. Your connection, therefore, cannot be inspected, and your connection won’t slow down from throttling. Much business traffic is encrypted — slowing these customers down would be very expensive for your ISP.

Start Using a VPN When Gaming

As you can see, the reasons to use a VPN for gaming are pretty compelling. A virtual private network might even be considered vital for fast, uninterrupted gaming. While you might feel confident that you don’t need a VPN for offline games, online multiplayer is another matter. Let’s review why you might need a VPN for gaming:

Of course, that’s only seven reasons for gamers to use a VPN. You might be able to think of more. Why not tell us below?

Image Credits: Danilo Sanino/Shutterstock

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  1. Arivero
    August 10, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Using nordvpn and cannot play online with vpn active.

  2. Mike
    August 9, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Keeping my network safe from DDoS attacks is why I always connect to ExpressVPN before I go online. I've also noticed for battlenet depending on where my VPN is my connection is often faster.