If you’ve ever stood in front of a loading screen, you understand the agony of waiting for a game to load. Because people are often opposed to wasting time when it comes to leisure pursuits such as gaming, high-powered rigs are usually the go-to choice for conserving valuable gaming time.
Additionally, since many games are now played online, they need a reasonably fast internet connection. Even those that are not online will often need regular upgrades. In any case, having a strong internet connection is a near-requirement for contemporary gaming.
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding virtual private networks (VPNs) is about connection speed. More precisely, how and if the use of VPNs may cause the connection to slow to the point where games become unplayable.
If the MythBusters were still around, they could devote an entire show to debunking this particular myth. Without further ado, let’s examine if and to what extent a VPN may affect your gaming performance.
Does using a VPN reduce your internet speed?
A VPN is a kind of service that enables customers to connect to private servers located around the world. The majority of people are familiar with personal virtual private networks (VPNs). Some even use them daily—whether to access restricted websites, make secure cloud calls, or binge on Netflix specials not accessible in their country.
Without getting too technical, VPNs act as a proxy server for your internet connection. The internet goes from your internet service provider (ISP) to the VPN server of the provider. The procedure will affect your connection speed since it is not only reliant on the VPN service but also on your internet connection and data plan.
Consider the following scenario: you reside in China and want to download Animal Crossing. Because it is illegal in your country, you will be unable to purchase it from the official shop. However, with a VPN and some account fiddling, you can “move” to Ohio and download and play the game with gamers from all around the globe.
To be effective, traffic must go from your home to the United States, where the gaming server is located, before returning to China—rinse and repeat. This usually takes a few seconds, but maintaining an unbroken connection may take longer.
In essence, VPNs will always slow down your internet connection—but not necessarily your gaming experience.
What effect do VPNs have on gaming?
VPNs affect latency, although they are not necessarily the primary cause. Additionally, there are methods to minimize your sluggish connection and restore it to a much higher speed.
Distance between servers
If you’re searching for a VPN halfway across the globe, the data packet’s journey time will be considerably longer. Most individuals do not need connections to servers hundreds of miles away, which is why choosing a country that is close to your location substantially increases performance.
If you are forced to connect to a server located thousands of miles away, do so, but be sure you choose a quality VPN service first. These improvements will include expanded country coverage, numerous servers in a single location, and faster performance.
Otherwise, if you just want to conceal your IP address, pick the closest country for anonymity and enjoy a premium gaming experience.
The search for the best VPN for gaming often begins with determining the optimal server load.
If 100 users share a server, your connection will likely slow and create latency for every in-game item in your proximity. However, if you’ve chosen a reputable supplier, you’re unlikely to run into this problem. This is because the majority of premium providers maintain a comprehensive list of servers in every region. This assists them in preventing the lag problem from occurring in the first place.
Additionally, keep an eye out for any “quick connect” buttons that will link you to the quickest server. Finally, a VPN service may provide you with a special IP address for gaming, which will enhance your connection and speed up your gameplay.
Quality of encryption
VPNs encrypt all of your internet activities. This implies that you will be unable to access any personal or secure information through nonsensical code that is intended to safeguard you in the event of an inadvertent slip of the tongue during a hot role-playing game session.
The greater the level of security, the greater the likelihood of a slower connection. This is not always the case, and most premium providers use sophisticated security to exclude any possibility of this occurring. Keep an eye on the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which is the current industry standard for the majority of reputable service providers.
Your internet speed may suffer a little decrease—but at least your in-game disputes will not escalate into real-world problems.
It goes without saying, but if your internet connection is already sluggish, a VPN will not help. However, ISPs often throttle bandwidth on certain websites or affect your performance at certain hours of the day. This is where rerouting your traffic via a VPN may help and save you valuable gaming time.
Using a VPN may significantly slow down your gameplay, but not much. If you understand how ISPs work, you may find yourself receiving more than you paid for and perhaps speeding up your connection.
Nonetheless, it’s fair to suppose that you’re free to slice, carve, or climb your way through your favorite game without incident and with an added layer of protection.
Whatever you do, ensure that your experience is enhanced by using a VPN service that provides superior security and high-speed servers.