Possible Downsides of VPNs for Computer Gamers
Recently in this space, we discussed why some gamers may use a VPN (virtual private network) for some or all of their gaming needs. And while this use might be ideal for some gamers and other computer users, there are other situations where it may not be the appropriate move for you.
At Xidax, not only do we offer a massive selection of gaming desktops, laptops and other gaming accessories, but also assistance with important themes like this for all our clients. What are some of the possible downsides of VPNs that you should consider before using one, depending on your circumstances? Here’s a primer.
First and foremost, VPNs are not legal in every part of the world. Several countries, such as China, Russia, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea, have banned VPN use completely, both for private citizens and for any commercial use.
In addition, many other countries allow VPNs for commercial use, but not for personal uses like gaming. If you are unsure about the legalities of VPN usage, be sure to check with your local telecommunications agency before using one for any reason.
VPNs Aren’t Created Equal
While we wish it were not the case, the fact is that some VPNs just aren’t as secure as many others. They may have issues like outdated encryption and security protocols, poor customer support and other issues that can lead to problems.
In addition, some VPNs (and proxy servers) may be used by third parties for nefarious purposes like stealing your data or worse. This is why it’s important to use only reputable VPNs with top-notch support and encryption strength. Poor quality VPNs can cost you a lot of time and money.
If you are going to use a VPN for gaming, it’s vital that you choose a VPN with a strict no-logs policy. This means that the VPN service will not log any information about what sites you visit or other activity on your computer.
Why? That helps to ensure that your identity and personal information stays out of third-party hands. If a VPN keeps logs, they could fall into the wrong hands at some point, leading to dire consequences.
Slower Speeds or Lag
As we noted in our blog about the benefits of VPNs, there are some situations where they will help increase your connection speed — specifically, if they are connected very close to the game server itself. However, some VPNs connect to a server that’s either further away or heavily congested, leading to slower speeds and potential lag.
Depending on what you need a VPN for, this could be a problem if it’s related to online gaming. If you’re trying to play a competitive shooter or another game where speed is of the essence, then using a VPN with lower connectivity may end up costing you the win every time.
Connection Stability and Packet Loss
Again, this is an area that speaks to the quality of the VPN itself. An excellent VPN will have limited connection issues, but a lower-level one may deal with packet loss – or cases where your connection stops sending or receiving data.
This can result in disconnects, lower speeds and other problems that may impact your play experience while gaming. If you’re having issues with connection stability, then it’s time to look at the VPN you are using for potential problems.
In addition to all the above, it’s possible that if you’re not particularly tech savvy, you might have some issues configuring the VPN for your gaming needs. Although setting up a VPN is relatively simple, you may run into trouble if you’re not well-versed in basic networking and security protocols.
As we’ve stated before, if you need help with this, be sure to check in with your network administrator or contact a trusted PC repair pro before jumping in. There are also certain VPN programs that come with a user-friendly interface to help guide you through this process.
Incompatibility With Other Devices
Finally, if you like to use a gaming console like an Xbox or PlayStation along with your gaming computer, you may find that your VPN isn’t compatible with that device. This is an issue mostly limited to consoles, since Microsoft and Sony don’t allow it on their app stores.
However, if you’re serious about gaming on your console, then this limits the VPNs you can use to those that work with Windows computers instead of game platforms.
Once again, however, be sure to choose a VPN with lots of servers and locations, as well as top-level security and performance features. That should help to eliminate most incompatibility issues you may come across when using the VPN for your gaming needs.
Stay Safe No Matter Your Choice
As you can see from everything we’ve gone over on VPNs to this point, there’s a lot to consider in this realm if you’re a gamer. VPNs offer numerous potential benefits, but also may come with certain drawbacks — and which impact you most will be due to a combination of factors, including everything from your physical location to the kinds of games or consoles you play on.
Our key reminder no matter whether you choose to try a VPN or don’t: Just be careful. The safety of your IP address and data are of paramount importance, as is understanding the limitations and qualities of whatever VPN you decide to use. That way, you can stay safe and secure no matter what your choice may be.
For more on some possible drawbacks of VPNs for gamers, or to learn about any of our limited edition gaming computers, speak to the staff at Xidax today.SHOP XIDAX