Why You Should Use a Gaming VPN for Your Console
Using the web for browsing, streaming, and gaming has never been easier or more rewarding. The downsides to this digital entertainment, however, are threats to your privacy and the increased odds of suffering from a cyberattack.
Even console gaming can open you up to cyberthreats, especially when playing online. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the best way to protect your electronics and your personal information. With a gaming VPN, your online communications are encrypted, keeping your data secure from prying eyes.
Web surfing or watching Netflix is often a smoother experience through the PS4 or Xbox One. But you don't want your browsing history or movie choices, let alone your credit card info, to be available to phishers and hackers. At the very least, if you don't use a VPN while gaming, your data could be scraped for targeted marketing.
Besides the security angle, no one wants other people to monitor their shopping habits or which websites they visit. A VPN will mask your Internet Protocol (IP) address, the identification number your device uses to communicate with other computers over the web. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns your computer an IP address and, every time you access a website, it's logged by that website's server and used to track your browsing habits and determine your location.
Masking Your Location
With an open IP address, anyone can look up what city you live in and which internet provider you use. Also, if you look at the fine print in your cable or DSL contract, your ISP can legally log your Internet use. Many of them sell that data to advertisers, a practice that's also legal. There are many good reasons for wanting to keep your location and web habits private:
Prevent access to your personal information
Access data that's blocked by location
Use the Internet while in other countries
View restricted or censored content
Download material anonymously
How Does a VPN Work?
You may be familiar with the workings of a VPN if you bring work home. Most companies require a secure login before granting access to the company server, and this is accomplished by using a VPN. The next step is that all of your data makes a detour through the linked servers of the VPN before being routed to your ISP. Encryption protects your privacy and it also masks your location.
What to Look for in a Gaming VPN
You'll want a VPN that doesn't cap your data usage or slow it down after a certain amount of streaming. It should also be a multi-platform VPN so you can use it on all your electronic devices, like a tablet or mobile phone. Installing a VPN service is simple enough. You just go to the provider's page and sign up for an account, then download the app onto each device you use.
Today's games rely on downloads, and you're connected to the game server while playing, with no guarantee of safety from hacking. A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack by a competing player can direct traffic to your IP address, causing your game play to slow down. Since this requires the IP address of the targeted player, masking it with a VPN prevents any chance of an attack.
Finding the Best Gaming VPN
Using a VPN used to be a tactic of only the most tech-adept gamers, but today it's a necessity to ensure security and uninterrupted play. For a console gamer, high-speed performance is a minimal requirement. When you're in a game with players from around the world, you've got to have a blazing fast connection.
You also want to check whether a gaming VPN has a good track record of being up and running. The best ones have virtually no downtime. Unlimited bandwidth is also a necessity since the last thing you want is for your game to start lagging because you reached your limit for the month. For complete privacy online, you'll also need to go with a VPN that doesn't log your online activity. Most reliable providers offer a zero-log guarantee.
Use a VPN for Privacy, Security and Game Performance
It's a smart idea to use a VPN for on-the-go internet access since hotspots can leave your computer or phone vulnerable to hackers. Subscribing to a top-notch VPN allows you to use electronics privately and securely in cafes, hotels, airports and other public places. Whether you're gaming or using a computer away from home, a VPN locks up your data and protects your computer from attacks.