Anyone using the internet today, regardless of what walk of life they originally come from, is facing a more insecure and potentially dangerous world. Those who either lack the know-how regarding cybersecurity or the willpower to implement it properly, leave themselves at potential risk of attack by nefarious third parties. Cybercriminals today don’t just want to disrupt your day either. Many of them are employing sophisticated tactics to infiltrate networks and cause trouble in your lives by stealing your personal information.

Fortunately, most gamers you meet online won’t want to do anything worse than make your time playing online a bit more difficult. This griefing can take many different forms, including following you around different servers and annoying you in-game, to determining your IP address and using this to annoy you.

The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself from this kind of behavior. One of the most effective of these is to install VPN software on your gaming device.

What Is a VPN?

A virtual private network (VPN) is a piece of software that sits on your device. When your device connects to the internet, a VPN encrypts the traffic and sends it to a VPN server through an encrypted tunnel. No one else can decrypt and spy on this data while it is in transit. Once it reaches the VPN server, it is then decrypted. This allows you to exchange data with the internet in a much more secure way.

Another effect of using a VPN over a standard internet connection is that anyone who tries to trace back the IP address of your connection will only find themselves back at the IP address of the VPN server.

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Good Grief

Many of the grief attacks that are launched by players of online video games are started because the attacker can find out the actual IP address of the person they are targeting. With a VPN installed on your system, anyone else you play with will only ever be able to trace the IP address back to a server far away.

Universal Issue

VPNs were the kind of software that you only ever used to see installed on a desktop. They have become more common on laptops as they allow employees to connect to their corporate networks in a much more secure fashion. It is a good idea to have VPN software running on all the internet-connected devices in your home to ensure that your network is as comprehensively covered as possible.

Many different factors lead to gamers wishing to play their games through a VPN service; it is not to do entirely with avoiding being traced by other gamers. Some gamers in some parts of the world are worried about the legal status of the games they play. Some will no doubt be considered propaganda, or dangerous in some other way. In these circumstances, an online gamer’s security is paramount.

There is also a very real possibility of someone being tracked down because they used personal information when creating their online persona. Whenever they are using that persona, whether to play games or to socialize, it can end up leaving an even bigger trail of breadcrumbs.

What to Look for In a VPN

Of course, if the services that a VPN provides weren’t up to scratch, they’d never get off the ground. The good news is that not only are VPN packages an excellent way for any gamer to enhance their online privacy, but they can also offer many other benefits for gamers.

For example, by using a VPN, players can circumvent any throttling that their ISP might have put in place which would hinder their online experience. In the heat of an online game, milliseconds count! Having the best possible network speeds is therefore super important.

You might think that because a VPN first needs to connect to a VPN server before the player can join the game they wish to, the overall connection would be slower. In actual fact, under the right circumstances, a VPN can improve performance for a gamer.

A VPN is an essential addition to any home network setup today. Gamers should be able to rest easy knowing that there is no way a disgruntled opponent can trace back to them. Meanwhile, a VPN will overall improve the integrity and security of your network.