By Katya Smith, title image details here.
If you are a gamer, chances are that you have seen a lot of ads for VPNs on various websites and online platforms. Virtual Private Networks are meant to protect you and your IP address by encrypting your network connection and giving you a new IP address to connect to various servers around the world. Because of how they work, VPNs provide privacy protections and can improve gaming and streaming performance in many cases. However, can a VPN protect your gaming PC?
Understanding How a VPN Works
To understand how a VPN can help protect your online PC, we need to first understand how a VPN works. Virtual Private Networking is a technology that allows you to connect to another computer (server) as if your computer and the other computer or server were on the same local network.
When using a VPN to connect to the internet, all your connections are made to a server and then the server connects to the internet. All connections are encrypted, and your IP address will be that of your VPN instead of that provided by your Internet Service Provider.
It Protects Your PC When Using Public Wi-Fi
There are lots of reasons why you may want to use public Wi-Fi to play your favourite games. However, public Wi-Fi comes with lots of risks. One of these is the risk of malware. Because public Wi-Fi is often not as secure as most people think, it has security vulnerabilities that allow people to install malware on your computer without you knowing. A VPN prevents this by encrypting your connection.
Another common threat is Wi-Fi sniffing and snooping. Malicious actors have access to devices and software that can sniff and snoop on Wi-Fi connections. These actors can see everything you do online which puts all your information and credentials such as passwords at risk.
With this information, these actors can break into your accounts, including accounts that hold your personal and banking information such as any online casinos accounts you have. In addition to using a VPN to protect yourself, ensure you play your games on online casinos that take their security seriously and protect both your personal and banking information. Here’s a great article on the best fast payout casinos that take security seriously while making it easy to withdraw your winnings.
A VPN Protects You Against DDoS Attacks
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are quite common in servers, but that does not mean they cannot be targeted at a computer. They are carried out by directing a lot of traffic to a single system. In addition to crippling your computer, these attacks take you offline and can take hours or days to resolve.
There is a legitimate fear among online games because, with your IP address and readily available DDoS packages, anyone can target you. By masking your IP address, a VPN ensures there is no connection to target with the VPN servers taking care of the flood of traffic for you.
A VPN Prevents Third Parties Collecting Your IP Address
Your IP address is crucial because it is a digital fingerprint that can be used to identify you online. Because they are often given by local ISP providers, it is relatively easy to get someone else’s location if you know their IP address. A VPN makes it a lot harder to collect the IP addresses of people connecting to a website or online platform and it therefore protects their locations.
If a third party can collect your IP address, they could ban your gaming PC from playing certain games. They could even go as far as sending the government after you if you are playing games banned in your country or region.
Set Up Your VPN Correctly
It is well established that a VPN can help protect you and your gaming PC, but the VPN can also fail you, which typically happens because you did not set up the VPN correctly. Gamers are typically tech-savvy enough for this to not be a problem, but there are a lot of people who might encounter issues setting things up correctly.
Another level of complexity is introduced when you start thinking about routers and different gaming devices. Many modern VPNs are compatible with modern routers, which is important if you have gaming devices like consoles that need a secure network connection. The good news is that there is a lot of information online and great communities to help you out.
Even when you have these communities and information to fall back on, it is still a good idea to consider VPNs that are compatible with your router. The VPN’s website should have this information.
A VPN is incredibly helpful in helping you stay safe online. A good VPN can also protect your gaming PC from various types of attacks, especially if you use public Wi-Fi. To ensure total protection, find a VPN compatible with your router to ensure all your devices are protected.
Katya Smith is a copywriter/content writer who specializes in technology. A visionary globe trotter and self-proclaimed goat-loving-yogi. Currently residing in Israel.