For years, PC enthusiasts have turned to virtual private networks (VPNs) to solve their internet woes. But for gaming, is this really the answer? VPNs are great for increasing the security and anonymity of your internet browsing experience. While VPNs may seem like an easy solution to a host of internet problems, they are not as great for gaming as you might believe.
First, an introduction. A VPN changes your IP address and disguises your computer when interacting with the internet. Normally, the internet is a two-way street: you interact with a host or server, and that host or server sends information back to you. A VPN just serves as an intermediary between you and the rest of the world. You send information to the VPN which sends it to its intended destination. Then, the server sends information back to the VPN which subsequently sends it back to you. This disguises the origin of the data from the party that ultimately receives it.
People use VPNs for all sorts of reasons — from internet piracy (please don’t), viewing Netflix from other countries, or even lowering latency for gaming. This last scenario is what we want to talk about today to help you understand some of the more common misconceptions.
VPNs Don’t Necessarily Reduce Latency
VPNs are good at disguising your internet browsing and traffic, but any reduction in latency is mostly coincidental. As we discussed above, VPNs re-route your traffic through the VPN provider before transmitting it to its final destination. This will sometimes result in a better route, but that is not the primary goal of most VPN services – it’s simply to deliver messages back and forth. Many VPN servers engineered for gaming will attempt to route traffic in a more efficient way, but most VPNs tunnel all traffic, not just your game traffic. This can add a considerable delay to your other network traffic – and if you’re paying for usage, you’ll be charged for all of that traffic.
VPNs Add Overhead to Networking
The biggest selling point of VPNs in most cases is security – but not so much for gaming. VPNs increase the amount of data sent in each packet due to a process called encapsulation, which adds security to the data you’re transmitting. Unfortunately, this can require larger packets to send the same amount of information, meaning potential delays in every action you make in-game. For gaming, your network needs to be as efficient and fast as possible.
Bench VPNs and Try Haste
While VPNs do have their uses, gaming is not an area where they shine. Haste is custom network software that uses state of the art technology to optimize your game connection, decreasing latency and packet loss to get you the fastest and most stable gaming experience possible.
Unlike VPN software, Haste is specifically designed to optimize gaming traffic, and is the best option available to get the most out of your internet connection. Try Haste for free today.