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How to Choose a VPN for Gaming

By Chris Stobing Email | 03 February 2016 at 2:00 pm CET | No Comments

When gaming online, you need all the speed your ISP has to spare. Whether it’s lining up the perfect headshot or going in for a kill with your fireball, a laggy connection can often mean the difference between total victory and crushing defeat.

But is it still possible to get a great gaming connection while routed through an external VPN? Read on in our guide to find out.

Choosing the Right VPN

Choosing the right VPN for gaming is the most crucial part of getting your connection protected, while also not having to deal with the threat of dropping a game because your VPN doesn’t have a reliable network.

In our own tests run here at VPN Creative, we’ve found that providers like ExpressVPN, IPVanish, and BolehVPN were all great picks for gaming. They have a large number of available servers in dozens of different countries, which means you’ll have the best odds of finding a server that’s close to your home or place of business (a very important factor, as we’ll get into in the next section).

ExpressVPN

It’s also important to pay close attention to what kind of VPN protocol the provider uses to establish your connection. Although this is still a fervently debated point on the Internet, some gamers believe that OpenVPN is better for creating a reliable connection than alternatives like L2TP or PPTP. This hasn’t been proven in stone on either side of the argument, but if reducing lag time is your most important factor when choosing a VPN for gaming, it’s still something you should keep an eye on before signing up for a new subscription.

Of course, all the VPNs mentioned in this guide offer a 30-day money back guarantee, so if for whatever reason the speeds don’t measure up or you find yourself randomly disconnecting too often, you can simply refund the price of your first month to try out something else.

Configuring Your Settings for Gaming

Once you’ve settled on the VPN you want to use, the next step is going to be configuring all the different settings to be sure they’re optimized for the best gaming performance possible.

Obviously for the sake of gaming, you’re always going to want to settle on connecting to the VPN server that’s closest to where you’re actually connecting from. This will ensure that your ping rates stay low, and your kill score always stays at the top of the online leader board.

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Next, check to see if the service you want to use offers the option to host your own server. Many gamers prefer the ability to create, host, and manage their own servers for players at home, and if this sounds like something you need out of your gaming VPN, check the service for the option to create a private FTP connection.

Last, no matter which VPN service you ultimately choose, latency will never go away completely. You can reduce the amount of time it takes your computer to communicate with the servers through third-party services like WTFast, though there’s never going to be any VPN (assisted or otherwise) that can promise 100 percent reliability in this regard.

Wrap Up

It used to be that if you wanted to game on a VPN connection, you were out of luck. Thanks to the huge number of providers these days though, getting your connection protected and prepared for an online fragfest is easier than it’s ever been before.

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AUTHOR

Chris Stobing

Chris is a technology reporter from San Jose, California, right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Raised around tech from birth, he's found interests in gadgets and the companies that make them for years. When not blogging about tech, he can be found hunting for music, shredding the slopes in South Lake, or whipping up a dish for friends in the kitchen.

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