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If you’ve been keeping up with tech innovations over the years, then you probably know about virtual private networks. VPNs essentially offer what their name promises: a private network you can use to browse the internet.
VPNs offer a kind of “buffer” between you and the web that makes it much more difficult for hackers, data collectors, and other prying eyes from monitoring your activity, stealing your information, or leaving you vulnerable to attack. They’re quite simply an internet browser’s best friend.
What about gamers, though? PC gamers know that speed is king. A few dropped frames or a little lag can define the difference between that victory you remember forever and that loss that makes you wonder why you even bothered playing the game in the first place.
Historically, the relationship between PC gamers and internet speed has created a bit of a problem for VPN services. Because VPNs route your inputs and data through an additional filter, they can sometimes significantly slow down your gaming experience. That slowdown has forced many gamers to turn off their VPNs while gaming or (worse yet) not use a VPN at all.
We understand that fear. After all, we didn’t just build a new gaming PC so we could settle for anything less than top-tier performance. However, the solution to high-speed gaming doesn’t need to involve ignoring the benefits of a VPN. You just need a VPN service that understands that security at the cost of performance is not a trade-off gamers can afford to make.
That’s why we decided to give NordVPN a shot. For quite some time, NordVPN has been referred to by analysts and other gaming outlets as one of the best VPN solutions for gamers. Sure enough, the speed of NordVPN is the first thing that will stand out to anyone who has tried gaming while using a lesser VPN service. NordVPN’s more than 500 servers are designed not only to protect your data but to preserve your connection speeds.
For example, I recently played Valorant while running NordVPN. On paper, that’s a recipe for disaster. As we noted in our preview of Valorant, it’s a game that requires precision aiming, split-second decision making, and an internet connection that ensures you can safely blame your mistakes on yourself and not lag.
In practice, NordVPN caused no notable lag in Valorant. I never felt stifled by NordVPN’s server at all during my game sessions. A truly great VPN should go unnoticed when it comes to your bandwidth, and that’s exactly what I got from NordVPN here.
The service even offers a quick connect feature that ensures you’re able to connect to the best server to maximize your connection speed even when you’re playing an intense game like Valorant, Overwatch, or Call of Duty. Many other VPNs simply recommend that you connect to the closest server available to you in order to enjoy the best speeds possible. NordVPN goes a step further by looking at complex factors such as total current users in order to find the server that will offer you the cleanest experience possible.
That means that you’ll be able to peek corners, pull off headshots, and make your team proud without worrying about a sudden framerate drop or lag. What’s really impressive is that NordVPN may even offer faster speeds than you’re used to.
How is that possible? Well, if you happen to subscribe to an internet service provider (ISP) that can throttle or limit your bandwidth, then NordVPN can help by connecting you to a server that isn’t burdened by such restrictions, encrypting your data traffic so that even your own ISP can’t tamper with it.. Even if your ISP is more generous, there’s still a chance that NordVPN can improve your bandwidth simply by connecting you to a less congested server.
We get that the idea of a VPN actually improving your ping rate and in-game bandwidth sounds too good to be true, but a simple internet speed test should put you at ease. NordVPN offers nearly unrivaled internet speeds whether you’re comparing it to another VPN service or your speed after your ISP has finished throttling it. Plain and simple.
Speed is hardly the only thing that NordVPN offers gamers, though. As we said earlier, the primary draw of a VPN is the extra security it provides. While we usually talk about those security benefits in terms of protecting you while you browse the internet, you’re also at risk when you game without a VPN service.
Consider DDoS attacks. In recent years, more and more hackers have used DDoS attacks to either crush a game’s servers or even target the connections of individual players. DDoS attacks can not only slow down your connection speed, but they can even crash your ability to connect to a game at all.
That is where NordVPN comes to the rescue. The nature of a DDoS attack means that someone is trying to overwhelm an IP address. Well, VPNs not only make it incredibly difficult to target and identify your IP address, but they make it incredibly easy to bounce between IP addresses should you need to do so. While nobody can promise total DDoS protection, the very nature of a VPN service like NordVPN means that it significantly reduces your exposure.
The security NordVPN offers isn’t just about protecting your connection, though. It can also prevent potentially catastrophic experiences.
Recently, a friend of mine who plays World of Warcraft had his login information stolen. Not only was he not able to play the game (and had to miss out on long-awaited group events) while his case was being investigated, but there was a chance that he’d lose the character he’d worked so hard on because of a security shortcoming.
Thankfully, he was able to get his account restored in full, but a service like NordVPN could have protected him from this in the first place, saving him from days of stress and hassle as well as the potentially tragic loss of his World of Warcraft character as well as everything he’d accomplished.
It’s the same situation with any other game. Imagine being banned for days from Call of Duty or Fortnite and not being able to play with your friends or potentially losing your Overwatch progress over a security breach. The military-grade encryption offered by NordVPN ensures that this potential problem you may have had nightmares about in the past is something you don’t really have to think about when you’re just trying to have fun.
And that’s the heart of why we recommend NordVPN to you. If this were a VPN service that slowed you down but offered enhanced security, we might still say “the extra security is worth the sacrifice.” If this were a VPN service that offered faster speeds but slightly less security, we’d probably say “it’s not much, but every little bit helps.”
But NordVPN doesn’t force you to make any sacrifices. NordVPN offers a security service that is as necessary as ever before and at speeds that essentially guarantee the preservation of the kind of gaming and browsing experience that you’re trying to protect in the first place. This isn’t about sacrifice or settling. NordVPN is as much a part of the ideal modern gaming experience as the most powerful GPU or the fastest CPU.
Be sure to check out the various price plans the service offers, including their very generous 70% discount on a 2-year plan at just $3.49 per month. If you’re interested in learning more about how NordVPN can improve the way you play, you can visit this helpful guide.