Proxies or VPN: Which Gives a Better Online Gaming Experience?
The online gaming industry is booming – In 2021, Asia had about 1.48 billion gamers, making it the largest video gaming market in the world, with Europe coming in second with 715 million gamers. Globally, an estimated 3.24 billion people played video games last year.
To keep up with the rapid growth of the industry and a constant stream of new releases, gamers may look for ways to improve their gaming experiences, such as using a VPN or residential proxies. Whether you play competitively or just for fun, it’s worth investing in What you need as an online gamer to allow yourself the best possible experience. But which should you go for: Proxies or VPN?
How they work
Before delving into the pros and cons, let’s first break down how exactly proxies and VPNs work.
A proxy server serves as both a firewall and a filter. In particular, residential proxies allow you to choose a specific location and connect to the internet as though you are actually in that location. Similar to how someone can act as a proxy on behalf of a person, such as voting at an election for someone else, a proxy server is like an online middleman.
Let’s put it into context: When you visit a website, data is sent between your computer and the website’s server. However, when you use a proxy, you are using an intermediary machine that sits between your computer and the server. In other words, your device solely communicates with the proxy, which then routes your messages to Internet servers.
Proxies have the ability to improve your security and privacy while also allowing you to evade content filters and geo-restrictions. In certain cases, they can also cache website material and help it load faster.
A VPN, or virtual private network, provides an encrypted server from which you can connect to the internet. It secures your browsing, hides your IP (Internet Protocol) address, and prevents your internet service provider (ISP) from tracking you.
It works by delivering your data to the VPN provider’s servers over a secure tunnel rather than through your Internet Service Provider’s server. Your data is encrypted and forwarded to the site you’re attempting to access, therefore boosting your privacy.
VPNs are frequently used to access geo-restricted content, as well as for security measures. They also aid in fixing gaming lags, which can be a real issue when playing online across different servers.
Which should you use?
There are a few factors to consider when determining whether to use a proxy or a VPN for gaming. Your proximity to the game servers, the path your data takes to and from the game servers, and how much security you’re ready to give up for a faster internet connection.
The main difference between a proxy and a VPN is the level of encryption. A VPN will encrypt all of your data while a proxy will not. In terms of gaming, it may seem trivial, but you’ll want to protect your account information and passwords from possible hackers.
As a result, because the data does not need to be encrypted, proxies can be faster than VPNs. They only reroute traffic from a single program or browser, one at a time. As a result, proxies excel at tasks that necessitate an uninterrupted and fast network connection, such as gaming.
Furthermore, when it comes to residential versus data center proxies, residential proxies are more secure as they come from real IP addresses thus making them more legitimate and less likely to get blocked on servers.
There are pros and cons to using proxies for gaming, just as there are for VPNs. Proxies are great for connection speeds as gamers are frequently competing with other users for access to a host server. When this occurs, your computer will be forced to wait until it can share the available bandwidth with the rest of the players on your team or in your game. You can use the proxy to improve your connection speed as long as your ISP has not imposed any bandwidth restrictions on your account.
The obvious pro with a VPN is better security. However, you can also enjoy playing online from any region. Several online games have servers in many countries, and geoblocking technology is frequently used to ensure that you connect to the server in your location.
This is common when a game has not yet been launched worldwide, when games are categorized by language, or when games are so popular that servers in multiple areas are required to manage all the connections. As a VPN will mask your location, you won’t run into any problems attempting to connect to a server in another country.
Cyber-threats and hackers
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrime in gaming has increased substantially. For the individual, this could mean someone learning their bank account details and sensitive personal information.
It’s also not just about data and money. Account hijacking can lead to gamers losing their gaming time and in-game items. Buyers of stolen accounts are then able to play at a high level without putting in any effort, as well as accessing exclusive gear, weapons, and skins that the original account owner had accumulated.
In-game items can also be sold for real money on third-party markets. This type of virtual value is already being represented in the investment community, with individuals purchasing NFTs.
Both proxies and VPNs can improve your online gaming experience. It’s up to you to decide what you are willing to sacrifice and whether speed or security is more important.