Can VPN improve ping and gaming experience

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While streaming, gaming or anything we do online we want our experience to be smooth and connections as fast as possible. Low latency and improved ping times are especially important when playing competitively or just simply when we want to enjoy the gaming experience. Today out of so many VPNs some of them found a fit in a gaming niche, but can it really improve ping and get a better latency?

A VPN is used to encrypt and decrypt your data, keeping it private from any ISP, however, encrypting all your data and routing via a VPN tunnel generally slows down your internet speeds from 5 to 30%. So theoretically, your internet connection should become slower, but that’s not always the case.

Connecting to a VPN server introduces an additional middle-man in the connection path, however, most of the time VPN does not affect ping in any way. Due to the different routing paths taken from a VPN server, there are certain situations where it might improve your latency and connection reliability.

There are certain situations where using a VPN can reduce ping and latency. Let’s see how VPN affects it.

Sometimes ISP throttles the bandwidth, thus your internet connection becomes slower when accessing certain services such as gaming servers or streaming platforms. When VPN is used in this case it could dramatically increase your connections speeds and reduce ping. It will hide the fact to which service you are trying to connect this way allowing to bypass ISP throttling and firewall rules.

ISPs are known to implement rules that usually take the cheapest, but not the fastest route to reach the destination. Some ISPs route the internet traffic so badly that the ping reaches even seconds. Connecting to the VPN server seems like adding an additional hop in the path, but in fact, the route taken from the VPN server or a data center might be much quicker and more direct than your regular connection allowing to reduce ping.

Since a VPN is also used for businesses sometimes ISPs have rules in their Quality Of Service to prioritize VPN traffic. Just like real-time communication such as video or online phone calls so can VPN traffic get a priority when routing this way improving your ping.

Some good VPNs are indeed suitable for gaming since they do have protection from DDoS attacks which could lead to huge lag spikes and increased ping. This is especially important if you play competitively or hosting your own gaming server. With a VPN you can be sure that you will have a stable and reliable connection during all games or streams.

A quick recap of how VPN can improve ping:

  • Bypass ISP throttling
  • When more direct paths are taken from the VPN server
  • When ISP prioritizes VPN traffic
  • When protecting from DDoS attacks

As an example let’s assume you’re trying to get an improved ping when accessing a server from Europe to The United States. Just because of a physical distance and due to the propagation laws of physics you can not possibly get lower than 80ms ping with or without a VPN.

When using a VPN, theoretically, the latency should even increase due to encrypting, but when connected to a VPN server your connection might take a different and faster route in this long path.

This is not the rule, more often than not using a VPN might result in absolutely no effect whatsoever but there is a slight chance depending on your particular location and situation of getting better results. This can only be done by experimenting with different VPN and gaming servers.

NordVPN

NordVPN logo
  • 5200+ global servers in 59+ countries
  • CyberSec malware and ad-blocking protection
  • Next-generation encryption with double VPN servers
  • Obfuscation technology that masks VPN traffic
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Works with Netflix and good for streaming
  • Lightning fast with P2P support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ExpressVPN

    ExpressVPN Logo Horizontal
  • 160+ locations and 3000+ servers
  • Strict No-Log policy
  • Unlimited streaming (Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer)
  • Strong military-grade AES 256-bit key encryption
  • Kill Switch, Split tunneling and RAM-disk servers
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and Linux support
  • Fast speeds and reliable connections
  • Surfshark

    Surfshark VPN logo horizontal
  • 1700+ global servers in 61+ countries
  • CleanWeb ad-blocking feature
  • Secure and strong encryption with OpenVPN
  • Whitelister, Multi-hop VPN and kill switch
  • No-logs policy
  • Works with Netflix and good for streaming
  • Great speeds
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Private Internet Access

    PIA Logo Horizontal
    • Block ads, trackers, and malware
    • Can be used with 10 devices simultaneously
    • Unlimited Bandwidth
    • 3200+ Servers in 29 Countries
    • No Traffic or Request logs
    • 7-day money-back guarantee

     

    PureVPN

    PureVPN
  • 140+ countries and 2000+ servers
  • 31-day money-back guarantee
  • Hides internet traffic and easily unblocks geo-restricted content
  • Internet Kill Switch and IP leak protection
  • Offers the cheapest Dedicated IP addresses
  • Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and router support
  • Perfect for streaming Netflix, Hulu, BBC
  • Strict and audited no-log policy

  • Even though a VPN generally has little effect on ping times, using one would have it’s benefits and could help only in certain situations. It would allow you even to buy games cheaper when connected to another country and hide your online activities from the ISP. Many VPNs have a money-back guarantee for you to try out without losing money. Here are the best VPNs that could reduce ping times:

    Using a VPN to reduce ping time only works in certain situations. Most of the time it has little effect on improving your gaming experience. The success of having a better latency highly depends on the distance and routes taken as well as your particular ISP setups. It’s still worth a try to find out because it might work in your particular situation.


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