Gaming has shifted from an offline, closed experience to become mostly an open, connected experience. Users connect and play together from around the world, and gaming is much better because of it. Whenever we play a video game – multiplayer or otherwise – we’re almost always connected to the internet. This brings many advantages, but it also brings risks that we must take action to mitigate. We can build epic worlds on specialized Minecraft servers for our friends to explore at their leisure, but we also need to be aware of the backdoors this new online experience creates, which hackers and cybercriminals use to their advantage.
Online servers are a potential point of entry for any hacker looking to gain access to your in-game achievements to siphon off whatever you’ve collected in the game. Worse still, there’s a distinct possibility hackers are looking to hijack your connection to the gaming server. By exploiting the server, they can access your most personal data, including your identity, banking information, passwords, and whatever else you have stored on your PC. Game developers are constantly updating and improving their server security to fight malicious actors, but wherever hackers loom (and that’s virtually everywhere on the internet), it’s imperative you take steps to protect yourself.
The most important thing to do before playing Minecraft, or any other online game, is to download and install a virtual private network (VPN). By encrypting your data, which makes you virtually anonymous online, a VPN safeguards your information should there be a vulnerability on the gaming server you’re using. Running a strong, reliable, fast VPN like Hotspot Shield Premium will ensure you’re protected when you’re playing online. But that’s not all: an effective VPN will do much more for your gaming experience.
What is a VPN?
When you use the internet on your phone, tablet, or PC, it sends messages to the webpage or online service we’re using based on your input. These messages go through your router to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), which then acts on the instructions contained in the messages. A VPN adds an additional layer of privacy and security to this process. If you’re using a VPN on your device, it will encrypt your input before the messages are sent, which protects your data from being intercepted by cybercriminals, hackers, governments, and other snoopers – including your ISP.
Another benefit of using a VPN is that it allows you to connect to thousands of different servers around the world, giving you access to an array of IP addresses. This means your encrypted data will be sent directly to a global server of your choice before heading to your ISP.
What’s the benefit for gaming? A VPN gives you the ability to enter gaming servers in different countries around the world so you always have access to the latest release no matter where it’s released. Also, by anonymizing your data before it gets to your ISP, the VPN removes any possibility of your ISP throttling your internet speed because you’ve been playing online for too long. Your ISP simply doesn’t know it’s you who’s playing.
If you’re playing Minecraft (or any other online game), using a VPN is a no-brainer. The question now is which VPN offers the most benefit to gamers?
Hotspot Shield Premium is the best VPN for gaming
In April 2018, an independent testing organization, AV-Test, looked at 12 different VPN services including enterprise-grade VPNs from Cisco, Avast, Avira, and Symantec. They tested across four criteria, and Hotspot Shield Premium came out on top in each category: usability, privacy, security, and performance. According to AV-Test, Hotspot Shield is among the easiest to use VPNs available, offers the strongest security and encryption protocols, and offers the fastest download and upload speeds.
Superior download and upload speeds are of particular interest to gamers. If a VPN is slowing down your connection to the internet, which affects latency, then it is a non-starter for gamers. Here AV-Test explicitly calls out Hotspot Shield Premium as the leader of the pack, describing download and upload speeds that are twice as fast on average than the competition.
In addition to the privacy, security, and speed Hotspot Shield Premium offers, another key component for gamers is ease of use. If a VPN is going to stand in the way of the gaming experience, requiring timely or excessive configuration, it will undoubtedly be disregarded. Gamers need a service that simply requires a simple ON/OFF switch. Once again, AV-Test lists Hotspot Shield Premium as among the easiest to use of all the VPN services they tested.
A modern gamer’s best friend
Things are not as simple as they used to be. Games can offer us so much more than what they offered in the past. Massive online multiplayer servers enable games, like Minecraft, to give us the power to build and share worlds that we couldn’t have imagined possible ten years ago. An increasingly connected world where gamers and others are constantly online brings with it obvious risks and raises obvious issues that we must consider and take action to prevent.
It’s true that things are not as simple as they used to be, but that doesn’t mean that things have to be more complicated. With the right service that protects our identities and mitigates our security concerns, there is no reason we can’t reap the benefits of our always-connected gaming worlds while allaying our fears about the potential dangers they possess.
By providing a completely anonymous online user experience and dramatically improving speeds while providing virtual access to servers all around the world, the right VPN can both secure and enhance today’s online experience. For gamer, it’s clear through independent testing that there is no better VPN than Hotspot Shield Premium. The ease of use it provides, along with military-grade privacy and security, and unparalleled download and upload speeds, makes it the perfect solution for the modern gamer.
The most important thing you need to do before playing Minecraft is to switch on Hotspot Shield Premium.