How a VPN Provides DDoS Protection For Gamers

There are countless services we seek out on the internet. We work, stream videos, shop, learn and play games online. Since last year, people have started to use more online services than they previously did.

However, in the vast cyberspace, some threats lurk around. Although many online services continue to improve their security protocols, cybercriminals and hackers also up their game.

Many of us consider cyber threats as isolated to targeting only financial and personal information, but in reality, that isn’t the case.

In the gaming world, players and gaming platforms experience different types of attacks, and one of the most common threats is DDoS attacks.

What Is a DDoS Attack?

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is a type of cyber attack that affects your ability to connect to the internet like you normally would. Hackers use multiple computer systems to crash a system by bombarding its bandwidth with unwanted traffic and requests.

To carry out DDoS attacks, hackers use a network of malware-infected computers to create botnets. These botnets then flood a system with multiple requests.

It is impossible to pinpoint the origin of DDoS attacks because of the number of computers used to form a botnet. These attacks typically target businesses or developers, but on a more personal level, DDoS attacks can target you when you play games online. This happens when other payers have access to your IP address.

Popular categories of DDoS attacks are:

Volume-based attacks: These attacks focus on flooding the bandwidth between you and your ISP. Some examples are UDP floods and ICMP floods.

Protocol attacks: These target server resources, load balancer, and firewall resources. Some examples include Smurf DDoS, SYN flood, and Ping of Death.

Application-layer attacks: This type of attack occurs when the webserver gets flooded with many fake requests until it crashes. Examples include GET/POST floods and low-and-slow attacks.

The Difference Between DDoS & DoS Attacks

Unlike DDoS attacks, DoS (Denial of Service) attacks are less effective and problematic. One person rather than botnets typically carry out DoS attacks. Most of the time, DoS attacks target individuals rather than businesses. They happen when someone floods a server with TCP or UDP packets.

DoS attacks can either cause you to experience slow connections, keep you offline for a couple of minutes or for longer. Nonetheless, you should take DoS attacks seriously because they often occur on Peer-to-Peer gaming platforms, and they could interrupt your gaming session. So when you think you might be suffering a DDoS attack, it might be a DoS attack. Either way, it’s best to stay protected always.

How To Stop a DDoS Attack

On gaming platforms, DDoS attacks are sometimes against the owners rather than you, and you might not have any control over the situation. In 2018, Playstation was one of the companies to suffer one of the highest volumes of DDoS attacks to be recorded.

However, you are not entirely helpless in the face of an attack. There are a couple of ways you could stop a DDoS/DoS attack, and one of the most effective ways is to use a VPN service.

When you’re playing games on various platforms like Xbox Live or PSN, some players may be able to see your real IP address. With your IP address exposed, it may be only a matter of time before someone carries out a DDoS/DoS attack directly on you.

There’s currently no way to stop a DDoS attack in progress, so it is better to be prepared to defend against it. A great VPN service provides a solid defense.

How a VPN Provides DDoS Protection For Gamers

When you’re connected to a VPN server, your data traffic is encrypted through a secure tunnel, and your real IP address is masked. So when you’re connected to a gaming platform, and someone tries to attack you, instead of seeing your IP address, they’ll see one given to you by the VPN server, and any attack would be directed to the server.

One thing you should have in mind is that VPNs are 100% effective against DDoS attacks. If your IP address is already known to a hacker, a VPN won’t be able to protect you. Sometimes, VPN providers themselves could encounter DDoS attacks, and if your VPN provider doesn’t have effective DDoS attack protection, you are at risk.

When it comes to choosing a gaming VPN, you should look out for:

1. Number of servers available: The best VPNs operate multiple VPN servers in several locations, providing you with enough options to choose from.

2. Connection speeds: VPNs sometimes slow down the speed of your connection. However, great providers make sure that the speed lag you experience is negligible. 

3. IP addresses: VPNs use either dynamic or static IP addresses. Dynamic IP addresses are the best because they change when you connect to the VPN server, while Static doesn’t.

Recommended VPNs That Provide DDoS Protection for Gamers

Find the top VPNs that offer DDoS protection below:

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN devices

Features

  • Number of servers: More than 3,000
  • Speeds: Unlimited
  • Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
  • Maximum devices supported: 5
  • 24 live chat: Yes
  • 30 day money back guarantee: Yes

Pros/Cons

  • Fastest VPN out there
  • Strict no logs policy
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Few discounts
Visit ExpressVPN

For gamers looking to avoid DDoS attacks, ExpressVPN is the best option available. Just as we said, DDoS/DoS attacks require your real IP address. However, ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, providing you with so many IP addresses.

It is an excellent service for PS4, Xbox, and even mobile games. Apart from protection against DDoS attacks, ExpressVPN also boasts incredible connection speeds.

The VPN is available on various platforms and is easy to use. ExpressVPN currently offers you three months extra when you purchase a 12-month plan. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Pros: Fastest VPN out there; Strict no logs policy; 256-bit AES encryption;
  • Lowest price: $6.67

NordVPN

NordVPN devices

Features

  • Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: 6
  • Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
  • Servers: 5342 in 58 countries

Pros/Cons

  • Lots of pricing options
  • Netflix support kept up to date
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Slow app
Visit NordVPN

NordVPN operates a vast network of over 5000 servers in more than 59 countries. The VPN switches your IP address frequently, so it would be impossible for a hacker to figure out which IP address is your real one.

NordVPN’s software is available on multiple platforms where you play your games, so you just have to download the compatible software. However, to use the VPN, you’ll need to subscribe to a plan. At the time of writing this article, it costs $11.95 monthly to use NordVPN. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you’re not satisfied with the service.

  • Pros: Lots of pricing options; Netflix support kept up to date; 256-bit AES encryption;
  • Lowest price: $3.71

Surfshark

Surfshark devices

Features

  • Free trial? Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
  • Ad blocking? Yes
  • Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries

Pros/Cons

  • No footprints
  • Allows torrenting
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Not the fastest
Try Surfshark

Surfshark is yet another excellent choice for preventing DDoS/DoS attacks and the inconveniences they cause. Some gamers have complained of VPNs affecting their gaming speed negatively, but that’s not the case with SurfShark. It boosts your internet speed.

Surfshark has over 3200 in 63 countries. For gamers, this amount of servers should be more than enough to stay clear of DDoS attacks.

The VPN also requires a paid subscription, but unlike many VPN providers, Surfshark accepts cryptocurrency payments which is a great option if you want to remain anonymous. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Pros: No footprints; Allows torrenting; 256-bit AES encryption;
  • Lowest Price: €2.09

Conclusion

DDoS/DoS attacks don’t just compromise privacy and cause interference, but it also shows a vulnerability in your security or a gaming platform. You can’t stop these attacks, but a VPN can prevent them. The VPNs we’ve suggested are the best on the market, and they are sure to keep you protected.