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VPN vs GPN: what is better for gaming?

When your internet connection speed is fluctuating, and ping times are inconsistent, you will experience jitter. When (video) calling, this can be annoying. But when playing video games, it can simply destroy your game. Slow connections are another thing you do not want in a high-speed game where a split second can mean the difference between winning and losing.

There are ways to reduce latency and jittering and control ping rates with a VPN or a GPN. What is the difference? And which one is better?

A VPN for gaming

A Virtual Private Network is a service that enables you to connect to a secure server that directs your internet traffic via an encrypted and secure tunnel.

The advantages of a VPN for gaming are:

  • It keeps your internet activities secure and private.
  • You can avoid DDoS attacks and ISP throttling.
  • You can spoof your location and get access to games and game servers that are not (yet) available in your geographical location.
  • It masks your IP and lets you access game servers you have been banned from.

On the downside:

  • Some games do not allow VPN use (which can be bypassed by using a good and paid VPN service like NordVPN or CyberGhost)
  • Internet speeds may be lower with some VPNs, because of the encryption. (Depending on the game, the VPN and your location, internet speeds can also be increased slightly)

A GPN or Optimized Gaming Network

A Gamers Private Network or Optimized Gaming Network enhances and optimizes your gaming experience by managing game traffic and tunnels through specifically setup servers to give you an optimized route to the gaming servers.

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The advantages of a GPN are:

  • It minimizes the latency and ping times during peak times.
  • It reduces jitter and packet loss while playing online games.
  • Automatic detection when you’re playing a game and starts a session.

On the downside:

  • It does not have any security or privacy features.
  • It does not mask your IP address, which makes spoofing your location impossible.
  • Games have to be supported by individual services. Some optimized gaming networks have a limited list of games they support.

Is a GPN or Optimized Gaming Network better than a VPN?

As you can see from the breakdown above, the services are similar but have quite different functions. A GPN is specifically designed to just improve the gaming experience during peak internet traffic times, and does what it was designed to do. However, are you looking for security or bypassing an IP ban or geo-blocking? Then, yes, a VPN is better for you. With a good (and paid) VPN like NordVPN you don’t have to experience any speed loss and could even enhance speed in some cases.