Game Streaming does not have to use a VPN, here’s why

When using VPN (Virtual Private Network) can provide some benefits in terms of online privacy and security, there are certain considerations that need to be remembered when coming to streaming games. Here are three reasons why you might want to avoid using VPN to stream games:

VPN’s add overhead

VPN’s are built by wrapping your data in an extra layer of information (called encapsulation). Encapsulation is required to make sure your traffic is secured from prying eyes. The downside of this encapsulation is that it adds significant overhead, and if your internet packet is already at full size, it will spill over to two packets instead of just one — meaning each video frame requires longer to send and receive, slowing down the pace . Parsec uses DTLS and SHA-256 encryption to secure every packet. We do everything we can to secure each packet while minimizing the overhead on each packet.

Improvement of Latency:

VPN works by reaching your internet traffic through encrypted tunnels to servers located in different geographical locations. Additional distance and encryption process can introduce latency, which leads to delay between your actions and game responses. In fast games that require fast reflexes, even a little increase in latency can significantly affect your game play experience, making it less fun and competitive.

Bandwidth Limitation:

Streaming games requires a stable and fast internet connection to provide time-time gameplay. VPN has the potential to reduce the bandwidth available due to encryption and rerouting processes. Although Modern VPN is designed to minimize the impact on bandwidth, there may still be examples where the location of the VPN server and network congestion can affect the quality of your streaming, produce slowness, buffering, or lower resolution.

Mismatch with streaming platforms:

Some platforms or streaming games may have limits or policies that prevent users from accessing their content when connected to VPN. For example, if you use VPN to change the location and access games or services that are restricted in the area, you can violate the provisions of the platform service. This has the potential to cause punishment, account suspension, or even a permanent prohibition, thus endangering your game playing experience.

VPN’s are inefficient for low latency streaming — most VPN’s rely on a protocol called TCP. TCP is good for reliability, but sacrifices performance. For each TCP packet received, your computer is required to let the sender know it received the data (Acknowledge packet). Most game streaming services rely on a much faster protocol called UDP — this protocol does not need to send the Acknowledgment packet — because of this, UDP is much faster and more efficient. Most VPN’s will encapsulate your UDP game streaming data in TCP, which ruins the whole benefit of using UDP in the first place. Parsec built its own UDP protocol we call BUD. The benefits over TCP are demonstrated in the video below. Essentially, we make tolerate loss while maintaining some reliability. The goal is to keep a smooth game experience while pushing the boundary on latency without compromising security.

While these reasons highlight the potential loss using VPN for game streaming, it should be noted that the actual impact can vary depending on factors such as your internet connection speed, the VPN service you use, distance to the VPN server, and specific games or streaming platforms You use. In the end, it is important to consider your priorities and weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether to use VPN to stream games.


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