How the Privacy Hero Adapter Manages Streaming and Online Gaming

How the Privacy Hero Adapter Manages Streaming and Online Gaming Traffic

The Privacy Hero adapter aims to provide superior protection and security while also allowing users to enjoy their favorite activities without compromising performance. It's important for online gaming and streaming to be as fast, stable, and lag-free. That's why our smart adapter identifies streaming or online gaming traffic and routes it directly while still providing an important layer of security through DNS over HTTPS.

This article will explain how the Privacy Hero adapter handles streaming and online gaming traffic, and why these types of traffic are not run through VPN protection.

Streaming with the Privacy Hero Adapter

The quality of your streaming is determined by your internet’s download speed. VPNs can reduce your download speeds, meaning low-quality video and longer buffering times. With the Privacy Hero Adapter, all streaming traffic is routed directly - not through VPN - so quality and buffering times are not impacted.

Download Speed and Streaming Quality

Whether it be YouTube, Netflix, or Hulu, there’s nothing more annoying than long buffering times or grainy video quality. Streaming primarily relies on download speeds, and slow download speeds often result in performance issues.

As ultra-HD video - like 4K or even 8K - continue to gain traction, higher download speeds are becoming increasingly important to home networks.  For example, standard definition video only requires 3 Megabits per second, but 4K can require more than 25 Megabits per second.

Why VPNs Reduce Download Speed

A VPN routes your device through a remote server via an encrypted connection.  As part of that process, there are three factors that can reduce download speeds: server location, server load, and encryption.

  • Server Location – The physical location of the server, in relation to your own location, will affect your download speeds. The further away the server is, the greater the impact will be because your traffic will have further to travel.
  • Server Load – If a server is under heavy load (there are many users connected to the server), the server’s bandwidth can reach its limit, and download speeds may be affected.
  •  Encryption – When using a VPN, your traffic is encrypted before being sent anywhere. Strong encryption takes time and processing power - both factors can impact download speed  

To prevent these factors from affecting your download speeds when streaming, the Privacy Hero adapter routes streaming traffic directly. 

Gaming with the Privacy Hero Adapter

When it comes to online gaming performance, one of the most important factors is latency (also known as ping). VPNs can cause latency to increase and drastically reduce your gaming performance. The Privacy Hero adapter avoids high latency when gaming by routing your online gaming traffic directly.

How Online Gaming Works

When you’re playing an online game, there is constant, on-going communication between your device and the server hosting the game (the “host”). Let’s use an online FPS like Counter-Strike for example. The server needs to know whenever you input an action (i.e. when you jump, crouch, fire your gun, change the direction your facing, or walk forward) so this information is sent from your computer to the host.

Your device needs information, too – where other players are and the actions they’re taking - so this info is sent from the host server to your device.

This ongoing communication between device and host is what allows for online gaming to take place, so each player connected can interact, in real time, with other players.

What is Latency and Why is High Latency Bad for Gaming?

Latency is a measurement of the time it takes your device to send and receive information to and from the host. The lower the latency, the faster your device and host server are communicating. With low latency, your online game will perform as intended.

High latency, on the other hand, negatively impacts online gaming because your device and the host aren’t communicating fast enough. The higher the latency, the worse the problems get – stuttering, warping, incorrect player positions, low frame rates - to the point where an online game can become completely unplayable.

How Does a VPN Affect Latency?

With VPNs, your network traffic must travel further than normal before reaching its destination. This extra distance means your network traffic has increased its travel time and will subsequently result in higher latency.

Higher latency isn’t an issue with general internet use, but when it comes to latency-dependent activities like gaming, the effects can severely impact performance. For this reason, the Privacy Hero adapter does not run online gaming traffic through VPN protection.

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