GPN vs. VPN
This document covers:
- The wtfast Gamers Private Network (GPN) ®
What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
History: The primary initial use case for VPN technology was to enable business people an encrypted connection to access their office network while they are at home or travelling. Over the last ten years, there has been a vast growth in VPN usage for consumers who want to encrypt all their Internet activity or to access geo-restricted content.
Encryption: A VPN encrypts all Internet traffic in and out of your machine, to the VPN server, and then to the target server or computer.
Traffic: VPNs usually tunnel all Internet traffic on your PC.
Routing: The VPN server connection will change the path that your data takes across the Internet. Depending on the VPN server location and network provider, the connection to your target server could be either harmed or helped. For example, if you live in Los Angeles and you want to access a target server in Los Angeles (LA), if you pick a VPN server with a better network provider in LA you may experience a better connection. In contrast, if you were to select a VPN server located in Hawaii, your connection will probably be degraded because you are sending the connection to Hawaii and then back to LA.
Access: An authorized VPN client is required on your machine to access the VPN. The VPN could be made up of a single server, or a network of servers.
Performance: The performance of VPN servers can vary wildly depending on configuration and usage distribution. For example, if a bunch of people all at once decide to use a VPN server to stream a game download or Game of Thrones, this is going to impact the VPN performance. For this reason, VPN services are typically not reliable enough for latency-sensitive real-time communications, such as online gaming.
Online Gaming: Often VPNs will be used to unlock geo-restricted content, or to hide malicious online activity such as hacking, botting or fraud. Sometimes game providers will block VPNs due to these malicious activities.
What is a Proxy?
History: Proxy technology has been around for about as long as VPN technology. Adoption of proxy technology by consumers compared to VPN technology has been much slower. This adoption rate is presumably because VPN technology is much easier to deliver to meet the largest market demand (encryption and unlocking geo-restrictions), so it has achieved greater market adoption.
Encryption: Depending on the configuration of a proxy technology, the proxy connection could be encrypted or not.
Traffic: Proxies typically only tunnel web/HTTP traffic, although can be configured to handle other traffic types.
Routing: Like VPNs, proxy servers can also be used to change the routing of Internet data. The logic for proxy servers is the same as for VPN servers (see above VPN example); depending on the proxy server location, the connection to the target server may be improved or degraded.
Access: Like VPNs, an authorized proxy client is required on your machine to access the proxy server. The proxy server could be made up of a single server, or a network of servers.
Performance: Like VPNs, the performance of proxy servers can vary wildly depending on configuration and usage distribution. Typically proxy servers can be overloaded and have unreliable performance due to usage patterns (see above VPN example). For this reason, proxy services are not reliable enough for latency-sensitive real-time communications, such as online gaming.
Online Gaming: Like VPNs, proxies will be used to unlock geo-restricted content, or to hide malicious online activity such as hacking, botting or fraud. Sometimes game providers will block proxies due to these malicious activities.
What is the wtfast Gamers Private Network (GPN) ®?
History: wtfast and our GPN was launched in December 2009. wtfast was created initially to showcase our first patented technology. After creating wtfast, we saw that there was a great opportunity in the marketplace to differentiate from existing VPN and proxy technologies. We wanted to create a proxy technology that was plug and play, with automated networking intelligence and optimized for gaming. We are now the clear market and technology leaders and the first to truly innovate in this space, with four patents granted, three pending, and more to come.
Encryption: wtfast does not encrypt or modify traffic. We relay traffic to the target server “as is”. We purposely do not encrypt traffic going through the GPN because we do not want people using our network to hide what they are doing. The purpose of wtfast is to optimize online connections, not to hide activity or to access geo-restricted content.
Traffic: wtfast tunnels only selected real-time game communications, and is capable of handling any type of traffic.
Routing: Unlike VPNs or proxies, we have created a plug & play solution with automated networking. The ideal user experience is: you just select your game, and we take care of the rest! We continue to improve the AI in our networking solution so the results will get better over time. If you would like to try some different servers for yourself, this is possible with manual selection. If you select (choose best),wtfast will attempt to pick the best server for you, from that “choose best” selection. You can also manually pick a single server.
Access: Like VPNs or proxies,wtfast requires an authorized software client on your machine to access the GPN.
Performance: Unlike VPNs or proxies, WTFast is a private server network focused on game traffic only. Our technology focuses only on optimizing real-time game communications, which means that you log in directly to a game server, and you download patches directly from the game provider. We aim to wait until you are in the actual game before we send your traffic over our GPN for optimization. This extreme focus on your game connection only allows us to ensure the best network connection performance possible, and also ensures that our servers do not get overloaded due to massive patches or downloads that can bog down a server.
Online Gaming: When we created wtfast, we were fully aware of how proxy and VPN technologies are used to bypass geo-restrictions and also hide malicious activities in online games. We knew that WTFast had to be different.
We aim to configure each game so that:
- You are logging in directly to the game server. This ensures that you cannot use wtfast to bypass geo-restrictions or to hide your real IP address from the game company.
- We only send your game session data over our GPN.
- We adjust each game config to work well with the security systems in place for each major game. If anything changes with the security settings, we will adjust our config.
- We optimize not only the average latency or ping for your connection, but we also focus on reducing flux (our interpretation of jitter), spikes and packet loss. Flux/spikes/loss have a big impact on the smoothness of your game connection; they should be as low as possible.
The wtfast goal is to continue to drive innovation and be the market and technology leader in this space.
For more information:
- Is wtfast Safe to Use?
- What is Latency & How Does it Affect Game Response Time?
- How Proxies and/or VPNs Can Reroute Your Data (and Improve It)