Years ago, the gaming market was dominated by harshly stereotyped Italian plumbers and ludicrously speedy hedgehogs in all their low resolution glory. Things have changed, thankfully, and now we can play enormous, sprawling adventures in sumptuous high definition for days on end without scratching the surface of their brilliance.

This is all well and good but many games now require online connectivity and so much bandwith that your standard ISP may not stand up to the demands of your console – the solution is quite clearly VPN.

Virtual Private Networks (also known as Gamers Private Networks) offer the gamer so much for so little expenditure such as improved security, shorter connection times/routes and massively expanded online multiplayer options but the benefits don’t stop there.

Thanks to VPN’s roaming capabilities, you can actually use the connection to access downloads released in different countries. This could be a latest update or downloading an entire title that has been released earlier in a different country – very common with gaming giants Nintendo who tend to release their offerings in their native Japan before anywhere else.

The modern games console is hardly a restrictive piece of technology but it is becoming progressively more difficult to play online multiplayer against players outside of your own country – anyone who’s ever played Black Ops 2 will know how restrictive the servers can be if there’s a few Americans or Australians in the mix.

This is no longer a problem with VPN as you can essentially choose the region you would like to play in and the network shifts appropriately. It might not improve your chances of winning but it will no doubt improve the potential enjoyment as you tour the globe digitally – it is certainly better when you can’t understand the relentless abuse you receive online…

If you’re serious about your gaming, you won’t allow lag to slow down your enjoyment so why not invest in VPN to prevent anything disrupting the experience? You might think they’ll cost the earth given their expansive capabilities but you’d be very wrong – a yearly subscription to a VPN will cost you less than a modern title and probably around the same as a year’s access to PSN or Xbox Live.

A slow connection isn’t helpful in any situation: streaming movies, browsing the web and online gaming are the main uses for the internet these days (aside from the seedier corners of the web) and the service providers simply can’t compete with VPN – all they can do is provide a base connection for you to work with then the world’s your oyster.

Whether you’re a fan of FIFA, Battlefield, Elder Scrolls or any other massively online multiplayer title; VPN will add to your enjoyment, boost your security and open up a whole new world of possibilities all for less than it costs to buy the latest instalment of your favourite franchise – the options are numerous and the possibilities: endless.