Online poker is hugely popular and websites like PokerStars, 888Poker and FullTilt are visited by millions of users every day. However, players face many difficulties including geographical restrictions and security measures that prevent them from enjoying their favorite pastime. There are many poker websites that are blocked in certain countries due to gambling regulations. Security should be considered when accessing poker sites. Online fraudsters are likely to target these websites, given that there is money involved. For these reasons, using a VPN for online poker is important. Before going through the list of the best options available, we’ll discuss the legal and security aspects that you need to keep in mind.
Legal Implications of using a VPN to access poker sites
You will notice that the majority of online poker and gambling websites warn against the use of a VPN. If you access their services with the help of a VPN to change your virtual location, you may be banned as this is not in compliance with their policies. In some countries, online gambling is not permitted and accessing these websites could land you into trouble.
In the US, for example, gambling is only allowed in a limited number of states. It is crucial to keep this in mind when using a VPN or another technology to bypass geo-location restrictions. Doing so, may result in the suspension on your account and even legal action, but if you are willing to take the risk, there are VPN solutions that could protect you effectively.
It should be noted that using a VPN is not the only step that you may need to take in order to be able to access online poker sites. You need to select a payment solution and if you opt for a card or a bank account, it should be from the same location as the VPN server you are using to connect to the website. It is advisable to opt for an anonymous payment method such as Bitcoins, so make sure that you look for a website that accepts this option. Additionally, it is worth considering that many poker sites may ban you if they detect that you are using different IPs or shared IPs, While this may not happen with all services, it may be better to get a VPN that supports dedicated IPs, although this feature will cost you more.
Finally, you should keep in mind that in some cases, you may be asked for proof of identity. This is likely to happen when you are handling a high amount of money. Of course, there may be users who want to access a poker site that they usually visit from their country, while you are travelling or they may want to protect their connection from hackers. In this case, a VPN could also come handy but the truth is that most websites don’t clarify if this would still be against their Terms and Conditions. While using a VPN can be a convenient way to unblock online poker websites in your country or while travelling, you need to take into account the possible risks.
Security aspects to consider
Apart from bypassing geographical restrictions, many users may want to opt for a VPN in order to protect the security of their connection. Using a VPN keeps your traffic encrypted and allows you to defend your privacy since your real IP address won’t be revealed. It is also a good way to prevent attacks from online fraudsters who want to access your personal information and your earnings and cheaters who may use DDoS attacks and other dishonest methods to win.
Features like Kill Switch and DNS leaks protection are important when it comes to choosing a VPN, because they can help to keep your privacy protected. For instance, if your VPN connection drops for any reason, the kill switch closes the online applications that you are using to ensure that your real IP address is not revealed. Since there are many threats for online poker players, it is understandable that they consider using a VPN.
Best VPNs for Online Poker
Thanks to ExpressVPN, poker fans don’t have to miss the chance to join online tournaments and put their skills to the test. ExpressVPN is incredibly fast and it has powerful unblocking technology. It also keeps your traffic protected with high encryption so others (not even your ISP), will be able to see what you are doing. Just connect to any of the thousands of servers that ExpressVPN has and enjoy the protection and online freedom that this provider can give you. ExpressVPN doesn’t keep logs of your internet traffic.
NordVPN has a solid no logs policy that ensures that your privacy is protected, additionally the provider is based in Panama, a country with a lax attitude to data retention. NordVPN supports strong security features including double encryption and Tor over VPN. They have dedicated IPs in the United Kingdom, where online gambling is permitted.
Surfshark is another solution that keeps you protected and that allows you to bypass blocks so that you can access PokerStars and other popular websites. Surfshark has high quality software that is easy to use and its network sports over 800 servers in more than 50 countries. With features like anti-malware, anti-tracking and kill switch, your internet traffic will be protected. You can play poker from any location, thanks to the No Borders mode that Surfshark supports and the VPN stealth technology known as Camouflage mode Surfshark doesn’t keep logs.
TorGuard offers a great selection of features and the service is focused on providing security and privacy for its customers. Apart from having servers in over 50 countries, TorGuard also supports dedicated IPs, in case you need them. They also offer convenient setup guides and even routers that have been already configured with their service.