Shopping for games has evolved dramatically over the last twenty years. In the old days, you’d have to physically go to a place like GameStop or Target and buy a game. Depending on where you were in the world that price could vary significantly sometimes by more than $50. Now, all you have to do is visit online retailers like Steam or Blizzard, enter your payment information and you’ll be playing in a matter of minutes.
However, there are still major price differences depending on your location. For example, in late 2017, you could buy Overwatch 2 Standard Edition for $19.99 or £16.99 in the UK (which equals $21.62). A couple of dollars might not be a big deal. However, gamers from Australia particularly feel this pain when the same games in the US can often be twice as cheaper.
Luckily, you can save money by following these tips.
Step 1: Hide Your IP Address
Every device connected to the internet is assigned an IP address. This address contains all kinds of information, most importantly, your location. Anybody who sees it will know approximately where you are. That’s why you may see targeted ads like “5 Hot Trends in San Diego, California.”
Companies use this same information to show you different prices. Note that this isn’t exclusively limited to video games but spans across industries. The same goes with purchasing airline and hotel bookings, streaming online content, and much more.
In some cases, countries may even censor certain websites or use geo-blocks that prevent you from accessing the content you want. For these reasons, the best overall strategy for gaming and everything else you want to do online is to hide your IP.
“How do I hide my IP?” you might ask. There are many ways you can do it. However, the easiest and most effective way is to use a VPN (virtual private network). Unlike other strategies, such as proxies or simple IP concealer tools, VPN goes several steps further. With a VPN, you connect to a third party server, which then connects to whichever site you want to go to. This will not only hide your IP address but also create a more secure connection. Best of all, you can choose a server location that best matches your needs.
Step 2: Finding the Best Price
This is where price hunt begins. It may take a little time, but it’s definitely worth it. Search the specific game on price comparison websites. In some cases, you might get better prices depending on the retailer. For example, the Google Play Store may offer a better deal than Steam. However, you also need to compare the price around the world. You can also check out sites like Steam Prices that break down the costs in different countries. For less popular games, this may take a little more work as you’ll have to search individually by country.
Step 3: Buying and Downloading
After you’ve found the best deal, it’s time for you to purchase the game. Make sure you enable your VPN before accessing the website. In some cases, you may need to restart your browser or computer and then access the site. Once the website recognizes you are in whichever country you choose, then buy the game and download.
Some of the major sites have begun to crack down on this practice. If you want to be extra careful and ensure you are not caught, keep your VPN enabled while playing the game at least for the first week or so. If you’re using a quality VPN provider, you shouldn’t notice any significant difference in performance, and you’ll have the added benefit of protecting your internet connection.
If you are looking for the best prices on not only the latest games but also plane tickets, hotel bookings, software, and more then take advantage of using a VPN. With it, you’ll not only be able to hide your IP address but also bypass geo-blocks so you can find the best deals and access streaming content from a huge variety of countries around the world.