It is no secret that Pokemon Go has been a life-changing app for many people. With its augmented reality gameplay and worldwide community, it has introduced the world to a whole new dimension of mobile gaming. One would assume that given NordVPN’s status as one of the most popular VPN providers in the world, their services would be available on the app. However, it appears that this is not the case. In fact, NordVPN has gone out of their way to publicize the fact that they do not support, and will not work with, Pokemon Go. Despite Pokemon Go’s popularity, it is still (at the time of writing) only available on a few mobile devices, and most importantly, not supported by NordVPN. Before we begin our discussion, let’s examine the facts:
Does Pokemon Go Use A VPN?
The short answer is yes, however, it is not technically considered a VPN as we know them. When we think about a VPN, we usually think about an online service that allows us to spoof our geographical location and browse the web anonymously. This is not necessary on Pokemon Go. While it is true that you cannot reveal your physical location on the app, you can still maintain your privacy online by using a VPN.
Here is where the technicalities come in. On the surface, Pokemon Go appears to be a normal VPN app, but it is actually more than that. First off, let’s examine the permissions that the app requests. When you first launch it, you will see the standard setup screen as shown below:
As you can see above, aside from some general configuration options, Pokemon Go will need access to your WiFi network, email, and phone number. These are all standard things that a VPN requires, so it is no surprise that they are part of the permissions that the app requests. However, here is where things get a little bit more clever. If you look at the “About” section of the app, you will see that it constantly requests access to your phone’s internet connection. In fact, it does this even when your WiFi network is connected and available. This is important because it means that the app can always check for available connections regardless of whether or not you are connected to a WiFi network.
Why does the app need to constantly check for available connections? Well, it utilizes a feature called “Network Location” which, as the name suggests, provides your geographic location based on your internet connection. So, as long as you have internet access, the app can pinpoint your approximate location and allow you to “catch” Pokemon. Indeed, it is one of the most useful features of the app, and something that most people probably do not even know about. However, as we mentioned earlier, this is a normal part of a VPN and does not necessarily mean that the app is trying to hide anything. For instance, if you have chosen a US-based server, the app will automatically select your home network for you, so you do not need to worry about whether or not you are connected to a public WiFi network when you use the app. This is all completely normal and something you would expect when using a VPN.
Why Does NordVPN Not Work With Pokemon Go?
Now that we have established that the app utilizes a VPN and that it needs access to your phone’s internet connection, let’s take a look at why NordVPN specifically does not work with the app. As we mentioned earlier, the app uses the “Network Location” feature which, in turn, relies on your phone’s internet connection to determine where you are located. This makes it a bit more difficult for the app to function when used with a VPN. When you are connected to a VPN, your IP address changes, so none of the underlying APIs can pinpoint your location anymore. This is why NordVPN does not work with Pokemon Go.
What Should You Do Instead?
If you really want to utilize the benefits of a VPN on Pokemon Go, there are a few things that you can do. First off, you can either choose not to use a VPN at all, or you can choose to use a VPN that supports Network Location. There are a few options out there that support this feature, including PIA, Perfect Privacy, and ZenVPN. Any of these VPNs will work with Pokemon Go, so you do not need to worry about whether or not you will be able to use the app.
If you decide to go this route, make sure that you configure the app to connect to the VPN when you launch it. This way, you can still benefit from the apps resources, but you will prevent the feature from revealing your physical location to the public.
Alternatively, you can use a VPN that does not support Network Location, but you will lose the ability to utilize the app’s other features. Any VPN that you choose should support the other features of the app (such as anonymity and security) and should meet your basic requirements (such as the speed of the connection).
The Future Of VPN And Augmented Reality Gaming
It is no secret that augmented reality is the next big thing, and it is only going to grow larger in the coming years. Pokemon Go was one of the first mainstream examples of VR and AR gaming, and it is clear that the industry as a whole is taking note.
Since then, there have been numerous other apps that have implemented similar features, many of which are free. While it is still rather difficult to pinpoint the future of VR and AR gaming, given the fact that most apps remain free, it is rather clear that these tools will continue to grow in popularity and be integrated more and more into our everyday lives.
In light of this, it is rather important to have a VPN that supports these features. If you are planning on playing any VR or AR games in the near future, make sure that you choose a VPN that is both secure and anonymous.
Of course, as always, make sure that you do your research before you buy anything and read reviews. This way, you can be sure that you are getting a trustworthy product that meets your needs. Ultimately, as the future of technology continues to evolve, so too will your needs as a VPN user. To stay ahead of the curve, make sure that you are always researching the latest trends and technologies that can improve your experience as a VPN user.