What is Uplay?
Uplay is a digital distribution and inline gaming platform from computer games producer Ubisoft. This system is a rival for the Origin system, run by EA Games and Steam, which belongs to Valve.
Uplay was launched in 2012. It enables Ubisoft’s game players to assemble teams, find opponents, and earn in-game rewards. The reward system grants points for achievements and for winning a game. These points are called “units.” They can be used to buy equipment for characters in games played on the platform. The units are accrued by a player across the board, rather than within each game. Thus players who subscribe to several games can accumulate points in one game and spend them on utilities in another. This is a great way to use experience in one game to make it easier to succeed in a new or more difficult game.
You can earn Uplay units along the way during play. Each game contains four “actions” that will earn units, no matter whether you ultimately win or lose the game. These in-game rewards create an incentive to stick with the Uplay platform rather than joining up to play games through other systems, such as Steam. However, the opportunity for rewards also means that problems with your connection can put you at a permanent disadvantage.
If you find that the game hangs, stutters, or doesn’t respond quickly enough at vital moments, you could be the subject of a trick called “throttling.” This handicap isn’t the result of a devious action by rival players. In fact, throttling is a practice carried out by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). You can fix this problem by preventing you ISP from knowing that you’re playing a game. To do this, you need to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
You can find out more about throttling later in this article. Before that, let’s take a look at the five best VPNs for Uplay.
Quick Links to our 5 best VPNs for Uplay
Best VPNs for Uplay: Summary
- Our Score
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- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Fast connections
- Servers in 94 countries
- Uses stealth technology
- Great customer service
- Only three simultaneous connections allowed
ExpressVPN is a great choice for gamers. It has a super fast network and excellent cloaking methods. VPNs run servers all over the world. When you turn the VPN on, you have to choose which of the servers you want your traffic to flow through. You will slow down the connection if the location you choose is not in a direct path between you and the Uplay server. There is no way that you can know the exact path that each connection will take. However, if you choose a server that is close to you or close to the Uplay server, you can be sure that the VPN is not causing your connection to travel over to the other side of the world and back in order to reach Uplay. ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries, which means that you are more likely to find a server close to you with this VPN than with any other on the list.
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- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Allowance of five simultaneous connections
- Servers in 37 countries
- No bandwidth limits
- Easy to use app
- No app for Linux
Buffered is a great choice for gamers. The company offers servers that are optimized for high-traffic applications, such as gaming and streaming. If you want to use other applications at the same time as your connection to Uplay, Buffered is a good choice, because you get an allowance of five simultaneous connections. Thus you can cover a range of devices. If you have several different connections going out of your PC all at once, that still counts as one connection. This is because the connection allowance counts connections to a VPN server, not the number of connections that pass through that link.
- 24-hour free trial
- Based in Malaysia
- Good for use in Asia
- Stealth servers
- Good customer support
- Servers in only 11 countries
- Only two simultaneous connections allowed
Out of all of the reviews, BolehVPN is the only service on this list that is based in Asia. The company's offices are located in Malaysia, so you'll get quicker responses from the customer service team during Malaysian business hours. This makes life easier for those in surrounding time zones. The company set up its VPN service to cater to customers in China. The Chinese authorities try to block access to certain foreign websites, and even block VPN traffic. Unfortunately, Chinese investment in detection systems has pushed the technology forward. Now VPN detection methods are available at a much lower cost and are implemented by many countries around the world. Those who live in countries that discourage the use of VPNs will be well served by BolehVPN. This will not only get around your ISP throttling your connection to Uplay, but it will also skirt government restrictions on the use of VPNs.
- Seven-day money-back guarantee
- Allowance of six simultaneous connections
- Servers in 60 countries
- Good for China
- Optimized servers for gaming, torrenting, and streaming
- Live customer support not always attended
VPNArea has implemented a range of technologies to evade detection. It gets you good speeds on a connection to Uplay. The company operates very strong encryption at the session establishment phase, to foil efforts by the Chinese authorities to grab session encryption keys and read communications. As such, this is a good choice for Chinese customers as well as for those in other locations. VPN Area employs a kill switch and DNS leak protection. These methods prevent slip-ups on the connection that might enable your ISP to see that you are connected to a games server. The company has specialist servers that are optimized for activities such as gaming, torrenting, and streaming.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Allowance of six simultaneous connections
- Account sharing encouraged
- Servers in 58 countries
- Installation instructions for routers
- Customer support could be better
We're pleased to report that when reviewing NordVPN we found they offer an allowance of six simultaneous connections. This means that you can make using the VPN cheaper by sharing an account with friends. The company is fine with account sharing. It also has no problems with customers using its network for high-traffic applications, such as online gaming. If you play with a console, you'll find it difficult to get it covered by a VPN. The best solution is to load the service onto your router. NordVPN has a long list of instruction documents on its site that give you step by step instructions on getting the service on just about every router type in the world. Installing the VPN on your router covers every device in your home, while only counting as one connection.
ISP Service Quality
ISPs have to compete in a very tight marketplace. By charging just a little less than its rivals, an Internet company can gain hundreds of thousands of new customers almost overnight. However, the modern internet subscriber requires high speeds, so performance is also an important factor. If a company can provide the same high level of service but charge a little less, it can clean up.
In order to win on price, the ISP needs to bring down its costs while keeping its performance promises. The easiest way to do this is by being tricky with the language it uses in the terms of services it offers to customers.
The speed of the connections that an ISP offers is a core component of its advertising. If a company promises its customers a specific speed, it has to deliver it. Otherwise it could be taken to court for fraud and have to pay compensation to all its customers. Such a situation would wipe out any profit that an ISP with thin margins could expect to make. Therefore, the company has to find a way to keep its promise to its customers. However, the ISP does not have to provide top speed all of the time. It does have to provide the same level of service to all customers though.
Throttling gets the ISP out of the dilemma of having to keep to its performance promises while cutting its costs. To cover itself, the ISP will give a hint of throttling practices in its terms of service, which few potential customers will actually read.
The ISP has to meet the promises of its advertising. However, it is not strictly illegal for the ISP to give a poorer level of service to some applications than to others. This is throttling. A large part of the cost structure of internet provision is connected to the concept of bandwidth. This is the capacity of an interface or a cable to handle traffic. A lower bandwidth availability will slow traffic down because less data can pass simultaneously; it has to wait in a queue.
Bandwidth costs money because the ISP needs to buy in extra equipment to expand it. They also have to sign agreements with other networking companies to get their traffic passed on over the internet. These connection contracts are called “peering agreements.” The connecting company meters usage of its network and charges accordingly. If an ISP can lower the amount of bandwidth it passes on, it can lower its costs.
Online gaming, torrent downloading, and streaming are the three applications that cause ISPs’ costs to rise. They use a lot of bandwidth. The need to filter out these bandwidth gobblers may explain why ISPs all over the world are so keen to comply with government efforts to stamp out torrenting. Reducing bandwidth usage is also the motivation behind throttling.
If an ISP detects particular types of activity, it will divert that traffic over a cheaper, slower connection. As such, the ISP will sign a peering agreement that guarantees sufficient speed to enable it to keep its performance promise. It will then sing one for a second, slower connection, which is cheaper. Often gaming traffic gets sent over the slower connection to save money.
VPNs prevent throttling because they encrypt the packets that leave your computer and go onto the internet. The VPN server does the same for all traffic that is flowing to your computer. Thus, when your connection to Uplay passes through the ISP’s computers, there is no way that automatic detection systems can work out where those messages are really going to or coming from. It isn’t possible for them to automatically switch your gaming traffic onto a slower line.
You won’t be able to tell if your ISP uses throttling because if you try a speed test of the service, that test will not be directed to the slower connection. Thus, it will seem that you are getting the speed that you were promised and all of the lag must be the fault of the Uplay server. The only way to test for throttling is to apply a VPN and then try out the connection to Uplay and see whether the lag has gone away.
Best Uplay VPNs: Conclusion
Uplay gets a lot of criticism for its poor speeds. However, most of the time those game-losing slow responses are not the fault of the platform. Instead, it is your ISP that is causing the problem. The five VPNs on our list all offer high speeds and are especially adept at evading detection. Any one of the services on our Uplay VPN list will sort out slow connection problems by getting around throttling. Try each of the services and take advantage of their free trials or refund periods to test which one of them works best for you.