Battle.net is the digital distribution platform for games producer Blizzard Entertainment. The system launched in 1996, making it one of the oldest gaming platforms in the industry.
Blizzard Entertainment produces the very popular World of Warcraft series. Battle.net is also home to Diablo III, Starcraft II, Destiny 2, and Overwatch. Players can connect directly to online servers from their consoles to play these games against each other. However, the Battle.net system adds on social functions. It also includes a store, where fans can buy new versions of games. A gamer trading system enables members to produce and sell their own game facilities, such as World of Warcraft maps and virtual equipment for characters in Diablo III.
The social functions of Battle.net allow members to chat with each other and seek advice on forum pages. However, usage restrictions and the site’s complex membership rules may discourage you from bothering. Some prefer to find others to play against through regular social media, connecting directly through their consoles. This is particularly true since the launch of the upgraded Battle.net site, known as Battle.net 2.0, in 2009.
If you want to give Battle.net a go, you can overcome some of the platform’s problems by applying a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to your connections. These privacy systems help bypass regular routing algorithms. Thus they can get you away from the server that Battle.net has allocated you and into one with better performance.
You can learn more about the Battle.net connection problems towards the end section of this report. First, let’s take a look at the top five recommended Battle.net VPNs.
Quick Links to our best 5 VPNs for Battle.net
Battle.net VPNs Comparison: Summary
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- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Versatile: Servers in 94 countries
- Good choice for online gaming
- Helpful: Good customer support
- Super Fast connections
- Only three simultaneous connections allowed
One of the biggest problems that puts people off using Battle.net is the difficulty of making connections. You don't get a choice of computers to log in with, but you are assigned to the closest Blizzard-owned server to your location. This means that players in Asia regularly get locked out, while those located in Europe experience no problems at all. The different loads on servers around the world mean that you can get better performance if you switch locations.
A VPN makes it appear that you are in a different part of the world. ExpressVPN has a very large network of servers, with access points in 94 different countries. This extensive network gives you plenty of location choices when you want to pick a better Battle.net server. ExpressVPN will not slow down your connection, despite that fact that it is rerouting your connections and encrypting everything. If your local internet service is not so good, ExpressVPN can even speed up your connections, in our experience.
Visit ExpressVPN »30 day moneyback guarantee
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Allowance of five simultaneous connections
- Versatile: Servers in 37 countries
- Doesn't slow connections
- Easy to use app
- Doesn't accept Bitcoin or PayPal
The price of ExpressVPN may put you off. If you only need a VPN for Battle.net, then you don't need access to a large number of servers all over the world, you just need to be sure that the VPN has some servers in Europe, where performance is better on the Battle.net server. Buffered is based in Europe and makes sure that its own region is well catered for, with plenty of server locations. The company runs VPN servers in a total of 37 countries.
The app for this VPN is very easy to use. It was designed to fit on the screen of a smartphone, so there are very few buttons to deal with on the main screen. In order to connect, you just select a server and then press Connect. Buffered lets you try out its VPN and still gives you the opportunity to change your mind and get your money back after using the facility for 30 days. This gives you a great opportunity to try out the service without risking your money.
- 24-hour free trial
- Based in Asia
- Specializes in Chinese web access problems
- Secure: Stealth technology
- Masks identity
- Servers in only 11 countries
- Only two simultaneous connections allowed
BolehVPN has the smallest server network on this list. However, the company is based in Malaysia, which is why in makes it onto the list of the best VPNs for Battle.net. Users of Battle.net 2.0 who are located in Asia suffer more connection problems than those on any other continent. If you need help from a VPN to get into Battle.net, it is most likely that you are in Asia.
When reviewing BolehVPN, we found that the support team is located in Malaysia. You are more likely to get fast responses from them if you are in the same timezone, making BolehVPN an excellent choice for Asian Battle.net users. The company has servers in Europe, so you still get the ability to appear to be over there and get into a better Battle.net server. BolehVPN was created to server customers in China, so this is a particularly good choice if you want Battle.net access from there.
- Seven-day money-back guarantee
- Flexible: Allowance of six simultaneous connections
- Versatile: Servers in more than 60 countries
- Gets past regional restrictions
- Good for streaming
- Slow speeds in some locations
Although the company is not based in Asia, VPNArea also specializes in providing web access for Chinese customers. There is a lot to contend with if you want regular, open internet access in China, so the periodic blocks that Blizzard runs on its allocated server for Asia really add insult to injury.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Allowance of six simultaneous connections
- Flexible: Account sharing allowed
- Versatile: Servers in 58 countries
- Low price two-year special offer
- Not the fastest VPN
NordVPN is the cheapest service on this list, but it still operates a competent VPN with servers in more than 58 countries. The company runs a special offer that makes the service even cheaper on a monthly basis if you are prepared to sign up for a two-year subscription and pay upfront. That commitment is quite a risk if you worry about paying for a service that might not work. However, after paying and installing the client software, you get a full 30 days to try out the service and still get your money back if you cancel.
NordVPN allows up to six simultaneous connections. This means that this service could be good for a group sharing an account. This strategy makes running a VPN very cheap. Both VPNArea and NordVPN are fine about account sharing.
VPNs can’t address all of the problems that users have with Battle.net. People regularly use VPNs to enjoy privacy on the internet. However, the cloaking and encryption services of a VPN won’t help you get around Battle.net’s requirement for full identity disclosure before it grants access to large sections of the site.
VPNs are great for dodging regional restrictions. Unfortunately, they won’t help you with the Battle.net requirement that you buy a new copy of each game for every region you want to play in. Nor can they overcome the limited regional rival pool of the Battle.net system.
The biggest issue that Battle.net users experience is a lock out. VPNs can help you with that.
Will Blizzard ban me for using a VPN with Battle.net Games?
Blizzards official stance on VPNs is that they do not support them, however this is not to say you will get banned if you do use one. There are instances where users have been banned for using a VPN, but these are part of “banning waves” which look to target users cheating in other ways, such as “botting”.
Anecdotally, users have reported having their accounts restored in the event that Blizzard has taken action against them for “cheating” when they were only using a VPN so they could enjoy the game.
Battle.net VPNs for Access
Blizzard has never satisfactorily explained the connection problems that users in Asia experience. Users report that they are unable to connect to Battle.net. However, at the same time they can connect to the company’s servers directly through their consoles while playing one of the platform’s games.
Blizzard support staff have told investigating users that the block must be applied by their Internet Service Providers (ISPs). However, those experiencing connection problems have tested the connection to the Battle.net IP address with ping or trace route and got through without problems.
Another inconsistency with the ISP block explanation is that users who are blocked at home find that they can connect from their workplace. Thus local internet conditions are not to blame.
Asian users connect to Battle.net’s US West server. This server seems to be particularly vulnerable to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. That has been raised as a possible cause of Asian connection problems. DDoS attacks send a large number of superfluous connection requests to a target computer. These fill up all of the connection slots available for genuine users, so no one can get into the computer. However, this still doesn’t explain why users can get into the system from business IP addresses.
VPN Battle.net Solution
It seems that Battle.net periodically blocks access to those who connect to the server via the Battle.net route. This block only applies to residential IP addresses. It does not occur when the same user accesses Battle.net through a console from the same address.
Battle.net doesn’t block access to users who connect from Europe. Thus the simplest solution is to make the Blizzard computer think that you’re there. When you use a VPN, you have to nominate which of the provider’s servers you want to connect to. Once the VPN is turned on, all of your traffic goes to that server. The VPN server then forwards your internet communications to their intended destinations. Thus, if you select a VPN server in Europe, and then log into Battle.net, you will be directed to the European server and not the US West one.
The software that routinely blocks access to the US West server does not seem to be active on the European Battle.net server.
If your preferred work around is to connect to Battle.net from work or college, then you may find yourself up against another block. Companies and educational institutions don’t like people accessing games sites from their networks. When you try to connect, you may well see a warning message telling you that the address you tried to contact is banned.
If you are able to connect to your college or workplace network from your own laptop or mobile device, then having your own VPN running will get around the network block on game server access. When your connection traffic passes through the company gateway server, it will not detect the banned address of the Battle.net server, as it will see the VPN server’s address instead.
VPNs for Battle.net
Not all VPNs are equal. You may select one at random, only to find that Battle.net still blocks you. Some VPNs use residential IP addresses. This strategy wouldn’t help you with the Battle.net access problem if you only have the option of connecting through an Asian VPN server.
The five VPNs on our list don’t use residential IP addresses and all offer servers in Europe. This gives you your best opportunity to get around Battle.net access problems.
Best Battle.net VPNs: Conclusion
Before giving up on the restrictions and complications of the Battle.net system, try installing a VPN. Though you can connect to the Blizzard server to play online against the world without having to go through Battle.net, who would you play against? Who would you chat with, and where would you get tips?
A lot of chat gadgets lack security and mean anyone can find out your IP address. Although the US West Battle.net server is vulnerable to DDoS attacks, it is not the only computer in the world that gets subjected to such hacking tactics. DDoS attacks can be aimed at individual players. All an attacker needs is your IP address. VPNs mask your real IP address and have excessive spare capacity that enables them to absorb DDoS attacks.
Whichever solution you choose to the Battle.net access problem, consider using a VPN. All of our best five VPNs will get you into Battle.net. They will also protect you if you choose to meet fellow gamers though other channels.
If you’re looking for a VPN service that will work with other game services as well as Battle.net, check out our best 5 VPNs for gaming.