Call of Duty (CoD) is a first-person shooter game series that first launched in 2003. The game can be played through Xbox live on PCs, tablets and smartphones. It is also accessible on Wii, Xbox, and Playstation consoles. It is possible to play the game solo, but for most, the real excitement lies in battling against real players over the internet. However, the game system traps you in a local server and won’t let you switch regions. This is problematic if you wish to play against some of the world’s best players.
Quick Links to our 5 best VPNs for Call of Duty
Why Do I Need A CoD VPN?
If you want to switch regions, you need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for Call of Duty. You may have heard of VPNs and have probably seen adverts for some of them online. However, not any VPN will do, particularly if you play through Xbox Live. This is because the Xbox team doesn’t like VPNs. In fact, Xbox tries to trap VPNs’ connection requests.
Another issue with VPNs is that they can slow down your connection. These systems encrypt all of your communications and divert all internet transmissions from your computer through a mediating server. That means the game’s traffic has to travel further and is subject to extra processing.
A lot of VPNs would slow down your connection to the point where you just couldn’t stay in the game. Thus when you use a VPN for Call of Duty (CoD), you need to pick a good service. You can read more about how VPNs work later on in this review. First, let’s take a look at the best VPNs for Call of Duty.
Best VPNs for Call of Duty: Summary
- Our Score
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- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Speeds up connections
- Servers in 94 countries
- Excellent customer support
- Employs stealth technology
- Only three simultaneous connections allowed
ExpressVPN is a top of the line service. The network of servers that this company operates is the largest of all of the VPNs on this list, with 94 server locations. This high speed VPN is perfect for avoiding your game freezing or stuttering. The CoD servers have VPN detection systems that are very comprehensive. However, the tightest proxy detection systems in the world are those operated by the Chinese government and ExpressVPN can evade detection there. As such, this VPN will have no difficulties when getting you into other regions for Call of Duty.
Visit ExpressVPN »30 day moneyback guarantee
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Five simultaneous connections
- Servers in 37 countries
- Doesn't slow connections
- Easy to use app
- No app for iOS
Buffered is a cheaper service than ExpressVPN. However, it isn't as fast and it doesn't have as many server locations. If your budget can't stretch to the price of ExpressVPN, Buffered is a good alternative. You can load Buffered onto your router in order to get your game console protected by the service. This action will cover every internet-enabled device in your home. This counts as one of your allowance of five simultaneous connections. If you download the software onto your laptop or smartphone, you can keep the protection going while you are out of the house. However, remember to turn the VPN on your device off when you get home, because when you connect through your VPN router, you will get a double VPN service, which would slow down your connection.
- One-day free trial
- Based in Malaysia
- Good for use in China
- Stealth servers
- Good customer support
- Servers in only 11 countries
- Only two simultaneous connections allowed
BolehVPN is a good choice for those in Asia who want to play Call of Duty online. This company is based in Malaysia, which means that you will get a faster response from the customer support team during business hours in the surrounding time zones. The service is quite difficult to set up, but you can get a one-day free trial in order to sort out the installation and try the service with CoD. This VPN was created to help Chinese customers get around government web access controls. This means that the VPN is very good at avoiding detection and will get around the VPN blocks at the Call of Duty server.
- Seven-day money-back guarantee
- Up to six simultaneous connections
- Servers in more than 60 countries
- Gets past regional restrictions
- Specialist servers for gaming, torrenting, and streaming
- Live customer support not available 24 hours a day
VPNArea puts a lot of investment and effort into defeating all internet blocks and VPN detection systems. It can get into Netflix and Sky Go, which have some of the toughest regional restrictions in the world. The company is also one of the few that can get around restrictions in China. Proxy detection systems log IP addresses, so VPNArea regularly dumps its pool of addresses and buys new ones. You get an allowance of six simultaneous connections. The VPN software can be installed on your router so you can protect your games consoles.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Up to six simultaneous connections
- Account sharing allowed
- Servers in 58 countries
- Low price two-year special offer
- Customer support could be better
NordVPN offers a six simultaneous connection allowance, which creates a great opportunity to share an account with friends and bring the cost of running a VPN down. The company also has a special two-year subscription offer, which makes this service the cheapest on the list. You get a 30-day refund promise, so you can try out the system risk-free before you are locked in for your subscription period. This is a nifty privacy service, which will protect your identity in BitTorrent clients as well as on Call of Duty servers. Want to know more? Read our full NordVPN review.
Call of Duty Regions
Lots of entertainment companies impose regional restrictions on their online products. This is because the laws are different in each country. Games companies have to modify their content to make it acceptable in each location. Some games just can’t be made to fit local laws without ruining them completely. As such, you may find yourself in a place where you can’t access CoD at all.
If you’re overseas, you may find that the other players you can contact speak a foreign language. Try as you might, you just can’t communicate effectively. In these circumstances you may well wish to get into the server for your home region. However, the CoD administrators won’t let you.
For more information on using VPNs for other videogames, see our 5 best VPNs for gaming guide.
Restrictions and Blocks
A VPN creates privacy, which is one step up from security. Every message that travels across the internet is carried in a structure called a packet. Each packet has a header on the front, which includes the source and destination address. While secure connections encrypt the data payload, they leave the header in plain text. It is the information in the headers of packets that enables gaming and streaming servers to block overseas access, or redirect incoming customers to the server for their home country.
Both the source and destination addresses in a packet header follow a format that was laid down in the Internet Protocol (IP). Thus an internet address is known as an IP address. Every device that is connect to the internet has to have a unique IP address. The IP address of your connection identifies your location.
The destination IP address in the header of every packet enables corporate, educational, and Internet Service Provider (ISP) network gateways to ban access to certain sites. They simply drop any packet that is addressed to a computer that is on a blacklist.
A VPN for CoD
When you sign up for a VPN, you have to download some software onto your computer. That program intercepts every packet leaving your computer and encrypts it entirely. This renders the header unreadable, so the packet would not be able to pass through routers. To overcome this problem, the VPN client program places the encrypted packet inside another packet. It then addresses that new packet to its own server.
As the packets that leave your computer are addressed to the VPN server, they pass through any network gateway filters. When the packets arrive at the VPN server, a program there unpacks the packet, decrypts it, and puts its own address in the header as the source address. When your request arrives at the Xbox Live server, it sees the VPN server’s address and not yours. If you selected a VPN location in the same country as the CoD region that you want to play in, you will get in. This is because the source IP address in the headers of those packets has the right country code on it.
CoD VPN Detection
The CoD regional restriction procedures account for the existence of VPNs. They will block any requests if they detect signature patterns in the structure of the packet that delivered them. These checks are called “proxy” detection systems because a VPN stands in for you, making it a type of proxy.
The services on our list of CoD VPNs made it into the top five because they are able to defeat proxy detection systems. A great bonus of subscribing to one of these five is that they can also get you around the toughest proxy detection systems and regional restrictions on video streaming services.
Best VPNs for CoD: Conclusion
The regional restrictions on Call of Duty are annoying, and for one reason or another, you may be forced to get a VPN to defeat those blocks. There are many VPNs available on the market, and you will even find free VPNs. Unfortunately, very few of those services can actually get you around regional restrictions for CoD.
Xbox Live states that it will ban anyone from ever accessing its service again if it detects the use of a VPN. That means it’s really important to get a VPN that is good at hiding itself. Limit your VPN choice to one on our list and you can happily switch regions for Call of Duty whenever you want.