The Warcraft video games have been entrancing gamers, fantasy fans, and role-playing enthusiasts alike since the early 1990s. World of Warcraft, which was itself first released in 2004, is the fourth game in the series, but has taken the gameplay to a whole new level. Since the original game was released a number of expansion packs have opened World of Warcraft out into one of the most comprehensive roleplaying games around. World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) which means players can immerse themselves in the game and play against computer-generated characters, other online players, or take on the role of specific characters.
As is common with online games these days, users need to sign up for a monthly subscription in order to play. It claims to be the most popular subscription online game in the world with 5.5 million paying subscribers at the last count and a peak of more than 12 million. However, while World of Warcraft subscriptions should allow you to play the game globally, it is blocked in some parts of the world and some ISPs can tend to throttle connection speeds of users in some places too. These are just two of the reasons why using a VPN with World of Warcraft is highly advisable. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about how to use a VPN to make your World of Warcraft experience a better one. And we will advise you on the Best VPN for World of Warcraft.
Best VPNs for World of Warcraft
There are an awful lot of VPNs on the market right now and deciding which is the right one for you can be a difficult decision. For players of World of Warcraft, there are a number of specific requirements that they should be looking for in their ideal VPN. So, when drawing up our list of the Best VPNs for World of Warcraft, we thought long and hard about what these top priorities should be. The criteria that we narrowed it down to were:
- Fast Connection Speeds – online gaming requires fast and consistent internet connection speeds. Some VPNs cannot deliver that, so it is important to choose a provider that can.
- No bandwidth restrictions – Online gaming is very data intensive, so gamers need a VPN with no bandwidth restrictions, so they can play as much as they like.
- Size of server network – the more available international servers, the more places you are able to play World of Warcraft around the world.
- Encryption strength and security – to keep you as secure as possible when playing the game.
- Effectiveness of privacy policies – to help keep your online activity safe from prying eyes.
Using these five core criteria, we have identified four principal VPN providers which we believe offer an ideal service for. They tick all of the boxes identified above and also offer a great all-round VPN service that users can benefit from whenever they are online, whether streaming or Twitch or doing something else. Those VPNs are:
As their name implies, ExpressVPN specisalise in super-fast connection speeds and these are delivered across their substantial network of servers, which currently numbers more than 1,500 servers in 94 countries around the world. Importantly for gamers, ExpressVPN also has a great reputation for reliable and consistent speeds too.
You won’t be compromising on security by choosing ExpressVPN either. Their encryption is on a par with anything on the market, and their privacy policies are even more reliable given that ExpressVPN is headquartered offshore in the British Virgin Islands, which offers excellent local privacy laws. There are no bandwidth restrictions either, and they have a great range of apps for most devices.
IPVanish has only been on the market for a few years, but it has already firmly established itself as one of the best-known and highest-regarded VPN providers on the planet. Its reputation has been built primarily on its super-strong encryption provisions, with both their L2TP and OpenVPN protocols employing 256-bit encryption as standard. They also use shared IP Addresses, which brings an extra level of security and privacy and which not all VPNs can offer. With a kill switch and trustworthy privacy policies, including a guarantee to retain no user logs, you won’t find many more secure providers anywhere.
For World of Warcraft games, speed is of the essence and IPVanish’s connection speeds are also superb. Importantly, they are also consistent across their entire server network too, which makes them ideal for online gaming. That server network is a pretty big one too, with more than 950 servers in 60+ countries around the world available to all subscribers. It means you should be able to play World of Warcraft from just about anywhere. And with no bandwidth restrictions for any subscribers either, and dedicated apps for all major devices, IPVanish is definitely a solid pick as far as World of Warcraft players are concerned.
If you are looking for a cost-effective VPN provider, then NordVPN might just be the best option for you. They are one of the cheapest of all the premium providers, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. NordVPN used to have a reputation for being a bit slow and there was a time when we would have never recommended them for online gaming. But recent investment in super-fast servers around the world have brought them up to scratch and their speeds are now as fast and consistent as all their main rivals.
They have a big server network available too, with a massive 1779 servers available in 61 countries around the world. This should enable you to play World of Warcraft from just about anywhere. And their security provisions are robust as well. They use 256-bit encryption on OpenVPN connections as standard and as well as the usual features such as a kill switch and shared IP Addresses, they also offer a nice range of additional features too. These include a Double VPN server option, which reroutes your internet data via two servers for extra protection and Onion over VPN servers, which pushes your traffic through the TOR Network as well as a VPN for additional security. With no restrictions on bandwidth either, NordVPN is another great bet for World of Warcraft players.
VyprVPN is the cheapest VPN on this list, so if price is a priority for you, they are well worth exploring. Despite the low prices, VyprVPN’s service is still on a par with its rivals. They offer 256-bit AES encryption used as standard, and also have a unique extra-secure Chameleon protocol. However, you will have to pay more and sign up for their premium service to access this feature. They also offer a reliable no logs guarantee and a built-in kill switch as standard, which means even their basic subscription package offers a cost-effective service.
The VyprVPN server network consists of more than 700 servers which will allow World of Warcraft players to play the game from just about anywhere. If we are honest, their connection speeds do not quite live up to the others on this list. However, in testing we played World of Warcraft multiple times without experiencing any problems at all. With a great range of apps for all devices and no restrictions on bandwidth for even basic package subscribers, VyprVPN are definitely another VPN worth consideration from World of Warcraft players.
What is World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is quite simply the single biggest and most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the world right now. This fantasy classic can trace it roots back to the original Warcraft game, Orcs and Humans, which was released in 1994. World of Warcraft was the fourth game in the series and was released in 2004. Since then, no fewer than seven expansion games have been released; The Burning Crusade (2007), Wrath of the Lich King (2008), Cataclysm (2010), Mists of Pandaria (2012), Warlords of Draenor (2014), Legion (2016), and Battle for Azeroth (2018).
Given the size of the World of Warcraft universe, it is impossible to even begin to outline the plot in this article, but there are a number of different ways to play the game. Gamers can choose from a player versus environment (PvE) game, where they take on computer-generated opponents; a roleplay game, in which they roleplay one of the main characters of the story, or a player versus player (PVP) game where as well as computer-generated opposition, there are also other rival players around too. And there is also a roleplay-PVP option, which combines roleplay and PVP games.
Games can continue almost indefinitely and you win or lose depending on the skills and talents your character develops and how you perform in various challenges. Because of the long-term nature of the game, World of Warcraft is a subscription game. There are options to pay in one-month, three-month, or six-month blocks as well as the ability to buy tokens to extend gameplay from within the game itself.
Why do you need to use a VPN with World of Warcraft?
There are a number of different reasons why many World of Warcraft players feel the need to use a VPN when gaming. Firstly, while all World of Warcraft subscribers should be able to play the game anywhere in the world, that is not always the case. There are a number of countries where World of Warcraft is currently blocked. These include a number of Asian countries, Iran, and the occupied Ukrainian region of Crimea. By using a VPN connected to a server outside of those regions, it is possible to access and play the game as usual.
There are other places where you might find access to World of Warcraft blocked too. Some locations which offer Wi-Fi connections may block certain ports which World of Warcraft needs to use for security reasons. This means that it is not unusual for gameplay on public Wi-Fi in places like shops and hotels to be unavailable. Equally, some controlled networks may choose to restrict access to MMORPG’s such as World of Warcraft for other reasons. Places such as schools, university campuses and workplace networks will usually block access to all online games. But again, by connecting to a VPN, it is possible to circumvent these blocks and access World of Warcraft as usual.
Using a VPN can also help to stabilise your internet connection. This can be a solution to a problem referred to in the game itself as ‘ping’ – that is a lag in speeds which impacts on the internet connection and therefore the gameplay. And last but by no means least, a VPN is also a valuable security tool for World of Warcraft players. It is not unheard of for angry or defeated players to try and hack into rivals, while professional hackers have also been known to target online gaming accounts for personal information and credit card details. Again, by using a VPN you can be sure that all of this information is encrypted and therefore secure.
A VPN may not be an essential tool for all World of Warcraft users right now, but there are enough potential reasons you might need one for it to be a sensible investment nonetheless. As well as the potential security risks that come with laying games like World of Warcraft, a VPN can also help tackle ‘ping’ issues as well as unlock access to the game on internal networks, public Wi-Fi, and in those countries around the world which choose to block access to World of Warcraft altogether. With a decent VPN setting you back only a few US$ a month, it is a sensible investment to make as it will ensure you never have to miss out on your World of Warcraft game-playing again.
Are you a fan of World of Warcraft? Do you use a VPN to play the game? Do you find it helpful in places like University Campuses and schools? Which of our recommended VPNs do you use? How did it perform? We are always interested to hear your thoughts and experiences, so why not share them with us using the comment box below?