There have not been many games, if any, that have been able to experience such a lengthy evolution. Since its early beta days, I was lucky enough to play through various updates which brought forth different game mechanics, NPCs, mobs, and endless terrain construction possibilities. In short, I was addicted for years and had the pleasure, and sometimes horror of hosting some of my own servers. Regardless if you’re a new player or a veteran, you might share the sentiment that only by playing Minecraft can one truly enjoy what this vast sandbox game delivers.
I decided to write this Minecraft VPN related article after finding myself needing a virtual private network service for my own Minecraft needs, and finding that much of the content and VPN suggestions really seemed random, or personal choices rather than specifically meeting user needs. There are various reasons why a player can be seeking the use of a VPN service. I will start by listing most of the scenarios, followed by suggesting the truly best VPN services for Minecraft and why.
Why use a VPN for Minecraft?
Restricted Networks – One of the main reasons people use a VPN in conjunction with Minecraft is because they want to play on a restricted or blocked access network. For example, if you’re at work, or on a school campus, there is a high chance that Minecraft is blocked. Employers don’t want workers to be playing on the clock, and schools want to avoid having their bandwidth sucked dry by gamers. It is also common for hotels or other travel lodgings to have limited access.
Using a VPN will allow you to play through any network, and in a very secure way. You may have heard of proxies before, and although they might work at unblocking the game on a restricted network, the traffic can be seen by administrators monitoring the server. With a VPN, all of the traffic is encrypted, and cannot be read by anyone. Although the administrators will be able to see there is a VPN tunnel connection, and how much traffic is being used, they will not be able to tell what it is. This secure and private method makes a VPN a much better choice when used for similar reasons.
Hosting Minecraft Servers and DDOS Attacks – Another way players utilize a VPN service is to create a private and secure server of your own. One of the downsides of the game is playing with strangers that might not fit your gameplay preference. Having months of work destroyed in seconds can be devastating. My solution was to setup my own private network where I only invited friends and acquaintances made during my years of play. Additionally, some ISPs will block the majority of incoming ports, making it difficult to host a server off your internet connection. By port forwarding with a VPN, you can ultimately bypass the blocked port limitation and send it over or forward the traffic to the private server’s port. If you plan on hosting, the official Wiki has all the tutorials needed to get you started. Although it is technical and intimidating to beginners, the experience is extremely rewarding and I suggest it to all.
DDOS attacks are generally rare, and I never had to deal with any myself. However, whether you host your own server, or rank among the most hardcore players, you can find yourself the target of a cheap and frustrating DDOS attack. This is when someone causes a flood of connection requests to your server or IP and cause it to crash. In simple terms, it is an attack that takes down your server until it stops or is blocked. Most VPN services specifically provide DDOS protection for gamers.
IP Bans – So, this one is self-explanatory. If you’re a destructive and undesirable player, server admins will certainly end up banning your ALT. A VPN service cannot get your ALT unblocked, however, if you continuously abuse a server with multiple ALTS, an IP ban will follow, and that is when a VPN service can be used since it also changes your IP. I want to make it clear that I don’t condone this type of activity, and find it to be a waste of time, which brings me to the next question.
Can VPNs or Proxies be blocked on Minecraft servers?
Yes, simply put, there are apps and software add-ons available to help thwart VPN abuse. If you continuously attack a specific server, there are chances they will employ services that attempt to block long ranges of known VPN IP addresses. This is an ongoing battle, and eventually abusers can still find a way in, but I guess for every good thing, there is some bad to be accepted.
How to Use a VPN for Minecraft
It’s really simple to setup. Once you have decided on and signed up for a VPN service, you install the app and simply connect to a server in the country of your choice, and you should now be able to join any Minecraft server without restrictions. In case a certain server is blocking VPN users, you can always try alternate VPN connection points or simply try a different Minecraft server. This is generally how VPNs are used for gaming.
- Sign up for a VPN service of your choice.
- Download and install the app for your platform. eg: Windows, iOS..
- Run the client and connect to a VPN server of your choice.
- Run Minecraft unrestricted, and privately encrypted.
VPNs for Minecraft – Top Picks:
Finally, this brings us to the best VPN choices for Minecraft players. I only selected a few providers for specific reasons in order to try and find the best solution for as many players as possible. Each service has been tested on the game for speed, and I provide different options regarding quality, cost and value, as well as DDOS protection for server hosting. To be clear, the best choice IMO to host a Minecraft server would be AirVPN. The other choices available mainly reflect a great option for unblocking the game and delivering fast speeds, but also have some features that could help with hosting.
ExpressVPN tops the list for having the best speeds and coverage of more than 130 cities in 87 countries. When you connect to a VPN, it will encrypt your data, causing your internet connection speeds to drop variably. With ExpressVPN, speed loss is minimal and they provide outstandingly reliable servers. Each account can use 3 simultaneous connections, and they even offer a network router app, as well as SmartDNS for gaming consoles. A bit more costly than the competition, but you pay for the best, and a 30-day money back guarantee allows you to test it risk free. It is suitable for unblocking games, as well as DDOS protection, but lacks integrated port forwarding settings. They do however provide free DDNS address hosting.
My next choice is the best value per dollar service. PIA has a tremendously cheap yearly plan, and each account allows up to 5 simultaneous connections. Although they don’t have as many server locations across the globe as ExpressVPN, but plenty of servers and fair speeds. Since Minecraft does not rely on excellent ping times, or nearly as demanding as graphically heavy FPS games, a little bit of speed loss is virtually unnoticeable when playing the game intensively. I tested various Private Internet Access servers with success, and even managed to host a server with good rates and automatic DDOS protection. Setup of port-forwarding is available in the app, but they lack dedicated IP through their shared IP system or DDNS support, making it harder to host a server with.
Another great choice for Minecraft and gamers in general is NordVPN. They offer two dedicated IP servers in case you rather use static IPs across all devices, as well as specific Anti DDOS protection servers for gaming. They even offer additional specialized servers such as Ultra-Fast TV streaming, Tor over VPN, or even Double VPN servers. Each account allows up to 5 simultaneous devices, making it well worth the cost, and also includes a 30 day money back guarantee. Unfortunately, NordVPN does not currently offer built-in port forwarding capabilities.
There are multiple other VPN services that are well suited for Minecraft use, such as Surfshark or TorGuard. The list goes on, as many services now offer port forwarding, great speeds, dozens of global server locations, and inherent DDOS protection. The top choices above reflect a balance between top quality and valuable affordability. Most VPNs work flawlessly at unblocking Minecraft on restricted networks, but at a minimum, all of the choices listed above have been tested and reported working. If you plan on hosting your own server, and wish to have the port forwarding option available versus configuring your router, make sure to choose a VPN that offers this option, and preferably either with dedicated IPs, or DDNS address redirection features available.
How to use a VPN with Minecraft
In order to improve your security and enjoy a better experience while playing Minecraft, you can follow the below steps.
- Select a VPN service and set up a subscription. We highly recommend that you use a paid service as it will allow you to enjoy better speeds and security.
- Install the VPN app on your device. Make sure that you choose the app that is compatible with your device.
- Log into your VPN account and connect to a server
- That is all. Now you can enjoy Minecraft with improved security and with more flexibility since you will be able to defeat restrictions.
Does Minecraft allows the use of VPNs?
While there is no official statement saying that VPNs are banned by Mojang, it is possible that you face issues with some Minecraft servers. It is possible that your IP address ( the one the VPN server has assigned you), is blocked by Minecraft. This may happen in some occasions. It is unclear what techniques are used by Minecraft to detect that a VPN is being used, but it is likely that they use a system similar to the one that Netflix has in place. If this happens, you need to close the Minecraft app, disconnect from your current VPN server and reconnect to a different one. Then you can start the game and this time, you should be able to play without issues.
Why it is not recommended to use a free VPN for Minecraft?
First of all, it is unlikely that a VPN can go through Minecraft’s restrictions without being detected. Apart from that, the slow speeds and unreliable performance that you are likely to experience with a free VPN mean that even if you found a free VPN that worked, you wouldn’t enjoy a good experience with it. In addition, many free VPN providers impose restrictions on users’ bandwidth so you will have issues trying to play Minecraft. It will be just frustrating.
Using a free VPN also means that you are sharing the service with many other people so you will need to be patient and wait to be able to connect to a server. In most cases, you will be placed in a queue and will have to wait until you can connect to one of the servers available. This can be really annoying, particularly when you are trying to play Minecraft or any other game.
On top of that, many free VPNs are not actually free because you are paying (unknowingly) with something very valuable: your personal information and your privacy. There are free VPNs that maintain their service by selling their customers’ information to third parties. Some free VPNs will keep logs of your online activities and sell this data to advertisers. Others implement tracking cookies and ads into your browsing sessions. If you are concerned about your online privacy, our recommendation is that you don’t use a free VPN. You should opt instead for a paid service that has a good track record keeping your privacy protected.
How to bypass a Minecraft Acount ban?
Minecraft ban your account, if it considers that you are acting against its terms of service. How difficult it may be to get around the ban will depend on what caused the ban in the first place. In most cases, Mojang doesn’t permanently ban a player unless they did something illegal, like purchasing the game using a credit card that was stolen. In most cases, a Minecraft ban involves preventing your IP address from getting access to the game or banning you from a particular server, but this is usually a temporary measure.
If your IP address is banned, you just need to use your VPN to get another IP address that is not banned in the system. Then you should be able to continue playing Minecraft without hassle. However, server bans can be more difficult to overcome as they include a banning of a particular Minecraft account. If that is the case, you will probably need to change your IP with a VPN and get a different account. Just keep in mind that some bans are well deserved. To avoid them and to truly enjoy the game, make sure that you play fairly and that you don’t break the rules.