If you play Fortnite online, you may have already experienced a ban — you have most certainly heard other players talking about these bans. A Fortnite ban blocks you from getting on the server to play the game. Some bans only last a short time and work on your Fortnite account id. Others are permanent and block your IP address. You can get around a Fortnite IP ban by using a VPN to unblock that access.

Fortnite’s owners, Epic Games, implement three types of bans. One type usually only lasts a short time and applies to your user account IDAnother is a permanent account ban. The other type of ban is permanent and blocks your IP address. Soft bans on user accounts are usually implemented because the player violated one of the rules in the game. IP bans are much more random and are often not aimed at individual users.

There are a large number of reasons that Epic Games bans users from Fortnite. The IP ban is a specific problem caused by hacker activity and not because of something you did wrong. Games servers are almost constantly under attack. 

One common example is a DDoS attack, which is cheap and easy to pull off. In this type of attack, the hacker gets a lot of computers around the world to send connection requests to the target all at the same time. This overwhelms the target, which becomes unable to serve genuine connection requests. As an emergency measure, some network defense systems simply block all requests from a range of IP addresses. This is a panic measure that ends up punishing innocent gamers simply because the IP addresses assigned to them happen to fall within the range that an administrator entered into the defense software in a hurry. 

Account bans are easy to understand. They are implemented because of a rule violation. Repeat offenders get banned permanently. IP bans are a lot harder to work out. Sometimes entire nations can be suspended temporarily from Fortnite, or a range of IP addresses gets blocked permanently. This will be an emergency measure to deal with a DDoS attack.

Individuals that get banned temporarily from the service for a rules violation just have to wait until their account is accessible again. People who get a permanent account ban have a lot more to deal with to get back on. A user with a permanent account ban could just set up a new account and start again – Fortnite is free to use, after all. However, the system registers the IP address of a permanently banned user, so permanent account bans also include IP bans.

The only way to get around an IP ban is to change your IP address. You can do this by changing your internet service provider (ISP). However, ISPs usually impose lock-in periods with a minimum number of months before you can get out of the contract, so switching isn’t a practical strategy. The only other method available is to get a proxy or a VPN.

A proxy is a pass-through server that will switch your IP address mid-stream. All replies to the protected computer’s outgoing messages get sent to the substituted IP address of the proxy server. That server cross-references the masking IP address with the client’s real address and automatically forwards all traffic.

Proxy services are very commonly used by gamers, and so they actually don’t help. The replacement IP addresses that they offer could well have been banned by Fortnite already. Free proxies are particularly prone to abuse by hackers and only offer ready-corrupted replacement addresses.

A VPN is one step up from a proxy and offers a more competently managed identity masking service.

“VPN” stands for “virtual private network.” It is more complicated than a proxy service because it protects the connection between the client computer and the VPN server with encryption. This service has a lot of other benefits besides just identity protection. VPN servers have a lot of connection capacity, so they are very good at absorbing DDoS attacks, which are very common in gaming.

The VPN requires a client application to be installed on the protected device. In the case of games consoles, that process can be difficult or even impossible because they don’t have extensive operating systems like computers have and so don’t allow much freedom to the user to alter the network connection, which is what you need to do in order to use a VPN. 

However, many VPNs can be installed on a home router, which affords protection to all devices in the home, not just the games console. All of the internet traffic that goes out of the game consoles has to pass through the router. So, installing the VPN on the router catches all outgoing traffic from the games console and all other internet-connected devices in the home. Similarly, all incoming traffic has to pass through the router, so the VPN client software active on the router will also be able to process that traffic.

VPNs usually allow each account holder to connect several devices to the service simultaneously. Installing the client on a router only takes up one instance of that allowance, leaving the rest free for mobile devices.

The problem with most of the VPNs on the market is that they also don’t protect the innocence of their protecting IP addresses, and many are incapable of dodging bans at Fortnite. 

Once an IP address has been banned by Fortnite, it will block any user that tries to access the game’s site with that address. So, a cheap VPN that keeps recycling the same IP addresses to different users is just passing that ban on to the next person to which it allocates that IP address.

Very few VPNs go to the cost and effort of retiring IP addresses and buying new ones to avoid the problem of their services becoming useless. This review only includes VPNs that have proved they can dodge the Fortnite IP bans.

There isn’t just one Fortnite server. Fortnite is hosted on many servers around the world. With the multi-player Fortnite Battle Royale, the ability to battle against players from other countries intensifies if you can log into other servers in different parts of the world.

The globe’s time zones mean that the server closest to you might be very heavily loaded with players, while servers on the other side of the world, where most of the local population are asleep, might have fewer players and so faster response times. Your nearest server might come under attack, making it impossible to play on. You can’t choose which server you go to; the connection system run by Epic Games does that for you.

Hopping to a different server can sometimes make a real difference. Although you should experience more delay when connected to a distant server, this is more than compensated for by the higher speeds of an under-utilized server. VPNs not only switch the IP addresses of their users, but they also allow their customers to select which country they wish to appear to be in.

A VPN will enable you to skip over to a better server and find new players to pit your wits against. However, the diversion of all of your traffic through a VPN server will slow your connection response time a little. That’s why it is important to only subscribe to fast VPNs that impose a little delay on your connection.

A VPN service with servers in many countries also gives you more choice over the server that you get switched to. Overall, to reduce the length of the trip that your data has to take, it is better to choose a VPN server that is as close as possible to your location or as close as possible to the Fortinet server that you want to access. So, choosing a VPN with servers in a lot of countries gives you more choice of Fortnite servers and gives you better connection performance.

As with proxy services, there are free VPNs available. However, those VPNs are usually slow, have tarnished IP addresses, don’t give much choice over server location, and are easy for the Fortnite server to spot.

One complication to this IP ban dodge that you should know about is that Epic Games also bans the use of VPNs for connections to its Fortnite servers. This doesn’t mean that you should give up on the plan to use a VPN; it means that you need to make sure that you get a good VPN. So choose your VPN provider carefully.

The top VPNs in the world are able to cloak themselves and fool VPN detection systems. Unfortunately, all the work that goes into creating a VPN service good enough to dodge detection by the Fortnite server costs money. So, you won’t get a good Fortnite VPN for free.

The qualities that you should aim for when selecting a VPN are:

  • High speeds
  • A track record of evading detection
  • Many VPN server locations
  • Value for money

Basically, you need to aim for the best VPNs in the world. Fortunately, we have found four excellent VPNs for Fortnite that don’t cost the earth.

  1. Sign up for one of the VPNs on our list.
  2. Follow the VPN site instructions to download and install the VPN client on your router.
  3. Start up the VPN client on your router and choose a server in the country of the Fortnite server that you want to access or your home country if you don’t mind where you play.
  4. Go to Fortnite on your games console. If you have a permanent account ban, sign up for a new account. If you don’t have an account ban, you should now be able to play with your regular account.

1. ExpressVPN

Our top pick!
  • Always evades internet control in the PRC
  • Keeps ahead of the Netflix VPN detection algorithm
  • Benchmark tests show excellent speed

2. Cyberghost

  • Precise locations
  • Very large VPN server network
  • Offers a 45-day money-back guarantee

3. Surfshark

  • Smart DNS service, understands the technology
  • Comprehensive security add-on package.
  • No data throughput limits and has a no-logs policy

4. NordVPN

  • More US city locations than its rivals
  • Includes malware protection
  • No-logs policy