There are a number of reasons why people are turning to VPNs for their Xbox. In this guide, we'll show you the best VPNs for Xbox to use, what you can do with one, and how to set them up!
The best VPNs to use with Xbox One at a glance
Here's a quick look at the top 5 VPNs we recommend using with your Xbox. If you want more information on any of these providers, or some alternatives, click here.
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[[post-object type="gotolink" class="btn btn-md btn-primary" provider="expressvpn"]]Get ExpressVPN our #1 VPN for Xbox[[/post-object]]
With a VPN for Xbox, gamers will unleash the power to unlock a whole world of possibilities. You can find new challenges by playing against different opponents on foreign gaming servers, or play with people who speak foreign languages. Besides this, using a VPN on your Xbox also allows you to access streams from geo-restricted services such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer, as well as unblocking access to websites and apps that are censored in your country.
Online gaming is a data-intensive task, so it's important to make sure that your VPN is up to scratch before you even consider using it with your Xbox. When we curated our list of best VPNs for Xbox, we made sure the VPNs we included in this guide offer:
- Fast VPN speeds to help combat lag.
- Unlimited bandwidth because gaming requires a lot of data.
- Large server networks to help you optimize for ping.
- Router compatibility.
Now that you know what we're looking for, let's take a closer look at our recommendations.
The Best VPNs for Xbox One | In-depth analysis
The in-depth summaries below will let you know exactly why we consider these services our favorite VPNs to use with Xbox One and Xbox Series X.
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Which is the fastest VPN for Xbox One?
Fast connection speeds are essential for online gaming. That is why we have only recommended services that have a fast, reliable network of Tier-1 servers. This will ensure that you don't suffer disconnections from game servers, or slow speeds that spoil your gaming sessions or disrupt your streaming activities.
Below, we have included up-to-date speed test data for each of our recommended VPNs. We test VPN speeds three times a day, so the graph below will show you which VPN is performing the fastest today.
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Will a VPN help improve my speeds?
It's quite common to hear both people and providers claiming that VPNs speed up your internet connection. In reality, that's not actually the case. Instead of routing your data directly from your console to a given game server, it first passes through an intermediate VPN server on the way. A marginally slower connection should be expected – after all, it's got a longer journey to complete.
In this article, we recommend providers that have fast servers – it's one of the primary reasons they've been featured. Although the above paragraph is true, it's still possible to find a VPN that can give you all the privacy and security features you need yet have an insignificant effect on your internet speeds.
But it does make you wonder – why do so many users think VPNs speed up their internet connection? Well, there is one instance where this might be true. Some Internet Service Providers combat network overcrowding by throttling the bandwidth of users, creating such traffic. This means the users that likely need the most bandwidth suffer.
Part of a VPN's job is masking your internet activity, not just from other people but from your ISP. Simply put, if your ISP can't see what you're doing, then it can't decide whether your activity is worth throttling you for. If you think that this sort of thing is happening to you, and your speeds are getting slower, then downloading a VPN is a no-brainer considering so many have 30-day money-back guarantees.
Why do I need a VPN for Xbox One?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an online service that is primarily designed to give people online privacy. A VPN does this by encrypting your traffic so that your ISP and local network administrators can no longer track what you do online. This encryption process also makes a VPN an essential tool for evading government surveillance efforts.
A byproduct of how a VPN functions allows you to conceal your IP address from the websites and services you visit. This lets you pretend to be in a different country and gives you the opportunity to connect to different game servers, access regional Xbox games, or save money by purchasing games from an international Xbox store.
Due to the fact that an Xbox One is also a media player, many people also want a VPN to stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other services with their console. With a VPN, you can improve your streaming experience by accessing vast amounts of regional content not usually available where you live.
If all this sounds appealing and you would like to know more about how it works, navigate over to our VPN for beginners guide.
How to Set up a VPN for Xbox One – Step by step guide
Setting up an Xbox to work with a VPN can be done in one of two ways. The first option is to connect to the VPN on your router so that the Xbox is automatically routed through the VPN when it connects to the internet. Alternatively, you can link your Xbox via ethernet to a laptop or desktop computer that is running the VPN. Below, we explain how to set up each method:
Set up a VPN for Xbox on your Router (recommended)
Total time required: ~20 minutes (you will need admin access to your home router)
Sign up for one of the best Xbox VPN services in this article or head straight over to our favorite, ExpressVPN.
Access your router’s control panel (check the router’s documentation to find it).
Navigate to the Network/Setup/Settings/WAN tab in your router's control panel.
Enter the VPN setup details you were sent when you signed up for the VPN service. This will be a combination of username, password, and VPN server address. (Get these from your VPN provider if you don’t have them.)
Confirm/accept/save these changes and close your router's control panel.
- Turn on your Xbox One and go to the Settings menu.
Select Set Up wireless network, to connect to a new network.
Xbox will ask: Which one is yours? And displays the wireless networks detected in your area.
Select your WiFi network from the list and connect with the relevant login details.
Test your connection to confirm everything works and you're all set!
The router should now cause your Xbox to appear to be in the remote location of your choosing.
Set up a VPN for Xbox by sharing your PC's VPN connection
Total time required: ~10 minutes (you will need an ethernet cable)
Subscribe to one of the best Xbox VPN services in this article or head over to our personal favorite, ExpressVPN. Install the VPN software on your home PC.
Connect your Xbox One to your PC with an ethernet cable.
Once connected, open the Control Panel on your PC. Navigate to the "Network and Sharing Center"
Click on "Change Adaptor Settings" on the left sidebar.
Right-click on the VPN connection (the one you just installed on your PC) and click on "Properties." Click the "Sharing" tab.
Tick the "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's internet connection" box. Click "Ok."
Find the "Home networking connection" drop-down menu and select your home internet connection.
Connect to the VPN on your PC. Remember to choose a server location that fits your needs!
Boot up your Xbox and make sure that all network settings are set to Automatic.
Remember to keep your Xbox connected to the PC when you want to use the VPN.
Can I use a VPN on Xbox Series X?
Absolutely. All the VPN picks listed in this guide still work great with Xbox Series X in the same ways they do with previous Xbox generations. This means that if you've already got your hands on the coveted next-gen Xbox console, then you can greatly enhance your overall experience by setting up a VPN on it just the same as with previous versions.
When you set up a VPN on your Xbox Series X console, you can unblock all kinds of geo-restricted streaming content and watch in brilliant resolution, compete with other gamers all over the world, find the best deals on Xbox games, and secure your privacy at the same time. By using an Xbox Series X VPN, you're really upping your game to the next level in more ways than one.
Check out our best VPNs for Xbox series X page for more information.
How to unblock content on Xbox
When you use the internet, geo-restrictions prevent you from accessing certain gaming servers. This can be incredibly frustrating if you want to match up against players from a particular country (who speak a different language, for example).
Battlefield and Grand Theft Auto are examples of games that are purposefully blocked in some Middle Eastern countries for religious and cultural reasons. As a result, you will need a VPN to play those games there.
For copyright reasons, Netflix does not provide access to its full library of content in every country. Luckily, with a VPN that works with Netflix, you can pretend to be in the US – or anywhere else – to watch more content on your Netflix account.
No matter the reason, with a VPN you can bypass blocks and geo-restrictions. This will let you play censored games, foreign game servers, or watch foreign TV streams or extra titles on Netflix, Prime Video, or anything else.
With a VPN, you can even change which time zone you appear to be in – to find more opponents – or to buy and play games before they are officially released in your region.
Get more information on changing your location with a VPN in our geo-spoofing with a VPN guide.
Protect your Xbox One from hackers
As we all know, the internet is, unfortunately, full of malevolent hackers. And recent years have seen them targeting games such as Sea of Thieves, Rocket League, and Call of Duty to engage in attacks and win games.
If attacked, tournament players can find themselves suddenly kicked from a game because of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. This leaves them unable to play; rendering any chance of winning in tatters.
Using a VPN, your actual IP address is safely concealed so that hackers can no longer target you.
If you are a Call of Duty player, check out our VPN for Call of Duty page for more information about using a VPN with the game.
If you still need more information, check out our why do I need a VPN for gaming guide. In this article, we list the pros and cons of using a VPN service for gaming.
What else can I do with an Xbox VPN?
What you do with your VPN is entirely up to you. However, when you purchase a subscription, you'll be able to use your VPN on your PC, mobile phones, and tablet devices as well as your Xbox. You can protect all of your devices with a VPN, and you'll have a secure online connection regardless of which device you're using. The VPNs we've recommended all allow you to install and use the service on multiple devices at the same time – and some even allow for an unlimited number of concurrent connections! So be sure to check out how many simultaneous connections your provider offers.
A VPN will also protect you when you connect to public WiFi by stopping hackers from intercepting your traffic. For this reason, it is always a good idea to connect to your VPN when you're on the move. And with a VPN, you can access websites and services from back home when you go on vacation. A VPN will also help you unblock websites all over the world so you can watch foreign sports competitions, or use online services for cheaper rates. VPNs can even be used to purchase hotels and air flight tickets for less!
Finally, the encryption offered by a VPN provides privacy by stopping government authorities and ISPs from snooping on your web habits. So unless you want every website you visit to be recorded and stored by your ISP or even shared with various government agencies, be sure to use a VPN to encrypt all your data.
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Is a VPN legal?" answer="For most countries around the world, VPNs are perfectly legal. However, some countries such as Iran have banned VPN usage – so if you plan to use a VPN where it's illegal, make sure that it comes with robust obfuscation technology." /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Can I use a free VPN on Xbox?" answer="Although you can easily find a free VPN online, it is highly unlikely to be suitable for gaming. Free VPNs will typically only offer slow connections that will make gaming either very difficult or entirely impossible. Most free services also fail to provide the encryption and security features you need to unblock games safely in places where they have been restricted by the government. If you are interested in a <a href='/vpn/comparison/free-vpn-services'>free VPN</a> please check out our full article on the subject to understand their limitations." /]]