There are several reasons why you may choose to use a VPN on your Xbox. Certain applications, for example, are geo-restricted and will not run if you take your console overseas. Perhaps you’re trying to avoid an erroneous ban or are playing a game that does not allow you to manually switch regions. You might just want to safeguard yourself from being swatted or doxxed. This is an extreme situation, but with the recent breaches of EA, CD Projekt Red, and Crytek, we could all use a bit more privacy.
This is easier to get than you would believe. Once connected to a VPN, all your internet activity is encrypted, rendering it unreadable to snoopers. Since this data is routed via servers located around the globe, your genuine IP address and location are also concealed. While Xbox consoles do not officially support VPNs, there are two primary workarounds, which we’ll discuss later.
Installing a VPN on your Xbox is a little more involved than installing one on your PC or phone. As such, we considered a few extra factors while determining the best VPN for Xbox users. Here’s a brief breakdown of our must-have traits (which we’ll discuss in further detail later):
- Compatibility with the most frequently used router firmware.
- Allows for continuous gameplay and streaming.
- Can circumvent geographical restrictions on a broad range of games and services.
- Utilizes strong encryption to safeguard your actions from prying eyes.
- Maintains a no-log policy to protect your privacy.
How to play Xbox games securely with a VPN
Although there are no VPN programs available in the Microsoft Store, it is still feasible to conceal your actual location and encrypt console communication. Even better, although specific menu choices vary by console generation, the following procedures will work on any semi-recent Xbox. This covers the Xbox 360 and all Xbox One variations, including the Series S and X consoles.
Method 1: Use another device to share your VPN connection.
You may be able to build a portable wireless hotspot if you have a second device, such as a PC, mobile phone, or tablet. This is significant because as long as the device is linked to a VPN, anything connected to the hotspot will also be. Because this approach is quite simple to use and requires no manual configuration, we suggest it for beginners interested in gaming with a VPN but not yet ready to tackle router installation.
How to configure a VPN for your Xbox:
- To start, sign up for the VPN mentioned above (we recommend NordVPN).
- Install and log in to the VPN on your other device.
- Connect to a server at the location of your choice.
- Now, on your PC or smartphone, create a WiFi hotspot.
- All that remains is for your Xbox to be connected to the hotspot.
Method 2: Configure your home network using a VPN.
This solution is a bit more involved, but it offers a few benefits over merely sharing your Xbox’s connection. To begin with, any device that connects to your home network will automatically get the VPN advantage. Additionally, you should notice improved performance since your traffic is not routed via two devices.
The hitch is that setting up a VPN on a router is a somewhat lengthy procedure that varies by model. Take note that if you do it incorrectly, it may possibly leave the router inoperable. On the bright side, the majority of big VPN providers provide detailed installation instructions (complete with graphics) on their websites. Simply ensure that your router is running a compatible firmware version before proceeding.
If you run into any difficulties, feel free to call support and ask them to walk you through the process; they deal with such inquiries on a daily basis and will be more than glad to assist.
Connecting your Xbox to the VPN is the last step.
Now we need to connect your console to a newly built encrypted network.
How to connect your Xbox to the VPN is as follows:
- On your controller, press the Xbox button.
- Navigate to the gear icon and hit A.
- Under the General menu, click Network settings.
- Select Configure wireless network.
- Finally, locate and enter the password for your network in the list.
- That is all. All data sent and received by your Xbox system is now secured.
How we selected the best VPN for Xbox consoles
You cannot just use any VPN to secure your Xbox communications. To begin with, some of them will be insufficiently trustworthy for online gaming or quick enough for streaming. Additionally, some VPNs are incompatible with routers, while others only provide rudimentary security features. To narrow the field to the top VPN for Xbox, we established a checklist of critical areas to evaluate and the features we anticipate in each:
- Speed: If you’re wanting to play online games or stream content from your Xbox, a sluggish VPN is just not an option. We speed test prominent providers on a regular basis and only suggest those that provide exceptional performance.
- Server selection: The broader the network, the more likely that a suitable server will be located near your physical location. Additionally, having a large number of servers located across the globe enables the VPN to withstand DDoS assaults, guaranteeing that you can always continue playing.
- Ease of use: We are huge proponents of anything that simplifies your work. This might include 24-hour assistance, the absence of a connection cap, or something as basic as user-friendly applications. In this case, we’d especially like to see support for a variety of different router firmwares and step-by-step installation instructions.
- Unblocking capability: A VPN is useless if games detect it and disable your access. We seek providers that can circumvent VPN detection and regional limitations, ensuring that nothing stands in the way of you safely accessing your favorite services.
- Security and privacy: Because SWATTING and doxxing are real dangers, we will not endorse any VPN that does not have industry-leading security and privacy features. These must feature 256-bit encryption, a kill button, leak prevention, and a no-logs policy, at a minimum. Of course, we would want to see providers go even farther.
- Pricing: To make our list, a service must be reasonably priced in relation to the capabilities it provides. Along with comparing it to equally skilled competitors, we look for the best bargains and inform you about any trials or guarantees offered by the VPN.
Is it possible to play Xbox safely with a free VPN?
There are many significant issues with free VPNs, but in a nutshell, they are an inadequate alternative for gaming. The majority restrict your data use, with some limiting you to 500 MB per month, which means you will be unable to protect yourself every time you play. Additionally, since these services are often somewhat sluggish, you may experience stuttering, rubberbanding, or occasional disconnection.
To make things worse, these services are often not as secure as they claim. For instance, we previously determined that UFO VPN misrepresented its commitment to maintaining no records. In reality, it recorded a variety of data, kept it in plain text, and hosted it online in a location accessible to anybody. Needless to say, you’d expect the organization with whom you’re entrusting your sensitive information to have a little more attention to detail.
We highly suggest doing research on providers and considering other criteria such as their privacy policies and reputation, rather than making a selection just on the basis of pricing.
FAQs about gaming with a VPN
Are there any VPN applications available for Xbox?
While the Microsoft shop is filled with a variety of applications, there are presently no VPNs accessible on the Xbox version. Additionally, none are expected to appear in the future, since Microsoft has a strong interest in ensuring that its consumers do not circumvent the geographical limits imposed by its games and streaming services.
However, nothing prevents you from sharing your encrypted VPN connection with another device or from installing the VPN directly on your home network.
Will a VPN cause my connection to slow down?
Regrettably, since VPNs add another step to the direction your data takes, your connection will always be slower while using one. However, the most popular providers are constantly updating and optimizing their networks in order to minimize their influence.
In general, you may anticipate losing around a third of your bandwidth while using a VPN. The good news is that you can play reflex-intensive games such as Call of Duty: Warzone with a download speed of as little as 5 Mbps. While greater speeds are obviously preferable, as long as you’re receiving about 10 Mbps without the VPN, you should have no problems.
What role does a VPN have in my gaming experience?
VPNs may benefit gamers in a variety of ways. For example, if your favorite game does not allow you to manually change countries, you may just connect to a server in your selected nation and play against other players from that location. Additionally, you may theoretically take advantage of region-specific events or benefits in this manner.
Due to the fact that these services mask your genuine IP address, other players will be unable to determine your location or launch a DDoS assault to prohibit you from playing. Even if your IP address is blacklisted, you may simply switch servers and rejoin the game.