Microsoft’s Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X are ninth-generation gaming consoles, which allow games to compete in up to 4K resolution. (1440p on the Series S.)
The console not only plays games (both online and offline), but it can also stream high-definition video and other content from numerous popular streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and others.
Why Use a VPN With Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X?
If you’re not using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you’re missing out on loads of games, in-game content, and streaming content that is available in all regions of the world.
A VPN has the ability to provide access to geo-fenced content that is usually unavailable from your area of the globe. A VPN can do this because it has the ability to temporarily “spoof” an IP address, making it appear as if you and your Xbox are in another part of the world, enabling access to content intended for that region.
A VPN also encrypts your internet connection, meaning your online activities on your game console remain hidden (and other devices, like your smartphone and computer), preventing outsiders (like hackers and even your own ISP) from monitoring your online antics.
In this article, I review the top seven VPNs to use with your Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X game console.
Best VPNs for Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X
After multiple rounds of gaming and streaming – um, I mean heavy testing – the following seven VPNs proved to provide the best protection and enhancement for the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X gaming consoles.
If you’re in a hurry to get back to your gaming and streaming, here’s a short summary.
My best VPNs for Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X:
- NordVPN: Best VPN for Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. NordVPN provides some of the most comprehensive router support in the VPN industry. A wide-ranging global server network helps ensure you’ll have fast, reliable access to content from around the globe. Comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Good VPN for gamers on a tight budget. This provider offers compatibility with multiple makes and models of routers. Gamers on a tight budget will appreciate the provider’s budget-priced extended subscription options.
- ExpressVPN: Premium VPN protection for Xbox. ExpressVPN offers great router support (including custom firmware for select routers). An extensive global server network provides access to content around the globe.
- CyberGhost: Easy-to-use VPN protection. CyberGhost could prove to be an attractive option for gamers, thanks to its excellent router support, fast connections, and streaming-enhanced servers. You’ll also appreciate CyberGhost’s easy-to-use apps, available for most popular device platforms.
- Private Internet Access (PIA): Reliable access to gaming and streaming content. PIA provides reliable access to geo-fenced online services, like Xbox Live and Xbox Cloud Gaming, as well as streaming services, like Netflix.
- PrivateVPN: Fast, gaming-ready connections. This provider’s connections provide plenty of bandwidth for gaming and streaming. The provider never logs your online antics.
- Atlas VPN: Unlimited connections. Atlas VPN allows an unlimited number of connections on a single account. While the provider doesn’t yet offer router support, gamers can share their Windows or Mac VPN connections with their Xbox.
Please note: No VPN provider I’ve found offers native app support for any consoles in the Xbox lineup (or for any other gaming console). The VPNs listed in this article are able to protect your game console by working natively with your router or by sharing your VPN connection from your Windows or Mac computer. VPN network providers with pre-configured routers available scored bonus points.
I evaluated and ranked the top Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X VPNs using the following criteria:
- Router compatibility (extra points for pre-configured VPN router availability)
- Connection speeds
- Global server coverage
- Level of privacy and security protections
- Customer support
If you’d like to learn more about the criteria I used, then make sure you check out the testing methodology section further down this article for an in-depth review.
Here’s my list of the top seven VPNs for the Xbox One.
NordVPN provides top-notch VPN protection and enhancement, working well with numerous router makes and models, making it the top choice for gamers with an Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X.
The provider offers compatibility with numerous router makes and models, including routers from Asus, D-Link, Linksys, and Netgear. Pre-configured routers are available.
In addition to router support, the provider also offers native app support for most popular desktop and mobile device platforms. Covered platforms include Android, Android TV, Windows, macOS (with native M1/M2 Mac support), Linux, and Amazon Fire platforms. Plus, Chrome, Edge, and Firefox extensions are available, for those among us that enjoy Xbox Cloud gaming.
Up to six simultaneous connections can be made to NordVPN servers on a single user account.
NordVPN provides some of the fastest connections in the industry. This makes the provider an excellent choice for online gamers, as well as those that enjoy streaming HD and 4K video streams. No bandwidth limitations or data caps to deal with when using NordVPN.
The provider’s servers (5,500+ servers based in nearly 60 countries around the globe) provide reliable access to geo-fenced gaming and streaming content.
If you don’t have a compatible router or a Mac or Windows PC to share a VPN connection, you can make use of NordVPN’s SmartDNS service, which offers access to geo-controlled content. However, please note that SmartDNS does not offer the encrypted protection offered by the provider’s VPN service.
Speaking of encrypted protection, NordVPN uses military-grade encryption, protects against IP and DNS leaks, and also blocks ads and malware. The provider’s no server logs policy ensures that your online travels can’t be tracked, while a Bitcoin payment option protects your payment privacy.
The provider’s owned-and-operated servers provide additional privacy, as they keep third-party contractors away from your personal data. All NordVPN servers are run 100% from RAM, which means there is no data ever being written to a physical hard drive. This means all data is totally and securely wiped whenever a NordVPN server is rebooted or shutdown.
If you ever have an issue or a question about your account, 24/7 support chat, email support, and a searchable support knowledgebase are all available to assist you.
- Gaming, HD, and 4K streaming-capable connections
- Servers in close to 60 countries around the globe
- Low-priced extended subscriptions
- Comprehensive online security and privacy
- Always-available customer support
- Apps are not as user-friendly as some competitors’ apps
BEST VPN FOR XBOX SERIES S AND SERIES X:NordVPN is my top choice for all of your Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X-related online activities. The provider’s top-notch router support, reliable and fast connections, and access to geo-fenced content make it an excellent option. A risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark could be the budget-minded provider for you if you’re a gamer that would rather save your money to buy the next big Xbox-exclusive game.
First off, Surfshark offers excellent compatibility with multiple router makes and models, including Netgear and Asus. Ready-to-go routers are also available.
If you’re an Xbox Series S and Series X player who also owns other connected devices, you’ll appreciate the provider’s comprehensive app support, as well as their unlimited simultaneous connections allowance.
Native app support is available for Android, iOS, macOS (with native Apple Silicon support), Windows, Amazon Fire, and Linux device platforms. (Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browser extensions are also available for in-browser streaming and gaming.)
Its Trust DNS feature provides access to geo-fenced content, but doesn’t offer encrypted protection.
The provider also offers fast, well-protected, no data cap connections, which are gaming- and streaming-capable.
Surfshark provides access to geo-controlled content around the globe thanks to its impressive global server network, which currently stands at 3,200+ servers in 65+ countries.
Surfshark’s comprehensive connection protection includes banking-grade encryption, a kill switch, DNS/IP leak prevention, and ad and tracker blocking. The provider’s MultiHop feature channels your connection through a pair of VPN servers to increase anonymity and encryption.
Its servers save no user logs to protect your usage history from prying eyes, while a Bitcoin subscription payment option protects your payment privacy (especially when you use a disposable email address to subscribe).
Customer support is always ready to answer your questions, thanks to the provider’s 24/7 live chat, searchable FAQ library, and a support contact form.
- Large content-unblocking global network
- Unlimited concurrent connections
- Comprehensive router compatibility
- Top-notch privacy and security protections
- Missing some advanced features
GOOD OPTION FOR GAMERS ON A BUDGET:If you’re the type of gamer who’s always looking forward to buying the next big game, Surfshark could be the VPN for you. Fast and well-protected connections and an unlimited simultaneous connections allowance at a low price all add up to offer good value. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN is admittedly the most expensive VPN provider on this list. That said, the provider’s premium VPN features make it great value.
The provider’s comprehensive router features boast compatibility with multiple routers, including models from Netgear, Linksys, and Asus. ExpressVPN also offers customer firmware for numerous routers, and you can also purchase pre-configured routers for use with the VPN service.
The provider also offers native app support for most popular device platforms. Offerings include options for Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS (with M1/M2 Mac support), Windows, Linux, Amazon Fire, and Chromebook devices. If you prefer to stream or game in your favorite browser, you can take advantage of Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browser extensions.
Those users without a compatible router can still take advantage of the provider’s MediaStreamer DNS service that provides access to geo-fenced online content on your Xbox Series S or Series X console. Please note though that MediaStreamer lacks the encrypted protection of ExpressVPN’s VPN offering.
ExpressVPN provides plenty of fast bandwidth for online gaming, as well as streaming video content. (Depending on your usual ISP-provided connection speeds, of course.) The provider never spoils the fun by imposing bandwidth throttling or data caps.
ExpressVPN’s global server network boasts over 3,000 secure VPN server locations stationed in 94+ countries around the globe.
Online security and privacy are never an issue when using this provider, thanks to its use of military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak and IPv6 leak prevention.
A Bitcoin payment option is available to protect your payment info, and the provider never saves any server logs of any type.
Plus, all ExpressVPN servers are run using the provider’s proprietary TrustedServer technology, running all server operations only from volatile RAM. No data is ever written to a physical hard drive, which means all data is securely wiped when an ExpressVPN server is rebooted or shut down.
Customer support is always available, thanks to a 24/7 live chat feature, a searchable support database, email, and a support ticket system.
- Pre-configured routers
- Impressive global server coverage
- Super fast connection speeds
- Comprehensive online security and privacy
- More expensive than many other VPNs
- No designated streaming servers
PREMIUM VPN SERVICE FOR XBOX:ExpressVPN ensures you’ll have access to your favorite content thanks to its impressively large global server network. The provider’s fast connections are perfect for gaming and streaming. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost’s fast, well-protected connections will delight Xbox gamers. Plus, the provider has your other devices protected.
This provider is compatible with multiple router makes and models, including Asus and Netgear. In addition to manual setup, pre-configured routers are also available.
Easy-to-use native apps are also available for Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, and Amazon Fire devices, ensuring all of your online activities are protected and enhanced. Plus, if you stream games or videos in your browser, the provider’s Chrome and Firefox extensions have you covered.
The provider’s fast connections mean your online games will perform well, while purchased content and updates will download quickly. (And, isn’t there always an update for today’s games?) There are no data caps or bandwidth limitations to worry about when using CyberGhost.
CyberGhost currently boasts over 8,900 servers in 90+ countries, making it one of the most impressive global server networks on this list.
Your online activities are kept incognito thanks to government-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak prevention, and kill switch protection. CyberGhost also offers the ability to block ads, malware, trackers, and more.
CyberGhost follows a strict no-logs policy and also protects your subscription payment privacy by offering a Bitcoin payment option.
In addition to comprehensive VPN protection, the provider also offers a password manager, alerts if and when your email is exposed in a data breach, and more. Windows users can benefit from the provider’s antivirus and anti-malware protection, as well as privacy customizations.
Customer support is always available, thanks to CyberGhost’s 24/7 live chat, a support ticket tracking system, and a searchable support database.
- Numerous router options
- Fast, well-protected connections
- Excellent global server coverage
- No kill switch protection available for routers
- Doesn’t offer many advanced configuration options
VPN OPTION FOR BEGINNERS:CyberGhost is an excellent choice for Xbox gamers with little to no online gaming experience with a VPN. The provider’s pre-configured routers and easy-to-use apps provide fast, reliable access to content. A 45-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
5. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a reliable option for protecting and enhancing your Xbox Series S and Series X activities.
The provider’s global server network includes more than 3,300 servers stationed in over 80 countries. The network delivers access to games and other content in most regions around the globe.
PIA’s connections are not the fastest around. However, those connections provide more than enough bandwidth for online gaming and downloading games, updates, and in-game content. No data caps or bandwidth throttling to worry about here.
PIA also protects your online activities from prying eyes, as it uses banking-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak prevention, and a kill switch. The provider also blocks ads, trackers, malware, and malicious sites.
The provider’s servers save no user logs and the provider accepts Bitcoin as subscription payment, protecting both your usage and payment privacy.
PIA’s router support allows you to protect and enhance your Xbox-related and other online activities. The provider is compatible with DD-WRT, Asus, Netgear, and pfSense routers. It is also compatible with plenty of popular desktop and mobile device platforms, including Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux. Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browser extensions are also available.
The provider’s Smart DNS service allows you to access online gaming and content on devices like the Xbox and other gaming systems. Please be aware that the Smart DNS service does not provide connection encryption as PIA’s VPN service does.
Up to 10 devices can be concurrently connected on a single account.
PIA customer support is available in the form of live chat, a trouble ticket form, and a support database.
- Up to 10 concurrent connections
- Reliable, fast connections
- Comprehensive router compatibility
- No gaming- or streaming-optimized servers
- Has issues working in some overly-restrictive countries
RELIABLE ACCESS TO GAMES AND CONTENT:Private Internet Access provides reliable excellent access to popular games, gaming sites, and services. The provider’s fast, well-protected connections are well-protected. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Private Internet Access.
PrivateVPN has the smallest server network on this list. However, it provides reliable access to geo-controlled content wherever it has servers stationed.
The provider’s fast connections are protected by military-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak prevention, and more.
PrivateVPN is a strict “no-logs” provider, meaning there is no evidence whatsoever saved about your online travels. Bitcoin is accepted as payment here.
In addition to manual support for select routers, the provider also offers apps for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows devices.
Up to 10 simultaneous connections to PrivateVPN servers on a single account are allowed.
The PrivateVPN global server network has just 200+ servers spread out among 63+ countries.
Customers needing support can take advantage of live chat, email, and an FAQ page.
- Fast connections
- Comprehensive privacy and security protections
- Accepts Bitcoin
- Global server coverage is a bit thin
- Device support limited to four platforms
UNLIMITED PROTECTED CONNECTIONS:PrivateVPN’s tiny but powerful server network provides reliable access to global content. The provider allows up to 10 devices to connect at the same time to a single login. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
7. Atlas VPN
Atlas VPN lacks router support. However, the provider can still be used with your Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X by sharing your Mac or Windows machine’s VPN connection.
While the provider’s global server network is just the second smallest on this list, with a somewhat thin 750+ servers in 42+ countries. That said, the network delivers reliable access to gaming and streaming services.
Atlas VPN connections boast above-average download speeds, and the provider never spoils your fun with data caps or bandwidth throttling.
The provider keeps your online activities incognito with banking-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, IP/DNS leak protection, and other protective measures. Safebrowse and Safebrowse Plus features keep you protected against various online dangers while also blocking unwanted ads.
User tracking logs are never saved on Atlas VPN servers. Unfortunately, you’ll need to look elsewhere if you insist on paying with cryptocurrency.
The provider’s native app support includes options for Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV device platforms. At the time of this article, the provider offered no support for Linux, browser extensions, or routers. However, all three are in development.
Atlas VPN allows an unlimited number of devices to be simultaneously connected to its servers on a single user account.
The provider limits live agent chat to paying customers. However, email, a contact form, and a support library are available to all users.
- Provides access to geo-protected content
- Native app support for popular devices
- Fast connections
- Live chat limited to paying customers
- Currently no browser, router, or Linux support
- Global server coverage needs expansion
UNLIMITED ACCESS TO GEO-FENCED CONTENT:Atlas VPN provides reliable access to gaming and streaming content in many locations around the globe. Users can connect an unlimited number of devices. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Atlas VPN.
Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X
When you’re deciding on a VPN provider to use for your Xbox gaming and streaming, there are several important considerations. Not just any VPN will offer the required features.
Here are the many features I researched and why they’re worth consideration:
- Connection speed: Connection speeds and low ping is critical for online gaming. Each VPN on my list offers low ping, speedy connections.
- Server network: A large global server network is an excellent tool to use to access geo-fenced streaming and gaming content. Also, it’s an advantage when a provider has multiple servers stationed in each country, as it helps prevent a single server from being overloaded with too many users.
- Value: A VPN’s asking price should be in line with its service offerings. All of the VPNs on my list provide an excellent return on investment.
- Ease of use: You shouldn’t have to be an IT security professional to be able to use a VPN app. Apps should be available for your preferred devices. Each VPN on my list offers reliable and easy-to-use apps.
- Security and privacy: While this article is primarily concerned with gaming on your Xbox, a VPN is also a good tool for protecting your digital security and privacy. The VPNs on my list offer banking-level encryption, a kill switch, and DNS/IP leak protection, along with other safeguards. None of the providers save logs connected to your online activities
- Gaming: VPNs should be compatible with as many games as possible. The VPNs on my list work well for many Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X games. A VPN can also come in handy for watching Twitch and unblocking Twitch, removing bans from Fortnite, Discord, and much more.
While you might think my research ends here, this is actually just a small part of my comprehensive VPN testing methodology. My data-driven approach offers a deeper understanding of each VPNs services. This allows me to recommend only VPNs that are a good fit for my readers’ needs.
How to Use Your Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X With a VPN
While enhancing and protecting your Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X gaming sessions may seem a bit complicated, it’s actually quite easy if you follow these steps:
- Subscribe to a VPN. (Seems legit.)
- Set up the VPN on a compatible router (or buy a pre-configured router).
- Select a VPN server located nearest to the gaming server or other content you’d like to access.
- Make sure your Xbox One’s WiFi or Ethernet connection is through your VPN-protected router or your shared VPN connection from your Windows or Mac computer.
- Start gaming!
Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Use With My Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X?
A free VPN is simply not a good way to protect and enhance any online activity, but this is especially true when it comes to the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X.
First off, no free VPN provider I can think of offers router support, making it more difficult to use a free VPN with your Xbox One.
Even if you do somehow find a freebie provider that offers router support, you’re not going to be happy with the performance or privacy protection that you receive.
Free VPN providers often throttle their free users’ connection speeds, so they can save the majority of their bandwidth for paying users. Plus, many free VPNs will put daily or monthly data caps on their free users’ online activity. Does any of this sound conducive to enjoyable gaming or video streaming?
Your privacy is also at risk when using freebie VPNs, as many free providers will save logs of their customers’ online travels, selling the information to advertisers and other interested parties. Still, other VPNs have been caught injecting unwanted ads and tracking cookies into their users’ browser sessions.
Quality VPN protection costs less than many games or in-game content purchases. So, I recommend you buy yourself some reliable VPN protection.
An Alternative to Using a Physical Router
You may not own a router compatible with these VPN providers, or you’re reluctant to flash your router’s firmware and can’t afford a pre-configured router. Don’t worry, there is another way.
Set Up a VPN-Protected WiFi Hotspot on Your Mac or PC
If you own a Windows or macOS computer with ethernet and WiFi, you can set it up as a VPN-protected WiFi hotspot.
As I mentioned above, your Windows PC or macOS computer will need to be equipped with both a wired Ethernet connection and a WiFi connection. If you have both of those connections, you can share the computer’s protected VPN connection.
Use the VPN app of your provider to protect your computer’s Ethernet connection, then share the device’s WiFi connection as a WiFi hotspot. This will allow your Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X to connect to the hotspot and use the protected connection.
If you’re an Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X owner who is looking for a way to protect and enhance your gaming and streaming sessions, I strongly suggest using a reliable Virtual Private Network provider, like my top choice, NordVPN.
NordVPN offers comprehensive router support, as well as support for most of your other connected devices. Its large global server network, with true IP addresses around the globe, offers reliable access to geo-fenced gaming and video content.
The provider’s fast, well-protected connections enhance and protect your online travels. The provider’s security and privacy protections are some of the best in the business.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the NordVPN website.
VPNs for Xbox Series S/X FAQs
How Do I Change the IP Address on My Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X?
Go to the Xbox One settings menu. Click “General” -> “Network Settings” then “Advanced” settings. Select “IP settings,” then “Manual.” Enter your IP address, Subnet mask, Gateway, Primary DNS address, and Secondary DNS address.
Will a VPN Protect My Identity on my Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X?
A VPN can protect against outsiders detecting your true location by assigning a new IP address that is located in a different region of the globe. Also, be sure to never expose too much about your gaming profile, including when using your gamertag on social networks and other online postings, as this can also reveal more information about your identity.
Does My ISP Throttle My Internet When I Play Xbox Games Online?
It depends on the Internet Service Providers (ISP). Many ISPs will throttle a user’s connection speeds if they engage in “unapproved” online activities, such as BitTorrent file-sharing or streaming from some sources. However, I haven’t heard of any ISPs throttling the connection of Xbox. You might want to check with your ISP to be sure. Some ISPs will throttle your speeds when you hit a certain data usage level each month. Again, check with your ISP for more information.
- Why Use a VPN With Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X?
- Best VPNs for Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. Private Internet Access
- 6. PrivateVPN
- 7. Atlas VPN
- Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X
- How to Use Your Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X With a VPN
- Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Use With My Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X?
- An Alternative to Using a Physical Router
- VPNs for Xbox Series S/X FAQs
- How Do I Change the IP Address on My Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X?
- Will a VPN Protect My Identity on my Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X?
- Does My ISP Throttle My Internet When I Play Xbox Games Online?