Best VPN for Xbox One 2019

After weeks of testing 14 popular VPNs, I’m ranking ExpressVPN as the best available Virtual Private Network (VPN) for the Xbox One in 2018.

The provider increases my gaming ping numbers by only single digits, offers fast average connection speeds (94 Mbps) and provides an impressive 99.9% average server uptime.

ExpressVPN provides online gamers with the opportunity to play on any server (domestic and international), access updates and in-game content from any location and more.

Best Overall VPN for Xbox One

ExpressVPN logo
Best Overall VPN for Xbox One
ExpressVPN
Impressive connection speeds, ping and server uptime

ExpressVPN provides the best protection for your Xbox One thanks to its consistently low ping numbers and fast connection speeds, making it a reliable way to play games, as well as download updates and in-game content.

The provider offers reliable connectivity with solid server uptime numbers, as well as comprehensive router support.

If you’re an Xbox One owner looking for the best overall VPN to protect your gaming and other online activities, ExpressVPN is the VPN for you.

The provider delivers low ping numbers (adding only +4.88 ms of latency, on average) for the games we tested it with (Overwatch and Call of Duty: WWII). The provider’s average connection speed of 95 Mbps is the best speed of any of the VPN providers we tested.

With an average server uptime of 99.9%, ExpressVPN is always on, meaning you’ll likely never be disappointed by an inability to connect to the service. Their apps are easy to install and use, with kill switch support. Comprehensive global server coverage adds to the value.

ExpressVPN offers support for a larger number of routers, including those manufactured by Asus, Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Netduma, Sabai, TP-Link and Xiaomi. The provider also supports routers flashed with the DD-WRT and Tomato firmwares.

I won’t say the provider is a value leader when it comes to pricing, but at a price of $12.95/month for a monthly subscription and $6.67/month for an annual subscription (with a 30-day money-back guarantee), ExpressVPN provides excellent bang for the buck.

Best Xbox One VPN for International Gaming

VyprVPN logo
Best Xbox One VPN for International Gaming
VyprVPN
Lowest ping numbers to distant servers

This provider delivers the lowest average ping numbers and the best performance when connecting to gaming servers located a long distance away, such as those found in foreign countries.

The provider’s fast connections and excellent reliability help VyprVPN add up to the best VPN for Xbox One players who prefer to play on foreign servers.

VyprVPN is the VPN provider for you if your gaming servers of choice are located in foreign lands. The service provides the lowest ping numbers to remote gaming servers.

When considering a VPN for use when connecting to servers located in a distant land, it’s important to remember that a VPN will almost always add at least a small amount of latency to the lag you’ll experience when playing on a foreign server.

In my testing, VyprVPN added an average of only +2.07 ms to my distant server ping readings, the best of all the VPNs I tested.

VyprVPN’s connection speeds of 70.6 Mbps – admittedly not the fastest of this bunch – do offer plenty of horsepower to meet your needs. In addition to plenty of speed, VyprVPN protects those fast connections with kill switch protection, reliable service and wide-ranging global server coverage, offering access to popular gaming hotspots.

The provider also offers support for routers running the popular DD-WRT, OpenWRT and ASUSWRT firmwares.

The provider’s subscription prices – $9.95/month for the monthly option and $5.00/month if you opt for the annual plan – are close to average for the VPN industry. The price is quite reasonable, considering the service the provider offers.

Best Xbox One VPN for First-Person Shooters (FPS)

ExpressVPN logo
Best Xbox One VPN for FPS
ExpressVPN
Lowest ping to FPS servers

ExpressVPN delivers consistently low ping numbers when playing First Person Shooters like Call of Duty: WWII.

This provider delivers reliable connections, keeping you connected to the action.

If you’re a first-person shooter (FPS) fan, you’ll love the performance ExpressVPN delivers when connecting to FPS servers. The provider’s great ping numbers and fast connection speeds add up to the best way to play FPS games like Call of Duty: WWII.

If your ping rate is too high in an online FPS match (“too high” being 100 ms or higher, but it can vary), the on-screen action will stutter and stall, delay your actions in the game or make your opponent “teleport” around the screen. (There was no teleporting going on in World War II…well, as far as we know.)

During my testing, ExpressVPN added a mere +0.63 ms to my usual ping readings.

The service is reliable, providing 99.9% server uptime. The provider’s easy-to-use apps and robust router support mean you’ll be able to protect your Xbox One online sessions via either your router or by sharing your Mac’s or Windows PC’s VPN-protected internet connection (more about that later).

ExpressVPN’s supported routers include those made by Asus, Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Netduma, Sabai, TP-Link and Xiaomi. The provider also supports routers that have been flashed with the DD-WRT and Tomato firmwares.

This provider’s pricing isn’t at the low-price-leader level by any means ($12.95/month for a monthly subscription and $6.67/month for an annual subscription), but it offers excellent value, all things considered.

Best Xbox One VPN If You’re on a Budget

CyberGhost logo
Best Xbox One VPN If You’re on a Budget
CyberGhost
Just $2.75 per month for their 3-year deal

CyberGhost offers an excellent way to protect your Xbox One gaming sessions while still leaving you plenty of cash to buy your favorite games and in-game content.

Considering the provider’s low price, it offers admirable connection speeds and ping numbers.

If you’re the type of gamer that would prefer to save your money for more important things (your words, not mine) rather than on an expensive VPN, CyberGhost is for you. The provider’s low price of $2.75 per month for 3 years of service make it quite attractive.

CyberGhost offers protection for all of your connected devices, including your Xbox, via its compatibility with routers running DD-WRT, TomatoUSB and TomatoUSB Merlin firmware.

As well as a low price, CyberGhost provides fast connection speeds (65.2 Mbps on average) and a not-too-shabby average ping increase of 7.28 ms. The provider also offers kill switch protection and good support for routers.

CyberGhost makes a great VPN option for the budget-minded user. The provider offers excellent protection for your Xbox binges, as well as excellent speeds and low ping rates, making it a fine choice for all types of Xbox games. Gamers on a budget could do a lot worse than CyberGhost.

Best Xbox One VPN If You Also Torrent

ExpressVPN logo
Best Xbox One VPN If You Also Torrent
ExpressVPN
Top-notch privacy protection and connection speeds

Gamers who take a break now and then to share files with other online users via P2P sharing will appreciate ExpressVPN’s excellent privacy protections.

In addition, their speedy, kill switch-protected connections are great for sharing files.

Gamers who enjoy sharing files via P2P solutions such as BitTorrent are advised to check out ExpressVPN. The provider has excellent, no-log privacy protections, as well as kill switch-protected and speedy connections, making it an excellent choice for torrenting.

While game and content updates for the Xbox One are performed on the console, some game publishers use P2P technology to provide those updates and downloadable files. If your ISP is blocking or monitoring P2P transfers, you could be prevented from getting the latest and greatest content for your favorite game.

You’ll also be glad to hear that ExpressVPN doesn’t limit your torrenting activities to a few select VPN servers. Instead, the provider allows P2P action on all of its servers.

Content will download quickly, no matter what type of download it is, thanks to ExpressVPN’s fast average download speed of 95 Mbps. The provider’s low ping numbers (adding only +4.88 ms of extra lag on average) don’t affect your torrenting but will come in handy when you’re using that new gaming content.

Evidence of your torrenting will be unavailable, as this provider is located in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-sophisticated nation that doesn’t require VPN to keep user logs. ExpressVPN takes full advantage of that freeness, keeping no logs of any kind. You’ll also be glad to know that they accept the privacy-enhancing Bitcoin cryptocurrency as payment.

ExpressVPN provides support for numerous routers, including those made by Asus, Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Netduma, Sabai, TP-Link and Xiaomi. The provider also provides support for routers flashed with the DD-WRT and Tomato firmwares.

You may have noticed that ExpressVPN’s tariffs of $12.95 per month if you go for the monthly payment option and $6.67 per month for the annual plan are the most expensive prices on this list. However, you can’t always pay beer bottle prices for champagne service.

Best Xbox One VPN If You Also Stream

ExpressVPN logo
Best Xbox One VPN If You Also Stream
ExpressVPN
Best Netflix support in multiple countries

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPN providers that still offer reliable unblocking of Netflix content, both in your home country and abroad.

ExpressVPN is your best available option to keep Netflix streaming access open, no matter where you’re located. It offers fast connections and wide-ranging global server coverage, unblocking Netflix content across the world.

As you may already know, Netflix makes contracts with movie and television studios for their streaming content. Those contracts include which countries the service is allowed to offer the content in.

Netflix is ever vigilant for users who try to access the content from outside of the properly licensed areas. This means that they are also on the lookout for viewers making use of a VPN to access the content. When the streamer detects a VPN IP address, they block it. The VPN then sets up a new IP address to open access again.

This game of virtual whack-a-mole requires considerable resources on the part of the VPN provider. Many VPN providers run shoestring operations and don’t have the resources to continue the “game.” Luckily, ExpressVPN does have the resources to continue to fight the good fight.

ExpressVPN has VPN servers located in over 90+ countries, offering reliable global access to Netflix content in those countries.

ExpressVPN’s connection speeds were always reliably fast during testing, coming in at an average of 95 Mbps. Speed numbers like that mean you’ll wait only a short time, if any time at all, for your content to begin streaming – even 4K HDR content.

While ping doesn’t affect your streaming sessions, you’ll be happy to know ExpressVPN added only +4.88 ms on average to my gaming ping readings. That means that when you’re finished with your streaming binges, the provider will be ready to protect your next gaming binge.

ExpressVPN supports a large number of routers, including devices from Asus, Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Netduma, Sabai, TP-Link and Xiaomi. The service also supports routers running the DD-WRT and Tomato firmwares.

At $12.95 monthly ($6.67 per month if you opt for a year-long agreement), ExpressVPN isn’t an “el cheapo” provider. However, when you look at all you get for the price, it’s a reasonable cost.

Why You Can Trust Us

Hello everybody! I’m Chris Hauk. I’ve been in the IT industry for over 20 years, and I’ve been involved in nearly all aspects of the IT industry, developing websites and apps, building and repairing computers, administering networks and providing desktop support. (I even spent a few months in there selling Macs and iPhones at a nearby Apple Store.)

I’ve been a video gamer since I was around 12 or so, playing my first arcade video game in 1972. It was called “Computer Space,” and the game is widely recognized as the first video game available in arcades. Yes, even before Pong!

In later years, I owned and played an Atari 2600, Colecovision, Intellivision and all of the generations of Nintendo and Sega’s popular home consoles. And, of course, I have enjoyed all generations of Microsoft’s game machines, from the original Xbox, to the Xbox 360, to the current Xbox One.

I’m a big fan of gaming online and battling other players online, whether they’re down the street or halfway around the world. (I was one of the original beta testers for Xbox Live, before it publicly debuted on the original Xbox.)

Here at Pixel Privacy, we pride ourselves on testing Virtual Private Networks for gaming in the same manner you’ll be using them. We purchased subscriptions from the top 14 VPN providers on the market today.

We develop and make use of a battery of unique tests, designed to run each VPN provider through its paces. This allows us to determine which provider will offer the best online experience when you use it for a particular online activity. This time around, we’re deciding which VPN works best with your Xbox One.

With that in mind, I have performed numerous connection speed and ping (latency) tests while connected with each VPN service.

Before testing the VPN providers, I first establish a performance baseline to be used for comparisons. I test connection speed and ping while connected to my Internet Service Provider (AT&T U-Verse’s 1-gigabit fiber internet service).

Once I have set a baseline for my normal ISP-connected speeds and ping, I then connect to each VPN service one by one and test the ping and connection speeds for the providers during 3 consecutive days of testing. (It was Tuesday through Thursday for this session.) I run the tests 3 times each day, morning, noon and night.)

When testing, I connect to a VPN server located in my country (The United States), and also connect to a VPN server located in an international location. (I used a spot in the United Kingdom this time around.) This allows me to simulate the types of connections you might experience while gaming online with your Xbox.

These tests provide information on the performance you’ll likely receive when using each VPN on different days, at different times of day, both to domestic and international servers.

In addition to running speed tests using the Speedtest app, I also connect to each VPN and play games on my Xbox while connected to each one. (Yes, I play games as part of my job. I make these sacrifices for you, my loyal readers. No need to thank me.)

I play games on my Xbox One at the highest resolution the game allows. This is usually 1080p. While I do much of my gaming in my office, when testing, I connect my Xbox One to my living room 4K display. This provides an environment that should be close to that of my readers.

At this point, allow me to mention that I am aware that there are still plenty of Xbox 360 players hanging in there. Rest assured, most of the information I’m sharing with you about using a VPN with an Xbox One applies to the Xbox 360 as well. However, some of the games I mention in this article are not available for the 360.

How does Pixel Privacy’s approach to VPN testing differ from that of other sites?

As I mentioned above, when testing, we don’t simply run a few speed tests and call it a day. Nope, nope, nope!

I spend hours upon hours researching how my readers would use a VPN. (This time around, I’m concentrating on Xbox One players.) This allows me to determine how a VPN can aid the Xbox player in having the best online experience.

Once my initial research is complete, I spend long periods of time performing tests on both my ISP-only connections and the protected connections provided by each VPN service.

I am not too modest to say that all of this effort makes the information here on Pixel Privacy’s website some of the best on the web.

This article is an in-depth look at the pros and cons of using a VPN with your Xbox One. I’ll offer up a thorough look at how a VPN can protect and enhance your Xbox-related online experience.

By the time you reach the end of this article, you’ll have more than enough information on hand to make a well-informed decision as to which VPN provider is your best choice for use with your Xbox.

Before We Begin: a Note on Routers

As you may already know, there are no native VPN apps available for the Xbox One. This makes VPN router support extremely important. If a provider didn’t offer router protection, it was not considered for this roundup.

Comprehensive router compatibility is a must for the Xbox One. It protects you from DDoS and swatting attacks, offers the ability to open your horizons when it comes to content available on the web, and simultaneously protects all of your connected devices via a single account.

Why You Need a VPN for Your Xbox One

If you’re looking for the best way to protect your online activities from prying eyes, a Virtual Private Network is the best way to go about it. It anonymizes your internet connection by encrypting the information passing through it. This keeps your activities, along with the accompanying information, safe from prying eyes.

A VPN routes your internet traffic through an encrypted connection from your computer or other connected device to the VPN service’s servers, which then fetch the content you wish to access.

You’re probably thinking, “Well, that’s all well and fine, but what good does that do me when I’m playing Fortnite or Madden NFL 19?” Good question. You may be surprised to learn that a VPN offers numerous advantages to the average Xbox owner.

A VPN can protect you from DDoS and swatting attacks by less-than-scrupulous opponents. It can also open up access to gaming servers and downloadable content that might not normally be available in your area, allow access to servers you may have been (inadvertently) banned from accessing and more.

In this section of the article, I’ll take a close look at the issues that Xbox One players like you can face when playing online. Along the way, I’ll share information about how a VPN can help you resolve those issues.

Subjects we’ll examine include:

  • How a VPN Prevents DDoS Attacks on Your Xbox One
  • How a VPN Protects Against Swatting Attacks
  • How a VPN Improves High Ping Due to a Bad ISP or a Long Distance From a Gaming Server
  • How a VPN Opens Up Access to Geographically-Restricted Content
  • How a VPN Unblocks You From a Gaming Server You Were Banned From

How a VPN Prevents DDoS Attacks While Playing Online With an Xbox One

A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack can best be described as when a disgruntled player or other less-than-honorable online denizen directs a squadron of computers or other connected devices, known as a botnet, to direct massive amounts of traffic to a targeted IP address.

The resulting traffic overload greatly slows down the victim’s internet connection, occasionally shutting the connection down completely.

DDoS attacks are a popular method for gaining the unfair advantage during online competition as a way to prevent an opponent from competing. Gaming servers themselves can also fall victim to an attack as a way for a disgruntled or banned player to gain revenge on the server administrators.

A VPN protects you against DDoS attacks by hiding your real IP address, instead making it appear that you are connected through a different IP address. This makes it much tougher for a DDoS attacker to wage a successful campaign against your connection.

While it’s true that an attacker could launch a DDoS attack against a VPN server, providers use special techniques to mitigate such attacks, allowing them to easily recognize and defend against them.

If a VPN service sees a tremendous amount of traffic coming in simultaneously from multiple IP addresses, it activates its DDoS defense routines, using DDoS filter software to block the attack, as seen in the illustration below.

When a VPN provider has set up their DDoS defenses in the correct way, you’ll notice little, if any, slowdown in your internet connection, in the case of attack.

How a VPN Protects Against Swatting Attacks

Not all of my readers may be familiar with what a swatting attack is. So, let’s take a quick look at what happens during one.

A swatting attack occurs when someone places a fake emergency call to the police or other government agency in order to send officials to a third party’s address.

There are multiple reasons a swatter may commit a swatting attack. They could do it out of spite due to a loss in an online competition. They may also simply have taken a dislike to a fellow online player. Or, they could simply be bored and want to see what happens if they make a swatting call – and whether or not they can get away with it.

The call usually claims that a hostage situation, homicide or some other tragedy is taking place at the swatting target’s address. This causes law enforcement to respond to the call, arriving at the target’s location with a sense of heightened danger.

In many cases, a swatter may already know the victim’s physical location, but if not, they can also detect their location by using the victim’s IP address to pin down the target’s location.

They can then use Google searches to narrow the target’s specific location down to an actual address by searching for information. (Look up your name sometime on Google or Bing. It’s scary what you can find out about someone online.)

Once a swatter places the 911 call, police are sent out in force. This has led to tragedy in a number of cases, and at least once it has led to the death of an innocent victim when a swatter called in the wrong address for police to investigate an alleged hostage-taking situation.

A VPN can protect you from swatting attacks by hiding your real IP address, thereby hiding your actual geographical location. The IP address that is displayed for the VPN user is that of the VPN’s server farm, so the swatter cannot detect the target’s location – and no one gets hurt.

How a VPN Improves High Ping Due to a Bad ISP or a Long Distance From a Gaming Server

When you’re playing a game online, especially fast-moving action games and first-person shooters like those available on the Xbox One, high ping numbers can significantly affect your gaming experience. Anything over 100 ms ping time can be a killer when it comes to reacting to your opponent’s attacks.

“Makes sense,” I can hear you say. “But, what is this ping you speak of?” Good question.

A ping is a signal sent from one connected device, like your Xbox One or a computer, to another connected device. (In this article, we’re referring to the signal sent from your Xbox to a gaming server, like those run by Electronic Arts and other game publishers.)

When your Xbox sends a ping, it then begins looking for a response from the targeted computer. The ping measurement (often called “lag” or “latency”) is the amount of time it takes for the targeted device to respond with a ping of its own.

The longer the lag time, the longer it will take for you to send an in-game command and see your on-screen avatar respond by carrying out the command. If it takes too long for your character to respond, it might be “game over.” (High ping can also make it difficult to zero in on an opponent, as it can make the opponent appear to be jumping around on the screen.)

While a VPN might not be the first tool to come to mind when you’re looking for a way to lower your ping numbers, it can lower your latency numbers under certain conditions.

How Do ISPs Worsen Your Ping?

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is usually in charge of routing your internet connection from your location to that of the content you’re accessing. When it does that, it doesn’t always take the most efficient route. Instead, it takes the cheapest route.

By taking a roundabout route to your destination, the ISP can increase your Xbox’s ping numbers. In addition, the death of Net Neutrality allows ISPs to throttle your connection to certain content, thereby increasing your ping numbers.

How a VPN Resolves ISP Issues

A VPN service can route your connection in a more efficient manner, delivering a more direct route between you and your desired content. Think of it as taking the expressway when you’re driving instead of meandering backroads.

Additionally, a VPN prevents the ISP from monitoring your activities, preventing them from throttling you because of your online antics.

Keep in mind that you’ll generally see your ping numbers increase at least a bit when you use a VPN to protect your Xbox One online gaming sessions. However, my testing shows that, on average, the ping numbers will increase only slightly, generally having little effect on your gaming sessions.

Pro Tip 1: Use an Ethernet Cable to Connect to Your Router

If you’re looking for an easy, and relatively inexpensive, way to improve your Xbox One’s ping numbers, consider using an Ethernet cable to connect to your local router. This will also have the happy side effect of increasing your connection speeds.

I do most of my gaming in my home office, which is located on the other side of my home from where AT&T installed my router. (It’s in the front room, behind my television.)

That router location is perfect for my streaming boxes and smart television. However, it’s not so perfect for the computers, as well as gaming and streaming devices, that I have in my office.

So, as shown in the photos above, I have invested in an inexpensive hub and a number of Ethernet cables, which allow me to snake the connection to my office (as seen above).

Sure, this could be seen as overkill, but believe me when I say that this minimal cash and effort outlay was well worth the improvement in my office-based device speeds.

Connecting via Wi-Fi provides an average connection speed of 238 Mbps and an average ping time of 4 ms. When connecting via Ethernet, I see my connection speed increase to 580 Mbps and my ping numbers drop to 2 ms. That’s double the performance! Nice, eh?

How a VPN Opens Up Access to Geographically-Restricted Content

You’re perusing your favorite video gaming news site, and you notice the publisher of your favorite game is releasing new downloadable content for the game. Yippee! Wait, they’re only releasing it in certain regions, and none of those regions is the one in which you live. Well, crap!

Geographically-restricted content isn’t just limited to games, either. Netflix and other streaming services restrict their movie and television show content according to region as well. But, what can you do?

It’s a sad fact that many software publishers often restrict the release of games and their content to specific regions. At best, they’ll stagger the release of said content so that not everyone gets access to the content at the same time.

Arguably, other than a 14-hour plane ride, the best way to get access to content that is restricted to being released in another part of the world is to use a VPN. A VPN can provide access to blocked content thanks to its “location-spoofing” abilities.

A VPN can easily “spoof” your location by making it appear that your Xbox One gaming sessions are originating from another global region than the one you’re actually residing in. Sure, you might be located in Los Angeles, California, but your connection appears to be originating from somewhere in Paris, France.

When VPN shopping, never consider a provider that has less than optimal global server coverage. Ideally, a provider worth your consideration will have the globe covered with their servers.

When considering a provider’s global server coverage, look for coverage similar to that shown on the ExpressVPN global server map, shown above.

How a VPN Unblocks You From a Gaming Server You Were Banned From

While I am 99.9% certain that none of you have ever been blocked from an online gaming server due to anything you’ve said or done, it’s still possible to be banned from a server for various reasons.

Those reasons include the following:

  • Hacking
  • Being rude to other players
  • Having a compromised account
  • Spambot-like behavior
  • Account sharing
  • VPN usage (this varies from server to server; be sure to check with the server admin for more information)

Gaming server administrators can ban Xbox One players from a server by blocking a user’s username or IP address. The system uses that information to ensure the player will be unable to log in again.

While a VPN can’t help you change your username (you’ll need to create another account for that), it can change your IP address by assigning your Xbox One a new, virtual IP address, as seen in the diagram below. This provides an address that hasn’t been banned, allowing you to once again log into the server.

VPN Scoring Methods

When the Pixel Privacy team began developing the scoring system used in this “Best VPN for Xbox One 2019” article, we knew we wanted to improve upon the methods we used in our previous generation of “best VPN for…” articles.

So, we took the time to research and carefully consider how the average Xbox One owner used their gaming console, and what the most critical factors were that could affect the player’s online experience.

In the following sections, I’ll share with you the factors we considered, why each factor is important, and how we test a VPN provider in each category to determine its ranking.

The Top Factor: Ping – How We Test and Score It

When you’re competing online in any fast-moving gaming title, such as the sports, first-person shooters and driving games available on the Xbox One, ping is arguably the most important factor to affect your gaming satisfaction.

High or fluctuating ping numbers can greatly affect the time it takes for you to command a move and see the result on-screen. Too much lag, and you’ll end up missing your shot or missing a turn.

When I begin collecting the data I need for setting up my ping testing, I consider the types of games that are played on the Xbox One and the locations of the servers Xbox One players connect to. I find the IP addresses of popular servers located in both my native country, the U.S., and those located in other regions.

I then use a macOS network testing tool called “Network Utility.” The app allows me to run a variety of tests on my network, both local and online. The feature I find myself using the most when testing for an article like this is the “Ping” testing feature. It allows me to enter an IP address and test the ping performance between my location and the entered address.

Before connecting to each VPN provider, I first test the ping numbers for both the U.S. and international game servers. The test is set to run the pinging process 10 times in a row, and then calculate an average response time. This establishes a baseline for comparison to my VPN-protected ping measurements.

I then connect to each of the 14 providers I run tests on, one by one. I repeat the ping tests while connected to each provider. I do so for both the U.S. and international servers.

I run these tests 3 times a day (morning, midday and evening) for 3 days in a row, recording the results as they are measured. I then average out the results for each provider, using them to determine the rankings for each VPN, first place down to last.

How We Test and Score Connection Speeds

Although ping time is arguably the most important factor when playing video games online, connection speed runs a very close second.

While it’s true that most games are playable with a connection speed of 3 Mbps or faster, keep in mind the other online activities you’ll be using your internet connection for.

Your protected connection will come in handy for downloading game updates and in-game content. Plus, the Xbox One is a more-than-capable streaming video player, with native apps available for most popular streaming services. Many Xbox One players also use their internet connection for torrenting files. You’ll find that a VPN is the perfect companion for such activities.

Testing connection speeds follows a process that is similar to that of ping testing.

First, I test my ISP-provided connection speeds using the Speedtest app.

After that, I load each VPN, one by one, and repeat the speed test. As with my ping testing, I do this morning, noon and night for 3 days in a row.

After the connection speed data is all collected, I average out the test results for each VPN service, again ranking the providers according to the speeds delivered by each.

How We Score Global Server Coverage

Global server coverage, while not the most important consideration when deciding on a VPN, is arguably a strong third behind ping and connection speed.

The more comprehensive a provider’s server coverage, the better access you’ll have to blocked in-game content. Plus, it also opens up access to streaming services like Netflix, which geographically restrict their content to certain regions.

When we rank a VPN’s global server coverage, we take a look at the number of countries where the provider has their server farms located. It’s simple: the more locations, the higher the score.

How We Score Kill Switch Capabilities

A VPN’s kill switch feature ranks as important, as it is the feature that helps keep your online antics undercover if you are disconnected from your VPN’s servers.

A kill switch is just what it sounds like. It kills your entire internet connection if you lose connection with your VPN service. Without a kill switch, you would stay connected to the internet, but your activities would be laid open to the observation of third parties.

Kill switch is a simple “yes” or “no” score. All of the VPN providers in this roundup offer kill switch protection.

Why ExpressVPN Is the Best Overall VPN for Xbox One

ExpressVPN logo
Best Overall VPN for Xbox One
ExpressVPN
Impressive connection speeds, ping and server uptime

ExpressVPN provides the best protection for your Xbox One thanks to its consistently low ping numbers and fast connection speeds, making it a reliable way to play games, as well as download updates and in-game content.

The provider offers reliable connectivity with solid server uptime numbers, as well as comprehensive router support.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN overall for use with the Xbox One.

This provider supplied the best ping numbers for the games I tested it with (Overwatch and Call of Duty: WWII). Plus, it offers more than enough bandwidth, easily keeping the action smooth and rocking.

I am not a terrific video game player. (If you’re looking for an easy win in almost any online competition, look me up sometime.) So, I have never warranted a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on my connection. However, better-skilled online players can feel secure in the knowledge that ExpressVPN protects their connection from any DDoS attacks.

This provider’s low added latency means you won’t experience any lag between when you command your on-screen avatar to execute a move and seeing it happen. This provider, on average, added only 4.88 ms in lag to my usual ISP-only numbers, which had no noticeable effect on my online gaming experience.

With an average protected connection speed of 95 Mbps, ExpressVPN supplies more than enough bandwidth for any game I’ve played on the Xbox One. (Most games will perform acceptably at any connection speed of 3 Mbps or higher.) However, the faster speeds come in handy when downloading files or viewing streaming video.

Keep in mind that my gigabit fiber internet connection is one of the fastest connections available, so your mileage may vary.

ExpressVPN boasts an impressive 99.9% server uptime, which means you need not worry about having issues when connecting to the provider, or having issues with the connection dropping once you’ve logged in. Kill switch protection protects you from prying eyes if your connection does drop. (Personally, I have never had issues with ExpressVPN’s connections.)

I found the ExpressVPN macOS and Windows apps to be simple to use, and the provider’s easy-to-set-up router support made it a breeze to protect all of my connected devices, including my Xbox One. The app is reliable, and I never experienced a crash.

The app makes it easy to select a server, which you can do with just a few clicks from a list of countries and cities. Or, if you’re simply looking for quick connection protection, you can click the “Smart Location” choice to automatically connect to the best-performing server available in your region.

ExpressVPN is not a bargain-basement provider, but when you consider the value of the services that the provider delivers, it’s quite reasonably priced.

The service costs $12.95 per month for the provider’s monthly option and $6.67 per month for their annual plan. (For a limited time, if you click our special link to visit the ExpressVPN website, you get 3 months free! That’s a sweet 49% savings over the usual monthly option.)

ExpressVPN’s top-notch global server coverage means the provider offers server farms located in all of the top online gaming hotspots.

The provider does a superb job of unblocking Netflix thanks to its server coverage and fast connection speeds. (More about that later, as ::SPOILER ALERT!:: ExpressVPN also won the top spot in the “Best Xbox One VPN if You Also Stream” category.)

The provider offers app support for macOS and Windows, and a large number of routers, making it easy to protect your Xbox One online gaming sessions. It offers support for those manufactured by Asus, Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Netduma, Sabai, TP-Link and Xiaomi. Support is also offered for routers flashed with the DD-WRT and Tomato firmwares.

ExpressVPN snagged the top spot as Best Overall VPN for Xbox One thanks to its low ping numbers, high connection speeds, and impressive router support and server uptime numbers.

For more information or to purchase an ExpressVPN subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.

Why VyprVPN Is the Best Xbox One VPN for International Gaming

VyprVPN logo
Best Xbox One VPN for International Gaming
VyprVPN
Lowest ping numbers to distant servers

This provider delivers the lowest average ping numbers and the best performance when connecting to gaming servers located a long distance away, such as those found in foreign countries.

The provider’s fast connections and excellent reliability help VyprVPN add up to the best VPN for Xbox One players who prefer to play on foreign servers.

As I mentioned earlier, a VPN will almost always inflate your ping numbers at least a bit, especially if you’re connecting to a server located a long distance away from your actual location. That’s why VyprVPN makes such a good choice for a VPN to open access to distant servers.

VyprVPN on average adds a mere 2.07 ms to the lag time you already experience while connected to international gaming servers. This is the best ping number on this list, beating even the overall winner, ExpressVPN.

2.07 ms added ping is low enough that it should add no noticeable lag to the performance of your connection. I will mention that VyprVPN’s added ping for U.S. servers (13.77 ms) is somewhat “lagging” behind other providers, such as ExpressVPN (4.88 ms).

VyprVPN’s connection speeds of 70.5 Mbps, while not the fastest on the list, offer more than enough horsepower to access your favorite online action smoothly. Plus, the provider’s kill switch protection keeps your online antics safe from exposure if your VPN connection drops for some reason.

The provider offers easy-to-set-up apps for the Windows and macOS platforms (which you can use to protect a shared connection from either of those computers). Both apps are lightweight, using few system resources.

VyprVPN also provides router support (although it is lacking when compared to overall champ ExpressVPN). The provider offers support for routers running the popular DD-WRT, OpenWRT and ASUSWRT firmwares.

Selecting a VPN server to protect your connection is quick and easy – just a few clicks, and you’ve selected your server from the app’s convenient list of countries and cities (which includes all of the most popular gaming hotspots).

VyprVPN can’t claim the crown as the cheapest available VPN provider, but it does offer an excellent value, with a tariff of $9.95 per month when you pay monthly or $5.00 per month when you opt for the annual plan.

VyprVPN snags the crown for long-distance Xbox One gaming thanks to low ping times to foreign servers, fast connection speeds and more. If you compete in international arenas, I strongly suggest taking a closer look at VyprVPN.

For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the VyprVPN website.

Why ExpressVPN Is the Best Xbox One VPN for First-Person Shooters (FPS)

ExpressVPN logo
Best Xbox One VPN for FPS
ExpressVPN
Lowest ping to FPS servers

ExpressVPN delivers consistently low ping numbers when playing First Person Shooters like Call of Duty: WWII.

This provider delivers reliable connections, keeping you connected to the action.

ExpressVPN provides the best overall performance when participating in first-person shooter (FPS) games, like Call of Duty: WWII.

In FPS battles, you need to stay mobile, so you can’t be easily targeted. Lower ping numbers, like 0.63 ms added ping for Call of Duty servers, means the action won’t stutter, preventing your on-screen avatar from becoming an easy target.

When using ExpressVPN to protect my FPS sessions, I never saw delays in seeing my commands carried out on-screen, allowing me to stay moving, reaching my next sniper nest so I could pick off the less-fortunate soldiers.

ExpressVPN provides average connection speeds of 95 Mbps, keeping things moving in the heat of battle. That impressive speed will also come in handy when downloading updates and in-game content.

An impressive average server uptime number of 99.9% means you should never experience issues when connecting to the provider’s servers, and you shouldn’t have any issues staying connected, either. In the unlikely occurrence of a system outage, the provider’s kill switch feature will keep you safe from detection.

ExpressVPN’s macOS and Windows apps are easy to install and use, and you’re connected in just a few seconds. Simply click the country and city you wish to connect to, and you’re connected in a matter of moments. The app is reliable and lightly sips system resources.

The provider also has servers stationed in all of the Xbox One gaming hotspots.

The service supports a goodly number of routers, including those offered by Asus, Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Netduma, Sabai, TP-Link and Xiaomi. Also supported are routers using the DD-WRT and Tomato firmwares.

You’ll pay $12.95 per month for ExpressVPN’s monthly option and $6.67 per month for the annual plan. Yes, that’s more expensive than other providers on this list, but keep in mind the excellent value you receive in return.

ExpressVPN is the best option for protecting your FPS sessions on your Xbox One, thanks to its fast connections, low ping numbers to FPS servers and excellent reliability.

For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.

Why CyberGhost Is the Best Xbox One VPN If You’re on a Budget

CyberGhost logo
Best Xbox One VPN If You’re on a Budget
CyberGhost
Just $2.75 per month for their 3-year deal

CyberGhost offers an excellent way to protect your Xbox One gaming sessions while still leaving you plenty of cash to buy your favorite games and in-game content.

Considering the provider’s low price, it offers admirable connection speeds and ping numbers.

If you’re on a tight budget, or if you’d simply prefer to spend your hard-earned dough on new games, in-game content or streaming entertainment, I suggest you take a close look at CyberGhost.

Note: Yes, there are free VPN services available. However, I strongly feel that gamers will not be pleased with the performance of those providers.

Plus, keep in mind that a free VPN service is never really free. Many “free” VPN services track their users’ online travel so they can sell that info to advertisers. Just say “no” to free VPN services.

CyberGhost offers an excellent value for the dollar when you take advantage of their 3-year subscription deal, which comes out to $2.75 per month. Their usual pricing of $4.99 per month for their annual plan and $11.99 per month for the monthly option is still an excellent value.

Unlike some bargain-priced providers, CyberGhost doesn’t cut a lot of corners when it comes to their services. The provider offers good ping numbers, adding only 7.28 ms on-average to my unprotected numbers. It also provides an average connection speed of 65.2 Mbps, making it more than up to most gaming, streaming or downloading activities.

I’ve always felt that the provider’s macOS and Windows app interfaces could use improvement, as they’re rather unwieldy when compared to other providers’ apps. I prefer a simpler interface, like that of ExpressVPN’s apps, but it’s a personal preference thing, I suppose.

CyberGhost also offers protection for all of your connected devices via its compatibility with routers running the DD-WRT, TomatoUSB and TomatoUSB Merlin firmwares. The provider also doesn’t cut corners when it comes to server coverage, with servers located in most of the popular gaming hotspots.

If you’re looking to save money on your Xbox One VPN, I suggest taking a close look at CyberGhost. For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the CyberGhost website.

Why ExpressVPN Is the Best Xbox One VPN If You Also Torrent

ExpressVPN logo
Best Xbox One VPN If You Also Torrent
ExpressVPN
Top-notch privacy protection and connection speeds

Gamers who take a break now and then to share files with other online users via P2P sharing will appreciate ExpressVPN’s excellent privacy protections.

In addition, their speedy, kill switch-protected connections are great for sharing files.

You can’t battle online for 24 hours a day. So, there’s a good chance you also engage in other online activities, such as doing a bit of file sharing via your favorite torrenting app.

One problem with sharing files via the peer-to-peer method is that it is frowned upon in the gaming, film and music industries due to its popularity in sharing copyrighted content. These industries put great pressure on ISPs to block P2P file sharing by their users.

Unfortunately, many game publishers use torrenting technology to distribute downloadable content and game updates. (Plus, even if your ISP doesn’t completely block torrenting, they may throttle your connection speeds so tightly that it makes torrenting an agonizingly slow process.)

Whether you’re trying a game before buying it, or you’re simply trying to download a copy of a favorite film that’s not available for sale in your region, torrenting is a great way to access such content. ExpressVPN is the best VPN available to protect your torrenting activities.

Some VPN services will limit your torrenting activities to a select number of their server locations. ExpressVPN, however, allows torrenting via all of their servers. The provider is even nice enough to provide instructions on how to use their service with the popular BitTorrent client uTorrent.

If you’re using a VPN to protect your torrenting activities from being detected, you’ll want to take a close look at the provider’s privacy protections. You want to look for a provider that has a strict no-logs policy, as well as privacy-protecting payment options, such as Bitcoin. (ExpressVPN is that provider. Surprised?)

If a VPN provider doesn’t save any user logs of any kind, that means that there is no evidence to turn over if Johnny Law or an entertainment legal eagle comes knocking on their office door.

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, where they respect the privacy of their citizens and of the customers of companies that are based there. The VPN provider takes full advantage of the lack of logging rules, keeping no user logs of any sort.

ExpressVPN adds an additional layer to your online privacy by offering kill switch protection in all of its apps. That means that even if you do lose your connection to the ExpressVPN servers (which is unlikely, thanks to its 99.9% server uptime), you don’t have to worry about any of your online activities being exposed.

ExpressVPN provides the fastest protected download speeds on this list of providers, clipping along at an average download speed of 95 Mbps, making it the best choice for downloading large files.

While it may be true the ping doesn’t have much of an effect on torrenting, it’s still nice to know that the provider’s mere average addition of 4.88 ms to your ping numbers won’t slow you down when you turn on your Xbox One and leap back into battle.

The ExpressVPN macOS and Windows apps, which you can use to share your VPN-protected connection with your Xbox, are easy to install and use. You can connect to any available server with just a few clicks of your mouse, quickly enabling VPN protection for your machine. If you have a compatible router, you’ll find ExpressVPN can protect all of your connected devices.

ExpressVPN offers support for a larger number of routers, including those manufactured by Asus, Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Netduma, Sabai, TP-Link and Xiaomi. The provider also supports routers flashed with the DD-WRT and Tomato firmwares.

In addition, the provider covers all of the global gaming hotspots thanks to its comprehensive server coverage.

ExpressVPN isn’t cheap, but it is value-priced. How can that be? Well, while the provider charges $12.95 per month for their monthly option or $6.67 per month if you elect to go for their annual subscription plan, it’s a great price when you consider what you get in return.

If you’re a gamer who is a sharing sort of person, happily downloading and uploading new games, movies, songs and other files, ExpressVPN is the VPN for you. For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.

Why ExpressVPN Is the Best Xbox One VPN If You Also Stream

ExpressVPN logo
Best Xbox One VPN If You Also Stream
ExpressVPN
Best Netflix support in multiple countries

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPN providers that still offer reliable unblocking of Netflix content, both in your home country and abroad.

If you’re an Xbox One owner, you likely enjoy streaming content when taking a break from gaming. The Xbox One is well-equipped with streaming movie and music apps, making it an excellent device for consuming streaming content.

However, access to the content provided by many of those streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, are limited to specific regions. For example, while Netflix is available in most regions of the globe, the content in each region is limited, varying from country to country.

Luckily, Xbox One owners can evade those international content roadblocks by using a VPN’s location-spoofing abilities to make it appear as if you are located in the same country as the content that you desire.

I tested ExpressVPN with the major streaming providers and found ExpressVPN to be the best option for unblocking streaming content that is normally not available in your region. (This includes the U.S. and any of the other 93 countries where the provider has servers stationed.)

Netflix has content contracts with a large number of movie studios and other content providers. All of their contracts specify where the licensed content can be shown. This means Netflix is always on the lookout for viewers who attempt to access content that’s not licensed for viewing in their area.

Netflix, therefore, blocks access to their servers for anyone using a VPN to access their content. When Netflix detects a VPN IP address, they block it. The VPN then sets up a new IP address, which Netflix eventually blocks. The VPN again sets up a new address, and…well, you get the idea.

Unfortunately, not all VPN providers have the resources to continue this virtual game of whack-a-mole. Luckily, ExpressVPN does have the resources to carry on the good fight.

While testing, I used this provider to access Netflix content in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada, France and other countries. The VPN never let me down, offering reliable access during all of my testing.

I won’t say I was always able to access Netflix without trying a few times (t’s a game of whack-a-mole, remember?), but I was always able to eventually connect in the country of my choosing.

When you’re streaming video, you don’t want to have to wait “forever” for the movie to begin streaming. That’s why a fast connection is essential, especially for today’s 4K HDR content. ExpressVPN’s 95 Mbps connection speeds never left me waiting longer than a few seconds for my favorite bingeing material to start playing, even the 4K content. Playback was always smooth and pixelation-free.

And, while we already know that ping readings don’t affect online activities such as streaming or torrenting, ExpressVPN’s average added ping of only 4.88 ms guarantees my gaming sessions will be lag free when I do jump back onto the virtual battlefield.

The ExpressVPN app for macOS and Windows is simple to install and so easy to use. With just a few clicks, you’re connected to any ExpressVPN server in the world, ready to stream that region’s content.

While ExpressVPN’s 99.9% server uptime should give you a good feeling, knowing you’ll never run into connection issues, the provider’s kill switch protection is available in the unlikely event that you do have issues.

The provider is also compatible with numerous popular routers, meaning VPN protection is available for all of your connected devices, including your Xbox One.

Router support includes those manufactured by Asus, Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Netduma, Sabai, TP-Link and Xiaomi. The provider also supports routers running DD-WRT and Tomato firmwares.

ExpressVPN is available for $12.95 per month for a monthly subscription, while a yearly subscription will run you $6.67 per month. Yes, it is the most expensive VPN in this roundup, but it provides an excellent bang for the buck ratio.

For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.

Final Thoughts

In this article, I’ve shared with you the best ways to protect your Xbox One and related online activities, no matter if they include gaming, content streaming, torrenting or more.

By selecting the correct VPN provider, you’ll ensure you’ll always have access to your favorite video gaming servers, games and downloadable content. In addition, you’ll also protect your other online activities from prying eyes, while simultaneously opening vistas of content that you may not have previously had access to.

Undoubtedly, the best VPN for Xbox One-related online activities is ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN offers low ping numbers to gaming servers, opens access to streaming content that was previously unavailable and protects your file torrenting activities from prying eyes. It does all of this while providing speedy, low latency connections.

For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.

Microsoft Xbox One X” by Marco Verch licensed under CC BY 2.0

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