What Is The Best VPN for
Xbox One & Xbox 360 in 2020?
Private Internet Access is the best VPN for use with the Xbox One game console. The VPN is unmatched for gaming online. The service’s extensive global server coverage helps players unlock game content, achievements and video streams normally not available inside the user’s own country, making full use of the Xbox One’s gaming and video entertainment capabilities.
Private Internet Access offers excellent speed and ping numbers, which means your connection to the Xbox Live gaming servers is going to fly. It also means your streaming video binge following your gaming binge will stream with no long wait to buffer. (But fit a shower binge in there somewhere, okay?)
About the Xbox One
Microsoft’s Xbox debuted in the United States in November 2001. Initially, the console only allowed multiplayer gaming via the ancient method of two-player action: sharing a couch and staring at the same screen. (Really kids, that’s how we did it. And we had to walk 5 miles to the store, uphill, both ways, to buy a second controller. And it was snowing, no less!)
In November 2002, Microsoft shook things up when they launched the Xbox Live gaming network, which allowed players to compete via their broadband internet connection. The Redmond company released Halo 2 in November of 2004, kicking online gaming on the Xbox into high gear.
November 2005 came, and Microsoft debuted the Xbox 360, which offered a faster processor, improved graphics and an expanded Xbox Live service, which, in addition to gaming, also offered streaming video and music content.
Now, over a decade and a half after the debut of the original Xbox, we’ve made our way to the third generation of Xbox gaming. The Xbox One is here, and online gaming is hotter than ever.
The Xbox One also offers improved streaming content options. Available content includes 4K streaming video from Netflix, Hulu and other providers, music, and more. All of these capabilities make using the best available VPN provider more important than ever.
Top 5 VPNs for Xbox One
Why Use a VPN for Gaming on the Xbox One?
Xbox Live is now a worldwide gaming network, allowing players to compete on an international basis. Unfortunately, some games, their achievements and downloadable content are still geo-restricted, not allowing players to enjoy their games to the fullest.
In addition, the Xbox One is not just a gaming console but has instead grown to be a full-fledged entertainment console, offering streaming of movies, television shows, music and other types of content. Sadly, much of the Xbox One’s streaming content is also restricted according to the user’s home country.
However, there is a solution.
By using a VPN connection, any Xbox One user can easily connect to servers around the world. This allows them to compete against players in other countries, download restricted content and rack up achievements that might not normally be available to them. (Pssst…it can also help you grab expansion packs before everyone else by connecting to a different time zone.)
A good VPN can also improve the lag time of your connection to a particular game’s servers, because you can select a VPN server near the same location as the gaming server. This can lower ping times and even sometimes increase the speed of a connection, due to the VPNs’ lack of throttling. (Some Internet Service Providers will throttle your connection to a gaming server in order to prioritize internet traffic during times of congestion.)
VPN connections are encrypted, which means they do an excellent job of protecting your user credentials when you sign into Xbox Live and other online services, such as Netflix and Hulu. Since the Xbox One has a built-in web browser, your web surfing via the console is also protected by a VPN.
A full-featured VPN also protects you from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Various online gaming servers and their players have become popular targets of hackers who look to gain an unfair advantage by targeting other players with DDoS attacks in the heat of battle.
How to Choose the Best VPN for Your Xbox One
For many players, pricing will be a large consideration when deliberating which VPN provider is right for them. For that reason, I’ve included a low-priced, but well-performing VPN provider in my top 5 list. (I think you’ll be surprised where it ranked.) However, other considerations should also come into play when deciding on a VPN provider.
Global Server Coverage
The location of a VPN provider’s servers and how many locations a provider offers are important considerations when deciding on which VPN to use with your Xbox One. The location of a provider’s server can affect the performance of your gaming session, making the difference between being a winner or an also-ran.
Always look for a VPN provider who has a large number of servers, which are located at multiple locations around the globe. The more locations a VPN provider offers, the better chance of finding one that is near your online game of choice’s servers.
Sites located in multiple countries will also be important for gamers looking to access downloadable content or to collect in-game achievements only offered in certain countries. The more locations, the more chance of winning that badge that’s only available in Transylvania. (That’s a real place, right?)
Note: VPN providers add or remove server farms on a regular basis, so the current number of locations where a provider has servers located will change from time to time. Check the VPN provider’s website for the latest information.
A fast connection and a low latency rate make the difference between victory and “I coulda been a contender!” This is particularly true when you’re waging your virtual battles halfway around the world.
You’ll want to find a VPN provider that offers high-speed connections and low ping times. If your ping times come in too high, you’re dead meat. A good VPN can actually offer you an advantage in the online arena. No data-throttling and low ping times are what you’re looking for.
No VPN provider that I am aware of actually offers VPN apps for the Xbox One. That means you’ll be using a shared connection from your computer, or you’ll need to find a provider that supports using routers with their service.
Luckily, most reputable VPN providers offer router support - at least for a limited number of routers. You’ll always want to make sure your VPN of choice supports your router and offers clear instructions about how to set things up.
I don’t know about you, but my Xbox One isn’t the only device in my house that gets used for gaming. I also have an iPhone, iPad, Android handset and tablet, 2 Macs and a Windows PC that get called into service, depending on my gaming-related whim.
Having a VPN-enabled router allows all of those devices to use the VPN simultaneously, with no worries about hitting usage limits.
You’ll notice in the following table that of the ten VPN providers that we’ve reviewed so far, only TunnelBear doesn’t offer router support. As this is an important feature for any VPN to be used with the Xbox One, you should avoid this provider. Tunnelbear has been included here simply to warn you of this.
The table below is listed in alphabetical order.
The best VPN providers offer a feature called a “kill switch,” which will automatically disconnect your internet connection if for some reason your connection to the VPN server fails. This feature is handy for many reasons. For gamers, it prevents geo-restricted gaming servers from seeing your real IP address and banning you for being out of their region.
As this is a binary, “yes/no” type of question, I’ve ranked the providers alphabetically in the table below.
For any VPN provider, excellent privacy protection is a must. In order to fully protect your online activities form the prying eyes of your ISP, the government or content providers, look for a VPN based in a privacy-friendly country, which offers a strict “no-logs” policy and the ability to pay for your VPN subscription using anonymous payment methods, such as Bitcoin.
In the table below, I have ranked the VPN providers on a scale of 0 to 5, according to the level of privacy they offer. When ranking the providers, I considered their location, their logging policy, and whether they accept Bitcoin and other anonymous payment methods.
Other Factors to Consider
While the factors you should take into consideration while searching for a VPN provider are many, for some users, one important consideration will be price.
Budget-minded shoppers should keep in mind that a low-priced VPN might not turn out to be a bargain - especially if the provider has cut corners to offer that lower price.
Note: VPN providers offer special deals from time to time, which in some cases can greatly reduce your subscription costs. If you’re willing to subscribe for a longer period of time, the savings are even greater.
*The prices in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)
Pricing, router support, connection speeds and server options are all important factors to take into consideration when choosing a VPN provider. However, only one thing will matter if your VPN connection isn’t working and you need to connect to your company’s website from your hotel room in Liechtenstein: excellent customer support.
In the table below, I have ranked the providers according to what type of support they offer, how quickly they responded to my support questions and how well they answered the questions.
Note: No phone support is offered by any of the VPN providers listed below. Sadly, phone support is the victim of the continual effort to offer low-priced VPN service.