Microsoft’s Xbox One is an eighth-generation gaming console and is the third entry in a series of consoles carrying the Xbox moniker. The console allows gamers to play games in 1080p HD (4K on the Xbox One X). The console also plays 4K movies via both streaming and on disc (on disc-equipped models).
The Xbox Live supports games from both Microsoft and third-party developers. The Xbox One is also compatible with popular streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and numerous others.
Unfortunately, without the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you’re missing out, because not all games, in-game content and streaming content is available in all regions of the globe.
A VPN is the best tool for enabling access to geo-blocked content that is usually restricted to certain parts of the globe. A VPN accomplishes this by “spoofing” the location of the device and its user by temporarily assigning a new IP address from another area of the world, enabling access to that region’s content.
A VPN also provides additional security and privacy thanks to its ability to encrypt your Xbox One’s and other devices’ internet connections, keeping your online activities safe from the prying eyes of your Internet Service Provider, the government and the bad actors of the world.
In this article, I review the top 5 VPNs to use with your Xbox One console.
Best VPNs for Xbox One
I put all of my best VPN providers against each other in multiple rounds of heavy gaming – I mean, testing – and the following 5 VPNs proved to be the top VPNs for use with the Xbox One gaming console.
For those of you who would rather play the 2,377th version of Tomb Raider than read about VPNs, here’s a short summary:
- NordVPN: NordVPN provides some of the best router support in the VPN industry. The provider’s comprehensive global server coverage helps ensure you’ll have reliable access to content from around the globe. The provider’s fast VPN connection speeds make streaming and online gaming an enjoyable pastime.
- Surfshark: This provider is compatible with numerous makes and models of routers, and Xbox One players on a budget will appreciate the provider’s low-priced extended subscription options.
- ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN offers great router support (the provider even offers custom firmware for select routers). An extensive global server network gives you access to streaming and gaming content throughout the world.
- CyberGhost: CyberGhost will be an attractive option for many Xbox One gamers, who will appreciate the provider’s fast connection speeds and streaming-optimized servers. If you have other connected devices, you’ll also appreciate CyberGhost’s easy-to-use VPN software for most popular device platforms.
- IPVanish: This provider not only offers excellent compatibility with multiple routers, it also offers decent native app support for other platforms. In addition to allowing an unlimited number of simultaneous connections, it also owns and operates its entire global server network, providing an extra layer of privacy to its customers.
Please note: No VPN provider offers a native app for the Xbox One (or any other gaming console). So, each of the VPNs listed in this article is able to protect your Xbox by working natively with your router.
In my reviews, VPN network providers with pre-configured routers available scored bonus points. (You can also set up a virtual router on your Mac or Windows laptop. More about that later.)
I evaluated and ranked the top Xbox One VPNs using the following criteria:
- Router compatibility (extra points for pre-configured VPN routers)
- Fast connection speeds for HD and 4K streams and gaming
- Comprehensive global server coverage
- High level of privacy and security protections
- Excellent customer support
Here’s my list of the top 5 VPNs for the Xbox One.
NordVPN provides the best overall VPN protection and enhancement for your Xbox One gaming and streaming entertainment needs.
The provider (and the other providers in this list) lacks an Xbox One app, but it offers compatibility with numerous router makes and models. Pre-configured routers are available.
The provider also offers native app support for most popular desktop and mobile device platforms, so it can also protect those internet devices when you’re not connected to your own wireless network.
NordVPN’s connection speeds are the fastest that the industry has to offer. They’re easily up to gaming, streaming and any of your other online activities, and you never need to worry about dealing with data caps or bandwidth limitations.
You’ll find that your entertainment options are greatly enhanced thanks to the provider’s reliable access to geo-blocked gaming and streaming content via its 5,500+ servers based in 59+ countries around the globe.
Those without a compatible router will still be able to take advantage of NordVPN’s unblocking services thanks to its SmartDNS service, which offers unblocking power, but without the encryption that the provider’s VPN service offers.
Military-grade encryption protects your online travels from prying eyes. The provider protects against DNS leaks, and also blocks ads and malware. A strict no-server-logs-ever policy and a Bitcoin payment option protect your privacy.
If you ever have a question about NordVPN’s services, you’ll find that 24/7 support chat, email support and a searchable support knowledgebase are all available to assist you.
- Servers in 59+ countries around the globe
- Gaming, and HD- and 4K-capable connections
- Low-priced multi-year subscription offerings
- Comprehensive privacy and security coverage
- Around-the-clock customer support
- Apps could be more new-user-friendly
BEST VPN FOR XBOX ONE:NordVPN is the top choice for enhancing and protecting all of your Xbox One-related online antics. The provider offers top-notch router support, reliable and speedy connections, and optimal online security and privacy. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark should prove to be an attractive VPN option for those of you who would rather save your money for games and streaming content thanks to its low-priced extended subscription offerings.
Surfshark offers excellent compatibility with numerous routers, and offers ready-to-go routers.
For Xbox One players who also own other internet devices, you can take advantage of the provider’s excellent multi-platform support, as well as their somewhat unusual unlimited simultaneous connections allowance. A Trust DNS feature expands your content selection, but doesn’t offer encrypted protection.
The provider delivers fast, well-protected connections, which are gaming- and streaming-ready.
The provider offers ever-improving access to geo-blocked content around the globe thanks to its fast-growing global server location network, which currently stands at 1,700+ servers in over 60 countries.
Surfshark offers top-notch connection protection thanks to banking-grade encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak prevention, and ad and tracker blocking. A proprietary Multi-Hop feature routes your internet connection through two VPN servers for added anonymity and encryption.
The provider’s servers save no logs at all, and a Bitcoin subscription payment option is also available.
Customer support is always ready to answer any questions you have thanks to the provider’s 24/7 live support chat, searchable FAQ library and support contact form.
- Good content-unblocking global network
- Unlimited simultaneous connections policy
- Excellent router compatibility
- Comprehensive security
- Not many advanced settings
BEST FOR XBOX GAMERS ON A BUDGET:If you’re the type of gamer who’s always looking for a game sale, Surfshark could be the best option for you. Gaming-ready connection speeds, excellent online protection, and an unlimited simultaneous connections allowance add up to a good value. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN’s extensive global server network gives you access to streaming, gaming and other types of content all over the world.
The provider offers top-notch router compatibility and offers custom firmware for use with a wide variety of compatible routers. If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, you can purchase pre-configured routers for use with the VPN service. The provider also offers native app support for most popular device platforms.
If you don’t have a compatible router, you can still take advantage of the provider’s MediaStreamer DNS service to access blocked online content on your Xbox One. Please note though that it lacks the encrypted protection of the service’s VPN offering.
ExpressVPN provides more than enough bandwidth for fast online gaming, as well as streaming HD and 4K content. (Depending on your usual ISP-provided connection speeds, of course.)
Plus, you never have to worry about getting your good time cut off in the middle of a game or a streaming binge, as the provider never imposes data caps or bandwidth limitations on its users.
You’ll have optimal access to geo-blocked content around the globe thanks to ExpressVPN’s global server network, which boasts over 3,000 secure VPN server locations stationed in 94+ countries around the globe.
The provider offers a Bitcoin payment option to protect your payment info, and it never saves any server logs of any type.
Customer support is a 24/7 proposition, with around-the-clock live support chat, a searchable support database, email and a support ticket tracking system.
- Pre-configured routers are available
- Comprehensive global server location coverage
- Fast connection speeds for gaming and HD video
- Great security and privacy protection
- Very highly-priced
- Doesn’t label its streaming servers
WIDE-RANGING SERVER NETWORK:ExpressVPN ensures you’ll have access to all the content you want thanks to its server network, which covers the globe thoroughly. The provider’s fast speeds will come in handy for gaming and streaming. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost offers Xbox One gamers fast connection speeds, comprehensive global server coverage and much more.
This provider offers excellent router support and is compatible with a number of router makes and models. In addition to manual setup, pre-configured routers are also available. Easy-to-use native apps are available for most popular mobile and desktop device platforms, ensuring all of your online activities are protected and enhanced.
Fast connection speeds are the rule from this provider, meaning your online games will perform well, in-game purchased content will download quickly, and updates will be a breeze. There are no data caps or bandwidth limitations to worry about when using CyberGhost.
CyberGhost currently boasts over 6,700 servers in more than 90 countries, making it one of the largest global server networks on this list.
Your online activities are kept safe from nosy types thanks to government-grade encryption, kill switch protection, the ability to block ads, malware, and trackers, and an option that forces websites to serve up HTTPS versions of their pages, if available.
On the privacy end of things, CyberGhost follows a no-logs policy and protects your subscription payment privacy with a Bitcoin payment option.
Customer support is always there for you, with 24/7 live support chat, a support ticket tracking system and a searchable support library.
- Excellent global server coverage
- Plenty of connection speed
- Numerous pre-configured router options
- No kill switch protection for routers
- Lacks the fine-tuning that advanced users appreciate
BEST FOR BEGINNERS:CyberGhost is the best choice for Xbox One users who don’t have a lot of online gaming experience in using a VPN. The provider’s pre-configured routers and easy-to-use apps get even new players online fast. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
IPVanish made this roundup due to its excellent security protections, additional level of privacy protections and more.
The provider is compatible with several router makes and models and offers pre-configured routers. Apps are also available for most popular mobile and desktop device platforms.
Connection speeds from IPVanish, while not the fastest on this list, can easily handle online gaming and high-def video streaming platforms. Data caps and bandwidth limitations are non-existent.
With over 1,500 self-owned and -operated servers in 50+ countries, IPVanish provides access to geo-blocked content around the globe. Those owned-and-operated servers also offer additional privacy by keeping third-party contractors away from customers’ personal information.
Well-encrypted connections, a kill switch and DNS leak protection keep your online antics from prying eyes. In addition to those industry-standard protections, the provider also offers a “scramble” feature that helps hide your VPN activity.
While a strict no-logs policy is in effect at IPVanish, the provider unfortunately does not accept any form of cryptocurrency for subscription payments.
Additionally, the provider allows an unlimited number of devices to connect simultaneously to its servers.
Email support, 24/7 live support chat and a searchable support library add up to always-available customer support.
- Pre-configured routers
- Proprietary VPN server network
- Comprehensive security and customer support
- No Smart DNS service
- No Bitcoin payment option
EXTRA LAYER OF PRIVACY:IPVanish keeps your data super-safe with its self-owned and -operated servers. The provider puts no limit on simultaneous device connections. Privacy protections could be improved if the provider offered a private payment option. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of IPVanish.
How to Use Your Xbox One With a VPN
While enhancing and protecting your Xbox One gaming sessions may seem a bit complicated at first, it’s really quite easy if you follow these steps:
- Subscribe to a VPN. (Seems logical.)
- 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 Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection is through your VPN-protected router.
- Start gaming!
Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Use With My Xbox One?
A free VPN is simply not a good option for any online activity, but especially for use with the Xbox One.
Just off the top of my head, no free VPN provider I can think of offers router support, making it next to impossible to use a free VPN with your Xbox One.
Even if you do stumble upon a freebie provider that does offer router support, you’re not going to be happy with the provider’s performance or privacy protection.
Free VPN providers often throttle their free users’ connection speeds, as they want to save the majority of their bandwidth for their paying users. Plus, most free VPNs will place daily or monthly data caps on their free users’ internet activity. None of this is exactly conducive to enjoyable gaming or video streaming
As for privacy, many free VPNs will log their customers’ online travels, selling the information to advertisers and other Nosy Nellies. Still other VPNs will inject unwanted ads and tracking cookies into their users’ browsing sessions.
You’ll find that quality VPN protection often costs less than many in-game content purchases. So, do without the power-up for a round or two and buy yourself some reliable VPN protection.
An Alternative to Using a Physical Router
If you don’t have a compatible router, or if you’re uncomfortable with flashing your router’s firmware and can’t afford a pre-configured router, there is another way.
Set Up a VPN-Protected Wi-Fi Hotspot on Your Mac or PC
Users who own a Windows or macOS laptop computer can set it up as a VPN-protected Wi-Fi hotspot.
The Windows PC or macOS computer will need to be equipped with both a wired Ethernet connection and a Wi-Fi connection. With those connections, you can share the computer’s VPN protection.
All you need to do is use the VPN app of your choice to protect your computer’s Ethernet connection, then share the device’s WiFi connection as a WiFi hotspot. This will allow your Xbox One to connect to the hotspot and use the protected IP address.
If you’re an Xbox One owner who is looking for an easy way to protect and enhance your Xbox One gaming and streaming sessions, I strongly suggest using a reliable Virtual Private Network provider, like my #1 choice, NordVPN.
NordVPN offers optimal router support, as well as excellent support for most of your other connected devices. It also boasts a large global server network, with true IP addresses around the globe, offering reliable access to geo-blocked gaming and video streaming content.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the NordVPN website.
VPNs for Xbox One FAQ
How Do I Change the IP Address on My Xbox One?
Go to the Xbox One Settings menu. Under the General tab, click “Network Settings” then “Advanced” settings. Select “IP settings,” then “Manual.” Enter your IP address, Subnet mask, Gateway, Primary DNS address and Secondary DNS address (in that order).
Will a VPN Protect My Identity on my Xbox One?
A VPN can protect against third parties detecting your true geographical location by assigning a new IP address that is located in a different area of the globe. However, you need to also be sure to never give away too much in your gaming profile, or in connecting your gamertag to social network posts and other online postings, as this can also reveal information about your identity.
Does NordVPN Have Optimized Gaming Servers?
While NordVPN (and most other VPN providers) do not offer optimized gaming servers, the provider does offer fast connections and low latency rates, making it a good choice for online gaming in most cases.
Does My ISP Throttle My Internet When I Play Xbox Live?
It depends on the ISP. Many Internet Service Providers have been known to throttle a user’s connection speeds if they engage in certain online activities, such as P2P file-sharing or streaming from “unapproved” sources. While I haven’t heard of any ISPs targeting Xbox Live users, you might want to check with your ISP. They may throttle your speeds when you hit a certain data usage level each month. Again, check with your ISP to be sure.
- Best VPNs for Xbox One
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. IPVanish
- How to Use Your Xbox One With a VPN
- Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Use With My Xbox One?
- An Alternative to Using a Physical Router
- VPNs for Xbox One FAQ
- How Do I Change the IP Address on My Xbox One?
- Will a VPN Protect My Identity on my Xbox One?
- Does NordVPN Have Optimized Gaming Servers?
- Does My ISP Throttle My Internet When I Play Xbox Live?