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.
Why Use a VPN With Xbox One?
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 six 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 six 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: Best VPN for Xbox One. 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: Good VPN option for players on a budget. 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: Premium VPN for Xbox. 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: Easy-to-use Xbox VPN protection. 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.
- Private Internet Access: Reliable access to gaming content. PIA continues to improve its access to geo-fenced online services, like Xbox Live and Xbox Cloud Gaming. While the provider’s global server network could stand some expansion, it does a reliable job of accessing online content.
- PrivateVPN: Fast, gaming-ready connections. This provider’s gaming-ready bandwidth provides plenty of horsepower for gaming. The provider saves no logs, and has well-protected connections.
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 six 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 lacks an Xbox One app (as do the other providers in this list), 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 some of 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 60 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.
Additional privacy protections include the provider’s owned-and-operated servers, which keep outside contractors away from your personal data. Plus, the provider runs all of its servers 100% for RAM, which means there is no data being written to a physical hard drive. This ensures that all data is totally wiped whenever a NordVPN server is rebooted or shutdown.
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 60 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 3,200+ servers in 95 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.
Security and privacy are never an issue with this provider, thanks to its use of military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak and IPv6 leak prevention.
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 7,900 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.
In addition to quality VPN services, the provider also offers a password manager, warnings when your email is exposed in a data breach, and more. Windows users can benefit from the provider’s antivirus and anti-malware protection.
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.
5. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) delivers reliable access to Xbox gaming and video content.
The provider’s global server network boasts more than 3,300 servers stationed in over 80 countries. This delivers access to Xbox games and other content, along with other content located in most areas around the globe.
While PIA’s download speeds may not be the fastest around, they provide more than enough bandwidth for gaming and downloading games and in-game content. No data caps or bandwidth throttling to deal with here.
PIA also does an excellent job of protecting your online activities from prying eyes, thanks to the provider’s use of government-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak prevention and kill switch protection. The provider also offers blocking of ads, trackers, malware and malicious sites.
PIA servers run sans server logs, and the provider also accepts Bitcoin as subscription payment, which keeps your usage and payment privacy well-protected.
While PIA offers router support, so you can protect and enhance your Xbox-related online activities. Also available is plenty of support for many popular desktop and mobile device platforms.
PIA’s Smart DNS service allows you to access online gaming and content on devices like the Xbox, PlayStation, and other gaming systems. Keep in mind that the Smart DNS service does not encrypt your connection as PIA’s VPN service does.
Up to 10 devices can be simultaneously connected on a single user account.
PIA customer support comes in the form of live support chat, a trouble ticket form, and a support database.
- Allows up to 10 simultaneous connections
- Comprehensive security and privacy
- Fast connections
- No gaming-optimized servers
- Has issues working properly in some restrictive regions
RELIABLE ACCESS TO XBOX GAMES AND CONTENT:Private Internet Access delivers reliable excellent access to Steam and other popular gaming sites and services. The provider’s fast, well-protected connections are a great solution for any online activity. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Private Internet Access.
PrivateVPN may have the smallest server network on this list, but it provides excellent access to content where it has servers stationed.
The provider’s fast, well-protected connections use military-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak prevention and more to keep your online activities undercover.
In addition to support for select routers, the provider also offers apps for the “big four” device platforms (Android, iOS, macOS and Windows). Up to six simultaneous connections to PrivateVPN servers on a single account are allowed.
PrivateVPN is a strict “no-logs” provider, saving no evidence whatsoever connected to your online antics. Bitcoin is happily accepted as payment here.
The service could stand a bump when it comes to global server coverage, though, as it has just 200+ servers spread out among 63 countries.
Live chat, email, and an FAQ page make up the provider’s customer support options.
- Fast connections
- Excellent privacy and online security
- Accepts Bitcoin
- Global server coverage could be better
UNLIMITED CONNECTIONS:PrivateVPN is perfect for families that have more than one online gamer in the house, as the provider allows up to six devices to connect at the same time to a single login. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Xbox One
When you’re mulling over which VPN provider to use for your Xbox One gaming, there are several important factors to keep in mind. You can’t use just any VPN, as not all of them offer the required features.
Here are the many features I consider and why they’re worth consideration:
- Connection Speed: Connection speeds and low connection lag is critical for online gaming. Each VPN on my list offers low lag, fast connections
- Server Network: A large global server network is a good tool to have handy when you’re looking to access a world of gaming. Also, look for a provider that has multiple servers stationed in each location, as it helps prevent a single server from being bogged down with too many users
- Value: A VPN’s asking price should be in line with the features and functionality it offers. All of the VPNs on my list provide an excellent value for the price they ask
- Ease of Use: VPN apps should be easy to use. App support also needs to be available for your preferred gaming platform. Each VPN I include on my lists offer good multi-platform app support and easy-to-use apps
- Security and Privacy: While this article is primarily concerned with gaming, a VPN is also good for protecting your digital security and privacy. All the VPNs on my list offer banking-level encryption, an automatic kill switch and DNS/IP leak protection, along with other custom safeguards. None of them 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 most Xbox One games. A VPN can also come in handy for watching Twitch and unblocking Twitch, removing bans from Fortnite, Runescape, Discord and much more
While it may look as if my research ends here, this is just a small part of my overall comprehensive VPN testing methodology. This data-driven approach offers a better understanding of each VPNs service offerings. This allows me to recommend VPNs that are a good fit for my readers’ needs.
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.
- Why Use a VPN With Xbox One?
- Best VPNs for Xbox One
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. Private Internet Access
- 6. PrivateVPN
- Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Xbox One
- 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?