Do you use your Xbox One console to stream TV or movies? Do you surf the web, booking flights and buying products from global ecommerce vendors? Or do you regularly pay for downloads from digital marketplaces, and get the nagging feeling you’re paying too much?
If so, installing a VPN for Xbox is the way to go. Not all VPNs are up to the task, however. Some barely provide any protection at all. So we’ve put together a quick guide to the best Xbox One VPNs. Follow our advice and you’ll unlock the full potential of your Xbox system.
Why would you need a VPN for Xbox consoles?
Virtual Private Networks provide a mixture of encryption and anonymization. They lock down the data you send, making it invisible to external observers, and they assign you with an anonymous IP address, situating you almost anywhere in the world. But why are these features useful for Xbox One owners?
It might not seem obvious on the surface, but there are actually some great reasons to install a VPN for XboxOne.
For starters, Xbox consoles are more than just games machines. They are routinely used to access streaming services like Netflix, and the huge library of channels available on Kodi.
If you’ve ever encountered the geoblocks imposed by Netflix, you’ll appreciate how annoying they can be. Why should subscribers be denied access to the platform’s full archive of TV shows or movies, just because of where they live? With a VPN, you can work around those geo-blocks easily.
And if you use Kodi or similar apps, you can use a VPN to protect your streaming habits. Whatever you watch, from movies to sports, if your data is encrypted, there’s no easy way to find out what you are viewing.
There are also some great reasons for gamers to use a VPN. Online downloads at platforms like Xbox Live can differ in price from country to country, and with a VPN you can shop around. You might be surprised by how cheap games are in Australia, compared with Michigan.
VPNs are also known to help out against DDOS attacks – one of the most common problems on multiplayer gaming servers.
The question is, how do you pick a VPN for Xbox One consoles, and which providers are the most reliable around?
How to choose a VPN for Xbox One systems
When it comes to choosing a VPN, don’t just go for the first option you come across. There are certain factors to consider for Xbox One users, and the best apps cover all of them.
- Unlimited bandwidth: This is crucial for video streaming and multiplayer gaming. You’re going to be consuming a lot of data, but some inferior VPN services impose caps on monthly usage. Even worse, when those caps are exceeded, your coverage can abruptly disappear without warning. So go for unlimited data packages all the time.
- Xbox-specific apps: Not all VPNs are properly adapted to the needs of Xbox consoles, so double check that your chosen provider has a compatible client before paying anything. While this isn’t absolutely necessary, it is very nice to have.
- Encryption: Whatever you do with a VPN, encryption is key. Don’t go for anything less than a 128- or 256-bit AES encryption. Otherwise, you’ll be putting your privacy at risk.
- Global servers: As we noted earlier, being able to dodge jurisdictions is a handy feature of Xbox VPNs. So go for providers with large server lists, and a presence on all continents.
- Fast speeds: If you’re using a VPN for email alone, raw speed isn’t vital. But with gaming and video streaming, it really matters. That’s why all elite Xbox VPNs prioritize speed, and don’t offer laggy, unreliable servers.
- Multiple device connections: If you’re seeking a VPN for Xbox consoles, the chances are you have other devices nearby that need protection such as tablets or desktops. So go for a VPN that caters for 5 or more simultaneous connections.
Those are our major criteria when assessing VPNs for Xbox One systems, but comparably few VPNs actually meet all of them. However, the following providers have a solid track record and won’t let you down.
Recommended VPNs for Xbox users
Based in Panama, NordVPN is fast, has thousands of servers around the world, and has an unblemished record when it comes to client privacy. While it doesn’t offer a specialist Xbox VPN, you can easily install NordVPN on your router, providing all-round protection for every device in the home.
Read our full NordVPN review
Hong Kong’s PureVPN has made a real effort to adapt its software for Xbox systems, offering a router-based package which provides comprehensive privacy protection. Encryption is top of the line, you won’t face any unblocking issues with Netflix, and speeds are as fast as any VPN. So it’s a very strong option.
Read our full PureVPN review
One of the fastest and most reliable VPNs on the planet, ExpressVPN can be added to your home router, and won’t let Xbox users down. Features like unlimited streaming, global servers, and the MediaStreamer add-on make it a good option for gamers and movie fans.
Read our full ExpressVPN review
Affordable, easy to use, and offering very sharp speeds, Romania’s CyberGhost is definitely an elite VPN for Xbox One consoles. It has a great track record at defeating geo-blockers, hardly ever experiences any outages, and offers strong DDOS protection, so it’s favored by many gamers. And it won’t leave you hanging without VPN coverage just when you need it.
Read our full CyberGhost review
How to setup a VPN for Xbox consoles
Before we finish, it’s important to discuss how to use these privacy tools. As you might have noticed, none of them install directly onto Xbox systems. That’s because Microsoft didn’t include the ability to install a VPN with the Xbox OS – a pretty unfortunate oversight in our opinion.
Instead, users may have to install a VPN on their router, which then provides protect for any device covered by their home network.
Not all routers are compatible with VPNs, but any purchased in the past couple of years should be fine. Installation processes vary, but they generally involve entering your VPN login credentials on the router’s control panel.
So, to simplify things drastically, the basic VPN for Xbox setup would go something like this:
- Choose a VPN you can rely on and which satisfies our criteria for Xbox users.
- Sign up for the VPN and note down your login credentials.
- Load up your router’s control panel and navigate to the network settings panel.
- Enter the VPN login details and apply VPN protection.
- Load up your Xbox One console and connect to the newly protected home network.
The process isn’t difficult, but it can be time consuming. Still, it’s well worth adding a VPN for Xbox One consoles if you can. From avoiding DDOS to unlocking vast movie and TV libraries, it makes perfect sense. And you won’t go wrong with the elite VPNs we’ve listed.