Best VPNs for Xbox One in 2021
There are many benefits to using a VPN for Xbox One. Server hopping and protection from DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks by hiding your IP address are two big ones. Gaining access to restricted content when using the console for streaming is another.
However, finding a good VPN for Xbox is not so simple. You cannot install a VPN directly on your Xbox One. The device doesn’t support it, meaning you have to install it on your router or share a connection from your laptop.
That’s where we come in. We'll give you a list of five of the best VPNs for Xbox One, and we’ll even throw in a quick guide about the installation process. So, let’s take a look at our five contenders for the title of Best VPN for Xbox One, shall we?
5 Best VPNs for Xbox One
- NordVPN - best VPN for Xbox One
- Surfshark - unlimited VPN connections
- ExpressVPN - easiest VPN setup for Xbox
- TorGuard - highly customizable Xbox VPN
- IPVanish - cheapest VPN for Xbox One
Why do I need a VPN for Xbox One?
There is more than one reason you need a VPN for Xbox One, and I listed them below.
- It prevents DDoS attacks by hiding your IP address – DDoS attacks are scary, and installing a VPN is a proactive solution. When you are protected by a VPN, the DDoS attacker cannot locate your network, making it almost impossible to target you.
- You’re not stuck on a specific game server – a VPN allows you to connect to a server in an area where a particular game server is located so you can play there. This can be great for playing with friends living abroad.
- You can use your Xbox One to stream content not available in your area – let’s say you want to watch Hulu, and you’re not from the US. With a VPN, you can connect to Hulu through a VPN server located in the USA. That’s how you watch geo-restricted content from anywhere.
Best VPNs for Xbox One – our detailed list
If you do a simple Google search, you’ll get countless results for the best VPNs for Xbox One, and they all promise to give you speed and security. However, not all of them deliver, which is why I made a list of VPNs that actually do.
- Baseline testing speed: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
1. NordVPN – best VPN for Xbox One
|Servers/countries:||5,500+ servers in 59 countries|
|Current deal:||Now 72% OFF + 3 Months FREE!|
NordVPN is a top-rated VPN. With over 5,400 servers in 59 countries, it offers plenty of choice to get the optimal ping. NordVPN supports multiple tunneling protocols, such as OpenVPN, NordLynx, and IKEv2, and it unblocks all major streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime).
One thing that makes NordVPN one of the best VPNs for Xbox One is that it delivers fast connections. And even though you can't setup their fastest protocol (NordLynx) on a router, Their IKEv2 implementation is almost as fast. During testing, only a server in Argentina delivered a bad result. On average, the speed was 238 Mbps across 9 locations.
NordVPN has clear guides for IKEv2 and OpenVPN setup on your router. However, for streaming only, you can use the SmartPlay (Smart DNS) feature. If you have any issues setting up NordVPN, the live chat customer support is available 24/7.
Since NordVPN doesn’t store any identifying logs and uses military-grade encryption, it’s one of the most secure and privacy-friendly VPNs for Xbox One.
Finally, despite all these fantastic benefits, NordVPN is a cheap solution. The prices start at $3.30/month, and you get 6 simultaneous connections. If you’re not satisfied with the service, there is a 30-day money-back policy in place.
Overall, it’s easy to see why NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for Xbox One. It’s fast, secure, and affordable.
- Unblocks all major streaming services
- Provides fast internet connections
- Supports IKEv2 on routers
- Has SmartPlay (SmartDNS)
- Clear installation guides
- 24/7 live chat support
- State-of-the-art encryption for security
- No identifying logs
- Can't share connection from Mac (no L2TP)
2. Surfshark – unlimited VPN connections
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,200+ servers in 65 countries|
|Current deal:||Get Surfshark, now 81% OFF!|
Surfshark is yet another excellent VPN for Xbox One. It has over 3200 servers in 65 countries, unblocks numerous streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, etc.), and supports several tunneling protocols. Among them is WireGuard, one of the fastest out there.
One of Surfshark’s main selling points is that you can benefit from unlimited simultaneous connections. You can install Surfshark on your router or laptop, and if you require assistance, Surfshark’s help center contains several guides.
Surfshark supports OpenVPN, WireGuard, and ShadowSocks, but the relevant one is IKEv2, which you can set up on your router. This protocol will help you avoid lag during gameplay or buffering when streaming. During tests, the average speed for IKEv2 was 220 Mbps (down from 300 Mbps).
If you want a VPN only for streaming, Surfshark has a SmartDNS feature. It’s easy to set up, and if you need help, the live chat support is available at all hours.
Thanks to its strict no-log policy and latest encryption technology, Surfshark is incredibly secure and privacy-friendly.
It's also very cost-efficient: Surfshark’s prices start at $2.49/month and each subscription gets you unlimited connections. If you’re not happy with it, you have 30 days to ask for your money back.
The bottom line is that Surfshark VPN is worth considering for your Xbox One. It provides fast connections, supports multiple tunneling protocols, and unlimited simultaneous connections.
- Unblocks many streaming services
- Thousands of servers globally, helping with ping
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- SmartDNS available
- Guaranteed security and privacy
- Supports IKEv2 and OpenVPN on routers
- 30-day free trial available
- Doesn’t support the L2TP tunneling protocol
3. ExpressVPN – easiest to set up for Xbox One
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,000 servers in 94 countries|
|Current deal:||Get ExpressVPN, now 35% OFF!|
ExpressVPN also easily makes the list of best VPNs for Xbox One. It has over 3000 servers in 94 countries and unblocks all major streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, etc.), supports Lightway, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 tunneling protocols (including on routers) and allows 5 simultaneous connections.
One of ExpressVPN’s selling points is that it delivers special firmware for routers. That makes the installation process a whole lot easier. Plus, its help center is full of guides and instructions on how to set everything up. The live chat support is available non-stop if you need help.
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, as well. Its fastest protocol is Lightway at 226 Mbps from a 300 Mbps baseline. While IKEv2 delivers a slightly higher download speed (232 Mbps), the upload speeds are fairly atrocious..
Apart from Lightway and IKEv2, you can use OpenVPN, which, isn't recommended unless you have a powerful router. If you intend to use your Xbox One for streaming, know that SmartDNS (MediaStreamer) is available.
For security and privacy, ExpressVPN uses government-grade, AES-256 encryption and has a strict no-log policy.
The drawback? ExpressVPN doesn’t have a free trial and it’s rather pricey. The prices start at $8.32/month. At least there's a 30-day money-back guarantee available.
Overall, if you can get over the high prices, ExpressVPN is a great option. It is one of the fastest and most secure VPNs for Xbox One. Plus, ExpressVPN is a bit easier to set up on routers.
- Unblocks numerous streaming services
- Fast internet connections
- Supports 5 simultaneous connections
- Supports multiple tunneling protocols
- Has SmartDNS (MediaStreamer)
- Government-level encryption for maximum security
4. TorGuard – highly customizable Xbox One VPN
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries||3,000 servers in 50+ countries|
|Current deal:||Get 50% OFF with ‘CyberNews’ code!|
Another solid VPN for Xbox One is TorGuard. It has more than 3000 servers in over 50 countries, which ensures secure high-speed internet connections. It supports 8 simultaneous connections and multiple tunneling protocols.
TorGuard can be installed on a router pretty easily. Its help center covers all installation instructions, including for WireGuard. However, if you don’t want to bother, TorGuard sells pre-flashed VPN Wi-Fi routers.
As for us, we tested TorGuard and got impressive results. It wasn’t a surprise that TorGuard’s fastest protocol was WireGuard, which delivered 221 Mbps download speed from a 300 Mbps baseline.
SmartDNS is available as well, but TorGuard isn't great at unblocking streaming services like Netflix US. As such, you may not find it very useful. But who knows?
Another drawback is that TorGuard is slightly more expensive than VPNs that offer more for less money. The prices start at $4.99/month. The money-back guarantee covers 30 days.
Overall, TorGuard ensures secure and private internet connections with low ping. It’s easy to use, and you can choose from many tunneling protocols. The prices are a bit high, though, and you don’t have access to many of the biggest streaming platforms.
- Delivers fast internet connection via WireGuard
- Supports 8 simultaneous connections
- Has an extensive network of servers
- Supports multiple tunneling protocols
- Provides pre-flashed VPN Wi-Fi routers
- SmartDNS is available
- Strict no-log policy for privacy
- Slightly more expensive than the competition
- Doesn’t unblock many of the major streaming services, not even Netflix
5. IPVanish – cheapest VPN for Xbox One
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||1,600+ servers in 75+ countries|
|Current deal:||Save 65% OFF the IPVanish 1-year plan!|
IPVanish may not be the biggest name in the industry, but it's an excellent VPN for Xbox One. It has 1,600+ servers in 75+ countries, which will let you pick and choose the server with the best ping. You also have access to multiple tunneling protocols, such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP.
The connection speed is very good, but lower than what our top picks offer. With OpenVPN, I got a decent 180 Mbps download speed from a 300 Mbps baseline.
The help center includes all the guides you need for all the operating systems and devices IPVanish supports. This includes OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec guides for routers. Plus, its live chat support is available 24/7.
Keep in mind that you can only use this VPN on routers via OpenVPN (or L2TP/IPSec, which was much slower). It means that you should only consider this VPN if you have a powerful router that can handle this type of encryption.
Unfortunately, SmartDNS is not available, but IPVanish does unblock Netflix. With that said, it doesn't unblock much beyond that - this is not the best VPN for streaming.
IPVanish is also one of the cheapest VPNs for Xbox One. The plans start at only $2.62/month, and you have 30 days to change your mind.
In general, IPVanish is a decent VPN for Xbox One, especially if you're on a tight budget.
- Very cheap
- Huge selection of countries (good for ping!)
- Supports multiple protocols
- Delivers decent internet connection speed
- Provides all the necessary installation guides
- Live support is available 24/7
- Doesn’t support SmartDNS
- Doesn’t unblock many notable streaming services
- Not good for those with regular routers
How we tested and selected these VPNs
Choosing the best VPN for Xbox One is not a complicated task. You must, however, be aware of the critical factors you should consider when making a decision. You’ll find a list below.
- Ease of use – you cannot install a VPN on Xbox One. Nevertheless, you can use a VPN via a physical/virtual router. Most people don’t know how to navigate the installation process. That’s why you may want to go for a VPN provider that at least gives you clear installation instructions
- Faster tunneling protocols for routers – most VPN providers will let you install them on a router using OpenVPN. The issue is that regular routers are not the best at handling the encryption offered by OpenVPN. Therefore, most users should look for VPNs you can set up on your router via IKEv2 or WireGuard (look for guides!)
- Speed and server locations – since you want a VPN for Xbox One, it’s safe to assume that you’re a gamer. And what do Xbox gamers hate the most? Well, the answer is simple - LAG (and PlayStation owners). Go for a provider that ensures high download speeds (upload is less important). Perhaps more importantly, look for a service that has VPN servers in relevant locations - ideally, near game servers. This will make your ping suffer less than it normally would.
- Streaming abilities – not all VPN providers unblock the restricted content you want. Make sure that you choose one that can. Do your homework!
- Customer support – nothing’s ever perfect. When selecting a VPN, ensure that it delivers top-notch customer support.
- Price – the price is one of the first things people look at when making any purchase, and VPNs are no different. Fortunately, there is a service for every pocket.
- Security – there is no point in using a VPN if it’s not secure. The VPN providers usually disclose their encryption technology. Make sure to check it out before you commit.
If you apply these factors to whatever provider you come across, you should be able to make an informed decision.
How to install a VPN for Xbox One
Installing a VPN on Xbox One is not that complicated. However, as we've already determined, you cannot set up a VPN directly on your Xbox One. Fortunately, you can install it on your router or a laptop that allows you to create a mobile hotspot.
Setting a VPN on a router
While I’d be more than happy to tell you that there is a one-size-fits-all kind of solution, there is not. The installation process differs from one router to the other. Down below, I listed some general tips that will help.
- Find your router's IP address. On Windows, open Command Prompt, enter the command "ipconfig" and press Enter. The router's IP address will be under "Default gateway"
- Log into your router’s control panel. Enter the router's IP address into your browser and log in. You will find your router's default login details by Googling "[router model] default login details"
- Follow the VPN's router installation guide. All major providers offer guides on their support page. If you find a guide for your brand of router, follow the steps you see there
- Connect to the network via the router's control panel. All devices you connect to the router on which you installed the VPN will be covered.
Note that not all types of router firmware support VPN. You can flash your router to install a different firmware, but this can be a bit more complex. Get help if you're not sure what you're doing - flashing the router incorrectly can damage it.
Sharing a VPN connection over wifi
My guess is that you know what a mobile hotspot is, right? Well, this solution is similar. You can install a VPN on your laptop. And then, with that laptop, you can create a mobile hotspot. The final step is to connect the Xbox One to that mobile hotspot, and the laptop’s VPN will protect it.
Make sure that you connect your Xbox One to your laptop and not to your wifi. Otherwise, the VPN will not cover your console.
I should mention here that when you use a VPN this way, the performance is worse than when you install it on a router.
Now, the process of sharing a VPN connection over wifi differs from one operating system to another. Below, you’ll find instructions for Windows 10 and macOS.
Sharing a VPN connection on Windows 10
- Go to your laptop’s Settings > Network and Internet > Mobile Hotspot
- Click on Wi-Fi and then enable Mobile Hotspot
- Go back to Settings > Network and Internet > Change adapter options
- Right-click on [Insert your chosen VPN here] Windows Adapter and go to Properties
- Click on the Sharing tab and check the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection box. The hotspot you created should appear in the drag-down menu above the adapter. Its name should be Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter. Click on it
- Connect your Xbox to your laptop as you would your wifi
Sharing a VPN connection on macOS
Please be advised that you must connect your Mac to the internet via ethernet cable, not Wi-Fi.
- Get the account credentials from the VPN provider you choose
- Set up an L2TP/IPsec VPN on your Mac
- Go to System Preferences > Sharing
- Go to Internet Sharing, but don’t click on Enable yet
- Choose the VPN connection from the drop-down menu and check the Wi-Fi box that says "To computers using"
- Set the wifi password in Wi-Fi Options
- Go back to Internet Sharing and now click Enable
- Connect to the VPN
- Connect your Xbox One to your Mac via wifi
Can I use a free VPN with Xbox One?
The short answer is "yes, but it's not ideal." The long answer requires some explanation.
Online, you’ll find two types of free VPNs:
- Completely free VPNs – they’re sketchy because they receive funds from ads and other means that are not privacy-friendly, like selling your tracked data. Additionally, the speed is usually awful, and they often can't unblock the popular streaming services. It’s not the kind of free VPN I recommend
- Freemium VPNs – these are free versions of paid VPNs. As you can imagine, they come with certain limitations, like data caps or the inability to unblock streaming platforms. While they’re not a viable long-term solution, some VPNs like Windscribe can be pretty decent. With Windscribe, for instance, you get a data cap of 10GB/month
So, while you can use a free VPN with Xbox One, it’s not something I wholeheartedly recommend. Going with paid VPNs is the best option. And some of these are pretty cheap.
Can you use a VPN on Xbox?
No, you cannot use a VPN on Xbox directly because the console doesn’t support VPNs. However, you can install a VPN on your router, or you could create a mobile hotspot on your laptop (on which you install the VPN) and connect your Xbox One to it.
What VPNs work on Xbox?
No VPNs work on Xbox. Not directly, anyway. But if you want a VPN you can use on your Xbox via your router or laptop, pretty much all of them work. If you connect your Xbox to the router on which you installed the VPN, you’re good to go.
Can someone hack your Xbox IP address?
Yes, there are ways hackers and DDoS attackers can get your IP address, but not if you're using a VPN. One of the primary roles of a VPN is to hide your actual IP address, making it virtually impossible for someone to commit a DDoS attack on you.
Should I use a free VPN for Xbox One?
No, you should not use a free VPN for Xbox One. While some free versions of paid VPNs you can use with Xbox may have some decent features, you’re always limited with a free VPN. Some free VPNs are downright dangerous. So again, I don’t recommend it.
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