Microsoft’s Xbox One is a capable machine, but it can still be improved by using a VPN. We’ll take you through the numerous benefits of a VPN for Xbox One/360, including information about how they work, and how to set it up with your console.
Benefits of a VPN for the Xbox One/360
If you’re constantly gaming online, you’ll be well aware of the difference in pricing across different regions. With a VPN you’ll be able to access various stores, and you’ll be able to pick up games for less.
Connecting to the internet with an Xbox VPN allows access to geo-restricted content. Numerous popular games are blocked in places like the Middle East, while other countries have no access to Xbox Live whatsoever.
With the right provider, the VPN servers you’ll be using will be optimized for high-speed gaming. There should be little to no lag, and you could even see a slight increase in overall speeds if your ISP is throttling your connection. Conversely, a slow Xbox VPN will cause additional stress to your connection, increasing lag and latency. (And nobody wants more lag.)
Then there’s TV content. US gamers have access to a wide variety of different networks and apps on the Xbox One. A VPN will allow you to watch US Netflix, bypassing any potential rights restrictions. It also works both ways, allowing the US audience to download and install apps from different markets.
It’s highly unlikely, but a VPN will guard against Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. In 1v1 games like FIFA, there’s always a chance that you can be kicked out if your opponent knows how to flood your connection with useless data. You’ll end up disconnecting from the server and losing the game. (I’m sure it’s happened to me a few times on Ultimate Team.) As they won’t be able to find your real IP address, you’ll be safe to inflict as much rage as humanly possible.
You can also use a VPN for Xbox 360 consoles and titles.
If you’ve ever tried out one of the older Call of Duty games a few years after release, you’ll be well aware of the various hacks and exploits that eventually appear after the patches stop coming.
How Does a VPN Work?
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) work by setting up a private connection between your console and the VPN server while online. They can be used to hide or change your IP address, which allows gamers to use their device safely.
Most will provide anonymity. A VPN isn’t a replacement for your internet connection. Instead, it masks and encrypts the connection and the data sent to and from your machine.
The connection can only be seen by the VPN provider, so you’ll be free to do whatever you like on your Xbox. (They can still see what you’re up to, so it’s best to go for a provider that keeps no logs of user data if you’re still worried.)
A VPN is usually meant to be used as an additional layer of protection for a computer or mobile device. The Xbox isn’t really susceptible to the usual data breaches you’d expect from a PC or phone, but it still helps with the perks listed above. The best VPNs can be used with numerous devices simultaneously, so they won’t be locked to your console.
If the term VPN is new to you, we strongly encourage you to read further our VPN beginner’s guide.
How to Setup a VPN with your Xbox
It sounds difficult, but it’s actually reasonably quick to get started with a VPN for Xbox One. There’s no native support from the console itself, but there’s still a couple of different options to choose from in terms of setup.
You can either pick to run the VPN through your router, or you can use a computer/laptop as a bridge for the console. We’ll briefly discuss each method below, although most VPN providers have Live Chat services and multiple guides for further info.
Running the VPN through a router is probably the easiest method, but some models won’t be able to connect to a VPN in this way. Make sure to check if your brand is compatible first.
Once you’ve signed up to the VPN service, most routers will need you to input the new configuration manually. It’s not exactly plug and play, but every device you connect to with the router will benefit from being under the protection of your VPN.
If your router won’t work, a computer/laptop is probably your best bet to get a VPN up and running on your Xbox. Firstly, you’ll have to be signed up with the provider, and you need the client installed on your computer. You’ll have to connect your Xbox to your computer with an ethernet cable.
- From the Network and Sharing Center in the Windows Control Panel, click Change Adaptor Settings.
- Select your VPN connection and click Properties.
- Click the Sharing tab, and tick the box to Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection.
- Choose Ethernet from the drop down menu, and click OK at the bottom to finish up.
It’s not the quickest process, but you’ll be good to go with your new Xbox VPN.
The Best VPN’s for Xbox One/360
First and foremost, you’ll need a quick and reliable VPN for Xbox gaming. As we’ve mentioned, a slower service could affect your latency, so we’ve chosen some of the fastest, with multiple servers to choose from worldwide.
#1 ExpressVPN – Gamer Friendly
A great choice if you’re planning to use American servers. They have over 145 server locations to choose from, each with thousands of IP addresses to choose from. It won’t have a major impact on your connection speeds, and they gladly welcome gamers.
For more information on ExpressVPN features, read our extensive ExpressVPN review.
#2 NordVPN – Security First
If you’d rather focus on security, NordVPN is a great option. They boast ‘military grade’ encryption, and they keep no records or logs of user data. Speeds are quick enough for gaming, although they aren’t as fast as ExpressVPN.
For more information on NordVPN features, read our extensive NordVPN review.
#3 IPVanish – Premium Service
Last, but not least, we have IPVanish. They claim to be the ‘only top tier’ VPN in terms of overall speeds, and their service is snappy. They keep no logs like each of the above, and it’s a solid overall service.
For more information on IPVanish features, read our extensive IPVanish review.
You could opt for a free VPN on Xbox One, but be careful of their logging policy. They’re also unlikely to be dependable, lacking the infrastructure necessary for handling high-speed gaming.
There are numerous benefits to using a VPN for Xbox One. If you play competitively, it could be the difference between winning and losing, while you’ll be able to access extra content at a lower price. It’s recommended that you use a VPN for online play if you’re affected by regular disconnections, but a slower provider could have a negative impact on your overall speeds.
An Xbox VPN might not be for everyone, but there’s more than enough to make it an interesting option for most gamers. If you spend a considerable amount of time on your console, it’s worth checking out.