There are lots of reasons you might want to use a VPN on an Xbox. Some apps are geo-restricted and won’t work if you’ve taken your console abroad. Perhaps you’re trying to avoid a wrongful ban or are playing a game that doesn’t let you switch regions manually. You may just be looking to protect yourself against SWATTING or doxxing. This is an extreme example, but given EA, CD Projekt Red, and Crytek have all been breached in recent years, we could all benefit from a little extra anonymity. Luckily, you can gain that extra protection easily by using a VPN.
Once you connect to a VPN, all of your internet traffic is encrypted and, therefore, unreadable to any snoopers. Since this data is routed via servers elsewhere in the world, your true IP address and location are hidden, too. While Xbox consoles don’t officially support any VPNs, there are two main ways you can get around this, and we’ll cover them both later on.
The first step is choosing a suitable VPN, and you’ll find our top picks below. If any catch your eye, just scroll down for a more detailed review and instructions on how to use them.
Best VPNs for Xbox:
- NordVPN: Our top VPN for gaming safely on Xbox. Its extremely high speeds, powerful security toolkit, and no-logs policy make it perfect for privacy-conscious gamers. Best of all, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.
- Surfshark: The best budget option for Xbox owners. This low-cost VPN has strong streaming potential and even stronger security tools. Boasts fast servers and the ability to protect every device you own.
- ExpressVPN: A speedy, versatile VPN that’s as comfortable with gaming as it is streaming, torrenting, and bypassing online censorship. Easy to use, with 24/7 support.
- CyberGhost: This user-friendly service has over 9,000 high-speed servers, including some that are specially optimized for gaming. All security tools are enabled by default.
- IPVanish: A well-respected provider with top-tier speeds and a great set of security features. What’s more, there’s no connection limit, no logs, and around-the-clock support over live chat.
- PrivateVPN: Zero-logs VPN that works with almost every game and streaming service we’ve tested. Great speeds and an impressive array of privacy features.
- Hotspot Shield: Boasts great all-round performance and offers specific servers for gamers. With a network spanning 80+ countries and fantastic unblocking ability, this is one to watch.
WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE?
NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for Xbox consoles with no restrictions for a month. This makes it a solid choice for anyone looking to try gaming with a VPN, since there’s no long-term commitment upfront.
There are no hidden terms—just contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
Best VPNs for Xbox: at a glance
We’ve compared the most important features of the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for Xbox.
|Website||NordVPN.com||Surfshark.com||ExpressVPN.com||Cyberghost.com||IPVanish.com||PrivateVPN.com||Ranking for Xbox||1||2||3||4||5||6||Avg Speed (US)||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||50 Mbps||Server countries||60||100||94||53||53||63||Total number of servers||5,700+||3,200||Undisclosed||9,300||2,200+||200+||Simultaneous Connections||6||Unlimited||5||7||Unlimited||10|
|Best deal (per month)||$3.19|
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SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 82% on the 2 year plan + 2 months FREE
SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan
SAVE 85% on the three year plan
Best VPNs for gaming on Xbox
Getting a VPN up and running on your Xbox is a bit more complicated than simply installing one on your PC or phone. As such, there were a few additional things we looked for when deciding on the best VPNs for Xbox users. Here’s a quick rundown of our must-have characteristics (more on these later):
- Compatible with the most common router firmware
- Provides high enough speeds for uninterrupted gaming and streaming
- Can bypass regional blocking on a wide variety of games and services
- Uses powerful encryption to protect your activities from snoopers
- Follows a no-logs policy to keep your privacy intact
Want to know more about how we test and rank the VPNs we recommend? Check out our methodology section below. For now, let’s take a look at the ones that made the cut.
Here’s our list of the best VPNs for Xbox 360, One, Series S, and Series X consoles:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our first choice for Xbox users. It has over 5,500 servers in 60 countries around the world and boasts some of the highest speeds we’ve seen, making it perfect for uninterrupted gaming. It’s an equally strong choice for streaming since it works with platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. This VPN supports 14 different types of router firmware, so there’s a solid chance your home router will be supported.
This service leads the industry when it comes to security. To begin with, it offers its own connection protocol, NordLynx, that’s faster and easier to audit than OpenVPN. There’s also a kill switch, 256-bit encryption, leak protection, and tracker-blocking built-in, as well as a true no-logs policy. Further, NordVPN recently moved to using RAM servers for even greater privacy. Customer support is available day and night over live chat.
NordVPN has its own Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android apps. There are also manual setup guides for a wide variety of routers, including those with DD-WRT and Tomato firmware.
- Over 5,500 servers in 60+ countries
- Top-tier speeds
- Capable of unblocking just about anything
- Zero-logs VPN with plenty of security tools built-in
- Provides around-the-clock support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Can’t use NordLynx and obfuscated servers at the same time
BEST VPN FOR XBOX:NordVPN is our top pick. With blazing fast speeds, a large network, and some of the strongest security tools on the market, it’s perfect for anyone hoping to play online games securely. This VPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.
For more information, check out our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is the best budget VPN for gaming on Xbox. Despite its low price point, this service delivers exceptionally high speeds, averaging 324 Mbps in our latest tests. With more than 3,200 servers in 100 countries, you shouldn’t have any issues finding one that’s suitable for your needs. Additionally, you’ll be able to access services like Netflix and HBO Max while connected. One other advantage of this VPN is that it allows any number of simultaneous connections.
Surfshark offers apps for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, and iOS. It supports plenty of different router firmware, though you will have to configure the device manually.
- Reliable servers in 100+ countries
- Ideal for streaming, gaming, or general browsing
- Fantastic speeds
- Strong security and privacy credentials
- No connection limit
- Settings menu could be refined
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is our top budget pick. Blends incredible speeds, a great set of security tools, and a zero-logs policy to create a privacy-first gaming VPN that won’t break the bank. New subscribers can take advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our comprehensive Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN has a lot to offer. For instance, it has more server locations to choose from than any other provider in this list. What’s more, its new Lightway protocol provides exceptionally high speeds, making it easy to stream and game securely while avoiding lag. This VPN works with services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. There’s an interactive setup guide for routers that’ll help you get up and running in no time.
This service keeps your activities private with the help of 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. Not only that, but it can block access to local devices such as printers. You can choose to let specific apps through the VPN, too. ExpressVPN doesn’t log any data that could personally identify you, but users are free to pay in Bitcoin for another layer of privacy.
ExpressVPN has Windows, Android, Linux, MacOS, and iOS apps. Additionally, it has its own newly revamped router firmware that makes it as easy as possible to secure every device on your home network.
- Simplified installation for routers
- Fast and great at evading detection
- Solid security offering
- Thousands of servers in 90+ locations
- On the higher end of the pricing spectrum
- Streaming servers aren’t labeled
EASY ROUTER SETUP:ExpressVPN boasts new and improved router firmware, taking the hassle out of getting set up. Thanks to its high speeds, strong security tools, and no-logs policy, it’s perfect for security-conscious gamers. All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Interested? Why not read our in-depth ExpressVPN review?
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost has one of the largest networks around, with roughly 9,000 servers in 90 countries. Notably, some of these are optimized for specific tasks (gaming, streaming, torrenting, and avoiding censorship). These are listed separately from the general-use servers to make them easier to find. Users will find that this VPN’s speeds are more than enough for most tasks, and since there’s no bandwidth limit, you can game as much as you like.
We’re big fans of services that prioritize usability, and CyberGhost checks all of the boxes. Its security features are enabled by default, its apps are well-organized, and support is on hand 24/7 to help with any issues you might have. As well as powerful encryption, a kill switch, tracker-blocking, automatic Wi-Fi protection, and leak protection, this VPN boasts a no-logs policy. As such, it can’t reveal details of your activities under any circumstances.
CyberGhost apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. If you’d prefer, you can manually install it on supported home routers.
- Huge network with gaming servers in the UK, Germany, and France
- Decent speeds, unlimited bandwidth
- No setup needed as all security features come pre-configured
- Easy-to-use apps with 24/7 support
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Settings may be too simplistic for power users
- Doesn’t work in China
VERY EASY TO USE:CyberGhost is a user-friendly VPN that comes packed with security tools. What’s more, it offers specific servers for gaming and is fast enough to handle whatever you throw at it. There’s even a 45-day money-back guarantee!
Still have questions? You’ll find answers in our full review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish offers access to more than 2,000 servers in 60+ countries, giving you the freedom to use services from all around the world and play with whoever you’d like. Better still, this provider has massively improved its speeds lately and averaged a staggering 488 Mbps in our latest testing. IPVanish doesn’t limit your bandwidth or the number of devices you can connect, and it works with popular platforms like Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max.
Despite its user-friendly appearance. IPVanish is packed with strong security features. There’s 256-bit encryption, for instance, plus DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, and a feature that can scramble your traffic to avoid detection. This service recently added support for the speedy, easy-to-audit WireGuard protocol as well. IPVanish doesn’t keep any logs whatsoever and provides 24/7 customer support over email and live chat.
IPVanish users have access to its Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS apps. Alternatively, it’s possible to manually configure AsusWRT, Merlin, DD-WRT, or Tomato routers to use this VPN.
- Has made huge improvements on speed lately
- Has a fantastic set of security tools
- Permits any number of connections
- Popular with Kodi users and torrenters
- Doesn’t work with as many streaming services as others on this list
- Based in the US – a 5 eyes member
EXCEPTIONAL SPEED:IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs around and its security offering is fantastic as well. A great choice whether you’re looking to play online games safely or simply access your favorite Xbox apps as you travel. Annual plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our complete review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN might only have 200 or so servers, but these cover 60+ countries and deliver some impressive speeds (we averaged 71 Mb/s in our most recent testing). Further, this VPN works with all kinds of games and streaming services, including Overwatch, Netflix, and Disney+. PrivateVPN recently upped its connection limit, allowing you to secure 10 devices at a time, and there are no bandwidth usage limits.
This service goes the extra mile where privacy is concerned. It acts as its own ISP and server host, meaning no other organization has access to your traffic at any time. Additionally, it follows a true zero-logs policy. The apps themselves include 256-bit encryption, leak protection, a stealth mode, and a customizable kill switch. Live chat is available most of the time, but the help desk does, unfortunately, go offline for a few hours each day.
PrivateVPN offers apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. It also has manual setup guides for Linux and seven different router firmware, including Linksys, QNAP, and pfSense.
- Among the fastest VPNs we’ve tested
- Works well with most games and streaming services
- Privacy-first provider that’s packed with security features
- Doesn’t quite offer 24/7 support
- Limited server choice
FAST AND SECURE:PrivateVPN is one of the most privacy-conscious providers around. Not only that, but it offers solid performance, exceptional unblocking ability, and a wide selection of security tools. New users can take advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To find out more, take a look at the full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.
Hotspot Shield users can choose from around 1,800 servers in 80+ countries. You’ll also have access to special gaming servers (located in the UK and US) that can help you lower your latency and access titles like Dota 2, Minecraft, and PUBG from anywhere. Speeds are generally decent, and you can connect up to five devices at a time, with routers and shared hotspots counting as a single device.
Of course, there are plenty of security tools built-in. These include a kill switch, protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks, and a kill switch. You can also select the Catapult Hydra protocol to bypass country-wide censorship (although recently, the apps added support for IKEv2 connections as well). Hotspot Shield deletes all personally identifiable information when your session ends, meaning your activities can’t be traced back to you. If you run into any problems, simply consult the website’s expansive help section or get in touch with support via the 24/7 live chat service.
Hotspot Shield apps are available for MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. It also works with a wide range of network routers, although you’ll have to install the service manually.
- Offers specially-optimized servers for streaming and gaming
- Reliable performance
- Takes user security seriously
- Some past privacy concerns
- Doesn’t support any anonymous payment options
GAMING SERVERS:Hotspot Shield users can connect to a high-speed gaming server in seconds. What’s more, this VPN is strong on security, easy to use, and able to unblock all kinds of services. Still not sure? All plans include a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Why not read our Hotspot Shield review?
How to game safely on Xbox using a VPN
Although you won’t find any VPN apps in the Microsoft store, it’s still possible to hide your true location and encrypt traffic from your console. Better still, while the exact menu options you’ll have to select will change between console generations, the following steps will work on any semi-recent Xbox. This includes Xbox 360 and all variants of Xbox One, including Series S and Series X consoles.
Method 1: Share your VPN connection from another device
If you have a second device, such as a PC, cell phone, or tablet, you might be able to create a portable wireless hotspot. This is relevant because as long as this device is connected to a VPN, anything that connects to the hotspot will be as well. It’s fairly easy to get started with this method, and you won’t have to manually configure anything, so we’d recommend it for novices who are interested in gaming with a VPN but not quite ready to face a router installation.
Here’s how to set up a VPN for your Xbox:
- First, sign up for one of the VPNs above (we recommend NordVPN)
- Install the VPN on your secondary device and log in
- Connect to a server in your desired location
- Now, set up a wireless hotspot on your PC or phone
- All that remains is to connect your Xbox to the hotspot and start gaming
Method 2: Install a VPN on your home router
This method is a little more complicated, but it has a couple of advantages over simply sharing a connection with your Xbox. First, every device that connects to your home network will gain the benefits of the VPN without any additional configuration. Additionally, you should see higher speeds since your traffic isn’t being routed through two devices.
The catch is that installing a VPN on your router is a pretty involved process that’s different for every model. Note that it can even render the router unusable if you do it wrong. On the plus side, most major VPNs offer step-by-step installation instructions (with images) on their websites. Just make sure that your router uses a supported firmware before beginning.
If you’re having trouble, feel free to contact support and ask them to guide you through the process; they deal with questions like this all the time and will be more than happy to help.
Final step: connecting your Xbox to the VPN
Now, we have to actually connect your console to the new, encrypted network that you’ve just created.
Here’s how to connect your Xbox to the VPN:
- Press the Xbox button on your controller
- Scroll across to the gear icon and press A
- Select Network settings under the General tab
- Choose Set up wireless network
- Finally, find your network in the list and enter the password
- That’s all there is to it. All of the data to and from your Xbox console is now encrypted.
Methodology: How we chose the best VPNs for Xbox consoles
You can’t just use any old VPN to protect your Xbox traffic. For a start, some of them won’t be reliable enough for playing online games or fast enough for streaming. Further, some VPNs can’t be installed on routers, and others offer lackluster security tools at best. To eliminate all but the best VPNs for Xbox, we created a list of key areas to consider and what we expect in each:
- Speed: If you’re looking to play online games or use your Xbox for streaming, slow VPNs simply won’t do. We regularly speed-test leading providers and only recommend those that boast top-level performance.
- Server choice: The larger the network, the higher the chance that there’ll be a suitable server near your physical location. Additionally, having lots of servers around the world helps the VPN shrug off DDoS attacks, ensuring that you’re always able to keep playing.
- Ease of use: We’re big fans of anything that makes your job easier. This might be 24/7 support, a lack of a connection limit, or even something as simple as user-friendly apps. In this scenario, we’d particularly like to see support for lots of different router firmwares and step-by-step installation instructions
- Unblocking ability: A VPN can’t help if games detect it and prevent you from playing. We look for providers that are able to beat VPN detection and geographic restrictions so that nothing can stop you from securely accessing your favorite services
- Security and privacy: SWATTING and doxxing are real threats, so we won’t recommend any VPNs that don’t boast exceptional security and privacy tools. These must include, at a minimum, 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and a no-logs policy. Of course, we like to see providers go even further than this
- Pricing: For a service to make our list, it has to be priced fairly for the functionality it offers. As well as comparing it to similarly capable rivals, we seek out the best deals and let you know about any trials or guarantees that the VPN offers
Seems like a fairly comprehensive list, right? However, this is only the beginning of our testing. There’s a whole post breaking down how we test VPNs at Comparitech if you’re interested.
Playing Xbox securely with a free VPN
There are a couple of major problems with free VPNs, but in a nutshell, they’re just a poor choice for gaming. The vast majority limit the amount of data you can use, with some going as low as 500 MB per month, so you wouldn’t be able to protect yourself every time you play. Additionally, these services are usually fairly slow, so you could run into problems like stuttering, rubberbanding, or random disconnection.
To make matters worse, these services often aren’t as secure as they like to make out. For example, we previously discovered that UFO VPN lied about keeping no logs. In actuality, it logged all sorts of information, stored the data in plain text, and hosted them online in a place where anybody could access them. Needless to say, you’d hope that the company you’re trusting with your personal information had a bit more of an eye for detail.
Gaming with a VPN: FAQs
Are there any VPN apps for Xbox?
While the Microsoft store has all kinds of apps, there currently aren’t any VPNs available in the version that’s available on Xbox. Additionally, it’s unlikely that any will arrive in the future, since Microsoft has a vested interest in making sure its customers don’t bypass the regional restrictions its games and streaming services put in place.
Still, there’s nothing stopping you from sharing your encrypted VPN connection from another device or simply installing the VPN on your home router.
Will a VPN slow down my connection?
Unfortunately, VPN encryption adds an extra step to the path your data travels, meaning your connection will always be slower with one active. However, the most popular providers are continually improving and optimizing their networks so that they have as small an impact as possible.
Generally, you can expect to lose about a third of your speed while connected to a VPN. Here’s the good news: you can play reflex-heavy games like Call of Duty: Warzone with a download speed as low as 5 Mbps. Obviously, the higher your speeds, the better, but as long as you’re getting around 10 Mbps without the VPN, you shouldn’t have any issues.
How can a VPN help me while gaming?
Gamers can use VPNs to their advantage in several ways. For instance, if your favorite game doesn’t let you change regions manually, you can simply connect to a server in your desired country and play against users in the same place. You could also hypothetically take advantage of region-exclusive events or bonuses this way.
Because these services hide your true IP address, other players won’t be able to tell where you are in the world or launch a DDoS attack that prevents you from playing. Even if your IP address is banned, you can just switch servers and get right back into the game.