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The 5 Best VPNs for Xbox One in 2021 (+ How to Setup VPN)

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

June 16, 2021

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Are you ready to discover the best VPNs for Xbox?

It goes without saying that online gaming on the Xbox One is an experience that’s hard to beat. Do you enjoy kicking back and playing a bit of Call of Duty or FIFA after a hard day at work? Me too! The thing is… when you’re gaming online, you may not be as safe as you think. 

As soon as your gaming console is connected to the Internet, you’re exposed to browsing dangers. So, what can you do about it? 

Of course, if you’ve been on this website before, you will know all about a little gem called a ‘VPN’, which is offered by providers like NordVPN. This is an application increasingly used by users of any kind of internet-connected device to ensure that their online streaming/gaming experience is seamless, reliable, and secure. 

However, it may not be as straightforward as you think to find the VPN that’s right for your Xbox One, your needs, and/or budget. That’s why I’ve gone ahead and written this highly informative guide, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of endless, frustrating research that leaves you feeling overwhelmed & confused. 

By the end of this review, I’ll have explained all the technical & practical knowledge you need to find the VPN that’s perfect for your Xbox One needs, as well as some handy VPN setup guidance when using VPNs for Xbox.

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The importance of VPNs: what do they do?

VPNs are clever applications that help users turn their browsing experience safe, anonymous, and private by masking their IP (internet protocol) addresses, as well as their online activity. 

In doing this, a VPN will ‘mask’ your IP address by making it seem as though you are browsing from another network at a different location by creating a virtual data tunnel, making your online activity untraceable. 

And, because most VPNs don’t track or log your online activity, your history doesn’t get stored, making your virtual experience entirely safe from tracking by ISPs, governments, search browsers, and websites. This is because anything you do online whilst using a VPN is linked to the VPN’s servers, not to you. 

Beyond this, VPNs also use an encryption process that scrambles your data, protecting you from the growing rise in malicious websites and cybercrime even in the event of a data leak. Because your sensitive personal information (such as login details, passwords, etc.) cannot be decrypted and used for malicious purposes, VPNs help you stay safe from ‘hackers’, and crimes such as phishing or identity theft.

Why do you need VPNs for Xbox One in 2021?

The fact that the Xbox One is a gaming console makes no difference to the ever-present need for privacy and protection, given that it’s just as reliant on internet connectivity for most activities as any other similar device. 

As such, the Xbox One makes you equally prone to online risks the same way any other internet-connected device would, which means that if you’re after reliable, secure, and private browsing, you need a trustworthy VPN. 

So, here are some of the benefits a VPN could bring your Xbox One gaming/streaming experience in 2021:

Bypass geoblocking 

Geo-restrictions are clever limitations put in place to prevent certain content from being accessible in specific regions. They affect users no matter what device they’re using, including gaming consoles. 

So, if you’re really after that Xbox One game with early release in prime locations, you can overcome such restrictions by using a VPN due to its IP address & user data masking function. 

This could also come in handy with game pricing, or any other products sold at different rates in different locations, so get ready to buy that new game at the best available price! 

Overcome bandwidth ‘throttling’ and IP bans

As I briefly mentioned, some ISPs have a bad habit of throttling your bandwidth by limiting your online speed. This can prove quite frustrating in the middle of an online gaming session when there’s no room for lagging. With a VPN, however, your online activity would be connected to the VPN’s servers, making this annoying practice an issue of the past.

You may also have run into IP banning issues, where certain companies or service providers won’t allow you to access their website depending on where you’re trying to access them from. Once again, the server-hopping and IP-masking beauty of VPNs makes this dilemma vanish altogether. 

Get that premium gaming experience 

I think it goes without saying that, once you’ve got your Xbox One setup and ready for gaming, you’re after that premium gaming experience that’s HD and lag-free… I know I always am! 

Perhaps one of the top benefits of using a VPN on your Xbox One is that, if you end up opting for a high-end VPN application, you can improve the quality and speed of your gaming experience, which also extends to video streaming. This is because a great VPN will run on high-speed servers that will go towards bettering your Xbox One enjoyment.

Prevent DDoS attacks

If, like me, you enjoy getting downright competitive from time to time, you must’ve felt the hairs rising on the back of your neck at some point or another, dreading a potential ‘DDoS attack’ by a spiteful online adversary. Not a nice feeling, is it?

‘DDoS’ stands for ‘distributed denial of service’, and a DDoS attack will happen when remorseful competition decides to target you and your Xbox One gaming experience by rendering your console temporarily unable to connect to the Internet or to the Xbox network. 

This is where using a VPN on your Xbox One usefully comes into play. Because your IP address is masked, your identity is anonymous, and your data is protected, such attacks simply cannot be carried out. 

VPNs for gaming: what do you need to consider?

With the continuing rise of the VPN market, there’s an overabundance of VPN applications. The thing is, not all of them have all the necessary features for you to enjoy your Xbox One experience to the fullest extent. In fact, there are multiple factors you should be considering. 

So, to make your experience way easier than mine was, I’ve included some of the most important criteria that should play an important part in the search for the Best Xbox One VPN in 2021:

Gaming privacy

Whenever you’re considering a VPN for your Xbox One, you should consider whether it protects the privacy and security of your gaming or streaming. In order for your sensitive personal information to stay private & be protected against malware, cybercrime, etc., you should ensure that the VPN provides for a comprehensive security package. 

The best high-end VPNs will tick this box through a number of different mechanisms, such as: 

  • Military-grade encryption, also commonly known as ‘256-bit encryption’, which encrypts (or ‘scrambles’) your data so that it cannot be accessible to anyone even in the event of a leak, 
  • DNS and IP leak protection, which ensures that the risk of a data leak remains low, and is a feature commonly tested by trustworthy VPN reviews, allowing you to rest easy knowing that your data will not end up in the wrong hands, and
  • Zero-log policy, or a ‘no-log’ policy, which provides that the VPN application will not log your data by storing it for whatever reason, allowing your digital footprint to disappear after your session ends.

Geographical coverage

Then, you want to make sure that any VPN you’re considering enjoys great geographical coverage. This is because, as you’ve learned so far, VPNs work by making it seem as though your online activity is situated at a different server location, namely the VPNs servers. 

Now, because different geo-locations offer different benefits when it comes to the virtual world, this means that the more locations a VPN has servers in, the more benefits you could enjoy as a user. 

Server number, optimization & connection speed

If a VPN application uses an extensive number of servers, there’s more servers available for their users to use, and less users per individual server. This means that you get to connect more quickly, and your online experience will be fast, reliable, and lag-free.

Beyond this, something that should be very important for any Xbox One user when choosing a VPN in 2021 is whether the VPN’s servers are optimized for gaming and video streaming

Having an impressive server amount can only get you so far, so it’s a must for any VPN application you’re considering to also have optimized servers so that your Xbox One experience benefits from impressive speeds, HD quality, and no unwanted latency. 

Router compatibility

Next, because most high-end VPNs don’t enjoy native support on the Xbox One platform, nor are there are any formal downloadable VPN applications for the Xbox One, you need to make sure your chosen VPN offers router compatibility. 

This is a necessary feature which ensures that you can actually setup & use a particular VPN on your Xbox One. 

Connection allowance: devices & data 

Lastly, any VPN you choose for your Xbox One should have a great connection allowance in terms of data/bandwidth, as well as devices. Because you want to enjoy your gaming or streaming experience to the fullest, you don’t want to go for a VPN that has a low bandwidth allowance, which limits the amount of data you can utilize whilst online. 

Device allowance is equally important. Although you’re on the hunt for the best VPN for your Xbox One, that’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy fast, secure, and anonymous browsing on all your other devices. So, make sure to watch out for a VPN that offers a connection allowance for multiples devices.

The 5 Best VPNs for Xbox One in 2021

What sort of VPNs do I recommend for Xbox One? Let’s take a look…

NordVPN Pros:

NordVPN Cons:

#1 | NordVPN

As my top VPN recommendation for the Xbox One in 2021, NordVPN is astoundingly fast on the Xbox One, allowing your online gaming & video streaming to run at unbeatable speeds, without any lagging. I was personally impressed by how fast & seamless my Xbox One experience became once I started using NordVPN. Their speed is undoubtedly thanks to their impressive server amount of 5,400+ servers and extensive geographical coverage compassing over 59 territories. 

When it comes to privacy & protection, NordVPN doesn’t disappoint. Because of their double VPN, military-grade encryption, zero-logging policy, comprehensive protection against data leaks, and CyberSec protection against malware & ads, you can rest assured that your sensitive personal information & online activity stays anonymous and secure. Plus, the fact that this VPN provides for protection against DDoS attacks makes NordVPN a top choice for competitive Xbox One gamers like me!

Not only is this VPN optimal for gaming, but also offers extensive streaming support through SmartPlay Smart DNS settings, allowing you to enjoy your favorite Xbox One content at the best qualities. And, because of its connection allowances of unlimited bandwidth and up to 6 simultaneous connections, you can game & stream at your leisure. 

Beyond this, NordVPN’s multiple setup protocols are router compatible, enabling you to set this high-end VPN up on your Xbox One at your discretion. Personally, I didn’t run into any issues when I was setting this high-end VPN on my Xbox One, and found the process hassle-free!

Although NordVPN does not offer a trial or free version, it does come at a competitive value price, as well as a comforting 30-day money-back guarantee if you happen to believe the application falls short of your expectations. And, in the event of any issues, their comprehensive customer support is sure to help you solve any problem you run into. 

Features

  • Price: no trial or free version, check out my special deal, 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Privacy: 256-bit encryption (military grade), zero-logging policy, automatic kill switch
  • Protection: self-owned DNS servers, DNS and IP data leak protection, malware & ad blocking through CyberSec technology, DDoS protection, Double VPN
  • Geographical coverage: 59 countries
  • Server amount & optimisation: 5,400+ servers, worldwide streaming support, SmartPlay (Smart DNS)
  • Speed: astoundingly fast
  • Connection allowances: unlimited bandwidth, up to 6 devices
  • Router compatibility: IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPSec 29 router instruction guides available
  • Customer support: email support, interactive knowledge base, 24/7 live chat

Does NordVPN sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

ExpressVPN Pros:

ExpressVPN Cons:

#2 | ExpressVPN

My runner-up in the best VPNs for Xbox One category is ExpressVPN, an application that provides you with ultra-fast speeds, making your video streaming & online gaming experience fast & reliable. Whilst this VPN fell slightly short of NordVPN, I was similarly impressed with its quick and lag-free performance during gaming, resulting from its distinguishable geographical coverage extending across 160 sites, as well as 3,000+ servers. 

ExpressVPN offers extensive privacy & protection through its military-grade encryption, inbuilt kill switch, data leak protection, and split tunnelling feature. On top of these features, this VPNs zero-logging policy and TrustedServer technology that erases your online history are sure to protect your Xbox One online anonymity. 

With this application’s MediaStreamer Smart DNS features, you can rest easy knowing ExpressVPN’s servers are optimized for online gaming as well as video streaming, helping you enjoy your favorite Xbox One content at competitive speeds & qualities. On top of this, the unlimited bandwidth and up to 5 simultaneous connections allowances will ensure your online needs are covered. 

Providing multiple setup protocols, ExpressVPN offers router compatibility so that you can enjoy this application on your Xbox One. And, if you’re finding the process a little too daunting, their 24/7 live chat will come to the rescue by lending a helping virtual hand. 

However, the setbacks with this VPN are that it’s a little more on the expensive side, doesn’t offer a free trial, its device allowance is lower than NordVPN’s, and it doesn’t protect against online ads, which may come to frustrate Xbox One users.

Features

  • Price: no trial or free version, $12.95/mo, 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Privacy: 256-bit encryption (military grade), zero-logging policy, automatic kill switch
  • Protection: DNS and IP data leak protection, split tunneling feature, TrustedServer technology
  • Geographical coverage: 160 sites
  • Server amount & optimisation: 3,000+ servers, MediaStreamer (Smart DNS)
  • Speed: ultra-fast
  • Connection allowances: unlimited bandwidth, up to 5 devices
  • Router compatibility: Lightway, IKEv2, IPSec OpenVPN, WireGuard protocols
  • Customer support: 24/7 live chat

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

CyberGhost Pros:

CyberGhost Cons:

#3 | CyberGhost

CyberGhost is my third choice one the list of best VPNs for Xbox. Offering extremely fast speeds by virtue of its impressive server amount of over 7,100 servers, as well as great geographical coverage of 111 global locations, your Xbox One gaming and streaming will run seamlessly at great speeds. 

And, thanks to its military-grade encryption, data leak protection, ad blocking, and various security protocols, you can rely on this VPN to make your Xbox One activity private & secure. Additionally, it’s zero-logging policy and NoSpy servers will keep your sensitive personal data secure & get rid of any virtual trail you leave behind, helping you stay anonymous. 

By virtue of its optimized servers thanks to its Smart DNS settings, as well as the unlimited bandwidth and 7-device allowance it provides, CyberGhost will allow you to game online & stream your favorite Xbox One content at optimal speeds & qualities, without having to worry about ever running out of data. 

Like my other contenders, CyberGhost provides for router compatibility by enjoying multiple setup protocols, ensuring you’ll be able to complete the setup process successfully. Beyond this, its customer support is comprehensive and provides for several solution mechanisms for any of your issues. 

However, CyberGhost lacks more advanced configuration options (although this does mean it’s great for beginners), is a little on the expensive side, and can give rise to lagging on occasion. Because of the latter, this may not be the ideal choice for some Xbox One users.

Features

  • Price: free trial, $12.99/mo, 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Privacy: 256-bit encryption (military grade), zero-logging policy, automatic kill switch, NoSpy servers
  • Protection: DNS and IP leak protection, ad blocking, various security protocols
  • Geographical coverage: 111 sites
  • Server amount & optimisation: 7,100+ servers, worldwide streaming support with Smart DNS settings
  • Speed: extremely fast
  • Connection allowances: unlimited bandwidth, up to 7 devices
  • Router compatibility: IKEv2, OpenVPN, IPSec, WireGuard protocols
  • Customer support: support ticket system, support library, 24/7 live chat

Does CyberGhost sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

Surfshark Pros:

Surfshark Cons:

#4 | Surfshark

Surfshark performs at extremely fast speeds, enjoys impressive geographical coverage, as well as a satisfactory number of servers. It’s not hard to see why it is one of the best VPNs for Xbox. Because of this, your Xbox One gaming & streaming should match your expectations. 

What makes this VPN a great candidate in my review is its extensive privacy and security features. From military-grade encryption, zero-logging policy, split tunneling, to data leak protection, CleanWeb ad blocking, and MiltiHop double VPN, Surfshark’s protection & anonymity features will leave you impressed. 

And, thanks to its optimized servers that are gaming & streaming friendly, you can rely on this VPN to help you get the best out of your Xbox One and access your preferred content. Additionally, given its unlimited bandwidth and device allowance, there’s no limit standing in your way when it comes to how much you can do. 

Because Surfshark provides for several setup protocols, this VPN is router compatible, which means you’ll be able to get your Xbox One ready to go as soon as you want.

However, the trick with Surfshark is that you may run into some connectivity issues due to its fairly small server amount in comparison to its competitors. It also comes at slightly more expensive pricing, which can prove to be a deal-breaker to Xbox One users given the risk of lagging.

Features

  • Price: 30-day free trial, $12.95/mo, 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Privacy: 256-bit encryption (military grade), zero-logging policy, inbuilt kill switch, WhiteLister split tunneling
  • Protection: IPv6, DNS and IP leak protection, CleanWeb ad blocking, MultiHop double VPN
  • Geographical coverage: 63 countries
  • Server amount & optimisation: 1,700+ servers, worldwide streaming support, SmartDNS
  • Speed: extremely fast
  • Connection allowances: unlimited bandwidth, unlimited devices
  • Router compatibility: IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, Shadowsocks protocols
  • Customer support: support contact form, support library, 24/7 live chat

Does Surfshark sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

IPVanish Pros:

IPVanish Cons:

#5 | IPVanish

IPVanish is deemed one of the best VPNs for Xbox. It performs at very fast speeds, enjoys great geographical coverage, and a satisfactory amount of servers. Because of this, you can enjoy video streaming & online gaming on your Xbox One at a standard that is quick & reliable.

In terms of privacy & protection, IPVanish offers some impressive features. Benefitting from military-grade encryption, split tunnelling, data leak protection, as well as a zero-logging policy & inbuilt kill switch, your online anonymity will be safeguarded, and your Xbox One experience protected from dangers. This VPN option also offers some additional privacy features such as Privacy Check and SugarSync, so you don’t have to worry about your sensitive personal data. 

And, thanks to its streaming & torrenting optimized servers, unlimited bandwidth, and 10-device allowance, you can get the most out of your Xbox One by gaming online & streaming your favorite content at optimal qualities without latency. 

As IPVanish offers several setup protocols, this VPN enjoys router compatibility, enabling you to use this application on your Xbox One after you’ve completed the setup process. Additionally, in the event of any issues, you can rely on their 24/7 customer support to assist you in finding solutions. 

However, IPVanish does suffer from some limitations which can prove discouraging to Xbox One users. For one, its customer support can take up to 2 days to come to your aid, which can prove highly frustrating. Beyond this, like Surfshark, this VPN is still growing its network and falls behind VPNs with impressive server availability like NordVPN, so your connection may sometimes end up being laggy. 

Features

  • Price: 30-day free trial, $10/mo, 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Privacy: 256-bit encryption (military grade), zero-logging policy, inbuilt kill switch, split tunneling
  • Protection: DNS and IP leak protection, Privacy Check, Password generator, SugarSync
  • Geographical coverage: 75 countries
  • Server amount & optimization: 1,600+, worldwide streaming support, SOCKS5 torrenting proxy
  • Speed: very fast
  • Connection allowances: unlimited bandwidth, up to 10 devices
  • Router compatibility: IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec protocols
  • Customer support: 24/7 phone, email and live chat support

Does IPVanish sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

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How to setup a VPN on your Xbox

Method 1: SmartDNS configuration

As one of the easiest ways of setting a VPN up on your Xbox One, this avenue is available for high-end VPNs that benefit from SmartDNS settings, like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost and Surfshark

The only step that this method requires is for you to update your Xbox One DNS settings with the settings of your VPN server. Then, you’re ready to go!

Method 2: Using a VPN-configured router

As the most expensive setup method, this approach requires you to purchase a pre-configured VPN router from a VPN provider. 

This type of router would arrive ready for use, so all you would have to do is follow the router’s instructions to get it up and running and connect to the network through your Xbox One! 

Method 3: Configuring your home router for VPN use

As the most trustworthy and reliable method, this setup approach requires you to re-configure your home router to install a VPN. The best thing about this method, although slightly more complicated than the previous, is that any device that is connected to your router will be VPN-protected at no extra cost, including your Xbox One of course.

First, you need to log into your home router’s control panel by using the details usually located on a sticker on the back or side of your router.

Next, you would need to manually input the details of your chosen VPN into your home router. This requires you to read & utilize the instructions provided by your VPN provider, as well as those on your Wi-Fi router. 

Then, once your VPN has been installed on your router, all you need to do is connect your Xbox One to your network, and you’re set!

Method 4: PC setup via Ethernet cable

For this last setup method, you’re going to need a PC and an Ethernet cable. Once you’ve plugged the Ethernet cable into your PC, download your chosen VPN on the PC, and connect to your home network.

Then, access the PC’s ‘Control Panel’, select ‘Network and Sharing Center’, then select ‘Change Adapter Settings’. You should see an icon with the VPN you downloaded. Perform a right-click on this icon, then select ‘Properties’.

Next, select ‘Sharing’ then click ‘Allow’ for other users to connect through the PC’s network connection. Lastly, connect your Xbox One, and the VPN setup should have been a success!

Best VPN Overall for Xbox One in 2021: NordVPN

As my recommendation for the Best VPN for Xbox One in 2021, NordVPN is the clear overall winner that far surpasses its competition. And, speaking from experience, ever since I started using it my Xbox One experience has been astoundingly fast, and as private, secure, and lag-free as it’s ever been.

So, if NordVPN is your top choice as well, make sure to take advantage of their current value deal of 65% off a 2-year plan!

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