Leveraging our years of hands-on testing, we’ve curated the following factors to consider when selecting a VPN that works with your Xbox.
Your VPN’s speed plays a crucial role in gaming or streaming video. Fast internet speeds and low latency enhance your gaming experience. Because all virtual private networks result in some speed loss, you’ll want one of the fastest VPNs available. 4K video streaming on Netflix, Disney Plus or Amazon Prime requires solid internet to avoid buffering and pixelation. A high-performance VPN could also lower your ping. For instance, if you’re connecting to a game server far from your physical location, a virtual network near the game server might keep input lag to a minimum. If you’re having issues, you can attempt to fix your VPN connection.
Whether for tapping into game servers, accessing Xbox Game Pass internationally, or streaming foreign Netflix and Disney Plus libraries, an extensive server network is essential. Look for a high number of servers and a diverse set of countries as well. There are limited choices if your VPN provider boasts a vast list of servers clustered in a small number of locales. Wherever you are around the globe, you’ll enjoy more reliable connectivity with servers closer to your physical location.
Most VPN providers deliver competitive discounts for first-time subscribers, and you’ll usually save more money when signing up for a longer term, like a year or two. But we generally recommend against springing for more than a 12-month plan. Although your VPN service may be fast, secure and feature-rich initially, that company may go bankrupt, acquired or suffer a data breach over the next year. Because of the VPN space’s volatility, you should stick to an annual subscription for maximum savings without too much commitment. But it’s not just about the lowest price — often more expensive virtual private networks tout fast speeds, large server networks and excellent amenities. Ultimately, you should pick a VPN with the benefits you need.
Since Xbox consoles are all-around multimedia devices, think about entertainment. Streaming with a VPN lets you unlock access to international libraries on services like Netflix, Disney Plus or Amazon Prime. For instance, with a UK VPN enabled you can stream Prey — normally a Hulu exclusive in the US — on Disney Plus. The best VPNs for streaming can unblock many streaming services, letting you access foreign content or even enjoy videos while traveling abroad.
Help guides and customer support
Because there’s no directly installable app, using a VPN on Xbox consoles isn’t as straightforward as on other platforms. Instead of downloading an application on your Xbox, you’ll need to run a VPN on your router or connect with your PC as a bridge. Therefore, we suggest sticking with a company that provides detailed guides explaining how to use a VPN with your Xbox. Additionally, access to 24/7 live chat online and over the phone is helpful if you run into issues during setup.
Although gaming is relatively safe, aside from “one more match before bed” morphing into several hours, there are dangers associated with online play. As Kaspersky explains, distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attacks often target gamers. A VPN encrypts your network traffic for additional protection, giving you peace of mind while playing.