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Playing an Xbox allows gamers to engage in multiplayer battles, co-ops, and limitless entertainment. Still, online gaming can also put you at risk against various threats such as data breaches, identity theft, and similar cybercrimes.
As a workaround, many players use virtual private networks (VPNs) to safeguard their privacy. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to set up a VPN for your Xbox and the step-by-step process for each method.
Can You Use a VPN on Xbox?
Xbox consoles do not natively support VPNs. That means using a VPN on Xbox is more challenging than installing it on your laptop. Instead, you can set up a VPN-protected hotspot on Windows or your router. Some VPN services, including Surfshark, can protect virtually any Xbox.
Best VPNs for Xbox
Let’s take a look at the best VPNs for Xbox.
NordVPN is one of the best VPN providers for gamers. It is easy to set up and offers several standout features, such as threat protection, split tunneling and a dark web monitor. The VPN not only blocks ads, malware and trackers, but you can also get notifications when your information gets leaked while gaming. If the connection drops, the kill switch feature will prevent your device from internet access.
NordVPN offers fast connection with 5,800-plus ultra-fast servers in 60 countries. The Meshnet feature lets you build virtual networks for LAN gaming with your gaming buddies. Build a private encrypted network, invite your friends, then you’re all set. If your connection becomes slower due to prolonged gaming sessions, NordVPN can protect you from bandwidth throttling.
The ultra-fast VPN lets you play on Series X, S, Xbox One and Xbox 360. Beyond using a VPN on an Xbox console, your subscription can cover up to six devices.
Proton VPN is a reliable VPN service with anonymous browsing, a kill switch, DNS protection and split tunneling. There’s also a free forever plan with limited servers, but with their premium plan you get access to more than 2,900 servers across 65-plus countries and protection for up to 10 devices. And the VPN Accelerator lets you play on a high-speed server with unlimited bandwidth and data. It is 100% open source with no activity logs.
As for gaming, Proton VPN lets you access geo-restricted games including Lost Ark, PUBG and Ragnarok Online II. All traffic is encrypted with ChaCha20 so you can play securely on public Wi-Fi. At the same time, you can connect to the same server as your friends to have the best gaming experience.
Surfshark is a well-rounded VPN service that has 3,200-plus encrypted servers in 100 countries. You get unlimited connections on all your devices, even with a single account. Also, it is packed with core features including anonymous browsing, dedicated IP, kill switch and split tunneling.
Surfshark has got you covered when it comes to gaming. The service offers distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection to protect yourself from hackers and lets you hide your IP address on Discord or other chats. You can prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from throttling your data for fast speeds on long gaming sessions. You can even hop on the same server for a fast gaming experience if your friends are worldwide.
How To Set Up a VPN on an Xbox
To connect your Xbox to the VPN service, make sure you know about their essential features—such as IP address, subnet mask, VPN login information, and more.
Note that VPNs do not natively support Xbox consoles. As a result, you can’t install and set it up as quickly as on your laptop or mobile device, but other methods are available.
Here are some methods for setting up a VPN:
Connecting a VPN to an Xbox through Windows
Connecting a VPN to an Xbox through your router
We cover these options and how to set them up below.
- On your Windows computer, press the Windows button.
- Type the “cmd” command and right-click at the Result List Entry Command prompt.
- Select the “Run As An Administrator” > type “netsh wlan show drivers” on the command prompt > press the Enter button.
- Connect the computer to your VPN. This is a straightforward process.
- Get your Xbox on the same network as your computer. Type the password, and your activities and IP address will be confidential.
Through Your Router
When you set up a VPN on your router, all devices connected to your home network will be protected. The VPN’s encryption and security features will benefit all smartphones, tablets, computers, gaming consoles (including Xbox), smart TVs and other internet-connected devices.
Configuring a VPN on your router depends on your router’s brand, model and the VPN service you’re using. Generally, most routers support VPN connections, but not all routers have built-in VPN support. For example, the VPN service IPVanish collaborated with FlashRouters to offer routers with VPN built in. IPVanish will be preinstalled and pre-configured once you purchase its routers.
While the setup process may differ based on your router, here’s how the process usually works:
1. Follow the documentation instructions on the router to connect it to your VPN. Usually, this process involves signing up for your VPN service, identifying your router’s IP address, and using the IP address to log in to your router.
2. Next, find the tab labeled “Control Panel” or the screen that controls the network connection. It can also be called different titles such as WAN Setup or Network if you don’t see them.
You know you’re in the right place once you see text fields with a heading labeled “DHCP” and text fields such as Address, Subnet Mask and Gateway Address.
3. Type the details of your VPN service. The VPN service usually has the information you need to connect to your VPN, such as the IP address, subnet mask and VPN login information.
4. It’s time to connect your Xbox to the router at this stage. Turn on your Xbox and select “Guide.”
5. Select Settings > General > Network Settings.
6. Hold A and go to “Set Up Wireless Network.”
7. Connect the Xbox to your wireless home network. Type the password, and you’re all set.
Benefits of Using a VPN on Xbox
There are several reasons to consider using a VPN on Xbox, including:
Access Geo-Restricted Content
You can connect to servers in different countries by using a VPN on Xbox to access Game of the Year (GOTY), Lost Ark and PUBG, which have region-specific restrictions. That means you can make it seem like you are located elsewhere and gain access to content unavailable in your region.
Reduce DDoS Threat
DDoS attacks can be a significant nuisance for online gamers. Imagine playing Fortnite or Counter-Strike, then you lose your connection, or your game lags. Malicious actors may target your IP address, which leads to disruptions. With a VPN, your IP address remains concealed, making it harder for potential attackers to target you directly.
Improved Online Gaming Performance
What if your friends are on another regional server? A VPN can optimize your experience by letting you switch to a gaming server closer to them. It can reduce lag, lower ping times and provide a more secure connection.
Enhanced Security and Privacy
Naturally, VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and add a layer of security to your online activities. This encryption prevents hackers and snoopers from intercepting sensitive data, such as login credentials, personal information and payment details.
Protection From Swatting
Swatting is a dangerous prank that involves someone calling the police to claim a false emergency that leads a SWAT team to go to an individual’s location. A VPN hides your IP address to add an extra layer of protection against potential swatting attempts.
Secure Multiplayer Communications
Voice chats and in-game messaging systems can be vulnerable to prying eyes, particularly in multiplayer games. A VPN encrypts these communications, so your conversations remain confidential. If you have children, a VPN adds more privacy protection. You can shield them from potential online risks and keep their gaming experience safer.
Connecting your Xbox to a VPN allows you to access region-restricted content, keep your sensitive data private and protect yourself from hackers. Although Xbox does not offer native integration, you can set up your VPN through Windows or a router. Installing a VPN via a router is the ideal option because all devices connected to the Wi-Fi will have the capabilities of your VPN. There are many VPNs available depending on your needs. To narrow down your options, check out our list of the best VPNs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I set up a VPN on Xbox One?
Xbox consoles do not natively support virtual private network (VPN) installation. However, a popular alternative is connecting your Xbox to a router, hotspot or computer with VPN protection.