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Best VPN for Xbox

Charlotte Darrell
Charlotte DarrellUpdated

Microsoft’s Xbox One is one of the most popular games consoles on the market, but, as with any internet-enabled device, without using a VPN you risk exposing yourself to a host of potential privacy issues. Gamers can even be subjected to DDoS attacks, which target individual IP addresses, slow your internet connection to a halt and totally ruin your game. More generally, using a VPN prevents third parties from snooping on all your online activities. However, not all VPNs are compatible with Xbox One, so we’ve picked the top five to help make your decision a whole lot easier.

Currently, no providers offer custom apps specifically for Xbox One, so we’ve chosen VPNs that can be easily installed at router level. Our top picks also boast fast performance, with super low latencies for lag-free gaming, and speedy downloads for buffer-free HD streaming- not to mention access to popular streaming sites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Our recommendations offer high levels of privacy, user-friendly apps, and top-notch customer service so that your experience will be as sleek and secure as possible.

The 5 Best VPN Services for Xbox
  1. ExpressVPN
  2. IPVanish
  3. PrivateVPN
  4. CyberGhost
  5. SaferVPN
Read on for our detailed analysis of each VPN.
Our pick for Xbox
ExpressVPN

Reliable all-rounder with simple setup on the Xbox.

Best price
$6.67 per month
Special deal
49% off 15-month plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
94 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
3
Pros
  1. Fast performance of up to 224Mbps locally
  2. Simple setup solutions for games consoles
  3. Easy access to Netflix & iPlayer
  4. P2P allowed on all servers
  5. Offer pre-flashed routers & loads of setup guides
  6. Connect securely to 94 countries
Cons
  1. Three simultaneous connections only
  2. Could be cheaper on longer plans
Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is our top pick for Xbox One and is also the most reliable all-round provider. While it’s not as speedy as other providers on individual servers, ExpressVPN still offers super fast download speeds, low latency and unrivalled consistency across its server network.

As well as loads of easy-to-follow setup guides and the option of buying a pre-configured router, ExpressVPN also offers a simple streaming service for Xbox One (and a host of other devices) called MediaStreamer. Bear in mind that this doesn’t encrypt your data, so should be seen as a useful extra for the full-featured VPN service, not a replacement.

ExpressVPN boasts a sensible privacy policy, a host of great security features and top notch 24/7 live chat support. Our only gripe is that you are limited to three simultaneous connections, but this shouldn’t affect most. There are cheaper providers out there, but for just $6.67 on the 15-month plan, it’s still great value for money and hard to beat on almost all fronts.


Read our full ExpressVPN review

2
IPVanish

Super fast zero-logs VPN with reliable access to Netflix.

Best price
$6.49 per month
Special deal
46% off with 12-month plan
Money-back guarantee
7 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
61 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
10
Pros
  1. Super fast local speeds of up to 348Mbps
  2. Reliable access to Netflix
  3. All servers are torrenting-friendly
  4. Pre-configured routers available
  5. 10 simultaneous connections
  6. Connect securely to 61 countries
Cons
  1. Clunky apps
  2. Access to iPlayer inconsistent
  3. Seven-day refund period could be longer
Bottom Line

IPVanish offers lightning-fast speeds across the board, but doesn’t quite measure up to the full package offered by ExpressVPN.

Consistently low latencies make IPVanish ideal for slick, lag-free gaming experience and downloads are also more than fast enough for buffer-free HD streaming. Access to Netflix is reliable, but you can’t currently watch BBC iPlayer. Performance isn’t as impressive connecting internationally, but this won’t affect most.

IPVanish is also a great choice for those seeking high levels of privacy, with a strict zero-logs policy as well as some essential security features, including a VPN kill switch and protection against DNS leaks.

Our biggest gripe about IPVanish is its clunky desktop app, but it’s simple enough to use when you get the hang of it. Setting up the VPN on popular routers is a doddle with simple step-by-step guides and live chat support is available 24/7 live chat should you run into any issues. It may not be the cheapest provider out there, but at $6.49 per month on the annual plan, it’s great value for money.


Read our full IPVanish review

3
PrivateVPN

Budget-friendly VPN with low latency and access to to popular streaming sites.

Best price
$3.60 per month
Special deal
67% off with 17-month plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
Live chat Support
No. of Server Locations
57 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
6
Pros
  1. Fast local downloads reaching 395Mbps
  2. Fast access Netflix & iPlayer
  3. P2P permitted on all servers
  4. Compatible with many different routers
  5. Six simultaneous connections
  6. Connect securely 57 countries
Cons
  1. Could offer more individual servers
  2. Live chat support intermittent
Bottom Line

PrivateVPN is a pretty recent addition to the VPN market and is a great choice for first-time VPN users who don’t want to spend a lot to protect their Xbox One (and other devices).

Super low latency and impressive downloads make PrivateVPN a good choice for gaming and streaming, made even better by fast and easy access to popular streaming sites, like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. It comes in behind IPVanish due to its low number of individual servers, at just 100 spread over 57 countries, which could lead to congestion at peak times.

PrivateVPN is another zero-logs provider that offers a range of privacy extras, including a VPN kill switch and first-party DNS servers. You can’t buy pre-flashed routers, but PrivateVPN does offer simple setup guides for a wide array of routers on its website.

Customer support is a bit of a mixed bag – live chat is inconsistent but there are loads of helpful resources on the website. PrivateVPN may not be as well-established as our other top picks, but it’s definitely worth considering for the low price of just $3.60 a month on the 17-month plan.


Read our full PrivateVPN review

4
CyberGhost

Quirky zero-logs VPN with fast downloads and advanced security features.

Best price
$2.75 per month
Special deal
77% off with 18-month plan
Money-back guarantee
45 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
60 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
7
Pros
  1. Peak local downloads of up to 238Mbps
  2. Dedicated streaming servers for Netflix & iPlayer
  3. Offer pre-configured routers
  4. Seven simultaneous connections
  5. Innovative apps for popular devices
  6. Connect securely to 60 countries
Cons
  1. Latency very lagging on some servers
  2. Could offer more IP addresses
Bottom Line

CyberGhost is a quirky zero-logs VPN, offering innovative apps, fast performance, and some great security features at a very cheap monthly cost.

While download speeds are more than fast enough for HD streaming on multiple devices, CyberGhost’s latency comes in quite high in some locations, which could potentially interrupt your gaming experience. Thankfully, you can test out your preferred servers risk-free with the generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost offers high levels of privacy and advanced security features, such as split tunnelling and first-party DNS servers. You can protect your Xbox One by connecting it to a configured router – there are helpful installation guides for this on CyberGhost’s website, or you can buy one that’s been pre-flashed to support the VPN. If you need extra help, friendly live chat agents are on hand to assist you 24/7.

CyberGhost is a solid option for gamers and streaming fans – just check that speeds are fast enough on your preferred servers – and for a mere $2.75 a month on the 18-month plan you can rest assured that your online activities will remain private.


Read our full CyberGhost review

5
SaferVPN

Budget VPN with speedy downloads and reliable access to Netflix & iPlayer.

Best price
$2.29 per month
Special deal
80% off with 3-year plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
34 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
5
Pros
  1. Speedy local downloads of up to 236Mbps
  2. Reliable access to Netflix and iPlayer
  3. Easy setup on routers
  4. Five simultaneous connections
  5. Connect securely to 32 countries
Cons
  1. Very limited server network
  2. Torrenting only permitted on three servers
  3. Based in privacy-unfriendly US
  4. Customer service needs improvement
Bottom Line

SaferVPN is a budget VPN that makes it into our top five VPNs for Xbox One for its fast global performance, compatibility with loads of router types and reliable access to popular streaming sites, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

We found speeds to be zippy on local connections, with low latencies in most popular locations, meaning that you can game without experiencing too much lag and watch your favorite shows in buffer-free HD.

SaferVPN is incorporated in the US, which is a potential red flag, but its minimal logging policy goes a long way to make up for the hostile local privacy laws. A host of added features, including the VPN kill switch and protection against DNS/IPv6/WebRTC leaks, makes it a secure choice for gamers and streamers. You can also buy a router with the VPN pre-installed, which is an added bonus.

If you’re willing to commit to the three-year plan, you can save a massive 80%, meaning that you’ll pay just $2.29 a month. If you don’t need access to loads of server locations and will mainly be using the VPN for gaming and streaming, SaferVPN is a great option for those on a shoestring budget.


Read our full SaferVPN review

How we picked the best VPN for Xbox One for 2018

There are a few things to take into consideration when choosing a VPN for your Xbox One. Most importantly, all of our top picks have easy step-by-step guides for manually installing the VPN on your existing router and some even offer pre-configured routers, since no native apps currently exist for the games console. Our recommendations also offer super fast performance across their server network for lag-free gaming and HD streaming, as well as access to popular streaming services. They boast privacy-friendly logging policies, user-friendly apps and helpful customer support should you ever get stuck.

Our recommendations for Xbox One are kept up-to-date, as we re-test our best VPNs on a weekly basis to ensure that they still offer access to popular services and the same blazing speeds as the week before. We test performance using our automatic speed testing tool, so you can rest assured that they are always accurate, meaning that you can choose the best one for your needs.

How to use a VPN with Xbox One

There are a couple of ways to use a VPN with your Xbox One, but we are yet to come across a native VPN app for the popular games console. The most straightforward way is to install the software at router level, which will protect all connected devices in your home. This is a fairly simple process – easy enough for first-time VPN users. We have written a handy step-by-step guide to installing a VPN on your router, but all of our top picks have their own if you need more specific instructions. Most of our recommendations also offer routers that come with the VPN pre-installed if you’re looking for a plug-and-play option.

The other way to protect your Xbox One is by piggybacking off the connection of another device running the VPN software, such as a laptop or smartphone. This doesn’t require too much technical knowhow and most providers offer detailed instructions on their websites. It’s a great option for those who don’t want to fiddle around with router settings.

Once you’ve decided how you’re going to connect your Xbox One you need to choose a VPN protocol and server. Our preferred protocol is OpenVPN as it offers the best balance between performance and privacy, so choose that wherever possible. In terms of selecting a server, you’ll need to opt for the one closest to your physical location in order to get the best speeds possible. Once that’s all done, you’re good to go – safe in the knowledge that your online privacy is being protected through a secure, encrypted connection.

How to choose a VPN for Xbox One: 7 Tips

  • Is it easy to install at router level?

    Currently there are no native VPN apps for Xbox, meaning that the best way to it is by installing the VPN at router level, which will cover all connected devices in your home. Not all providers offer router compatibility, so be sure to choose a provider that can be installed on your current router. Some providers even offer routers that come with the VPN pre-installed, but it’s worth bearing in mind that these can be very costly.

  • How fast is the VPN in your favourite location?

    Lag-free gaming is a must for Xbox One users, so you’ll want a VPN that offers super low ping times. Some of our top picks boast latency of under 2ms on some servers, but just be sure to connect to server nearest to your physical location for the best performance. If you also use your Xbox for streaming, you’ll need download speeds of at least 20Mbps for HD video. Our top picks go above and beyond that, offering blistering speeds of well over 100Mbps for buffer-free streaming on multiple devices.

  • Does the VPN have servers in every location you need?

    In order to get the best performance possible, you need to connect to a nearby server, so make sure to pick a VPN that offers locations close to you.

  • What other devices are you going to be using the VPN on?

    Protecting your Xbox One with a VPN is a great place to start, but we strongly recommend that you use one on all internet-enabled devices to ensure your personal data is kept private. Be sure to pick a provider that offers a native app for each device you want to protect, and allows you to use the VPN on multiple devices simultaneously.

  • Will it work with your favorite apps?

    You may well use your Xbox One for its non-gaming capabilities, like streaming unfortunately, not all VPN providers have access to major services such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer. Our top picks for Xbox One offer quick and easy access to popular sites, but if streaming is your main priority, be sure to check out our roundup of the top VPNs for streaming.

  • Are the client apps and software easy to use?

    Lighting-fast speeds are great, but if the VPN app is clunky and tricky to navigate, you won’t want to use it on a regular basis. Choose a provider with user-friendly apps that can be installed onto your preferred devices within minutes. We spend hours testing out VPN apps so that you don’t have to you can find out what we thought about them in the Ease of Use section of each provider’s review.

  • Finally, check the price and money-back guarantee

    Most providers offer a range of pricing plans, but generally speaking the longer the plan the cheaper the monthly cost. While it can be costly subscribing on a month-to-month basis, opting for the 12-month plan could save you loads of money. With these longer commitments, be sure to choose a provider that offers a generous refund period just in case you change your mind- the best ones offer ‘no questions asked’ 30-day money-back guarantees.