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How to Use ExpressVPN on Xbox

Callum Tennent oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his VPN advice has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society.

Additional Research by Harry Ferrigno

Our Verdict

ExpressVPN is a great VPN for all Xbox consoles thanks to its fast speeds, Smart DNS service, and easy router setup. It’s one of the best VPNs for changing your Xbox’s location, unblocking US Netflix, and avoiding ISP throttling. Learn how to set up ExpressVPN on your Xbox One & Series X|S in this guide.

Using ExpressVPN on Xbox

Connecting your Xbox to a virtual private network (VPN) lets you stream geo-restricted video content and improve your online gaming experience.

A top-rated VPN, like ExpressVPN, conceals your IP address and internet activity, protecting your online connection from ISP throttling.

ExpressVPN is a top gaming vpn that works well on Xbox consoles, including the Xbox Series X|S. It’s very fast, secure, and has a Smart DNS service designed for working with games consoles.

Microsoft doesn’t currently support native VPN apps on the Xbox game store. This means you can’t install ExpressVPN directly onto your console like you would with a smartphone or desktop computer.

However, you can still set up ExpressVPN on your Xbox by following one of these three methods:

  1. Use ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer (Smart DNS) for a quick and easy setup
  2. Connect your Xbox to your PC for private and secure gaming
  3. Install ExpressVPN on your router to cover multiple devices

Here’s a summary of how these setup methods compare:

Smart DNS Connect via PC Install on Router
Set-Up Difficulty Easy Medium Hard
Location Spoofing Yes Yes Yes
Works with Netflix Yes Yes Yes
Encrypts Your Data No Yes Yes
Hides Your IP No Yes Yes
Speed Very Fast Fast Fast

EXPERT ADVICE: If you want to set up ExpressVPN on your Xbox without using a computer, we recommend installing it on your router.

If you are looking for the easiest way to change your location on Xbox, we strongly recommend using ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer. It’s quick to set up and very easy to use.

If privacy for online gaming is an absolute priority for you, then we suggest you connect your Xbox to a VPN WiFi hotspot.

In this guide, we’ll explain all of these methods with step-by-step tutorials. We’ll also outline how you can use a VPN on Xbox and discuss whether ExpressVPN is a good choice for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

Finally, we’ll introduce VPN alternatives that also work well on Xbox.

Why Trust Us?

We’re fully independent and have been reviewing VPNs since 2016. Our advice is based on our own testing results and is unaffected by financial incentives. Learn who we are and how we test VPNs.

Can You Use ExpressVPN on Xbox?

ExpressVPN is one of very few VPN services to provide both a router app and a smart DNS system to accompany its native application. These features make it relatively easy to use ExpressVPN to change your location on Xbox and bypass Microsoft’s ban on native VPN apps.

Microsoft’s current policy also states that VPNs can be used on Xbox and are even recommended by Xbox Support as a possible solution to prevent DDoS attacks:

Xbox Support advises using a VPN to prevent DoS and DDoS attacks

Microsoft Support encourages you to use a VPN to protect your console.

There are, however, strict rules around the usage of VPNs on Microsoft services. The Microsoft Code of Conduct warns customers not to “willfully circumvent any restrictions on access to or availability of the Services”, which may apply to spoofing your online location.

Despite Microsoft’s warnings, we have never known a user to be penalized for using a VPN to access geo-restricted content.

The Xbox Community Standards go on to say that action will only be taken against account holders that carry out a “severe violation” of these terms. It’s reasonable to assume that you won’t face account suspension for using ExpressVPN to access geo-restricted content on Xbox.

How to Set Up ExpressVPN's MediaStreamer on Xbox

Using ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer is the simplest way to spoof your location on your Xbox One or Series X|S.

You can’t encrypt your traffic or hide your IP address with MediaStreamer, but Smart DNS is faster than a VPN.

Smart DNS is therefore ideal for gaming and for changing location to unlock other Netflix regions.

You won’t need to install any VPN software, or update your router settings. You do, however, require a subscription to ExpressVPN.

Follow the steps in the video below to use ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer on your Xbox console. You can also use our DNS testing tool at any point to see which DNS servers your device is using.

It's easy to set up and use MediaStreamer on your Xbox console.

To set up ExpressVPN’s Smart DNS on your Xbox:

  1. Create an ExpressVPN account: ExpressVPN’s Smart DNS and VPN services start from $6.67 a month.
  2. Find your public IP address: Your IP is assigned by your ISP and serves as a unique identifier for your internet connection.
  3. Give ExpressVPN your IP address: You need to give ExpressVPN your IP so that it can recognize you and add your internet connection to its DNS services. Do this by selecting DNS Settings within your Account profile.

    Under IP address registration, select Register my IP address. You don’t need to do this if your IP address already says registered. Enable automatically register my IP address to allow ExpressVPN to monitor any changes to your IP address.

  4. Get your DNS server IP address: Go to ExpressVPN’s Setup page. Under ExpressVPN for Xbox, locate the blue box containing your DNS server IP. Make a note of this address.
  5. On your Xbox One go to Settings: The icon looks like a gear.
  6. Select General > Network Settings > Advanced Settings > DNS Settings.
  7. Choose Manual for the IPv4 DNS settings.
  8. Add your DNS server IP: Input the DNS IP from step 4 into both Primary IPv4 DNS and Secondary IPv4 DNS.
  9. Your Xbox is now configured with ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer.

MediaStreamer is great for spoofing your location on Xbox, smart TVs, and other games consoles, but it won’t encrypt your data like a VPN does.

Smart DNS services do not conceal your IP address, and all of your online activity will be visible to your ISP and third-parties.

We strongly recommend you do not use MediaStreamer for anything involving sensitive information.

How to Set Up ExpressVPN on Xbox Using a PC

By routing your console’s traffic through your desktop PC or laptop, you can also share your VPN connection.

The ExpressVPN app on your PC will encrypt your Xbox traffic and change your online location. Unlike installing a VPN on a router, the VPN connection can be easily turned on and off when running on a PC.

ExpressVPN's apps for Windows and macOS

The process for connecting your Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S to your computer depends on which operating system you have and whether you prefer a wired or wireless connection.

Connecting your Xbox to your Mac over Wifi requires extra steps as you can’t use the native ExpressVPN app. Instead, you’ll need to manually configure a L2TP/IPsec VPN connection.

The user interface for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S consoles are all identical and therefore require the same setup.

EXPERT ADVICE: Unlike on Windows, you cannot connect your Xbox console to a macOS computer via an ethernet cable. You will, however, need to use an ethernet cable to connect your iMac or MacBook to the router.

The links below will take you to a setup guide for your preferred device or operating system:

If you want to use one of the Windows methods then follow our video below to learn how to turn your PC into a VPN hotspot:

You can make your VPN hotspot accessible by WiFi or Ethernet.

How to connect your Xbox to your Windows PC over ethernet:

Subscribe to ExpressVPN and download its Windows app. Do not connect to a VPN server just yet.

  1. Connect your PC to the router and your Xbox to your PC: This process requires a PC with two available ethernet ports to connect both your Xbox and router.

    If you haven’t got enough ports, buy an internet connection card or use WiFi to connect to your PC.

  2. Change your adapter settings: On your Windows go to Settings > Network & Internet and under Advanced network settings select Change adapter options.
  3. Find the ExpressVPN TAP adapter: It was automatically installed when you downloaded ExpressVPN. Right-click its symbol and select Properties.
  4. Click the Sharing tab: Check the box for Allow other users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection.
  5. Enabling sharing to your Local Network. Expand the dropdown menu under Home Networking Connection and select Ethernet 2. Click OK to apply the changes.
  6. Start your ExpressVPN connection. Run ExpressVPN on your PC and connect to your preferred server.
  7. Confirm your changes: On your Xbox, go to Profile & System > Settings > General > Network Settings.

    Under Current Network Status it should say Wired and your NAT Type should now read as moderate. Our instructions for changing your NAT Type explain this process more in-depth.

How to connect your Xbox to your Mac over WiFi:

Subscribe to ExpressVPN but do not download its native macOS app. You can only share a VPN connection from a Mac computer by using the L2TP/IPsec manual configuration.

  1. Connect your Mac to the internet. You must use an ethernet cable to connect to the internet otherwise you won’t be able to share ExpressVPN’s connection over WiFi.
  2. Obtain your ExpressVPN credentials. Sign into your ExpressVPN account and under Manual configuration select L2TP/IPsec.

    This will display your username, password, and a list of available server addresses. Make a note of your credentials and your preferred server location.

  3. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Network. Select the plus symbol in the bottom left corner and input the following:
    • Interface: Select VPN from the drop-down menu.
    • VPN Type: Choose L2TP over IPsec.
    • Service Name: Create a name that helps you identify your ExpressVPN connection. We recommend ExpressVPN + your server location.

    Then, click Create.

  4. Configure your L2TP/IPsec connection. Return to the Network window and enter the following:
    • Configuration: Select Default.
    • Server Address: Input your chose server address from Step 2.
    • Account Name: Enter the username generated in Step 2.
  5. Authenticate your L2TP/IPsec connection. Select Authentication Settings and enter the following:
    • Password: Input the password generated in Step 2.
    • Shared secret: Type in 12345678.

    Click OK and then select Advanced. Tick the box for Send all traffic over VPN connection and then click OK > Apply.

  6. Connect to the L2TP/IPsec VPN. Find your connection under Network and select Connect.
  7. Enable sharing for your VPN connection. Go to System Preferences > Sharing > Internet Sharing. From there, select the following:
    • Share your connection from: Select your L2TP/IPsec VPN from the drop-down menu.
    • To Computers using: Tick the box for WiFi.
  8. Fill in your Wifi credentials. Enter the following for the WiFi options:
    • Network Name: Create a name that helps you identify your network.
    • Channel: Leave this as its default.
    • Security: Choose WPA2 personal.
    • Password: Create your own password.

    Click OK to confirm the changes.

  9. Start sharing your ExpressVPN connection. Return to the Sharing window, and tick the box for Internet Sharing.

    Select Start to begin sharing your ExpressVPN connection from your Mac computer.

  10. Connect your Xbox to your Mac: Go to Profile & System > Settings > General > Network Settings > Set up Wireless Network > Select your L2TP/IPsec connection.

How to connect your Xbox to your Windows PC over WiFi:

Subscribe to ExpressVPN and download its Windows app. Do not connect to a VPN server just yet.

  1. Access the Command Prompt: Type cmd into the Windows search bar and right-click the Command Prompt symbol. Select Run as administrator.
  2. Allow the Command Prompt access to your computer: A window will appear requesting permission to make changes to your device, click Yes.
  3. Confirm that you’re able to share your WiFi: Type netsh wlan show drivers and press Enter. The line Hosted network supported should say Yes, otherwise you’ll need to upgrade your adapter drivers or your wireless card.
  4. Enable WiFi Sharing: Within the command prompt input the following: netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=NetworkName key=NetworkPassword. The NetworkName and NetworkPassword are just examples for the purpose of this guide and need to be replaced with a name and password of your choosing.

    Ensure you pick a strong password to protect your PC and a network name that you can recognise. Now press Enter to finish configuring the WiFi sharing.

  5. Start WiFi Sharing: Type netsh wlan start hostednetwork into the command prompt. You will see a message confirming that WiFi Sharing has begun. Now you will need to enable sharing on ExpressVPN.
  6. Find your adapter settings: On your PC go to Settings > Network & Internet and under Advanced network settings select Change adapter options.
  7. Locate the ExpressVPN TAP Adapter: It was automatically set up when you installed ExpressVPN. Right-click its icon and select Properties.
  8. Select the Sharing tab. Tick the box for Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection.
  9. Select WiFi. Go to Home Networking Connection and choose WiFi from the dropdown menu. Click OK to apply the changes.
  10. Start your ExpressVPN connection. Connect to a server of your choice and any device that now connects to your PC will use the VPN.
  11. Connect your Xbox to your PC: Go to Profile & System > Settings > General > Network Settings > Set up Wireless Network > Select your PC’s connection.

If you want to check that the VPN is working on your Xbox, open the Microsoft Edge app on your Xbox and search ‘What is my IP’.

If the VPN is working properly, your search results should display an IP address from the server location you connected to.

How to Set Up ExpressVPN on Your Router for Xbox

Installing ExpressVPN on your home router will protect every device in your local network – including your Xbox console.

Our testing confirms that it’s the best router VPN and the easiest to install.

ExpressVPN Router App

ExpressVPN’s router app as it appears on our test Windows device.

The simplest way to set up ExpressVPN on your router is to buy a pre-flashed router with the VPN already installed. This is not a cheap solution and will cost you a minimum of $150, but it is much easier than manually configuring the VPN router yourself.

Alternatively, you can set this up yourself but you’ll need to get a router that works with ExpressVPN. Older routers that support L2TP/IPsec or PPTP protocols are no longer compatible with ExpressVPN. Your router needs to fully support the OpenVPN protocol to work properly.

Some routers will support OpenVPN by default, while others may require you to change the firmware on the router. This can be a difficult process and requires some technical knowledge, but if you’re up for the task then refer to our setup guide for how to install a VPN on your router.

Below is a list of routers that are supported by ExpressVPN including those that ExpressVPN recommends and some examples of unsupported routers:

Recommended Supported by ExpressVPN Unsupported (with native firmware)
Works out of the box:

  • Linksys WRT3200ACM
  • Netgear R6400v2/R6700v3
  • Asus RT-AC68U
  • Asus RT-AC56 (U/R/S)
  • Asus RT-AC87U
  • Linksys WRT1200AC
  • Linksys WRT1900AC(S)
  • Linksys WRT32X
  • Netgear R6300v2
  • Netgear R6400v2
  • Netgear Nighthawk R6700v3
  • Netgear Nighthawk R7000
  • Netgear Nighthawk R7000P
  • Other Asus Models
  • D-Link
  • DD-WRT
  • Netduma
  • Sabai
  • Tomato
  • TP-Link
  • Xiaomi

Regardless of how you choose to install ExpressVPN on your router, the end result will be that all of your internet traffic will pass through an ExpressVPN server. As long as your Xbox is connected to your router, all of your activity will be protected without you having to make any extra changes.

EXPERT ADVICE: Installing ExpressVPN on your router lets you bypass the service’s five-device limit. By setting the VPN up at router-level, you can connect an unlimited number of devices within your local network.

ExpressVPN Not Working on Your Xbox? Here's How to Fix It

Once you’ve got ExpressVPN installed on your Xbox, you should be able to get started streaming or gaming straight away.

However, if ExpressVPN isn’t working, follow the instructions in this section to properly spoof your location, solve any DNS issues, and bypass the Netflix blocks.

What to Do If You Can’t Change Your IP Location on Xbox

If you’ve followed all of our steps to change your location on Xbox and still can’t access geo-restricted content, then you may need to change your location in your console’s settings.

The Xbox settings allow you to change your location and language

You can change your online location in the Xbox settings.

To change your region on Xbox One & Series X|S

  1. Sign in to your profile on your Xbox console.
  2. Navigate to Profile & System > Settings > System > Language & Location.
  3. Select the relevant location for your geo-restricted content and then press Restart Now.
  4. Once your console turns back on, the Xbox Games Store will now display content from your chosen location.

WARNING: Any money in your Microsoft account will not move with you. We recommend spending any remaining funds in your account before switching to a new region. You can only switch regions every three months so you won’t be able to access your money until then.

How to Fix DNS Issues with ExpressVPN

The Domain Name System (DNS) on your console takes your request to join a game lobby or access the Netflix App, and translates that into the relevant IP to create a connection.

Using ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer will change your default DNS settings, which can lead to the error message: DNS isn’t resolving Xbox server names.

Here are some solutions to reconfigure your DNS and fix your Xbox’s connection:

Fix 1: Spoof your MAC Address

Microsoft Support recommends spoofing your Media Access Control (MAC) Address as the best solution for fixing a DNS error on Xbox.

To Spoof Your MAC Address on Windows:

  1. Type cmd into the Windows Search bar and open the Command Prompt app.
  2. Type ipconfig/all into the Command Prompt text box and click Enter.
  3. Find your Computer’s MAC Address, listed as Physical Address, and make a note of it. Note: Do not include the dashes when writing down the Address.
  4. On your Xbox console, go to Settings > General > Network Settings > Advanced > MAC Address.
  5. Now type in the information from Step 3.
  6. Reset your console to ensure the changes are registered.

To Spoof Your MAC Address on macOS:

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner and select System Preferences.
  2. Then, click Network and navigate to your current WiFi or ethernet connection.
  3. Select Advanced > Hardware.
  4. Make a note of your MAC Address. Note: Do not include the dashes when writing down the Address.
  5. On your Xbox console go to Settings > General > Network Settings > Advanced > MAC Address.
  6. Now type in the information from Step 4.
  7. Reset your console to ensure the changes are registered.

Fix 2: Reset your Router and Console

Restarting your router and Xbox console will allow the DNS settings to reset themselves.

To restart your router and Xbox:

  1. Press and hold the Xbox button on your controller.
  2. Select the power symbol and click on restart.
  3. Unplug your router and wait 1 minute before plugging it back in.

Note: After restarting, you may have to go back to your Xbox’s network settings and input your ExpressVPN DNS server IP address again.

What to Do if ExpressVPN Isn’t Unblocking Netflix on Xbox

If you’re unable to access geo-restricted content on the Xbox Netflix app, it’s likely that Netflix has detected ExpressVPN and blocked your server’s IP address.

In this case, you’ll have to connect to a different ExpressVPN server on your PC, macOS, or router app. Then reconnect your Xbox to the device and open the Netflix app as usual.

If you’re still struggling to connect, try out some of our fixes for using ExpressVPN with Netflix.

What Can You Do with a VPN on Your Xbox?

You should consider using a VPN on your Xbox to access Netflix’s international libraries, avoid Internet Service Provider (ISP) throttling, and prevent DoS attacks.

A VPN cannot be used to access games in different regions for earlier release dates or discounted prices. Moreover, VPNs are useless for protecting against more sophisticated attacks such as DDoS attacks.

1. Access geo-restricted Netflix libraries

You can’t encrypt your traffic or hide your IP address with ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer but you can change your virtual location to unlock restricted Netflix libraries.

Connecting your Xbox to a computer or router with a VPN installed will also let you access international Netflix libraries while encrypting your traffic.

Using ExpressVPN to access US Netflix on Xbox

ExpressVPN consistently unblocks US Netflix on Xbox.

MediaStreamer routes your Xbox’s traffic through ExpressVPN’s smart DNS servers, changing your DNS address. This spoofs your location and makes it appear as if your connection request is originating from a different location.

Connecting to a VPN server location on your computer or router will also spoof the location of your connected Xbox.

Using ExpressVPN to access BBC iPlayer on Xbox

MediaStreamer can access BBC iPlayer on any Xbox console.

This feature is not limited to Netflix and can work on a number of streaming services including Disney+ and Apple TV.

If you are based in the US you can use MediaStreamer to access popular British Streaming services such as BBC iPlayer and All 4 on your Xbox.

If you’re using the computer or router method, you can access any streaming service, regardless of where you’re based, as long as you connect to the appropriate location.

2. Avoid ISP throttling

Some ISPs may throttle high-bandwidth activities such as streaming, torrenting, and gaming. This will worsen your connection speed and increase your latency.

This is unlikely to happen on your household’s local network, but there’s precedent for it in public spaces with shared bandwidth such as hotels and college accommodation.

If you travel with your Xbox or are temporarily living in a shared accommodation then you may find your connection throttled in an attempt to reduce bandwidth consumption.

A VPN encrypts your traffic, meaning your ISP cannot see what you’re doing online. If an ISP can’t see the nature of your traffic then they can’t throttle your connection.

Smart DNS doesn’t encrypt your traffic so ISP throttling can still happen. If you want to avoid throttled speeds when using your Xbox, you’ll need to install ExpressVPN using your PC or router.

3. Protect against DoS Attacks, but not DDoS

If you compete in e-sports, participate in Twitch streaming, or generally play games online then you may have experienced a DoS attack.

A denial of service (Dos) attack floods your IP address with massive volumes of traffic to slow down your connection speed and potentially disconnect you from the internet.

This happens because many games use P2P matchmaking to connect gamers, exposing your public IP address to everyone you’re playing with.

Connecting to a VPN assigns you the IP address of the VPN server. This hides your real IP making DoS attacks near-impossible.

A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is much more advanced and involves multiple malicious third-parties spamming your IP with traffic.

These attacks tend to be faster, more severe, and longer-lasting.

A commercial VPN is simply unable to protect against or prevent a prolonged DDoS attack.

4. Can you use a VPN to get Xbox games cheaper & earlier?

It’s widely reported that by spoofing your location with a VPN, you can access regions with cheaper games and earlier release dates.

This is a difficult claim to verify as region switching on the Xbox store can be difficult. Typically you would not use a VPN to switch regions, but it can be a possible solution to force your Xbox store to register a change in online location.

If you want to buy an Xbox game in a different region, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Microsoft Store on your Xbox or browser – this is not the Xbox Store. Click on the globe icon at the bottom of the page and change your location to one you want to buy from.
  2. Search for ‘Xbox digital gift card’ on the store and buy one that covers the price of your game. The store should have updated to match the language and currency of your new region.
    If you are asked to provide an address, use a publicly available one from the region you’ve switched to e.g. a hotel or restaurant.
  3. Redeem your gift card on your Xbox Live Account.
  4. Now go to the Xbox Game Store and scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on the globe icon to change your location to the same one from Step 1.
  5. Find your desired game in the updated Game Store and select your account’s funds as your payment method.
  6. If you are asked to provide an address, use the same one from Step 2.
  7. Download the game as you normally would.

If your Xbox Game Store does not recognise that you’ve changed your location settings then we recommend installing ExpressVPN to force the change. If problems still persist then refer to our troubleshooting section on region switching.

However, this shouldn’t be necessary as both the Xbox One and the Xbox Series X|S are not region locked. This means that any Xbox console, sold in any region, can play any Xbox game — i.e. a European Xbox One can play a North American copy of Call of Duty.

This does not apply to licensed media content such as Netflix or Blu-Ray DVDs. If you want to access international Netflix libraries on your Xbox then you will need to use ExpressVPN.

Is ExpressVPN a Good Choice for Xbox?

ExpressVPN is a great choice for accessing geo-restricted content, preventing ISP throttling, and keeping your IP concealed on Xbox. In fact, ExpressVPN is the best Xbox VPN we’ve tested.

It’s also the number one VPN for PUBG Mobile and our top-rated VPN for gaming generally.

Testing ExpressVPN we recorded fast international speeds and low latency, which means you can trust it for reliable gaming, streaming, and browsing on your Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

In this section, we’ll explain why ExpressVPN is such a good fit for Xbox users:

3,000+ VPN Servers in 106 Countries

ExpressVPN has one of the most extensive server networks we’ve reviewed, with 3,000 VPN servers across 160 cities in 106 countries.

The shorter the distance to a VPN server, the faster your connection speeds. ExpressVPN’s wide server coverage will ensure minimal speed loss when playing online.

ExpressVPN's app for macOS

Extensive server coverage is also vital for accessing geo-restricted content. ExpressVPN has servers spanning the US, Europe, Africa, and Asia, ideal to unblock geo-blocked games on your Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

This works well with Xbox’s wide range of native apps for entertainment services.

Xbox supports the following streaming services:

  • Netflix (US & UK)
  • Disney + (US)
  • Twitch
  • BBC iPlayer (UK)
  • All 4 (UK)
  • YouTube
  • Crunchyroll

Extremely Fast International Speeds

Maintaining high speeds is an essential part of online gaming, especially in more competitive games.

Your connection speed can determine:

  • Matchmaking times: Whether you’re searching for an opponent in a P2P match or connecting to a dedicated multiplayer server, faster connection speeds will hasten the matchmaking process. Some matchmaking algorithms may even prioritize you by the strength of your connection.
  • In-game connectivity: You need fast internet speeds to stay connected to the game server. On larger games with multiple opponents, and potentially demanding hardware requirements, a consistent connection speed can help maintain a high level of performance.
  • Latency: The time it takes for data to leave your device, travel to the game server, and return back to your device is called latency. You want your latency to be as low as possible otherwise it will cause your gameplay to stutter or ‘lag’. A fast connection speed results in a lower latency, minimizing the impact on your gaming experience.

While ExpressVPN cannot improve your connection speeds, it can minimize the speed loss you may experience when routing your Xbox’s traffic through a VPN server.

ExpressVPN’s lightway protocol consistently produces fast speeds in both our short-distance and long-distance tests:

Location Download (Mbps) Upload (Mbps) Ping (ms)
Local (No VPN) 100Mbps 100Mbps 4.00ms
US 97Mbps 91Mbps 8ms
UK 93Mbps 92Mbps 74ms
Germany 87Mbps 89Mbps 204ms
Japan 83Mbps 89Mbps 145ms
Australia 83Mbps 91Mbps 69ms

ExpressVPN is also one of the fastest VPNs we have tested. Connecting from the UK to Singapore, we recorded a mere 15% speed loss, which is almost unparalleled by other VPN services.

Our ping never exceeded 20ms on nearby US connections and remained below 100ms when connecting to the UK.

A ping of less than 30ms is ideal for gaming, but any ping below 100ms is still viable for multiplayer.

ExpressVPN will not boost your speeds when gaming, but it will match your pre-existing connection speeds with minimal speed loss.

Strong Encryption & Security Features

ExpressVPN offers an impressive range of security features including its own private DNS, leak protection, and diskless TrustedServer technology.

The VPN service also comes with industry-standard AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and access to the OpenVPN protocol.

In our testing, we found ExpressVPN’s kill switch to be highly dependable and effective. On the rare occasion our VPN connection dropped, the kill switch immediately blocked our internet connection.

This means you IP address won’t be exposed in the unlikely event of a VPN connection failure. If you’re concerned about potentially losing connection to your online game, you can always disable the kill switch in the ExpressVPN app.

ExpressVPN Xbox Alternatives

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for gaming overall, but when it comes to Xbox VPNs you should consider NordVPN and CyberGhost, too.

Here’s a table comparing the top VPNs for gaming and streaming on Xbox:

NordVPN: The Best VPN for Security on Xbox

NordVPN's app for macOS

NordVPN is the most secure VPN we’ve tested on Xbox consoles. It uses secure open-sourced protocols and strong encryption to protect your connection from DoS attacks and malicious third-parties.

The VPN also registered a ping time of 8ms, so won’t experience any excessive lag when using NordVPN on your Xbox.

You can use NordVPN on your Xbox by installing it on your PC, router, or using its Smart DNS service, which can consistently unblock US Netflix.

Avid gamers will be happy to know that NordVPN works well on PS4 and PS5, too.

Furthermore, we’ve verified NordVPN is safe and secure, with a private logging policy, state-of-the-art encryption, and a working kill switch.

CyberGhost: Streaming-Optimized Xbox VPN

CyberGhost's VPN app for macOS

CyberGhost is a great service equipped with AES-256 encryption, fast WireGuard speeds, and an extensive server network.

The VPN service is optimized for streaming geo-restricted content on Xbox, with streaming-dedicated servers and a Smart DNS service.

In fact, CyberGhost’s Smart DNS tool is quick to set up and capable of unblocking US Netflix, UK Netflix, and Hulu.

However, our CyberGhost speeds tests revealed its long-distance speeds were not as consistent as ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

Having said that, CyberGhost is still fast enough for online gaming. It also has one of the largest server networks available so you’ll always have a server nearby.

Proton VPN Free: Best Free VPN for Xbox

ProtonVPN's free VPN app for macOS

Proton VPN Free is one of our best free VPNs, and a great option for Xbox consoles, too.

Unlike most free VPNs, Proton VPN Free doesn’t impose a monthly data cap on your usage. You can therefore use the VPN for an unlimited amount of time.

Proton VPN Free’s server coverage is heavily restricted to the Netherlands, US, and Japan, though. If you’re not located near these locations it’s unlikely you’ll experience a stable connection.

However, if you upgrade to Proton VPN’s premium service, you’ll have access to 2,970 servers in 68 countries.

During our speed testing, we only experienced a 2% speed loss when connecting to Proton VPN Free’s US server and a ping of just 9ms.

Proton VPN’s speed performance is particularly impressive for a free service, and is fast enough for a lag-free gaming experience.

Remember, Proton VPN Free does not have a Smart DNS service or a router app. There are currently not free VPNs that offer either of these features.

To use Proton VPN Free on your Xbox you will first need to install the VPN onto your computer and then connect your console to its network.