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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Redeem your gift card on your Xbox Live Account.
- 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.
- Find your desired game in the updated Game Store and select your account’s funds as your payment method.
- If you are asked to provide an address, use the same one from Step 2.
- 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.