If you need an Xbox VPN to stream safely, avoid DDoS attacks, and stop ISP throttling, you have come to the right place. After researching and testing dozens of VPNs, these are our top recommendations to use with an Xbox:
- NordVPN: The best VPN for Xbox
- CyberGhost: Dedicated gaming servers
- ExpressVPN: Fast and easy to install
- Surfshark: Affordable and safe
- IPVanish: Advanced security and stable servers
- Private Internet Access: Massive server choice
- Ivacy: Cheapest Xbox VPN
A good Xbox VPN can improve your gaming experience by ensuring a stable connection, and also hide your IP address, thus protecting you from any malicious activity online while you play.
A good VPN for Xbox can help you play multiplayer games on servers around the globe, protect yourself from DDoS attacks, and even circumvent ISP throttling. The best VPN for Xbox can solve all of those problems, and more.
It’ll keep you safe online, unblock geo-restricted content, and even protect streamers from serious issues like doxing and swatting. But with so many different VPNs to choose from, it can be a bit difficult to select the right one.
We tested more than 25 different VPNs to arrive at our list of the 7 best VPNs for Xbox that you can use to maximize your gaming experience, and most importantly, keep yourself safe.
The Seven Best VPNs for Xbox
All of the best Xbox VPNs ensure that your ping remains low. Low ping is incredibly important to ensure an uninterrupted gaming experience, especially when you play online.
But connection speed is not the only thing that matters. The ideal Xbox VPN has a robust security infrastructure, a large server network, and great service, all for an affordable price. With those criteria in mind, here’s a quick overview of our top 5 recommendations:
|Number of servers||5,300+||7,000+||3,000+||3,200+||2,000+|
|Number of countries||59||91||94||95||75|
|Ping (ms) on nearby servers||5-10||6-12||5-11||7-14||11-35|
|Protocols||OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard||OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard||OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, Lightway||OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard||OpenVPN, WireGuard, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP|
|Download||Get NordVPN||Get CyberGhost||Get ExpressVPN||Get Surfshark||Get IPVanish|
These VPNs may look similar, but they all have different perks and features. Some have SmartDNS for easy access to streaming services, and others have dedicated gaming servers. Not to mention, there are more than five decent VPN apps for Xbox. We’ve researched all of your options and written about them in-depth.
1. NordVPN: The best VPN for Xbox overall
- 5,300+ optimized servers
- Marginal speed drops
- Unlimited bandwidth
- SmartDNS-compatible if you stream on the Xbox
- Supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard
NordVPN is the best VPN for Xbox if you need to play games without any lag or connectivity issues. Whether you’re a gamer or a streamer, NordVPN will protect you from DDoS attacks, doxing, or swatting. It has a robust set of security features, including a firm no-logging policy, military-grade encryption, protection against IP and DNS leaks, as well as a kill switch.
What’s great is that NordVPN achieves all of this without sacrificing your connection speed. We tested NordVPN’s servers with a base speed of 100 MBps, and the results were great. On nearby servers, we maintained a speed of 90-95 MBps. Even when connecting to faraway servers, we still had 70-80 Mbps. So if you want to play games on your Xbox without any lag, we highly recommend NordVPN.
And it’s not expensive either. NordVPN will cost you less than a coffee a month. In my book, that’s a good price for guaranteed protection on Xbox and fast connection speeds.
- Excellent protection and a large network of servers
- Nice and pleasing application
- No logs
2. CyberGhost: Best Xbox VPN with dedicated gaming servers
- 7,000+ servers (including dedicated gaming ones)
- AES-256 encryption
- Relatively low ping
- Supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard protocols
CyberGhost’s dedicated online gaming servers make it a great choice for all consoles, especially the Xbox. They ensure unlimited bandwidth and high connection speeds so gamers can enjoy titles like Forza Horizon, Halo Infinite, GTA V, Apex Legends, or Destiny 2.
This Xbox VPN also performed pretty well in our tests. While connected to nearby CyberGhost servers, we only had 6-12 ms of ping. That’s low enough so you can play competitive online games on most base connections.
Not to mention, CyberGhost has a robust security infrastructure. It can protect your identity from IP and DNS leaks, and its military-grade encryption helps you avoid DDoS attacks.
CyberGhost sets itself apart by offering dedicated gaming-optimized servers in New York, Paris, Frankfurt, and London, which prioritize performance by balancing distance, ping, and load, and drastically reducing packet loss to deliver a seamless gaming experience.
- Very user-friendly
- High quality for a low price
- Torrents and Netflix possible
3. ExpressVPN: Reliable Xbox VPN with router-level installation
- 3,000+ fast servers
- Reliable security infrastructure
- Automatic load balancing
- Kill switch and split tunneling
- Supports OpenVPN IKEv2, WireGuard, and Lightway protocols
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested. We tried ExpressVPN servers with a base connection speed of 100 MBps. When connected to nearby servers, we maintained 85-90 Mbps and a low ping of 5-11 ms. That’s good enough to play any competitive online game like Halo Infinite or COD: Modern Warfare 2.
On top of that, ExpressVPN is the easiest VPN to install on routers. In most cases, if you want a VPN on your Wi-Fi router you’ll need to install third-party firmware and go through a complicated setup process. ExpressVPN has its own router firmware, making the entire installation process much easier.
ExpressVPN also offers excellent security features, including a kill switch, split tunneling, and military-grade encryption. But as you can guess, all of this doesn’t come cheap. ExpressVPN is the most expensive VPN on this list.
- Very easy to use VPN
- Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
4. Surfshark: Extremely affordable Xbox VPN
- 3,200+ servers
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Private DNS and leak protection
- Compatible with OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard protocols
Surfshark is a great VPN for Xbox if you want something affordable and safe. It offers strong, 256-bit encryption, secure and fast protocols, private DNS and leak protection, obfuscated servers, and a strict no-logs policy. If you’re serious about safety, Surfshark is as good as it gets.
On top, Surfshark performed pretty well in our tests. We tried Surfshark with a base connection speed of 100 MBps, and we maintained a connection speed of 85-90 Mbps on nearby servers. We got a higher ping than we did with ExpressVPN or NordVPN. 7-14 ms can be a problem if you have a weak base connection speed. But for most people, it should be good enough to play Xbox games.
One excellent advantage of using Surfshark as your Xbox VPN is that you can also connect it simultaneously to as many devices as you want. With just one account, you can protect not just your Xbox, but virtually all devices in the house.
If you need an affordable VPN for your Xbox gaming that doesn’t compromise on quality, we can easily recommend Surfshark.
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
- 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked!
- Cheap with many extra options
5. IPVanish: Decent Xbox VPN with stable servers
- 2,000+ servers
- “Scrumble” function hides VPN activity
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Uses OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, WireGuard, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP protocols
IPVanish is not the fastest VPN on this list, but it still does a good job. In our tests, we got 11-35 ms of ping on nearby servers, which is generally not ideal. On faraway servers, we had between 170-340 ms of ping. With a base speed of 100 MBps, we got as low as 17 MBps on servers from different continents.
That’s pretty slow, but if you’re close to one of their 75+ VPN locations, and have a decent base connection speed, you won’t feel the effects as much.
For instance, if you have a base connection of at least 100 Mbps, IPVanish is a viable choice for Xbox One or Series X. At its core, it’s a great VPN with advanced encryption and solid protection from DDoS attacks, doxing, swatting, or IP leaks.
The best part? IPVanish is pretty affordable. It’s not the cheapest option, but considering its advanced security and stable servers, it’s worth the money.
- Fast and stable servers
- Torrenting is possible
- The app keeps connection logs
Want to learn more? Check out our IPVanish VPN review.
6. Private Internet Access: Good Xbox VPN with massive server choice
- 33,000+ servers
- Supports streaming and file sharing
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Stringent no-logs policy
- Uses OpenVPN, WireGuard, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP protocols
As we near the tail-end of this list, performance gaps start to appear. For instance, if you want a diverse server selection, but are willing to compromise on the speeds, you can go with PIA VPN.
Based on our tests, we had a ping of 17-31 ms on nearby servers. With a weak base connection (anything below 100 Mbps) you won’t have fun playing competitive online games like Halo or COD.
But, if your base speed is fast, you can benefit from PIA VPN’s encryption and security. They offer a choice of 128- and 256-bit encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and advanced security features like a kill switch. If you’re an Xbox streamer or gamer worried about DDoS attacks and doxing, it’s a great choice.
- Strong focus on privacy and security
- Good price
- Fast and stable servers
Or, if you want to learn more about Private Internet Access, you can visit our PIA VPN review.
7. Ivacy: The cheapest Xbox VPN
- 5,700+ servers
- Kill switch enabled
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Cheapest VPN on this list
- Supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, and L2TP/IPsec protocols
Finally, there’s Ivacy VPN, which is also the cheapest Xbox VPN out there. We had pretty high ping when testing this VPN on faraway servers, which may affect performance during fast-paced shooters.
More importantly, on some devices, Ivacy only features the IPsec protocol. It doesn’t support the faster WireGuard protocol either, which further undermines its performance overall.
But you can make it work. If you install it on your router, and you have a decent base connection speed, Ivacy is a good VPN for Xbox One and Series X. For its low price, you also get various features, including a kill switch, split tunneling, and military-grade encryption.
- Very affordable
- Lots of extra features
- On some devices Ivacy only offers the IPSec protocol
If you want to learn more, check out our detailed Ivacy VPN review.
How We Picked the Best VPNs for Xbox
The most important thing when picking a VPN for Xbox is finding one that won’t lag. You can’t enjoy Xbox classics like Halo or Gears of War without a stable internet connection. But picking the right VPN for Xbox is a bit more complicated than that. Here’s what we kept in mind when creating our list:
- Connection speed: We tested dozens of VPNs to find the apps that maintain the highest connection speeds and the lowest ping.
- Server network: If you can find reliable servers nearby, you have a higher chance of stable connection speeds. So we prioritized VPNs that have a large server network.
- Security features: Protection from DDoS attacks, doxing, and swatting are crucial, especially if you’re a streamer. All the VPNs on this list will protect you from cyber threats.
- Installation process: Xbox doesn’t have VPNs on the Microsoft Store. So we prioritized VPNs that are easy to install on routers, or easy to turn into virtual routers.
- Gaming features: Some VPNs have dedicated gaming servers. These are great for any platform, including Xbox. So if any VPN boasts gaming features, there’s a high chance it’s on this list.
- Service: While it’s not the most important thing, the best Xbox VPN should have decent support. It can help if you struggle to install a VPN, or if you want to know more about the content you can unblock.
- Pricing: You can get amazing VPNs for less than $4/month. A good VPN for Xbox won’t cost you too much.
How to Install a VPN on Xbox
Unfortunately, you can’t install VPN apps directly on your Xbox. There’s no “CyberGhost app” on the Microsoft Store. But don’t worry, there are workarounds. You can either:
- Install the VPN on your router.
- Turn your Mac into a virtual router.
- Turn your Windows PC into a virtual router.
Let me show you how to do all of them.
Installing a VPN on your router
Installing the VPN on your router will guarantee the highest connection speed. It’s also the most difficult process out of the three, so don’t worry if it looks confusing at first. You just need to follow these instructions:
- Get a VPN. We recommend NordVPN.
- Download DD-WRT. Make sure it’s the right version for your router.
- Install DD-WRT via your router’s Web-GUI.
- Restart your router.
- Open your router’s settings.
- Click on “Services,” then select the “VPN” category.
- Fill in the details of the VPN provider you picked.
- Click on “Apply Settings.” If you connect your Xbox through this router, you should now have a secure connection.
If you’re still confused about how to do this, don’t worry. We have an entire article about how to install a VPN on your router. And if it all looks too complicated for you, you can try one of the simpler options below.
Turning your macOS device into a virtual router
If you have a Mac, you can turn it into a virtual router and then connect your Xbox to that new network. Just know you’ll need an ethernet cable. And if you don’t have an ethernet port, you’ll also need an adapter. If you get those, here’s what you need to do:
- Download and install a VPN. NordVPN is a great choice. You can use our guide to install a VPN on macOS.
- Connect to the internet with the ethernet cable.
- Connect to a VPN server.
- Click on “System Preferences.”
- Open the “Share” menu.
- Open the dropdown menu next to “Share your connection from.” Choose ethernet if you plugged the cable straight in. Choose USB if you used an adapter.
- Under the “To computers using” menu choose “Wi-Fi.”
- Choose a name and a password for your connection on the screen that pops up. It should now be set up.
- Connect your Xbox console to the network you just created. Now your Xbox traffic is routed through your Mac.
We also have a detailed guide for how to create a virtual router using your Mac.
Turning your Windows PC into a virtual router
If you want to share your VPN connection from your Windows PC, you’ll need a LAN cable. Here’s what you need to do:
- Connect to the internet via the ethernet cable (also known as a LAN cable).
- Download and install a reliable VPN. For fun times playing on your Xbox console, use NordVPN.
- Open Command Prompt. If you type “cmd” in the search bar it’ll open automatically.
- Copy this: netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=XXXXX key=YYYY
- Change the “XXXXX” and the “YYYY” to your desired network name and password.
- Paste the netsh wlan set line into Command Prompt. Press Enter.
- Start your virtual writer by typing “netsh wlan start hostednetwork” in Command Prompt and pressing enter.
- Connect your Xbox One or Series X to the new network.
We also have a detailed guide on how to set up a virtual router on Windows. You can also turn your phone into a virtual router. But we highly advise against that. Mobile data is not usually good enough for online gaming. And it can cost you a lot in extra fees from your carrier.
Four VPNs to Avoid for Xbox Gaming
Not all VPNs work great with the Xbox. There are several VPNs Either they mess up your connection speed too much, they lack a crucial feature, or they have critical security flaws. Here are the Xbox VPNs you should avoid:
|VPN Provider||Why You Should Avoid It|
|TorGuard||Not as good with streaming on Xbox consoles. Also pretty expensive for what it offers.|
|PrivateVPN||Doesn’t have a Smart DNS address option for streaming services.|
|HolaVPN||Not an actual VPN; just a P2P proxy service.|
|PrivadoVPN||Very small server network.|
These VPNs aren’t all necessarily bad. Just not ideal to use with Xbox gaming.
Can you use a free VPN on Xbox?
Technically, you can use a free VPN app with Xbox. You can connect your PC or Mac through a free VPN server, turn the device into a virtual router, and connect your Xbox to that newly created network. But we don’t recommend it.
Free VPNs have limited bandwidth and very few servers. So your connection will start to lag, severely affecting playability. Not to mention, a free VPN isn’t always safe. It most likely keeps logs of your activity, so you’re not safe from internet service providers or ill-intentioned third parties.
If you can’t afford a premium VPN for Xbox One or Series X, you can try to make it work with a free VPN. Just make sure you use one of the free VPNs we tested.
Why Use a VPN on Xbox?
The Xbox Games Store is unique. In an age when streaming platforms are a dime a dozen and geo-blocks are everywhere, Xbox games aren’t region locked. As long as you don’t buy the disc version, you can purchase and play games on your Xbox from any region.
In fact, you can even change your own store country once a year. So you don’t need a VPN to unlock great Xbox deals like you would on PlayStation. But an Xbox VPN can still help a lot. For starters, it keeps you safe from DDoS attacks and doxing. This is especially important for streamers.
If you’ve ever experienced lag for no apparent reason, there’s a chance your ISP noticed high bandwidth usage (because of gaming) and throttled your connection. A VPN for Xbox One and Series X can fix that.
Conclusion: The Best VPN for Xbox
If you want to make the most out of your Xbox One or Series X, you need the right VPN. But don’t worry about going out and testing a bunch of apps. We did the research for you. NordVPN is hands down the best Xbox VPN. And if you want something cheaper, Surfshark and CyberGhost are great choices too.
We write a lot about better and safer gaming. Here are some of our other articles on the topic:
Since the Microsoft Store doesn’t have VPN apps for Xbox, installing a VPN service on your console is hard. If anything’s still unclear after our article, read the FAQ section below:
The best VPN for Xbox is NordVPN. It’s lightning-fast, easy to install, and protects you from DDoS attacks and doxxing. The only service that comes close is ExpressVPN, but it costs twice as much as NordVPN, so if you want to prioritize value for money, this is the best choice out there.
No VPN can be installed directly on Xbox One, or the Series X. But there are workarounds. You can install the VPN on your router or you can install it on your PC and then turn that into a virtual router.
You can’t use free VPNs on Xbox because most of them aren’t OpenVPN-compatible. So you can’t install them on your router. Even if you could find a workaround, we don’t recommend free VPNs for Xbox. They’re usually too slow to enjoy games, and they’re unsafe. Instead, you can choose from one of the best VPNs for Xbox, with prices starting from as low as $1/month.
Using a VPN with Xbox has a ton of benefits. It protects you from DDoS attacks, doxing, swatting, and IP leaks. Not to mention, it can actually improve your connection speed if you’re struggling with ISP throttling.