Best VPN for Xbox One in 2021: Anonymous Gaming

There are many benefits of using a VPN for Xbox One and the newer Xbox Series X and Series S. Benefits range from preventing swatting or DDoS attacks during gameplay, to accessing geoblocked games or getting the best deals. Read on to see which Xbox VPN is the best for you.

Anna Millere
By Anna Millere
— Last Updated: 2021-05-06T13:14:15+00:00

With the release of the Xbox One — followed by the newer Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S — more of us are turning to VPNs for an improved and flexible gaming experience. There are various reasons to get a VPN for Xbox, like accessing the latest game deals just by changing your IP address.

Key Takeaways:

  • Using a VPN for Xbox One will help to protect you from malicious DDoS attacks, swatting and IP bans.
  • ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Xbox One due to its blazing fast speeds, large server count and router compatibility.
  • Windscribe offers a generous free plan of up to 10GB to try it out on your Xbox before fully committing to it.

From a security standpoint, using a VPN provider is a great idea, and we’ll get into the other benefits soon. Don’t let the installation process throw you off, either, since all of the VPNs on our list today are compatible with your router.

  • Usually, we don’t recommend users opt for free VPNs, especially the likes of Hola VPN. Using a free VPN can open you to unwanted ads or even viruses while spending time online. However, Windscribe is a rare exception, and it comes with a generous free plan to try out, and you can build your own plan after, depending on your needs.

  • ExpressVPN is our top choice for the best Xbox VPN, but NordVPN is close behind. Both VPNs offer excellent security, fast speeds and the ability to bypass geoblocks all over the world.

  • Yes, NordVPN is fully compatible with Xbox One. It also comes with a clear guide explaining how to set it up on your router, after which you can enjoy its excellent security and decent speeds.

What Makes the Best VPN for Xbox One, Series X and Series S?

When it comes to picking the best VPN for the Xbox, it’s important to consider whether the provider is secure enough and if it is able to maintain good gaming performance and relatively fast speeds. Here’s a quick look at the top VPNs for Xbox One, Series S and Series X.

  1. ExpressVPN — Blazing fast speeds and a strict, no-logging policy
  2. NordVPN — Highly secure, with plenty of servers
  3. CyberGhost — Inexpensive and unlocks popular streaming services
  4. Private Internet Access — Large server of networks
  5. Windscribe — Affordable subscriptions and a free plan

There are various qualities to look out for when choosing a VPN for your Xbox console, and security is one of them. High-grade encryption, like 256-AES, is a must for keeping your online identity private. It’s also best if a VPN provider comes with a zero-logs policy, meaning it doesn’t store any of your private information.

Speed is another important factor. There’s nothing worse than experiencing terrible gameplay lag in a clutch fight because of a slow VPN connection. While even premium VPN services, like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, will produce a drop in your ping, upload and download speeds, the decrease is usually very slight and almost unnoticeable.

Lastly, every VPN on our list today is compatible with Xbox One and the newer Series. There are a few ways to use a VPN on your console: you can connect your Xbox to your PC or laptop with an ethernet cable, or install the service on your home router.

We prefer the latter because the process is simple, and you can enjoy a secure internet connection on all your devices at home. Learn more about the best VPN for your router here and its installation process, too.

Is a VPN Worth It for Gaming?

A VPN is definitely worth it for gaming. Using a trusted VPN provider on your Xbox will protect you from online attacks, plus, it will even allow you to snag better game deals by changing your IP address to a different location. Let’s dig in to some of the benefits of using a VPN for gaming.

Prevent Swatting

Using a secure VPN provider, such as ExpressVPN, will help to prevent malicious swatting. Swatting occurs when a player gains access to your IP address, figures out your location and makes fake threats — resulting in the authorities being called to your home.

Avoid Bandwidth Throttling

A VPN can help you avoid bandwidth throttling, which occurs when your internet service provider (ISP) intentionally slows down your speed when using too much data, whether it’s gaming or binge-watching Netflix. Using an Xbox VPN, you can effectively conceal your IP address from your network provider, allowing you to enjoy much smoother gameplay.

Skip Past IP Bans

Annoying IP bans are another thing that often affects gamers. It can occur when a server owner assumes you’re cheating or something of the sort when in reality, you’re just great at the game… right? A premium VPN puts a stop to this by rerouting the network connection and making your actual IP address untraceable. Therefore, no more IP bans.

Get Around Geoblocks

Using an Xbox VPN also allows you to effectively get around geoblocks to access restricted content, websites and more. Not only will this let you stream different Netflix libraries, but you’ll also be able to game on region-locked servers and even unblock various Xbox Live functions.

The 5 Best VPNs for Xbox 

With that being said, let’s dive into our top five VPNs for Xbox One, Series S and Series X and see how they all measure up against each other.

1. ExpressVPN

vpn providers servers
ExpressVPN features a large global server network.

More details about ExpressVPN:

  • Pricing: $6.67 per month for 12 months, plus three months free
  • Provider website: www.expressvpn.com

Pros:

  • Very fast speeds
  • Huge server network
  • Strict, no-logs policy 

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No ad blocker 

There is a reason ExpressVPN is on top of this list, and it mainly boils down to its fast speeds and reliable security. As you can see in our ExpressVPN review, it performed very well during our speed tests. Plus, our ping remained stable and below 100ms, meaning our gameplay wasn’t negatively affected. No surprise there, since ExpressVPN tops our best VPNs for gaming list, as well.

ExpressVPN also wins points for its security since it comes with near-unhackable AES-256 encryption. Additionally, it uses the OpenVPN protocol, which is super secure and fast. On top of that, ExpressVPN features a kill switch function, which will cut your internet connection if the VPN crashes, so your IP address doesn’t get accidentally leaked.

Save Money on the Latest Games

ExpressVPN comes with impressive abilities to bypass geoblocking, meaning you can easily snag the latest game that’s already out in another country, and maybe at a discounted price as well. Not only that, but changing your IP address also offers an extra blanket of security while online.

use a vpn for xbox
ExpressVPN is the best VPN provider for Xbox One and other Xbox Series.

There is no hiding the fact that ExpressVPN isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s the best VPN on the market, which makes it worth every penny. The priciest plan is the monthly option, but you can get a decent deal when opting for a 12-month subscription. However, ExpressVPN includes a tried-and-tested 30-day money-back guarantee.

As you can see, ExpressVPN scores highly as the top VPN for Xbox One. Not only is it fast and secure, but its capabilities to bypass geoblocking allow you to access restricted content, such as global Netflix libraries, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime and more.

2. NordVPN

network users to connect to servers
NordVPN offers a quick connection to the best server available.

More details about NordVPN:

  • Pricing: $3.71 per month for the first two years / $89.00 every two years
  • Provider website: www.nordvpn.com

Pros:

  • Large network of servers
  • Great security features
  • Fast

Cons:

  • Doesn’t accept PayPal
  • Pricey monthly plan

NordVPN has earned its place on our best VPN list for a reason, as it ties closely with ExpressVPN (see our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN article). The reason it’s not number one is mainly because of its inconsistent speeds, depending on the server. Otherwise, there are many things to like about this VPN provider.

Let’s start with security. Not only does NordVPN include the highly secure AES-256 encryption, paired with the OpenVPN protocol, but it also comes with WireGuard. WireGuard is an open-source software VPN tunnel that uses the ChaCha20 cipher for encryption. It’s very secure and claims to be faster than AES, as well.

Mostly, you can also expect great streaming performance with NordVPN, as well as the ability to bypass geoblocking to enjoy restricted content, like Netflix U.S. and Hulu on your Xbox gaming console. NordVPN is also easy to set up on your home router. You can learn more about its features in our NordVPN review and read our guide on how to set up a VPN on a router.

Stay Secure While Gaming With Double-Hop Servers

When it comes to threats of DDoS attacks and swatting, staying secure while gaming is a must. Therefore, we like NordVPN’s double-hop servers, which tunnel your traffic through two VPN servers rather than the one. This guarantees complete privacy while gaming since no one — not even your ISP — can see your online activity.

vpn on computer's Internet connection
NordVPN is our second-best choice due to its strong security features.

NordVPN isn’t the cheapest monthly VPN (check out our list of the best free VPNs), but it offers an affordable two-year option, which makes it a good VPN to consider for the long term. The service also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee to test it out.

Overall, we definitely recommend NordVPN for gaming consoles, like the Xbox One, for its advanced security features alone, including its kill switch option. What’s more, NordVPN also is simple to navigate, as it comes with a user-friendly app on all devices.

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost vpn apps
CyberGhost comes with an attractive and user-friendly interface.

More details about CyberGhost:

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Plenty of features
  • Unblocks popular platforms

Cons:

  • Not very fast
  • Uses IKEv2 by default

CyberGhost has been a favorite for many years due to its abundance of features and user-friendly interface — it’s even on our best VPN list, too. However, this VPN service is also lacking in various areas — like its speed, which isn’t bad, but it hasn’t exactly earned a place on our fastest VPN list, either.

Regarding Cyberghost’s speed for online gaming, we generally experienced an average latency in countries closest to us and more inconsistent speeds abroad. However, it still provided decent ping results, and we only experienced minor lagging when gaming on certain servers. You can check out our speed test results and other useful info in our CyberGhost review here.

Game Like a Pro for Cheap

CyberGhost’s monthly plan works out to be even more expensive than ExpressVPN. However, it’s one of the few VPN services that offers a three-year subscription, which breaks down into a really good deal. You can effectively pay $2.25 per month for the VPN on the three-year plan.

using a vpn CyberGhost
CyberGhost comes with affordable plans.

If that seems like too long of a commitment, though, you can try CyberGhost out with its impressive 45-day money-back guarantee, or you can even opt for its one-day trial.

There are many things to like about CyberGhost, including its specialty servers designed for both streaming and torrenting. Speaking of streaming, CyberGhost can effectively access restricted streaming platforms, such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix and more. Security-wise, CyberGhost features an in-depth privacy policy and top-notch VPN security with its AES-256 encryption paired with an OpenVPN.

4. Private Internet Access

virtual private networks PIA
Private Internet Access comes with a large number of servers.

More details about Private Internet Access:

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Large server network
  • No-logs policy

Cons:

  • Tricky setup process
  • Inconsistent speeds

PIA is close to being the cheapest VPN around, but don’t let its affordable price tag fool you. PIA is still a premium VPN service with a very large server network and only a few downsides, such as including sometimes inconsistent speeds and a tricky setup process.

Regarding security, PIA is fairly flexible when it comes to customizing its protocols and encryption on its control panel. However, by default, PIA uses AES 128-bit encryption, which is a solid choice from a security standpoint, but it’s just not as powerful as AES 256-bit encryption. PIA opts for an OpenVPN protocol, and you can also switch to the latest security protocol, WireGuard.

Large Server Network Opens a World of Opportunities

PIA can be a fast VPN option for gaming, if you choose the right server. Luckily, PIA has a lot of server options. It has more than 25,000 servers in 77 countries. This means you have a lot of options for accessing international deals or games released in specific countries.

PIA vpn on xbox one
Private Internet Access offers two additional months free on its two-year plan.

As we already mentioned, PIA comes with great plans that won’t break the bank, either. The best deal is its two-year plan, where you also get an extra two months free. Additionally, you can try PIA out for 30 days, using its money-back guarantee.

PIA is a solid choice for a VPN, with an affordable price tag, too. However, it’s a little trickier to install on your router than the other providers on this list. Once you do get over that hurdle, you can enjoy decent gameplay speeds and streaming with PIA. Read more about PIA here to see what other features it offers.

5. Windscribe

Windscribe vpn on xbox one
Windscribe’s Pro version offers unlimited data on all its servers across 63 countries.

More details about Windscribe:

Pros:

  • Best free plan
  • User-friendly interface

Cons:

  • A little slow

Windscribe might be the last one on our list, but it’s certainly not the least. It offers a fantastic free plan that allows you to test it before fully committing to it. While its speeds aren’t as top-notch as other premium VPN services, like ExpressVPN, it’s still able to bypass geo blocks and access streaming platforms through your Xbox One, such as Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer.

Regarding security, we have no complaints about Windscribe. It uses strong AES-256 encryption with SHA-512 authentication. Additionally, Windscibe employs the trusted OpenVPN protocol and IKEv2 — you can make sense of all the VPN protocols here. Lastly, Windscribe also comes with a clear privacy and no-logs policy.

Gaming Protection for Free — or Cheap

Windscribe is best known for its generous free plan, where you can take advantage of up to 10GB of data per month with a limited list of connection locations. However, you can add more locations to the list using its “build a plan” option for as little as $1.

Windscribe network settings security
Windscribe protects your online privacy and keeps you safe from malicious cyberattacks.

On top of that, Windscribe’s best plan is the annual option, which is one of the cheapest annual plans offered by the VPN services on our list, costing just over $4 per month.

Build a Plan
  • : Per “Pro” server location
  • : 10 GB
  • : Unlimited
  • :

Overall, Windscribe will offer great VPN protection while gaming or streaming online. While its internet speed isn’t as impressive as other VPNs, it makes up for it with its top-notch security protocols and clear online privacy. Check out our Windscribe review to learn more about what it offers.

How to Set Up a VPN on Xbox One?

There are a couple of ways to set up a VPN connection on your Xbox One. Unfortunately, Xbox doesn’t offer internal VPN app services, so you must do it manually. You can create a VPN router using your laptop or PC, or you can connect your Xbox to a VPN-enabled PC.

Our favorite method is by setting up a VPN service on your home router. By doing this, you can enjoy a VPN connection on all your devices in your home, including your Xbox. Every VPN on our list has several guides on installing it on your router, accessible through its official website. Furthermore, a customer representative can also help you out if needed.

Final Thoughts

Opting for a VPN service provider for your Xbox One or other Xbox Series is a great decision. Not only will you be more protected while online, but you can also stream geoblocked content like Netflix U.S., BBC iPlayer and more — not to mention the ability to get better game deals or even newer game releases that are outside of your home country.

We highly recommend ExpressVPN as the best Xbox VPN for its fast speeds that won’t affect the latency during gameplay. However, close on its heels is our second favorite VPN, NordVPN, which comes with excellent security features, like the double-hop encryption that provides an added layer of security while gaming online.

Do you use a VPN with your Xbox One? Which is your favorite provider? Let us know in the comments below and, thanks for reading.