Choosing the Best VPN Service for Your Xbox

There are undoubtedly all sorts of reasons as to why you might want to protect the internet connection of your Xbox One using a VPN service. Whether you are worried about the security of your connection or you want your connection to appear as though it is coming from another country, so that you can access the Microsoft Store and media content which is typically targetted at that country, a VPN could be the answer for you.

In this article, we will run you through a little information about how VPNs work and what the advantages of them are. We will then explore a few of the top choices when it comes to VPNs for Xbox One users, and then give you a guide to setting up a VPN on your Xbox One. It’s a relatively simple process which could completely change the way that you use your Xbox and the internet in general.

What are the Main Advantages of Using a VPN

There are two principal reasons why people decide to use a VPN; security and the flexibility of their connection. From a security point of view, a VPN service offers all sorts of advantages. The options which we are going to cover on this page offer 256-bit encryption for all of the traffic that is sent to and from the systems that it is used on. This means that not only is there a massively reduced risk of any of your data being intercepted by fraudsters or other cybercriminals, but also that your ISP will not be able to see which websites you are visiting, or get a detailed look at your internet browsing activity.

This type of security has become more critical in recent years, as the government and ISP monitoring of internet connections has increased. Even if you have nothing to hide, you may be uncomfortable with the idea of the government building up a massive database of all of the websites which you have visited, and how long you stayed on each of them for. Similarly, many ISPs now use information about their customer’s browsing habits to build profiles on them, that can then be sold to marketing companies. These are both phenomena that you may legitimately want to avoid being caught up in, and a VPN connection is an excellent way of doing precisely that.
Secondly, there is the matter of the increased flexibility that is offered by a VPN connection. More and more content on the internet is geoblocked. This means that it is only available to internet users whose connection identifies them as being in a particular country. By using a VPN service, you can route your internet traffic through a specific server, so that it all appears to be coming from a country that you are not in. This means that services such as Hulu, HBO Go and the BBC iPlayer will become available to you when they otherwise would not be. It will also give you access to more content on globally available services such as Netflix and the upcoming Disney Plus, whose catalogues vary from one country to another due to rights issues.

How We Have Ranked the VPNs on this List

If you’re an Xbox One user, the most crucial question when it comes to VPN services is how easy they are to set up on your router, since you don’t have the option of installing software directly to your Xbox. This is the main factor which we have taken into account when ranking the VPN options on this page. We have also looked at the overall price, and whether any discounts are available when users pay for a significant number of months, or years, of the service in advance.

All of the services which we mention on this page offer high levels of security and a wide range of servers for their users to choose from. However, the exact security features available and the range of countries that servers are located in, do vary from one VPN company to another, and where the variation is significant, we have mentioned it on this page.

Finally, we have highlighted the VPN services which allow you to pay for your subscription using a cryptocurrency since this is another way of protecting your identity when you are using the internet.

NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the most popular and best-established VPN services operating today. It offers software for a full range of devices and is easy to set up on your router if you want to use it with your Xbox.
Setting up NordVPN on your router is a simple matter of following the detailed instructions which are available on the company’s website. We’ve outlined the procedure in brief below, but if you do decide to sign up to NordVPN, we’d highly recommend following the procedures that are available on their site, as they do vary slightly from one operator to another. If you don’t fancy going through the process of flashing the software on the router by yourself, (and you should be careful, as the procedure can cause damage to your router if you don’t know what you are doing), NordVPN also gives you the option of buying a router with its software preloaded, which is great for your peace of mind.

In terms of servers and country coverage, NordVPN is second to none. It offers VPN servers in almost 90 countries around the world, meaning that virtually any geoblocked website which you want to get access to should be available. The speeds offered by the servers are also very impressive. Connections have generally tended to average between 20 and 25mbps during our testing. Ping times are also reasonably low, which is vital if you are planning to play on Xbox Live using your VPN.

Security features on NordVPN are very strong. As well as the high-quality 256-bit encryption, which we mentioned earlier, the service also benefits from a kill switch. This works by monitoring your connection to the VPN server. If any issues occur that cause the connection between your network and the server to drop, the kill switch automatically shuts off your internet connection, to prevent any of your traffic being sent over an insecure connection that could leave it open to interception.

The final security plus point of NordVPN is that it operates a ‘no-logs’ policy. Like most VPN providers, NordVPN is based in a country which leaves it mostly out of the reach of law enforcement agencies and ISPs in other countries. However, if any of them were to come looking for information about the websites that NordVPN customers had visited, or even just the servers that they had connected to, they would find that there was no way for them to obtain it, as NordVPN does not keep records of this type.

The one downside of NordVPN from a security point of view is that it does not accept cryptocurrency payments. This means that you will have to pay using a debit or credit card or an online payment system such as PayPal. If you are worried about the security of your personal information, then we would recommend that you pay for the service using a prepaid debit card which you purchase using cash.

Pricing for NordVPN is relatively standard for this type of service at $11.95 a month. As with some of its competitors, the company offers significant discounts to customers who are willing to pay for its service in advance. This means that it is possible to save 75% by paying for three years of the service upfront. If this sounds like too big a commitment, then it is worth remembering NordVPN’s free trial offer. This offer means that you can try the service free of charge for 30 days. If you decide that it is not for you at any point during the trial period, just contact the NordVPN support team using the live chat service and ask for a refund.

ExpressVPN

The ExpressVPN service offers the widest choice of servers of any VPN providers. However, it is also priced accordingly, and if you’re not going to take advantage of all of the features which it offers, it may be worth considering one of the simpler but cheaper VPN service options that are mentioned elsewhere on this page.

ExpressVPN software can be installed on a router by following the detailed instructions which are available on the company’s website. While this procedure does require a little bit of technical knowledge and confidence, if it is to be carried out successfully, ExpressVPN has done everything possible to keep things as straightforward as it can be. However, if you don’t feel confident in following the procedures, and are worried about the risks of inadvertently causing damage to your router or voiding its warranty, you also have the option of purchasing a brand-new router from ExpressVPN that already has the necessary software installed. The company does offer sales on these routers from time to time that can help to bring down the cost of using the VPN service with an Xbox One.

All of the security features that you would expect from one of the biggest VPN services on the internet are present in ExpressVPN. This includes the standard 256-bit encryption of your connection, and some of the more sophisticated security features, including the all-important kill switch. The service also has an option which allows you to scramble the IP address that you send out to the websites that you do connect to. This is another excellent way to make sure that you preserve your privacy when you are using the internet.

ExpressVPN also offers the no-logs policy, which is common to several VPN services. This means that it does not keep a record of the websites and servers that its users connect to when they make use of its VPN offering. In short, this is a good piece of protection, as it means there is no chance of a record of your internet browsing activity falling into the hands of government authorities or being leaked by a hacking group.

The one downside of ExpressVPN from a privacy point of view is that as with NordVPN, but unlike some other VPN services such as CyberGhost, it does not accept payments using cryptocurrency.
The selection of servers available on ExpressVPN is the best that we have ever come across. You have the choice of servers located in over 90 countries when using ExpressVPN. We’ve tested the connection speeds to the servers and are pleased to report that our experiences were very positive. The connection quality is high enough to allow for streaming of HD and SD video and even 4k content in some instances. Ping times are also on the low side, which is great news if you want to play video games online using your VPN.

The one big downside of ExpressVPN is the price. Put simply, this is one of the most expensive VPN options out there, with prices starting at a fairly steep $12.95 a month. You do get what you pay for, however, and if you do choose ExpressVPN, you’ll have access to the most geographically diverse range of servers available and a 24-hour live chat support service to help you get things up and running.

CyberGhost

As you may have guessed from its name, CyberGhost started out as a VPN service for those who were most concerned with protecting their privacy when they used the internet. It has suffered a little in the past from a reputation for poor customer service and long response times on its support systems. This has changed in recent years though, meaning that it is well worth considering, particularly if privacy is your primary concern.

You can run the CyberGhost service on your router if you flash it, just as with the other VPN services that we have covered here. There are full instructions for doing this on the CyberGhost website, and their live chat support service will be more than happy to help you out if you encounter any problems while you are doing it.

All of the security features you would expect are there with CyberGhost. The main advantage that it holds over the other VPN services, which we have looked at is that it allows its users to pay for the service using Bitcoin. This is a significant advantage for a service such as CyberGhost, as it means that users can completely protect their identity and don’t even create a banking transaction when they pay for CyberGhost.

The selection of servers on CyberGhost is slightly less impressive than for some other VPN services, but should still be more than enough for the vast majority of users. The servers are located in around 50 countries worldwide. The big plus from a security point of view is that CyberGhost owns all of the servers that it sends its customers’ traffic through and never rents servers from another company. This means its users can have even more confidence in the security of the service that they are buying when they sign-up.

Like most of its rivals, CyberGhost offers significant discounts on its month-to-month subscription rate to any users who are willing to sign up for its service in advance. Unfortunately, this means that you’ll have to pay for a significant number of months upfront to get the discount. The good news is that CyberGhost offers a money-back guarantee which means that your money will be refunded if you encounter any issues with the service during the first 30 days that make you decide that it is not right for you. Just get in touch with the CyberGhost team via the live chat support service and tell them that you are looking for a refund.

Setting up a VPN on Your Xbox One

Unfortunately, setting up a VPN on an Xbox is a little more complicated than if you’re using a desktop or mobile operating systems such as Windows or IOS. This is because the companies behind the VPNs can’t release software directly onto the Xbox, which manages the internet connection. However, it’s reasonably straightforward to reconfigure your router to connect directly to the VPN, if you know what you’re doing.

For a more detailed guide to the exact steps which are required, we recommend that you check out the support section of your VPN provider’s website or contact their helpdesk directly. However, here is a brief explanation of the steps which are required to reconfigure your router to support a VPN. Keep in mind that if this process goes wrong, you may cause irreversible damage to your router and may have to buy a new one. There is also a fair chance that flashing the software on your router like this will void its warranty.

In general, you’ll need to download a particular piece of software and replace the existing software on your router. Before you do this, check to see if your router is compatible with the new software and make sure that you are downloading the version of that software that is mentioned in the instructions. This type of computer program is regularly updated, and compatibility issues can easily occur if you are not using exactly the version that is mentioned in the instructions you are following.

Once you have finished setting up the new software on your router, you’ll need to connect your Xbox to the network again. This is because the Xbox will see the router as a brand-new network, thanks to the new software that you have installed for it. The same will go for any other device, (for example a laptop or a mobile phone), that you have previously connected to the network.

Using a VPN with your Xbox One will change the way that you play games and use the service in general. The only question which you will be left asking is why you didn’t start using a VPN earlier. The added security, the ability to browse the web through multiple countries, and the total privacy, mean that it’s a total no brainer for any serious web user and Xbox gamer.