Microsoft has greatly improved on the Xbox One. Xbox Live now has many of the same PC web features from Windows, and gaming between your PC and console is more affordable than ever thanks to Xbox Play Anywhere, which allows you to play select titles on Windows and Xbox without buying a second copy. Gaming is also no longer the only use for consoles. Online content and media entertainment functionality on the Xbox One is especially well done.
With that comes the question of how to use a VPN on Xbox One? It’s not possible to install a VPN directly on any console, but there’s a couple of ways to get a VPN working with the Xbox.
How to Use a VPN on Xbox
Since it’s not possible to install a VPN app directly on your console, the most efficient solution is to configure your Wi-Fi router to run the VPN instead. This often requires you to update and change the software or ‘firmware’ installed on your router. You also have the option of purchasing a compatible or pre-configured VPN router, but your model might already be compatible with some VPN protocols. There’s also an alternative way of connecting your Xbox to a computer in order to share the internet connection. For the exact steps and detailed information on these options, follow this tutorial on configuring a VPN service on your Xbox console. The same process applies to all Xbox generations, including other gaming consoles.
Besides encrypting your data and providing security, the most popular reason to use a VPN on an Xbox console, is to unlock geo-restricted content such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime, and so on. Which brings me to another common question I get, “how do I unblock US Netflix on my Xbox One?”.
How to Get American Netflix on Xbox
Once you have configured a VPN connection on your router or computer, to unblock the american Netflix website, you simply need to connect to a VPN server located in the United States. Next, connect your Xbox to the source router or computer, and as long as the VPN works on Netflix, the region will be unblocked.
Alternatively to using a VPN, you can also change your Xbox DNS servers to American ones, and while this method has less success at bypassing Netflix restrictions, some VPN services such as ExpressVPN provide updated Smart DNS servers that work. It’s important to note that just changing DNS servers does not encrypt your data, but also does not affect your internet speed as much. Below, I provide suggestions that have been successfully tested on US Netflix over an Xbox One X as of 2019.
The suggested VPN services provide streaming servers for websites all over the world, but speed and ping response was also heavily considered. Lag and ping response can sometimes be improved when using a VPN, because the route used by the VPN server to connect your Xbox to the gaming server is shorter than the one used by your internet service provider. All online gamers know the importance of having a fast ping response to avoid lag, so remember to select your server carefully for the best performance.
VyprVPN – Full Review
VyprVPN is a great choice for Xbox users who want to configure their own VPN router. Vypr’s router app is a step above everyone else, thanks to giving you the ability to connect devices individually to different VPN servers, or bypassing certain devices. If you have a compatible router, this option makes it way more useful than having to constantly access your router to change servers or disconnect from the VPN. Servers are available world wide and successfully unblock a wide variety of geo-blocked content such as American Netflix. VyprVPN provides fast servers for the most demanding gamer, with DDoS protection and fast ping times to keep your FPS intact.
ExpressVPN – Full Review
ExpressVPN provides everything needed to get your Xbox One connected. If your router is compatible, you can opt to use their own router app which is simpler to use than options like OpenWRT or DD-WRT, but they also provide SmartDNS servers they call MediaStreamer servers, and their website has detailed video tutorials on how to set it up on your Xbox One. Fast servers are available worldwide and have been tested to bypass a variety of geo-restricted content worldwide. A well-rounded option that combines a VPN with MediaStreamer DNS for fast streaming on the Xbox.
NordVPN – Full Review
NordVPN is a considerable option for Xbox users with plenty of fast servers all over the world. Although the service does not have its’ own router app, they still provide detailed tutorials on how to configure their servers on third-party firmware, but more importantly, the performance is good. Plenty of low ping servers to choose from, and no issues bypassing geo-restricted websites when using their streaming servers.
CyberGhost – Full Review
Another notable choice is CyberGhost, with a large selection of servers, many of which are optimized for a wide variety of streaming websites in many different countries. If you’re looking to access a wide variety of streaming platforms and live channels all over the world on your Xbox, CyberGhost is good at providing fast routes to most of them. But it also works great for gaming thanks to having great overall speeds and ping times.
Once you have selected a service, and still need some help on configuring your connection, head to the step-by-step guide on how to configure VPN with Xbox. Adding a VPN to your Xbox One, 360 or even first generation console can help make it one of the best media centers money can buy. I definitely recommend it, and the task of configuring your own VPN router will make you better and more experienced with general networking and VPN usage.