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Best VPNs for Xbox Series X and S

November 2020 proved an exciting month for gamers, not least thanks to Microsoft's launch of the Xbox Series X. 

If you've been swayed by the hype and got your hands on one, it's important to remember that any gaming experience can be massively enhanced by a VPN. This article details exactly what the best VPNs for Xbox Series X are and explain how they can improve your gaming experience. 

What are the best VPNs for Xbox Series X

We have listed the best Xbox series X VPN services below. Scroll down to our detailed summaries of each service for more information.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for Xbox Series X. Super-fast speeds, a vast server network, advanced features, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. NordVPN - An all-round VPN for Xbox Series X. It's compatible with consoles and lightning-fast, includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  3. CyberGhost VPN - The best Xbox Series X for VPN newbies. A user-friendly VPN with multi-platform compatibility and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
  4. Surfshark - The best buy VPN for Xbox Series X. Plenty of features, unlimited simultaneous connections, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  5. Ivacy - The cheapest Xbox Series X and S VPN. It's consistently one of the fastest VPNs we test and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To ensure that you get the best VPN for Xbox Series X we have chosen services with the following features:

Best VPNs for Xbox Series X: in-depth analysis 

Here we take a closer look at the best VPNs for the Xbox Series X and why they work so well for the Microsoft console platform. If you need more information, check out our detailed VPN reviews.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Xbox Series X. You get excellent connection speeds and the ability to unblock large swathes of content – with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    • 12 months + 3 months FREE + Backblaze backup: $6.67/mth
      49% OFF
    • 6 months: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Easy-to-use apps for all platforms, compatible with consoles
    • Over 160 servers locations in 94 countries, lots of choice
    • TrustedServer tech runs in RAM only
    • Audited zero-logs policy
    • Super-fast, perfect for seamless gaming
  • Cons

    • Expensive, but you get the best cross-platform compatibility
    • Only five simultaneous connections
    • Lack of port forwarding is an issue for torrenters
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

ExpressVPN Demo

ExpressVPN Demo ExpressVPN Demo


ExpressVPN is an extremely reliable VPN with thousands of servers across 94 countries worldwide, which is great for unblocking Xbox games that might not be available in your region. On top of that, this VPN is very secure and beginner-friendly with easy-to-use apps for all your devices.


Perfect for gaming but also streaming


This VPN has a proven track record of unblocking sites like BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and Netflix US. So, if your Xbox is the primary device you use to stream TV shows, ExpressVPN would be a shrewd choice. 


The provider's 'mediastreamer' service affords you the ability to change your IP address rapidly and unblock even more content from around the world from your console. It may not offer the same protection as a VPN, but if you're looking for speed and accessibility over security, it's a nice addition.


Trusted, battle-tested, and publicly audited


If security is your priority, however, ExpressVPN still has you covered. Protection against DDoS attacks, which could force your game to close, is included, and the whole network is shielded by the best encryption (AES-256) around. A kill-switch switch is also there to protect you from data leaks even if your VPN connection drops.



What's more, its entire operating system is run off of RAM, which means all data is wiped every time a server powers down. Not to mention that it's one of the few VPN providers that has undergone a public audit by a third party to prove it's super secure and keeps no logs of what you're doing online.


So, even if you're paying a little more for this service (compared to the others on this list), you're getting all the premium VPN features and unprecedented security levels. 


Advanced but beginner-friendly


Easy-to-use apps for all your platforms, as well as the fact one account can serve five devices, makes ExpressVPN not just perfect for using on your Xbox, but any device you use regularly. It's one of the VPNs with the best cross-platform compatibility – and it works great with Xbox consoles!


Remember, ExpressVPN offers excellent 24/7 customer support to help you with all the questions and doubts you might have. Besides, there's a very convenient 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you're unsure you can always check it out first. 

NordVPN is the best all-round VPN for Xbox Series X. You get superb speeds, lots of servers, and robust security. Try it risk free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $3.69/mth
      70% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      59% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Apps for all platforms – including games consoles
    • Lightning-fast speeds ideal for online gaming
    • OpenVPN and WireGuard VPN protocols for even better performance
    • Affordable, with a long list of customizable features
  • Cons

    • Fewer servers locations than ExpressVPN and CyberGhost
    • Only six simultaneous connections
    • More expensive than the VPNs below
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Nord Demo

Nord Demo Nord Demo


NordVPN is another titan of the VPN industry with no shortage of impressed customers – and it's not hard to see why. The service boasts thousands of servers in 60 countries worldwide, so you'll always be able to geo-hop from location to location in order to play matches with friends or scope out the best available deals.


Planetary popularity


The wide selection of servers comes in handy when you're looking to access gaming sites. But, it also works like a charm with other sites and services – like social media platforms and streaming apps that might've been banned in your workplace (or even by your ISP or government)!


I was able to reliably access the likes of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu whilst using NordVPN, as well as Twitter and Facebook. This exceptional geo-spoofing capacity makes NordVPN one of the most popular VPNs out there – in the gaming world and otherwise.



Just like ExpressVPN, NordVPN has its very own Smart DNS service. SmartDNS is especially useful for those folks who want to access geo-restricted content via their console or smart TV – you'll just have to remember that the SmartDNS feature doesn't offer the same encryption as a traditional VPN service.


Consistently fast and secure


However, if speed is your main concern, it's well worth testing! NordVPN's OpenVPN encryption is well-implemented and robust, and gamers have the option of checking out the provider's very own proprietary protocol, too. NordLynx is based on the popular WireGuard protocol, and is incredibly quick, secure, and ideal for anyone who wants to maximize their speed... and minimize their ping!


It's also great to see that NordVPN is a zero-logs provider (and not interested in keeping tabs on your connection logs), and that it's even invited PwC, an auditing super firm, to comb through its policy.


Great for VPN newbies


Currently, NordVPN offers 6 simultaneous connections, which isn't a hugely generous amount, although it sits around the industry standard. Other providers have begun to offer more connections for less, however, so I'd like to see NordVPN follow suit.


With that said, NordVPN's apps are remarkably easy to download and use. I'm certain total VPN newbies would have no trouble getting set up and connected to a server, thanks to a stylish, clutter-free UI! If you're interested, you can try NordVPN for yourself, in your own time, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost is an easy-to-use VPN for Xbox Series X. Offers security features you'd expect from a more expensive VPN and a generous 45-days money-back guarantee – great for beginners.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.19/mth
      82% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.99/mth
      42% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Based in Romania, a country known for lack of surveillance
    • The longest (45-day) money-back guarantee on this list
    • Servers in over 90 countries, unblocks almost everything
  • Cons

    • Not publicly audited
    • No stealth servers, not great for countries like China
    • Lacking some key VPN features
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

CyberGhost Demo

CyberGhost Demo CyberGhost Demo


CyberGhost is a Romanian-based VPN provider that allows you to run the same service on up to 7 devices simultaneously, so you can ensure your privacy is maintained across the board, not just when you're gaming.


Cheap but very private


The company takes its commitment to protecting users very seriously and has dedicated NoSpy servers maintained by a crack team of experts. These servers even come with extended bandwidth – perfect for your Xbox Series X. 


CyberGhost provides robust, military-grade OpenVPN encryption to keep your data secure, while ensuring great speeds. This makes it great for accessing any website content that has been restricted by your government or ISP. Besides, this provider is based in Romania, a country that's already well-known for the lack of government surveillance – so you can enjoy all your online activities with the utmost privacy.


Optimized for streaming



With servers in 91 countries worldwide, you can rest assured that CyberGhost will be able to access virtually any content you're after. CyberGhost has even gone as far as to create a separate list of servers for streaming purposes.


All in all, this VPN is another good choice if you're looking to play games that've been blocked in your region, or if you tend to watch your favorite TV shows via your console.


Try it for yourself


CyberGhost provides clear and simple instructions on exactly how to use the service with an Xbox, and considering you can claim your money back after 45 days if you're not satisfied, there's no reason you shouldn't take it for a test run. 

Surfshark is the best buy VPN for Xbox Series X and S. Weighs up security features with speed and ease-of-use, and a 30-day money-back guarantee – you won't get a better offer for gaming.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.3/mth
      83% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
      70% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Great at unblocking exclusive gaming and streaming catalogs
    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • Consistently fast, ideal for gaming
  • Cons

    • Fewer servers than ExpressVPN and CyberGhost
    • One-month subscription is quite expensive
    • No port-forwarding, not great for torrenters
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Surfshark Demo

Surfshark Demo Surfshark Demo


Surfshark, despite being relatively new to the VPN scene, has already built an excellent relationship with its user base and has thousands of happy customers worldwide. Customers love its cheap price, highly-customizable features, great speeds, and unlimited simultaneous connections.


Go unlimited


It's not surprising Surfshark became so popular so quickly, considering the extremely affordable pricing and the fact it allows customers to use their VPN account on an unlimited number of devices. With Surfshark comes great speeds and unlimited bandwidth too, another reason why people have flocked to the service.


So, Surfshark is an astute choice for Xbox users who have multiple devices they regularly use to access the internet. It's also great for families who want to collectively enhance their online privacy, too. 


Unblocks plenty... and fast


Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, a country that's great for privacy. However, it has thousands of servers in 99 countries worldwide, including nations like Japan and South Korea. So, you can expect to be able to access games and purchase them at cheaper rates.



It also means the service is consistently fast, and that problems with connection speeds on devices like Xbox are rare. It's worth mentioning as well that Surfshark regularly tops our speed chart – making it perfect for seamless gaming.


Highly customizable privacy features


Surfshark guarantees you won't run into ads, trackers, or malware whilst using the service on your Xbox. It has a number of other security features, too, including AES-256 encryption, a kill-switch to protect you from data leakages even if your VPN connection drops, DNS leak protection, as well as a strict no-logs policy.


You can also activate 'Camouflage Mode', which means your internet provider can't even see you're using a VPN, let alone what you're using it for. This is great for Xbox users in regions experiencing crackdowns on VPN use, and ensures you won't have to worry about being detected.

Ivacy is the cheapest VPN for the Xbox Series X and S. It's very fast, with lots of security features, and a 30-day money-back guarantee – so, you won't have to break the bank to play safely.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    • 60 months: $1.19/mth
      89% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
      60% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.95/mth
  • Pros

    • The cheapest VPN on this list
    • Blazing fast speed performance
    • Protection from IP Booters and DDoS attacks
  • Cons

    • Mac client not as feature-rich
    • Not publicly audited
    • No WireGuard protocol
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Ivacy Demo

Ivacy Demo Ivacy Demo


Ivacy is a Singapore-based VPN that has been around for more than a decade and a half and is still widely popular with gamers – thanks to its impressive servers network, blazing speeds, advanced features, and super cheap plans. Besides, it offers a 24/7 live chat support and a 30-day money-back grace period, during which you can try it risk-free, making it ideal for beginners!


Blazing-fast service



The company has 'optimized servers' that boost your connection to your Xbox, reducing lag significantly and ensuring users aren't sacrificing their gaming experience for the sake of enhanced privacy – especially when you can secure both for such a low price. The proof seems to be in the pudding too, considering they are always near the top of the pack in our daily VPN speed tests. 


Get more for less money


Ivacy operates on a strict no-logs policy, so you don't have to worry about your data being passed on to third parties or government agencies. It has all the privacy features an Xbox Series X owner could want, including leak protection, a kill-switch, and the use of multiple protocols for encryption, as well as a promise to scan and remove malware when in use.


Despite all these advanced features, Ivacy is the cheapest VPN on this list. What's more, one account can be used across ten devices, which is more than with most other VPNs on this list, another thing gamers will find useful.


Put it to the test risk-free


Ivacy has active servers in over 69 countries across the globe, meaning unblocking games in other regions is pretty easy, and if you fancy switching over to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or torrenting, this provider has you covered.


The 30-day money-back guarantee further sweetens the deal because you can try out Ivacy without incurring any cost. 

Why do I need a VPN for the Xbox Series X? 

It's always a good idea to use a VPN when you're on the internet, regardless of the platform or device you're using. 

By funneling your traffic through a private server before it reaches the internet, VPNs mask your IP address and help you pretend to be in the country where the given server is located.

Other advantages include being able to unblock different Netflix regions, buy games at cheaper prices and play them before they're released in your country. 

All that, on top of the security features they offer, makes them an essential piece of kit for any gamer. 

How to set up a VPN for Xbox Series X on your router

  1. Sign up to one of the VPN services on our list. 
  2. On your computer, navigate to the control panel of your router. 
  3. Click on the settings/set-up/WAN section of the control panel. 
  4. Enter the details provided by the VPN service you chose, including the server address. Save your changes and exit the control panel. 
  5. Turn on your Xbox and follow its instructions to connect to your WiFi, and you're ready to go!
 

Using a VPN router

Xbox consoles do not have native VPN support, and you can only install VPNs on routers capable of encrypting your traffic.

These routers are configured with the relevant firmware to host a VPN. If you want to install a VPN on another router, you will need to 'flash' it with DD-WRT or Tomato so it can support OpenVPN. 

Check out our best VPN routers article for more information. 

Set up Xbox Series X VPN by creating a virtual router from your computer

Another way to use a VPN on an Xbox is to share your computer's VPN connection with your console. 

You can do this quite simply by using an ethernet cable and following the instructions on our how to set up a VPN on Xbox Guide. 

Alternatively, you can turn your computer into a WiFi hotspot, which achieves the same goal. However, important to note that not all wireless cards have this functionality, and it won't be the best for high bandwidth gaming.

Windows

  1. Sign up to one of the VPNs on our list and activate it on your PC. 
  2. Open the settings menu on your computer. 
  3. Click on the 'Network & Internet' section in the settings menu. 
  4. Navigate to the 'Mobile hotspot' section.
  5. Click edit, name your network, and set a password. 
  6. Switch the toggle underneath 'share my internet connection with other devices' to on. Your mobile hotspot is now active. 
  7. Connect to your hotspot with your Xbox. 
  8. Test your connection to ensure it is up and running smoothly!

Mac

  1. Sign up to one of the VPNs on our list and activate it on your Mac. 
  2. Navigate to 'System Preferences' and select 'Sharing'. 
  3. Click 'Internet sharing' from the left-side list. 
  4. Select 'Share your connection from' on the drop-down menu. 
  5. Select 'WiFi' under the 'to computers using' menu. 
  6. Click 'WiFi options' and set a WiFi password.
  7. Tick the box next to 'Internet Sharing' in the 'Sharing' drop-down menu on the left-hand side. 
  8. Make sure your 'Internet Sharing' status is set to 'on'. 
  9. Connect to your mac's WiFi hotspot on your Xbox.
  10. Test your connection to ensure it is up and running smoothly!

Using a VPN's smart DNS server for Xbox Series X

A lot of VPNs offer smart DNS services which will let you geo-spoof in much the same way a virtual private network does, which is great for unblocking games or Netflix on your Xbox. Check out our gaming VPN page for more benefits of using a VPN when gaming.

However, they are not as secure as VPN services as they do not encrypt your internet traffic and merely redirect your DNS requests to a proxy server, which does not mask your IP address

So, it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with which VPNs offer the best Smart DNS services

Can VPNs reduce ping on the Xbox series X?

For VPNs to work, any given provider has to reroute your traffic through one of their private server, which can naturally lead to some minor, additional delay. 

However, if you're connecting to a private network near the gaming server you're planning on connecting to, which many gamers use VPNs to do, it can improve the stability of your connection, and can (sometimes) lead to ping improvements. 

Why a cheap VPN is better than a free one

Although there are some good free VPNs out there, they come often come with risks not associated with paid services. On free VPNs, it's not uncommon to find:

  • Limited safety and security features
  • Very little protection against malware 
  • Questionable privacy policies and data sales to third-parties
  • Internet advertisements
  • Very few server locations

Plus, almost all paid VPN services, including all five on our list, offer free trial VPNs or money-back guarantees if you're unsatisfied after a trial period. There's really no excuse not to take one for a spin! 

Conclusion

All in all, if you want the best gaming experience possible, a VPN should be the first thing on your list. Increased access to blocked games, as well as an enhanced level of privacy at no cost to your gaming experience, is a no-brainer. 

Here's a reminder of the best ones for your console:

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for Xbox Series X. Super-fast speeds, a vast server network, advanced features, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. NordVPN - An all-round VPN for Xbox Series X. It's compatible with consoles and lightning-fast, includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  3. CyberGhost VPN - The best Xbox Series X for VPN newbies. A user-friendly VPN with multi-platform compatibility and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
  4. Surfshark - The best buy VPN for Xbox Series X. Plenty of features, unlimited simultaneous connections, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  5. Ivacy - The cheapest Xbox Series X and S VPN. It's consistently one of the fastest VPNs we test and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Try ExpressVPN: our best pick for Xbox

Written by: Aaron Drapkin

After graduating with a philosophy degree from the University of Bristol in 2018, Aaron became a researcher at news digest magazine The Week following a year as editor of satirical website The Whip. Freelancing alongside these roles, his work has appeared in publications such as Vice, Metro, Tablet and New Internationalist, as well as The Week's online edition.

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