How to use a VPN on PS4 or PS5

For added privacy, or a chance to access region exclusive content, we've got four different methods for using a VPN with your PS4 or PS5

Two PlayStation 5s standing next to each other, waiting for VPN protection.

As gaming consoles become more advanced, we find ourselves using them for more things beyond simple gaming. With built-in browsers and apps allowing us to do most things that we might also do on a gaming PC, the need for cybersecurity becomes more pertinent. But it’s not exactly easy to use a VPN on PS4 or PS5 – especially if you’re looking to play games in a different region – and that’s why we made this guide.

Annoyingly, Sony prohibits VPN apps from being distributed through the PlayStation Store, so it’s not a simple case of downloading it and switching it on like you can on Windows. Fortunately, though, it hasn’t made it completely impossible to do so.

There are four different methods through which you can use your virtual private network on your PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 and we’ve detailed them all here in this guide. Before long, you’ll be able to enjoy the extra privacy and security that a VPN provides, while also gaining access to content that is not normally available in your region.

Here are the four different ways of doing it:

Set up a VPN for PS4 or PS5 with a Smart DNS

One way of setting up VPN access on your PlayStation is through the use of a Smart DNS. This is a relatively simple process that should be easy to follow, even if you’re not a hugely tech-savvy person.

There are two caveats to this approach, however. The first is that not all VPN providers offer functionality with this method and the second is that it’ll only give you half of your VPN benefits. While it will allow you to change your region and access restricted content, it won’t encrypt your data. If the encryption is essential to you, take a look at the next method below.

The first step is obtaining a Smart DNS from your VPN provider for you to use with your PlayStation. NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark are all known to provide it, but the process for obtaining the Smart DNS will vary somewhat from provider to provider. Log in to your account and you should be able to find the path for obtaining this address, but if in doubt, please contact your provider’s customer support team and they’ll point you in the right direction.

Anyway, once you’ve got it, here’s how to do this process on a PS4:

  1. On your console’s homescreen, go to the ‘Settings’ menu
  2. Choose ‘Network’
  3. Go to ‘Set Up Internet Connection’ and then choose either ‘LAN’ or ‘Wi-Fi’, whichever you use
  4. Choose ‘Custom’
  5. Go to ‘IP Address” and set it to “Auto”
  6. Go to ‘DCHP Host’ and set it to ‘Do Not Specify’
  7. Go to ‘DNS’ and set it to ‘Manual’ then enter the Smart DNS address that you got from your provider
  8. Go to ‘MUT Settings’ and change it to ‘Auto’
  9. Go to ‘Proxy Server; and set it to ‘Do Not Use’
  10. Go to ‘Test Internet Connection’ to confirm that this has all worked smoothly

If you’re using a PS5, the process is a little bit different. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to ‘Settings’,
  2. Choose ‘Network’
  3. Choose ‘Settings’ again in this sub-menu
  4. Go to ‘Set Up Internet Connection’ and choose LAN or Wi-Fi as appropriate
  5. Highlight your connection and then press the ‘Options’ button
  6. Choose ‘Advanced Settings’
  7. Set ‘IP Address’ to ‘Auto’
  8. Go to ‘DCHP Host’ and select ‘Do Not Specify’
  9. On the section for DNS settings, select ‘Manual’
  10. Now enter the Smart DNS address that you obtained from your provider
  11. Press ‘Next’
  12. Go to ‘MUT’ and set it to ‘Auto’
  13. Go to ‘Test Internet Connection’ to confirm that this is now all working properly

Set up a VPN for PS4 or PS5 with a Wi-Fi router

By connecting via your router, you’ll be able to access region-exclusive content while also ensuring that all of your PlayStation data is encrypted. In fact, it covers each and every device connected to the router, which ensures everything’s protected but this also comes with its own problems – such as disconnecting your wireless printer from your laptop, for example. I

f you just want to connect your PlayStation and leave other devices out of it, you’ll want a VPN that’s capable of split tunnelling, as this gives you control over each connection.

Since VPNs require a good amount of processing power, most routers aren’t compatible with the software even if you do it yourself. Stores like Flashrouters help to keep things simple by pre-configuring a VPN router for you – although you’ll need to check if your internet service provider allows for you to use your own router, as some force their own hubs. Alternatively, you can buy your own gaming router and flash it yourself with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware, but be warned that this can be a complicated process and runs the risk of bricking your device if you do it wrong.

If this sounds like the method for you, we recommend you choose your VPN provider first and make sure it’s compatible with your router. After all, while the best free VPNs work great for your smartphone and other individual devices, data caps would prove difficult across many devices. However, if this process won’t work for you, check out your other options below.

Set up a VPN for PS4 or PS5 with your PC

If you’re keen to use your VPN on your PlayStation and want to be sure your data is encrypted, but don’t fancy the palaver of setting up a VPN router, connecting through your PC may be the best option. Please note, to do this, you will need either two ethernet ports (and cables), or an ethernet port (with a cable) and a Wi-Fi connection.

To connect via your PC, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that your VPN is already installed and running on your PC
  2. Plug one end of an ethernet cable into your PC and the other end of the cable into your PlayStation
  3. Go to your Control Panel, then click ‘Network and Internet’, followed by ‘Network and Sharing Centre’
  4. Select ‘Change Adapter Settings’ which should appear towards the left of the screen
  5. You should now see your VPN connection. Right click it and click ‘Properties’
  6. Click on the ‘Sharing’ tab and then make sure that the ‘Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection’ box is ticked
  7. On the dropdown under ‘Home Networking Connection’ click on your internet connection, whether it’s Wi-Fi or a second ethernet port, and:
    1. If using a PS4: go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Network Settings’, then ‘Set Up Internet Connection’, then ‘Use a LAN cable’ and finally choose the ‘Easy’ connection method
    2. If using a PS5: go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Network’, then ‘Set Up Internet Connection’ and it will automatically scan and find the ethernet connection
    3. On either console, select ‘Do Not Use Proxy Server’ when prompted

Your PlayStation should now be connected to the internet using a VPN, but if you have any doubts, it may be worth testing your connection.

Set up a VPN for PS4 or PS5 with your Mac

If you use a Mac rather than a PC in your home set-up, you can get your VPN working for your console through a similar method to PC users. Please note, you’ll need an ethernet port and cable to carry this out.

Here’s a step by step process for you to follow:

  1. Make sure your VPN is already installed and running
  2. Plug one end of the ethernet cable into your Mac and the other end of it into your PlayStation
  3. Click on ‘System Preferences’ then ‘Sharing’ and choose ‘Internet Sharing’ from the list to the left
  4. On the ‘Share Your Connection From’ dropdown menu, click on ‘Wi-Fi’
  5. Next, click on ‘Ethernet’ on the ‘To computers using’ dropdown
  6. Tick the box next to ‘Internet Sharing’ and a green icon will then appear, indicating that the connection can be shared across devices. Then:
    1. If using a PS4: go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Network Settings’, then ‘Set Up Internet Connection’, then ‘Use a LAN cable’ and finally choose the ‘Easy’ connection method
    2. If using a PS5: go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Network’, then ‘Set Up Internet Connection’ and it will automatically scan and find the ethernet connection
    3. On either console, select ‘Do Not Use Proxy Server’ when prompted

Your PlayStation should now be connected to the internet using a VPN, but if you have any doubts, it may be worth testing your connection

We hope that this guide will help you to start enjoying the benefits of your VPN on your PlayStation. Then you can get back to enjoying the best PS4 games or the best PS5 games, safe in the knowledge that your data is encrypted and if a game you’re excited about doesn’t come to your region, well, now you’ll be able to download it.

For those who don’t yet have a VPN, we recommend the following providers:

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