If you want to know how to use a VPN on Xbox, we’ve got a few methods for you in this article. Unfortunately, it is not possible to download a VPN directly onto your Xbox One or Xbox Series X, but there are still plenty of ways for you to connect the iconic Microsoft console through a VPN. For reference, methods are the same whether you’re using an Xbox One or an Xbox Series X|S.
There are lots of reasons to do this: for one thing, there’s privacy. Internet service providers (ISPs) and the other faceless corporations of the internet are growing increasingly invasive, with cookies tracking everything you do online (whether that’s on your computer or your Xbox), and a VPN helps to mask that activity. Meanwhile, your VPN can also stop your ISP from artificially slowing down your connection speeds whenever you use a lot of bandwidth, which is great for anyone who loves playing online.
While this is an instructional guide, you might want to check out our guides on the best VPN for Xbox, the best VPN routers, and the best router VPNs. These will help you if you’re struggling to decide which VPN provider to choose, or want to make sure that you’re using a VPN compatible router.
Best Xbox VPN providers
If you need the best VPN provider for your Xbox and don’t have time to read our longer guide, here are our top recommendations:
If you specifically want to use your VPN to enhance certain games, check out our guides on using a Fortnite VPN and on using a Warzone VPN which will give you instructions on what to do with them. We also have a guide on how to use a VPN on PS4 or PS5, if you use both consoles.
These are the four main methods for using a VPN on Xbox:
- How to use a VPN on Xbox using a Smart DNS
- How to use a VPN on Xbox using a Wi-Fi router
- How to use a VPN on Xbox using your PC
- How to use a VPN on Xbox using your Mac
How to use a VPN on Xbox using a Smart DNS
This is a process probably mainly for the more tech-savvy readers. However, it’s not going to be an option that’s available to everybody, because not every VPN provider will give you a Smart DNS.
If you use ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or Surfshark as your provider, you can definitely get a Smart DNS from them (and these are, by no means, the only ones to do that). However, the process for obtaining one varies from service to service, so if you want to go through this route, we’re not going to give you instructions for obtaining a Smart DNS, and instead advise you to contact your provider’s customer support team for instructions.
However, once you do have your Smart DNS, here’s what to do next:
- Turn on your Xbox and then navigate to ‘System Settings’
- Select ‘Network Settings’
- Select ‘Advanced Settings’
- Select ‘DNS Settings’
- Select ‘Manual’
- Enter the primary DNS server address given to you by your provider
- Enter the secondary DNS server address given to you by your provider
- Restart your Xbox
Once this is all done, your Xbox will be connected through your VPN via the Smart DNS.
How to use a VPN on Xbox using a Wi-Fi router
Connecting via your router is an option that gives you all the same benefits as any of the other methods, although it comes with a few hurdles that you’ll have to overcome. For one thing, many routers do not have the processing power to connect through a VPN, so you might need to purchase a new router if you want to go down this path (and you can read our guide on VPN-compatible routers linked above). You also might want to consult your provider to find out whether your current router will be up to the task.
However, another difficulty that presents itself if you connect via a router is the fact that then every device in your house will be connected via the VPN server. If you’re going through a router in another country, this could create problems for any devices that do things based on region (e.g. internet banking on your personal computer).
Finally, you also need to be conscious of the fact that not all VPNs offer router support, so if you’re already using a VPN, you’ll have to check whether or not this is something that it can do (worth contacting customer support if you can’t find a clear answer on the website).
This is another situation where the process is going to vary depending on which VPN provider you use, and which router you have, so we’re not going to list step-by-step instructions, because they’ll be different for almost every reader. If your Xbox is already set up to connect through your Wi-Fi, then no action will need to be taken on the console.
How to use a VPN on Xbox using your PC
This process is one of the simpler ones, but it will require you to have both an ethernet cable, and a PC (preferably a laptop) in order to do it. Here are the instructions for you:
- Choose your provider, then download and install the VPN
- Connect your PC or laptop to your Xbox with an ethernet cable
- Go to ‘Control Panel’, then select ‘Network and Internet’
- Select ‘Network and Sharing Centre’
- Select ‘Change Adapter Settings’
- Right click on your VPN and then select ‘Properties’
- Under the sharing tab, make sure ‘Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection’ is ticked
- Under ‘Home Networking Connection’ select your internet connection
- Turn on your Xbox and go to ‘Settings’
- Select ‘Network’ and then ‘Test Network Connection’
How to use a VPN on Xbox using your Mac
If you’re using a Mac, the process will be very similar to the instructions for doing it through your PC. Here’s a walkthrough:
- Choose your VPN provider, download, and install it
- Connect your Mac to your Xbox with an ethernet cable
- Select ‘System Preferences’
- Select ‘Sharing’
- Select ‘Internet Sharing’
- Click ‘Wi-Fi’ under the ‘Share Your Connection From’ dropdown
- Click ‘Ethernet’ under the ‘To computers using’ dropdown
- Click the box next to ‘Internet Sharing’ and a green icon will appear, which indicates that the connection can be shared across devices
- Turn on your Xbox and navigate to ‘Settings’
- Select ‘Network’ and then ‘Test Network Connection’
Your Xbox will now be connected to your VPN via your Mac. If you need to change servers or anything, you’ll have complete control of the Xbox’s VPN connection through the Mac devices, making it very easy for you to make it do what it needs to.