How to Get a VPN on Xbox

You can hook up an Xbox to a VPN through a computer, router, or Wi-Fi hotspot.

Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Jul 26, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Jul 26, 2021

These days, people do much more on their Xboxes than ever before. It’s not just about gaming, but about streaming, listening to music, watching others play games on Twitch, and even browsing the web. However, with these activities comes the need for protection: protection from hackers, internet service providers, and anyone else who may be spying on your online activity. While setting up a VPN on your Xbox isn’t the most straightforward process in the world, there are a few workarounds that anyone can do, even if you’re not a tech expert like us.

Surfshark Connected to VPN
Surfshark Connected to VPN

How to Get a VPN on Xbox

There are three main ways you can make your VPN compatible with Xbox: through your computer, your router, or a personal hotspot.

Through a Computer

  • Mac:
    1. Connect your Mac to the internet via an Ethernet cable; it won’t work through Wi-Fi.
    2. Go to System Preferences.
    3. Click on Sharing.
    4. Click on Internet Sharing.
    5. Under Share Your Connection From, choose VPN.
    6. Under In To Computer Using, check the box for Wi-Fi.
    7. Create a password and a network name.
    8. Leave the channel as Default.
    9. Set the Security as WPA2 Personal.
    10. Click OK.
    11. Enable Internet Sharing.
    12. Turn your Wi-Fi network on.
    13. Click Start.
    14. Go into your Xbox’s settings.
    15. Join this Wi-Fi network1.
  • Windows 10:To properly connect your Xbox to your Windows 10 PC, the device must be wireless, with either a built-in interface or an external USB wireless adapter.
    1. On your computer, press the Windows button.
    2. Type in “cmd” (command).
    3. Right-click on the Result List Entry Command prompt.
    4. Choose to Run As An Administrator.
    5. In the command prompt window, type in “netsh wlan show drivers”.
    6. Press Enter.2
    7. Once you get your Xbox on the same network as your computer, connect your computer to your VPN.
    8. Your web activity on your Xbox, as well as your private IP address, will be encrypted.

Once you get your Xbox on the same network as your computer, connect your computer to your VPN. Then, your web activity on your Xbox, as well as your private IP address, will be encrypted.

VyprVPN Mac Servers
VyprVPN Mac Servers

Through a Router

Rather than creating a Wi-Fi network from a computer and adding your Xbox to that network, you can use a VPN on the router that your Xbox is on. However, how to set up a VPN router will differ based on your make and model; for step-by-step instructions, you’ll need to go on your router company’s support site. Sorry we couldn’t be more helpful!

Through a Hotspot

There’s also the option of creating a personal hotspot on another device and then using that as your Xbox’s Wi-Fi. If your device is connected to a VPN, your Xbox will be, as well.

  • MacOS or iOS: To add your Xbox to a personal hotspot on your Mac, you’ll need iOS 8 or iPadOS 13 or later3.
    1. On iOS, go to Settings.
    2. Go to Personal Hotspot and toggle it on.
    3. Go on your MacBook.
    4. Join that network using the password listed on your phone.
    5. Add your Xbox to this hotspot network.
  • Windows:
    1. On a Windows PC, go to Settings.
    2. Go to Network & Internet.
    3. Click on Mobile Hotspot and select Edit.
    4. Name your network and its password.
    5. Click Save
    6. Toggle Share My Internet Connection With Other Devices on.
    7. Connect your Xbox to the mobile hotspot4.

Tip: If you’re using the mobile hotspot method, you’ll need a VPN that works with your device. Check out the best VPNs for iPhones, the best VPNs for Macs and the best VPNs for Windows.

Why You Need a VPN on Xbox

An Xbox might not be the first device you associate with VPNs, but there are three valid reasons why you’d want to combine the two.

AVG VPN on Mac On App
AVG VPN on Mac On App
  • Security: If you happen to be using your Xbox on a public Wi-Fi network, using a VPN can prevent hackings. In fact, our VPN research indicated that nearly half of VPN users use the service for general security.
  • Privacy: Whether you’re using the Xbox for gaming or to stream, VPNs encrypt all web traffic and IP addresses so your internet service provider won’t see what you’re doing.
  • Streaming: Many people stream on their Xbox, once they’re done gaming, that is. If that’s the case, then VPNs can help you access streaming services in other countries. That’s why there are VPNs for Netflix, VPNs for Hulu, VPNs for Disney+ and more.

    FYI: Unsure of how to access another country’s streaming library? Read about how to change your region on Netflix.

How to Choose an Xbox VPN

Our VPN guide gives a great overview of what to look for in a VPN in general, but you want to make sure that your VPN works with your Xbox, primarily.

IPVanish Desktop App
IPVanish Desktop App

VPN Xbox Compatibility

VPN Xbox Series X Xbox Series S Xbox One Xbox 360
CyberGhost No No Yes No
ExpressVPN Yes Yes Yes Yes
IPVanish No No Yes No
Ivacy VPN Yes Yes Yes Yes
NordVPN No No Yes No
Private Internet Access No No Yes No
Surfshark No No Yes No
Trust.Zone No No No Yes

There are a number of VPNs that work with Xbox, but not all Xbox-compatible VPNs work with all types of Xboxes. The above chart contains all of the VPNs that we’ve tested and what types of Xboxes they work with.

Free VPNs for Xbox

The only free VPNs that we’ve found for Xbox are:

  • Surfshark: Surfshark works with the Xbox one only, so it’s not for everybody. However, Surfshark is a free trial VPN that lasts for only 30 days only; after that, Surfshark’s pricing starts at $2.49 a month for the two-year package.
  • Trust.Zone: Compatible with Xbox 360 only, Trust.Zone is another free trial VPN, but it only lasts for three days. Learn more about Trust.Zone’s subscriptions.

Gaming Port Forwarding

Are you using a VPN for gaming? If so, you may be interested in port forwarding, a common gaming process that makes Xboxes more compatible with other gaming consoles and PCs online. This improves connection speeds, lobby wait times, and more5. Here’s how to create port forwarding on Xbox One:

Create Port Forwarding on Xbox One

  1. Log into your router’s online account.
  2. Go to the port forwarding section of the account, which may be called Virtual Server.
  3. Create port forward entries in your router. (You can find a list of routers on Port Forward’s site.)
  4. Test that the ports are being forwarded correctly6.

Since latency is so important in gaming, port forwarding is your best chance at winning on Xbox.


Ivacy VPN Windows Screenshot
Ivacy VPN Windows Screenshot

As most VPNs aren’t set up to be used on Xboxes, it’s hard to know exactly how to implement them. However, there are a few simple options that, once you get set up, shouldn’t be too hard to use. Although we may not think of them as using the internet, there’s more than gaming on Xboxes: there’s also web browsing, streaming, and other online services as well, necessitating a VPN to increase security and privacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Since using a VPN isn’t as common with Xboxes as it is with mobile devices and computers, there can be confusion about compatibility and how complicated it is to set up. We’re here to help.

  • Do you need a VPN for Xbox?

    To maintain your privacy and security online, you need a VPN for Xbox.

  • Is there a VPN for Xbox One?

    There are several VPNs that work with Xbox One, including CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, IPVanish, Ivacy VPN, NordVPN, Private Internet Access and Surfshark.

  • How do I get a free VPN for Xbox One?

    To get a free VPN for Xbox One, download Surfshark either on their website or from an app store. You can use Surfshark on your Xbox One for free for 30 days. After that, prices start at $2.49 a month with a two-year subscription.

  • Can I use NordVPN on Xbox?

    You can use NordVPN on Xbox One only; it doesn’t work with Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X or Xbox 360.

  1. VPN Unlimited. (2021). How to share a VPN connection over WiFi using a Mac.

  2. Cyberghost. (2021). How to share a VPN connection over WiFi on Windows.

  3. Apple. (2021). Instant hotspot on your Mac.

  4. HMA. (2021). Guide to using a VPN on your Xbox.

  5. Activision. (2021). Port Forward and Nat FAQ.

  6. Port Forward. (2021). Port Forward.