The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are finally coming into their own, with exclusive titles like Halo 5 and Bloodborne finally released. However, in 2016, more exclusive titles are coming out (Gears of War 4 for Xbox One and Uncharted 4 for PlayStation 4) as well as popular features finally being implemented (backward compatibility for Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 virtual experience releasing fall of 2016).
Features and games aside, these two consoles are also multi-media powerhouses capable of streaming all of the best services (Amazon Video, Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, Crunchy Time, and more!).
However, depending on your geo-location, some of these services that enhance your console experience might be restricted. If you’re in Canada, the UK, Australia, or plenty of other places, your Netflix (or even access at all to Hulu or HBO Go–these servers are restricted to the United States) is gutted, to say the least.
If you decide you want your full console experience, you might have to use a VPN (virtual private network) alongside your standard internet connection. VPNs have become increasingly easy to use and setup, but for the average user who just wants to watch some good TV on their console, or own noobs in Halo, things HAVE to be straightforward and easy. No complications.
That’s why we’ve written this easy-to-understand guide to explain why you should use a VPN with either your Xbox One or Playstation 4. We’ve also included instructions on how to setup a VPN with your Xbox One and Playstation 4, and we’ve added the list of the best VPNs, so you don’t have to waste time looking around for the best VPNs to use for your console.
Reasons to Use VPN With Xbox One and Playstation 4
Unlock Media Services
When the Xbox One was announced in May 2013, Microsoft pushed its place as a multimedia powerhouse. A lot of people hated how Microsoft focused so much on sports and media–instead of games. This media focus proved to be a detriment to the Xbox One’s sales and thus a firm foundation for the Playstation 4’s future sales.
However, as of now, many Xbox One fans enjoy the games that the Xbox One has, as well as the company’s shift to focusing on game features while the multi-media options are remaining useful.
While the Xbox One is more known for its multimedia capabilities that let you stream services like HBO Go or access live TV, the PlayStation 4 is also excellent for streaming media services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.
However, if you reside in a country that has restricted content libraries, or just restrictions to services themselves (some services like HBO Go and Hulu are only available in the United States) you’re missing out on some great streaming!
By connecting a VPN to your Xbox One or PlayStation 4, you can get access to United States libraries that have a lot of content available for viewing. It works by changing your IP address to that of a remote location. So even if you’re located in Canada, or the UK for example, your Xbox services will think you’re in the United States.
Or if you want to get creative, you can switch your geo-location around with your VPN–accessing various libraries with their own unique content (sometimes Canada Netflix, or Australian Netflix, might have content unavailable in the United States–although the United States library seems to be the most robust in terms of good content).
Change Country for Multiplayer
Another cool VPN trick you can do is change your location via your VPN and access different locations for multiplayer. Say you’re in the United States, but you like playing with Kiwis. All you have to do is change your IP to the location you want, and you can play with the people you want.
Or if you speak Japanese, you can change your location to Japan and talk with individuals who can speak Japanese. A VPN gives you the power to choose which area your services connect to.
Stop DDOS attacks
While not as common for average everyday gaming, DDOS attacks can prove to be very annoying when playing online games on your Xbox One or Playstation 4. If you enter any tournament, you might have to use a VPN to prevent yourself from denial of service attacks that can give you some serious lag issues.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re looking to stream with your Xbox One or Playstation 4 and watch Netflix or other services, you probably should pick TorGuard since they are the only VPN still support unblocking geo-restrictions. The best way to stream unblocked Netflix to your consoles is by purchasing a dedicated IP address so you can plug it into your router’s settings. You can also use the PPTP method and share that connection similar to how we do it later on in this guide. First, check out this guide, then come back here.
Best VPNs for Xbox One and Playstation 4
Price Per Month
Since TorGuard has high speeds, and pre-flashed DD-WRT routers, it makes it the obvious #1 choice for setting up VPN on Xbox One and Playstation 4. If you have any questions about the process, TorGuard’s 24/7 live chat is only a few minutes away! Besides that, it’s also the best VPN we’ve reviewed with numerous security features and amazing client offerings across the board.
Easiest setup for DD-WRT router Wi-Fi solution for Xbox One and Playstation 4
Great support guides
Plenty of security features and VPN extra services
Live chat is always available
Applications need visual update
Private Internet Access VPN is an excellent choice for setting up VPN on your Xbox One or Playstation 4 since it has such great speeds at an affordable cost. The clients are very easy to use, reliable, packed full of security features, and the low price point won’t break your buck since you will also be paying subscriptions for your consoles.
Very easy to use
Applications contain necessary security for low price point
Live chat can be intermittent
Not friendly for Xbox One or PlayStation 4 streaming
Doesn’t sell VPN routers
Since IPVanish VPN has a background in content delivery, it’s an incredible choice for setting up VPN on your Xbox One or Playstation 4. With IPVanish VPN, you always know you’ll have top notch speeds and stable server connections for your gaming and streaming.
Applications easy to use and configure
Mobile app is top notch
Not most secure client for torrenting without kill switch on Windows
Doesn’t sell VPN routers
If you’re new to VPNs, ExpressVPN is the perfect choice for setting up VPN on your Xbox One or Playstation. ExpressVPN is incredibly easy to setup on your computer so you can share your internet very quickly with your Xbox One or Playstation 4. It’s also very fast, and the applications all work well.
Great first-time setup process
Applications look great
Doesn’t sell VPN routers
More affordable than some of the other options–but a little basic (website and no mobile app), AirVPN is still an excellent choice for setting up VPN on your Xbox One or Playstation 4 since it has reliable speeds and a stable core foundation. Many users love AirVPN since it’s open source, and we enjoyed the VPN’s performance in our review.
Open source VPN and transparent
Speeds and performance splendid
Doesn’t sell VPN routers
Website and offerings feel outdated
How to Setup VPN for Xbox One and Playstation 4
While there aren’t easy ways to just set up a VPN through your console, there are two straightforward ways to connect your consoles to a VPN from your computer. You can either share your computer’s connection or use a DD-WRT router that pushes VPN Wi-Fi to ALL of your devices.
Using your computer’s internet connection to use VPN with Xbox One or Playstation 4
Before you start setting up a VPN, you must make sure that your computer is connected to your router through Wi-Fi, and then your Xbox connected to your computer through an ethernet cable. You can only use Wi-Fi VPN with a DD-WRT enabled router.
Also, make sure also to change your DNS settings on your console to automatic. This will be found in the network options inside your console configuration settings.
The second step in setting up a VPN on your Xbox One or PlayStation 4 with this method is setting up a VPN connection on your computer in your network and sharing center.
When you pick your VPN from our list and download their client, their native application will set up an icon spot (after you connect) that shows your VPN connection like this:
Right click this connection, navigate to sharing tab, and then pick “allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection. Then select “local area connection”.
From here you can enjoy your Xbox or Playstation with the power of VPN.
Using a VPN to power your Xbox or Playstation on a Mac is similar to the way that you do it on a PC. However, while you can just connect a Xbox to a PC with an ethernet cable, on Mac you need a converter since you can only share the internet through USB. This converter allows you to plug your ethernet cable into your Mac via USB.
Once you do this, just find a VPN and install their client, then navigate to “sharing” in your system preferences.
Make sure to toggle your chosen VPN connection from “share your connection from”, and toggle your VPN connection. Then, in the box called “to computers using” check USB ethernet.
Once you get this far, allow internet sharing by giving it a check mark. The green bubble alongside “internet sharing on” means you are ready to go.
Using the DD-WRT router connection to use VPN with Xbox One or Playstation 4
The best method to get a DD-WRT router working with your Xbox One or Playstation 4 is to buy a pre-flashed router. These routers are pre-configured with DD-WRT management software, so it’s easy to get your router and plug and play. TorGuard, one of the best VPN providers we’ve reviewed, is one the few VPN providers that sells these VPN routers. One of the advantages of a dual-band DD-WRT router is that you can have one VPN connection for privacy or unblocking media restrictions and another non-VPN connection for casual use.
To setup, your DDWRT router, just plug the included router into your modem, then open a browser to 192.168.1.1 (your local IP address). The default username/password is Admin/admin. Change this later. The next step is to download TorGuard’s DD-WRT software setup (here is Mac version). Just fill in the values requested (your login details), then choose your selected VPN server. You can then choose other options that will help you setup your router. Once you are done, the software will automatically update your router with your settings. If you want to manually setup your router, check out some links in this guide.
After this is complete, just connect your Xbox or Playstation to your VPN router Wi-Fi channel–and you’re ready to go!
Thanks for reading our mega guide on how to setup VPN for Xbox One and Playstation 4! If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below, and we’ll help you setup your VPN for your Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Come on over to our forums.