Why You Should Get A VPN For Your Xbox One Or PS4

Image: iStock

After putting up with what my roommates and I like to joke is the "first Roku ever made" for the past few years, I recently decided to do all my video watching through my PlayStation 4 instead. The experience has been a million times better (no more lag, random crashes, or app designs that haven't been updated in years), but it also got me thinking about whether I could use a virtual private network (VPN) on my gaming console to improve things even more.

Christian Petersen / Getty Images

It turns out that getting a VPN running on your PS4 or Xbox One is actually pretty easy, and the advantages make it worth the minimal effort (and cost) required to get the job done.

Why Would You Want a VPN for Your PS4 or Xbox One?

The reason to get a VPN for your gaming console is the same reason you'd want one on your computer. Virtual private networks let you spoof your location so you can watch a movie on Netflix that's only available in the US or a sports game that's blocked out in your country.

They also hide your identity and encrypt your data, keeping you protected from hackers and government snooping. All of this applies to your gaming console as well. So whether you're streaming video on your PS4 or making a purchase through your Xbox One, it's worth having a VPN.

On top of that, you may be able to find better deals on games by scouring the PS4 and Xbox One digital storefronts in different parts of the world. You could even get early access to a new video if it's released in some countries first.

How To Choose The Right VPN In Australia

Not all virtual private networks (VPNs) are created equal. Some keep logs, some cap your traffic, some don't work on mobile, some don't work at all. This is what you need to know about choosing a VPN provider, as well as a few recommendations to get you started.

Read more

Which VPN Should You Use?

BestVPN has separate guides for picking and installing a VPN on your PS4 and Xbox One, but in both cases the site recommends the same option: ExpressVPN.

This service is a bit pricey at $8.32 per month with a year-long contract (it's even more expensive if you only pay for one month at a time), but it does come with some nice advantages. ExpressVPN offers strong encryption, fast servers and 24/7 support through live chat. There's no free trial, but you can get a refund in the first 30 days if you change your mind.

If you're looking for something cheaper, BestVPN's suggestions go all the way down to around $5 per month. There are also plenty of free VPNs out there, but most of those will probably put a cap on your bandwidth - not ideal for online gaming - and may even show you ads.

How to Install a VPN on Your Console

According to BestVPN, there are two ways to get your VPN running on a PS4 or Xbox One: through your router or through a desktop computer. The first takes a little longer, but the second requires an Ethernet cable to connect the console to the VPN.

You can find the full directions for PS4 here and Xbox One here.

The exact step-by-step process varies slightly depending on which console you have, but either way it shouldn't take you more than half-an-hour to get the job done. Once you're done you can go back to enjoying your console with all the added advantages of a VPN.


Comments

    The best way is to just buy a separate router as a 24/7 VPN client. For any devices that need to go through a VPN, they can just go through that router. Any other devices go through your normal router.

      Oh wow I've never actually heard this.
      So how do you separate at the nbn box and split two routers from there?

        You'd have to hang your VPN router off your normal one.

          Ahh I see. For streaming only devices that seems fine. But gaming it'd ruin everything.

            Why would it be any worse than hooking a console off a single router? As far as devices hooked up to the VPN router are concerned, the other network doesn't exist. The difference is that instead of the WAN connection on the router being an ADSL modem or PPPoE, it is a VPN link.

            With that said, the main problem for gaming with any VPN setup is going to be latency. Unless the VPN provider is already between you and the game server, it will increase lag.

              Oh I mean purely poor latency from being routed all over the world through the VPN.

    They also hide your identity and encrypt your data, keeping you protected from hackers and government snooping.
    Yes, can't have the government see my crappy k/d ratio, can we...

    On top of that, you may be able to find better deals on games by scouring the PS4 and Xbox One digital storefronts in different parts of the world. You could even get early access to a new video if it's released in some countries first.
    Or you can just set up an account in that region - the way we always have.

      It's how I got the NHL Live app on PS3 and PS4. Just picked a random google street address in the states and signed up a separate account.
      I now have a user on the console that lets me browse the US PSN store, simples.

    VPN on your console would kill your ping and make matchmaking harder

      Yeah obviously just connect direct to the internet if you are gaming but this article was about media consumption. When the consoles have dedicated apps for virtually every streaming service it does make sense to use a VPN.

    Vpn on ps4 sucks for online gaming and is way too shitty a connection for us netflix

      The connection speed and whether Netflix is blocked or not really depends on which VPN provider you go through. The smaller cheap ones will obviously fare worse than the more expensive large corporate ones.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now