Xbox One has become one of the most popular gaming consoles worldwide. It has a massive network connecting millions of gamers who play hundreds of different games online. As with any connection to the internet, a little caution goes a long way toward protecting yourself against privacy and security vulnerabilities when playing games on Xbox One.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) provide many uses for those looking for privacy, security, and flexibility while playing on an Xbox One console. Using a VPN for Xbox can present unique challenges and requires some creative thinking to pull off.
Many gamers can grow frustrated by the slower speeds that can plague a VPN setup but should see the benefits outweigh those downsides. This guide on how to use a VPN for Xbox One and why will alleviate those difficulties and help to get you gaming safely, securely, and freely in no time.
How to set up a VPN on Xbox One
First, the cat should be let out of the bag: there is no VPN available that can be set up directly on your Xbox One console. Now that we have that little letdown out of the way we can move on to the more positive news.
Setting up a VPN to use it on Xbox One is a bit more complicated than installing one on a desktop or mobile device, but it is not rocket science. Some computer knowledge and technical skills are required, though.
The most common way to install a VPN for gaming use is to attach it to your network via the Wi-Fi router. Every router is different and has a unique setup protocol, but most popular VPNs offer easy instructions and live support if necessary.
For those who do not want to go with the router setup, there is an alternative option. Setting up a VPN on your desktop computer, then connecting your Xbox One to it via a virtual router can offer VPN protection and benefits. This process sounds complicated but is again made simple with easy setup instructions and live help from most VPN service providers.
Using a VPN to Prevent DDoS Attacks
The sad reality is that even the mystical, exciting world of online gaming is not safe from those looking to cause trouble. A VPN can help to battle against the unique security issues presented by playing games across networks.
One of the more intriguing features available to modern gamers is the possibility to communicate via voice with others playing at the same time. While adding an element of connection and realism, this function has also created safety issues.
Specific conversations can lead to the determination of a gamer’s IP address. This address can be used by overzealous competitors who would do anything to win. A common way for malicious players to disable others is by initiating a DDoS attack. This method floods your internet connection with activity causing your provider to react by shutting you down.
A good VPN will offer technology that detects this sudden spike in internet activity and thwarts any attempt at a DDoS attack. Masking your actual IP address helps prevent others from detecting it and starting an attack.
Some gamers go way overboard and send DDoS attacks to the server hosting the game. The typical response is for the server to block any IP address associated with the realm the attacker was in. If this occurs, a VPN could allow you to switch the IP address to one that is not blocked.
Using a VPN to avoid swatting
A recent and very disturbing new tactic that turns games into reality is an attack on fellow players called “swatting.” If a particularly deranged opponent can track down your IP address and the associated physical address, swatting is made possible.
The player can call the local police department and report some sort of violent crime occurring at your address. Many of these departments will send a SWAT team in full battle mode to assess and mitigate the violence.
Several unsuspecting Xbox One players have been seen on film live streaming their gameplay as a group of armed officers came storming in. This type of mischief can cause serious real-life impacts like mental, social, and physical harm.
A VPN can help avoid this juvenile and horrific behavior by masking the IP address others can see. Hiding your physical location should be a priority given the climate of gaming.
Using a VPN to gain access to rare games
A variety of reasons including financial gain and testing opportunities lead Xbox game developers to often release games regionally. This means one region may have a new game for weeks or months before another has access to it.
Besides, some games are never released in certain regions. These factors lead desperate gamers to search for a way to avoid missing out on the fun. A VPN can provide a pathway to access geographically restricted games. By logging in to a server located in the available region, players can enjoy the gameplay as if they lived there.
Using a VPN to stream restricted content
The Xbox One console goes beyond simply gaming and provides a platform for most streaming apps.
Many streaming media providers have started to geographically restrict content to protect themselves against copyright infringement. Netflix is well-known to participate in geo-blocking to appease its distributors.
Once easily avoided by using a VPN, the streaming content giant has become very good at blocking viewers accessing the service with a VPN engaged. This has created a scenario requiring those wanting to avoid the geo-blocks to vary their VPN service providers and find one that is not currently blocked.
How to choose the best VPN for Xbox One
Now that you know how and the many reasons why to use a VPN for Xbox One, the task at hand is to choose one that works for your needs. A few factors should be considered before settling for the perfect option.
Ideally, you should find a few different VPN service providers with limited free trial periods, so you can test all these factors out before fully committing. This alone can narrow down a list of potential options.
As a VPN cannot be installed directly on your Xbox One system, you must find one that is router-compatible or offers the possibility to create a virtual router on your desktop. Any VPN that must be downloaded directly to the device can be eliminated.
Pay close attention to the quality of servers being advertised. There are those that will have servers ideal for gaming, offering high-speed connections with large networks to connect to. Speed is the name of the game, so a VPN should guarantee its ability to provide great connections.
As security is the major reason to use a VPN, be sure DDoS protections are available. Also, you should check on the privacy practices of the service to make sure it is not unnecessarily tracking your online behaviors.
Xbox One is the premier gaming console with millions of players accessing its network each day. Safety is paramount when interacting with so many people online, and a VPN can add an invaluable layer of security. The added bonus of accessing new, regionally unavailable games and streaming content makes a VPN a must have for Xbox One gamers.