VPN l May 11, 2020

How to Set Up a VPN For Your Gaming Console

Author: Jolene Chambers

VPNs have become an integral part of the internet experience for people around the world. They not only increase security, but can unlock geo-blocked content, and, in some cases, improve network speeds. Unfortunately, most consoles don’t offer native support for VPN.

However, you can still have all the fantastic benefits of a VPN directly on your favorite console. This guide lists a step-by-step process on how to install a VPN on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

The setup is easier and quicker than you think. You’ll be unlocking all the great VPN gaming benefits in no time!

P.S. The newest consoles from Xbox and PlayStation are right around the corner. But don’t worry; these tips will still be useful no matter whether you’re using an 8-year old PS4 or glimmering new PS5 or any other next-generation device. 

Why Use a VPN on Your Gaming Console?

You might be wondering why a VPN is even necessary for your console. To start, you’d use a VPN on your gaming system for the same reason you would run it on your computer or smartphone—to protect your data.

Of course, there are more compelling reasons than that. Whether you’re a Nintendo, Sony, or Xbox fanatic, you can use a VPN to bypass geographical restrictions. Using a VPN, you can access games from anywhere in the world and take advantage of different pricing options available in other countries.

That’s not all.

Many gamers use consoles not only for gaming but also for streaming content from YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu. Having a VPN allows you to access all your favorite shows, no matter where you are.

You might see better in-game performance too. While VPNs may sometimes slow connectivity, they can increase speeds and improve latency. By connecting to a server near where the game is hosted, you can get better gameplay.

At the same time, VPNs allow you to overcome bandwidth throttling. The latter happens when Internet Services Providers slow down your connection speed for their own reasons.

That’s right—VPN use brings more games, better deals, and potentially better performance, all wrapped up in privacy and security. You’ll wonder why you didn’t install a VPN a long time ago!

P.S. It is also possible to install a VPN on your router. Then your VPN covers the connections of all the devices in the network. It is a great way to improve Internet security. But it’s not too helpful for gamers who may want to switch quickly between servers in different countries.

That’s why this article focuses on more direct and adaptable methods of using a VPN on your gaming console.

1. How to Install a VPN on Xbox One

To install a VPN on an Xbox One, you need to put your tech hat on for just a second.

Since there is no native VPN app for Xbox, you need to establish a connection between a VPN-enabled Windows PC and your Xbox. That means you also need a PC with an extra Ethernet port.

After you’ve installed your VPN service of choice on your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Connect an Ethernet cable between your Xbox One and PC
  2. Click “Settings” and open “Network & Internet”
  3. Click “VPN”
  4. Right-click “Change adapter options”
  5. Click “Sharing”
  6. Select “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection box”
  7. Click “Select a private network connection box”
  8. Find Your Xbox’s Ethernet connection and press “Ok”
  9. Turn on your Xbox
  10. Press “RB” three times
  11. Select “Settings”
  12. Select “Network”
  13. Test “Network Connection”

It also works on Macs. Follow the same steps, but go to “Internet Sharing” in “System Preferences.

  1. Connect the Ethernet cable between your Xbox and Mac

Macs also allow you to share connections via Wi-Fi, but performance may not be as high as with an Ethernet cord.

  1. Enable “Internet Sharing. If successful, a green icon will appear

If the network connection works, then you’re good to go.

That wasn’t so hard, was it? You’re ready to use your VPN to change server locations and unlock all the other great features that they can do. 

Remember, you can’t do this directly on your console but only on your computer. Likewise, your computer needs to be on anytime you want to connect your Xbox using your VPN.

2. How to Install a VPN on PS4

Setting up a VPN on PlayStation 4 is similar to setting one up on Xbox One. Follow steps 1-6 from above.

After, your PC will be ready to share its internet connection, and you will see your PS4.

1.     On your PS4, click “Settings”

2.     Select “Network Settings”

3.     Select “Set Up Internet Connection”

4.     Choose “Use a LAN Cable” and “Easy connection method. It automatically scans and sets up the connection

5.     When prompted, select “Do Not Use a Proxy Server”

6.     Test your internet connection. If everything goes well, then you are connected to the internet via your VPN already

As with the Xbox One, you can connect your PS4 to your Mac with an Ethernet port through this method. You need to do this via “Internet Sharing” in “Settings.”

3. How to Install a VPN on Nintendo Switch

Of all three consoles, Nintendo players have the most to gain from using a VPN. They are the most vulnerable to difficulties due to geographic restrictions.

Unfortunately, since the Switch doesn’t have a dedicated VPN port, it’s a little trickier to set up a VPN unless you have a Mac.

To set up with a VPN with Mac:

  1. Open “Internet Sharing”
  2. Enable “Share My Connection”
  3. Turn on your VPN
  4. Connect your Switch to your Mac’s network

Some Windows computers do support sharing their Wi-Fi connection. But you may experience performance issues while gaming. The best way to find out if it works is to try it out (using the steps from above) and see for yourself.

If it doesn’t work, then you have to configure your Switch’s DNS settings manually.

DNS (Domain Naming System) is how your console talks to other computers on the internet. All internet-connected devices use this feature.

  1. Go to the “Home” menus and tap “Settings”
  2. Choose “Internet Settings”
  3. Allow your device to search for available Wi-Fi connections
  4. Select the network you want to connect to and select “Change Settings”
  5. Delete DNS numbers stored under “Primary DNS” and “Secondary DNS”
  6. Now configure the DNS settings to match the ones provided by your VPN service when you signed up for it

What’s nice about Smart DNS is you only have to connect to the target VPN server, and you can access games and other content without additional manual configuration.

Set Up a VPN on Your Gaming Consoles

Let’s wrap up. Using a VPN on your gaming consoles has many benefits. Aside from much better privacy and security, you also can access games and streaming content from anywhere in the world.

And it’s not just finding more games but also better deals if you know where to look. In some cases, you get better performance while bypassing ISP throttling when you use a VPN.

Sharing your VPN connection is easy too. Once you set it up on your computer, you’re good to go. If you want to change servers, all you need to do is select the country, and your VPN will connect you to servers there in an instant.

Whether you have an Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo, there’s never been a better time than now to unlock all the fantastic things you can do with a VPN. Get out there and see what VPN can do for your gaming experience!