ExpressVPN is a VPN service that provides both a router app and a smart DNS system, making it relatively easy to use on Xbox.
Microsoft’s Code of Conduct warns customers not to “willfully circumvent any restrictions on… which may apply to spoofing your online location,” but users have not been penalized for using a VPN to access geo-restricted content.
Setting Up ExpressVPN on Xbox
ExpressVPN offers a router app that can be used to change your location on Xbox and bypass Microsoft’s restrictions.
To set up the ExpressVPN router app:
- Confirm that your router is compatible with ExpressVPN. Popular compatible routers include Linksys, Netgear, Asus, and more. Refer to ExpressVPN’s setup guides for specifics.
- Download and install the ExpressVPN router app on your computer. This will allow you to configure the VPN settings.
- Run the router app and enter your ExpressVPN account details when prompted.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to change your virtual location. You can select from over 160 server locations around the world.
- Once connected to an ExpressVPN server, router-based encryption will secure all devices connected to your home network, including Xbox.
With the router app enabled and your virtual location changed, geo-restricted content can now be accessed on your Xbox console.
Smart DNS System
In addition to their router app, ExpressVPN provides MediaStreamer —a smart DNS proxy service. This can also be used to access geo-restricted content on Xbox.
Here is how to set up MediaStreamer:
- Sign in to your ExpressVPN account dashboard and enable MediaStreamer.
- Configure your Xbox network settings to use MediaStreamer’s DNS addresses:
- Primary DNS: 220.127.116.11
- Secondary DNS: 18.104.22.168
- MediaStreamer will now allow your Xbox IP address to match your virtual location.
With MediaStreamer enabled, apps and services will think your Xbox is in a different country, allowing you to bypass regional blocks. However, smart DNS does not provide the full encryption benefits of a VPN.
Before setting up ExpressVPN, confirm that your wireless router and Xbox console are compatible:
- Your router needs to support connecting to VPN services. ExpressVPN provides setup guides for popular router models.
- Your Xbox console must be connected to the internet through the router’s WiFi or ethernet. Using a mobile hotspot may cause connectivity issues.
- Xbox consoles support changing DNS settings manually or using DHCP. This allows MediaStreamer to work correctly.
- ExpressVPN needs to offer a server location for your desired virtual location. They have 160+ options worldwide.
If your devices are compatible, ExpressVPN can be set up directly on the router level or using MediaStreamer at the console level. Testing connectivity before and after is recommended to catch any potential issues.
Benefits of Using ExpressVPN on Xbox
Access to Geo-Restricted Content
One of the biggest benefits of using ExpressVPN on Xbox is the ability to bypass geographical restrictions and access region-locked content.
Xbox imposes geo-blocks on certain apps, games, and services based on your location. For example, streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu have different libraries per country. A user in the US wouldn’t normally be able to access UK-only BBC content.
By connecting your Xbox through ExpressVPN or MediaStreamer, you can virtually change locations and access region-exclusive content. This provides a workaround to the geo-restrictions.
Whether wanting to access another country’s Netflix library or play a game early, ExpressVPN enables Xbox users to bypass these limitations.
Enhanced Privacy and Security
In addition to geo-spoofing, using a VPN provides several privacy and security benefits:
Encrypt Internet Traffic
ExpressVPN will encrypt all internet traffic heading to and from your Xbox console using AES-256 encryption. This prevents prying eyes from monitoring your network activity.
Hide IP Address
Your real IP address will be hidden from websites and services — preventing tracking and profiling based on your location.
Secure Public WiFi
When connecting your Xbox to public networks, ExpressVPN adds a layer of security to keep your data safe from sniffers.
Some internet service providers intentionally throttle bandwidth usage for streaming video platforms — impacting services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and more. An ExpressVPN encrypted tunnel prevents the ISP from seeing and throttling Xbox traffic.
Microsoft’s Code of Conduct
While using ExpressVPN on Xbox is relatively safe, Microsoft’s Code of Conduct should still be kept in mind:
“Do not willfully circumvent any restrictions…which may apply to… spoofing your online location…”
Microsoft designed the Xbox platform to have geo-restrictions. Using a VPN service clearly violates their intended restrictions.
However, there have been no known cases of accounts being banned purely for the use of a VPN. Streaming geo-restricted Netflix libraries or playing games early doesn’t appear to be a punishable offense.
Regardless, Microsoft reserves the right to suspend access to services if they deem restrictions have been “willfully circumvented.” This code of conduct should be considered before setting up ExpressVPN.
As outlined above in the setup section, Xbox consoles and routers need to meet specific compatibility requirements in order to work seamlessly with ExpressVPN:
- Router needs VPN client support
- Xbox requires internet connection through compatible router
- Changing DNS settings for MediaStreamer functionality
- Testing network connectivity before and after
Setting up a VPN tunnel or smart DNS proxy without ensuring these requirements are met can cause significant connectivity problems. Performance can suffer from buffering, lag, disconnects and more.
Taking the time to confirm compatibility will prevent the vast majority of potential issues when using ExpressVPN on Xbox.
Setting up and using ExpressVPN on your Xbox console provides some great benefits. You gain the ability to access geo-restricted games, apps and streaming services that might not otherwise be available in your country. It also enhances privacy and security when browsing on Xbox by encrypting traffic.
However, caution is still warranted given Microsoft’s vague warnings about circumventing location restrictions. And compatibility checks should be done before setting up ExpressVPN to avoid technical problems.
But overall, ExpressVPN can successfully be implemented on Xbox consoles with the right configuration. And many users across the world are accessing region-exclusive content without consequence. Just be aware of the risks and test your network to minimize disruptions.