I know you’re probably in a rush to play (or, better said – stream) Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, or Microsoft’s Flight Simulator.
However, before you can do that, you’ll need the best VPN for xCloud.
So, I’ll cut to the chase and say that the top VPN for Xbox Cloud Gaming is NordVPN.
My advice comes after many months of testing hundreds of VPNs, as I’ve had the privilege to test-drive xCloud while it was still in early beta (I guess that’s one of the perks of being a Game Pass Ultimate subscriber for many years now).
As my experience tells me, NordVPN has the power to give you the fastest speeds and lowest latency.
On top of that, it works without any fine-tuning (I’ll give you some advice about that later).
Still, NordVPN isn’t your only option.
If you spend a bit of time reading this article, I guarantee you’ll find a VPN that meets your every xCloud-related need (and more).
So, let’s dive in!
Top 3 VPNs for xCloud (Xbox Cloud Gaming)
ExpressVPN comes with plenty of polished and incredibly easy-to-use VPN apps – for any platform out there. It unblocks xCloud easily while offering high-end protocols (like Lightway) that are highly suitable for protecting your privacy, no matter what you do online.
NordVPN can easily bypass xCloud’s geo-blocks from anywhere in the world, as it offers more than 5,000 servers. It also comes with lightweight VPN protocols (like OpenVPN and NordLynx) that minimize your latency and ping, making xCloud a joy to use.
CyberGhost’s massive server network counts more than 7,000 units, many of which are optimized for gaming (on Windows) and streaming (on all supported platforms). You also get high-end features – but be prepared for some fine-tuning to get the best possible speeds.
Most VPNs (even the high-priced ones) aren’t good enough for xCloud.
You need the lowest possible ping and non-existing latency, which only a handful of VPNs bring.
In other words, you need a VPN with a massive army of servers, a wide selection of VPN protocols, and advanced gaming-oriented features.
All of that is even more important if you’re not near a country where xCloud is available.
All VPNs in this guide unblock xCloud – on practically any device you might own.
However, they come with their sets of subtleties.
Paying attention to those is what’ll help you reach the best possible gaming experience tailored to your needs.
So, stick around and let me guide you through my list of the best VPNs for xCloud.
I’ll also share some usable and actionable tips along the way.
The Best VPNs for xCloud (Xbox Cloud Gaming) – At a Glance!
After many months of trying out all kinds of VPNs, I recommend using any of these 5 VPN services if you want to unblock and access xCloud from anywhere in the world:
- NordVPN – Best VPN Overall for xCloud (Lowest Ping & Fastest Speeds)
- ExpressVPN – Best Fully-Automated (No-Fuss) xCloud VPN
- CyberGhost – Dedicated Gaming Servers (Windows PCs Only)
- Surfshark – Best for First-Time VPN Users
- Private Internet Access – Best for Experienced VPN Users
The big question is – what VPN will give YOU the best possible experience (based on your physical location and your level of VPN knowledge)?
That’s what you’ll find out, but only if you read the rest of this guide.
Without a doubt, I recommend subscribing to NordVPN, especially if you want a VPN that does all the heavy lifting for you. NordVPN will get you a stable connection and the lowest possible ping while minimizing your latency. In other words, it will make xCloud games run without a hitch from anywhere in the world.
In-Depth Look at the Best VPNs for xCloud – Based on My Personal Experience!
Ready to hear what I have to say?
Want to know how I concluded that NordVPN is the best VPN for xCloud?
Want to explore other options as well?
I’ll make sure to answer your every question.
Let’s get to it.
1. NordVPN – Best VPN Overall for xCloud (Lowest Ping & Fastest Speeds)
There aren’t too many VPNs that check all the right boxes from the get-go.
That especially goes for VPNs that can unblock and access xCloud.
However, I love just about everything about NordVPN – as I use this VPN every single time I want to game over xCloud.
Since ping and latency are the biggest points of concern for any VPN, let me start with that.
And yes, I’ve done a round of speed tests, so here’s what you can expect from this VPN provider.
If you check just below, you’ll see the baseline data for my Web connection.
More precisely, you’ll see that my ping value is at 8ms.
Also, my download speed is 478 Mbps, while my upload speed is 48 Mbps.
I got the results running a speed test without having any VPN active in the background.
And now, check the image below to see how NordVPN performs.
My ping value increased just a tiny bit to 10ms.
Aside from that, NordVPN introduced barely noticeable throttling to my download and upload speeds.
Either way, I got to access xCloud (even from abroad, from a country with no access to Xbox’s Cloud Gaming) without any slowdowns or anything similar.
Now, this is where I want to share a helpful tip.
NordVPN gave me such fast speeds because I used the IKEv2 protocol.
IKEv2 is a well-known yet somewhat old protocol known for its ultra-fast performance.
It doesn’t offer the highest level of privacy protection, but that doesn’t matter for xCloud.
I also regularly use NordLynx, one of NordVPN’s unique features.
So, if you do care about privacy, NordLynx is a perfect combination of security and speed – as this is a brand-new protocol built upon WireGuard (the “hottest” VPN protocol right now).
While IKEv2 has limited platform support, NordLynx is available across all NordVPN apps.
That means you’ll find NordLynx on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
So, if you decide to go with NordVPN and install its app, make sure to inspect its settings.
By default, OpenVPN or NordLynx will be active.
Feel free to switch that to IKEv2, if available.
Your second-best option for xCloud is NordLynx.
Since xCloud is Web-based, that means you’ll get to unblock and access it from practically any device.
NordVPN also gives you 6 simultaneous connections, which seems generous enough.
That means you can use xCloud on your computer, phone, or tablet – at your home or anywhere in public (if you have a fast-enough Web connection).
Plus, NordVPN offers more than 5,000 servers.
They’re spread evenly across the world, giving you a nice shot at finding a server in a country where xCloud is available.
Remember to aim for a nearby server to get the best possible performance.
I’ll also mention that NordVPN is known for its advanced security features.
Then, split tunneling is available on Windows and Android.
Using that feature, you can send xCloud-related traffic through NordVPN’s servers, letting you access and unblock your game library whenever you want.
However, all your other traffic can flow the regular way, without any slowdowns.
If you’re worried that NordVPN will cost you a fortune – then, worry not!
Even though its monthly plan is on the expensive side, NordVPN’s long-term subscription plans bring hefty discounts.
2. ExpressVPN – Best Fully-Automated (No-Fuss) xCloud VPN
Frankly speaking, ExpressVPN has been one of my personal favorites for quite some time.
Aside from NordVPN, this is actually the VPN I use most often for streaming.
However, due to its fast performance, ExpressVPN is a very versatile VPN, which I now use for gaming as well.
Speaking of its performance, let’s show you what to expect.
Once again, you can check my baseline stats below.
I have a high-speed connection, so any VPN-induced slowdowns aren’t a concern.
However, what is always a concern when playing games is latency and ping.
And now, I present to you the results of testing ExpressVPN.
As you can see, this VPN performed marginally better than NordVPN, as it increased my latency by only 1ms (to 9ms in total).
That’s precisely why this is one of the best VPNs for xCloud.
Still, there’s no point in hiding that ExpressVPN introduced some throttling to my Web connection, decreasing my download speed more noticeably.
That’s the reason why NordVPN comes first – and ExpressVPN comes second.
Of course, it’s always possible to dive into settings and check what’s there.
So, in terms of ExpressVPN, you’ll see the following protocols: Lightway, OpenVPN, L2TP, and IKEv2.
So, there’s plenty to choose from.
For streaming games via xCloud, I recommend using IKEv2, which works without a hitch.
Aside from that protocol, you can try your luck with Lightway, which is ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol that combines speed and security.
Another great thing about this VPN is its platform compatibility.
You’ll find a range of highly polished and very easy-to-use apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and more.
ExpressVPN also offers custom firmware for routers, which is very easy to install and use.
There are also other reasons to pick this VPN.
It gives you 5 simultaneous connections and over 3,000 servers.
Those are spread evenly across the world, and for the most part, they correspond to countries where xCloud is currently available.
You should also know that all of ExpressVPN’s servers are all-in-one servers.
That means that you’re not limited to picking a gaming-ready server.
Instead, all 3,000+ of them let you unblock xCloud.
And on top of that, they work great for streaming media or even downloading torrents.
The only thing I wish to see somewhat improved about ExpressVPN is its pricing.
Even though this VPN brings a lot of value overall, long-term plans don’t dramatically reduce the VPN’s standard price.
When it comes to this VPN, it pays off to get a long-term plan.
That’s how you’ll keep ExpressVPN’s price manageable while getting some extras.
That includes up to 3 extra months added to your subscription.
All in all, considering you’ll get a 30-day money-back policy, there’s no reason not to spend your money on this xCloud-friendly VPN.
And trust me, that’s going to be an investment you won’t regret.
Find the biggest discount on ExpressVPN by using my sign-up link.
3. CyberGhost – Dedicated Gaming Servers (for Windows PCs)
There aren’t too many fully-featured VPNs that boast specialized gaming servers.
CyberGhost offers those, so I had to include it in my guide to the best xCloud VPNs.
Before I tell you something important about CyberGhost’s gaming servers, let’s first talk about its performance.
So, I’ll remind you of my baseline stats, which you can check below.
And now, I present to you the results of testing CyberGhost.
You can see that my ping went up just a tiny bit (from 8ms to 10ms), while my download and upload speeds remained fast and steady.
If you want high-end speeds, this VPN won’t let you down.
What’s interesting is that I used a “standard” CyberGhost server.
That’s because this VPN offers gaming servers only on Windows.
I can’t tell you exactly why that is, but CyberGhost’s apps for other platforms simply don’t bring that feature.
So, if you want to access xCloud via Windows, great for you.
However, there’s no reason to give up on this VPN, as its standard servers do a magnificent job of unblocking xCloud.
No matter which server I tried, I always got outstanding results.
Then, know that CyberGhost brings native software for just about any platform out there.
I can also tell you that those apps receive regular updates.
If you get a long-term subscription, you can expect refinements and new features quite often.
This VPN is also generous when it comes to simultaneous connections.
You’ll get up to 7, making it easy to pick just about any device and access xCloud.
Of course, installing this VPN on a router counts as a single device or connection.
That way, you can connect your Xbox and cover your entire household at once.
I shouldn’t forget to mention that you’ll get more than 7,000 servers.
Aside from gaming-ready servers, you’ll find standard, streaming, and P2P-friendly servers.
All of those are scattered across the world, so you won’t have a hard time accessing xCloud.
If you care about more advanced features, a kill switch is there.
That feature shuts down your Web traffic if you disconnect by accident.
The VPN will reconnect you automatically, so you won’t notice a single problem.
In other words, you get a smooth xCloud gameplay experience.
And lastly, let’s talk about CyberGhost’s pricing.
Even though you can pay monthly, that option will cost you quite a bit.
But if you want to save (quite a lot), I strongly recommend spending your money on a long-term plan.
If you’re hesitant to get a long-term plan, CyberGhost offers a very relaxed 45-day money-back policy, which none of my other recommendations offer.
You’ll reserve your right to change your mind during that time frame.
That means getting your money back is not an issue.
To get the lowest possible price, use my exclusive sign-up link.
4. Surfshark – Best for First-Time VPN Users
The best VPNs for xCloud (or – Xbox Gaming Cloud) come with dozens of high-end features and massive server networks.
However, that doesn’t have to translate to an overly complex interface.
A great example is Surfshark.
If you’re a beginner to VPNs, I strongly recommend Surfshark.
It brings a very polished interface without complicated terminology.
On top of that, this is a one-click solution to playing games via xCloud.
Before I dive into Surfshark’s features, I’ll let you know about its performance.
Once again, I’ll show you my baseline stats first.
Here’s what Surfshark managed to give me.
This VPN kept my ping (and latency) in check.
However, it decreased my download speed a bit.
So, it’s clear that Surfshark isn’t the fastest VPN for xCloud.
Still, that’s not an obstacle if you have a relatively fast Web connection.
In other words, you can afford to lose some of your download speed, even when using xCloud.
What’s special and unique about Surfshark is its limit on simultaneous connections.
In fact, there isn’t one.
You can connect as many devices as you want.
And speaking of devices compatible with Surfshark, that list is endless.
The VPN offers native apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and even a range of media streaming devices.
Aside from that, you can install it on compatible VPN routers.
In terms of unblocking xCloud, Surfshark offers around 3,200 servers in 65 countries.
All of them support gaming, but they also work for media streaming and torrenting.
So, if you’re in a country where xCloud isn’t available, you’ll have an easy time finding a server that grants you access to Microsoft’s cloud gaming service.
And though Surfshark is simple and fully automated, it doesn’t skimp on advanced features.
It brings a kill switch across all of its supported devices.
There’s split tunneling (letting you create a tunnel for your VPN data and another one for your regular data) as well, but only on Windows and Android.
Surfshark’s monthly price is on par with its competitors.
However, massive discounts await in long-term subscription plans.
In other words, Surfshark brings pretty much anything you might expect out of the best VPN for xCloud.
It even throws in a few extras to make things more interesting.
5. Private Internet Access – Best for Experienced VPN Users
Lastly, I recommend Private Internet Access (PIA).
Many of you searching for the best VPN for xCloud might be looking for a bit more capable VPN, which is where PIA comes in.
This is an incredibly powerful VPN that promises optimized performance and fluid speeds.
Speaking of which, I’d like to show you what you can expect.
Here’s my connection’s baseline data.
And now, check out the numbers PIA gave me.
As you can see, my ping went up by 1ms, which is barely noticeable.
Aside from that, my download and upload speeds remained fast, which is a fantastic achievement for any VPN.
With that said, know that you can expect speedy performance and smooth xCloud streaming.
Still, I need to warn you about something.
When it comes to PIA, you need to dive into its settings and optimize your VPN connection.
By visiting PIA’s settings, you can switch between OpenVPN and WireGuard.
IPsec is also on board, but only on iOS and iPadOS.
Furthermore, there’s plenty to fine-tune regarding each of those protocols.
For example, you can choose from two types of data transports for OpenVPN (UDP or TCP).
Then, you can select a level of encryption (AES-128 or AES-256).
You can pick a custom local or remote port and even force PIA to send your data via smaller packets.
With PIA, you can even decide not to use a VPN protocol.
That’s because this VPN offers support for Shadowsocks and SOCKS5, giving you incredibly fast speeds and the ability to unblock xCloud on any device.
Still, know that you won’t get any encryption that way.
In comparison to the VPNs found above, PIA is more generous when it comes to fine-tuning.
You also get over 30,000 serves (that’s not a typo!) across 75+ countries, as well as support for up to 10 simultaneous connections.
All of those features are available via PIA’s modern-looking apps.
I also need to mention that PIA isn’t any less affordable than my previous recommendations.
However, incredibly steep discounts await those looking for a long-term VPN plan.
You can count on PIA’s live-chat support (available around the clock) in case of any issues.
And you’ll even get 30 days to change your mind, as per PIA’s currently active money-back policy.
Don’t forget to check PIA’s lowest price by clicking HERE.
Buying Guide - How to Choose the Best VPN for xCloud?
I understand if you’re confused.
Buying a VPN isn’t the easiest task out there, especially if you’re not familiar with VPN terminology.
After all, that’s probably the reason why you’re reading this guide to the best xCloud VPNs, right?
If you’re having a hard time picking a VPN, I know exactly what you need.
Just below, you’ll find my checklist and buying guide for finding a VPN that meets all your needs!
Want a Bulletproof Way to Find a Great xCloud VPN? – Use This Checklist!
Here’s what you need to pay attention to when choosing a VPN for xCloud.
Expansive Server Fleet
Without having at least a couple of thousand VPN servers under your fingertips, you’ll struggle to get fast-enough speeds.
So, make sure to pick a VPN with an expansive server fleet.
Remember that to get the fastest possible speeds, you need to avoid using overly remote VPN servers.
So, it would be a good idea to check where xCloud is currently available.
Use the provided link and make sure to pick ‘Xbox Game Pass’ and then look for the list of countries under ‘Cloud Gaming.’
Then, return to your chosen VPN’s list of server locations.
Cross-reference that data and ensure you’ll get servers that let you unblock xCloud.
If you find that process tiresome, remember that Private Internet Access currently offers the biggest server network out there.
However, you won’t make a mistake if you pick any other of the VPNs above.
Multiple VPN Protocols & Proxies
It’s easy to find a VPN that couples OpenVPN with AES-256, giving you a high level of online security and privacy.
However, that’s not what to look for in an xCloud VPN.
Instead, you need a VPN offering as many protocols as possible.
Most often, OpenVPN won’t give you the best speeds (and the lowest ping and latency).
That’s why it’s essential to have access to other protocols, like IKEv2, IPsec, and WireGuard.
This is where I have a special tip for you.
If a VPN says that it offers IKEv2 (for example), that doesn’t mean you’ll get it across all of its apps.
That protocol might be available only on Android or Windows.
So, if you’re in doubt about which VPN protocols you’ll get (and on what devices), talk to your chosen VPN’s support team.
If you’re after the best VPN for xCloud, you’ll find one that offers proxy services as well.
They won’t bring any encryption.
However, they’ll let you unblock xCloud from anywhere while taking care of your ping and latency.
Wide Device/Platform Support
As you probably know, xCloud is available on practically any Web-connected device out there.
That means you can use it on Windows, macOS, Linux (including SteamOS), Android, iOS, iPadOS, and even your Xbox.
However, before you get to access xCloud, your VPN connection must be active in the background.
That means your VPN needs to offer native software for any device you plan to use with xCloud.
In other words, think of any devices you’ll use for xCloud.
That can include any of the devices you currently own and any you might plan to purchase in the future.
And then, check whether your chosen VPN covers those devices via native software.
Advanced Gaming-Friendly Features
There’s nothing wrong with using a fully-automated VPN app.
In fact, you’ll have an easy time finding a “one-click” VPN, which does all the heavy lifting once you pick a server.
However, if you want more advanced gaming-friendly features, you need to get a VPN that has a kill switch and split tunneling.
A kill switch works in the background, activating when your connection drops, which can sometimes happen by accident.
In that case, a VPN that offers a kill switch will reconnect you automatically without disturbing your xCloud gaming session.
And when it comes to split tunneling, that feature allows you to choose apps that use your VPN connection (other apps will use your regular connection).
That’s how you can unblock xCloud whenever you want while still getting to use the Web without any slowdowns introduced by your VPN.
Fair Pricing & Generous Money-Back Policy
The least affordable way to buy a VPN subscription is to buy a monthly plan.
Instead, I recommend a long-term plan, especially if you’re after steep discounts.
Many VPNs (even the most capable and popular ones) let you save from 50% up to 80% if you buy a long-term plan.
That means you’ll need to pay in advance, which is a downside.
Still, you can negate that downside by relying on money-back policies.
VPNs can be pretty generous in that sense, giving you up to 30 days to change your mind.
That means if you’re unhappy with your chosen VPN, you’ll get a chance to have your money returned.
Can I Use a Free VPN for xCloud?
No free VPNs work with xCloud.
For the most part, free VPNs come with overly limiting restrictions.
They limit the speed of your Web connection, use less secure protocols, and typically come with strict data allowances.
Remember that xCloud is a digital service where ping, latency, and speed are critical.
So, if you try using a free VPN, you’ll find yourself in an unplayable gaming session.
Of course, free and unlimited VPNs exist.
Still, even ProtonVPN and AtlasVPN offer only a small group of servers.
They also throttle your Web connection in a very noticeable way.
When it comes to xCloud, that won’t get you very far.
Therefore, when it comes to using xCloud, your only option is to pick a premium VPN service.
And not just any premium VPN – but one that works with the unbelievably high requirements of cloud gaming.
Remember, you can save a lot by picking a long-term VPN plan.
So, don’t forget to check out NordVPN (my #1 recommendation) by using my exclusive sign-up link!
How to Use a VPN to Unblock xCloud?
Using a VPN to unblock and play games via xCloud is simple.
Just make sure to go through the following steps:
- Find a VPN aligned with your needs. You can always pick any VPN from this article (or do your own research) and get your VPN subscription.
- Download the VPN app to your device(s). Remember, you need to have your VPN running while using xCloud. So, make sure to install your VPN on any device you’ll use to access xCloud (your computer, phone, tablet, and more).
- Launch your VPN app. Access your account by logging in.
- Select a server that you want to use. That must be a server in a country where xCloud is available. And also, try to pick the closest location available to you (based on your physical location). Once you connect, you should see an indication that your VPN session is now active.
- Launch xCloud via its app or website. Make sure to check this page to learn about all the ways to access xCloud across all your devices.
- Log in to your Microsoft account (remember that your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription must be active for you to access xCloud). You should see xCloud’s home page.
- Pick any game that looks interesting – and let the good times roll!
Can I Connect My Xbox to a VPN?
Yes, connecting your Xbox to a VPN client is possible – but not directly.
That means you can’t install (or run) a VPN app directly on your Xbox.
There is no VPN that has an Xbox app.
If you find one claiming it’s compatible with Xbox, that’s nothing more than marketing.
That said, you have two options.
First, you can install a VPN on your router.
You need to have a router compatible with VPN services.
That way, you can connect to the Web on your Xbox via your home router.
Second, you can install a VPN on your Windows PC or Mac.
Then, you’ll turn your PC or Mac into a virtual router by sharing your Web (and VPN) connection with your Xbox.
That’s where you’ll also find some compatible router recommendations.
And if you’d like to try sharing your VPN connection from your PC or Mac, here’s how to use NordVPN on your Xbox.
Use the provided link to get to my step-by-step instructions.
I’ll also remind you that Xbox Cloud Gaming is available on your Xbox as well (since August 2021).
So, make sure to update your Xbox Series X or S, and you’ll get to play games instantly without having to install them.
What Countries Is xCloud Available In?
xCloud is available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Keep in mind that Xbox Cloud Gaming reaches new countries every couple of months.
So, check this support page for more information.
Just make sure to pick the ‘Xbox Game Pass’ and look under ‘Cloud Gaming.’
What Devices Is xCloud Available On?
Microsoft’s xCloud is available on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices.
It’s also available on Xbox consoles through a system update that came out in August 2021.
On Apple-made devices, you need to use a Web browser to access xCloud.
Can xCloud Detect VPNs? How?
Although it can detect VPNs, xCloud isn’t aggressive in blocking VPN services.
Still, that doesn’t mean you can use any VPN out there.
As I explained earlier, only a handful of VPN services keep your ping and latency under control.
Unless you find a VPN that delivers that, xCloud will be unusable.
Can I Get Banned From xCloud for Using a VPN?
There are no reports of anyone being banned for using a VPN to access xCloud.
However, using a VPN might be against Microsoft’s Terms of Service.
Legally speaking, that could result in having your account banned.
But once again, no one has ever been banned for using a VPN.
Is It Legal to Use a VPN With xCloud?
There is nothing illegal about VPN services – in most countries.
Therefore, there’s nothing illegal in using a VPN to access xCloud, as you already pay for that service.
Keep in mind that VPNs are restricted in a small group of countries.
That includes China, Russia, Belarus, Iraq, and Turkey.
I am not sure where you come from, so I recommend being mindful of your own country’s laws.
However, when it comes to xCloud itself, it’s 100% legal to use a VPN.
Will a VPN Affect xCloud Ping & Latency?
In general, a VPN will negatively affect your ping and latency.
That’s because you’ll force your Web data to take a longer route, as it’ll need to pass through a VPN server.
So, naturally, that will introduce some latency to your Web connection.
I did my best to show you that the best VPNs for xCloud won’t affect your ping and latency.
For that to happen, you need to pick a less secure VPN protocol.
And also, try not to choose an overly remote VPN server, as that will slow you down.
Finally – It’s a Wrap!
You’ve reached the end of my guide to the best VPNs for xCloud.
I hope you’ll listen to my advice, and not just regarding the VPNs you should pick.
NordVPN is my #1 recommendation.
It’s your best option right now, as it keeps your ping and latency under control, offers very fast speeds, applications for any platform, and over 5,000 servers across the world.
I’ve been using NordVPN to stream xCloud for several months now, and I still do.
It never disappointed me – and I am sure you’ll feel the same way.
If you decide to give it a try, use my exclusive sign-up link (I promise you’ll get the lowest possible price for NordVPN).
Fellow Xbox gamers, I wish you many stress-free and fun-filled xCloud gaming sessions!