The PS4 is the most popular modern gaming console in the world. It comes with an awesome array of games for people of all ages and interests, so it’s easy to see why. Unfortunately, one of the more important parts of the PS4 experience – the PSN – changes depending on which area you access it from. For example, you won’t be able to game on European servers or download EU-only content if you’re logged into the PSN Asia store. If you want to do that, you’ll need to change your PS4’s PSN region.
Fortunately, VPNs can help you do just that. In this article, we’ll explain how they help change PSN regions, what you should look for in a VPN service, and cover the top PS4 and PSN VPN providers in the industry. We’ll start by covering the key features you should look for.
- 1 What to look for in a VPN for the PS4
- 2 Top VPNs for the PS4
- 3 How a VPN helps you change PSN regions
- 4 How a VPN helps you stay anonymous and secure online
- 5 How easy is a PS4 to connect to a VPN?
- 6 How about free VPNs?
- 7 In parting
What to look for in a VPN for the PS4
VPN technology can be complicated. With dozens of complicated features advertised, look for the following features to make sure your VPN can help you change PSN regions.
- Device compatibility – for starters, your VPN needs to (obviously) be compatible with the PS4. Many providers facilitate this process by giving you instructions and software that makes installation easy. Moreover, some providers can run on routers, giving your PS4 a new IP and cryptographic data protection while serving the rest of your household.
- Server network – the more countries a VPN network covers, the more IPs you can get. Another advantage to large networks is that more servers mean faster connections, less lag, and better overall connection quality. This is one instance where size does matter; look for large servers wherever possible.
- Encryption protocols – if you want to access the PSN network to play games and shop, you’ll want a fast connection. The problem is that many older encryption protocols like SSTP and PPTP can slow your connection down a great deal. Look for protocols like OpenVPN’s UDP and TCP or L2TP and its variants to ensure a smooth experience.
- Support – using a VPN with your PS4 is a little more complicated than doing the same with a desktop or mobile device. You want to look for services that have quality support, around-the-clock where possible.
Fortunately, you don’t have to look for providers that offer all of the above. Instead, we’ve compiled a shortlist of the web’s top service providers that tick all the boxes, presented below.
Top VPNs for the PS4
ExpressVPN is a service best known for its speed, just like the name suggests. With 2,000+ servers in 94+ countries can help you connect to virtually any PSN version worldwide. It also means that connections are fast and servers – always available. Combined with the service’s unlimited traffic, bandwidth, and server switches, this makes ExpressVPN perfect for PS4 users. The service has a set of PS4-specific instructions. You can use these to get set up in just minutes. Other compatible devices include WiFI routers which you can connect to if you have any difficulty using ExpressVPN on your PS4 directly. If you use the PS4 for streaming, you’ll be glad to know that ExpressVPN works with Netflix and many other streaming websites available from the console.
In addition to the above features, ExpressVPN uses encryption protocols that are excellent for using the PSN. Three notable protocols include OpenVPN’s UDP and TCP as well as L2TP, a fast but less secure technology that’s perfect for gaming. The keys used are 256-bit, meaning your data is so hard to hack that even a supercomputer would need millions of years to crack it. Throw in cool extras – like readily available support and up to 3 simultaneous connections at no extra charge – and you get an offer that’s very hard to beat. If you want a simple, secure, lightning-fast VPN provider, you won’t go wrong with ExpressVPN.
To learn more about the service, just check out our ExpressVPN review here.
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NordVPN is another top service that stands out for the size of its server network. With 5,230+ servers in over 62 countries, the number of nodes you can connect to may be the largest in the whole VPN industry. Server locations span every content excluding Antarctica, and you can always find one that works for you and your needs while delivering a fast connection. What’s more, NordVPN has a number of unique server types other providers don’t offer. One example is the obfuscated server that hides the fact you’re using a VPN. Another is the Anti-DDoS server, which is made for gamers who want to protect their connections from attackers. Throw in the fact that the encryption standards used are state-of-the-art – OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP – and you see that NordVPN is very strong on fundamentals.
NordVPN is excellent for the PS4 for a few other reasons. There are specific installation instructions for the console, as well as most other common device types. There’s also the option to install NordVPN on your VPN to encrypt your PS4’s connection that way. With so many nodes, connections are almost always fast – and there are no limits on server switches, traffic, or bandwidth. The best part is that you get to connect up to 6 devices at the same time. That’s enough for a desktop device, mobile device, smart TV, tablet, work device and your PS4. Given NordVPN’s low price point, that’s a hard offer to beat.
To learn more about this service, check out our NordVPN review here.
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CyberGhost is a unique VPN that combines usability with powerful features. For starters, there are specific instructions that let you install the service on your PS4 or router. This means that you can either get the VPN on your device or by encrypting your entire WiFi connection. Once you do, you’ll be enjoying unlimited bandwidth, traffic, and server switches. This means fast downloads, low gaming latencies, and, of course, unlimited uptime. As an added bonus, you can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously if you want to enable a VPN for other household members or smartphones, tablets, etc.
In addition to all of the above, CyberGhost is also strong on VPN fundamentals. With over 3,100 servers in 59 countries, the service has one of the biggest and best networks in the industry. Connections are fast, and there’s always plenty of IPs and specific servers for you to choose from. If you want to use devices other than your PS4, you’ll have an easy time of it thanks to a suite of apps for all modern devices. If you do use these apps, you’ll find that you can activate all kinds of advanced features, from a built-in kill switch to ad blockers and connection guards.
If you want to learn more about CyberGhost, its features, and why it’s so good for PSN users, read our full CyberGhost review.
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PureVPN is a VPN service that covers more land than any of the others we’ve listed. With 2,000+ servers in over 140 countries, you can find a connection virtually anywhere you want. Moreover, there are absolutely no limits on server switches, traffic, or bandwidth, meaning you can use any server as long and as often as you’d like. You will never run out of anything or have to pay extra while using PSN on your PS4. All of this makes this an excellent service for gamers, but that’s not all. If anything does go wrong, live support is available 24/7, 365 days a week for your comfort: a rare feature few VPN services can boast.
In addition to the above key features, PureVPN is technologically powerful. For starters, there are dedicated P2P and streaming servers, which is important if you also use your PS4 for streaming. Speeds are ultra-fast, with 1 Gbit/second nodes that can run any game smoothly and seamlessly. There’s even a built-in anti-ISP throttling feature that lets you go faster than your Internet Service Provider lets you. Throw in up to 5 multi-logins per household – meaning you can share your login with relatives, roommates, etc – and you get a service that’s very difficult to beat. For security-minded users, there are features like DNS leak protection (via a desktop app test) and DDoS protection, which is a tertiary selling point here.
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Last but not least, we’ve got PrivateVPN: the only service on this list to come with a free remote setup for some devices. The PS4 isn’t one of these, but there are also detailed instructions for video game console users. This makes getting started with the VPN service a breeze no matter which device you’re using. The server network is a little small in terms of node numbers (just over 100), but the nodes are very powerful and spread across 52 countries. This means you can get the IP you want, when you want it, all while enjoying unlimited bandwidth, speed, and server switches. This is all perfect for gamers who rely on quick Internet connections for the quality of their experience. As an added bonus, streaming and P2P applications are both supported by the service if you use your PS4 for things other than playing video games.
In addition to being easy to use, PrivateVPN is also powerful. Protocols include OpenVPN’s UDP and TCP, which blend speed and security, as well as lightning-fast L2TP. SOCKS5 technology means that the service works even if you’re in China, which is handy for international gamers. There are also up to 6 simultaneous connections per account, which is valuable if you’ve got roommates, family members, or friends that you want to share your VPN with.
If you’d like to learn more about this service, check out our PrivateVPN review to learn more about this provider.
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How a VPN helps you change PSN regions
The content you get to see and enjoy on the PSN depends on which country you live in. That’s because different PSN regions have different games and content. In a gaming version of geoblocking, many game developers and publishers control who gets which version of their game. For example, a limited-edition downloadable version of a game or its extension may only be available on PSN Europe.
A VPN helps overcome this problem by letting you spoof an IP from any number of countries across the world. This lets you switch PSN regions, and also gives you the added advantage of letting you choose the language your teammates are most likely to speak in. For example, if you’re an Australian living in Japan, you can get an Australian IP, play on Australian PSN servers, and have Australian teammates. The same applies to other countries. This is why a VPN is one of the simplest and best ways to enjoy the PS4 with no restrictions.
How a VPN helps you stay anonymous and secure online
Whether you know it or not, you’re being watched online. From the government snooping on what you do to your Internet Service Provider monitoring your habits to marketers following your every move, someone’s virtually always watching. This isn’t a problem for many people – but it can be undesirable for several reasons. First, console gaming data is often unencrypted or lightly encrypted. This means that anyone who can get a hold of your PS4 data can hear your audio calls with teammates, follow the games you buy and play, and more. If you use Netflix and other services from your PS4, that information easily accessible too.
A VPN can put an end to all these problems with strong encryption. Specifically, a VPN secures your data in a way that makes it hard or impossible for third parties to see what you’re doing. This protects your data, device, and identity – and stops others from snooping on you. This is especially important if you have young children at home. All kinds of people use video game consoles, and there have been stories of individuals trying to extract important information by taking advantage of kids’ carelessness. A VPN adds a layer of protection that makes it harder for criminals to do this by protecting PS4 and PSN data.
How easy is a PS4 to connect to a VPN?
Generally, VPNs don’t offer dedicated software for the PS4. However, that’s surprisingly easy to get around using a number of methods. The most reliable and easiest way is by installing your VPN directly onto your wireless router. This method not only completely protects your console’s internet connection, but the connections of all devices on the network. Not sure how to begin? Check out our VPN router walkthrough.
Alternatively, you can use your computer to protect your PS4. Simply download the VPN software onto your Mac or PC, connect your device to the PS4, then navigate to the appropriate settings to share your internet with the PS4. This process creates an encrypted local area network (LAN), which offers the same level of protection as a dedicated app.
- On Mac: System Preferences > Sharing > Internet Sharing > Share your connection from (Wi-Fi) > To computers using (Ethernet)
- On Windows: Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adaptor Settings > right-click your VPN (Properties) > Sharing (Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection) > Home Networking Connection > select a connection to share with the PS4
Once you’ve done one of the above, fire up your PS4 and do the following:
- Settings > Network Settings > Set Up Internet Connection > Use a LAN Cable > Easy > Do Not Use a Proxy Server
Simple, right? In any case, it is very possible to equip your PS4 with the strongest VPN protection.
How about free VPNs?
There are three key problems with free VPNs. First, they are a lot less likely to be safe. For starters, their creators have no incentive to protect your data. Second, their creators can actually profit by mining and selling your data to marketers, corporations, etc. All of this means that you’re a lot less likely to be secure and anonymous while online with a free VPN. In some cases, free VPN providers have even sold their users’ processing power to criminals for botnet attacks. All of this is a problem and a strong reason to avoid free VPNs.
The 2nd problem is that free VPNs give you a lot fewer servers to choose from. For example, you may be limited to one slow US server, or a randomly selected European one. This doesn’t give you the kind of freedom you need to enjoy PS4 to its fullest potential – and is another reason to avoid free options. Last but not least, there’s the fact that most free providers don’t have PS4-specific guides and instructions. This means that there’s absolutely no guarantee you can even get a free VPN to work on a console. You can still give them a go if you want, but don’t blame us if you end up wasting your time without getting anything in return.
Now you know all there is to know about getting a VPN for your PS4 and the PSN. What region are you looking to unlock? Did you have any troubles setting up your VPN on your router or PC? Got a better way of doing things? Let us know in the comments below.