On phones and laptops it's utterly simple to install and use a VPN service. But not on a PS4. Unlike other devices, you can't just browse Sony's PlayStation Store, find the NordVPN or ExpressVPN app and set up a connection.

In fact, you won't find any VPN apps at all as the PS4 doesn't support them. Fortunately there are a handful of ways to use a VPN so that you can access other regions of Netflix, get early access to new PS4 games, improve laggy online connections and more.

Oh, and if you've got an Xbox too, then check out our guide to setting up a VPN on Xbox One as well.

Why would I use a VPN on my PS4?

Before we explain the various methods, let’s talk about why you might want to use a VPN on a games console. First off, it can reduce your ping, which means a reduction in lag. In fact, some VPN providers connect console users to dedicated P2P & gaming servers that send your traffic through ‘hot points’ between data centres.

Apart from an improvement in online gaming performance, you may also be able to access games before they’re available in your country. Games that are released on the same day typically become available in Australia hours before those in the UK and the US. But, using a VPN, you can trick your console into thinking you’re in Australia and provide early access to the game.

Oh, and using the PS4’s built-in browser, you can access geo-locked content from around the world.

The big problem is that you can't configure a VPN service or install an app directly on the console. This means the process is a little involved, but there are three main options open to you.

Set up a PS4 VPN via Wi-Fi router

Since your PS4 gets its internet connection from your router, this is the first device in the chain which could provide a VPN connection. 

Many routers support VPN connections and all you need to do is to manually input your account details in your Wi-Fi router settings.

If your router doesn't support VPN connections, you can buy a Wi-Fi router that does like a Wi-Fi router from ExpressVPN or from a supplier such as FlashRouters. It’s not the cheapest option, but it is by far the easiest way to setup a VPN on your PS4.

Of course, you do need to decide which provider to use. NordVPN is one of the best all-rounders, and is a good option for those that want to manually input VPN details as it has lots of tutorials about how to do it on a variety of routers on its website. You can find a number of alternatives in our roundup of the best VPN services.

How to use a VPN on PS4

The steps vary according to your router brand and VPN service, meaning it’s almost impossible for us to explain how to do it here. However, the general process is to log into your router, find the settings and look for a VPN page. Here, you'll be asked to enter details including:

  • Name of the service
  • Server address
  • Your account name / email address
  • Your password
  • A pre-shared key for encryption

Note that running a VPN on your router means that every device which connects to the internet will have to use the VPN connection, and that might cause problems for some devices.

Set up a VPN for PS4 via your PC

If you don’t want to run your entire home network through a VPN router, there’s also a way to share a connection from Windows. Your computer will need both an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi (or a second Ethernet port) as it will need to be able to connect to your broadband router for an internet connection.

Also, make sure you’ve already signed up to a VPN provider as you'll need the login details.

  1. Install the VPN software of your choice on your PC.
  2. Plug one end of an Ethernet cable into the back of your PC (or laptop) and the other end into the PS4
  3. Open Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center and select Change Adapter Settings on the left-hand side of the window.
  4. Right-click on the icon with the title of your chosen VPN and click Properties.
  5. Open the Sharing tab and make sure ‘Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection’ is selected. (see image below)
  6. Select Home Networking Connection and select the home internet connection from the drop-down menu that you’d like to share with your PS4.
  7. On your PS4, go to Settings > Network Settings > Set Up Internet Connection > Use a LAN Cable and select the Easy connection method. This will automatically scan and set up your Ethernet connection.
  8. Select “Do Not Use a Proxy Server” when prompted.
  9. You can test your internet connection if you want, and if all has gone well, your PS4 should now be connected to the internet via a VPN.

How to use a VPN on PS4

Set up a VPN for PS4 via your Mac

If you don't own a Windows PC, another option is to use a Mac and an Ethernet cable, if you’ve got both to hand. Make sure that your Mac has an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi, and is in range of your console.

Oh, and sign up to a VPN provider too – we’ve got a list of the best Mac VPNs if you need help choosing.

  1. Install the VPN software of your choice.
  2. Plug one end of an Ethernet cable into the back of your Mac and the other end into the PS4.
  3. Go to System Preferences > Sharing and select Internet Sharing from the list on the left-hand side.
  4. From the ‘Share your connection from’ drop-down menu, select Wi-Fi.
  5. From the ‘To computers using’ list, make sure Ethernet is ticked.
  6. Check the box to the left of Internet Sharing on the list to enable the sharing of your internet connection between your Mac and PS4. A green icon will be displayed if successful.
  7. Open the VPN software on your Mac and connect to your chosen server.
  8. On your PS4, go to Settings > Network Settings > Set Up Internet Connection > Use a LAN Cable and select the Easy connection method. This will automatically scan and set up your Ethernet connection.
  9. Select “Do Not Use a Proxy Server” when prompted.
  10. You can test your internet connection if you want, and if all has gone well, your PS4 should now be connected to the internet via a VPN.

How to use a VPN on PS4

And there you have it! Three easy ways to connect your PS4 to the internet using a VPN and reap the benefits.