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Nintendo Switch VPN Setup Made Easy: Step-by-Step Guide

How to setup VPN on your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is one of the most popular gaming consoles in production, thanks to its unique hybridization of at-home and on-the-go gaming. Although most Switch owners have a primary focus on gaming, some users may want to have an additional layer of security and versatility that is best accomplished with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). 

Before we get to the step-by-step instructions for how to use your Nintendo Switch in conjunction with a VPN, let’s think about why some Switch users would want to do so. 

Why would someone use a VPN for their Nintendo Switch? 

Using a VPN allows you to mask your IP address. But why would you want to do this with your Switch? 

There are several reasons, mostly related to security or access. 

With a VPN, you can avoid DDoS attacks. Some games have been especially susceptible to DDoS attacks, and by masking your IP address, you can keep yourself from being an easy target. 

You can also improve your bandwidth, possibly even accessing unlimited throughput. You can prevent your ISP from throttling your connection, thus reducing lag and increasing response time. (Note that using a VPN could potentially slow down your connection, so check reviews to find the one least likely to do so.) 

When you use a VPN, you can access games that have launched in other countries. Even if a game is blocked or censored in your geographic area, you can play it via a VPN. Similarly, there may be in-game content that is geo-locked, so you don’t get access to it from your location. A VPN will allow you to access that content regardless of where you are playing. 

You can also access great pricing deals by disguising the location of your IP address. 

Finally, you can also use a VPN to avoid IP address blocking by masking your IP. 

Option 1: Connect to a VPN Hotspot on Your Windows Device

Perhaps the easiest way to connect your Switch to a VPN is to use a VPN-generated hotspot on a Windows device. As long as you have a VPN (such as Express VPN or a free VPN service) already installed on your Windows device, this is a pretty straightforward process. 

  1. On your Windows device, open your internet settings
  2. Select “Mobile Hotspot” to set up your hotspot
  3. Name the hotspot and give it a password
  4. Navigate to the Advanced Network Settings on your Windows device
  5. Locate the Mobile Hotspot and Microsoft’s WiFi Direct Virtual Adapter
  6. Right-click on the Direct Virtual Adapter
  7. Select “Properties” 
  8. Select the Sharing tab
  9. Select the box that reads “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection”
  10. From the drop-down menu, select the mobile hotspot
  11. Connect to your chosen VPN via the OpenVPN UDP Protocol

Once you have done these steps, it is time to connect your device to the hotspot. Navigate to the Nintendo Switch’s device settings and connect to the hotspot. You will now have all the benefits of a VPN connection on your Nintendo device!

Use your router to connect your Nintendo Switch to a VPN

Option 2: Install a VPN to your home router and connect your Switch to the router

Another option is to connect your Nintendo Switch to your home router – as long as your router already has a VPN installed. 

Here are the step-by-step instructions: 

  1. Confirm that your router supports VPN connections. This information will be found in your router’s manual. 
  2. Choose your VPN provider and set up your subscription. Most of the time, the VPN provider will give you instructions on how to set up the VPN on your router. 
  3. Open your web browser and enter your router’s IP address into the address bar. 
  4. Log in to your router using the default credentials or the username and password you created. 
  5. Navigate to the VPN or WAN settings in your router’s control panel. 
  6. Choose the VPN protocol you want to use. OpenVPN is most commonly used, but your VPN might recommend a specific protocol. 
  7. You can use UDP or TCP to connect, depending on personal preference and the VPN provider’s recommendations. 
  8. Input the VPN server address and other configuration details your VPN service provides. 
  9. Enter your VPN credentials (username and password) and any other authentication details that are required. 
  10. Save the changes you made, likely by clicking “Apply” or “Save.” 
  11. Restart your router to ensure the new VPN settings are applied. 

Once your VPN is established on your home router, you can connect your Nintendo Switch to the router and use those benefits. 

Use a VPN for your Nintendo Switch to open up many possibilities that improve your gaming experience

Tips for choosing the best VPN for your Nintendo Switch 

When you select a VPN for your Nintendo Switch (or any other gaming device), these are some key factors to keep in mind. 

  • Speed: Look for a VPN that offers fast connection speeds to minimize lag and disruptions while gaming. Free VPNs often have bandwidth restrictions. 
  • Reliability: Choose a VPN with a large and reliable server network that regularly goes down. Compare multiple performance metrics before making a decision. 
  • Security: Your VPN should use strong encryption like AES-256 or OpenVPN protocols, thus keeping your data secure and anonymous. You may want to choose a VPN with leak protection and a kill switch as part of its standard security features. 
  • Unblocking: If you want to access geo-restricted games or content, choose a VPN with servers worldwide. 
  • Multiple Device Support: Avoid VPNs that are only compatible with one kind of device. Instead, look for a VPN that has an app for all of the major platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, etc. 
  • Customer Service: Look for reviews that mention helpful customer support, just in case you need assistance getting set up or troubleshooting your connections. 
  • Money-Back Guarantee: What if the VPN you choose doesn’t meet your needs? If you picked a VPN with a satisfaction guarantee, you can get a refund and choose something else.  

Enjoy secure gaming by connecting your Switch to a VPN

Using a VPN for your Nintendo Switch opens up many possibilities that improve your gaming experience. By masking your IP address, you can experience more secure gaming and bypass geographic restrictions. This allows you to access more games, downloadable content, and features than before. 

Any Switch owner can set up a VPN connection through the methods above, either a Windows hotspot or a home router. The result is a more open, versatile, and secure way to enjoy your Switch.

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