Option : Purchase A Pre
If the idea of trying to configure a router or flash an existing device seems like just too much
Youre definitely not the only one to feel that way.
Did you know that you can buy whats known as a pre-configured router?
These are routers that have been created specifically for VPN use. They have the right hardware to handle encryption seamlessly and they are already pre-flashed with a VPN of your choice.
When you check out the FlashRouters website, which is what I recommend, there are plenty available which work with the most popular VPN services and can fit most any budget.
You could choose from:
Some VPN services, such as ExpressVPN, have dedicated router software that you can upload to the router you already have, so it might be worth checking this out before buying a whole new router.
How A VPN On Your Router Works
A VPN on your router creates an encrypted connection between the VPN router and the VPN server. Once you have installed a router VPN, every devices traffic connected to the router will be sent through the encrypted tunnel.
You can consider such devices in the shape of Windows PC, laptops, smartphones, smart TVs, etc.
How To Install A VPN On Router
The installation process varies for different types of routers but they all follow the same basic steps.
- Access your routers administration menu.
- Open the VPN client.
- Configure your VPN connection.
- Check whether the VPN connection has been established.
For this review, Im going to show you how to set up a VPN on an ASUS router with stock firmware.
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Manually Installing A VPN On Your Router
Well start by explaining how to manually configure your current router, as you dont necessarily need to buy new router hardware to do it.
If youre looking for a ready-made VPN router you can skip to Method 3.
If you have an ASUS router then you may be in luck.
Some ASUS routers support the OpenVPN protocol natively through ASUSWRT firmware, so theres no need to flash your router with new firmware something that has a lot of potential to go wrong.
Heres how to set up a VPN on your ASUSWRT router:
Well be using IPVanish with an ASUS RT-AC68U router.
Some Limitations Of VPN On Routers
Less flexible management of the service. With the app installed on individual devices, you can easily switch between servers. However, this configuration process is less straightforward and often restricting on routers.
The setup can be expensive. If you want to get a compatible device, you can find many options for home VPN routers on the market. Nevertheless, this purchase could be an unnecessary expense for people with limited financial resources. However, if you need to upgrade your device anyway, consider getting the best VPN router
Performance-related issues. If you have many devices connected to the router , you might notice that your internet speed is not as robust as before. Nevertheless, the speed factor depends on your internet connection, the server you choose, and the VPN provider itself.
Complicated setup process. Some newbies might not have the patience to get through the instructions for how to install a VPN on router Therefore, setting up the service on devices could be the preferred route for them. For rookies dipping their toes into the VPN world, we recommend Atlas VPN. The use of this product is highly beginner-friendly: only a couple of clicks, no mandatory registration, and your browsing activities are secure.
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Drawbacks Of Setting Up A VPN On Your Router
There are potential pitfalls to installing VPN on your router on your own. The biggest? If you do this incorrectly, you could damage your router, rendering it inoperable. Then youd be responsible for spending the money to purchase a replacement router.
Another problem is speed. The more devices you have connected to a router enabled with VPN, the slower your router will be. In fact, with each device that you connect to a VPN-enabled router, you will have to sacrifice at least a bit of speed. Keep this in mind before you install VPN on your router.
What Is A Virtual Router
A virtual router is a program that pretends to be a regular router. It allows your computer to work like a Wi-Fi hotspot. Setting up a virtual router could be seen as a way of flipping the WiFi receiver in your PC. As a result, your computer is no longer able to receive WiFi signals, but it can transmit them. Unfortunately, few computers can receive and transmit a wifi signal at the same time. That is why most virtual routers are only able to share an internet connection they receive via cable. In short, a virtual router is a device that is connected to the internet via cable and then transmits that connection via wifi.
Nowadays, many devices have the ability to act as virtual routers. Many people already use the Personal Hotspot Function of their iPhones and the Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on their Android phones. The virtual router on Windows works approximately the same way: your Windows computer becomes a new Wi-Fi transmitter that other devices can use to access the internet.
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Install Custom Firmware On Your Router
Sadly, when developing and producing routers, most router manufacturers seem to focus their time and money on the physical aspects of the device, with little emphasis on developing the firmware for the device. Firmware controls how the router functions and what features are available, as well as how the control panel interface is laid out.
The two major third-party firmwares that most people choose are DD-WRT and Tomato. For an in-depth comparison between these two options you can check out our Tomato vs DD-WRT article, but to summarize the important bits, Tomato is highly user-friendly while DD-WRT focuses on offering tons of features and control for power users.
Since we already have fully fleshed-out articles on how to install Tomato and how to install DD-WRT, we arent going to go into the details of the firmware flashing process in this article, but its worth looking into if your router is not supported by your VPN service out of the box or you simply want to improve the overall functionality of your current router.
Router VPN: What Is It Why Do I Need One And How To Install
Here’s everything you need to know about router VPNs, talking you through all the important information, including what it is and how to set one up
ByNicholas Fearn Last updated 2021-04-26T09:01:04.839Z
Many of the best VPN services provide apps and firmware for routers. By installing a VPN on your router, you can improve the security of every device in your household and ensure your Wi-Fi connection is protected right around the clock.
Besides offering a wide range of security and privacy benefits, a router VPN will also let you bypass geo-restrictions and unblock websites on all your connected devices. As well as this, a router VPN can be used on smart TVs, game consoles, and any other devices that dont have dedicated VPN apps .
If youve not used a router VPN before, you might be questioning what it is, how it works, why you need one, and how to install it. Keep reading to find out all the answers to those questions.
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C Flash Router With New VPN Firmware
The last option, and the most complicated, is to flash your router with new firmware. To clarify, the term flashing means to install new firmware firmware is the Operating System within your router that determines what its capabilities and/or limitations are.
To enable your router to function as a VPN client, you need to flash it with new firmware. The two most common and established types of firmware out there are DD-WRT and Tomato.
DD-WRT and Tomato are open source, third-party firmware that are available online for free, and each has its own pros and cons. But first, lets see what they have in common. Both DD-WRT and Tomato can:
- Extend your wireless range
- Disable manufacturer backdoors, among others
Here is where they differ:
DD-WRT is more accessible and available on more devices than Tomato. As far as exclusive features, DD-WRT allows users to adjust the strength of their Wi-Fi signal, manage quality-of-service settings to prioritize specific types of traffic, access your home network from afar, and more.
Tomato offers better bandwidth monitoring options, permits up to two VPN servers to run at the same time, and offers a more user-friendly interface. It also connects better to various VPN service providers, but is not supported on as many routers. To see an in-depth comparison of the two types of firmware, you can view Flashrouters article here.
Get The Best Deals When Shopping Online
Sometimes you can get different prices when shopping online depending on your location. Use a virtual private network and hop between the servers to search for the best deals. It will not only save you money but also guarantee a secure transaction.
Protect your privacy online and stay secure with NordVPN.
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Best VPNs For Routers
Using a VPN on your router doesn’t mean picking whichever. Even though the application features won’t be the deciding factor here, some VPNs will make your setup much easier. Most premium VPNs have extensive tutorials on the subject. Even if something fails, customer support agents should reach out to their helping hand. Here are a couple of the best VPNs for home routers.
How To Set Up VPN On Router
One of the first steps is to consider the type of router you already have. Does it have built-in VPN support? You can find that out here. In case it does not, you can consider purchasing a compatible device. A more DIY option is to perform the procedure called flashing. It means that you log into your router to adjust its settings and install additional firmware.
You will need to know the IP address to install a VPN on routers. Once you figure out the routers IP address, type it in the browser like any regular URL. Then, you will need to provide the username and password combination. If you have not changed these credentials, you should find them on the device. After that, you can download the DD-WRT firmware and prepare it for use. For redirecting traffic to a VPN server, you can find instructions that make this process less stressful.
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Are There Downsides To Using VPNs
A VPN’s success depends on other parts of your network infrastructure. Here are factors that could cause performance issues for your VPN:
Configuration security risks
Design and implementation of a VPN can be complicated. If youre not sure how to keep it up and running safely, consider bringing in an experienced network security professional to make sure VPN security hasnt been compromised.
Since VPN connections run off the Internet, you need to choose an Internet service provider that consistently delivers excellent service with minimal to no downtime.
If you need to add new infrastructure or create new configurations, you may run into technical problems due to incompatibilityespecially if you’re adding new products from different vendors.
Slow connection speeds
If you’re using a VPN client that provides free VPN service, your connection speed may be slow, as these providers do not usually offer high-speed connections. Consider whether the speed is sufficient for business needs.
How To Set Up A Router On A VPN
Now that youve found a VPN provider, youll want to follow any instructions they provide on their website.
- If your router is already compatible with your VPN, simply log in and configure it to connect with your VPN providers servers. Our example, NordVPN, has detailed router tutorials for every router and firmware that they support.
- If your router isnt compatible with a VPN out of the box but is compatible with DD-WRT or Tomato, then you will need to flash it and install your new firmware of choice before configuring your VPN. This is a longer process but it isnt too complicated either.
For this tutorial, well be using NordVPNs Flashrouter security app as an example. Follow our step-by-step guide below.
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Whats The Easiest Way Of Installing A VPN On A Router
The easiest way to install a VPN on your router is to use ExpressVPN. Our #1 pick for best provider overall, your subscription will grant you access to a dedicated router app thats unparalleled in the VPN world.
Once youve signed up to ExpressVPN, youll be able to search for instructions for all the routers that are compatible with the app. If you have one or if you buy one especially setup is super simple:
While there are minor changes for each router, the steps are much the same. Firstly, youll download ExpressVPNs firmware for your specific router. Make sure to keep hold of your activation code.
Then turn on your router dont connect to the internet yet and install the firmware. ExpressVPN provides instructions for all specific routers. Then reboot the router.
It’s worth mentioning here that if you’re setting up a secondary router for VPN connections, you’ll need to connect your new router to your current one with an Ethernet cable. You can ignore this step if you’re using a one-router setup.
After that, you need to connect your device to the VPN router via cable or Wi-Fi. You’ll be directed to Expresss router dashboard, where all you need to do is enter your login information to complete the process, and youre done.
- Visiting Japan? You need a Japan VPN
Why Get A VPN
VPNs are internet security must-haves for a number of reasons. First, they make your computer appear as if it’s in a geographic location other than where you actually are. That’s because you’re logging into a server operated by the VPN provider and then running your web sessions from there. That means when cookies or Big Bad Government Agencies try and trace you from your web activities, they’ll find the VPN provider’s server, not you. Even better, just like you, hundreds or thousands of people will be doing the same thing off the same server.
But VPNs do more than anonymize your session. They also encrypt your traffic. VPNs can use a variety of different encryption methods, but the most popular is the AES 128-bit or 256-bit standard. Combine that with anonymization, and you’ve got a scenario where your location is hidden and your individual encrypted traffic stream is ridiculously difficult to pick out because your stream of encrypted gobbledygook is one of hundreds or thousands of other streams of encrypted gobbledygook pouring into and out of that same server farm.
That’s the draw of a VPN: You get all those benefits just by installing a simple web client on your device and making sure it’s active before starting any other web or cloud session.
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Can My Windows Computer Be Turned Into A Virtual Router
Before you start this process, its important to check whether your computer supports the transmission of Wi-Fi signals. You can find this out quickly by following these steps:
When you see the word Yes, your computer is able to set up a virtual router. If you see the word No, you will unfortunately not be able to create a virtual router with your device.
Activate The VPN Router Settings
At this point, you should see a new profile with whatever name you gave it.
Click Activate and in some cases youll watch the router begin to connect to the server in other cases youll have to restart the to initiate the connection.
In either situation, you should receive confirmation of a successful connection with a visual or text cue
Now, go type What is my IP address in Google to double check the connection. If everything is done right, your IP should show the location of the server you setup and not your actual location.
Create multiple profiles for different servers in different countries to make it easier to switch next time you log into your router.
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