VPN Routers: The Easier Alternative
Having a VPN on a router is a great way to keep multiple devices connected to the VPN. However, if your normal router isnt VPN compatible and you have to buy a separate router, you might want to consider getting a pre-configured VPN router.
FlashRouters offer routers that come with VPN software pre-installed. With a FlashRouter, you can get all of the best VPN services on a router so that you can set up the router and protect all of your network traffic.
How To Setup A VPN On A Router The Old
Many routers allow you to set up a VPN on your home network even with the out-of-the-box firmware. While OEM firmware is usually lacking in features and is inferior to third-party firmware, many popular models such as Netgear and Asus routers can handle VPN connections without requiring any changes .
In almost all cases, if a VPN can be used on a certain router, the VPN provider will have a page on their website showing the process needed to complete the setup, but well briefly explain how VPN setup works on most routers.
For this guide, were going to use NordVPN as the example in our screenshots because it covers a wide variety of routers and makes setup very easy, but this process will be roughly the same with most VPNs. You can read more about NordVPNs excellent router performance in our NordVPN review.
The first step in setting up a VPN on a wireless router is to go to your VPN services website and see if it supports your router. As you can see in our best VPN for routers article, ExpressVPN and NordVPN both support a huge variety of routers.
Next, youll want to from your VPN provider. This file is how your provider will give your router all the necessary information about the server its connecting to. Choose the config file for the server and protocol you wish to use.
Launch VPN On Your Router
It is now possible for your router to connect with a VPN service. Once again, however, the setup process varies for each VPN provider. For the sake of demonstration, Ill just highlight ExpressVPNs tutorial for connecting the VPN client to the DD-WRT router.
If you have followed all the above-mentioned steps correctly, then your router should now have a VPN enabled and ready to protect all the devices connected to it.
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Tips For Using A VPN On Router
Having successfully setup a VPN on router, any device you connect through the network will be encrypted through the virtual private network server.
Here are a few things to remember as you move forward:
- Always ON? One of the advantages of a VPN for routers is that you can turn it on and forget about it. For some people, this is a good thing. If you dont want to have your VPN always on, youll have to remember to log in and turn it off manually.
- Bookmark Your Router Login: If you plan to make changes to your server location or anything else related to the configuration, be sure to save the router login address as well as your login credentials. I recommend saving these in a good password manager app if you have one.
- Remember the Kill Switch: In some cases, the VPN on your router could be configured with a VPN kill switch. This means that if your server connection were to be disrupted, your entire internet connection would be cut. Remember this if you suddenly have problems with your network internet connection and cant figure out why.
- Fix GPS Issues: If you run into a problem where a streaming service requires GPS location data instead of the IP address that your router provides, youre going to need to do more. In some cases, such as , youll have to spoof the device location while also using a VPN on your router.
Which VPN Is The Best For Your Router
If you invest top dollar in a state-of-the-art router, you should do the same with your VPN. Dont be surprised that your connection doesnt live up to your expectations if youre using a VPN service that has slow servers on the other side of the globe, cannot unblock Netflix, and doesnt allow torrenting.
Speed and security are the top two criteria to consider when deciding on a VPN for your router. While speed often correlates with the number of servers and locations, its also the quality of the infrastructure that makes the difference.
Speaking of security, the country where a VPN resides is essential because some of those are members of the Five, Nine, or Fourteen Eyes Alliance, sharing intelligence data between themselves. Having a clean reputation is also essential some VPNs have already been caught cooperating with governmental institutions. Others clearly state that they do not offer a no-logs policy and are willing to disclose your personal data to third parties.
The quality of Customer Support shouldnt be your last consideration, either. We suggest choosing those VPN providers that offer 24/7 live support. There might be times when your connection drops for no apparent reason and works only without a VPN. Submitting a ticket and waiting for the response from another time zone can often mean youre done for the day while calling a helpline or starting a live chat can solve your issue within minutes.
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Access Your Routers Control Panel
The first step is to access your routers control panel. Since routers dont have a dedicated user interface, connect it to your computer and enter your routers network IP address on your web browser.
In most cases, routers use 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 or a custom URL. You can check the bottom of the router to confirm.
This takes you to the login page. Check the manual for the default username and password.
How To Set Up A VPN On An Openwrt Router
You should start by flashing your router with OpenWRT firmware. Youll be able to find information on how its done on the official OpenWRT website. When youre done with that, you still need to configure a VPN on your flashed router. What you should also be aware of is that OpenVPN packages arent included by default in the firmware files that youve downloaded. Youll need to modify the image to include OpenVPN configuration.
Its a highly technical setup that will severely depend on the options suggested by your VPN provider. Your best bet will be to consult their website for guides. This is one of the most technical setups, so you should really know what youre doing. For example, heres a NordVPN customer support guide on how to do it with its VPN.
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Establishing A VPN Server In Ubuntu
If you are an Ubuntu user, you can follow the same procedure followed in windows. Establishing the VPN server in Ubuntu is also a very complex and time-consuming process. For more details, you can refer to how to set up an OpenVPN server in Ubuntu. In summary, the following are the essential steps you need to follow for creating a VPN server in the Ubuntu server.
How Do I Choose Which VPN To Use On My Router
There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing a VPN. Weve compiled a VPN comparison so you can understand what to look for. When youre shopping for a router VPN specifically, see what VPN protocol your router works with, and make sure you get that protocol. The two most common options are OpenVPN and Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol.
Its also worth looking at several different VPNs websites to see what level of support and information they provide for connecting to routers. Ideally, the VPN you choose will have specific instructions for connecting to the type of router you own. If you arent ready to commit, there are plenty of free VPN trials you can use to make sure the router VPN setup works for you.
When were looking for a VPN to use with a router, these are a few things we consider besides compatibility with the device:
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What Do We Recommend
As a VPN to use when gaming, no service comes close to ExpressVPN, free or paid. With over 3,000 servers in nearly 100 countries, all the security features necessary, blazing connection speeds, and reliable access to multiple streaming services, ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for those after security with no compromises.
While some users may prefer certain features of other top VPNs, its the best overall option for most users and now Toms Guide readers can claim three months absolutely free.
Setting Up A VPN On Your Router
Want to keep the websites you visit, the online videos you watch, and the message boards you favor private? Then its time you invested in a virtual private network, better known as a VPN. And if you want a whole lot of online privacy for the least amount of hassle, you should consider installing a VPN on your router at home or work.
But what if you think you dont have the computing skills to install a VPN on your own? You can always buy a router that comes prepackaged with its own VPN firmware. If you dont know, firmware is software that is downloaded to a small memory chip. This chip is then inserted into a device. A VPN-equipped router will have one of these chips inserted into it.
Dont know what a VPN is? At its most basic, its a private VPN server that you sign up with either for free or for a fee that keeps your online activities private. When you search the internet or go online, your computer will first connect to your VPN before it connects to the web. Your VPN connection is a bit like a wall between your actual connection and the internet.
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Install A VPN Firmware On Your Router
If you already have a router and it is not VPN-enabled, you may flash it with VPN firmware, meaning that you may install an operating system that can deal with VPN connections. This is a DIY option, and it is slightly more difficult.
DD-WRT is third-party firmware that has been around for years and it will work with numerous different types of routers.
The DD-WRT option is very appealing as it is free, robust, and adds a large amount of versatility to all types and sizes of routers, including a VPN client mode. DD-WRT has been installed and tested without a problem on routers ranging from newer flagship routers like the Netgear R8000 to the venerable old Linksys WRT54GL.
Tomato offers a more user-friendly interface and better bandwidth monitoring options. However, it is not supported on as many routers.
How Do I Know If My Router Is Compatible With VPNs
The simplest way to find out if your device is compatible with VPNs is to look at the manual or Google the exact model plus VPN compatible. Its important to note that most routers ISPs provide are not compatible with VPNs. However, if you purchase your own VPN-compatible router, you can use that with your ISPs modem.
Some VPN companies offer co-branded routers, which offer the easiest setup. Currently, these companies include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark. These routers come with VPN software preinstalled, minimizing work on the user end. Alternatively, you can pick a router that is compatible with a VPN protocol and choose from multiple VPN options that work with that protocol. While its possible to configure some routers that are not set up for VPN compatibility through a process called flashing, this is risky and can fry the router if done incorrectly.
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Configuring A Router Designed For VPN Compatibility
Configuring a router that wasnt designed for VPN compatibility requires a little extra work. Youll need to perform a process called flashing to install firmware on the router that will support a VPN.2
NOTE: If your router does not have built-in support for router protocols, think twice before installing firmware to enable a VPN connection. Missteps here can render your router useless, so if you are unsure of your technical abilities, buying a router with built-in VPN support may be a better choice.
Option One: Look For A Router That Support VPN Clients
While well do our best to recommend a router for you that will save you the headache of digging through the feature lists and terminology yourself, its best to know what terminology to look for when shopping so you end up with exactly the product you need.
The most important term is VPN client or VPN client mode. With no exception, you need a router that can function as a VPN client. Any mention of VPN server is no guarantee at all that the device also has a client mode and is completely irrelevant to our goals here.
Secondary terms to be aware of that are related, but not directly relevant, to VPN functionality are terms identifying types of VPN passthrough. Typically the firewall/Network Address Translation components of routers play very poorly with VPN protocols like PPTP, L2TP, and IPsec, and many routers have PPTP Pass-Through or similar terms listed under the VPN category in their marketing materials. Thats a nice feature and all, but we dont want any sort of pass-through, we want actual native VPN client support.
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How To Setup A VPN On A Router In : Straight To The Source
Using a VPN can improve your privacy, but some people dont want to complicate their device usage. However, if you setup a VPN on a router, you can erase any potential hassle by easily protecting all of your devices at once.
Using a VPN has become easier and easier over the years. A VPN with a good user interface like the one we looked at in our ExpressVPN review can make it as easy as pressing a single button to get securely connected to the internet through your VPN. However, its possible to make it even easier by skipping the VPN client entirely and setting up your VPN right on your router.
You Can Connect Multiple Devices
Browser-based and downloadable VPNs require you to manually log in each device every time they access your private network. If youre not using a VPN router, then youll need to insert your login credentials each time you want to access your VPN.
When you set up a VPN on your router, you only have to log in the first time, just like a traditional Wi-Fi network. This goes for each device you connect to your VPN router.
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Ease Of Use & Unlimited Devices
When it comes to using a VPN on your router specifically, the main benefit is ease of use. Once set up, a VPN on a home router will be able to protect all of your devices as long as they are connected to the router. You will no longer have to connect each device individually or worry about disconnecting, since your home network will always be tunneled through a VPN.
Another reason some people turn to setting up their VPN on their home router is to get around the limit some VPN services put on how many devices can be connected to the VPN at once.
For example, NordVPN limits users to six simultaneous device connections however, a wireless router only counts as one device. With this semi-loophole, you can get many more devices connected to a single account by connecting them to the router, but it still only counts as one of your accounts connections.
- Easier to use across many devices
- Can be faster than running a VPN on your device, depending on the router model
- Can allow for more connections per account
- Potential loss of some speed compare to no VPN at all
- Can be more work to change servers or protocol settings compared to VPN clients
Choosing A Connection Protocol
In this article we tell you about connecting VPN on your router using the reliable and popular OpenVPN protocol.
Whoer VPN offers its users a choice of several connection protocols for easy and fast configuration of the VPN connection: OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, SoftEtherVPN. To connect your router via L2TP protocol, you need to be a current user of Whoer VPN with a paid or trial subscription, and click on the link to get configuration data. You can find a step-by-step manual for L2TP connection here.
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