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How To Install A VPN On Your Router
If you need VPN security but you’re tired of installing one on every device in your home or small office, maybe it’s time to add one to your router. Router VPNs protect any device connecting through them. Here’s how to do it.
These days, you need as much internet security as you can get. From telecommuting to simply watching your favorite show on a smart TV, the average consumer’s attack surface is three to four times the size as when most of us had only one PC. That’s not just a worry, it’s also a chore since you’ll need to install protective software on all those devices. But while you can’t get around installing separate antivirus software on every device, you can at least make your virtual private network concerns less aggravating by skipping the per-device procedure and simply installing a blanket VPN on your router.
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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Is It Free To Set Up A Home VPN Server
Its possible to set up your own VPN server for free, but it depends on how you set up the VPN server.
If you want to set up a home-made VPN server on a router you might need to buy new hardware if your current router doesnt support OpenVPN.
Routers with built-in VPN server capabilities can cost upwards of $100.
Its a similar story for cloud-based servers. Youll have to pay a monthly cost to rent them from a third-party provider.
However, if you want to set up a VPN server on a router or device you already own, such as a Windows computer, its completely free.
If youre not comfortable setting up a VPN server at home its a pretty tricky process and you dont want to spend money on a commercial VPN, take a look at the best free VPN services.
How To Setup VPN On Router In 2022
January 31, 2022 By Josh
It only takes a few minutes to setup VPN on router, and the benefits of encrypting all the devices on your network are useful. This step-by-step guide will show you why its important and how you can do it on your own WiFi router today.
Be sure to subscribe to the All Things Secured YouTube channel!
Most people tend to assume that configuring VPN for router is a highly complex task that requires specialized skills, and so, they steer away from attempting it.
But, as you will see, this isnt true.
Sure, its not as straightforward as installing a dedicated VPN app on your phone, but this guide will give you easy-to-follow setup instructions.
Specifically, were going to cover:
Before you decide to install a VPN on your router, lets cover the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
Note: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I may be compensated if you choose to use one of the services listed. I only recommend what I personally have used, and I appreciate your support!
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Benefits Of Using A VPN
There are numerous benefits of using a VPN service. For the better part, security and privacy are the two primary reasons why the majority of online users opt for an additional piece of software in their daily online activities. With news of email and cloud storage breaches popping out every so often, the potential to be compromised is high. Thankfully, a VPN with its robust encryption and security features allows users to reclaim their peace of mind when staying connected online.
But thats not all. Unlocking the full Internet content-wise in somes instances is a huge boon. Because a VPN encapsulates your Internet connection and comes pre-configured, it makes the software that much desirable and easy to implement in various instances, such as:
Setting Up The VPN Client
First get your router talking to the Internet on one side and your local area network on the other. Then set up any more advanced network settings you need, such as Quality of Service or access controls. Only once the router is fully humming should you consider installing your VPN client.
To do that, you will need to navigate to the VPN tab under Services. From there, check the Enable Bubble next to “Start Open VPN Client.” At this point, there is no single set of instructions to make this work. The settings will be completely unique to the VPN provider. However, there are ready-made instructions for setting up your VPN client on DD-WRT for several of PCMag’s top VPN players. For example, NordVPN has DD-WRT setup instructions here, and Private Internet Access VPN has the same thing for its VPN here. Some VPN brands will want to install their own software, some will want to use OpenVPN. Just follow the instructions for your VPN brand, and you’ll be right on track.
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How To Set Up A VPN On A Dd
The majority of people suggest that installing a DD-WRT router is quite technical and can lead to bricking. This is the reason why a lot of people opt to buy the DD-WRT routers that are already flashed. You can even choose to purchase pre-flashed DD-WRT VPN routers as they come with software that is preloaded. However, DD-WRT VPN setup is not difficult if you have a guide nearby.
Even though its possible to set up a PPTP VPN router, its now considered obsolete. If youll be going the extra mile by setting up a VPN on your router, stick to OpenVPN. Heres how to do it:
Setting up an OpenVPN router
DD-WRT versions with user pass authentication
DD-WRT versions without user pass authentication
Choosing A VPN For A VPN
If your VPN provider of choice doesnt offer a pre-flashed router, thats not a problem.
Make sure the VPN supports OpenVPN, and then purchase a router with firmware that also supports the protocol. You can then set it up yourself from there.
Its worth noting that certain VPN services will only work with specific router models. Visit your chosen providers website or contact its support service for more details.
Some VPN providers offer a streamlined installation process with easy guides online. NordVPN, for example, has detailed router tutorials for every router and firmware that they support.
If your router is already compatible with your VPN, all you have to do is log in and configure it to connect with your VPN providers servers.
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VPN Router Setup Requirements
In order to use a VPN on your router, youll need the following:
Every router model and type is different, and it isnt possible for us to give you a guide for every model here.
Likewise, every VPN service provider has a slightly different setup process.
However, using this guide in conjunction with your user manual and your VPN service providers advice, you should be able to easily install a VPN on your router.
Important: Youll need to log onto your router to follow this guide. The username and password may be printed on the rear of the router, or on a card that came with it.
VPN Router Setup Method : Manually Installing A VPN On A 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.
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The Best Way To Put A VPN On Your Router: Guide
There are several different ways you can get a router on a VPN. However, a lot of these techniques are complicated.
Ive tested all the methods, and I found the easiest way to install a VPN on a router is with ExpressVPN.
For most VPNs, the process of putting a VPN on your router is challenging. ExpressVPN makes it simple.
Its the method I used, and Im still using my VPN router to watch my favourite US streaming services in NZ every day.
Heres how to do it:
Ensure Security Of Your Devices
The Internet is an insecure place, teeming with hackers, cyber-criminals, viruses, and spies. The security afforded by a VPN, largely stemming from the use of heavy encryption, reduces your visibility to malicious agents on the web.
If you could extend this cloak of invisibility and protection to all the devices in your usage, youd have much less to worry about as far as your online security is concerned. The possibility of forgetting to turn on a VPN is also eliminated if your router is by default serving as a VPN hotspot for your entire house.
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Avoid Multiple Device Limits
Most VPN services limit the number of devices you can connect at once. But a VPN installed at the router-level only counts as one connection even though every device on your WiFi network is protected.
This feature is especially useful for game consoles, media players, and Internet of Things devices, many of which do not have native support for VPN client software .
How To Test That Your VPN Is Working
Now that youve set up your VPN, make sure its running properly and ready to protect your web traffic. The VPN is doing its job if it changes the IP address that appears when you surf the web, keeping prying eyes from identifying your traffic. Luckily, testing your VPN only requires a few simple steps:
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What Is A VPN
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. Essentially, it allows you to use your computer as if you were on a network other than your own. As a simple example, lets say that you and your friend Steve really like playing Command and Conquer, a popular PC game from the 1990s. Command and Conquer can only be played in multiplayer if youre on the same network as your friend, thoughyou cant play over the internet, like you can with more modern games. However, you and Steve could set up a virtual network between your two homes so that, no matter how geographically distant you are, the computers treat each other as if theyre on the same network.
On a more serious note, this is the same technique used by businesses so that their employees laptops can access local resources even when the employee and their laptop are hundreds of miles away. All the laptops are connected to the corporate network via VPN so they all appear they were local.
Whats The Best VPN To Install On A Router
For overall functionality, ExpressVPN is the best router VPN on the market today . Its dedicated app allows you to install it on a wide range of routers, and for older models you can still install it by doing the process yourself.
However, the best thing about Express is the fact it makes everything super simple to use from its router dashboard to its 24/7 customer support agents. Whatever your device, be it a router, iPhone, or Windows PC, Express is a great choice. Plus, Toms Guide readers can now claim three months free thats 15 months for the price of 12.
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Make Sure Your Router Is Compatible With A VPN
To put a VPN on your router, your router needs to support OpenVPN. This is a protocol that allows your router to connect to other devices within your secure home network.
Although there are a lot of routers that support OpenVPN, some routers make installing a VPN complicated.
If you want to put a VPN on your router easily, then we recommend these routers. The process is simple, and they reliably work with ExpressVPN.
- Asus RT-AC56
I used a Netgear R7000P to set up ExpressVPN.
Ill show you how I did it, and you can follow along.
Disclaimer: Each router is different. The interface may look different if you have a different router to the R7000P that Im using. However, the concepts and steps will be similar.
Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your VPN Router
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