Millions of people across the globe use various VPN services as a convenient and effective solution for enhancing their online privacy. Nowadays, VPN providers offer products for multiple platforms – Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and so on. Moreover, one can install VPN software on his smart TV or even activate his Raspberry Pi VPN router feature. But, probably, the most effective solution is a VPN router. By using a router with VPN, you ensure secure connections for all the devices simultaneously by default. Read our guide to know how to choose a VPN router for home, how to install VPN on router, and what VPN provider to opt for.
How does a VPN on Router Work?
The main reason for using a virtual private network is its capability to mask the user’s real IP-address. It gives a possibility to browse the web securely and anonymously. With a VPN enabled, one can bypass regional restrictions, visit foreign platforms that are otherwise closed, access torrent sites and so on. VPN can be activated on different levels.
- A VPN browser extension ensures security only within one browser. It is convenient when you need it occasionally, visiting particular sites.
- A VPN client protects the whole system. There are options compatible with various platforms. With a VPN client activated, one may securely use any browsers and apps installed on the computer.
- A VPN for router resolves the problem at the root. It protects all the devices connected via this router by default. One can setup VPN on router only once and use securely all the devices forming a home network.
A router VPN has a range of advantages: it allows establishing multiple connections under one license, it lets you stay protected all the time, and, finally, it protects the whole home network. The only small downside of using a VPN on router is a speed drop. The more devices are connected, the lower the speed is.
What is the Best VPN for Router?
Nowadays, many VPN providers offer software compatible with routers. The choice of the best VPN router provider depends on several criteria:
- the connection speed provided;
- the ease of software installation;
- the accessibility and quality of online support;
- the pricing plans available.
Fortunately, there are providers that meet all these requirements. Our top pick is Express VPN router pack. It is the fastest, the most flexible, and perfectly compatible with many popular VPN enabled router models. The runner-up is Nord VPN router solution. It is speedy, reliable, and quite easy to use. Both providers have a strong customer support service, which can be important in the case you face some difficulties with VPN software integration.
How to Choose a VPN-Compatible Router
What is a VPN router? First and foremost, it is important to understand that not all of the existing routers can work with VPN software. Before buying a particular model check whether it is VPN-compatible or not (the information can be found on the Internet). Beware that the majority of routers supplied by ISPs will not run VPN software. You’d better choose devices from third-party manufacturers. The popular choices are Netgear VPN router options, Cisco VPN router, and Asus router VPN models. Depending on your skills, desire to go into details, and spare time, you may choose one of the three alternatives:
- Pre-flashed VPN routers. If you don’t want to setup VPN on router by yourself or don’t know how to do it, choose this option. Keep in mind that pre-flashed devices are usually more expensive because all the preparatory work is already done. They can be obtained via certain online retailers.
- VPN-compatible routers. If you have at least initial skills in the field of setting up computer equipment, you can buy an out-of-the-box VPN-compatible router and simply follow the tips from a VPN provider’s site or the instruction provided by its support service. Such routers are able of connecting VPN via the OpenVPN protocol by default – all you need is to install the software of a particular provider.
- Routers that require flashing. Initially, they come with the firmware that can’t run VPN. You have to install new firmware (this procedure is called flashing). This is quite a complicated process that requires basic programming skills.
How to Setup VPN on Router
If you’ve already bought a pricing plan from the chosen VPN provider and found a suitable router model, it’s time to set up the router VPN. A general rule is the following: visit the official site of the provider, log in, download the needed firmware, and follow the instructions. Let’s see how to add VPN to router, using ExpressVPN and Asus router VPN as an example.
- Download the firmware. It can be found on the official website, on the Set Up page. Don’t forget to save an activation key in a separate document.
- Connect the router. The common approach is using two routers where the first one is connected to the internet via an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi (for a VPN wireless router) and serves a bridge between a computer and the second router. The second router, in turn, is connected to the first one. Mind that some models don’t require the second router – you’d better specify it in advance.
- Flash your device. Switch on the connected router and go to the admin control panel of your Asus router client. Click the button “Administration” and choose “Firmware Upgrade”. On this stage, you’ll need to select the file you’ve downloaded from the provider’s site. Click “Upload” and wait for the process to be completed. After that, re-plug the Ethernet cable. Finally, go back to the provider’s site (ExpressVPN in our case) and activate your license, using the activation code that you had saved earlier.
If you have difficulties on any stage, you must have a possibility to contact the support service. That is why we recommend using the services of reliable providers with a strong support.