Long gone are the days when our homes had one desktop computer connected to the web via cable, and family members would take turns to surf the internet.
“With the advent of smartphones and smart TVs, the need for a Wi-Fi internet connection has been steadily growing.”
However, even at home, dangers lurk on every corner of the web. To avoid any calamities and protect your privacy, setting up a VPN on your router is a wise decision. But not every provider is up to the task. Therefore, you need to learn about the best VPNs and routers that support them.
Best VPN for routers: shortlist
- The best VPN for router9.7
- High-efficiency VPN for routers9.4
- Excellent VPN for streaming and P2P9.2
- Versatile router VPN8.9
- VPN with a large server fleet8.5
How to install VPN on router
Without any guidance, installing a VPN on your router is no easy feat. Therefore, to ensure network-wide online security, you can take these easy steps:
- Subscribe to a top-of-the-line router VPN. We recommend NordVPN, now 57% off!
- Log into your router and adjust its settings
- Configure your networking device. The setup process will depend on your router
- Test your router by checking the IP and geo-location
- Enjoy a secure and private browsing experience!
5 Best VPNs for router in 2023: detailed list
- NordVPN – best VPN for router
- Surfshark VPN – high-efficiency VPN for router
- PrivateVPN – excellent VPN for streaming and P2P
- IPVanish – versatile router VPN
- PureVPN – VPN with a large server fleet
Apart from hardcore encryption, leak protection, and other safety features, the best VPN router should support all major routers, like DD-WRT, Tomato, Asus, pfSense, Linksys, and TP-Link. Additionally, a good provider should offer an “easy to set up” option or clear instructions. Lastly, speed and vast server fleet play a vital role in the ranking process.
With that being said, let’s dig deeper and find out about the best VPN on the router in 2023.
1. NordVPN – the best VPN for router
24/7 live chat, Email
- Breakneck speed
- Unblocks all major streaming platforms
- Excellent security
- No router app
NordVPN is the best choice for a router VPN if you’re looking for unparalleled performance and safety.
With an abundance of tutorials and compatibility with many popular routers, you’ll have no problems setting up a VPN on your networking device. Additionally, you can grab a router with an already built-in NordVPN from FlashRouters for an even easier process.
After you configure NordVPN on your router, all of your devices will be safeguarded by NASA-grade encryption, a reliable kill switch, and the Threat Protection feature. Moreover, NordVPN is based in privacy-respecting Panama and has an independently-audited zero-logs policy. Thus, you’ll be the only one who knows about your browsing adventures.
When it comes to entertainment, NordVPN doesn’t disappoint. You’ll have access to hundreds of geo-blocked streaming platforms thanks to 5400+ servers in 60+ locations. Additionally, with a router VPN and SmartPlay DNS feature, you can watch shows on devices that don’t support VPN natively. The icing on the cake is the NordLynx tunneling protocol. It makes NordVPN the fastest VPN in the market.
Experience danger-free web with NordVPN 7-day free trial. After that, grab a long-term subscription for only $3.49/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Lastly, you can check out other deals on our dedicated NordVPN coupons section.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN – high-efficiency VPN for routers
24/7 live chat, FAQ
- Superior against geo-blocks
- Outstanding performance
- Nexus feature
- Unaudited no-logs policy
In the vast VPN ocean, Surfshark stands out as one of the top router VPNs. The provider offers boatloads of tunneling protocols, excellent router compatibility, and astounding technical specs.
The struggle is real when setting up a VPN on your router. Therefore, you’ll find heaps of step-by-step tutorials on Surfshark’s webpage. Although, if you’re not keen on setting up a router with a VPN yourself, you can always grab a networking device with an already integrated Surfshark VPN from FlashRouters.
Surfshark has no issues cutting through geo-blocks or government-imposed censorship, too. With 3200+ servers in 100+ locations, you’ll have an abundance of new content to explore on the world wide web. More so, the WireGuard tunneling protocol will guarantee a fast and stable connection while using a VPN.
And if you’re worried about your security and privacy, Surfshark has you covered with many great safety features. For starters, just as any premium VPN, the provider offers solid encryption, DNS and IP leak protection, and a kill switch.
Moreover, the Surfshark One package prevents intrusive ads, viruses, and malware. And suppose you need to be totally incognito. In that case, the MultiHop feature allows you to route your traffic through several servers at once to take your online security to a whole new level.
Try sailing through calm internet seas with a Surfshark’s week-long free trial. Otherwise, you can instantly grab a plan for $2.30/month insured by a 30-day cash return. If you want to see other discounts, check Surfshark’s deals page.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. PrivateVPN – excellent VPN for streaming and P2P
24/7 live chat
- Top-notch security
- Accepts anonymous payments
- Superior against geo-blocks
- Lacks WireGuard
PrivateVPN is yet another excellent VPN for routers. The provider focuses on delivering quality service that combines superb security and geo-block circumvention capabilities. It’s also a good, extremely cheap VPN option to consider.
If you’re planning on getting a new router, we suggest grabbing a Vilfo networking device with an already built-in PrivateVPN service. Otherwise, like any other premium provider, PrivateVPN offers easy-to-follow guides for the majority of wireless routers.
From a technical perspective, PrivateVPN won’t let you down. The provider owns and manages all 200+ servers in 63+ countries, guaranteeing the quality and security of the service. Additionally, the provider doesn’t keep any logs, so no one but you will know about your web activities.
PrivateVPN will lend you a hand with streaming and torrenting as well. With the help of High Quality Network servers, you’ll enjoy exceptional speeds when watching shows or downloading files. Furthermore, the provider will help you avoid geo-restrictions, and access blocked content in your country. Lastly, PrivateVPN offers a port forwarding feature, which is crucial if you’re after torrent files that don’t get a lot of seeders.
Keep all your devices safe with a PrivateVPN subscription for $2.00/month, or get other deals with PrivateVPN coupons. Any plan is protected by a month-long money-back guarantee. Or you can take it for a spin with a free 7-day trial.
For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.
4. IPVanish – versatile router VPN
24/7 live chat, email, knowledge base
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Self-owned servers
- Outstanding security
- No anonymous payment methods
If you are looking for a flexible router VPN, look no further than IPVanish. The provider offers high-level online security for gamers, streamers, and everyone in between.
IPVanish works hand in hand with FlashRouters and provides pre-configured routers that are connected to the provider’s services. Or you can get into the nitty-gritty and set up a router with a VPN yourself, following user-friendly installation instructions.
For those who can’t enjoy free internet on a whim, Stealth VPN (Obfuscation) will disguise your VPN traffic and help you avoid Deep Packet Inspection in countries like China or Russia. Additionally, if you take IPVanish for a long haul, the provider offers VIPRE antivirus. The software will protect your computer from any looming threats.
Moreover, the provider controls all 2000+ servers in 50+ locations, meaning that there’s no interference from third parties. Furthermore, IPVanish guarantees top-tier performance due to the WireGuard tunneling protocol. Combine that with tremendous geo-restriction avoiding skills, and you’ll get excellent speeds for streaming and torrenting from anywhere.
Snatch IPVanish for $3.99/month with a 30-day cash-return guarantee. Additionally, keep on the lookout for discounts on the dedicated IPVanish deals page.
For a deeper investigation of IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.
5. PureVPN – VPN with a large server fleet
24/7 live chat
- WireGuard tunneling protocol
- Wide range of supported platforms
- DD-WRT applet
- No kill switch for iOS
PureVPN is a reliable router VPN provider that will ensure a smooth browsing experience. It’s also one of the cheapest VPNs on the list.
You can set up PureVPN on more than 20 supported router models yourself. But, to make things easier, you can buy a FlashRouters networking device with a built-in service. Additionally, PureVPN is the only provider that offers a special DD-WRT applet, making it easier to control your VPN connection on your router.
PureVPN is pretty much impenetrable due to IP and DNS leak protection, safe tunneling protocols, and powerful bank-grade encryption. In addition, the provider has a strict no-logs policy and has been audited twice by a third party. Moreover, the provider’s based in privacy-respecting British Virgin Islands, so you know all of your browsing sessions are safe.
6500+ servers in 70+ countries open up loads of doors content-wise. You’ll have access to numerous popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max. More so, PureVPN supports most major streaming devices, so you’ll have no problems watching everything on the big screen with Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, etc. And you can enjoy fast connectivity every single time, thanks to the WireGuard tunneling protocol.
Pick a PureVPN discount coupon and enjoy your subscription for as little as $1.33/month. And while the service doesn’t have a free trial, you can always try out a premium plan with a 31-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of PureVPN, read our PureVPN review.
How we picked the top 5 router VPNs
If you’re a bit new to the VPN world, picking the right router VPN might be difficult. And choosing a random service is never a good decision. Therefore, to make your life a bit easier, we picked our top-tier VPN providers according to the following criteria:
- User-friendly setup. The configuration process shouldn’t be a pain in you-know-where. Therefore, finding a provider that offers the easiest way to set up a VPN on routers takes the crown.
- Crackerjack security. Your home network is your castle, so no one should be able to breach its walls. Make sure that your provider offers military-grade encryption, a powerful kill switch, and other handy features.
- Number of hardware. The more bare-metal, self-owned servers, the better. They will ensure better connectivity and security. Moreover, make sure that there are options nearby for more incredible speeds.
- Anonymity. Don’t let anyone snoop on your online activity. A good provider should have a strict no-log policy and even better if they are audited by a third party. Additionally, they should be based outside Fourteen Eyes jurisdiction.
- Customer support. If the setup process is an enigma to you, don’t be afraid to ask for some help. An excellent VPN service will chat with you live 24/7.
- Unparalleled speed. The fastest VPN provider will ensure that everyone in your household can stream shows without buffering and in 4K. Additionally, you’ll get your files in a blink of an eye and play video games without lags.
- Affordability. Spending more cash on a router VPN won’t guarantee better services. You can grab a long-term premium subscription for less than $4/month.
Best VPN-compatible routers
Planning on getting a new router and setting up a VPN? Before choosing one, take a few things into consideration:
- Check VPN compatibility. Before buying a networking device, make sure that it supports VPN protocols. A good router should support OpenVPN or come with the DD-WRT or Tomato operating systems.
- Consider a pre-configured router. This way, you’ll know that you got the right device, and the setup will be a piece of cake. For instance, FlashRouters offer industry-leading Wi-Fi routers that support NordVPN or Surfshark VPN straight away.
- Compare VPN service speeds. You don’t want to get stuck with abysmal connectivity. Check out the VPN speed test and pick a provider that doesn’t slow you down.
Below you will find a selection of the best VPN routers available on the market in 2023. While speed, ease of use, and price were the key factors, some networking devices had extra nifty features and made it into the list.
|Asus AC5300 DD-WRT FlashRouter|
|Linksys WRT3200ACM DD-WRT FlashRouter|
|Asus RT-AC86U AC2900 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router|
|GLiNet GL-MT300N-V2 Mini Smart Router “Mango”|
How to set up a VPN on your router
If you have a router that supports a virtual private network, it’s time to set the VPN up and protect all of your household devices. In addition, you’ll be able to use VPN services on devices like Kodi or Apple TV and avoid ruthless geo-restrictions. To do so, you have to:
- Pick the best VPN for routers. Our top choice is NordVPN, the fastest and safest option.
- Access your router by typing in your router’s IP address in your web browser’s address bar. You can find the address in your networking device’s manual.
- Configure your router. The process will depend on your device type. Some routers are VPN-ready instantly, while others will need firmware flashing.
- Test if it works after completing the VPN setup on the router. Open up the DNS leak test. If everything’s okay, you should see a different IP address with an associated country flag.
As we mentioned before, the VPN configuration will vary depending on your router type. Check out our step-by-step VPN installation on a router guide for a more detailed walkthrough.
VPN not working with router: solution
Let’s be realistic: the chances of your VPN connection not working through the router are slim, but never zero. Therefore, we analyze each problem and suggest ways to quickly solve it.
No connection with router VPN
There are a few reasons you may have trouble connecting with a VPN. Before taking any drastic measures, try a few easy steps:
- Check your internet connection. Try loading up a few safe web pages without a VPN to see if they work. If they’re not – your best bet is to disconnect your Wi-Fi network, restart the router, and reconnect. If that doesn’t help, check if your ethernet cable is connected correctly or contact your ISP for more information.
- Check if you have the correct ports open. Your internet provider can block traffic on a specific port, so try changing your default setting to see if the right one is open for VPN. For instance, if you use NordVPN, you need to open up 443 TCP and 1194 UDP ports for the VPN to work correctly.
- Check firewall blocking. To prevent connection problems, add a VPN to the list of exceptions in your firewall settings.
Slow connection with router VPN
A premium provider won’t slow down your internet connection significantly, but you may experience connection drops with poorly configured VPNs. To fix it, you can:
- Run a speed test. Compare connectivity differences with and without VPN software. This will help you determine whether the problem lies with your VPN provider or ISP.
- Switch servers. Try connecting to a server that is closer to you. Usually, the performance differs depending on user proximity and server load.
- Change your VPN tunneling protocols. Not all protocols are created equally, and some perform better than others. Try switching to WireGuard or the ultra-fast NordLynx VPN protocol if you have NordVPN.
Getting disconnected with router VPN
If your VPN frequently stops working, it might expose your traffic and compromise your privacy. But by tweaking some things, you can mitigate such problems. Try this before the last resort:
- Use a different DNS server. Sometimes the default setting might not work correctly. Therefore, you can easily change your DNS server in your VPNs preference section. And suppose you’re worried about compromising your safety. In that case, premium providers like NordVPN and Surfshark VPN have exceptional DNS and IP leak protection features.
- Switch tunneling protocols. Again, this might help if your system interferes with a VPN protocol. Note that you’ll rarely encounter such problems by using a top-tier provider. Thus, choose the best VPN provider for a smooth and safe online experience.
If everything else fails
You spent hours figuring out what’s wrong and nothing good happened? Then, let the pros take care of it. A good provider, like NordVPN, will offer a live chat option that’s available 24/7. Thus, if you ever think of setting up a VPN on your router in the middle of the night, you can always drop them a message.
What else can you do with a VPN on a router?
By now, it’s crystal clear that setting up a VPN on a router is a wise decision. The best part – all of your devices will be safe, and no one can compromise your privacy. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about the number of simultaneous connections.
And apart from all that, a trustworthy provider can help you with boatloads of other things. Whether it’s shopping, streaming, or gaming, a VPN service on a router can satisfy everyone’s needs in the household.
Get more streaming content
If you’re an adventurous couch potato, a VPN can bypass geo-restrictions and expand your entertainment option immeasurably. With the top streaming VPN, you can unlock extensive Netflix US, Crunchyroll, and HBO Max libraries. Additionally, gain access to such platforms as Hulu, Telecinco, or Ziggo Go which are only available in certain countries. And with a router VPN, every family member can enjoy different streaming platforms on various devices like Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and many more.
Be a world-renowned gamer
A VPN can help you 1-up your gameplay as well. Explore new horizons (and servers) by changing your IP address and hopping to another region with a VPN. Additionally, a solid provider will reduce bandwidth throttling and lower your ping and lag, allowing you to enjoy a stable connection. And if you configure your router with a VPN, you can invite your whole squad to play together. Lastly, a top-shelf provider will shield you from DDoS attacks like a trustworthy sidekick.
Avoid price discrimination
A quality provider will help you find better shopping deals and satisfy your inner shopaholic. Most online merchants offer different prices and inflate them depending on your browsing history and location. Therefore, by hiding your IP address and identity, you can find cheaper subscriptions, plane tickets, video games, and so much more. Note that you might need to join different servers to get the biggest discounts.
In a nutshell, a router VPN will prevent any calamities while torrenting. First and foremost, a provider can help you battle any unexpected malware or virus intrusions that might hide in some P2P files. Additionally, a VPN will cover up your location and IP address, making it impossible for anyone to see what you’re doing online. More so, you can circumvent any limitations, download files, and avoid getting fined in countries where torrenting is illegal.
Can I use a free VPN for routers?
A free router VPN sounds great, right? Unfortunately, not all providers have your best interest at heart. Most free services:
- Can’t offer the possibility of setting up a VPN on your router
- Collect your info and make a profit out of it
- Throttle your bandwidth and limit your browsing data
- Can riddle your devices with malware
- Give only a few overcrowded servers to choose from
- Have little to no security features
- Can’t bypass any geo-restrictions
However, there’s a workaround if you want to surf the web without any trouble. The best option is to grab a top-tier VPN with a free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. That way, you can set up a premium VPN like NordVPN or Surfshark VPN on your router and enjoy excellent security and privacy features for a whole month. Additionally, you’ll be able to bypass any geo-blocks and enjoy a plethora of new content on streaming services.
All in all, if you have heaps of tech around the house, setting up a VPN on your router is the easiest way to ensure overall safety when browsing or streaming. That being said, not just any VPN will do.
Therefore, we recommend getting NordVPN – the best provider out there. The service offers superb features, fantastic speed, and loads of servers globally. Additionally, you can grab a networking device with a built-in VPN from FlashRouters for a hassle-free configuration process.
What do you think is the best router VPN? Share your opinion in the comments!
You may also like to read:
What’s the best router VPN?
NordVPN is the best VPN for routers. You’ll get flawless performance and top-drawer security features. Additionally, it’s extremely easy to set up, and if you run into any issues, 24/7 customer support is always by your side. Lastly, NordVPN is a Premium partner with FlashRouters, so you can grab a router with a built-in VPN.
Do I need a VPN on my router?
Yes, you need a VPN on your router if you care about your safety and privacy. It will provide network-wide online security protecting all of your devices simultaneously.
Do routers have built-in VPNs?
Is it legal to use a VPN on a router?
Yes, it’s legal to use a VPN on a router in most cases. Using a VPN is perfectly fine if you live in countries like the US, the Netherlands, or Australia. Although, if you live in China or other countries under high surveillance, you might get in trouble if you set up a VPN on your router.