Best VPN for Router in 2021

Although most VPN providers offer a decent amount of simultaneous connections with their subscription plans, many benefits come with using a VPN router. A VPN router is a compatible router that allows you to configure your VPN to it and protect all devices connected to the router.

Fortunately, many VPN providers can be put on your router so that you can surpass device connection limitations. Moreover, a router VPN allows you to employ the benefits of a VPN on other devices such as gaming consoles and smart home devices.

If you want to install a VPN on your router and wonder which VPN provider is the best option, then look no further. We’ve looked at various VPNs to find which have dedicated VPN apps, which provide the easiest setup on your router, and have the most impressive features for a great overall VPN experience.

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Why Should I Use a Router VPN?

So, why should you use a VPN on your router? There are pros and cons to doing so. Let’s look at these to see whether using a VPN on your router is a good solution for you.

1. Constant VPN encryption

A VPN sends your internet data through an encrypted tunnel to a VPN server and changes your IP address. What this does is give you an extra layer of privacy so that no third parties, including your Internet Service Provider (ISP), can see what you’re getting up to online or trace activity back to your real IP address.

If you use a VPN on your phone or computer, you’ll know that to activate it, you have to open the VPN client and switch it on. Sometimes, we can forget to do so and can surf the internet without any protection.

By connecting your VPN to a VPN router, you can ensure that your browsing activity is constantly encrypted, and therefore, protected.

2. You can connect every device

If you set up a VPN on your router, you can bypass any device connection caps your VPN provider has. Not only does a cap on devices limit your ability to protect all of them, but it can be a time-consuming process, having to download a VPN client for each device.

By connecting a VPN to your router, every device on your network will have automatic VPN protection. You won’t need to download and install VPN software on each device, and it also means you can protect as many devices as you want to.

A VPN on your router essentially guarantees that all of your and your family and friend’s connected devices enjoy secure VPN protection. Cell phones, computers, and other internet-based connected devices in your home, such as gaming consoles and Smart TVs, will receive VPN encryption.

3. Avoid bandwidth throttling

If you’ve ever noticed that your internet connection slows down when you’re streaming a TV show or gaming, then it’s likely your ISP is throttling your bandwidth and severely affecting your wi-fi connection.

Since your ISP can see everything you get up to without VPN encryption, by using a VPN on your router, you’ll be able to hide online activity on your home network and no longer have to suffer bandwidth throttling.

Is My Router VPN Compatible?

If you want to install a VPN on your router, you need to make sure you have a compatible VPN router with the right type of firmware. Not all routers work with VPN software, so you need to get a VPN router with DD-WRT on it. The open-source DD-WRT supports many devices, and DD-WRT can even be set up on your existing router, assuming it supports the firmware.

To work out whether you flash your router with DD-WRT firmware, you can visit the DD-WRT router database online and enter your model number. If your router is compatible, then you can set up a VPN connection easily. Otherwise, you’ll need to invest in a router that is compatible or has DD-WRT already on it.

The 5 Best VPN for Router

Assuming that you can establish a VPN connection on your router, you can choose from one of the following providers. We have looked at many different VPNs to compile a list of the best 5 for routers. All of the following providers are router compatible and offer great speeds and customer support to users.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is without a doubt the best for VPN routers thanks to its router firmware that allows you to control the router VPN more easily.

Top of our list is ExpressVPN. This VPN service offers pre-configured VPN routers to users, which means you can purchase a router that already comes with Express’s VPN software installed on it and protect every device on your home network. ExpressVPN also offers a detailed router setup guide.

If you want to manually install a VPN onto a DD-WRT router that you already have, you can do so with ExpressVPN. Regardless of how you set up the VPN service on your router, ExpressVPN makes it easy for users to control their VPN use. Thanks to the ExpressVPN router app, users can access a user-friendly dashboard, connecting the VPN and enabling split-tunneling to decide which devices enjoy VPN encryption. The dashboard provides ease of use, akin to what a VPN client does, and means you don’t have to access your router settings to customize the VPN.

Aside from being an easy to use router VPN, ExpressVPN has many great security features. It has a kill switch, which is enabled even on routers. Moreover, ExpressVPN uses AES-256 bit encryption, which ensures that no third parties will decrypt your internet traffic, and there is a strict zero-logs policy to protect your online privacy.

If you want to use a VPN to unblock streaming services, then you can enjoy ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer service on your Smart TV. While this feature doesn’t provide your Smart TV with encryption, it unblocks many foreign streaming service libraries, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

With one subscription, you get access to a decent-sized VPN server network, with 3000+ servers in 160 locations worldwide. Should you run into any technical issues at any time while using ExpressVPN, you can count on the provider to help you. As well as providing some of the most detailed and informative tutorials on how to use the VPN, ExpressVPN has 24/7 customer support on its website in the form of a live chat.

Prices start from $8.32 per month, which is expensive but reflects the quality of service you get. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, which gives users time to test out the VPN services.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN offers its users a large server network and a lot of support for setting up a VPN connection on your router.

NordVPN is an all-around great VPN service and offers support for users who want to connect their VPN to a router and bypass the 6 simultaneous connections limit. If you want to avoid the time-consuming process of manually setting up a VPN connection on your router, then you can buy a pre-configured VPN router that supports NordVPN.

Alternatively, the provider offers detailed instructions on configuring your VPN onto a router with compatible firmware using the OpenVPN protocol. The guides are easy to follow, even for users who aren’t familiar with VPNs or routers. There is also 24/7 customer support should you need help during the VPN router set up process.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a dedicated router VPN app with Nord, like ExpressVPN offers. To adjust your VPN settings, you’ll need to log into your router and make changes there. This doesn’t provide as much ease of use as a VPN client, but it’s good to know you can make changes to the settings if you need to.

Once you have set up your VPN router with NordVPN, you can enjoy all of the incredible features that the provider has to offer. Firstly, NordVPN is one of the most reputable providers when it comes to security. It employs military-grade encryption, and its Double VPN feature encrypts traffic twice. It also has CyberSec, built-in malware protection, and an internet kill switch.

In terms of privacy, users needn’t worry about their online data being stored and shared with third parties. NordVPN has a strict zero-logs policy to ensure that users’ browsing is always secure. NordVPN also provides users access to a large server network compromising of more than 5500 servers worldwide.

Speed is good with NordVPN, meaning you’ll enjoy a stable wi-fi connection while using this VPN. The provider can unblock a vast catalog of streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+.

Considering that NordVPN offers its services from just $3.71, it’s outstanding value for money. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to test out the device on your home network and make sure it is the best option for you.

3. IPVanish

IPVanish offers users an easy way to get a VPN router to secure all of their home devices at once. Firstly, it operates a partnership with FlashRouters, whereby users can purchase ‘flashed’ routers that have the necessary open-source firmware and require less time for you to set up the VPN.

Moreover, by purchasing a router through FlashRouters, you also get access to a VPN app, which provides the same ease of use as a VPN client, making it easier for you to adjust the VPN settings and enjoy its services.

Even if you already have a router and don’t need to get one from FlashRouters, IPVanish enables users to connect the VPN to all supported routers. Although you may find this method more complicated, IPVanish has a detailed guide to help you install a VPN onto your existing router.

Aside from offering a couple of ways to connect your VPN to your router, IPVanish has many great features. Security is first-rate thanks to 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption. IPVanish also uses some of the most secure protocols, including OpenVPN, to ensure VPN connections are always safe. There is a no-logging policy and first-rate customer support. You can find a live chat on the IPVanish internet home page, as well as a US telephone number and an email address to contact should you need to.

Although all devices on your network at home will be protected by setting up a VPN router, IPVanish offers unlimited device connections. Should you want to install the VPN on your router and separately on your other devices, you can do so. By doing this, you’ll get VPN encryption when you leave your home and connect to potentially dangerous public wi-fi networks with your cell phone device.

Download speeds are great with IPVanish, making this an optimal choice for streaming and gaming fans. Prices differ depending on whether you sign up for a yearly or monthly subscription, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee included in all plans.

4. VyprVPN

One VPN provider with a dedicated router app is VyprVPN. With this provider, you’ll be easily able to enjoy the VPN services on your home router.

VyprVPN offers a dedicated router app that enables easy installation. However, this app has a catch as it only works with routers that support the Tomato firmware. Should your router operate different firmware, you can still manually configure the VPN, but you won’t get the app, which allows you to adjust the VPN settings more easily.

If you want to configure the VPN on your router whilst separately installing it onto other devices, you can do so thanks to the many VPN apps it offers for the most popular operating systems, including Windows and Android.

VyprVPN has a small VPN server network of just over 700 servers, but it packs a punch. It’s extremely fast, providing seamless performance, and can give you access to censored content around the world thanks to its Chameleon protocol. Moreover, it doesn’t compromise on user privacy and has a strict no-logging policy. It also offers server switching to avoid server overload.

You’ll find that security is also great with Vypr, thanks to the advanced encryption, automatic kill switch, and private DNS on every server. There is also great customer service to ensure all users are supported should they run into issues. Prices are extremely low, and there are often great deals offered, making this the perfect option for users with a Tomato router.

5. Surfshark

Another VPN that can be configured to routers is Surfshark, one of the cheapest but most secure VPN services.

Surfshark doesn’t have a dedicated app for routers, but it makes it easy for users to connect the VPN to one. Assuming that you have a DD-WRT router, then you can follow the set-up steps on the Surfshark website to give all of your network’s connected devices military-grade encryption.

Not only does Surfhsark protect your data with advanced encryption, but it has a zero-logs policy and malware protection to block risky websites. It offers one of the fastest VPNs, ensuring that speeds are good enough for gaming and streaming.

Even if you don’t want to connect Surfshark VPN to your router, you can still protect all of your devices with one subscription as the provider offers unlimited simultaneous connections. This means you can set it up on individual devices and ensure that you still enjoy VPN encryption when connected to public wi-fi networks.

Surfshark’s VPN server network is decent, with 3200+ servers in 65 countries. Customer support is 24/7 with a live chat on the website alongside many detailed guides. You can try out the VPN for 30-days risk-free, and prices start at an incredibly low $2.49 per month.

How Do I Set Up a VPN for Router?

Setting up a VPN connection on a router may seem simple enough, but it can be challenging, especially for people who aren’t as tech-savvy.

Firstly, you need to make sure your router is compatible with VPNs, as not all routers support VPN software. If you try to install one on a non-compatible router, you may cause your router to no longer work properly.

Once you’re sure that your router will work, you should follow your provider’s installation guide. As seen above, some providers make the process easier, depending on the type of router you have.

Author Madeleine Hodson

I’m Madeleine and an author for VPNSurfers. I have a keen interest in VPNs and believe that everyone deserves internet freedom and security. I have lived in several countries, including a two year stay in Hong Kong which incl...
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Last updated: January 29, 2021