Installing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your router will ensure all devices connected to your home wi-fi network enjoy VPN protection. This makes protecting all of your family’s devices, including laptops, mobile phones, gaming consoles, tablets, and Smart TVs easy.
The easiest way to set up a VPN router connection is to purchase a pre-configured VPN router from a VPN company. However, it is possible to install compatible firmware (like DD-WRT) on a wi-fi router.
The best router VPN services in 2021 are ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, Windscribe, Surfshark, and VyprVPN. Read more about these VPNs below.
The British Virgin Islands-based company, ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN providers on the market and is a great option for VPN coverage on routers too. The provider offers a range of pre-configured VPN routers as well as a comprehensive guide for setting up DD-WRT firmware on your own router.
If you decide to use ExpressVPN on your router, then you can enjoy the dedicated router applet that the service provides. This means you don’t need to go into your router settings whenever you want to switch servers, as you can control this from the app on other devices.
ExpressVPN offers a MediaStreamer feature too that enables you to access the geo-restricted content on streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and more on devices that do not typically support a VPN connection, without it being necessary to reroute the connection through a VPN tunnel.
When it comes to performance, the ExpressVPN router VPN offers fast and reliable speeds no matter where you are connecting from. ExpressVPN’s server network is also impressive, with more than 3,000 servers in 94 different countries. There is also P2P support across all of its servers, making it a great option for torrenters too.
ExpressVPN also offers a transparent no-logs policy which states that it will never store your private data traffic or online activity. If you run into difficulties while using the VPN on your router, ExpressVPN boasts excellent customer support with a 24/7 live-chat option to ensure you will get a response in minutes.
While ExpressVPN is not the cheapest option compared to other VPN services, it offers a first-rate user experience. Its 1-year version is the most cost-effective option at $9.99 per month. All ExpressVPN subscription plans are also covered by a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee for additional peace of mind.
NordVPN is another extremely well-known VPN provider. It offers excellent setup guides that explain how to set up DD-WRT firmware on your compatible Wi-Fi router. The company also offers a choice of preconfigured VPN routers if manual configuration isn’t your thing.
The VPN client impresses when it comes to user security and privacy too. It includes a range of additional security features, including CyberSec to block ads, malware, and malicious websites, Double VPN to encrypt your data traffic twice rather than just once, and with Onion over VPN, you’ll be able to enjoy a completely private internet experience.
As well as the above, the VPN offers a strict no-logs policy for additional peace of mind. NordVPN utilizes secure L2TP, PPTP, and OpenVPN protocols to ensure your internet connection is entirely anonymous and private.
In terms of performance, NordVPN offers excellent speeds, even on long-distance server connections, and is one of the fastest VPN services on the market. This makes it a great option for data-heavy activities like streaming and torrenting.
NordVPN offers a range of subscription options; however, its three-year option is the most affordable at just $2.99 a month, as long as you are happy to commit to a longer-term plan.
IPVanish offers a pre-configured router, but you can also choose to set up VPN support on your existing router manually. The provider offers an excellent range of comprehensive setup guides detailing the router setup process. The VPN is also compatible with a range of manufacturers and operating systems meaning you most likely won’t need to change your router.
You’ll be able to watch your favorite streaming services in high-definition thanks to IPVanish’s high-speed VPN server network. The VPN may even enhance download speeds, especially on short-distance VPN server connections.
IPVanish is an excellent choice in terms of security too. The VPN operates on OpenVPN and PPTP protocols for compatible router support and 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption. There is also a clear no-logs policy to ensure your private activity will never be stored or misused.
IPVanish is not the cheapest network VPN on the market; however, there is a 7-day free trial, and if you sign up for a year, the monthly subscription cost drops to just $6.49 a month.
Windscribe is a good router VPN that comes with unlimited simultaneous connections. This means that you can install the VPN on your router and all of your other devices. Theoretically, you can even share your subscription with friends and other family members to ensure they also stay protected online.
Speeds are decent, and short-range connections are quite fast with IPVanish. However, long-distance connection speeds are somewhat reduced, so it may be best to only connect to servers close to your physical location.
Windscribe also offers a limited free version that comes with a generous 10GB monthly data limit, which is more than most providers offer. The free plan helps test the VPN software on a single device; however, it will be necessary to opt for a paid subscription plan if you do want to utilize the DD-WRT VPN router app. Only the premium plans offer OpenVPN configuration and unlimited simultaneous connections on one account.
If you are looking for an affordable VPN router option, Surfshark is one of the best. Although the provider does not offer a dedicated VPN router app, you can configure the software to your router using configuration files and following the setup guides that Surfshark provides. There is also the option to buy a pre-configured FlashRouter, which comes with an easy-to-use app.
There are some excellent privacy and security features on offer with Surfshark to ensure that your browsing data is always secure. AES-256 encryption is accompanied by a selection of secure tunneling protocols for a powerful VPN connection. There is also a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a strict no-logs policy to ensure no data is stored on the servers.
Surfshark offers a premium service for an extremely affordable price. Connection speeds are impressive, and there is protection for an unlimited number of devices, making it one of the best VPN router options on the market.
VyprVPN may not be the largest VPN service, but it is powerful. Its no-logging policy is verified, so you can rest assured that your identity and private browsing activity are protected when connected to the VPN. And, more importantly, the VPN comes with a dedicated router VPN app.
The provider’s website clearly explains the few steps required to set up the compatible router VPN app. The router interface is clean, well-designed, and simple to use. However, unfortunately, the provider only supports Tomato Wi-Fi routers, making it somewhat awkward. Also, some features such as split tunneling are available on some but not all versions of Tomato.
However, despite the issues of the VPN app, it is a great option if you do already own a Tomato router, and if you don’t, you can always install the VPN by flashing and installing a VPN server connection. VyprVPN is also compatible with the FlashRouter app, which can make the process a little simpler.
VyprVPN is well priced at just $1.66 a month if you commit to the three-year option, so if you do already own a Tomato router, we would recommend it considering its affordability. However, for other routes, there may be better, more suitable VPNs on the market.
A VPN on your router is largely considered one of the simplest ways to secure your internet connection. It removes the need to download VPN clients on all of your other devices, and it can offer protection for devices that do not typically support native VPN apps, such as Smart TVs and gaming consoles.
A router VPN operates in the same way as a normal VPN you may have installed on your phone or laptop. It creates an encrypted tunnel of VPN servers, reroutes your internet traffic to a secure server, and hides your actual IP address. This means that you can browse the internet with the peace of mind that no third party can track your activity.
Most VPN subscription plans place a limit on how many devices you can protect simultaneously. If you download a router VPN, there is no limit to how many devices can use the VPN server connection.
The main disadvantage of using a router VPN is that your current router may not be compatible with VPN software. In this case, it will be necessary to purchase a new router that has compatible firmware or manually download DD-WRT firmware to enable you to set up a VPN connection.
The other issue is that it is harder to alter your VPN settings as many VPNs don’t have dedicated router clients. Therefore, it will be necessary to make any changes through the router dashboard on your laptop or computer, some of which are extremely basic and hard to use. However, some VPN services have made the process quicker and easier and offer dedicated VPN router setup guides and apps that are specially designed to protect your router quickly.
There is a range of reasons for installing a router VPN at home or in a business environment. Whether you want to access geo-restricted streaming content on your gaming console or Smart TV, or you want to enjoy a secure internet connection on all of your devices, we recommend a router VPN.
However, if you want to overcome simultaneous device connection limits, we advise that you check out VPNs such as Surfshark or IPVanish that come with unlimited connected devices. This means that you can install the VPN app on as many devices as you like without needed to configure your router’s settings.
Installing router VPNs can be complicated and difficult, especially for beginner VPN users. There is also a danger of harming your router if you configure the VPN incorrectly. Therefore, it is best to purchase a pre-configured VPN router if you are inexperienced.