Don’t want the hassle of installing a VPN separately on each device? Well, all you need is a router VPN to solve this issue. The best VPN for router will omit the need to install a VPN individually on every device, after which you’ll be able to enjoy a secure connection on your iPhone, doorbell, and even Roku and PS4 – devices that do not support native VPN apps.
A router protected with a VPN connection means that you can enjoy a safe browsing experience on all devices connected to your Wi-Fi. That’s not all. You’ll also be able to circumvent geo-restrictions and access multiple streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney+.
However, setting up a VPN on your router is slightly complex and may be daunting for users who aren’t that tech-savvy. But, some VPNs do offer easier setups than the rest, along with dedicated pre-VPN-configured hardware. So, after a lot of testing, we bring you the 5 best VPNs for routers that you can get your hands on right now and get started.
The Best VPN for Router [2023 In-Depth Analysis]
Finding the best VPN for Router is hard since not all VPNs are compatible with routers. After testing 150+ VPNs, we bring you the top 5 best VPNs for routers that you can use in 2023. These VPNs are compatible with many routers, such as DD-WRT, Tomato, and more.
1. ExpressVPN – Best Router VPN with Dedicated Router Hardware
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for router, owing to its super-friendly router app that is easy to set up. Along with that, the VPN offers fast speeds, excellent unblocking capabilities, and robust security to users.
Unlike most VPNs, ExpressVPN offers its own custom firmware that can be easily installed on all compatible routers. Speaking of compatibility, this VPN supports Asus, Netgear, Synology, DD-WRT, Tomato, Sabai, Linksys, and other routers. This means that you can easily control this router VPN from ExpressVPN’s dashboard instead of indulging yourself in the settings of your router.
Moreover, ExpressVPN also offers pre-configured routers available through FlashRouter. These routers are pre-loaded with the VPN software and are ready to be used within a few minutes. However, they are a bit heavy on the pocket.
You can manually flash the router if you already have a compatible router (such as DD-WRT or Tomato). It took us around 15 minutes to set up ExpressVPN on our DD-WRT router. You can also set up ExpressVPN on Asus routers.
A significant advantage of using a compatible router is that it allows you to configure device-based split tunneling, meaning you can select which devices pass through the VPN traffic and which don’t. Sound cool, right?
Now that you know all the router details let’s go through a few details about the VPN itself. ExpressVPN offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries, using which you can access any streaming service you want.
ExpressVPN unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and almost every other geo-blocked streaming platform with fast speeds, thanks to its Lightway protocol. We tested ExpressVPN’s speeds and ensured that they were fast.
Regarding security, ExpressVPN uses 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, a Threat Manager, and more for data protection. It also offers IP/DNS leak protection that secures you from all kinds of IP leaks. When tested using its US server, the VPN did not leak our actual IP address at all:
ExpressVPN has in-depth guides that will run you through every step. Its support is not limited to written guides, as it also offers a 24/7 live chat feature so you can get help whenever you want.
You can also check out our ExpressVPN router guide to getting started. The VPN is available for $6.67/mo (Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE on its 12-Month Plan) and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free for 30 days.
Read our ExpressVPN review for details.
- Compatible with various router types
- Offers a dedicated router app and custom firmware
- Pre-configured routers are available as well
- Compatible with all major devices
- Keeps users secure on Wi-Fi
- Doesn’t offer customizable features
2. Surfshark – Best Budget VPN for Router with Great Discounts
Surfshark is the most budget-friendly VPN for routers, with plans starting from just $2.05/mo (Get 84% + 2 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan). Even though there is no dedicated router VPN app, Surfshark is worth getting due to its excellent performance and fantastic discounts.
Surfshark offers incredibly good value as it allows you to connect unlimited devices with a single account. So, you can simply configure Surfshark on your router and connect as many devices as you want. You can use it on unlimited devices even if you don’t want to configure Surfshark on your router. This makes Surfshark a great choice for a large household.
If we talk about features, Surfshark offers around 3200+ servers in 100 countries. It also has excellent unblocking abilities and works with various streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu. This makes Surfshark the best streaming VPN among multiple in the industry.
As for speeds, the VPN turned out to be quite fast. when we tested Surfshark’s speeds, the VPN gave us a drop of about 17-18%, which is quite normal while using a VPN service. In fact, it was barely noticeable!
Surfshark also offers parental control features and automatic updates for routers as well. Other features include CleanWeb (ad blocker), MultiHop, Camouflage Mode, and 256-bit encryption for security. We tested its DNS/IP leak protection feature by connecting to its US server, and the VPN did not leak our IP address at all:
Surfshark also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can also try it risk-free for 30 days and test the service yourself. Read more about the service in our Surfshark review.
- Offers easy configuration on routers
- Compatible with various major router firmware
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Camouflage Mode and DNS/IP leak protection
- 30-day refund policy
- Doesn’t offer a router app
3. NordVPN – Secure VPN That’s Excellent for Routers
NordVPN is the most secure VPN for routers. As per our testing of this VPN, the VPN offered great quality features, including obfuscation, DoubleVPN, and private DNS servers.
Even though there is no dedicated app for routers, you can configure NordVPN manually on your router. It works with various firmware, such as DD-WRT, Tomato, and more. This means you can configure NordVPN on an Asus router, along with multiple others.
If you don’t want to manually configure the VPN, you can also get a pre-configured router for the easy way out. It has partnered with FlashRouters, which offers router firmware that is ready to go. This way, you can skip the tricky configuration part.
If you opt for the pre-configured router, then you’ll be entitled to use the Privacy app of FlashRouters. Since NordVPN is a premium partner of the router site, you’ll get extra features, including like smart server sorting and automatic server updates.
Performance-wise NordVPN delivers top-notch results with amazing speeds and a large server network. NordVPN offers 5500+ servers in 59 countries, so you can connect to any location you want. Also, NordVPN works with all major streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more.
As for speeds, the VPN is known to be super-fast. When we conducted a NordVPN speed test after connecting it to our Linksys router, the VPN dropped our speeds by 15% and offered an uninterrupted streaming experience. That’s way better than what Surfshark offered.
NordVPN also offers tons of security features that are available on routers as well. Along with the features mentioned above, it also offers 256-bit AES encryption, CyberSec (ad blocker), and Onion Over VPN. However, its kill switch feature is not available on routers.
It also comes with a DNS/IP leak protection feature which we tested for you. We connected to its UK server, and the VPN did not leak our actual IP address to users:
All these features are available for a price of just $3.49/mo (Get 57% Off + 3 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan) with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our NordVPN review for more details.
- Allows manual configuration on routers
- Offers pre-configured routers
- Thousands of servers
- Fast speeds
- Multiple security features
- Customer chat support can be improved
4. VyprVPN – Reliable VPN with a Dedicated Router App
VyprVPN is a reliable VPN for routers with a native router app. The VPN keeps your data and activities secure and private, which is an added advantage with its in-house router app.
Setting up VyprVPN on your router takes just a few steps, which you can find on the provider’s official website. The app itself is pretty simple and functional. Even though this is a huge pro, it is only compatible with Tomato MIPS/ARM firmware.
Along with that, there are multiple caveats. For example, split tunneling is available on the router app but not on the latest Tomato router versions.
Along with the Tomato firmware, VyprVPN also works with other routers, such as DD-WRT, but you will have to manually configure it and won’t have all the features that come with its dedicated router app. Its router app offers some noteworthy features like server switching and selecting the devices that will be protected with the VPN.
Otherwise, you can also get a pre-flashed router from FlashRouters. Even though this VPN isn’t a premium site partner, it’s still compatible with the FlashRouter Privacy app, making everything a little easier for users.
Feature-wise, VyprVPN offers 700+ servers in 70 countries and works with most geo-blocked streaming sites like Netflix, HBO, Disney+, and more. It also offers reliable speeds, dropping around 30%, which is more than its competitors above. Despite the speed drop, the VPN offers an uninterrupted streaming experience.
As for security, VyprVPN also offers top security features like a kill switch, NAT Firewall, and a proprietary Chameleon protocol. The Chameleon protocol scrambles your metadata, allowing you to bypass Deep Packet Inspection. This way, you can use VyprVPN in countries with heavy restrictions, such as China, Russia, Turkey, and more.
Moreover, it also offers a DNS leak protection feature on routers, so your IP doesn’t leak on any device connected to the Wi-Fi router. We tested this feature by connecting to a US server, and the VPN did not leak our actual IP address at all:
Moreover, the good thing is that VyprVPN offers 24/7 customer support, along with installation guides, so you can get assistance whenever you want.
- Dedicated app for Tomato routers
- Pre-configured routers available
- Split tunneling available on router app
- DNS leak protection
- Small network of servers
5. CyberGhost – User-friendly VPN Functionality with Easy Setup Guides
CyberGhost is the most user-friendly VPN for routers with easy-to-use apps, perfect for beginners. Although there is no dedicated router app, CyberGhost supports various firmware, including DD-WRT and Tomato.
You can also get a pre-configured router from FlashRouters, but it starts from $224, which is very expensive, considering you can manually configure CyberGhost on your DD-WRT router or whichever you own.
Configuring CyberGhost on routers is very easy, and well-written step-by-step guides areas available on its official website. You can even set up OpenVPN on your router and secure multiple devices over the internet.
Performance-wise CyberGhost is a reliable VPN offering 9700+ servers in 91 countries. All these servers are perfectly capable of bypassing geo-restrictions and censorship. You can use CyberGhost for streaming on your Smart TVs and other devices, as it works with Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime, and more.
As for speeds, CyberGhost was decent. While testing CyberGhost’s speeds, the VPN came with a speed drop of 25%, which seemed average overall.
It is also equipped with industry-standard features of 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, Automatic Wi-Fi protection, and a strict no-logging policy. It also offers a DNS/IP leak protection feature, which we tested on its Canada server, and the results were positive:
CyberGhost also offers 24/7 chat support, so you can get personal assistance as well. Best of all, it costs only $2.03/mo and is covered by an extensive 45-day refund policy.
To check out the complete list of features, read our CyberGhost review.
- Allows manual configuration on routers
- Offers pre-configured routers
- Unblocks various streaming platforms
- Massive server network
- No router app
- Speeds can be slow on some servers
Testing Methodology: How to Choose the Best VPN for Routers
Here are all the factors to look into the best router VPNs:
- Router compatibility: Every router should offer support for multiple VPN tunneling protocols. That’s we recommend you take a look at the protocols you can possibly use on your chosen VPN and router.
- Speedy connections: Fast connection is yet another factor you should consider. When you connect a VPN to your router, you can connect multiple devices that may overload the server. Therefore, ensure the VPN is fast enough to keep up with the load.
- A massive network of servers: A wide variety of servers means you can access more geo-restricted global content, whether you’re browsing, gaming, or streaming. What’s more, is that you won’t have to worry about overcrowded servers.
- Unblocks streaming platforms: With a VPN on your router, you can unblock various geo-restricted sites on big screens like Smart TVs. Make sure the VPN you have chosen works with all major geo-blocked sites.
- Features: The VPN you choose for your router should support OpenVPN protocol configuration and additional features like a kill switch, IP leak protection, and more.
- 24/7 customer support: The best VPN for router should offer 24/7 customer support so you can get instant help when needed with the configuration process. It is best if it also offers a live chat feature as well.
- Money-back guarantee: The best VPN for routers should also offer at least a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try the service with your router risk-free. This way, you can get first-hand experience and claim your refund if it doesn’t work for you.
FAQs – Best VPN for Routers
Is it worth putting a VPN on router?
Yes, it’s advised to have a VPN directly connected to your router to ensure your safety whenever you use the internet. In doing so, you would be able to save a lot of time spent trying to defend yourself and maintain the security and safety of our critical information at all times.
How should I get a router VPN?
Router VPNs can be complex and difficult to configure, and chances are that you’ll brick your Wi-Fi router if you set it up incorrectly. That’s why we highly recommend you sign up for ExpressVPN and use its dedicated router app, or purchase a pre-configured router.
Can I use a free VPN with my router?
Technically speaking, you can use a free VPN, but most free VPNs are incompatible with routers. Moreover, they come with many limitations like slow speeds, reliability, security, and limited bandwidth.
Because they’re free, their limited servers are congested with users, offering extremely slow speeds and unreliable connections. Moreover, they do not work with streaming sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu, which is an added disadvantage.
Security is another front where free VPNs fall short. Most free VPNs sell your user data to third parties, and some don’t even encrypt your traffic and carry malware and trackers. Considering all these cons of free VPNs, it’s best to stick with a premium VPN like ExpressVPN for your peace of mind.
Can VPN damage a router?
No, a VPN does not affect your router. However, remember that if something goes wrong when configuring the VPN on your router, it might damage the firmware. If you use a reliable VPN service like ExpressVPN that offers a dedicated router app, you will have no issue setting up a VPN on your router safely.
The 5 best VPNs for routers listed above offer a variety of features and an easy setup process for users. Rest assured as these VPNs are secure to use as they all follow a strict no-logs policy to ensure their users’ online security and privacy.
Setting up a VPN on your router might be tricky for some users, but there are detailed setup guides that you can follow to make the process seamless.
Our top recommendation as the best VPN for routers is ExpressVPN. That’s because it offers a dedicated router app, as well as pre-flashed routers available on FlashRouters.com. There are also detailed setup guides on its website and 24/7 live chat support.
ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can give it a try risk-free and decide for yourself.