Do you want to protect multiple devices with a single VPN subscription? Are you interested in preventing your ISP from tracking your home devices? The solution to all these demands lies in configuring your router to use a reliable VPN.
Although it sounds quite straightforward in theory, we don’t see it that simple practically. To review the application of VPNs on routers, we checked the experts who worked on the implementation. It brings some issues but also has certain benefits. You should also know how to set up a VPN on your router.
But again, the question arises, “Should I use a VPN on my router”? Well, this is exactly what we are going to discuss in the blog.
Quick Guide: Why Should I Use a VPN on my Router?
Using a VPN on a router has a couple of advantages. If you own a mix of devices, some with no screens, proper native software, or no built-in VPN compatibility, all such devices can be protected behind the VPN.
Your ISP or any other body on the network can’t see the traffic generated by these devices.
Most free and even premium VPNs have device restrictions, allowing only a specific number of devices to connect to the VPN. When your router connects to the VPN, all the devices on the network are treated as one.
Many VPN companies guide users about configuring the VPN with a router. The incredibly fast, secure, and reliable solution, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for routers. It provides a complete VPN setup and coverage for routers.
Best VPNs for Routers In-Depth Analysis
Here’s an in-depth analysis of the best VPNs for your routers:
1. ExpressVPN – The Best VPN for Router
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries, 25+ server locations in the US
- Dedicated router app: Yes
- Private DNS
- Device-based split-tunneling for routers
- Annual package starts from $6.67/mo (Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE on its 12-Month Plan)
ExpressVPN is the best VPN router with exceptional performance. It offers 3000 servers across 94 countries and has 25+ server locations in the US.
We tested ExpressVPN for IP and DNS leaks and found it leak-proof. Here are the results:
ExpressVPN is compatible with all devices, including the latest smart-home appliances. You can connect any device you want using the VPN-via-router trick. We faced no issues setting up ExpressVPN on our router. Furthermore, using ExpressVPN with Roku was a pleasant experience as well.
While speed testing ExpressVPN on our router, we received a download speed of 89.42 Mbps and an upload speed of 84.64 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection.
Furthermore, ExpressVPN on the router provides device protection 24/7 without you having to remember the device connections. With ExpressVPN’s kill switch, security is maintained even when the connection drops abruptly.
ExpressVPN uses the lightway protocol to ensure ultra-fast speed, secure communication, and a reliable VPN connection on the router. It offers an easy-to-use interface and simple settings that you can use to configure and even exclude specific devices from the VPN.
ExpressVPN offers an interesting Device Groups feature that allows you to connect your devices to more than one location at once. You can connect to up to 5 different device groups simultaneously or create a permanent location for all family and friends. You can easily switch your device location within seconds.
With ExpressVPN’s Threat Manager, you can block app or website trackers and prevent them from recording and sharing your activities. You can opt for ExpressVPN’s 7-day free trial for mobile phones and a 30-day money-back guarantee for all platforms.
ExpressVPN has a special router, Aircove, for users in the US. It is the first Wi-Fi router to have built-in VPN protection by default. For more information about this VPN, check out our detailed ExpressVPN review here.
- Unlimited device connection with the router
- Blazing-fast speeds
- Advanced security features
- Device privacy protection
- Special Aircove Wi-Fi router
- Costlier than other premium VPNs
2. Surfshark – Budget-friendly VPN for Router
- 3200+ servers in 100 countries, including 23+ server locations in the US
- 600+ servers in the US
- Dedicated router app: Yes
- AES-256-GCM encryption
- Private DNS & leak protection
- Annual bundle prices start from $2.05/mo (Get 84% + 2 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan)
- Compatible with all devices
Surfshark is a budget-friendly service provider offering VPN operations for routers as it costs just $2.05/mo (Get 84% + 2 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan). It offers 3200+ servers in 100 countries, including 23+ server locations in the US.
Surfshark provides VPN protection for your entire household. Surfshark is easy to set up on most routers, including Tomato, Sabai, Linksys, QNAP, Microtik, etc. By setting the VPN router once, you don’t need to repeat the process on all devices. We could easily set up Surfshark on the router to stream our favorite shows.
We tested Surfshark for IP and DNS leaks and found it leak-proof. Here are the results:
Surfshark keeps all your devices secure 24/7. You can connect your PC, laptop, smartphone, gaming consoles, and even devices like the smart fridge or Alexa that don’t have compatible apps to the VPN via the router. Setting up Surfshark on Kodi was a piece of cake for us, so you can also give it a try.
Surfshark allows unlimited device connections simultaneously, covering all your devices. Its fast servers in ensure buffer-free browsing and streaming content worldwide. While testing Surfshark speed on a router, we received a download speed of 81.32 Mbps and an upload speed of 76.12 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection.
With Surfshark’s camouflage mode, your devices are unidentifiable and anonymous. Even your ISP can’t sense your VPN usage. The kill switch feature retains the privacy of all your devices connected to the router VPN by masking your identity immediately after the connection drops.
The best thing is the 30-day money-back guarantee offered by Surfshark on all platforms. You can also try Surfshark’s 7-day free trial on mobile phones.
Check out our Surfshark review to learn about the features and performance.
- Compatible with all devices
- Easy configuration process
- Unlimited device connections with router VPN
- 24/7 security for all devices
- Switching the VPN server is hard on the router
- Connection to the router is insecure
3. NordVPN – Largest Server Network for Router
- 5500+ servers in 60 countries
- 1970 servers/15 server locations in the US
- Dedicated router app: Yes
- Private DNS
- Onion over VPN
- Deals start from $3.49/mo (Get 57% Off + 3 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan)
- Compatible with phones, computers, tablets, and more
NordVPN has the largest server network having 5500+ servers across 60 countries, and 1970+ servers in the US. It is a safe and reliable VPN to use with a router. It also lets you connect unlimited devices to the VPN via a router. NordVPN can encrypt your complete network to secure all devices.
We tested NordVPN for IP and DNS leaks and found it leak-proof. Here are the results:
NordVPN has super fast servers that can let you enjoy uninterrupted streaming on a VPN router. Moreover, the router setup is simple and easy to configure. These VPN routers apply layers of encryption and prevent network speed throttling, making them ideal for gaming and streaming.
With NordVPN, you don’t need manual searching. Its internal algorithm is trained to find and display the nearest and fastest servers available for you. Therefore, switching between the servers is totally hassle-free. Setting up NordVPN on router was an easy task for us.
While testing NordVPN’s speeds, we received a download speed of 83.82 Mbps and an upload speed of 44.64 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection.
NordVPN’s kill switch mechanism protects your sensitive data from exposure by instantly disconnecting your devices when the connection drops.
NordVPN has obfuscated servers that hide your VPN usage while rerouting traffic. You can easily connect to the VPN even in a heavily restrictive network. Your data packets are changed to let your traffic pass through the blockades.
NordVPN normally allows you to connect 6 devices at a time. But if you use a NordVPN-enabled router, you can connect unlimited devices with the router, and it will consider it as a single device.
NordVPN supports GL.iNet, Netduma, Netgear, MikroTik, Peplink/Pepwave, Padavan and more routers. NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial for mobile phones and a 30-day money-back guarantee for all platforms except phones.
Read our NordVPN review to learn about the properties and performance of this VPN.
- Easy-to-use VPN router
- Unlimited device connections
- 24/7 data protection
- Largest server network across the globe
- Malware protection
- Fast VPN with no slowdown
- Encryption and protocols availability depends on the router
- Difficult to maintain VPN settings
- Unencrypted traffic flow between the device and the router
Is it worth putting a VPN on my router?
Yes, you should use a VPN on the router if multiple devices require a reliable, consistent, and safe VPN connection. You will not have to perform manual configurations on each device, which is ideal in an office environment.
Router VPN is useful for devices that have to be only connected to the VPN server and not the basic connection. Moreover, router VPN supports devices that don’t have VPN compatibility. Even it works on operating systems with VPN app incompatibility.
Using a VPN on a router is great for securing all of your devices without extra configurations and steps. You can connect unlimited devices with the router VPN and avail VPN-level protection on all of the connections.
A Problematic Solution
Although a VPN router seems like a perfect solution for providing secure and protected VPN connections to the entire set of devices, it has certain complications. According to the experts with VPN router experience, the majority of people who opt for a VPN router use it with another supporting router.
One router is used for the devices behind the VPN, and the other provides a normal connection. If any issues occur in the first VPN, users connect to the other one. It sounds like a simple solution, but it requires extra management, maintenance, and configuration for two separate VPNs.
Having a VPN can stop your ISP from tracking your identity and activities, but it can’t block unauthorized traffic from harming the network like a firewall. A VPN on my router may not protect users completely from malware.
Individuals with router VPN experience say that a VPN on a router is a partial protection mechanism for devices that leave the network. One needs to get a VPN on these devices separately.
Considering the factors involved, a VPN on router vs device is a hot debate. A VPN on a device is needed the most when people use public Wi-Fi on their phones and computers. Hence, the struggle of implementing and maintaining a router VPN can outweigh the advantages.
FAQs – Should I use a VPN on my router
Do any routers have built-in VPN?
Yes, some routers do have built-in VPNs, which is best for users looking to avoid the hassle of VPN installation. Routers with VPNs offer secure internet connection on all devices. An extensive list of routers is available online. ExpressVPN’s Aircove is the first router with built-in VPN protection.
Can I protect my router with a VPN?
Yes, all the devices connected to the VPN router are shielded by the VPN. You don’t need to perform separate configurations or settings to protect every individual device on the router.
How do I set up a VPN on my home router?
To set up a VPN on your home router, follow the steps given ahead:
- Launch a browser.
- In the search bar, enter your router’s LAN IP address.
- Insert the router’s username and password. If both are never changed, the values will most probably be ‘admin.’
- Go into Settings (or open Advanced Settings) and move to VPN Service.
- Enable the VPN Service.
- Ensure that all clients using the VPN connection to access the internet and home network are allowed.
- Confirm the settings by hitting ‘Apply.’
The common question VPN users ask is, “Should I use a VPN on my router?”. Well, it is hard to tell as it depends on your connection requirements and technical demands. Although a router with a VPN provides complete protection for unlimited devices, it comes with a fair share of issues that need immediate attention and solution.
If you have to use a router with VPN anyway, we recommend using the fastest premium VPN with advanced security and ultimate privacy protection features. Try it risk-free for 7-day on a mobile phone or the 30-day money-back guarantee on any other platform.