Are you a newbie looking for a VPN? If it is the case, you might wonder whether it is better to get a VPN router or a VPN client. The answer to this VPN router vs. VPN client debate lies in your objective for using a VPN in the first place. VPN routers work best for sites and spaces with multiple users while VPN clients are preferred if you are looking for ease of use.
Since one of the major reasons why individuals opt for VPN services altogether is security and privacy, your next question may be, “VPN router vs. VPN client: Which is better for security”. We believe a VPN router plays a trivial role in enhancing security.
In this blog, we have discussed all the relevant pros and cons of getting a VPN router vs. VPN client and recommended the best VPN services that will work smoothly for both purposes.
Pros and Cons: VPN Router vs. VPN Client
Whether you get a VPN router or a VPN client, both options come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. We have listed the pros and cons for both below, so that you may make an informed decision.
VPN Router Pros
Secure all devices connected
If you configure a VPN to your router device, you will be able to automatically secure every device that is connected to your router’s network. This saves you the hassle of constantly having to connect every new device to your VPN so that you may secure it. Every safety feature applicable to your router will be applicable to all connected devices.
Connect non-native devices originally incompatible with VPN
There is a possibility that you own some devices that the VPN does not offer native apps, which makes them incompatible with the VPN. But if you have a VPN configured on your router, you will be able to acquire all VPN benefits available for your router on incompatible devices as well, so long as they are a part of your router’s network.
Connected at all times
When your router is configured once with a VPN, you do not have to connect with servers over and over again, even when the router is restarted. This also applies to the devices linked to your router, as a one-time configuration will allow a lifetime of VPN access.
An affordable option for multiple users
If you are looking to save money on subscriptions, it is best to get a single subscription for a premium VPN service and configure your VPN to your router. This will save you money by allowing all the devices in your space to use the VPN via your router, without having to register for a subscription-based service.
VPN Router Cons
The router warranty may get invalidated
When you mess with the original set-up of your router, chances are that the warranty of your router will get invalidated. To configure your router with a VPN, you need to get third-party hardware such as Tomato or DD-WRT. This puts you at a high risk of voiding the warranty issued by the manufacturer.
Configuring a VPN on your router is not an easy task. Not only will you need a third party, but you will also need someone who has the expertise to make sure that the configuration is done right. Another risk of router configuration with a VPN is that the process may end up a failure, hence bricking your router, making it useless.
Not very user-friendly
Since the router configuration itself is such a daunting task, other features when it comes to ease of use can also prove to be tedious to access. For instance, you will not be able to switch between servers easily or enable or disable any particular protocol with ease. Every time you want to change something, you will need to manually update your router.
Chances are that the router that came with your internet service is not compatible with VPN configuration, or the VPN service you have subscribed to. To solve this problem, you will need to get a VPN-compatible router, which can be expensive.
Compatible routers are expensive
While you may save money on VPN subscriptions, you may have to spend more than what you have saved to buy a router that supports a VPN service. VPN-compatible routers can be as expensive as $100 to $250, depending on the quality of features that they offer.
The more devices connected, the lower the speed
Since multiple devices are connected to the same router, the connection speed may vary from time to time. The greater the number of devices connected to your router, the slower your VPN connection may get. Due to a lot of traffic, the chances of server disconnection are also high.
Will render some services unusable
Some services including banking and government-based services only allow access to their platforms if you log in with your residential IP. Since your VPN masks your original IP address with one from another region, you may not be able to make transactions or access important information while you remain connected to your router with a VPN.
VPN Client Pros
Getting a VPN client makes your experience with a VPN very easy and smooth. You may switch between servers with one click, enable and disable protocols directly, and even turn the VPN off when not needed.
When you opt for the VPN client option, you are basically installing the VPN app on your device. App installation and setup is a fairly easy process that consumes no more than 5-10 minutes, depending on your internet connection speed. Therefore, VPN clients are prompt.
All VPN features are available
All the security, privacy, speed, and miscellaneous features that are offered by a VPN are available via the VPN app when you use a VPN client on your device. Not only are they available for use, but they also allow customization to make the app suitable for use in your space.
Server locations can be switched hassle-free
When you have the VPN client app installed on your device, you can access its servers list any time you want and switch between servers to access a plethora of websites, especially those that are geo-restricted or censored. This also allows enhanced security as you can easily switch from one server to another if you feel you are being monitored or your server IP is blocked.
Only use with devices you need to be secured
With a VPN client app, you have the freedom to pick and choose the devices you want to be secured. This benefit ensures that you have some devices with different, secured IP addresses in your space, and some with your original IP, in case you want to access local content from your residential IP.
Unlike VPNs on routers, VPN client apps can be used anywhere you are. They are travel friendly, as you get to access the app wherever you are, especially if you have the app on a mobile device. So whether you are in the US or the Bahamas, you can use the VPN client app without hassle.
VPN Client Cons
Some VPNs do not provide native apps for all sorts of devices and operating systems. Even if they do, some apps work better than others. Therefore, if you own a device that the VPN does not provide an app for, you will not be able to connect via a VPN client.
Each device must connect separately
Most VPN clients offer the advantage of connecting multiple devices simultaneously. But unlike a VPN on the router that allows automated connections, every time you want a device linked to your VPN, you will have to connect it manually.
Multiple subscriptions are required if the number of users is greater
Most VPN services offer the feature of multiple simultaneous device connections, but if your workspace or home has a greater number of users, you will need to get multiple subscriptions. This will increase the cost of the VPN client and the hassle of diving the payments amongst all users.
Security Comparison: VPN Router vs. VPN Client
VPN router vs. VPN client: Which is better for security? If you ask yourself this question while deciding on a VPN router vs. VPN client, you must know that while both of them provide great security for different purposes, a VPN router enhances it. A VPN router will secure all the devices connected to it, while a VPN client will only encrypt the device it has been installed on.
VPN Router vs. VPN Client: The Major Differences
|Features||VPN Router||VPN Client|
|Setup & Maintenance||Difficult||Easy|
|Ease of Use||Not user-friendly||user-friendly|
|Remote Access||Not available||Available|
|Connection speed & Bandwidth||Fast, but can be slowed down if the number of users is greater||Fast|
Our Recommended VPN – Detailed Analysis in 2023
Choosing the right VPN solution: Router or client? We have the best recommendation for you! As per our extensive research, there is 1 VPN service that surpasses all others in securing devices that are connected to VPN router and those that are using VPN client apps. This #1 recommended VPN service is ExpressVPN.
1. ExpressVPN – Best service for VPN router and VPN client
- Allows router configuration: Yes
- Total No of server locations: 3000+ in 94+ countries
- No of servers in the US: 25+
- Speed: 89.42 Mbps for downloads, and 84.64 Mbps for uploads
- Price: $6.67/mo
- Encryption: 256-bit AES
If you want a VPN with advanced security protocols for both VPN router vs. VPN client, ExpressVPN is the best option. It uses state-of-the-art technology to ensure maximum security and ultra-fast speeds. It has around 3000 servers spread throughout 94+ countries. With it, you can set up ExpressVPN on the router and download its client app on individual devices.
256-bit AES encryption, Threat Manager, a no-logs policy, Network Lock (kill switch), Lightway Protocol, and OpenVPN are amongst the many security and privacy features utilized by ExpressVPN.
While setting up your VPN router or VPN client, you can connect to any server and visit almost any website. Getting the client app will allow you to switch between its many servers as well. Streaming geo-restricted or censored content without the fear of getting your IP blocked is not easy breezy with the help of ExpressVPN’s exclusive MediaStreamer protocol.
By installing ExpressVPN, you may gain access to strictly guarded geo-restricted services like Netflix, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world. Access to sites from 94+ countries is granted, and if these are streaming services, you can stream in HD and UHD video quality.
ExpressVPN speed test shows that users can expect fast download and upload times in addition to the excellent streaming quality for which the VPN is known. We measured a maximum upload speed of 84.64 Mbps and an average download speed of 89.42 Mbps. In addition, the delay is negligible at only 110 ms.
ExpressVPN is compatible with all of the most popular router models from ASUS, Linksys, and Netgear. It is also fully compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, and Android devices, and offers native apps for each OS. In addition, you can log in from up to five devices at the same time, with the same membership while using the VPN client app!
All of ExpressVPN’s features can be yours for as cheap as $6.67/mo (Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE on its 12-Month Plan) with its best-selling subscription plan. For an ExpressVPN review, you can sign up for a 7-day ExpressVPN free trial. If you are not satisfied with the service, which is highly unlikely, you can cancel your ExpressVPN subscription for a refund through their 30-day money-back guarantee. Although, we recommend reaching out to its 24/7 live chat support to help you improve your unsatisfactory experience.
- Compatible with routers
- Offers client apps for different operating systems
- Cutting-edge security and privacy protocols
- High connection speeds
- 5 simultaneous connections allowed
- The subscription fee is higher as compared to competitors
FAQs – VPN router vs. VPN client
Can I use a VPN router and a VPN client simultaneously?
Yes, you can use a VPN router and a VPN client simultaneously. Once you configure your router with a VPN, you can download the VPN client app on any compatible device to get additional VPN features and enhanced security. VPN router vs. VPN client provide more or less the same levels of security.
Can a router be a VPN client?
Yes, the configuration of a VPN on your router makes it a VPN client. So when you have set up your VPN on your router device, you can connect other devices to your router and access all available VPN benefits on your linked devices as well.
Is a VPN router better than a VPN?
Yes, a VPN router is better than a VPN. This is only the case if you want to maximize security and minimize the expense of getting a VPN since it allows an ample amount of devices to connect without each user having to pay for the complete subscription. A VPN will work better than a VPN router if you are looking for an easy-to-use option.
Are you new to the world of secure connections and looking for a VPN? If that’s the case, you might be debating between investing in a VPN router vs. VPN client. Which VPN solution is better, a VPN router or a VPN client is dependent on the specific use case. VPN routers are best for shared spaces with multiple users, but VPN clients are more user-friendly.
The best contender to end the debate of VPN router vs. VPN client is ExpressVPN. You can configure it on your router and install the client apps on their respective compatible devices with ExpressVPN.
If you have any further questions that need answers while making the VPN router vs. VPN client comparison, ask us in the comment section below.