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Best VPNs for Netgear routers in 2024

The issue is that not all VPN providers support all models of Netgear routers and vice versa. That’s why we sourced the VPNs compatible with Netgear routers and included extensive guidelines on how to set up a VPN on a router – whether it needs to be flashed with firmware or set up with pre-configured apps.

Netgear routers are known to be one of the most reputable manufacturers with solid VPN support. A router with a set up VPN increases the level of security and privacy of all the devices that are connected to the network, helps you change your browsing location, and comes with other VPN perks.

In this article, we break down the best VPNs for Netgear routers in 2024, the ins and outs of the setup, and other steps you need to take to ensure your network is protected.

Top 5 best VPNs for Netgear router

What to look for in the best Netgear router VPN?

Choosing the right VPN for router, whether it would be Netgear or other manufacturer, might seem to require some advanced technical skills. Although it won’t be difficult if you look at these key points:

  • Tunneling protocols. Different routers support different VPN tunneling protocols. A VPN has to have OpenVPN or IKEv2 protocols for it to function on a router and to have optimal performance.
  • Large fleet of servers. A broad selection of servers means that your connection will be fast and stable, as servers won’t be overcrowded. Also, you’ll be able to access more global content.
  • Security features. Depending on what you use a VPN for, security features like a kill switch will serve you well. It will cut off the traffic when your VPN connection drops. Other features like threat protection, double VPN, DNS leak protection will also enhance your online safety.
  • Streaming capability. A VPN on a router means that you’ll be able to have it on smart TVs and consoles – therefore, you will have no trouble unblocking streaming sites on any device. . Make sure to get a VPN that’s excellent at unblocking your favorite streaming platforms.
  • Helpful resources. Tutorials on how to configure a VPN on the router, helpful provider guides can be useful and saves time.

The best VPNs for Netgear routers - our detailed list

The number of VPNs available out there is immense and it can be tough selecting the best provider. Bearing that in mind, we picked out the best Netgear router VPNs for you and tested the functionalities they provide, including security, dedicated router applet availability, streaming capabilities, and more.

1. NordVPN – the best and most secure VPN for Netgear routers

NordVPN banner
Dedicated router applet:No
Set up guides:Yes
Customer support:24/7 chat and email, guides and FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get NordVPN, now up to 72% OFF + free travel data! 🔥

NordVPN is the best pick VPN for Netgear routers. It’s the optimal choice that combines fast connection speeds, security, not a complicated setup process, and is an first-class VPN choice for Netgear routers. Not to mention that it offers more than 6400 servers in 111 countries.

NordVPN stands out with great compatibility for Netgear routers. Even though it doesn't have a dedicated app for routers, it provides extensive guides on how to manually configure a VPN on a router by setting up DD-WRT firmware using OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunneling protocols.

Not to mention that NordVPN partners with FlashRouters – a router with a pre-installed VPN. Having a router with an already built-in VPN also lets you control it remotely.

Once you have NordVPN set up on your router, it will secure your whole network and devices that belong to it with the next-gen AES-256 encryption, a kill switch will be enabled – if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly, all the devices will disconnect from the Internet. More importantly, your privacy is safeguarded with a strict no-logs policy.

If you’re a fan of streaming, great news – NordVPN unblocks all the major streaming platforms, letting you enjoy the shows on Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more.

NordVPN's prices start at $3.39/month and you can get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Get a comprehensive overview in our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark – affordable and easy-to-use Netgear router VPN

Surfshark banner
Dedicated router applet:No
Set up guides:Yes
Customer support:24/7 chat and email, guides and FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get 83% OFF Surfshark + 3 months FREE 🔥

Another top-class VPN pick for Netgear routers is Surfshark. This one stands out with great value for money and has notable features that will serve you well when it comes to securing all the devices through a router.

With Surfshark, it’s easy to control your router VPN’s settings, as it also partners up with FlashRouters – pre-configured VPN routers. Surfshark doesn’t have a dedicated router applet, however, it offers extensive guidance on the setup.

Surfshark VPN provides OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunneling protocols, as well as an unofficial workaround for WireGuard protocol. These protocols ensure you have a blazing-fast Internet connection on all the devices, even though they’re connected through the Netgear router.

This VPN provider ensures that you have enhanced security with its powerful traffic encryption. Plus, Surfshark doesn’t limit your simultaneous connections, so you’ll be able to connect as many devices as you want, through a router or not. Surfshark implements a strict no-logs policy and the service's security is regularly monitored. Hence, your data is safe from all the bad actors out there.

Surfshark is also strong enough to unblock popular streaming services and with its large server fleet – 3200+ servers in 100 countries – you’ll be able to enjoy uninterrupted and versatile streaming, gaming, or browsing.

You can get Surfshark for as less as $2.19/month and there's a 7-day free trial if you'd like to test the waters first.

To find out more, read our in-depth Surfshark VPN review. Learn how it fares against the best in our Surfshark vs NordVPN comparison.

3. IPVanish – feature-packed Netgear router VPN

IPVanish banner
Dedicated router applet:No
Set up guides:Yes
Customer support:24/7 chat and email, guides and FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get 83% OFF IPVanish + 3 months FREE! 🔥

IPVanish is another VPN on the list that is highly-compatible with Netgear routers. It’s known to be easily-configurable and provides customizable encryption, decent speeds, separate set up guides for routers, and more security, as well as privacy features.

This VPN service has a partnership with FlashRouters and will support you with the full access for controlling your router VPN settings. Additionally, FlashRouters offers pre-configured routers that are already connected to IPVanish.

IPVanish works with OpenVPN with DD-WRT firmware and it secures your traffic with AES-256 encryption. With IPVanish setup on a router, you’ll be able to protect operating systems and devices that aren’t traditionally compatible with a VPN.

Privacy-wise, IPVanish’s no-logs policy has been independently audited by third party experts. This ensures no prying eyes will be able to retrieve your data. IPVanish is also a good choice for bypassing censorship and geo-restrictions. With 2400+ servers in 55 countries, you’ll be able to select almost any location and browse or stream anonymously.

IPVanish perfectly works with unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Youtube, and more streaming platforms on different devices.

In terms of pricing, IPVanish plan start at $2.19/month.

You’ll find more in-depth information in our IPVanish review.

4. ExpressVPN – Netgear VPN with a dedicated applet

ExpressVPN banner
Dedicated router applet:
Set up guides:
Customer support:24/7 chat and email, guides and FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF + 3 months FREE! 🔥

ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPNs on the market that offers you an easier Netgear router setup process. Apart from that, this provider has a partnership with FlashRouters allowing you to get a router with a pre-installed VPN. And in other cases, you receive loads of informative guides on how to get started with your router VPN.

Now, ExpressVPN, like the majority of router VPNs, offers OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunneling protocols for Netgear routers. However, this provider is also well-known for delivering fast and stable connections. And its applet allows you to connect to different servers on different devices simultaneously, so you can easily find the server that works best for you.

Putting performance aside, this provider strongly focuses on your safety. It uses market-leading AES-256 encryption to mask your online activity, and it also relies on RAM-only servers that sweep out your data from the servers within every system reboot.

Not to mention its privacy policy, which has been audited by the court and a third-party company.

ExpressVPN is also a game changer in streaming. It unblocks all popular streaming services, and with its 3000+ servers in 105 countries, you will easily find your favorite Netflix library.

Prices start at $6.67/month, but a 30-day money-back guarantee allows you to test the service before committing.

Check out our ExpressVPN review and find out more. See how it differs from the leader in our NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison.

5. CyberGhost – VPN with a massive server fleet

CyberGhost VPN banner
Dedicated router applet:
Set up guides:
Customer support:24/7 chat and email, guides and FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% + 2 months FREE! 🔥

CyberGhost isn’t just another cheap Netgear router VPN with a small server fleet, as it has over 11500 servers in 100 countries. With such a number of servers, excellent unblocking capabilities, and one of the best pricing on the market, this VPN is an excellent pal for multiple connections.

While CyberGhost works with FlashRouters and has some pre-configured routers prepared for you, it also works with DD-WRT, Netgear, and other providers. So, you will find numerous helpful guides on how to set up CyberGhost on your chosen router. If a guide doesn’t help, there’s 24/7 customer support ready to help.

Even though CyberGhost works with a single OpenVPN tunneling protocol on routers, during our tests, we were happy with the results, as the connection was good without noticeable speed drops. Of course, its impressive server fleet adds up to overall great CyberGhost performance.

But CyberGhost isn’t just fast; it also uses advanced encryption for your traffic and has a fully functional kill switch feature that protects your IP if a VPN connection drops. Moreover, the company follows a strict no-logs policy.

Last but not least, CyberGhost can unblock all the popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and the same rule applies to other geo-restricted content, like video games, applications, websites, and more.

The starting price is as little as $2.19/month! Plus, you get an extended 45-day money-back guarantee to feel the service before staying with it.

Check out our CyberGhost review and get to know more about it.

How we selected and tested these VPNs

Selecting a VPN for Netgear routers might be quite tough if you don’t have advanced technical knowledge. That’s why we picked out, tested, and selected the best VPNs for Netgear routers and their characteristics. We did thorough research based on the following criteria:

  • Compatibility with routers. Excellent router and VPN compatibility is key to making the setup process as smooth as possible. The VPNs that have dedicated VPN router applets that come from partnership with a router brand improves the control of the VPN settings.
  • VPN resources and guides. We checked if the VPN providers offer a knowledge base or tutorials on how to set up a VPN on a router. Since you don’t have any interface on a router, setting up and configuring a VPN on such a device can be rather technically challenging and a tough nut to crack if you don’t have helpful instructions or guides you could follow.
  • Fast speeds and high-level security. Since through a router and a VPN connection on top, you’re going to be securing your whole network, it’s essential that VPN speeds are top-class. With effortless speed, you’ll be able to enjoy buffer-free streaming, browsing, gaming, and whatnot.
  • Servers. The more servers a VPN provider offers – the better, as there is a smaller chance the servers will be overcrowded and slow down your connection.
  • Price. We selected the VPNs that have the best value for money when it comes to securing your whole network through Netgear routers. It’s important to find an affordable VPN service that matches the security standards.

How to set up a VPN on a Netgear router?

Since the VPN setup on a router differs regarding every Netgear router separately, it’s useful to check if the router is compatible with VPNs before even purchasing it.

Below you’ll find a detailed general guide on what it might take and how it might look when setting up a VPN on a Netgear router. To show you this, we chose NordVPN as our top VPN pick.

Before setting up a VPN on a router, you will need to determine whether your router supports any of the firmware like DD-WRT, Tomato, or others. This can be done on firmware’s website.

  1. If you find your router’s model alongside routers that support these firmwares, you will need to download the firmware.
  2. After downloading, flash the router with firmware. The exact steps will differ depending on the router’s type, model, and more specifics. Generally, you should connect to your router’s interface, look for the Advanced tab, Administration or just browse every tab til you find Firmware Upgrade or something close to it.
  3. Find a button Browse, click on it, and choose the firmware you have downloaded.
  4. Upgrading will take a couple of minutes. The router might reset itself, if not – you should do it manually after upgrading the firmware.
  5. After successfully flashing your router, download the OpenVPN client (it can also be added manually).
  6. Upload the OpenVPN file to your router (or, depending on the router, you might need to extract certificates and parameters separately).
  7. Enter anything you want in the description.
  8. Go to my.nordaccount.com/dashboard/nordvpn and find the Advanced configuration > Service Credentials, copy and paste the username and password to OpenVPN.
  9. Save the configuration and connect to the server.

How does a VPN work on a Netgear router?

There are different types of Netgear routers – ones that support a VPN client and others that need upgrading their firmware in order to install a VPN client. Therefore, the VPN setup on your router will differ accordingly.

Setting up a VPN on the router is way more complex than setting up a VPN on a device. When you set up a VPN on the router, you set it on a device whose primary job is to connect devices to the network. Therefore, usually you need different firmware for the router, which configures a device to work with a VPN. When you set up a VPN on a computer, you set up an application on the device which supports almost every type of app configuration, so there’s no need to change anything on that device.

In terms of the best Netgear routers, their Nighthawk routers are one of the bestsellers (R7000P, X10, AX12 Wifi 6, XR1000) that support VPNs and offer both an OpenVPN and third-party firmware support. We recommend using it with the market-leading NordVPN.

Other Netgear routers focus on different needs and have their technical strengths, like better speed or enhanced security. For example, Orbi RBK852, RBKE963, or RAXE500. Some of them don’t support VPN connections and you need to make sure that it supports either a VPN client or its firmware can be upgraded.

Can I use a free VPN with my Netgear router?

Technically – yes, you can use a free VPN with a Netgear router. However, it’s not safe and we wouldn’t recommend it. Free VPN providers tend to be unreliable, especially when it comes to securing your whole network. Since the service is free, free VPNs tend to sell users’ data to third parties.

Worry not – you can still try a VPN with your Netgear router free of charge. While totally free VPNs can’t be recommended for security and privacy reasons, freemium VPNs could work on routers. Proton VPN, Windscribe can be supported via DD-WRT and Tomato firmware.

Just keep in mind that Windscribe has a limit of 5GB. Therefore, if more than one device connects to the router with Windscribe and is used for streaming and downloading, that 5GB will disappear quickly. Proton VPN free has a limit on free servers, but it could be enough if used for small tasks and so on.

We encourage you to try premium VPNs with free versions, trials, and money-back guarantees. NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.


Altogether, having a VPN on the major-league Netgear router takes your digital security to the next level. With VPNs like NordVPN, you get to protect all the devices in your network, even those that aren’t compatible with a VPN.

Of course, different VPNs have different characteristics, so we recommend taking a closer look at their compatibility with Netgear routers, speeds, encryption, and other useful features above.

Nevertheless, Netgear routers are supported by many VPNs and the installation process is not as complex as it might look. As a result, you have a safe Internet connection and don’t have to worry about setting up a VPN on each device.

More VPN guides from Cybernews


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