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Best VPNs for routers in 2023

A VPN enabled on your router allows you to secure all your home devices, starting from your phone and ending with the gaming console. This way, not only don’t you have to connect each device separately, but you also protect gadgets that don’t support a VPN connection initially.

Nevertheless, setting up a VPN router can be rather confusing and challenging for those not too deep in technical knowledge. Fortunately, high-end VPNs for routers come with an extensive knowledge base on configuring VPN router or even dedicated apps to ease the process overall.

Considering it all, we have tested more than a dozen VPNs and selected the best ones that are compatible with routers, and excel in security, performance, price, and more. Check our top 5 router VPNs in 2023:

  1. NordVPN – best VPN for routers
  2. Surfshark – best price-to-quality ratio router VPN
  3. IPVanish – both secure and private VPN router
  4. ExpressVPN – VPN with the app for routers
  5. CyberGhost – streaming VPN with a large server fleet

What to look for in the best router VPN?

Tunneling protocol:WireGuard or OpenVPN
Security features:Kill switch, split tunneling
Compatibility:Router should support OpenVPN and other advanced tunneling protocols

These are the key points that you should look for to get the best VPN for your router:

  • Compatibility with a router. Majority of router VPN services offer OpenVPN, IKEv2, and other versions of tunneling protocols for routers. Hence, ensure your selected router supports these tunneling protocols.
  • Fast connections. It’s no secret that VPNs do impact your network speed at least a bit. Nevertheless, there are those that do it nearly imperceptibly. So, make sure the provider you select is one of the fastest VPNs on the market.
  • Large server fleet. Geographically diverse server fleets not only help you avoid overcrowded servers but also allow you to enjoy various geo-restricted content. Choosing a VPN with a lot and widely distributed servers should be one of your priorities.
  • Unblocks streaming sites. Since router VPN is excellent for Smart TVs, Firesticks, and more, the possibility of unblocking streaming sites is a must. So, look for a VPN that allows you to unblock all major streaming platforms and enjoy geo-restricted TV shows and movies.
  • VPN router setup guidance. Setting up your router VPN can be challenging enough to want to have some help. Therefore, you should pick a VPN provider with extensive setup guides or 24/7 customer support to answer your questions.

6 best VPNs for routers - our detailed list:

After thoroughly testing more than a dozen of VPNs that could work for a router, we have picked out the top 6 ones that deliver everything we have expected for.

These best VPNs for routers use advanced security features only, offer excellent connection speeds, and have large server fleets distributed globally. Moreso, they are either easy to set up on your router or have extensive guides for that.

1. NordVPN – best VPN for routers and daily usage

NordVPN banner
Server fleet:
5500 servers in 60 countries
Supported devices:
Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox
Customer support:24/7 chat and email, guides and FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get NordVPN with 63% OFF 🔥

NordVPN is our top VPN option for routers. With it, you will be able to enjoy a fast, secure, and private internet connection on all of the devices that you connect to your home router.

Security and privacy: NordVPN leaves no security flaws along the way. It uses AES-256 encryption for your traffic, which is proven to be the most effective one on the market. Meanwhile, the audited no-logs policy ensures no one ever collects your logs in or outside the company.

Compatibility: even though this VPN doesn’t offer a dedicated application for routers control, it abundantly provides you with tutorials that show you how to set up DD-WRT firmware for NordVPN’s connection using supported tunneling protocols. Moreover, NordVPN has a partnership with FlashRouters, meaning that you can get a router with an already built-in NordVPN. Or you can also choose other types of routers, like Asus WRT, GL.iNet, and more.

Performance: by offering OpenVPN and L2TP with PPTP protocols, NordVPN maintains stable connection speeds without leaving nearly no impact on your connection speeds. However, Privacy Hero WiFi 6 VPN router supports even the NordLynx tunneling protocol itself, which is the fastest tunnel on the market!

After you set up NordVPN on your router, you can instantly connect all of your devices to your home network and enjoy Nord’s strong suite of security. What’s also great is that this high-quality VPN for router costs from as low as $3.49/month and also adds a 30-day money-back guarantee on the side!

Learn more about this market-leading VPN in our NordVPN review!

2. Surfshark – advanced router VPN for wallet-friendly prices

Surfshark banner
Server fleet:
3200 servers in 100 countries
Supported devices:
Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox
Customer support:24/7 chat and email, guides and FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE 🔥

At first glance simple, but actually robust VPN for routers – Surfshark.. Truth be told, it can be a real online security shark that will benefit you with a great list of tunneling protocols and the next-gen suite of features for a price that is unimaginably good.

Security and privacy: Surfshark uses advanced AES-256 encryption to make your data unreadable. But, in fact, we wouldn’t go for lower. Another thing to like is an audited no-logs policy that ensures no activity logs remain collected on the company’s side.

Compatibility: Surfshark VPN has a partnership with FlashRouters, meaning you get an opportunity to use FlashRouter’s application that lets you control your router VPN’s settings easily. And the latter almost redeems the fact that Surfshark doesn’t have its router app. Some router models that Surfshark supports and particularly recommends include Asus, GL.iNet, and other models. Finally, you will find detailed guidance on how to set up your router for its VPN service.

Performance: if you decide to use Surfshark’s services, you get to choose from OpenVPN, IKEv2, and even WireGuard (there is also an unofficial workaround for this one) protocols. Moreso, we’re glad to tell you that the connection speeds remain excellent, allowing you to browse without interruptions. :

Putting it all together, Surfshark is not only a cheap VPN for a router but also one of the most advanced options you can get. The starting price is only $2.30/month, and you can also use a 30-day money-back guarantee to try out the service.

Find out more about the features in our Surfshark VPN review.

3. IPVanish – feature-packed VPN

IPVanish banner
Server fleet:
2000 servers in 50 countries
Supported devices:
Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
Customer support:24/7 chat and email, guides and FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get 66% OFF IPVanish! 🔥

A VPN that’s widely adored by router users who love to go in deeper with configuring the software, so it fully satisfies their needs. This way, you can rest assured that your connection is safest as its best.

Security and privacy: speaking of security, IPVanish offers market-leading AES-256 encryption. However, if you prefer to have a faster network connection instead of a safer one, then you can change the encryption from 256-bit to 128-bit. But no matter how well your traffic gets encrypted, there might be one or two VPN connection drops, so the kill switch feature ensures your IP remains safe. Apart from that, IPVanish promises not to collect your activity logs.

Compatibility: this VPN is next on the list that cooperates with FlashRouters and provides you with full access to the router applet for controlling your router VPN settings. This partnership also offers you pre-configured routers that are connected to IPVanish’s services. But, if you prefer preparing your router under your sweat, then you’ll love that IPVanish has a set-up guide for each router model, like high-end RT series ASUS routers, custom ASUS-Merlin firmware, DD-WRT, and Tomato flashed routers.

Performance: PVanish supports OpenVPN with DD-WRT firmware and maintains your connection speed stable without having to suffer from noticeable speed drops. Consequently, you can enjoy streaming or browsing lag-free.

All in all, IPVanish is a secure, fast, and even great VPN for streaming that works on routers. Also, it’s not too expensive to consider an alternative VPN, as the starting price is $3.99/month. Plus, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee to feel the service before fully committing to it.

Get to know more from our IPVanish review.

4. ExpressVPN – VPN that’s easy to set up on a router

ExpressVPN banner
Server fleet:
3000 servers in 94 countries
Supported devices:
Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Customer support:24/7 chat and email, guides and FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF the 1-year plan! 🔥

ExpressVPN is one of a few VPN providers that have a dedicated application for routers. Moreso, using this VPN, you can connect to up to 5 different server locations simultaneously, use next-gen tunneling protocol for excellent speeds, and much more.

Security and privacy: if you’re looking for a truly secure VPN provider, ExpressVPN could be a great shot. It uses industry-leading encryption, offers the kill switch feature that protects your IP when a VPN connection fails, and even more. As for privacy, we’re quite cautious here, as ExpressVPN belongs to Kape Technologies, which has some dirt to tell about its past. Nevertheless, the provider promises not to collect your logs.

Compatibility: first and foremost, ExpressVPN is really easy to set up and use. Its router application lets you see what devices are connected to your secured network. You can also change server locations and optimize your VPN connection. Apart from the app, you receive a bunch of helpful guides on setting up this VPN on routers, such as Asus RT-AC56(U/R/S), Linksys EA6200, Netgear R6300v2, the in-house built ExpressVPN router, and many more. This VPN also collabs with FlashRouters, meaning you can even get a router with pre-installed ExpressVPN.

Performance: for the majority of routers, ExpressVPN offers the same tunneling protocols as our already reviewed VPNs – OpenVPN and IKEv2. The latter might struggle to work on some networks. However, you can use the Lightway tunnel on ExpressVPN firmware and experience lightning-fast connection speeds without risking your security.

ExpressVPN is a truly valuable VPN option to use on a router. Reliable security, fast connection speeds, and even a dedicated router app. And even though the cost of it can be revolting (from $6.67/month), the service you get is worth it. Plus, you can use a money-back guarantee to see it yourself.

Read our ExpressVPN review and find out more.

5. CyberGhost – router VPN for streaming

CyberGhost VPN banner
Server fleet:
9700 servers in 91 countries
Supported devices:
Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox
Customer support:24/7 chat and email, guides and FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% OFF + 2 months FREE 🔥

With a massive server fleet of 9700 servers in 91 countries and excellent unblocking capabilities, CyberGhost is your go-to router VPN for streaming. Apart from that, it’s a secure and fast VPN choice to protect your home network for a really good price.

Security and privacy: simple but secure – that’s how CyberGhost feels like. It chooses to make your traffic unreadable using AES-256 encryption. And the kill switch feature detects a VPN connection drop and secures your IP address. On the other hand, this VPN, just like ExpressVPN, belongs to Kape Technologies, and the privacy issue also raises some doubts even though the company follows a no-logs policy.

Compatibility: CyberGhost is yet another VPN that has a partnership with FlashRouters. This means you can get a pre-configured VPN and avoid the manual setup process. However, if you are considering getting a different router, CyberGhost has you covered with an abundance of guides on how to set up routers, such as DD-WRT, TomatoUSB, and more. And, in case those guides don’t come out as helpful as expected, there’s also a live chat agent available 24/7.

Performance: just like the provider itself says – make sure your selected router supports the OpenVPN tunneling protocol. So, it’s clear that with CyberGhost, only this tunnel is available for routers. However, during our test, the connection speed was decent without any major speed drops.

Overall, CyberGhost is a decent option to choose for a router. Not only does it offer you a fantastic selection of servers, but it also uses advanced security features. And with a starting price of as low as $2.19/month, this VPN offers a great price-to-quality ratio. Not to mention an extended 45-day money-back guarantee.

Learn more from our detailed CyberGhost review.

6. PureVPN – safety ensuring VPN

purevpn interface
Server fleet:
6500 servers in 78 countries
Supported devices:
Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Customer support:24/7 chat and email, guides and FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get PureVPN, now 87% OFF 🔥

With PureVPN, you won’t need to worry about whether your router VPN services are always on fleek as it’s the first VPN service that’s always-on-audit. Apart from that, it works great with routers and delivers decent connection speeds.

Security and privacy: Not to count the fact that PureVPN is an always-on-audit service, it’s important to embrace that it has also implemented the kill switch feature and AES-256 encryption – the toughest nut to crack for a hacker. Plus, a strict no-logs policy ensures complete privacy.

Compatibility: if you are a user that likes it when everything goes intact, then you’ll be glad to know that this VPN has a partnership with FlashRouters, and you can get a router with a pre-installed PureVPN. There’s also an applet for DD-WRT, which makes it useless to install PureVPN’s applications on other devices additionally. But if you are into other routers, then it’s also fine, as PureVPN works great with Asus, TP-Link, Tomato, and other popular brands.

Performance: make sure that your purchased router supports OpenVPN or PPTP protocols, as these are the ones that PureVPN offers for it. However, OpenVPN is a decent tunnel to maintain your connection speed secure and stable.

Considering that security comes first when choosing a router VPN, PureVPN stands as a great solution. What’s better is that it also helps you bypass geo-restrictions around content. And all of this comes for as little as $1.49/month! Use a 31-day money-back guarantee, and see if you like it.

Find more delicious bits in our PureVPN review.

7. ProtonVPN – open source VPN for router

ProtonVPN banner
Server fleet:
1800 servers in 66 countries
Supported devices:
Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Customer support:24/7 email, guides and FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 50% OFF Proton VPN! 🔥

ProtonVPN is a good router VPN that offers all the benefits of being partnered with FlashRouters. That being said, half of the work for using a protected network connection is done as you can quickly get a router with pre-installed ProtonVPN.

Security and privacy: ProtonVPN uses market-leading encryption – just what we love to see, and there’s also a functional kill switch. Apart from that, it has a spotless security record and keeps no activity logs. So, folks, everything sums up to make ProtonVPN a great option to trust.

Compatibility: needless to say, this VPN works great with major router brand models, like AsusWRT, DD-WRT, pfSense, Invizbox 2, and more. But speaking of Invizbox 2, we would like to note that ProtonVPN has collaborated with InvizBox to create a router specifically for ProtonVPN. Consequently, the router is open-source (just like the ProtonVPN application in general) and configured to connect easily to your ProtonVPN account.

Performance: tunneling protocols that ProtonVPN offers to use on routers don’t really differ from what you can get with other VPNs. It’s either OpenVPN or IKEv2. Nevertheless, with this VPN, the connection can be quite inconsistent. So, if you plan to use a router for streaming devices, don’t expect to have a splendid streaming experience.

ProtonVPN, perhaps isn’t the fastest router VPN to use. Nevertheless, it’s still powerful enough to secure your home network. You can test the service for free for an unlimited time, but there won’t be as many features as you would get by trying a premium version with a money-back guarantee. Finally, the pricing starts from $4.99/month.

Make yourself more familiar with it in our ProtonVPN review.

How we selected and tested these VPNs

We have tested and selected the best VPNs for routers based on the following criteria:

  • VPN’s ease of setup on a router. Since you can't have a graphical VPN app directly on your router, you might already assume that it might be tough to get your VPN ready. Thus, we have selected only those VPNs that offer clear and easy instructions on how to set up your VPN router.
  • Dedicated VPN router app or applet. A dedicated VPN router app (or applet) that comes from a partnership with a router brand or the VPN provider itself is an excellent way towards comfortable control over the remote VPN settings.
  • Available tunneling protocols. Finding a VPN that offers tunneling protocols compatible with the ones that your router works with is one of the key factors. That’s why our selected VPNs offer WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and other protocols for routers.
  • Speed. A reputable VPN knows how to leave as little impact on your connection speed as possible. Therefore, we have tested each VPN’s performance in terms of connection speeds and picked out the fastest ones.
  • Bypassing geographical restrictions. As a router that’s connected to a VPN is a fantastic solution for streaming devices and gaming consoles as well, you might need your VPN provider to be a good trooper at unblocking geo-restricted content. Hence, we have tested each provider for unblocking streaming services and more.
  • Customer support. Although all our listed VPNs offer extensive knowledge bases, setting up a router VPN can still challenge you with additional issues. Consequently, we made sure each VPN has multiple customer support options, even those that are available 24/7.
  • Price. Even though online security has become one of these days' priorities, we can’t leave financial safety behind our backs. That’s why we have selected only those VPNs that offer the best quality and price ratio.

How to install a VPN on a router?

Setting up a VPN on a router depends on every router separately. And it’s necessary to check before buying a router if it’s compatible with VPN services.

However, we have prepared a step-by-step guide using NordVPN for you so you can understand what it might take to get your VPN installed on a home router.

  1. Download configuration files with the best available server.
  2. Locate your router’s IP address and password that’s located on the back or bottom of the router.
  3. Type in your IP address and password into the browser's URL slot.

From this point, the process differs based on the router, firmware, and additional aspects.

How to set up NordVPN on GL-MT300N-V2 router?

Here, you will learn how to fully set up a router VPN. For this example, we choose NordVPN as our top provider and GL-MT300N-V2 router.

  1. Access your router’s control panel. You can access it by entering the IP of your default gateway to the URL field in a web browser.
  2. Authenticate yourself with a username and password (these are usually written on the back of the router).
  3. Once you are inside the router’s control panel, look for a VPN client tab.
  4. Head to nordvpn.com/ovpn/ and pick a server in the country you want to connect to.
  5. Click on Download UDP.
  6. Upload the file to your router(or depending on a router, you might need to extract certificates and parameters separately).
  7. Enter anything you wish in the description.
  8. Navigate to the Nord account dashboard and find Advanced configuration. Then look for Service Credentials.
  9. Copy the username and password.
  10. Paste the credentials to the OpenVPN Client window in your router’s management console.
  11. Save the configuration, and connect to the server.

Find out more about installing a VPN on a router in our article.

Is it safe to use a free VPN with my router?

No, it’s not safe enough to use a free VPN with a router or any of your devices. The reason behind this is how free VPNs earn money for selling their customers’ data to third parties. And since you get a limited amount of security features your online safety might also be poor.

Moreover, most free VPNs don’t offer the possibility of setting up a VPN on a router manually. Slow speeds would also be especially apparent when a VPN is used on a router. So just imagine making your whole home and all of your devices, going back to Dial-up days – it would be that bad.

And yet, if you’re still tempted to try out a free VPN first, we recommend going for a freemium VPN, such as Atlas VPN or even ProtonVPN. These are initially paid VPN services that have reliable free versions to try out. Nevertheless, even these free VPNs come with a list of limits, so it’s better to use their 30-day money-back guarantees instead. This way, you can test the premium service risk-free for a month!

Moreso, there are more premium VPNs that offer a month-long free trial:

  1. NordVPN – overall the best VPN for routers that offers lightning-fast connections, advanced encryption, a large server fleet, and more for as low as $3.49/month.
  2. Surfshark – router VPN that doesn’t limit the number of devices connected. It has a next-gen security suite, delivers excellent speeds, and more for as little as $2.30 per month.
  3. IPVanish – this VPN leaves no security or privacy gaps in your online experience. And the starting price is $3.99/month.

Best routers that support VPNs

If you’re still deciding what router that would be compatible with a VPN to get, let us help you with listing a few of the best ones that perhaps catch your attention.

Here are the top 5 VPN routers for a secure network:

  1. Privacy Hero WiFi 6 VPN router – router for fast connections with the NordLynx tunneling protocol of our favorite NordVPN is pre-installed.
  2. Roqos Core VPN Hub – a super fast and secure router with NordVPN pre-installed
  3. InvizBox 2 VPN router – user-friendly, yet robust router – perfectly compatible with Surfshark
  4. Vilfo – Surfshark-compatible router that allows split tunneling
  5. Linksys WRT3200ACM – reliable VPN router with IPVanish ready to use

Final thoughts

Router VPN services ensure not only a safer browsing experience but also allow you to protect devices that can’t have a VPN installed directly, such as Apple TV, Xbox, Alexa, and more. This way, you can either enrich your privacy level or also unblock geo-restricted streaming and video game libraries.

Best VPNs for router, like NordVPN, have partnerships with popular router developers, such as FlashRouters, meaning you can get a pre-configured VPN router. And if you choose another type of router, you can benefit from extensive setup guides or 24/7 customer support.

After all, advanced encryption, market-leading tunneling protocols, large server fleets, and other features ensure no one is after your online activity.

More VPN guides from Cybernews


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