Best VPNs for Router
Needless to say, we’re not living in the golden age of privacy right now. Your personal data is quite the prize for corporations, governments, and some less than savory individuals. With a virtual private network service (VPN), your information is kept safe, and network clients are provided greater security over their wireless connection and better control over their online visibility. The primary advantages of a VPN router are that every device that connects to the router is protected by the VPN, and the router only counts for one VPN.
The good news here is that there are tutorials which explain how to connect your DD-WRT firmware-toting router to NordVPN using the L2TP and PPTP protocols, as well as via OpenVPN. The provider also offers a selection of preconfigured VPN routers if you want to take the easy (and pricey) way out.
Performance-wise, Nord more than delivers with above-average speeds, even on long-distance connections. On the security front, NordVPN has a few nifty tricks up its sleeve including CyberSec for blocking ads, suspicious websites and malware, DoubleVPN for encrypting internet traffic twice, and Onion over VPN for a private browsing experience.
On top of that, the provider maintains a ‘no logs’ policy, which is obviously good news.
ExpressVPN offers a range of preconfigured VPN routers, but also has a very detailed and clear tutorial for when it comes to setting up on your DD-WRT router.
The company also has its own custom firmware that makes connecting to the VPN and protecting all the devices in your home an easy task. There’s also an option to select which devices you want to connect through the VPN connection, and which ones through the ‘regular’ internet, so you can pick and choose while using the same router.
A really interesting feature is MediaStreamer, which allows you to unblock Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services from devices that don’t support the VPN, without needing to direct traffic through a VPN tunnel. Should you run into trouble during the process, ExpressVPN also boasts some impressive technical support including live chat with a response promised within minutes ‘day or night’.
In performance terms, this VPN is pretty good overall, with consistent speeds over both short and longer distances. Server coverage is also impressive with over 2000 servers across 148 locations in 94 countries, and you get P2P support. There is no logging of traffic data or your online activity.
3. CyberGhost VPN
The VPN is fully featured and has everything you would expect to see from a world-class service. What's more, this VPN is great value for money.
We also really love this VPNs live chat support. Finally, it has a 30-day money back guarantee to test it thoroughly without risking a cent.
VyprVPN has a lot going for it — a custom stealth protocol, over 200,000 available IP addresses, and excellent performance under load make this provider a true powerhouse.
Once routers enter the picture, there’s even more good news. For one, VyprVPN offers its very own “Router App” — a plugin that adds some valuable features like selecting which connected devices benefit from the VPN and easier server switching.
This app gives VyprVPN a serious advantage, but it’s compatible only with the Tomato MIPS/ARM framework.
This doesn’t mean VyprVPN doesn’t work with more traditional firmware — it absolutely does, but a DD-WRT router won’t have the extra goodies that come with the dedicated router app.
As for the assistance you can expect, VyprVPN has expert support available 24/7, in addition to helpful guides to see you through the config process.
There are some things to consider, however — one of them is the VPN’s stance on P2P. Let’s put it this way: if torrenting is something you dabble in, you’re better off looking at a different provider, as Golden Frog (VyprVPN’s parent company) respects DMCA requests.
5. Private Internet Access VPN
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a very appealing VPN for all the right reasons — reliable performance, ease of use, and affordability.
The favorite of users on a strict budget, PIA can also be a cost-effective solution for your router. In addition to DD-WRT and Tomato, this provider is also compatible with pFsense gateways.
Pre-flashed routers aren’t directly available (you can get one on third-party websites), nor are there any dedicated apps. Furthermore, PIA isn’t the creator of any of the firmware it links to, so you’ll be using it at your own discretion. For what it’s worth, PIA doesn’t try to hide this in any way, instead clearly explaining the situation to users — kudos for that.
In any case, the setup process is clearly explained and even beginners should have an easy time figuring things out. And once you’re done flashing, it’s all smooth sailing from there.
PIA is a VPN for those who prioritize cheap but potent protection over accessibility — so while you may run into some issues as you try to unblock popular streaming services, you are fully covered on the privacy front.
All in all, if a safer time on the Internet is what you’re truly interested in, you’ll hardly find a VPN that offers more bang for the buck than PIA.
For those in search of an all-inclusive deal, however, there are better options. Want to give it a shot? There’s nothing stopping you with the 7-day money-back guarantee.
You can buy a router with IPVanish’s VPN pre-installed on it or manually set up on your existing router. The provider has a great knowledgebase detailing the router setup procedure, and there are over a dozen manufacturers supported.
In terms of performance, this VPN actually improved our download speeds, particularly on short hops compared to rivals. And on the security front, IPVanish supports OpenVPN and PPTP for DD-WRT firmware, along with 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption. The company makes it clear that there's no logging of your internet activity, too.
The pricing page is the only fly in the ointment here. The official prices are a tad more expensive than your average VPN, with no option of a free trial to test things out. However, whichever subscription plan you pick, there’s a 7-day money-back guarantee, so that provides something of a safety net if you’re somehow not satisfied with it.
7. Buffered VPN
There is certainly no ‘buffering’ here when it comes to streaming, as this VPN provider offered a consistently fast performance on both short and long hops with minimal latency in our testing, making it an excellent choice for responsive browsing and online gaming. You can either flash your router at home with DIY instructions available, or just buy one of the two Buffered VPN routers which the company sells.
Undeniably the main attraction here is Windscribe’s Pro plan which allows for unlimited connections, so you can have as many devices connected to your VPN router as you want. In our tests, performance proved a mixed bag – short-range hops were impressively quick, but longer distance connections exhibited a fair few fluctuations.
PrivateVPN is a zero-logs Swedish provider. It features both a firewall-based system kill switch and a per-app kill switch, which pretty neat. Full IPv4 and IPv6 DNS leak protection is also built-in to its client.
We have been particularly impressed by PrivateVPN’s high level of customer service, which even features remote installation for technophobes! Up to a generous 6 simultaneous devices are permitted, and port forwarding plus HTTPS and SOCKS5 proxies are a nice bonus. PrivateVPN offers a simple setup script for DD-WRT routers that takes the hassle out of manual configuration.
With a 30-day no-quibble money back guarantee, why not give PrivateVPN a try?
Additional features: kill switch.
With either a free or a paid account, you can use up to five devices on a single TunnelBear account. That's average for VPNs, although NordVPN provides six, out of the box. Both TorGuard VPN and offer additional slots for more devices at monthly rates.
Some services, like, offer software for routers. This effectively protects every device on your network while only counting the router toward your limit of protected devices. TunnelBear doesn't offer this scheme, but it's primarily an option for those used to getting their hands dirty when it comes to networking, which isn't TunnelBear's forte.
Previously, TunnelBear forbade the use of its services for P2P file sharing or BitTorrenting. Thankfully, those days are gone. You can now torrent to your heart's content, though the terms of service do note that using TunnelBear for illegal activity (such as breaching copyright law) is forbidden. If using BitTorrent freely and frequently is a major priority for you, I recommend TorGuard, which offers static IP addresses and other technology specifically tailored for BitTorrent users. NordVPN allows BitTorrent on specific servers, and it also offers other specialty servers for video streaming and connecting to the Tor anonymization network.
TunnelBear has client software for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. It also offers browser plug-ins for Chrome and Opera. I'd like to see an extension for Firefox, as well, but no such luck so far. Using a VPN browser plug-in runs only your browser data through the VPN service, letting your other apps operate unfettered but also unprotected. It's a feature I like, since it offers protection for just about any device that can run a browser. It's not, however, a substitute for the service's complete VPN protection, which is what I tested.
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