VPN for your router: top 5 providers in 2020

Last updated: February 17, 2020
David Balaban

David Balaban

David Balaban is a computer security researcher with over 15 years of experience in malware analysis and antivirus software evaluation. He has published his articles on such online media as Hackernoon, Tripwire, Infosecinstitute, and Cybrary.

The significance of VPN is not overestimated nowadays as the number of its users is increasing every year. Moreover, they set up this software for various reasons. First, it was used only by big companies for secure file-sharing, but now VPN unblocks geo-restricted sites, overcomes censorship and even makes users private on the network.

Almost everybody has VPNs on various devices, but fewer people know that VPN for a router has lots of benefits. If you still haven’t installed it on your router, then have a look at these 5 best VPN providers in 2020:

  1. NordVPN – Awesome VPN provider with special partner apps for 15 types of Netgear, Asus and Linksys routers. Excellent customer support and tutorials!
  2. Surfshark – Great provider that allows installing software on routers to protect even more devices!
  3. CyberGhost VPN – One of the cheapest VPN to use for routers in 2020. Supported by DD-WRT and Tomato routers!
  4. ExpressVPN – Top VPN provider offering user-friendly apps for most routers: Netgear, Asus, Linksys, etc. Professional support & step-by-step tutorials!
  5. PIA – Its FlashRouter is perfect when your aim to provide all gadgets you use at home.

Want to know more about the VPN providers above? Still need reasons why VPN on your router is more useful than having it on one device?

Then let’s have the story:

Why use VPN for a router?

Most people set up VPNs on their devices: PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc. But most of them don’t know that VPN on a router has even more benefits for them. Here are some of the key advantages if you install VPN on your home or business router:

  1. Your Internet is always secure.
  2. All your devices are protected at once.
  3. You can save money on VPN expenses.

Here are the detailed explanations to convince you:

Firstly, having connected a VPN to your router, you make every internet connection more secure, no matter what device you use. In case you prefer using VPN for iOS, for example, only iOS-based devices will be protected. If, however, your router is connected to Virtual Private Network, all your gadgets will be under protection.

Secondly, using VPN extensions or VPN apps for different operating systems, any time you want to connect to VPN, authorization is required. With a VPN for routers, you have to configure it once. After your router is configured, all traffic goes through VPN servers.

Finally, you save a fair amount of money as you don’t have to buy a VPN for all your devices. Still, there are providers that offer VPN subscriptions for multiple devices, but lots of them don’t support such devices as Xbox or Blackphone.

The best VPN router for small business: reasons to set up

Being a target of a hacker sounds like it can happen only to a big company, but that’s not true. You might think like that just because only hacking attacks on big companies are covered.

If you have your own business, you shouldn’t be so careless. Have a look at the reasons why you’d better think of a VPN service for your business router:

  • VPN will protect your business Wi-Fi network against hacking attacks.

It has been proved by Belgian researchers, that WPA2 protocol used in most of Wi-Fi networks is vulnerable to hacking attacks. So, connecting to Wi-Fi via Virtual Private Network will be more secure. All traffic will be encrypted and protected against hackers.

  • VPNs will make your clients feel protected

If you have to collect data from your customers, they should feel confident that their credentials won’t be compromised. Using VPN will let them trust you as you keep their sensitive information. Probably, some of them don’t know how VPN works, so maybe VPN explanations for beginners will be necessary.

The best VPN router for home use: why is more efficient?

If you don’t have your own business, but connect to Wi-Fi from home, you should make your connections secure as well. If you have read our Hide My IP Guide, you know that VPN is very helpful for such matters.

You’ve probably installed a VPN on almost all your devices? But still, some of your gadgets are not connected to Virtual Private Network? We know how you can do it and, what is more important, why you should do it.

Want the best part of it? Here you are:

According to the latest statistics, 26% of netizens used VPN services to surf the Internet in 2018. Some of them used it just for unblocking websites, but the others wanted to protect themselves against cyber attacks.

You might think you’ll fall victim to hacking, but it’s easier to prevent them than cope with the possible outcomes. So, you should connect your home router to VPN to feel more secure on the network.

Moreover, it’s more efficient using a VPN service on your router rather than installing it on a couple of devices connected to Wi-Fi. You don’t have to turn a VPN on, any time you use Wi-Fi. With a router VPN, your internet surfing will be more secure as VPN is always active.

How to choose the best VPN for your router?

There are two features you need to pay attention to when considering a VPN for routers. They are speed performance and customer support.

Now specific with this point.

Why VPN speed is important?

Having connected to Virtual Private Network, you’ll perform different tasks on the Internet: streaming, torrenting, online games, and others. A VPN provider should offer almost the fastest VPN servers to avoid lagging of the Internet.

Be sure you check the information about download/upload speeds on the provider’s website, forums or read our VPN reviews.

How customer support can influence VPN use?

If you don’t have advanced technical knowledge, it will be rather difficult to configure a router to connect to VPN. That’s why you may need professional support. Still, some providers offer VPN apps for routers and even sell pre-configured VPN routers. Besides, the best VPN providers from our rating above have step-by-step tutorials that will help you configure VPN manually.

Other features to consider:

  • Number of VPN servers;
  • Supported protocols;
  • Encryption key;
  • Whether a VPN provider keeps logs;
  • Additional security/privacy features.

5 Best VPN services for your router in 2020

We’ve taken into account all the features recommended by us in the previous paragraph tested VPN services supported by routers and chosen 5 best VPN services to use in 2020. Here are the short reviews with the benefits for routers:

How can you set up a VPN on your router?

Manual installation of a VPN on your router is not simple if you don’t have any technical knowledge. But there are three ways you can do that. So, you can:

  1. … flash your router with the new VPN-supported firmware.
  2. … buy a router that already supports OpenVPN and install a chosen VPN in a manual way.
  3. … use a pre-configured VPN router offered by a VPN provider.

We’ve listed the three ways from the most difficult to the simplest. You can choose any of them, it will depend on your knowledge, money and others. Now, we should say a few words about each of them.

Flashing a router with new firmware

This option seems to be the most difficult as it requires understanding how routers are configured and how they work. You will have to do everything on your own.

Here are the steps to undertake if you have a router, but it is not a VPN-enabled yet:

  1. Download router firmware. Among the most popular ones are DD-WRT and Tomato (for more details, read our DD-WRT guide in which it is compared to different router firmware).
  2. Flash your router with new firmware.
  3. Set up a VPN you’ve chosen.

Pros: this option is money-saving as pre-configured VPN routers usually cost quite a lot.

Cons: you need to be technically advanced to perform all the steps mentioned above.

OpenVPN setup

If you already have a router that is flashed with firmware, you just need to set up a VPN on your router. Many VPN providers offer such opportunities. They even have detailed step-by-step tutorials to configure manual VPN connections for routers flashed with different firmware.

As it has been mentioned above, DD-WRT is the most popular firmware. All VPN services from our rating are supported by this type of routers. Moreover, NordVPN works on Tomato and OpenWRT routers.

Pros: you can save money as it’s cheaper than pre-configured routers.

Cons: still, you need to have some technical knowledge to set up OpenVPN manually.

Buying a pre-configured VPN router

This way would the most suitable if you aren’t technically advanced. It requires minimal efforts to set up a VPN router. Many VPN providers, like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and PIA, make use of outsourcing pre-configuration. Their routers are pre-configured by FlashRouters.

Still, it’s worth mentioning that the provider of ExpressVPN has the widest network of VPN routers and servers to connect to. That’s why it takes the 1st position in the rating.

Pros: it’s easy to set up a pre-configured VPN router.

Cons: it’s a bit pricey.

What about free VPN for routers?

When you decide what VPN to install on your router, you should think of such features as speedy servers, good customer support, security/ privacy, etc. Unfortunately, free VPNs aren’t the services that can meet all the requirements.

Here is the list of reasons why you’d better avoid free VPNs for routers:

  • Free VPN providers don’t have lots of servers, which can lead to queues and low download speeds.
  • They are likely to be blocked by streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.
  • Free VPN providers neglect privacy features, just remember that one of them was selling user data.
  • Free VPN’s usually don’t have customer support, which is necessary for setting up a VPN router.

What’s the conclusion?

That’s obvious that VPN for routers is even more beneficial than installing VPN software for every your device. You save your money and protect all your devices connected to Wi-Fi.

Don’t forget that a good VPN service to set up on your router should be fast enough and be able to protect all your gadgets. Here is the list of 5 best VPN providers for 2020:

  1. Surfshark (Top!)
  2. NordVPN
  3. CyberGhost VPN
  4. ExpressVPN
  5. PIA

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David Balaban
David Balaban