How to Install A VPN On A Router? – Easy 2022 Guide

How to Install A VPN On A Router

A VPN has a lot of benefits. It geo-spoofs your location, cracks open geo-blocked websites, and lets you enjoy different catalogs of streaming platforms.

And it’s very easy to use. You can just download a VPN on your work PC or mobile phone in a matter of seconds and surf the internet with complete anonymity.

Although this option is great for devices that support native VPN apps, it’s not good news for devices that don’t support it.

For that, you’ll need to know how to install a VPN on a router with the options you have in hand. It’s amazing because you can cover all your devices with a single connection.

May it be your Smart TV, gaming console, or even your smart fridge. Any traffic that comes out of the devices that are connected to your network goes through a VPN tunnel first, and then to the destination page.

But how can you do that? Let’s find out.


Short on time? Here’s a Short Summary Of How to Install A VPN On A Router.

  • For a VPN router, you need to create a VPN profile first and then activate your VPN on your router.
  • If your router doesn’t have a built-in VPN but it supports third-party firmware, then you’ll need to flash your router to enable the VPN feature.
  • If your VPN doesn’t support third-party firmware then you’ll probably need to purchase a pre-flashed router which will eventually give you more control over your router’s configuration.


How to Install A VPN On A Router?

If you have a VPN router then setting up a VPN server should not be a difficult task. You just have to log in to your router’s configuration page, find the VPN tab, and set up a VPN server.

However, if you cannot find the VPN tab on your router’s configuration page then you’ll need to flash your router and update the firmware version. By updating the firmware you’re simply changing the operating system of your router and enabling the VPN feature.

But make sure you’re carrying out the process properly because it’s a risky method and there can be consequences.


How to Install A VPN On An ASUS Router?

  • Log in to your router’s configuration page. Find the IP to access your router’s configuration page at the bottom of your router device. But usually, 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 works.
  • Type in the username and password. You’ll also find those at the bottom sticker of your router.
  • On the left panel, search for the VPN tab. And if you can’t find it, check if it’s present under some other tab (mostly Security).

Router Interface

  • Now create a VPN client profile.

Set up VPN profile

  • Head to the Setup Page on your VPN provider’s website. Select Manual Configuration. (We are using ExpressVPN as an example)
  • Choose a protocol of your preference. OpenVPN is best if security is your biggest concern. L2TP/IPsec or PPTP can be used if you want speed.

ExpressVPN setup page

  • Select a VPN server from the available regions and copy the address.

Select protocol

  • Paste it in the field of the VPN server on the router profile field.
  • Enter a description.
  • Paste the username and password from the Setup Page.
  • Click OK to create the profile.

Copy paste server address

  • Now click on Activate and your VPN server is now active.

Activate profile

To create an OpenVPN profile all the steps will be the same. The only different thing is that you need to download the .ovpn file from the website and import it in the relevant field of the VPN profile.

OpenVPN Profile


How to Install A VPN On An Xfinity Router?

Most VPN service providers do not support Xfinity routers. So you’ll probably need to buy another router to set up a VPN in which your Xfinity router will act as a modem in the Bridge Mode.

Here’s how you can do it.

  • Login to the admin page of your Xfinity router by typing 10.0.0.1 or find it in the manual or somewhere on your router.
  • Type in username and password and sign in.

admin page

  • On the left panel, go to the Gateway and then click on “At a Glance”.
  • Turn on Bridge Mode by clicking on Enable.

At a glance & bridge mode

  • You’ll see a warning message that will say Bridge Mode will Disable Router Functionality, click OK.

Bridge Mode will Disable Router Functionality

Note: By enabling Bridge Mode you’re turning off the WiFi network and xFi functionality.

  • Your Xfinity router is in Bridge Mode now. Connect the second router to your Xfinity router through an ethernet cable.
  • Now sign up for a VPN subscription that is compatible with the second router. (We’re using ExpressVPN as an example)
  • Download the firmware file for your router.
  • Log in to your router’s configuration page.
  • Find the firmware update option and upload the firmware file. (The update menu is usually in Connectivity Settings)
  • Restart your router when the firmware update finishes.
  • Now set up a VPN profile on your router. You will need to go to the Setup Page of the VPN provider and select a VPN location.
  • When the profile is created, activate the VPN server.

How to Install A VPN On An AT&T Router?

AT&T Routers do not have the compatibility to host VPN servers as they don’t have VPN functionality. The only way is to install the VPN app on your device which is connected to your AT&T router.

You just have to sign up for a VPN provider, download the VPN app on your client device, log in with your VPN account and connect to a VPN server. That’s it.

But if you want to manually set up a VPN on your device then it will take a little more of your time. It’s not that difficult. You just have to create a VPN profile on your device with your preferred settings and you’re good to go.


  • Sign up for a VPN provider (We recommend ExpressVPN).
  • Go to the ExpressVPN website and head to the Setup Page.
  • Select Manual Configuration and then select L2TP/IPsec.
  • You’ll see your username and password.
  • Now log in to your TP-Link router’s configuration page. Type in the default username and password “admin” or the one you set.

Admin page (TP LINK)

  • On the left panel, click on Network.

Network

  • Click on the drop-down menu next to Connection Type and select L2TP.

Connection Type L2TP

  • Copy and paste the username and password from the ExpressVPN page into the required fields.
  • Select Dynamic IP next to Addressing Type.
  • Now select Connect Manually which is the third option next to Connection Mode.
  • Set Max Idle Time = 0.

Addressing Type, Connection Mode & Max Idle Time

  • Click on Connect.
  • Click Save.
  • Go to the ExpressVPN dashboard, select a location server, and click the power button to connect.

How to Install A VPN On A Netgear Router?

Netgear Router Interface

  • Sign up for a VPN provider. (We are using ExpressVPN again as an example)
  • Go to the ExpressVPN website.
  • Head to the Setup Page.
  • Download your router’s firmware by clicking the drop-down menu, then selecting the router model.
  • Copy the Activation Code from the next page you’ll be redirected to.
  • Now go to your router’s Admin Panel and log in with the default credentials (username “admin” and password “password“) or simply log in with the previously set credentials.
  • In the Advanced tab, click on Administration, and then on Router Update.
  • Import the file which we downloaded before by clicking Browse.
  • Upload the file.
  • Let the process finish and then your router will restart.
  • Now go to the ExpressVPN dashboard and select your preferred server location.
  • Click on the power button and that’s all.

How to Install A VPN On A Belkin Router?

Belkin Router Admin Panel

You can connect to a PPTP protocol through your Belkin router. Here’s how to do it.

  • Sign up for a VPN service (We’re using ExpressVPN as it is compatible with most routers)
  • Go to your router’s Admin Panel by typing 192.168.2.1 in your browser.
  • Use the default credentials “Belkinxxxxx” for username and “Belkinxxxxx_5GHz” for password. (Replace xxxxx with the last five digits of the router’s serial no.)
  • Head to Configuration and then click on Security and then VPN Passthrough.
  • Enable the PPTP Passthrough.
  • Click on Apply.
  • Go to your router’s Admin dashboard.
  • On the left panel, click on Internet and then PPTP.
  • Type in the username and password of your VPN account in the fields under PPTP Settings.
  • Enter the PPTP server address in the Service IP Address. You’ll find it on the ExpressVPN dashboard.
  • Now set these parameters,
    • Connection ID = 0
    • MTU = 1400
    • Type = Keep Connection
  • Click on Apply.
  • Go to the ExpressVPN dashboard, select a server location and connect.

How to Get A VPN Router?

If you want your router to have VPN capabilities then you have either get a VPN router or you need to configure your router by flashing it. Here are the types of routers you can go for.

  1. VPN-enabled routers. A router that has a built-in VPN option is a good choice as you don’t have to go through the process of configuring or updating your firmware version. You just need to follow the system-specific instructions and you can easily set up a VPN on your router in no time.
  2. Pre-flashed routers. These are the routers that are already configured. Their firmware is updated and they are ready to use. But this option can be expensive. Moreover, there are only a few vendors who provide these routers, one of the trusted names is Flashrouters. But if you’re looking for a customized and easy-to-use option then the money is worth it. Just steer clear of fraud companies on the internet who offer these services.
  3. Manually flashed routers. This option is a little risky as the damage cannot be undone once the process is messed up. But if you’re confident in your skillset then go for it. You just need proper research to ace this. By flashing your router you’re basically changing the operating system of your router and enabling the VPN feature. The most used platforms are Tomato, DD-WRT, and OpenWrt.

What Is A VPN & How Does It Work?

A VPN or Virtual Private Network can hide your online traffic from your internet service provider and other third parties trying to snoop on you.

To tell you how a VPN works, it simply creates a virtual tunnel between the user’s device and the VPN server. The user’s traffic is encrypted while passing through this tunnel and the location is geo-spoofed in the process.

Now the vulnerability of your traffic depends on which kind of encryption method or protocol you’re using. Although all the methods work to make sure your sensitive information is not compromised.

But there are outdated practices that are cracked over time and we advise you to get a VPN service that offers an advanced encryption method like AES-256 and a reliable VPN protocol like OpenVPN, in case if someone is on to you to hack into your system.


What Is A VPN Router?

A VPN router can host a VPN server and act as a VPN client.

You can connect to your VPN service provider through your router and every device that is connected to that network is secured automatically. This means you don’t have to install a different VPN app on each device.

But not every router comes with VPN functionality. In that case, you can still make your own VPN by flashing your router and updating the firmware version. This is a risky method, but if you’re sure what you’re doing then everything should be fine.


How to Check If Your VPN Is Working On Router?

You can easily check if your VPN is working or not by these three easy hacks. Turn on the VPN on your router and try out any of these methods.

  1. Go to whatismyipaddress.com and check if the IP address being displayed is your original IP or not. If it’s your real IP address, then your VPN isn’t working.
  2. Check if you can stream geo-blocked movies or TV shows on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video.
  3. The traceroute command can help you determine the hops your connection is taking to reach the destination.
    • For Windows: Open Command Prompt and type tracert<space>[URL or IP address] and then press Enter.
    • For Linux: Open Terminal and type traceroute<space>[URL or IP address] and then press Enter.
    • For Mac: Open Terminal and type traceroute<space>[URL or IP address] and then press Enter.

Pros & Cons Of Installing A VPN On Router


Pros

  1. Every device that is connected to your network is VPN secured.
  2. Devices that don’t support native VPN apps like Chromecast and Roku are also covered as their traffic passes through the VPN’s encrypted tunnel without installing the app on the device itself.
  3. You don’t have to log in with your VPN credentials every time you turn on your device. You just have to do that once and you’re free.
  4. Installing a VPN on your router can improve your battery’s health as an always-on VPN can eat up the battery of your device pretty quick.


Cons

  1. You won’t be able to use amazing features like a Kill Switch or Multi-Hop.
  2. If you don’t have a VPN router then purchasing one can be an expensive option. And flashing your current router is always a risky option if you have no proper research or skillset.
  3. The more devices that connect to your network, the more your network’s performance will drop.
  4. You’ll have a limited option of servers. And if you want to connect to another server location then you need to configure it by signing in to your router’s admin panel every time.



Best VPN Routers

You can get a VPN router that already has built-in functionality in it. Or you can go for a router that supports third-party firmware and flash it yourself by taking out some precious time of yours. Flashing is a risky process and you’ll need some research work before carrying it out but it will give you more control over your router settings.

Linksys WRT 3200 ACM Router

  • Expensive.
  • Comes with VPN capabilities.
  • Tri-Stream 160
  • Fast.
  • Plenty of features.
  • Supports OpenWrt and DD-WRT.
  • Available on Amazon.

Asus RT-AX58U

  • Large coverage area.
  • Fast speed.
  • Parental Control.
  • Strong WiFi 6 Performance.
  • Router app.
  • Reasonable Price.

TP-Link Archer C5400 v2

  • Powerful router.
  • Fast speed.
  • Supports IFTTT.
  • 8 Antennas
  • Tri-band WiFi.
  • Expensive.
  • Alexa Voice Control.

Apart from these options, you can also get a router from FlashRouters that perform all the necessary work and then dispatch you a pre-flashed and pre-configured router.

This option can come in handy if you want more control as you can install additional functionalities, fix security issues yourself, and you’ll be playing with unlimited features.


Best VPNs For Routers

Not all VPNs work great or are compatible with routers. We have done the leg work for you with a list of reliable providers.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN_logo_new

 

View Plans
  • Router app: Yes
  • Locations: 94 Countries
  • Monthly Plan: $12.95
  • Unblocks Netflix: Yes
  • Setup Guide: Yes
  • 24/7 Customer Support: Yes

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands. It’s one of the top names in the VPN industry. With its strict no-log policy, it doesn’t track any of its user data as its servers run on volatile memory.

With a yearly plan of $96, you’ll get 3 extra months including a 30-day money-back guarantee. It covers all the major streaming devices, streaming platforms, and devices.

NordVPN

NordVPN-4

 

View Plans
  • Router app: No
  • Locations: 60 Countries
  • Monthly Plan: $11.95
  • Unblocks Netflix: Yes
  • Setup Guide: Yes
  • 24/7 Customer Support: Yes

NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN service that works great on major streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, or HBO Max.

While it doesn’t have a dedicated router app, it is a premium partner of FlashRouters, that provides users with pre-configured routers for VPN setup. So you won’t have to face any difficulties while configuring NordVPN on your router as it is not that tricky.

Surfshark

surfshark-2

 

View Plans
  • Router app: No
  • Locations: 65 Countries
  • Monthly Plan: $12.95
  • Unblocks Netflix: Yes
  • Setup Guide: Yes
  • 24/7 Customer Support: Yes

Surfshark is also headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. You can have unlimited connections with a single Surfshark subscription and with its pool of servers, you can unlock international catalogs of popular streaming services like Netflix, Sling TV, fuboTV, HBO Max, or Hulu.


Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

VPNs are legal in the United States. But some regions like China, North Korea, or Turkey have banned the use of VPN. So it’s better to check the rules and regulations first before using a VPN in any country to avoid troubles.

While using a VPN app directly will also hide your online traffic from third parties but there are some advantages of installing a VPN on a router. All your devices are covered, your device’s battery life will improve, and you’ll have VPN on devices that don’t support native VPN apps.

No, it’s not. As long as you have a router that supports third-party firmware then you don’t need to purchase a new one. You just have to flash your router with suitable firmware and the VPN feature will be enabled. But be careful as the process can be a little risky. Complete your research work first and when you’re certain, go for it. 

While you can get all the necessary information about flashing a router, but if you don’t want to take that risk then purchase a pre-flashed router from a company named FlashRouters. It can be a little expensive but you’ll have full control over your router’s configuration.

Just search “what’s my IP” on Google and match your original IP with the one that’s showing on your screen. If they do not match, then your VPN is working fine.

Go with Tomato, DD-WRT, or OpenWrt. They work great and they also have a strong online community so you’ll get all the help you want.


Conclusion

By now you should know how to install a VPN on a router and what are your options if your router doesn’t have built-in support for VPN.

Some routers come with native VPN support while some need flashing to unlock the VPN feature. And you can always go for off-the-shelf options.

Internet privacy is necessary and VPN is the best tool to achieve it. While installing a VPN on your router can have its drawbacks but if they don’t bother you then the benefits are value for money.