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5 Best VPNs for DD-WRT Routers in 2023 — All Easy to Set Up

Most routers don’t have built-in VPN support. To enable VPN features, you need to flash a compatible router with DD-WRT firmware. It’s an open-source, Linux-based operating system that lets you set up a VPN using OpenVPN server connections.

Even though it’s the most popular router firmware, finding a compatible and reliable VPN that supports DD-WRT routers is a real challenge. My team and I tested 65+ popular options to come up with a list of DD-WRT compatible VPNs that offer robust security to hide your online activity from snoops. Plus, these services have global server networks and fast speeds to watch your favorite shows in top quality.

The best pick for me is ExpressVPN. It’s easy to install it on any DD-WRT router and protect all home devices. The VPN also has impressive speeds and a vast server network to access your favorite websites and services abroad without interruptions. Best of all, you can try ExpressVPN on DD-WRT routers risk-free since it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Important: Installing third-party firmware like DD-WRT on your router can invalidate your warranty. Remember to check with the manufacturer before starting the installation.

Get the Best VPN for DD-WRT Routers Now

Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for DD-WRT Routers in 2023

  1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for DD-WRT routers I tested that offers dedicated configuration files for an easy installation, and robust security features to protect all your home devices. Since it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try it without risk.
  2. CyberGhost — Excellent speeds on all DD-WRT router-connected devices to enjoy streaming without buffering.
  3. Private Internet Access — Robust security features to safeguard all your router connections, but doesn’t allow torrenting on its US servers.
  4. NordVPN — P2P support on all devices connected to your DD-WRT router, but some servers are slow to connect.
  5. Surfshark — Extensive server network to access the content you need on all router-connected devices, but based in the Netherlands (not privacy-friendly).

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today

Best VPNs for DD-WRT Routers — Full Analysis (Updated in 2023)

All services on this list support DD-WRT routers to protect your entire WiFi network, including devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV. They also provide fast speeds and reliable server networks to access your favorite websites anywhere without interruptions.

Additionally, they’re compatible with a wide range of devices and offer responsive customer support if you need help. Each VPN comes with a trustworthy money-back guarantee, so you can quickly get a refund if you’re not fully satisfied.

1. ExpressVPN — OpenVPN Config Files and Easy-To-Follow Tutorials for Quick Installation on Your DD-WRT Router

  • Downloadable OpenVPN configuration files for easy DD-WRT router installation
  • Perfect Forward Secrecy and military-grade encryption to protect your online data
  • 3,000 servers in 94 countries to access global content on all your devices
  • 5 simultaneous connections if you’re using the app on multiple devices
  • Can access: Netflix US, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, and more
ExpressVPN Offer February 2023: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

ExpressVPN provides OpenVPN files for DD-WRT routers for a straightforward VPN setup. Following a video tutorial on its website, it took me around 5 minutes to install it on my router. I got instant setup tips from the 24/7 live chat support and extensive knowledge base during my ExpressVPN tests. You can get a pre-configured device, but it costs more and isn’t necessary. The VPN is compatible with many brands like TP-Link, Netgear, and Netduma.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN's DD-WRT router firmware download pageYou can also install ExpressVPN’s custom firmware for selected router models

A vast server network covering 94 countries lets you access your favorite services on all your devices. I didn’t experience any problems accessing online games, such as Phantasy Star Online 2, with the Japan server. I also quickly logged in to my BBC iPlayer, Netflix US, and DAZN accounts when testing ExpressVPN’s US and UK servers.

The VPN has impressive speeds that allow me to watch videos (like The Witcher on my Netflix subscription) with no buffering. I connected to ExpressVPN’s US, UK, and Australia servers, and the speeds remained fast. My average download speed was 192Mbps, which is only 4% slower than my base speed. For reference, you need just 25Mbps for UHD streaming. Plus, you can stream and torrent without limits, thanks to unlimited bandwidth.

Reliable security features hide your private information from prying eyes. ExpressVPN safeguards your traffic with military-grade encryption, while Perfect Forward Secrecy re-encrypts it every 15 minutes to prevent data theft. I also ran several leak tests, and my actual IP/DNS address wasn’t revealed. Should your VPN connection drop, a Network Lock (kill switch) cuts off your internet, but it didn’t happen during my tests.

It allows you to pick from several tunneling protocols, including its own super fast and secure Lightway. There’s also a split tunneling feature that lets you select which device groups use the VPN tunnel. So, I streamed shows on my Amazon Fire TV with the VPN connection while looking up Google results using the regular IP on my MacBook.

Your privacy is protected as the VPN is based in the British Virgin Islandsoutside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances. This is an agreement between several countries to share private information on their citizens. ExpressVPN comes with a strict no-logs policy, audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, so third parties can’t obtain your sensitive information. Plus, all your data is erased on reboot thanks to TrustedServer tech (RAM-based servers).

My only gripe is the expensive subscription plans, starting at $6.67/month. However, ExpressVPN frequently runs generous deals and promotions — I got 49% off and 3 extra months for free by opting for the 12-month plan. Many payment options are available, including credit cards, Bitcoin, and PaymentWall.

There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee too. Getting a refund is simple if the VPN doesn’t meet your standards. I contacted its customer support via live chat and provided short feedback about the service, and my refund was approved. Just 2 days later, my PayPal account was reimbursed.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today

2. CyberGhost — Excellent Speeds on DD-WRT Routers to Stream Without Interruptions

  • Fast speeds on DD-WRT routers to enjoy content without delays on all devices
  • Based in privacy-friendly Romania to protect your personal information
  • 7 simultaneous connections to cover your many devices
  • Can access: Netflix US, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, and more
February 2023 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

CyberGhost’s fast speeds allow you to browse the web smoothly on your home network. After connecting all available devices to my DD-WRT router, they didn’t drop below 184Mbps. When testing CyberGhost, the connections were fast enough for streaming, gaming, and torrenting. I watched The Patient in 4K on my Hulu account without delays. There’s also a data compression feature (that condenses web elements to boost speeds) and no bandwidth caps.

The VPN lets you generate installation files for your DD-WRT router on its website. With this service, you can specify security protocol, location, and whether your router should block ads and trackers. Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost is user-friendly and offers easy-to-follow setup guides (but not the DD-WRT router video tutorials). The VPN is compatible with TomatoUSB as well. It’s possible to get pre-configured routers, but that’s a costly option.

If you ever get stuck, it’s convenient to use 24/7 live chat. There’s also an easy-to-use support ticket system and a searchable troubleshooting library.

In addition to 9,753 servers in 91 countries, CyberGhost provides specialized servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. I tested a couple of them with Fortnite and my BBC iPlayer account — in both cases, I had no lag or buffering. There are also streaming-optimized servers for platforms like HBO Max, ESPN+, and Comedy Central.

Screenshot of CyberGhost providing low-latency in FortniteI set up CyberGhost on my DD-WRT router and didn’t experience any disconnects during my tests

All your router-connected devices are guarded by AES 256-bit encryption. It makes your data incredibly hard to obtain. The service has WiFi protection that launches the VPN on new hotspots. You can program it under the Smart rules section. This means you don’t have to worry about snoops or cyber threats when using unsecured public networks.

Plus, this VPN provides multiple security protocols. This includes super-safe OpenVPN and speed-oriented WireGuard, all of which can be switched on the fly. A Force HTTPS function makes you access many websites automatically via HTTPS instead of insecure HTTP to prevent data theft. The VPN provides built-in ad-blocking and tracking prevention too.

Thanks to IP/DNS leak protection, your sensitive information remains private. Similarly to ExpressVPN, the service is based in a privacy-friendly country, in this case, Romania. It isn’t part of 14 Eyes Alliance and doesn’t have data retention laws. There’s also a strict no-logs policy and an automatic kill switch.

One issue is that the monthly plans are pricey and come with a reduced money-back guarantee (only 14 days). However, you can get CyberGhost for as low as $2.19/month if you opt for a long-term subscription. The 2-year plan offers the same features but costs less and has an extended refund period. Popular payment methods include PayPal, credit cards, and Bitcoin.

CyberGhost’s 45 day money-back guarantee lets you try it for free. I had no trouble getting a refund. After contacting support via email, the rep approved my request, and I saw the money in my bank account after 3 days.

Try CyberGhost Today

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Strong Security Features to Protect All Devices Connected to Your DD-WRT Router

  • AES 256-bit encryption to safeguard all your router-connected devices
  • 10 simultaneous connections to cover favorite devices
  • 24/7 live chat support to get help with router installation anytime
  • Can access: Netflix US, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, and more
February 2023 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 83% off!

PIA safeguards your DD-WRT-connected devices using robust online safety features. The VPN comes with a kill switch and IP/DNS leak protection. It offers multiple protocols too, including security-focused OpenVPN and speed-oriented WireGuard. During my tests, PIA successfully prevented DNS leaks. You can choose between two encryption levels — AES 128-bit to maximize your speeds and AES 256-bit for even safer internet access.

Screenshot of PIA successfully hiding actual IP/DNS addresses.PIA successfully hid my personal information

MACE ad blocker protects your online privacy from trackers. It swaps your online identifier with a fake one, making it hard for advertisers to target you. PIA also has RAM-based servers to hide your online activities from prying eyes. Best of all, its no-logs policy doesn't store user data that has been independently verified.

I had no issues installing PIA on my DD-WRT router. The VPN provides step-by-step installation guides on its website for popular models. Plus, there’s 24/7 live chat if you ever get stuck. You can get a pre-configured device with an app to control the VPN from your smartphone, but it's an optional and pricey solution.

Servers in 84 countries allow you to easily unblock your favorite websites. After connecting to its US server, I didn’t have any buffering watching Big Shot in full HD on my Disney+ account. Accessing your other streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, and Hulu isn’t a problem either.

Unlimited bandwidth and fast speeds let you quickly download large files on all router-connected devices. My average download speed was 176Mbps — I downloaded a 10GB file in less than 19 minutes. This is decent, considering I connected more than 7 active devices, all of which take away bandwidth.

One minor downfall is that PIA doesn’t allow torrenting on its US servers. However, you can torrent on plenty of other servers (including all European ones).

The service offers reasonably-priced plans — starting at $2.19/month. I recommend getting the 3-year option for the most significant savings in the long run.

All subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Getting a refund is easy if you’re not 100% happy with the VPN. Using its web form, I contacted support and got a response in less than 24 hours. After a quick chat, my credit card was refunded 5 days later.

Try PIA Today

4. NordVPN — Obfuscation Servers Designed to Sneak Past the Toughest Network Restrictions

  • 5,384 servers in 60 countries give you access to tons of geoblocked websites, apps, and games
  • Top security features and an audited no-logs policy ensure your online protection
  • 6 simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, browsers, routers, and more

NordVPN is a solid VPN whether you’re looking to stream or keep your online activity private. What makes it stand out to me is that it offers server categories dedicated to specific activities, which makes it easy to use. It’s also developed its own secure protocol (NordLynx) that offers impressive speeds for high bandwidth activities (like streaming or torrenting) without compromising your online security.

It doesn’t offer streaming servers, but you can choose from P2P or Double VPN servers for safe torrenting or added security, respectively. All the servers are organized by country, and I found during my tests using the regular servers worked really well for unblocking the most popular streaming sites. My streams always loaded up quickly, and I didn’t encounter buffering issues while watching.

NordVPN is also a good choice for bypassing network restrictions. Its obfuscated servers are designed to work in countries where VPNs are restricted, like China and Russia. These servers are also helpful if you’re trying to access blocked websites due to network firewalls, like at school or work.

It offers many other unique security features, too. Threat Protection guards against trackers, malware, and infected websites, plus blocks ads. While it didn’t block YouTube ads, it did block in-game ads on my Android and popups in my browser. Another notable feature is its Onion servers, which allow you to connect directly to the Tor network for added security. Combining these servers with its built-in leak protection and kill switch keeps your activity private at all times.

My biggest issue was that sometimes it would take a really long time for NordVPN to connect to a server. At one point, I had to force quit the app and try again. In the end, I always managed to connect, so it wasn’t a huge issue, just a bit annoying.

NordVPN offers great prices with subscriptions starting from $3.49/month. You can also get a dedicated IP at an extra cost, which is handy if you’re trying to bypass IP bans commonly put in place on streaming sites.

It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans, so you are free to try NordVPN at no financial risk. I requested my money back through 24/7 live chat after using it for almost a month, and the guarantee was honored. It only took a few days to get a full refund.

Try NordVPN Today

5. Surfshark — Camouflage Mode to Obfuscate Your VPN Traffic

  • 3,200 fast servers in 100 countries to access your preferred sites quickly
  • Easy-to-use apps for all levels of users
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, browsers, routers, and more

Surfshark has 3,200 servers in 100 countries, and it offers consistently fast speeds no matter the distance. During testing, local servers gave me almost the same results as my base speed. I could stream, torrent, and play games without any interruptions or lag. The acceptable speed drop is around 20%, and with Surfshark, you can expect less even on faraway servers.

When it comes to security, it offers the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption, which is the strongest available. To make sure that your traffic remains encrypted at all times, it has a kill switch on all apps, which you can enable from the Settings menu in 1 click. I tested this by consecutively connecting to servers. My internet was off during those small periods between each server change, so my IP address was never exposed or detected by streaming sites.

Surshark works on highly-restrictive networks and in countries like China. It comes with special features that obfuscate your VPN connection, like Camouflage and NoBorders. For another layer of security, you can also use MultiHop, which doubles your encryption.

Its app is really intuitive and neatly organized, so you won’t have issues using it even if you’re a VPN beginner. There’s a Quick-Connect button, which chooses the fastest local or the closest foreign server to give you optimal speeds. But you can select a specific location from the server list if you want. I liked that it also lets you favorite your most used locations for easy access next time.

The only thing I didn’t like about Surfshark is that it’s based in the Netherlands, which is a part of the 14 Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance. However, it has a no-logs policy, meaning it doesn’t collect or store your data and browsing activity. All its servers are RAM-only too, so your information is removed from them after each reboot. This means it can’t share anything with third parties even if they request it.

You can get a long-term Surfshark subscription for just $2.30/month. I also recommend opting for the Surfshark One bundle, which comes for just a small additional fee. With it, you get an Antivirus, Search (a private search engine), and Alert (a feature that notifies you in case of a breach of your personal information).

All plans are covered with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If the service doesn’t meet your expectations, you can easily get a refund. I tested this by contacting support through the 24/7 live chat. After a brief conversation with an agent, I got all my money back in just 4 days.

Try Surfshark Today

Quick Comparison Table: DD-WRT Router VPN Features

The table below provides a side-by-side look at VPNs on this list. If you’re undecided about which DD-WRT VPN to get, take a look below.

🥇ExpressVPN $6.67/month 3,000 servers in 94 countries 4% drop from base speed 5 DD-WRT, Linksys, Netgear, TPLink, Tomato
🥈CyberGhost $2.19/month 9,753 servers in 91 countries 8% drop from base speed 7 DD-WRT, Linksys, Netgear, TPLink, Tomato
🥉Private Internet Access $2.19/month 29,650 servers in 84 countries 12% drop from base speed 10 DD-WRT, Linksys, Netgear, TPLink
NordVPN $3.49/month 5,384 servers in 60 countries 16% drop from base speed 6 DD-WRT, Linksys, Netgear, TPLink, Tomato
Surfshark $2.30/month 3,200 servers in 100 countries 34% drop from base speed Unlimited DD-WRT, Linksys, Netgear, TPLink, Tomato

Tips on Choosing the Best VPN for DD-WRT Routers

VPNs on this list support a wide range of router brands. In addition, they all provide reliable security and privacy features. On top of that, they have large server networks and fast speeds. I used the following criteria to rank my top VPNs:

  • Device compatibility — Look for a service that offers easy configuration and support for a wide range of DD-WRT firmware. It should also have downloadable OpenVPN config files.
  • Fast speeds — Your VPN should have fast and reliable speeds above 25Mbps to enjoy gaming, streaming, and torrenting without delays.
  • Strong privacy and security — Features such as AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy should be standard. The same goes for IP/DNS leak protection and OpenVPN protocol.
  • Global server network — The larger the server network, the more content you can access, including popular IPTV services, such as Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu.
  • Responsive customer support. Make sure the VPN of your choice provides live chat support and detailed router installation tutorials.
  • Trustworthy money-back guarantee — You should be able to test your VPN with your DD-WRT router before committing to a subscription. So check for a service that comes with a money-back guarantee that actually pays out.

How to Install a VPN on Your DD-WRT Router 

Depending on your firmware, there are 2 different ways to install a VPN on your DD-WRT router. Before you try any of them, follow these quick steps:

  1. Get a VPN. With its easy router setup process, I recommend ExpressVPN. It offers super-fast speeds so you can stream and browse the web without delays.
  2. Download the OpenVPN configuration file. Head over to ExpressVPN’s router firmware download page, select DD-WRT from the drop-down menu, and download the file.
    Screenshot of the ExpressVPNs download page for DD-WRT router OpenVPN filesExpressVPN currently doesn’t offer automatic installation methods

  3. Copy the activation code. It’s advised to keep the browser window with the activation code open, as you’ll need the code later.
    Screenshot of the ExpressVPN activation codeExpressVPN asks you to use an activation code at a further stage of the installation process

  4. Select your preferred server location. This will download a ".ovpn" or ".conf" file required to set up the VPN on your DD-WRT router.
  5. Log in to your router settings. Go to your router’s admin panel through the app or web browser (the default address is It’s advised to be connected to your router via LAN. Then, sign in to your device dashboard by entering your username and password — they are “admin” by default. If you had previously changed your router’s IP address and forgot it, it’s possible to find it in the device’s settings.
  6. Click on the Services menu. Choose the VPN option and Start OpenVPN Client to enable the configuration panel.
Note: Don’t worry if you notice a warning saying “–keysize is DEPRECATED” while running OpenVPN 2.6. It doesn’t affect the installation process and can be ignored. There are 2 ways to remove this warning: delete the line containing keysize or add # in front of the keysize (#keysize 256).

Then use any of these 2 methods to install a VPN on your DD-WRT router.

For DD-WRT Firmware With User Pass Authentication

Before you begin, you need to open your.ovpn file, as it contains all the details you need to set up a VPN on your router. For Windows users, you can use Notepad and if you’re on macOS, use TextEdit. Then, right-click the.ovpn config file and open it with your preferred text editor and fill out the following fields:

  1. Server IP/Name: Copy and paste the server address listed below.
    Screenshot of ExpressVPNs.ovpn file opened in Notepad showing where to find the Server IP/Name.Make sure you don’t accidentally copy the word “remote" and the 4 figures afterward
  2. Port. Enter the number after the server IP/name in the.ovpn file.
  3. Tunnel Device: Pick TUN.
  4. Tunnel Protocol: Select UDP.
  5. Encryption: Use AES-256 CBC.
  6. Hash Algorithm: Select SHA512.
  7. User Pass Authentication: Select Enable.
  8. Username and password: Enter the details from the previous tutorial.
  9. Advanced Options: Select Enable.
  10. TLS Cipher: Select None.
  11. L2O Compression: Pick Adaptive.
  12. NAT: Enable.
  13. Tunnel UDP Fragment: Type 1450.
  14. Tunnel UDP MSS-Fix: Select Enable.
  15. nsCertType verification: Click the check box.

For DD-WRT Firmware Without User Pass Authentication

If your DD-WRT firmware doesn’t have User Pass Authentication, look for the Additional Config text box in your router and enter this command:

auth-user-pass /tmp/auth.txt

After that, open the.ovpn file and copy and paste the following fields:

  1. Server IP/Name: Copy and paste the server address listed between the word “remote” and the 4-digit port number.
  2. Port: Enter the number after the server P/name in the.ovpn file.
  3. Tunnel Device: Select TUN.
  4. Tunnel Protocol: Select UDP.
  5. Encryption Cipher: Select AES-256 CBC.
  6. Hash Algorithm: Select SHA512.
  7. User Pass Authentication: Select Enable.
  8. Username and password: Enter the username you found earlier.
  9. Advanced Options: Select Enable.
  10. TLS Cipher: Pick None.
  11. L2O Compression: Select Adaptive.
  12. NAT: Select Enable.
  13. Tunnel UDP Fragment: Type 1450.
  14. Tunnel UDP MSS-Fix: Select Enable.
  15. nsCertType verification: Check the box.

Set up your ExpressVPN keys and certificates on your DD-WRT router

After you’re done filling out the necessary VPN fields, you need to configure your keys and certificates.

  1. Locate the Additional Config field on your router and enter the following command:
    fragment 1300
    mssfix 1450
    keysize 256
  2. Set up your TLS Auth Key. Simply copy and paste the text between and tags in the.ovpn file.
    Screenshot of ExpressVPNs.ovpn file opened in Notepad showing where to find the TLS Auth Key.If it doesn’t work, try removing the first and last lines
  3. Fill out the CA Cert. Copy and paste the text in between and tags from the.ovpn file.
  4. Public Client Cert. Copy and paste the text between and tags in the.ovpn file.
  5. Private Client Key. Copy and paste the text between the and tags in the.ovpn file.
  6. Save and apply the settings. This will connect your router to the VPN.

For users without User Pass Authentication, navigate to Administration > Commands and enter the following:

echo USERNAME > /tmp/auth.txt
echo PASSWORD >> /tmp/auth.txt

Note: Just copy and paste on top of USERNAME and PASSWORD the same username and password you obtained earlier.

Then click Save Startup, go to Administration > Management, and select Reboot Router.

Finally, go to Status > OpenVPN to check your connection status. If you see the words “CONNECTED SUCCESS,” your VPN is on.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today

FAQs on Best VPNs for DD-WRT Routers

How do I choose the best DD-WRT router for VPNs?

It depends on your needs. The first thing you should look for in a router is third-party firmware support. After that, make sure you get a VPN that supports DD-WRT firmware. Once all of this is settled, you have the following options:

  • Pre-installed routers. This is the most convenient way to get a compatible DD-WRT router for VPNs, but it’s also the most expensive. A pre-configured device doesn’t require any effort to set up; just log in to your account and configure the SSID and password fields. An example of a router with a built-in VPN is ExpressVPN Aircove.
  • DD-WRT router. You can also get a router that comes with DD-WRT firmware preinstalled. This option is typically cheaper than the fully pre-configured option. However, it requires you to fill out the necessary fields to work with a VPN. If you plan on using it with several VPN servers, the setup process can get complicated. Most DD-WRT firmware supports VPNs, but there may be exceptions.
  • DD-WRT compatible router. This method is more complex as it requires you to flash your router (if compatible) with DD-WRT firmware. Make sure you have the most recent version of the proper firmware. This replaces your stock firmware and resets your network settings. If you make a mistake it can permanently damage your router. You also need to set up the VPN yourself, requiring a lot of work.

In terms of specifications, you need a router that has at least 8Mb of RAM and an 800Mhz processor for this feature to work correctly. For optimal performance, any device with 256Mb of RAM, 128Mb of internal storage, and a 1.2Ghz CPU will work fine.

You can also check the list of officially-supported routers on the DD-WRT website. Some of the most popular include Netgear Nighthawk R9000 X10, Linksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2, and Asus RT-N16.

Which one is better, DD-WRT or OpenWRT?

It depends on your preferences. DD-WRT provides the best router compatibility and is easier to use for non-tech-savvy users. It’s recommended to have some technical background to use OpenWRT. Regardless of your choice, you need a feature-rich VPN to get the most out of your router. A VPN protects your devices and lets you access your favorite shows on all your devices.

Can I set up split tunneling on a DD-WRT router?

Yes, DD-WRT routers support split tunneling. You can set up different split tunneling types. However, it's essential to get a VPN that supports DD-WRT routers and has a split tunneling feature beforehand. Once you’re all set, these are your split tunneling options:

  • Website-based tunneling — Let you specify what website should use your VPN or local internet connection to access.
  • Device-based tunneling — Allows you to assign a device to always use either a VPN or local internet connection.
  • Application-based tunneling — You can set up a blacklist or whitelist of apps and services to use the VPN or local internet connection.

To configure the feature, head over to Service > VPN, click on the Policy Based Routing box, and fill out the IP addresses of all devices you wish to connect. Alternatively, it’s possible to set up split tunneling for specific websites, devices, and apps by configuring your firewall. Simply go to Administrators > Commands, then select Firewall and fill out the necessary commands. Just bear in mind that the setup process requires a ton of time and knowledge.

Should I configure PPTP on my DD-WRT router?

No, this protocol is outdated. It has many known security vulnerabilities and is no longer updated. You’d be better off with a VPN that has OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols. This way, you can pick between enhanced speed or online safety and not worry about cyber threats due to a lack of developer support.

Can I set up OpenVPN on a DD-WRT router?

Yes, DD-WRT supports OpenVPN. However, the OpenVPN manual configuration doesn’t protect your device like a VPN. It’s recommended to use a premium VPN, especially if you’re located in a highly-restrictive country. Plus, the OpenVPN manual configuration can cause some slowdowns if your router does not support AES-NI.

To set up OpenVPN on your DD-WRT router, do the following:

  1. Log into your DD-WRT web interface. Type (or ​​ into your browser address bar and enter your router admin’s password.
  2. Click on the Service tab. Then select VPN or Services if you’re on an older DD-WRT firmware.
  3. Enable OpenVPN Client. Fill out the necessary network fields or click Apply Settings if nothing appears.

Keep in mind that setting names may vary based on the version of your DD-WRT software, as the following is for firmware since 2011.

Should I change the DNS address on my DD-WRT VPN router?

Yes, you should. Your ISP can check your DNS requests, revealing your location and browsing activities. To protect your online privacy, get a VPN that offers custom DNS addresses. After that, log in to your DD-WRT router dashboard and perform the following:

  1. Go to Setup. Then click on the Basic Setup and locate the Network Address Server Settings (DHCP) field.
  2. Fill out all DNS fields. Simply copy and paste the DNS addresses provided to you by your VPN vendor and save the settings.
  3. Go to Services. Then click on the lower Services subtab and locate the Additional DNSMasq Options field.
  4. Enter the following command. dhcp-option=6,,, (replace every with the DNS servers you previously obtained from the VPN).
  5. Enable DNSmasq. Just click on the enable box and save the settings.
  6. Protect your entire network. Connect all your favorite devices to your DD-WRT VPN router.

You can also use Google DNS or OpenNIC if your VPN service doesn’t offer DNS addresses. Both options do not require any upfront payments and are free to use as much as you like.

Are there any downsides to using a VPN on my router?

No, a VPN comes with multiple benefits. It boosts your online privacy with cutting-edge security features to protect you from snoops and cyber threats. Better yet, a VPN lets you access geo-restricted content and get rid of bandwidth throttling on all router-connected devices.

Bear in mind that all your devices will be tunneled through a single VPN connection. This can cause server congestion and result in slowdowns. Plus, if the server isn’t working for some reason, switching to a new one requires you to set up the whole thing again. The process is still quite time-consuming unless you’re using ExpressVPN, which offers configuration files. Finally, most routers aren’t fast enough to handle rapid data encryption and decryption.

Will DD-WRT work on my router?

It depends on your router model. Most modern routers offer the option to install third-party firmware such as DD-WRT. By flashing DD-WRT firmware, you can install a fast and secure VPN. Note that installing a new router firmware will reset your current WiFi SSID and password. If your router doesn’t support third-party firmware installations, you need a new router.

Can I use a free VPN for a DD-WRT router?

Yes, but you’d be risking your online privacy. Most free VPNs don’t have the necessary security features, making them unsuitable for DD-WRT routers. Instead, get a low-cost premium VPN with a trustworthy money-back guarantee. Plus, they don’t offer OpenVPN configurability.

Worse yet, they often have slow speeds, limited bandwidth, and small server networks. Certain free services have also been known to sell your personal information for a profit and bundle trackers and malware into their apps. Some free VPNs to avoid are Hola, Betternet, and VPNBook.

Try ExpressVPN on DD-WRT Routers Now

Get the Best VPN for DD-WRT Routers Today

Reliable VPNs provide excellent DD-WRT router compatibility. They also come with strong security features and fast speeds to enjoy the web securely without delays. Plus, they offer global server networks to enjoy your favorite web content on all router-connected devices.

ExpressVPN is my top pick for DD-WRT routers. It has dedicated installation files to easily set up the VPN on your router. Besides, its robust security and privacy features make sure your devices are well protected from various cyber threats. Finally, the service is incredibly fast, making it perfect for high-bandwidth activities. It’s also backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test ExpressVPN for DD-WRT routers risk-free.

To summarize, here are the best VPNs for DD-WRT Routers

Our Score
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9.8 /10
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9.6 /10
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9.4 /10
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9.2 /10
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About the Author

Ernest is a long-life writer and a cybersecurity enthusiast. He enjoys dissecting bespoke tech and is a strong proponent of digital freedom.

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