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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

5 Best VPNs for Routers: Easy to Set up & Use at Home 2024

Akash Deep Updated on 21st November 2023 Fact-checked by Ben Lawson Cybersecurity Researcher

As useful as smart devices are, Internet of Things (IoT) hardware is notoriously insecure – so it’s never been more important to use a VPN on your router. By installing a VPN on your router, you can secure all of the data that leaves your home network with robust encryption. This includes devices that don’t support VPN apps, like smart TVs, gaming consoles, and more.

However, installing a VPN on a router can be challenging. Some VPNs don’t offer router support, while others have complicated setups. After testing over 50 VPNs, my team and I found the best ones that are a breeze to set up. These all have large server networks, fast speeds, and strong security for a safe and enhanced online experience.

My top recommendation is ExpressVPN because it offers a hassle-free router setup thanks to its custom firmware. Plus, you can control your router’s VPN connection on its desktop app, so it’s easy to use. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN risk-free and get a refund if it’s not for you.

Try ExpressVPN For Your Router >>

Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for Routers in 2024

  1. Editor's Choice
    ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN
    Superior router VPN, easy setup, robust security, fast speeds; backed by a money-back guarantee.
    70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
  2. CyberGhost VPN
    CyberGhost
    User-friendly with detailed setup guides and 24/7 support for router configuration.
  3. Private Internet Access
    Private Internet Access
    Unlimited device connections, ideal for on-the-go use, but limited streaming site access.
  4. NordVPN
    NordVPN
    Fast speeds for gaming, streaming, and torrenting on routers, but setup can be complex.
  5. Surfshark
    Surfshark
    Global server network for reliable access to geo-restricted sites, but based in a less privacy-centric nation.

Best VPNs for Routers — Full Analysis (Updated 2024)

1. ExpressVPN — Custom Firmware for Easy Installation and Use on Routers

Server Network 3,000+ servers in 105 countries
Speeds Fastest VPN on the list; ideal for data-intensive activities like streaming and gaming
Can Access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
Compatible With Netgear, Asus, TPLink, DD-WRT, Tomato, Synology, Sabai, Linksys, D-Link, and more

I found that ExpressVPN is the easiest VPN to use on routers. It offers custom firmware for many popular router models, letting you easily configure the VPN in just a few steps. It took me less than 10 minutes to set up ExpressVPN on my Netgear router.

If ExpressVPN’s custom firmware isn’t compatible with your router, you have the option to configure it manually. While it’s a bit more complex, ExpressVPN's in-depth guides make it simple to do. You can also contact its 24/7 live chat support if you need any help with the setup. When I tried this, I was connected to an agent in a few seconds.

What I liked the most about ExpressVPN is its Device Groups feature. This lets you choose a different server location for up to 5 different device groups. During my tests, I connected my phone to a UK server to access my banking apps while my laptop was connected to a US server to watch Disney+. It was easy to control all of this from the ExpressVPN app, too.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN's Device Group FeatureConnecting a device to a different location is a breeze with a simple drag and drop

The only drawback I found was its higher price. However, ExpressVPN regularly offers great deals. When I signed up for its annual plan, I got 3 months of extra service for free. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it out with your router completely risk-free. If you’re not satisfied, you can get a full refund.

Useful Features

  • Strong security. With ExpressVPN, all the devices connected to your router are protected with military-grade encryption and leak protection. I tested its US servers for IP/DNS leaks and never found any.
  • RAM-based servers. ExpressVPN offers RAM-based servers, which wipe your data clean upon every reboot. Plus, it has a strict no-logs policy. This means your online activity is private and can’t be traced back to you.
  • Great for streaming. During my tests, ExpressVPN successfully accessed dozens of geoblocked streaming sites, including Disney+, (HBO) Max, BBC iPlayer, Hotstar, Stan, and more.
  • Offers pre-configured routers. The Aircove router comes with ExpressVPN already installed, so you don’t have to worry about setting anything up yourself. It’s a great option if installing a VPN on your current router might invalidate its warranty.
ExpressVPN Offer February 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Beginner-Friendly VPN That’s Easy to Set up on Routers

Server Network 11,690+ servers in 100 countries
Speeds Fast speeds; good for gaming, HD streaming, and torrenting
Can Access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
Compatible With Netgear, Asus, TP-Link, DD-WRT, Tomato, Synology, Linksys, and more

The reason I love CyberGhost is that it offers plenty of support to guide you through router installation. The well-written step-by-step guides on its website are easy to follow, even if you don’t have much technical experience. You’ll also get 24/7 live chat to help you out, even if it was a little slower than ExpressVPN’s support during my tests.

Screenshot showing a list of CyberGhost's router setup guidesYou can configure CyberGhost on your router in just a few clicks

Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost also offers routers with the VPN app pre-installed through its partnership with FlashRouters. This saves you from configuring the router yourself, so it’s ideal if you’re new to VPNs or managing your own hardware. CyberGhost also integrates with FlashRouters’ Privacy app, which makes it easy to manage your router VPN connection.

CyberGhost’s speeds are fast, too. When testing its nearby servers, the speed drop was never more than 9%. This was more than enough for me to watch live sports on ESPN in HD. I didn’t experience any buffering, even when I was downloading torrents in the background. While long-distance connections dropped my speed by 23%, it was still more than enough to stream.

You can test CyberGhost risk-free for up to 45 days, thanks to its reliable money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, you can get a full refund.

Useful Features

  • Reliable server network. I tested its servers with Netflix US, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Stan, and DAZN — it could access all these sites with ease.
  • Built-in NAT firewall. CyberGhost uses a NAT firewall to filter out any suspicious data packets. This ensures that only the data you’ve requested reaches your devices. Any malicious data packets that don’t match the expected communications are rejected, enhancing your home network’s security.
  • Strong security. It comes with military-grade encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch. Your online data is well protected from external threats.
February 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Private Internet Access — A Router VPN With Unlimited Device Connections for Ultimate Protection of Your Home Network

Server Network 29,650+ servers in 91 countries
Speeds Fast speeds to game and stream without slowdowns
Can Access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
Compatible With Netgear, Asus, TPLink, DD-WRT, Linksys, pfSense, Merlin, and more

Private Internet Access (PIA) offers unlimited simultaneous device connections to support your router VPN connection. When you install a VPN on your router, data leaving your home network is protected – but it’s not secured between your devices and the router. By installing a VPN on your devices and your router, you can ensure all of your data is safe. Plus, this means you can continue using it on all your mobile devices while you’re away from home.

Manually installing PIA on your router is simple, even without technical knowledge. I followed the guide provided on PIA's website and was able to set it up on my Netgear router in under 15 minutes. During my tests, I found the installation process is straightforward when you follow the provided instructions, even if it’s not as seamless as ExpressVPN.

Screenshot showing how to set up PIA on routersPIA’s customer support is really responsive — I got the answer to my setup-related questions immediately

I found its split-tunneling for routers feature convenient. This lets you choose which devices use the VPN connection and which ones don’t. I used it to order food for delivery on my iPhone while watching Netflix US on my Android TV. Unfortunately, PIA didn’t work consistently with other streaming platforms like Disney+.

You can test PIA risk-free by making use of its 30-day money-back guarantee. If the service doesn’t meet your expectations, you can contact support and request a full refund.

Useful Features

  • Good speeds. During my tests on nearby servers, I experienced a speed loss of only 8%. This let me stream in HD on my smart TV without any lag or buffering.
  • Large server network. Of all the VPNs I tested, PIA has the largest server network. Having a large number of servers reduces the likelihood of server overcrowding. This reduces the risk of slowdowns while streaming, gaming, or torrenting, even if you’re routing a range of devices through your router.
  • Robust security. This includes military-grade encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch for network-wide security. This disconnects you from the internet if the VPN drops, so none of your data leaks.
February 2024 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 82% off!

4. NordVPN — Fast Speeds to Stream and Game on Every Device Without Lag

Server Network 6,105+ servers in 61 countries
Speeds Very fast, even over long distances
Can Access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
Compatible With Netgear, Asus, TPLink, DD-WRT, Tomato, Synology, Sabai, Linksys, D-Link, and more

NordVPN is the second fastest router VPN I tested (after ExpressVPN). During my tests on nearby servers, my speeds never dropped by more than 10% – even when I connected to European cities hundreds of kilometers away. My speeds remained consistent even though more than a dozen devices were connected to the router.

screenshot of NordVPN's speed test resultsI was able to stream in 4K on my smart TV, even over long distances

For example, I streamed Hulu in HD on my smart TV while downloading Apex Legends on my Windows PC, both of which are bandwidth-intensive activities. I didn’t experience any buffering or slowdowns until I connected to long-distance servers. Even then, I only had to wait a few seconds for HD episodes to load, and buffering issues only lasted a second or two.

NordVPN offers step-by-step guides on its website for various router models, including TP-Link, Tomato, and pfSense. I could set it up on a Sabai router in a few minutes. Plus, it offers pre-configured VPN routers that are ready to use straight out of the box.

NordVPN offers both monthly and yearly plans. Each plan is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If it’s not for you, it’s easy to get a full refund.

Useful Features

  • Strong streaming capabilities. NordVPN is a solid choice for streaming. During my tests, it worked with 15+ Netflix libraries. I could also access other popular platforms like Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, and more.
  • P2P-friendly. No matter which server you connect to, all of them are P2P-friendly. This means you can torrent quickly and without slowdowns. It even offers dedicated P2P servers if you install the VPN on your computer, laptop, or phone.

5. Surfshark — A Router VPN With Worldwide Servers To Easily Access Your Favorite Sites

Server Network 3,200+ servers in 100 countries
Speeds Fast and consistent speeds for a smooth online experience
Can Access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, and more
Compatible With Netgear, Asus, DD-WRT, Tomato, Synology, Sabai, Linksys, D-Link, and more

Surfshark offers servers in 100 countries, which is more than any other VPN on this list. This gives you a ton of different regional IP addresses to use. This meant that, during my tests, I was able to reliably watch Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Stan, and more on my smart TV.

Screenshot showing information on the number of servers Surfshark hasSurfshark worked with all the streaming sites that I tested it with

The VPN works with various routers, such as Linksys, Netgear, and DD-WRT. Like other VPNs on this list, Surfshark also offers easy-to-follow instructions for manual VPN router configuration. If you still need help configuring it, you can contact support through email or 24/7 live chat.

I was initially concerned that Surfshark is headquartered in the Netherlands, which falls under the jurisdiction of the 14 Eyes Alliance. This means that the government authorities can legally force the company to hand over user data. However, Surfshark doesn’t collect your data, so it won’t have anything to share.

Its 30-day money-back guarantee means you can try it out and get a full refund if it’s not for you.

Useful Features

  • Fast speeds. In my tests, the speed drop on nearby servers was only 8%. I binge-watched The Recruit in UHD on Netflix US without any lag.
  • Unlimited connections. Like PIA, Surfshark also allows unlimited device connections. This means you can protect all your devices, even when you’re traveling.

Quick Comparison Table — Router VPN Features

The table that follows highlights the characteristics of our most highly recommended router VPNs. The details covered include the minimum monthly cost for each VPN, their speed, server count, and the presence of a specific router app to simplify configuration.

I’ve also included whether these router VPNs let you connect to multiple VPN locations at the same time. This is helpful when you want to connect different devices to different locations, such as accessing US-based streaming services and accessing UK-based banking apps.

Lowest Monthly Price Speeds No. of Servers Dedicated Router App? Option to Connect to Multiple VPN Locations Simultaneously?
🥇ExpressVPN $6.67/month Very Fast 3,000+ servers in 105 countries Yes Yes
🥈CyberGhost $2.03/month Fast 11,690+ servers in 100 countries No No
🥉Private Internet Access $2.03/month Fast 29,650+ servers in 91 countries No No
NordVPN $3.39/month Very Fast 6,105+ servers in 61 countries No No
Surfshark $2.89/month Fast 3,200+ servers in 100 countries No No

Tips on Choosing the Best VPN for Your Router

The stringent criteria I used to identify the best VPNs for routers are detailed below. However, if you prefer to do your own research, these features can act as a useful framework to assist you in selecting the VPN that best meets your needs.

  • Easy to use — I looked for VPNs that are easy to install and use on your preferred router. If you don’t yet have a router, you might want to consider one with a VPN already built-in, like ExpressVPN.
  • Reliable customer support — Setting up a VPN on your router can be difficult if you’re a beginner. So, I prioritized VPNs that offer reliable customer support that’s available most of the day via live chat and email.
  • Fast speed — Speed greatly impacts how quickly you can load and stream content. I tested the speeds of every VPN and only shortlisted the ones that allowed me to stream, game, and torrent without slowdowns.
  • Strong security — I focused on VPNs with robust security features like 256-bit AES encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and a no-logs policy. This will protect your router-connected devices from cyber threats.
  • Extensive server network — All of my top recommendations have servers located worldwide, so you’ll be able to use international IP addresses. You’ll need an international IP address to access content from regional streaming content libraries.

3 Basic VPN Router Setup Options

Establishing a VPN on your router requires some technical expertise, which may not be the best choice for beginners. Nevertheless, our highly suggested VPN services for routers offer extensive support through detailed, easy-to-understand guides, and superior customer service channels.

These are your main options for setting up a VPN router:

Get A Pre-Configured Router

VPN providers sometimes offer pre-configured routers that are ready to use straight from the box. You won’t have to set up or install a VPN on your router; it’s already done. The only downside is that you’ll have to buy a new router, which can be pricey. However, this is the easiest option.

Use A VPN With a Pre-Built Router App

If you want to keep your current router, I recommend using a VPN with a router app. ExpressVPN’s custom firmware takes the hassle out of installing a VPN on your router, making it a more accessible option if you’re not experienced with managing your own hardware.

Manually Flashing Your Router

If your router is not VPN-compatible, you’ll need to manually install advanced firmware (for example, with Tomato, OpenWrt, or DD-WRT). This is the most complicated option, but it’s manageable if you have some technical knowledge. Just beware that this may invalidate your device’s warranty, so check with the manufacturer before you start this process.

Quick Guide: How to Set up a VPN on a Router in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN due to its easy router setup and ability to connect to various VPN locations simultaneously.
  2. Make sure your router is compatible. You need a router with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware, which is supported by most VPN providers. Sometimes, you will need to flash your router, which means reconfiguring it.
  3. Connect all the devices on your home network. You can now secure all your devices connected to your VPN router.

FAQs on the Best VPNs for Routers

Why do you need a VPN for your router?

There are many benefits to installing a VPN on your router, like:

  • Secure your entire network. With a VPN on your router, you can protect all of the data leaving your home network, including information from vulnerable smart devices like assistants, TVs, and more.
  • Use a VPN with devices that are not VPN-compatible. Once you install the VPN on your router, you can protect all your devices, even those that normally don’t run VPN software. This includes gaming consoles and smart TVs as well as other IoT devices, like your security cameras, smart fridges, etc.
  • Access streaming content on your TV. Having a VPN on your router makes accessing streaming content on your preferred devices easy. That’s because you’ll be able to access a variety of international IP addresses without having to configure each device separately.

What's the best router for a VPN

There are a lot of routers that are compatible with VPN software, but VPNs most commonly work best on Netgear, Asus, and Linksys models. Check your router's manual or visit the manufacturer's website for information on VPN support. Many router manufacturers provide compatibility details on their sites or through customer support.

It’s worth noting that most ISP routers don’t support VPNs by default. If your router isn’t compatible, our top VPNs all offer pre-configured routers.

Here are a few other popular router models that are VPN-compatible:

  1. Asus RT-AX58U
  2. TP-Link Archer GX90
  3. Asus RT-AC86U router
  4. Synology RT2600ac
  5. ASUS ROG Strix AX5400

Can I use a free VPN with my router?

Probably not. The free VPNs I tested didn't have router compatibility, so I couldn't install them on my router at all. It’s better to use a low-cost premium VPN with router support. The VPNs I’ve shortlisted are backed by money-back guarantees, so you can test them without any risk.

Free VPNs usually lack the necessary security features to keep your data safe anyway. Some even sell your data to third parties for a profit, which can put your privacy at risk. Plus, they often impose limitations on speed, bandwidth, and server locations, which can restrict your online experience.

Is using a VPN on my router legal?

Using a VPN on routers is legal in most countries. However, some countries (like China and Iran) have regulations or bans on VPN use. In these cases, using a VPN can be deemed illegal. We don’t condone illegal activities, so you should familiarize yourself with local laws regarding VPN use to ensure compliance.

Get the Best VPN for Your Router Now

There are several benefits to installing a VPN on your router. It provides protection for all your household devices and allows you to access region-locked content, even on devices that don't support VPN connections. The VPNs on this list are easy to configure on most routers, have robust security features, and global server networks.

My top choice is ExpressVPN. Its custom firmware makes it super easy to install the VPN on your router. Plus, It offers pre-configured VPN routers through FlashRouters. You can test ExpressVPN risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To summarize, the best VPNs for routers are…

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 84%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 82%!
4
9.4 /10
9.4 Our Score
Save 67%!
5
9.3 /10
9.3 Our Score
Save 82%!
Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Akash is a writer at vpnMentor dedicated to providing readers with unbiased and expert advice on online security and privacy. He specializes in analyzing the latest cybersecurity trends and providing up-to-date information to help readers make informed decisions.

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