2018’s Best VPNs for Routers – Easy to Set Up and Use
Not every router works with a VPN. You need a router with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware on it, and setting it up can be frustrating. That's why we found the top 5 VPNs for routers. All of these VPNs seamlessly work with DD-WRT or Tomato, have step-by-step tutorials, and some even come with pre-configured routers. Share
There are plenty of advantages to running a VPN-enabled router. Whether it’s extra protection for all of your devices or unblocking content for the whole house, the VPN/router combo is both an effective and efficient solution for guaranteed privacy and unrestricted access.
Setting up a VPN on your router can be quite the challenge.
However, with a reliable provider by your side, you will breeze through every step, from downloading firmware to tinkering with settings. And in some cases, you won’t even need to move a finger.
Intrigued? Then stay tuned for our roundup of the best VPNs for routers you can get your hands on right now.
For this list, we looked at the top two items on users’ wishlists — a hassle-free setup and great performance — and we ranked our picks accordingly for your convenience.
Check if Your Router is Compatible
Not every router works with a VPN. You need a router with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware on it, which are supported by the majority of VPN providers.
In some cases, you will need to flash your router, which means to reconfigure it. If you need to do that, we suggest you check out our step-by-step tutorial on how to do so.
One more thing: when you look at which VPN to get, make sure to look for a lot of servers, fasts speeds, great security, and available customer support. This will ensure your VPN won’t hinder your router from working.
Now that you’re acquainted with the basics, let’s take a look at the best the VPN industry has to offer for your router:
The Best VPNs for DD-WRT and Tomato Routers
- Incredibly fast
- Comes pre-configured on selected routers
- Manual setup is easy with great guides
- 24/7 customer support that can help
- Try before you buy with the 30-day money-back guarantee
The name doesn’t lie: this VPN will happily load anything from Tumblr gifs to Netflix movies without you ever noticing a bump in your average speed. And before you ask — yes, you can reliably unblock popular streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. P2P is also an option.
What sets ExpressVPN apart from many other providers is its pre-configured routers. That’s right, you can just get a router that’s ready to go from the box and forget about all your troubles. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
If you already have a router (with DD-WRT or Tomato), you can opt for a manual flash. While a bit more complex, ExpressVPN’s in-depth guides make it simple to do.
Support isn’t limited to written instructions; you have agents available around the clock via live chat, emails, and tickets for all your questions, big or small.
ExpressVPN isn’t the cheapest around, but you get a whole lot of VPN for what you pay — blazing speeds, high-bandwidth servers in over 90 countries, and let’s not forget about the proven zero-logging policy.
If you still aren’t convinced, try it out on one of your computer or smartphone before your router— you have 30 days to get refunded after subscribing!
- Thousands of servers in 60+ countries
- Full of excellent features for advanced users
- Manual setup guides are easy to understand
- Competent 24/7 support
- 30 days money-back guarantee
When it comes to servers, NordVPN’s philosophy is “the more, the better.” You get more than 3,500 of them, and anything from streaming and torrenting to Double VPN protection and Tor compatibility is available.
You can have all of that on your router as well. Like with ExpressVPN, pre-flashed devices and detailed DIY guides are both available.
In reality, for the average user the only (barely) noticeable difference between the two providers is speed — although NordVPN has recently introduced massive improvements to server connections across their entire network.
NordVPN’s forté lies in the arsenal of advanced features it provides. We already mentioned double encryption and Onion-over-VPN, but that’s just the beginning — proprietary anti-DDoS protection, Static IPs, and many other extras are there for those looking for the cutting edge in VPN security.
That said, many of the above features may prove unnecessary for the moderate VPN enthusiast. If you’re on the fence about NordVPN, you can see what it’s all about and make your choice risk-free, thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Native router app gives you more settings (Tomato firmware only)
- Informative router setup guides for an easy installation
- Suitable for high-bandwidth activities (except P2P)
- No free trial or refunds
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.
There is also a no-refunds policy in place, so you don’t have the option of getting your money back once you commit to a subscription. The value is definitely there, but here’s a piece of advice: read our full review on VyprVPN and make sure it’s the right service for you before purchasing.
- No router-specific features, but reliable performance
- Solid balance of security and speed
- Live chat support
- 45-day money-back guarantee
If you want a prime example of what the word “comeback” means, just take a look at CyberGhost.
Following a huge service update, this VPN quickly rose through the ranks and is now a permanent fixture when it comes to security, reliability, and content unblocking. With servers in the thousands, great speeds, and top-grade encryption, CyberGhost really makes an effort to live up to its name.
The best part? You can equip your router with all that.
Although there aren’t any fancy apps or pre-flashed devices here, CyberGhost works with zero hiccups on compatible routers. Configuring the VPN isn’t anything out of the ordinary, and you can expect a fast, stable connection once you’re finished.
You can consult with the well-written setup guides, or drop a message to CyberGhost’s live chat if you’re in need of more personal assistance. Whatever the case, you’ll get the help you deserve with this VPN.
The only reason CyberGhost isn’t higher on our list is because it doesn’t really shine with anything special, as far as routers go. It’s simply a no-frills VPN that gets the job done — for some, this is an advantage in itself.
The cherry on top is you can test CyberGhost for up to 45 days and get your money back. Try it out — all without losing a dime!
- Works with DD-WRT, Tomato, pFsense
- Excellent privacy and security
- Extremely cheap
- Not the best choice for bypassing geoblocks
- Try for a week and get your money back
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.
It’s Time to Make Your Router Better with a VPN
Each of the VPNs listed above brings something different to the table, but the two things they have in common are a smooth setup process on routers and the best value you can find. It’s up to you to choose which one fits your needs the most.
Did you find this article useful? Share it with others in need of a top-shelf VPN for routers!
If you need to flash your router, take a look at our step-by-step guide that won’t break your router.