The Best Routers for Your VPN
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, are tools that help users hide their online activities on public servers. Many people use them for accessing websites that are blocked by their ISP. Due to VPNs having protocols that send and receive traffic through encrypted tunnels, it’s harder for websites to track your geolocation or view what content you’re getting on.
One popular way for users to connect to VPNs is through a router. Routers have some major advantages over using a VPN application alone. But finding one isn’t always the easiest thing to do, as many router brands don’t always advertise their VPN capabilities well. Here are ten high-quality VPN routers that you should consider first if you’re thinking of purchasing one. They’re optimized to work with most VPN applications but some can be set up to run proxy servers without a paid subscription. Don’t forget about the Buyer’s Guide at the bottom. Use it to find out specific details about the routers.
Advantages of having a VPN Router
VPNs have a multitude of advantages that make them highly sought after. Customers use them to get over the disadvantages presented by ordinary VPNs. If you’ve ever used a standard VPN application, then you’re probably aware of how they place caps on the number of devices you can have open per account. For example, if you have an iPhone, Android device, Windows PC and MacBook, your device count could be limited with some VPNs. This is especially true if you’re in a large household and plan on sharing the VPN subscription with other family members. With a router hookup, you can get an unlimited amount of people on the VPN, so long as everyone knows the account details of your subscribed platform.
But in some cases, even paying for a VPN won’t be necessary. If your router takes OpenVPN (an open-sourced protocol and proxy), you can set up a remote server for free. Doing this would require some advanced knowledge of router networks. Yet most router brands will give some form of instruction on either their company website or included with the device’s packaging. If you have a router with poor instructions, try checking YouTube to see if there are any tutorial videos with more thorough details.
Why you should use a Router
For some people, a router is the only way that they’re able to get on the internet. But if you don’t have one, think of all the other things you could do with it, besides running a VPN. Most routers sold today have their own built-in malware detection systems, along with firewalls that can grant or block any unwanted apps from connecting online. Some may also have modems and be completely wireless, whereby you would just charge it periodically. And unlike older routers of the past, the range is no longer an issue.
You would likely detect your router from quite a distance from device3 location. And if you have other electronics such as surveillance cameras, baby monitors, and an alarm system, they can all be put online and operated locally through WiFi. With this sort of setup, you could control and view your home devices no matter where you are. and best of all, it would be protected from any potential hacking attempts since your VPN is usually encrypted.
- Asus RT-AC5300: Ethernet Ports: 4; Range: 50ft; Data Transfer Rate: 5300 Mbps
- Linksys WRT1900ACS: Ethernet Ports: 4; Range: 100ft; Data Transfer Rate: 5300 Mbps
- Linksys WRT3200ACM: Ethernet Ports: 4; Range: 100ft; Data Transfer Rate: 5300 Mbps
- Netgear R6400: Ethernet Ports: 5; Range: 90ft; Data Transfer Rate: 1300 Mbps
- D-link DIR-885L/R: Ethernet Ports: 4; Range: 90ft; Data Transfer Rate: 2167 Mbps
- Synology RT2600ac: Ethernet Ports: 5; Range: 100ft; Data Transfer Rate: 2530 Mbps
- Netgear R7800 X4S: Ethernet Ports: 5; Range: 100ft; Data Transfer Rate: 2500 Mbps
- Asus RT-AC86U: Ethernet Ports: 5; Range: 90ft; Data Transfer Rate: 2900 Mbps
- Netgear Nighthawk X4S VDSL/ADSL D7800: Ethernet Ports: 4; Range: 100ft; Data Transfer Rate:
- Linksys WRT32X: Ethernet Ports: 4; Range: 100ft; Data Transfer Rate: 3200 Mbps
Top 10 Best VPN Routers
The Asus RT-AC5300 has a lot of cool features that one doesn’t see on the typical home router. But realistically speaking, you could also use this in a business setting, and it would perform excellently. The signal hardly every drops or disconnects, which is great to know when sharing files in between other devices on the router’s local network. Local synching must be done through LAN but the VPN application can be used on any setting you like.
Just look at the manual featured with the product to help you get started. You don’t have to worry about viruses and worms infecting your network any longer, either. It can detect any odd behaviors with your setup, and send it all to your from a smartphone or PC/laptop. If you’re a beginner, you would likely be required to use the instructions, so don’t lose them once this arrives.
- Signal dropping will hardly ever occur
- Users can set up individual networks for guests, completely separate from their router/VPN connection
- On top of having its own VPN, the router can monitor the entire system for viruses, worms, and other forms of malware
- Requires a bit of knowledge to set up the VPN tunnel
The Linksys WRT1900ACS has the traditional look of older routers from the company, giving it an almost “retro” appearance. With this VPN router, you can configure one that’s outbound or inbound, meaning that VPNs from subscription-based plans can be used. Alternatively, this grants advanced users the option to try a proxy set up on their own, although doing so can only be done through OpenVPN.
If you’re running a Linux distro, you can use the supported OpenWRT to link and gain easier control over self-written applications. While the WRT1900ACS manages to do a lot for its size, the router is a bit weak in build. Try to be careful how you handle it and the router should last you many years without the need for a replacement.
- Compatible with individual OpenVPN setup or a VPN that’s subscribed to
- Many VPN applications have instructions on their websites that show how to link their servers to the router
- Supports OpenWRT, useful for synching with applications on Linux-based systems
- The unit feels fragile and must be handled with care to avoid dropping
The Linksys WRT3200ACM is just as strong as it looks. And like many of the newer brand Linksys routers sold today, it follows suit by going back to the classic look. With it, you and transfer data fast over LAN or ethernet cable. VPN hookup is also pretty easy. If you’re a beginner, there shouldn’t be any concern over getting it done yourself. If you want, you can also add OpenVPN ports, or try things out with your favorite VPN brand. No longer will you have to worry about your ISP throttling your speed when you torrent. Get on all of your favorite websites with the Linksys WRT3200ACM, then invite those who stay with you in on the protection!
- Transfers files quickly when used over a VPN
- Users can add OpenVPN ports through their favorite platform on their own
- Suitable for torrenting files without ISP throttling
- VPNs have a tendency to disconnect at random moments
The Netgear R6400 does away with the things that make hooking up a VPN difficult for some people. It’s so easy, that anyone could do it, even those that aren’t familiar with the way routers or VPNs work. It’s also pretty fast. When looking at the router’s specs, one can see the RAM set to 256 megabytes, which places it in the category of routers that are typically more expensive than the R6400.
Once the device is in your possession, you won’t have to deal with DDoS at all if you run a server and domain over it. Such capabilities also make it great for small business owners. But before you begin checking all of the great features of the router, don’t forget to update the firmware first. You would probably run into issues if you tried to operate it straight from the box.
- Comes with a helpful instruction manual for setting up the VPN
- Has 256 megabytes of available memory (RAM), 128 megabytes of flash memory
- Can prevent DDoS attacks throughout the entire network
- Configuring the router can only commence after the firmware is updated
The D-link DIR-885L/R router has a unique alien-like look it and comes with a good set of attributes for people that want to link their VPN to the machine. One thing’s for sure, this system was designed to last, and users won’t need any additional router hookups. People with large homes will particularly like the good range on the router and the way that the VPN never goes off when used.
Some router VPNs can be quite sensitive, disabling at the slightest configuration change in settings. This has no such problems. Network speed rate is consistently fast, not exclusive to using it either with a VPN or without. Try not to get frustrated when setting up individual IP addresses; the router makes doing this a tad bit more difficult than one would expect. Still, the D-link DIR-885L/R is good for the money and great in the office or at home.
- Built solid materials that will last a long time
- Fast network speeds with or without a VPN hookup
- Over a VPN, signal strength is good enough for uses to play multiplayer games over the server
- Configuring the router to learn the IP addresses of individual computers is difficult
The Synology RT2600ac has four antennas and five Ethernet ports. The range is spectacular and picks up well in homes and apartment with thick walls. You will connect at is you were standing directly in front of the router, even when you’re a good distance away. You can configure the VPN to work with SSL-VPN or OpenVPN protocols, the latter being more popular among paid VPNs. If you plan on streaming any content over your router, videos will play in excellent picture quality.
Just be sure that you have a decent connection speed with your ISP; you’ll be able to enjoy 4K video with no speed bumps or disconnects from the router. If you want, you can also hook up to be controlled from the comfort of your smartphone. Just download the application, and that’s it.
- VPN setup includes both local and internet-based SSL-VPN and OpenVPN
- All streaming websites will work over most platforms when used in tune with the router and VPN
- The router can be configured on a mobile device if preferred
- Transferring files between devices are slow
- Slow startup and reboot time
Are you a gamer that’s in need of a router and VPN? If that’s a yes, then the Netgear R7800 X4S is a perfect way to secure yourself when you’re playing online. After you’ve completed the initial setup, take a look at the protocols available. You can pick between L2TP or OpenVPN. L2TP is often a favorite for individuals that don’t like the nuisance of getting OpenVPN configured correctly. And bring family and friends along with you for the security.
You can attach up to 12 separate devices to the router, and they’ll never interfere with the other’s speed or reliability. You don’t have to update the firmware here when you get it, as everything is ready for you to get online when it arrives at the door. Again, the Netgear R7800 X4S is great for gamers or other users that need a VPN routers to handle loads of bandwidth with ease.
- Can be linked to over 12 devices
- Has L2TP and OpenVPN protocols for VPNs
- Ready to use immediately after unboxing
- Antennas featured on the router are loose, may need to be tightened over time
The Asus RT-AC86U router has a neat docking station that will let you stand the device up in an upright position. It will allow you to place ie in tightly-confined areas that would otherwise be unfeasible. But aside from the physical aspect of the router, there’s outstanding and consistent speed. You’ll be hard-pressed to ever get slowdowns due to local network traffic.
Even in a house filled with people, disconnections are very rare. For those looking to attach a VPN to the router. And downloaded from peer-to-peer networks will never scramble the signal to your ISP. If you plan on using your mobile to interact with the router/VPN, take note that it only works locally. You can’t do it if you’re not linked directly to the router at home.
- Doesn’t appear to slow down, even when the router is supported a large number of devices
- Instructions are thorough, easy for beginners to hook up on their own
- Torrenting files and sharing between other users is quick
- The mobile application can only be used locally, no internet support
The Netgear Nighthawk X4S VDSL/ADSL D7800 has all you’ll need to get your internet up and running, in a secure and protected way. It has a modem and VPN all rolled into one small electronic box. There are several antennas, and the range is at an acceptable level.
Use it in your apartment or moderately-sized home, and the signal will never break. You can control it locally or through WiFi, so you don’t have to be at home to make changes or access and share with other devices on the router. If you’re in a multi-level home with many bedrooms, consider one of the other routers shown already. Signal strength may come and go if your devices are spread too far apart.
- Has a VDSL 2 modem built into the modem
- Most paid VPNs will work over the router
- Can be accessed over smartphones or computers for configuration
- Not suitable for large homes; signal strength is spotty
The Linksys WRT32X router has a good data transfer rate, making it a good pick for gamers and casual internet users. And since good speeds translate to great local-based file transfers, you can quickly share whatever you want with others on your router with no impatience. WiFi signals are strong, and anything you attach to the router will never become too spotty, even with a VPN tunnel turned on. When viewing photos of the router, you’ll notice how thick the material appears to be on the shell of the device. Breaking it is hard, and keeping it clean is even easier. Prices tend to be high with this one, but you wouldn’t regret the purchase if you’re sold on the Linksys WRT32X.
- Fast speeds over VPN make the router ideal for gaming and downloading large files over peer-to-peer networks
- WiFi doesn’t slow down, regardless of how many people are on it (or VPN server)
- Very durable; won’t fall apart before the warranty is voided
- Not the cheapest VPN router on the market
Can I use a VPN on any Router?
While many routers are compatible with VPNs, not all of them are. Sometimes, finding those are will take VPNs can be difficult due to the way they are advertised, as mentioned earlier. Most people purchase routers to assemble a broadband connection from their home or work, not specifically for VPNs. This is why you will sometimes have to dig into a router’s product description to see whether they offer them as an attribute.
The good thing is the almost all new routers coming into the market today will have some sort of VPN hookup, either incoming or outgoing. This is either a separate VPN hookup or one that comes directly from a tunnel or protocol, such as OpenVPN. In any case, so long as you’re careful to read up on the router you’re looking at, you shouldn’t make the mistake of buying the wrong thing.
How safe are VPNs over a Router Hookup?
VPN routers are like any piece of technology that’s capable of connecting you to the internet. That means there are protections and risks. However, most of the risks can be mitigated by simply being aware of what not to do when you’re browsing online. Of course, such actions can for some people be easier said than done, especially with users that aren’t familiar with partaking in safe computer practices. Keep your computer clean, and always know what’s being downloaded before you get on. Create strong passwords for your connection, and never give out the key to your router to anyone that you don’t trust with the information.
Be sure to scan everything periodically, and ensure that the VPN you’re using is coming from a trusted company. Some VPNs, mostly the free applications, can be a real threat to your identity. Others could even jeopardize the safety of your info such as bank account details, credit cards, and email address passwords. Don’t do or visit risky places online and things should never get infected.
How many devices can I have attached to a VPN Router?
With VPN routers, this amount changes from brand to brand. If you want one with an unlimited number of connections, you could certainly find it. But for computer taking an ethernet hookup, you would be limited to the number of ethernet port slot available on the router itself. Usually, this number it either four or five slots. If you need more, you could get a splicer or a bar with more hookups, although this could affect the performance of your router. VPNs on a paid plan will cap you at a certain amount, but using them on a router sets an unlimited number to what can link to their servers.
What’s the Best way to Complete Setup?
Setup can depend on the router and VPN that you’re using to make your connection private. Because of this, it’s suggested that you refer to the manufacturer of the router. But don’t forget about the VPN as well since they may sometimes have a brand or model-specific setup instructions on their web address. If you don’t see any instructions in either place, then you’re the best bet would be to rely on the user manual. But if that’s too confusing, just search for videos on YouTube or instructions with better clarification on forums. They’re easy to find, and you’ll have it figured out much faster than you think.
Now that you’ve gone through all the review items, look over the Buyer’s Guide if you skipped it. It can help to answer any questions you might have. And don’t leave you the comparison table either. If you need more data concerning the specifications of one particular router shown, go to the brand’s website. There is no best product on this list, and each of them has major pros that any VPN lover could admire. Choose the router that you know would benefit your home the most. Furthermore, factor in if anyone else will use it with you. And when you’re done with that, check out and get ready to enjoy your new VPN router!