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Best VPN for Multiple Devices
Are you a tech junkie that owns multiple smartphones, tablets, or computers? Lots of people are, even if they don’t know it. Studies show that over half of the American population lives in a household with a minimum of three or more mobile devices, and that’s not even counting the number of old laptops that might be stored in your garage. Whatever the case may be, having a VPN that everyone can use in your home is tantamount to securing your family’s online privacy. If you have a router or simply want a VPN that could be accessed by someone else that you reside with, check out the following products reviewed further down. They’re fast and affordable, so there’s likely one that’ll catch your eye. The FAQ also details all the important aspects that you should be aware of before finalizing your purchase.
Multi-Device VPNs: What to Look For
The most important thing about finding a reliable VPN is their level of trust with the public, whether it be paying customers or simply people who are shopping for a VPN. If a VPN company doesn’t have a good reputation, then it’s likely that the program won’t perform well for you. Knowing this, try to always check on VPNs user agreement when you can. It will show you what information is collected from subscribers, why they use it, and the limitations of what they know about you. However, it’s likely that the company (if you’re looking at those in the reviews) keep hardly anything, having no malicious logging schemes to sell to third parties at all. This is a common issue among VPNs that are free, but not so common with paid software.
Once you have that figured out, check to see if the VPN in question is compatible with your home router. It’s likely that they are, but some brands may not work well if your router is of poor quality or signal strength. To know the compatibility, just go to the VPNs website, where they should list recommended routers for VPNs.
How Routers Play a Part
Routers also play a strong part in multi-device VPNs by the way they unlock more capabilities for the consumer, or rather, consumers. That’s because you can increase the number of devices that can be hooked up with the VPN to an unlimited number. The more people that are on your router, the slower it could become. Nevertheless, 10 or even 20 devices should be okay. Additionally, you could also hook up some SmartTVs this way, if you don’t want to waste a device space without a router.
But if you don’t own a router, be sure that you know how many pieces of hardware can be connected to one account. The average number is about five, but some services may offer many more. Look at the comparison table below for more details. And don’t forget about your home gear that could be connected via a router as well, such as surveillance cameras or baby monitors. In short, if you do want a VPN to lots of hardware, you’ll be best with a good router. Try to purchase one if there’s none in your possession. And finally, routers with modems built into them may not work for some VPNs. Again, just check with the company on their site if you would like to understand how it will work.
Best VPNs Comparison
- Private Internet Access: Average Download Speed Results: 75 Mbps; Location: USA; Number of Devices Supported: 10
- CyberGhost: Average Download Speed Results: 60 Mbps; Location: Hungary; Number of Devices Supported: 7
- Hotspot Shield: Average Download Speed Results: 60 Mbps; Location: USA; Number of Devices Supported: 5
- ExpressVPN: Average Download Speed Results: 57 Mbps; Location: British Virgin Islands; Number of Devices Supported: 3
- PureVPN: Average Download Speed Results: 55 Mbps; Location: Hong Kong; Number of Devices Supported: 10
- SurfShark: Average Download Speed Results: 54 Mbps; Location: British Virgin Islands; Number of Devices Supported: 5
- Windscribe: Average Download Speed Results: 54 Mbps; Location: Canada; Number of Devices Supported: 5
- TorGuard: Average Download Speed Results: 53 Mbps; Location: West Indies; Number of Devices Supported: 5
- Mullvad: Average Download Speed Results: 60 Mbps; Location: Sweden; Number of Devices Supported: 5
- Ivacy: Average Download Speed Results: 59 Mbps; Location: Singapore; Number of Devices Supported: Singapore
Top 10 VPNs for Multiple Devices Reviewed
1. PIA (Private Internet Access)
Private Internet Access is a company based in the United States. From this alone, some online privacy enthusiasts may cringe at that fact, knowing that the US is the leader of the 14 Eyes jurisdictions. But don’t let that scare you away from all the wonderful thing that this VPN can do for your home. When you purchase it, there’s the option of doing so with cryptocurrency, so your identification can stay completely unknown to PIA, even when checking out. And even if they were to become hacked or surveilled, servers will never log or store identifiable info about you or your loved ones. The only real caveat is the fact that beginners might need help during the initial setup. But if you’ve used a VPN even once, doing so shouldn’t be too much of a burden.
- No need to sit at the computer for a long time during installation
- Their no logging policy is provably true
- The website includes detailed instructions for setting up a router for multiple devices
- Servers may go down sporadically
- Setting up router support may require help (for beginners)
CyberGhost is another fast VPN that’s equally good for big households. You can connect at least seven when using without a router, but numerous if one is used in your residence. Hooking it up through a router is also quite easy, and speeds tend to stay at an acceptable level during file sharing and streaming. Your smartphone will work well over the Wi-Fi network (when on a router), or you could simply download the application itself through your phone’s store.
- Most of the VPNs servers are easy to access and never go down
- Fast speeds that stay above the average (megabytes per second for uploading and downloading)
- Works well on smartphones, with or without a router in use
- Some of the options on the desktop application are confusing to navigate
3. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield, headquartered in the United States, is a torrent lover’s dream come true. You won’t ever have to fish for another VPN application that works over such file sharing clients. Just install it, and you’ll be ready to download your favorite content in no time at all. It also supports Netflix, whereby most of the servers should allow the streaming website access without the annoying interference issues of other VPNs. Their servers are stellar, and keep good connection over mediocre and fast ISPs or public networks. If you have any problems, it might take a while for you to hear back from customer support. But this aside, Hotspot Shield is recommended for families that have a habit for file sharing but need to secure all devices for safety’s sake.
- Does not restrict torrent websites and applications
- Most servers should be able to connect to streaming sites without any issues (such as Netflix)
- Has a good average of servers that maintain consistent connections (versus those that don’t)
- It could take several days to hear back from someone when contacting their customer support
ExpressVPN is another good choice for multiple users that are on the same network. But with this one, you’re getting some of the best servers in the league of VPNs. There are also many widgets house inside of the application, so you’ll be covered with all defenses that will beef up network security in your home. The design is also well taken and hasn’t changed much over the past few years. In ExpressVPN’s case, this s a good thing. The controls for the app, but on mobile and PC, should make the most novice beginner feel as if they have at least some experience with VPNs. So if you can get over the pricier plan options that are given with the app, try out Express and see if it’s the best VPN for you.
- Loads of unique applications are included with the VPN to increase privacy and safeguard against malware
- Simplistic design that appears the same on every device, from desktops to smartphones
- Good customer service reply time
- Most of their plans costs a little more than the average VPN does
PureVPN has been touted among experts as one of the leading brands to try in recent months. That’s because they have great customer service on top of good server speeds, even when many people are connected on a single network. If you own a router, you will really enjoy its features. But without one, you’re still left with some pretty useful things. Take the kill switch for example. Working automatically, it can block all incoming or outgoing connections from ever leaking your real IP address over to connecting server in the event that the VPN goes down. In this way, it sort of acts as a firewall. In fact, that’s really all that it is.
- Server quality and speeds make it a favorite for both beginner and advanced users
- Has military-like encryption included with the VPN application on all devices
- Can act as a firewall to prevent other programs from gaining unwanted access to the internet, if required
- No LT2P support for routers, only PPTP and OpenVPN
SurfShark is another good VPN to use is you like to torrent. In today’s world, many torrent clients are blocked, and even some of their websites are inaccessible over an ordinary internet service provider. Using such content online carries the potential risk of having your ISP shut down your account with them (due to DMCA violations). Even if you’re the type that will only torrent one a month, having SurfShark around is a surefire way to ensure your privacy when your downloading. And as for device count, you can get up to five on the network without running into your limit. If you need more, simply hook up a router. Superficially, there is some logging info that’s obtained by the business, but it’s nothing that will put your family’s personal information in jeopardy. Recommended for torrenting and streaming.
- No limitations regarding file sharing programs (torrents and music apps such as Soulseek)
- The company is located in the British Virgin Islands, a place that takes away the risk of government data mining
- Severs speeds aren’t varied by the type of device the application is used on, including routers
- Ambiguous logging policy regarding analytics on their website (not the application itself)
Windscribe has a great user interface. And while that phrase is often talked about when reading on VPNs, it’s really a work of are here. The window itself is very small but will extend out a bit when you’re going through the different server locations and countries. The words are also quite big so definitely try it out if you have vision problems. Their trial period also works the same as the paid version, so you’ll be able to check on all of its features before you put down any money. It’s a small benefit but something that’s becoming rarer with paid VPNs by the day. Yet the company is located in Canada, which has a reputation for being quite intrusive, and sometimes, aggressive, with the collection of personal info from users online.
- Features during the trial period are the same as paid
- Strong customer support that gets back to users fast
- Supports the most popular router choices of today (Asus, DD-WRT)
- Zero instances of leaking personal IP addresses
- Their company headquarters (Canada) has been known to cooperate with other 14 eyes countries for mass surveillance)
TorGuard is the ideal VPN for homes that connect either through a router, or without. If everyone in your family has their own data plan, or tends to use the internet through a smartphone/wireless hotspot, this is a good pick from the list. Another good note are their US server speeds, which are significantly slower than EU servers on many VPNs. With TorGuard, none of this is an issue, and the uploads/downloads are consistently fast on servers that are in good condition. If you’re a Netflix user and wish to get on the site with a foreign account, you might run into problems. The basic plan may not allow the streaming server to connect, although you might get lucky on some occasions.
- Lots of protocols to pick from when connecting without a router
- Has high-speed US and EU servers
- Fast downloading speeds over file-sharing networks
- Netflix will likely be blocked on their basic plan
Mullvad is a VPN that isn’t as listed at some of the others shown already. But don’t take that as a sign to be wary of them; they are great for people that wish to save a buck with their VPN plan, or for multiple members of a household. Your DNS address with never become known if the program ever shuts down, and there’s also a kill switch, same as the rest of the VPNs that are at the top of the shelf. And most importantly, there are no third parties involved with the company. And although you can only contact customer support through their email link, there’s not much else to complain about Mullvad.
- Very cheap basic plan is available for users on a budget
- A kill switch is provided for the app, along with DNS leakage protection
- Does not send any data from users to third parties
- Customer support can only be reached via email
- Although video streaming is supported, it could be tedious to find a working server
The last VPN product is Ivacy, a good alternative choice for more than one person on one account. If you like to pay for things without a credit or debit card, try it out. PayPal is a payment option, along with Bitcoin and several other choices that may only be available depending on the region in which you stay. Their encryption is done through OpenVPN, which utilizes 256-AES. This is military grade and has been proven to work against attacks that are sponsored by both hackers and some intelligence services. If you’re a music streamer, you might have problems when purchasing subscriptions through the VPN though, especially if many people are using the server to do the same thing (from the same website) already. If you don’t mind this, then Ivacy is suggested for people that just want a VPN for general purpose web browsing.
- PayPal is listed as a payment option for customers (not always supported by VPNs)
- There are no instances of Ivacy collecting personal information from users, either directly or discreetly
- Support 32-bit AES-256 encryption
- Some of their servers are incompatible with video streaming websites
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Routers work best for VPNs?
Those that will work best for any given VPN are varied, yet Asus and Linksys brands often come up when looking at the suggested choices on provider’s websites. There are many others, so don’t settle on this if you already own one. If so, simply check to see if it will be able to run on your network before you purchase the VPN itself. If you need instructions for how to set things up properly, there should be plenty of guidelines on the site that will help you get started.
How are Mult-Device VPNs Useful?
The most obvious benefit is the fact that you can connect a large number of devices to the router, resulting in all hardware with an internet connection being more secure than without. But that’s not the only thing. With the increased technological improvement of such devices as cameras, radios, and even television equipment, there’s no telling what could potentially become the next big vulnerability that hackers can prey on. If someone really wished to get into your devices, they probably can. But with a router over a VPN server, you’ll definitely decrease such risks. They’re also useful by allowing you to keep other family members, those who may not be familiar with the way VPNs and web security work, form become easy prey for an adversary. And if you’re into files sharing, you’ll rest easy knowing that other people in the household can do the same without putting themselves at risk of violating your ISP’s user policy.
Is there are Privacy Risk for Using a VPN through a Router?
As stated, hackers could technically gain access to anything that has an open internet connection, or even directly through the use of malware that is installed directly into a server. While the latter is something that isn’t likely to happen, the former could become a problem until certain situations. Many routers can only allow VPNs access through a limited number of protocols. PP2P is often brought up, and while the protocol is good, it has become nearly obsolete. Other risks include allowing people you don’t know to have access to your router and refraining from creating a good password for it.
Can Smartphones Connect through the Router As Well?
Absolutely. You can either download the VPN direct to the phone or just connect it as you would a computer to the router. It won’t require any additional spaces from your VPN account if you do it this way. SmartTVs may work in the same way, and it’s recommended that you watch video streams in this way if you’ve encountered problems with connecting to the websites through a direct connection with the VPN previously.
What If I don’t have a Router?
If there’s no router present in your home, then it would be best for you to settle on the VPN that offers the most number of devices to be used per account. For many, the amount is five. Some of them may have fewer, however. The important distinction to remember is that the number alone isn’t indicative of how well the VPN will run. Some of the best VPNs on the market have the smallest amount of available spaces that can be used. You can look at the comparison guide above to see which of those in the reviews have more. But if you prioritize things like customer service and server quality, it wouldn’t hurt to make this a secondary part of your purchasing decision.
What Kind of Logging, at the Generic Level, do VPN companies Do?
At best, the only thing that a good VPN will collect about your browsing habits are the pages you visit on their website. Many will also log the number of accounts signed on to the service, in order to prevent customers from using too many devices assigned. Usually, this information is stored only temporary and nothing that could give away a user’s private data will ever be transferred. On a different note, this is one of the biggest advantages of using paid services. Because you’re paying upfront for the service itself, there’s little need for the companies shown to have hidden or malicious logging policies that are vaguely explained.
If you look at the user agreements of most VPN companies, you’ll find that they adhere to the laws of the country to which they are based. If the service you purchase has their headquarters in a Five or Fourteen Eyes nation, that means they might not have a choice in given away certain information under particular circumstances. And while this is unlikely to happen with most users, the best way to avoid such a conundrum from happening altogether is by using cryptocurrency whenever it’s provided by a VPN. Bitcoin is useful, but even this can be traced if a user’s transaction can be found in the blockchain. And since blockchain is public record, tracking down an individual purchase isn’t impossible to do. A workaround is to use more privacy-centric cryptos instead such as Dash or Zcash.
Will the Router Require a Space in the Number of Devices Allowed?
In most cases, yes. You will have to make space on the number of devices you’re already using for a direct connection to the VPN. For those with fewer than five, this could possibly cause problems if you’re running multiple routers through it. ExpressVPN, for example, has great servers and is an overall good provider but will only allow three for every subscription plan. Because it’s one of the pricier VPNs around, you could be better off with something that offers more connections but also costs less every month. But take note, this is not indicative of what you should settle on, so go with whatever you think will work out best.
If too many People are on the Same Router, Will the VPNs, speed Slow Down?
This could happen if you have too many people on one router. But at the end of the day, your ISP speed is what will affect this the most. For those using a provider that has only a low amount of Mbps, this would surely result in a big slow down once everyone in your home is online. Ensure that you have good connection speed, and try not to torrent all at the same time. Even broadband connections can slow down to dial up speeds if there’s too much activity going on all at once.
If you enjoyed the article, remember to go over the VPNs that you missed, if there were any. Each has its own individual attributes that make them great for people in need of a multi-device setup. And for most, they won’t break the bank. Because it’s difficult to know exactly how your household’s internet connection is set up, the VPN evaluated aren’t ranked in any particular order. So long as you’re pragmatic about the one you pick in regards to your ISP connection speed, you’ll be likely to enjoy the VPN that you choose for many years to come.