A VPN enabled router is a convenient solution to get the benefits of a VPN, even on devices that don’t offer native VPN support. You can connect to the VPN through all the devices connected to the router. It gives you flexibility to secure your internet traffic and enjoy access to content that is not available in your country. You don’t need to install a VPN client on every device, because all of them are routed through one connection to your VPN service. In addition, it is possible to connect devices that can’t run a VPN client including gaming consoles, TV boxes and Smart TVs. Usually, VPN enabled routers are similar to mini-computers and in general, they support NAT devices via built-in USB ports and also work with VoIP phones. To help you choose a router that can be used to run a VPN, we’ll present here some of the best options available.
The most practical solution? Get a pre-configured router
Before we go through the list of the best VPN routers, it is important to mention that the most convenient choice is to buy a device that has been already flashed and that is pre-configured for a specific VPN service. Flashing is the process of upgrading the firmware on the router. DD-WRT and Tomato are the most popular options when it comes to VPN firmware that supports the use of VPNs. This advanced firmware replaces the router’s default built-in OS, which lets you run a VPN (OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP) on the device. It is even possible to find routers that have not only been flashed already, but that also come ready with a specific VPN service. While you need to purchase a subscription for the service separately, these devices offer a plug and play setup and you can find options that are pre-configured with leading services like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish and Private Internet Access. Flashrouters is a reputable seller that offers a great variety of VPN routers. You can check their website
https://www.flashrouters.com/ to find out more about the products available.
The Alternative? Flash your own router
Getting a pre-flashed, pre-configured router is the most convenient choice, but this kind of devices are more expensive. As an alternative, you can flash your own router with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware, as long as the device is compatible. You can check the DD-WRT and Tomato websites, as well as MyOpenRouter (http://www.myopenrouter.com/) for more data on how to flash your router and what devices are suitable for this process.
Best routers for flashing
Now we’ll take a look at the best routers that you can use with a VPN.
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Router
While it is not an inexpensive solution, the Nighthawk AC1900 is highly recommended due to its amazing features and top quality. It features 1900 Mbps Wireless-AC, which is the latest WiFi technology. This router has a 1GHz Dual Core processor, a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port. It supports beamforming, which means that it is capable to focus WiFi signals on devices that you tend to use on the go such as tablets, smartphones and laptops. The range that this router can cover will impress you and since it offers so many great features, it is not a surprise to know that it has earned many awards and great reviews from users. The Nighthawk AC1900 is an amazing router, which offers excellent performance and features. The only downside is that it only offers throughput at 2.4GHz band. The router can run as a VPN server, meaning that you can connect it when you are not at home. You can flash the firmware and install a VPN to encrypt your internet traffic. You can use DD-WRT Kong AC on this router and you can find an installation guide on myopenrouter.com. Ths router is available for around $180.
ASUS RT-N16 Router
ASUS is known for creating routers that support DD-WRT and the RT-N16 is a great choice thanks to its affordability and advanced functionality. You can buy it for around $80 and it comes with all the features needed to run a VPN and enjoy good performance. It features two USB ports, which means that it is possible to attach any USB hard drive or thumb drive, which means that it works as fully functional NAS device. In addition, it has 128 MiB of RAM, 32 MiB ready for flash and three antennas that can be detached. Like with other ASUS routers, you will have to flash it with DD-WRT in order to be able to extend its functionality and run a VPN.
The default firmware doesn’t have an OpenVPN client by default. Nevertheless, the flashing process is simple when you use the ASUS Firmware Restoration Tool. Take a look at this guide that tells you how to set up the VPN software on the device.
The RT-N66U can be used with OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP, but in order to get the best possible speed and reliability, OpenVPN UDP is the best choice. Now the router comes with a 600 Mhz processor that makes it considerably more powerful than the majority of advanced routers. It also comes with more flash Memory/RAM capacity, Dual Band and Wireless speeds up to 900 mbps, as well as two US ports.
Additional VPN enabled routers
Other options that are worth considering are: Linksys E1200, ASUS RT-N66U, ASUS RT-N16, Netgear R7000 AC1900 and Netgear WND400.
Sharing VPN using WiFi
An alternative that you can consider instead of using a router is to set your desktop or laptop computer as a WiFi hotspot. Then you can share the VPN connection with all the devices connected. Just keep in mind that you will need to leave your computer running even if you only want to use a VPN on your mobile devices.