A router VPN is widely considered one of the most effective ways to use the best VPN for Internet security. It eliminates the need to install clients on other devices and can provide protection for devices that do not support VPN connections, such as game consoles.
However, the process of installing a router VPN can be daunting and in some cases, it might not really be the best option for you. That’s why here we’ll show you what to look for in a router VPN when you really need it, and what options are best for complete privacy.
What is a VPN router?
- Routers don’t automatically install a VPN: But you can download a VPN service to them. Some support the OpenVPN standard, which means you can configure a VPN with any provider that supports it, while others can change their firmware to a third-party alternative that supports VPN.
- Setting up a VPN on your router can be tricky: ” While it makes sense in theory, I’ve always found it to be more trouble than it’s worth.” However, if you know what you’re doing and have many assets you want to cover with a centralized VPN, the benefits may outweigh the hassle.
ExpressVPN offers a number of pre-configured VPN routers, but also has a very detailed and clear guide when it comes to setting them up on your DD-WRT router.
The company also has its own custom firmware that makes it easy to connect to the VPN and protect all the devices in your home. There’s also the option to select which devices should connect via VPN and which should connect via the “regular” Internet, so you can be selective when using the same router.
One really interesting feature is MediaStreamer, which lets you unblock Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services from devices that don’t support VPNs without having to route traffic through a VPN tunnel. ExpressVPN also has impressive tech support if you have issues with the process, including live chat and a promise to respond within minutes, “24/7”.
In terms of performance, this VPN is generally quite good, with consistent speeds over both short and long distances. Server coverage is also impressive, with over 2,000 servers in 148 locations in 94 countries, and P2P support is also available. There is no logging of traffic data or online activity.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a very attractive VPN for all the right reasons – reliable performance, ease of use, and affordability.
A favorite of users on a tight budget, PIA can also be a cost-effective solution for your router. In addition to DD-WRT and Tomato, it is also compatible with pFsense gateways.
The pre-installed router does not work directly (you can get it from a third-party website) and there is no dedicated app for it. Also, PIA is not the author of the firmware it references, so you use it at your own discretion. In fact, PIA does not try to hide this in any way, but clearly explains the situation to the user – for which it is appreciated.
PIA is a VPN designed for people who prefer cheap but effective protection over ease of use – so while you might have some issues unblocking popular streaming services, you’re fully covered in terms of privacy.
All in all, if you’re truly concerned with secure web browsing, you probably won’t find a VPN that offers more value than PIA.
PrivateVPN is a small provider in terms of server network size, but it still has a lot to offer. There are pre-configured routers, but there are also plenty of setup guides if you want to configure your router manually. Live chat is not available, but email inquiries are answered promptly. The service is great for streaming, as it offers lightning-fast speeds and unlocks a large number of streaming services, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
The Private VPN app is available for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV operating systems and allows six connections at the same time. The provider keeps your data safe and confidential with its no-logging policy and a number of security features.
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