Many internet users have turned to VPNs to increase their online privacy and protect their personal information. But for those who want even more security, there are also VPN routers that can provide you with an extra level of protection.
So, just what is this technology and why should you consider using it?
Here’s everything you need to know about VPN routers.
What Are VPN Routers?
Most people are probably familiar with wireless routers. These devices are used to provide wireless internet access to surrounding devices. Well, a VPN router works in much the same way.
A VPN router gives nearby devices access to a VPN. Like a regular router, devices can be connected to it through WiFi or a wired connection. By utilizing networking and tunneling protocols, it can manage and create communications with VPN tunnels.
Essentially, by using a VPN router you can create your own VPN network that can be accessed by a number of different devices.
Why Should You Use a VPN Router?
There are a number of advantages a VPN router provides over a standard VPN service.
The primary benefit is it expands your VPN protection from one single device to your entire network. By doing this you can make sure that every device within your network is protected and can enjoy the benefits of using a VPN. It protects your entire network against hackers and spying so attacks are identified and dealt with before they even reach your device.
A VPN router also lets you use two VPNs at one. You can use one VPN to protect your network, and another VPN on your device. This way, if one VPN fails the other one is still there to keep you protected and act as a fail-safe.
Finally, it allows your entire network to access geo-blocked content. When using a VPN router, any device connected to it can unblock content on Netflix, Hulu, and other popular websites.
Types of VPN Routers
If you’re interested in purchasing and using a VPN router who have three different options to choose from.
1. Pre-Configured VPN Router
The best and easiest option for most users will be to simply purchase a pre-configured router. These routers not only come with the proper firmware installed right out of the box, they also come pre-configured with your VPN information.
After you purchase your VPN router you’ll send your VPN information to the company and they’ll configure the router for your before it’s shipped. This eliminates any complicated set-up process and makes sure your VPN router is ready to go as soon as you receive it.
Besides saving you the hassle of setting up the router yourself, pre-configured VPN routers also offer dedicated support, enhanced performance and a number of advanced features that users will enjoy.
These devices will cost a little bit more but offer a level of convenience you won’t find with other VPN routers.
The two major suppliers of pre-configured VPN routers are Sabai Technology and FlashRouters.
2. VPN-Enabled Routers
Another great option is VPN-Enabled routers. These routers come with the necessary firmware pre-installed but you’ll have to configure it for your VPN provider. These routers are compatible with OpenVPN so they can be used with almost any VPN provider available.
There are a number of VPN-enabled routers available, but for the best results you should stick to the top brands. These include Asus, Lynksys, NETGEAR, Synology, and Buffalo.
3. Flashing a Router with VPN Firmware
Flashing a router with VPN firmware essentially means installing a new operating system on the device. This is a more advanced option, but also allows for more customization. Because you’re doing the installation yourself, you have the freedom to choose the firmware that best suits your needs.
The two main types of firmware used for VPN routers are DD-WRT and Tomato. However, Merlin AsusWRT, OpenWRT, and pfSense are also popular choices.
It’s important to note that not all routers are compatible with every type of firmware. Make sure you do your research before purchasing a router to ensure that it’s compatible with the type of firmware you want to use.
How to Choose a VPN to Use with Your Router
Once you’ve chosen your router, you’ll need to decide what VPN service you’re going to use with it. This can be a difficult choice, as there are literally hundreds of options to choose from.
The first thing you should look for in a VPN is its security and encryption standards. This is what’s going to protect you from online attacks so you want to make sure your VPN is using the best technology. The industry standard is OpenVPN protocol with AES 256-bit encryption. If a VPN is using this, you can be sure it’s secure.
Next, you’ll want to look at speed. Encrypting your data will reduce your internet speeds, but the best VPN providers limit this to the point where it’s not even noticeable. If you stream or download a lot of content, make sure you choose a VPN provider that can keep up with your needs.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure your VPN has a large number of servers in a number of different locations around the world. This will make sure, you always have plenty of connection options and will allow you to access more content.
What Are the Best VPNs to Use with a VPN Router?
As mentioned before, there are plenty of VPNs to choose from. However, after performing a number of different tests these are the top five VPNs we recommend:
These VPNs all have a great combination of encryption, speed and servers that make them stand out among their competitors.
Any of these VPNs are an excellent choice to use with your VPN router.