VPN on router setup: the how and why explained

Anton P. | November 23, 2022

Setting up a VPN on router means applying VPN software protection to all connected devices. The VPN client then encrypts all network traffic, and you won’t have to install it on individual machines. 

However, such a setup can complicate VPN use, like enabling certain features. Furthermore, you might need different VPN server locations for separate devices. Thus, while a VPN on routers provides continuous protection, it has its downsides. 

Let’s examine how to install a VPN on routers and why it might limit a VPN service.

TL;DR – A VPN on routers protects all devices connected to your network. This option won’t let you choose different servers and enable features for individual devices. Thus, download VPN apps devices separately for more flexibility.

What is a VPN router?

A VPN router refers to a router configured to work with a VPN and connect to servers. Modern routers come with built-in support for nearly any VPN app. 

After you add a VPN to your router, every device gets protected. That includes every household gadget, from smart TVs to gaming consoles. One motivation behind installing a VPN on routers is to cover devices that do not support VPNs. 

Why should you install a VPN on router? 

Before installing a VPN on routers, find specific reasons why this decision is beneficial. 

Privacy for all internet-connected devices 

Once you set up a VPN on routers, you can protect as many devices as you like. Your data travels through a safe tunnel both for your computer and a robot vacuum cleaner. 

Therefore, a protected router creates a robust and secure home environment for all your gadgets. 

Auto-connection for your devices

With a VPN on routers, the secure connection to the internet is on as long as the router functions. Many people might mishandle their connection or forget to turn on the VPN on specific devices. 

The router solution will help you stay in line with advanced security measures.

Protect devices without native VPN support

Some products around your house or office might not have native VPN support. Configuring a VPN on routers ensures encrypted and secured data travels through such gadgets.

Why a VPN on routers might limit your experience

A VPN on routers is not for everyone. Reasons to skip this option might relate to the lack of customization for individual devices. In other cases, it could relate to getting a new router. 

Less flexible management of the service 

With VPN apps installed on individual devices, you can easily switch between servers. However, this configuration process is less straightforward and often restricted on routers. 

The setup can be expensive

If you want a compatible device, you can find many options for home VPN routers. Nevertheless, this purchase could be an unnecessary expense. 

However, if you need to upgrade your device anyway, consider getting the best VPN router available. 

Performance-related issues

If you have many devices connected to the VPN router, you might notice speed issues with your connection. Furthermore, you will likely lose access to local websites and services if you connect to servers abroad. 

Nevertheless, the speed depends on your internet connection, your chosen server, and the VPN provider itself. 

Complicated setup process

Some newbies might not have the patience to get through the instructions for how to install a VPN on routers. Therefore, setting up the service on devices could be the preferred route. 

How to setup VPN on router easily

Get ready to set a VPN on router by answering the following questions: 

  • Does your router support a VPN connection? You can set up a VPN on your compatible router without much preparation. 
  • Do you need to apply VPN protection for all devices? A VPN on routers enables protection on all connected devices. 
  • Can a workaround help you instead? For some devices without native VPN support, you can find other options. 

See if your router supports VPNs

Find whether your particular router supports VPNs. However, you might consider upgrading your router anyway. Thus, the following routers offer VPN support, plus other modern features for improved connectivity. 

  • Linksys WRT 3200 ACM.
  • Asus RT-AC86U.
  • Asus RT-AC5300.
  • Linksys WRT32X.

The instructions for setting a VPN on routers might differ depending on your VPN provider. Furthermore, guides can also be unique to routers produced by different manufacturers. 

Consider coverage, pricing, features, optimization, and band support when buying a new router. It is best to get a router that supports Wi-Fi 6

Also, ensure that the VPN router works with the VPN protocol of your choice. OpenVPN is commonly available for most routers. 

What is flashing? How does it help install a VPN on routers? 

You can get VPN compatibility without spending money on a new router. Flashing means you log into your router to adjust its settings and install additional firmware. 

This process takes place in the following steps: 

  1. You will need the router IP address to prepare a VPN on routers. 
  2. Enter your router’s IP address in the browser like a regular URL. The router’s admin panel will open. 
  3. Provide the username and password combination. 
  4. If you have not changed the username and password, find them on your router. 
  5. Now, you can get the DD-WRT firmware and set it up for use. 

Alternative to installing a VPN on routers 

A VPN on routers might not be the only option you have. For instance, the router setup is avoidable if you want to get a VPN for gaming consoles. As you know, gaming consoles do not offer native VPN support. However, you can cover these gadgets with VPN protection in another way: 

  • It means creating a hotspot from a device with an enabled VPN. 
  • You can share internet access from computers and mobile devices. 
  • Then, connect your gaming console to the shared hotspot. 

Other tips for using a VPN on routers or devices

VPNs can be your loyal helpers on individual devices and routers. Here are some more tips worth noting about VPN usage: 

  • Choose a VPN that matches your needs. Do not be shy to put different services up to the challenge by starting free trials
  • Pick servers closer to you. If speed is your top priority, you should select servers near you. 
  • Avoid using VPN on routers and devices. Such double protection can diminish the security and speed of your internet connection.
  • Get a dedicated VPN router. A convenient way is to set up two routers in your home or office. Designate the first device to transmit the VPN for all gadgets without native VPN support. For devices that have VPN apps installed, use the second router with the traditional setup.

Does Atlas VPN support routers? 

At the moment, Atlas VPN does not support routers. Instead, you can install our apps on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV/FireStick. 

You can extend this protection by creating a mobile hotspot for devices lacking VPN support.

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Anton P.

Anton P.

Former chef and the head of Atlas VPN blog team. He's an experienced cybersecurity expert with a background of technical content writing.

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