Tips on Choosing the Best Router for Your VPN



The internet itself is an amazing technology already, but using it through a safe and secure tunnel called a virtual private network (or commonly known as VPN) is extremely better. A VPN server protects you from invasive and fraudulent activities, such as spying and throttling, while allowing you to bypass censorships that restrict your access to websites based on your geolocation. It also lets you connect to a home network while you are away so you can easily access files even if you are remotely distant from home.

What’s even great about VPN is that you can set it up on your router so that every device that connects to your network can be protected by the VPN provider. This means that all of your gadgets, from your smartphones to your gaming consoles, can all use the internet safely and securely.

However, choosing the perfect router is not always an easy task, because there are factors to consider before purchasing one. There are also steps to do before you can configure the VPN on your router, and precautions to take make sure that your VPN is running properly and smoothly.

Best Router for Your VPN


How to Select a Router

            The fellows at How-To Geek shares with us these two elements that you should have: good router and an equally good VPN provider. One without the other definitely would not work out as great as you want it to be. Here are the options that you can follow in selecting a router.

Select a router that supports VPN clients. This is the one of the most important things that you have to remember: many routers support VPNs, but only as a server. They have built-in VPN servers that will allow you to connect to your home network while you are away but does not act as a client. That being said, it will not help in protecting you from snooping, throttling, and geo-restricting when you are only in your home network. This is why you need a router that supports VPN client out of the box.

When looking for a router, take note of the keywords ‘VPN client’ or ‘VPN client mode’. A router that only caters a ‘VPN server’ will do you no good, as this will not assure you that it has a client mode, and that defeats the purpose of a VPN router.

Also, try to familiarize yourself with VPN pass-through. Firewall or NAT components don’t do well with protocols such as PPTP, L2TP, and IPsec; some routers have PPTP Pass-Through in their features, but what you are looking for is not just a pass-through, but an actual native VPN client support.



Flash DD-WRT on Your Router. For routers which already have a firmware, you can use this second option: you can flash your router with DD-WRT, a third party firmware that is compatible with numerous routers, even those older-than-time models that you might have. How-To Geek tested it on an old router model, the Linksys WRT54GL, and on a newer router model, the Netgear R8000, and they were satisfied with the firmware’s performance.

Flashing a router may seem daunting to you, but according to tech experts, it’s extremely easy to do. To know if the router you are about to purchase, or already own, is compatible to DD-WRT, check it out on this router database.

There are two important things that you have to consider when flashing a router. The first one is to read all additional information about your router, because there might be instances when you will be required to flash additional versions. The second one is to make sure that you flash the VPN or Mega versions, as these two are the only packages that include full VPN support. Smaller packages, such as Micro and Mini, are for less powerful routers and do not include more advanced features.


Purchase a Router That Is Already Pre-Flashed. You can skip the second option if you are really hesitant on flashing you router on your own – you can buy a pre-flashed router that already uses DD-WRT right out of the box. Buffalo, a network and storage company, has a line of routers that are already pre-flashed, especially their AirStation line that now ships DD-WRT as a ‘stock’ firmware.

There are also routers that have already been purchased and pre-flashed to the DD-WRT firmware by a third party company (you can check out the routers that are offered at FlashRouters). However, these companies charge a pretty steep price with their pre-flashing services, so between all other options, this is not really the best and most suggested one. We have to admit, though, that even if the prices are almost double from the router itself which you can flash on your own, those offered by FlashRouters are almost always worth your money.

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