Using a VPN on a router is a smart solution that offers many advantages.
With this setup you can:
- Extend the benefits of a VPN to your entire home network and all devices through your home router.
- Protect yourself against ISP spying, surveillance, and hackers (all devices).
- Access restricted or blocked content on all your devices.
Step 1: Find a good, safe VPN
For any VPN router to work well, you need a good VPN. If your VPN has overloaded servers or other network problems, you can expect connection problems on the router. To find a good VPN that will work well on a router, see the Best VPNs list or the VPN reviews section.
For this VPN router setup we’ll be using VyprVPN, but these same steps will work with the our other recommended VPNs.
Step 2: Use an Asus VPN router
After testing and researching a variety of VPN router options, Asus routers are my top recommendation. Asus is the only brand offering a wide variety of routers that are VPN enabled right out of the box, which makes setup quick and easy. The default ASUSWRT firmware supports OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP encryption protocols.
Important – Not all Asus routers work with VPNs. The routers listed below are all VPN-enabled with the default ASUSWRT firmware, with corresponding processing power (CPU).
Asus RT-N66U (600 MHz) [Amazon]
Asus AC1750 (RT-AC66U) (600 MHz) [Amazon]
Asus AC1900 (RT-AC68U) (800 MHz, dual core) [Amazon]
Asus RT-AC87U (1,000 MHz – dual core) [Amazon]
Asus RT-AC3200 (1,000 MHz – dual core) [Amazon]
Asus RT-AC3100 (1,400 MHz – dual core) [Amazon]
Asus RT-AC88U (1,400 Mhz – dual core) [Amazon]
Asus RT-AC5300 (1,400 MHz – dual core) [Amazon]
Asus RT-AC86U (1,800 MHz – dual core with AES-NI) [Amazon]
Asus GT-AC5300 (1,800 MHz – quad core with AES-NI) [Amazon]
Note: The fastest VPN routers from the list above are the bottom two options with AES-NI encryption acceleration processors. These are the newest Asus routers on the market.
Step 3: Assemble and connect ethernet cable
Assemble your router according to the instruction manual. Then, connect your new Asus router to your existing router using the ethernet cable. Notice which ethernet (LAN) ports are being used in the photos below (blue LAN port with the new router, and any yellow LAN port on the existing router).
Connect the existing (old) router to the new Asus router with the ethernet cable.
Step 5: Connect to power and turn on
After turning on the power and waiting a few minutes, you can setup your new router.
Step 6: Connect to the Asus router via your wireless network
Find and select the “ASUS” network to configure your new router.
Step 7: Begin configuration process
After connecting to the ASUS network a configuration screen will appear. Follow the simple configuration process. Be sure to record:
- router username and password (to manage the router settings)
- wireless network name and password
After you have completed the basic configuration steps you should see your new Asus wireless network name. (My new Asus network is called RP.)
You can now connect to your new Asus network.
Step 8: Download the VyprVPN configuration files
Now we will get the VyprVPN configuration files, which will be used by the router.
Now download the VyprVPN OpenVPN configuration files with the direct link below:
Note: this is a zip file that will contain two separate folders:
- OpenVPN160 – OpenVPN 160-bit encryption
- OpenVPN256 – OpenVPN 256-bit encryption
You can choose which level of encryption you want (both are very secure). Each of the two folders contains a set of .ovpn configuration files, which correspond to the different VPN server locations. For the United States and Australia, there are multiple locations.
Step 9: Configure the VPN on your router
After connecting to your new Asus network, you can log in to your router administration area and add the VPN configuration to the router. Open an internet browser, and enter either http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.2.1 into your URL address bar to access the Asus admin page. (Tip: bookmark this page for quick access.)
Sign in to your administration area with your username and password from earlier.
Now select the following: VPN (left side of the screen) > VPN Client (top) > Add profile > OpenVPN.
Load the VPN configuration file
Now enter the following information into the OpenVPN window.
- Description: you can use the VPN server location (i.e. VyprVPN New York)
- Enter your VyprVPN username and password
- Now you’ll need to select the specific .ovpn configuration file for the VPN server you want your router to use. (The closer the server is to your physical location, the faster and more stable your connection will be.)
- Click Browse, open the .zip file from earlier, then select the specific server you want to use, click open. Now click Upload to upload the .ovpn file.
You don’t need to import the CA file – just click OK.
At this point you should see the VPN server configuration added to the VPN Server List. On the far right, click Activate to enable the VPN connection. After a few seconds, you should see a check mark under Connection Status, which means your router is connected to the VPN server.
Repeating the same steps above, you can add as many different server configurations (VPN server locations) to your router as you’d like. Below I’ve also added VPN servers for Seattle and the Netherlands.
VPN router DNS and IPv6 leak protection
For privacy reasons, it’s a good idea to setup both DNS leak protection and IPv6 leak protection. This ensures your DNS requests and IPV6 address do not leak out of the VPN tunnel.
1) DNS leak protection – Select the WAN button on the left, and then under “Connect to DNS Server automatically” select No. You can use either of the following DNS Server addresses:
- OpenDNS: 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168
- Google DNS: 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199
Then click Apply at the bottom.
2) IPv6 leak protection – Select the IPv6 button on the left in the router admin area. Under Connection type, make sure Disable is selected, then click Apply.
Testing your VPN router
It’s good to check that everything is working correctly using the tests below:
- IP leak test – You can verify that the VPN server’s IP address has replaced your real IP address at ipleak.net or Perfect Privacy’s IP address check tool.
- DNS leak test – To verify that your DNS requests aren’t leaking out (DNS leak) you can visit ipleak.net or Perfect Privacy’s DNS leak test tool.
Use two routers – With the VPN router setup in this guide, you can also use two routers: your old router (if you don’t want to go through your VPN) and your new Asus VPN router setup.
Finished! That’s it. Enjoy using VyprVPN on your router.
For a complete, in-depth guide on VPN routers, see here: VPN Routers – Ultimate Resource Guide.
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