This tutorial will show you how to setup VPN on router.
A VPN router will secure all of the devices that are connected to it through WiFi or Ethernet port.
The router will encrypt the connection to the Internet and then tunnel the traffic through your VPN provider’s server. By doing this, your IP address will also change, making all of the devices on your network 100% anonymous.
When you setup a VPN on router, you will no longer need to use your provider’s application on each individual device, which is very handy.
There are some devices where it isn’t possible to install a VPN application such as Xbox One, Roku, Apple TV, and PlayStation. In this case, the best practical solution is setting up the VPN directly on the router.
For this to work properly, you need two things.
VPN Router Requirements
Due to the speed decrease that happens when using a VPN router, its extremely important to use a fast VPN.
Running a VPN on a router requires processing power and this decreases the download speed.
Using a fast VPN will minimize the decrease in download speed on your router.
I personally tested the download speeds of the top VPN services and IPVanish performed the best, hands down. This is one of the main reasons why I recommend them as the best VPN provider on this site.
Most VPN services lease their servers and this is the reason for poor download speed. IPVanish owns their servers which means blazing fast speeds for their customers.
As mentioned earlier, running a VPN requires processing power.
The more processing power on your VPN router, the faster it will download.
No, you can’t purchase a $50 router and expect it to run a VPN properly.
Also, if you are using a router provided by your Internet Service Provider, that won’t work either.
Why AsusWRT Routers Are Best for VPN Setup
As you will see in my first tutorial below, these routers come with the ability to run a VPN on them. You won’t need to flash new firmware with these routers like I show in the second tutorial.
Each of these models comes with the AsusWRT firmware which allows for quick VPN router setup.
These two Asus routers are also extremely powerful so they are capable of running a VPN in the background.
There are companies that charge big bucks for flashed routers but my guides below are meant to help you do this on your own, which will save you a lot of money.
This will show you how to set up a VPN on the Asus AC3100 and the great thing about this is that you aren’t required to install a modified firmware like you are in the second tutorial.
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As mentioned above, its important to use a fast VPN such as IPVanish to minimize the download speed decrease on your router. If you choose a VPN with poor download speeds, you will have nothing but problems.
Note: IPVanish provides a 30-day money back guarantee if you aren’t happy with their service.
You can now use one IPVanish account on up to 10 devices at the same time! The great thing about running a VPN Router is that it will only count as one connection.
How to Setup VPN on Router Without Modifying the Firmware
The new Asus routers come equipped with the AsusWRT firmware, which makes it simple to set up a VPN.
If you’re going to purchase a router to be used with a VPN, make sure it is running the AsusWRT firmware.
AsusWRT routers also allow us to build our own cloud drive/NAS with any USB drive. Plus, we have the ability to download torrents without a computer and use the router’s internal torrent client!
Below this video, you will find general instructions but I recommend following the video tutorial below so you won’t miss any important details.
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If you choose the less expensive alternative, it is important to note that you will see VPN speeds approximately 75% less than the Asus AC3100 RT-AC88U model due to a less powerful processor.
AsusWRT Router Screenshot Guide
NOTE: The example below uses Windows OS. However, the procedure is also applicable to any OS.
Follow the instructions that came with the router and have it hooked up with your cable modem and network. Make sure that it is connected to the internet and your network.
Open your router’s administration page. In this example, the ASUS router page is accessed by typing “router.asus.com” in the address bar.
On the Sign In page, enter the username and password that you set up when you configured the router.
Click Sign In.
On the administration page for the router, you can modify the name of the DNS address. Under the Advanced Settings menu, click WAN.
Under the WAN DNS Setting section, look for Connect to DNS Server automatically and click on the option button for No.
You will be presented with options to type in server addresses. A DNS server is a computer that contains a database of public IP addresses and their associated host names. So when you type in a website address into your browser, the DNS server translates that into the IP address so the website that you are looking for will load. In this example, a new DNS service from Cloudflare is used since they advertise both speed and privacy for this free service that they offer.
On the DNS Server1 and DNS Server2 fields, type in the server addresses. In this example, “188.8.131.52” and “184.108.40.206” are entered.
NOTE: For Google DNS servers, type in “220.127.116.11” and “18.104.22.168” in the DNS Server1 and DNS Server2 fields, respectively.
Wait for the settings to be applied.
Open another tab in your browser and access any website to verify that the changes work properly.
On the control panel of your router, click VPN under the Advanced Settings menu.
Click the VPN Client tab. This is the page where various servers can be configured according to what you want your router to connect to through the VPN service. On this page, you can also set up multiple IPVanish VPN servers. One VPN server may perform better than another so you can have multiple options and have the ability to choose which one to connect to.
Click Add profile.
On the pop-up window, click OpenVPN.
On the Description field, enter anything that you like. In this example, “IPVanish Chicago 1” is entered.
NOTE: It is recommended to connect to a VPN service that is closest to your location to give you better speed.
In the Username (option) and Password (option) fields, type in the username and passwords that you used to register on your IPVanish VPN account.
On another tab in your browser, go to https://www.ipvanish.com/software/configs/.
On the Index of/software/configs page, click on the ca.ipvanish.com.crt file and save it to your Downloads folder.
Locate the .ovpn file that contains the location name that is closest to your area. To search for the specific file, press CTRL + F then type in your desired area in the search box. Then press Enter.
In this example, “Chicago” is typed in the search box.
All servers in your chosen location will then be highlighted.
From this list, download the first server (which contains “01” in the file name). In this example, “ipvanish-US-Chicago-chi-a01.ovpn” is downloaded.
On another browser tab, open your IPVanish account and proceed to the control panel.
Click Server List in the menu. A list of servers with their current capacity levels will be displayed. This is used to check the list of servers in the Index of/software/configs page that will give you their corresponding high and low capacities. You can also check other servers by clicking on the page numbers at the bottom of the list.
The list is arranged alphabetically based on the location. You may click on the table headers (Country, Location, Address and Status) to re-arrange the list.
In this example, “chi-a01.ipvanish.com” has the highest capacity at 76%. This is the same server that was downloaded in Step 19.
I have noticed that sometimes the highest capacity servers are the fastest but sometimes this isn’t the case. I suggest experimenting with the different servers until you find one that is fast.
You may also test other servers. In this example, “chi-a21.ipvanish.com” with a capacity of 15% is copied. Locate the file from the Index of/software/configs page and download it.
NOTE: Saving multiple profiles is possible because of the kind of router used in this example.
On the router’s administration page, click Choose File and select the downloaded file. In this example, “chi-a01.ipvanish.com” is downloaded.
Once the upload is finished, Complete, Lack of Certificate Authority will be displayed beside the Upload button.
Tick the box beside Import the CA file or edit the .ovpn file manually.
The pop-up window will expand. Click Choose File and select the .crt file from your Downloads folder.
NOTE: The .crt file is the same for all servers. Therefore, you will need to only download it only once.
The filename ca.ipvanish.com.crt will appear beside the Choose File button.
Once the upload is complete, the text Complete, Lack of Certificate Authority beside the upper Upload button will now become Complete.
The first server added will now be displayed on the VPN Server List table.
To add the second server, click Add profile.
A new pop-up window will appear. Repeat the steps above to add the second server.
Once the second server has been added, the two servers will now appear on the VPN Server List table.
Before activating the servers, open a browser in incognito mode so that a fresh copy of a website will be displayed. In this example, https://www.whatismyip.com is accessed.
Your public IP address will now be displayed.
NOTE: Due to privacy reasons, a portion of the IP address and the location in this example are redacted.
Go back to the router administration page and connect to the first server by clicking Activate. In this example, IPVanish Chicago 1 server is activated.
A blue check mark should appear on the server’s Connection Status cell.
Open https://www.whatismyip.com again in incognito mode. Notice that the public IP address has already changed and is now coming out of another area.
This verifies that the VPN is working properly on the router.
To test the internet speed, open https://www.troypoint.com/st in incognito mode. You will be redirected to the MegaPath Speed Test Plus page.
Click Start Test.
Wait for the download and upload speeds to be identified.
In this example, the download and upload speeds are indicated as 30.13 Mbps and 9.79 Mbps, respectively. The website also indicates the quality of the connection, which is “Excellent” in this example.
To test the second server, go back to the router administration page and click Deactivate on the first server row.
Click Activate on the second server row.
Wait for the blue check mark to appear.
NOTE: You can add as many profiles as you like by clicking Add profile.
Go back to What Is My IP? site and refresh the page.
You should have a different IP address this time since the second server is being used.
Go back to MegaPath Speed Test Plus page and click Test Again.
Click Start Test and wait for the speed test results to appear.
If you want to have much better download speed, deactivate all servers.
You will now be using the PPTP VPN protocol, which is less secure but is perfect for streaming anonymously and masking your real IP address. If you are protecting trade secrets (or you’re an enemy of the State!), you will want to stick with OpenVPN.
To set up a PPTP VPN connection on your router, make sure that all servers are deactivated and then click Add profile. A new pop-up window will appear. You will then have three options: PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN.
NOTE: The L2TP option will only change your IP address and will not provide any encryption whatsoever. Hence, this is not recommended.
On the PPTP option, type in the Description. In this example, “IPVanish Chicago 1 PPTP” is entered.
Go back to your IPVanish Control Panel page and copy the IP address of your selected server. In this example, “”chi-a01.ipvanish.com” is copied.
Paste the server name to the VPN Server field.
Type in your username and password for IPVanish on the Username and Password fields.
On the PPTP Options dropdown menu, select either Auto, MPPE 40 or MPPE 128.
NOTE: MPPE 128 is a much stronger encryption compared to the other options.
On the VPN Server List, activate the new server that you added.
Once the blue check mark appears, go back to the MegaPath Speed Test Plus page and running a new test for the PPTP protocol.
In this example, the download and uploaded speeds are much faster. However, remember that this is not as secure as OpenVPN but should be better enough for streaming needs and keeping your internet connection anonymously encrypted.
Due to some websites and online services now blocking VPN and sometimes a decrease in download speed, some users run two routers within their network: one router for connection to the internet and another protected with a VPN, which you can find in the tutorial below.
VPN Router Conclusion
Due to the fact that IPVanish VPN allows you to use one account on up to ten devices simultaneously, I recommend running the VPN app on your individual devices.
The above tutorial is for those who are more technically inclined and willing to spend the extra money for a VPN router.
You can always install the VPN directly onto the device that you want to protect and my tutorials below will help you with that.