How Does a VPN Work With a Router?

How Does a VPN Work With a Router?

These days, privacy and security have become a major concern for many people all around the world. Virtual Private Networks can be an excellent aid in achieving online security and privacy. That’s why VPNs are a popular internet security choice for most people.

It’s even possible to install a VPN directly to routers for those who don’t want to install separate VPN clients on all their devices. With a VPN installed in a router, any device that connects can access the internet securely. But the question is, how does a VPN work with a router?

A router has firmware that can handle VPN connections. So when you install a VPN on your router, every single device that is connected to the router will get a secure connection and have its traffic transported through an encrypted tunnel that no one can access. This will keep your information and data safe.

In this article, we are going to have a look at how a VPN works with a router, whether you should install a VPN on your router, how to know if your VPN is router compatible, and whether there are routers with a built-in VPN. We have quite a lot in store for you. So read on to find out more!

How Does a VPN Work With a Router?

Normally, a VPN works by creating an encrypted tunnel between the device it’s installed in and the internet. It collects all of that device’s internet requests and directs them through this encrypted tunnel and VPN server so no one can gain access to this data.

This is easy to understand when you are on a user interface. If you want to visit a certain website, your data goes through a tunnel. If you want to video-call someone, your data goes through the tunnel. But what happens on a device that has no user interface such as a router?

Once you install a VPN on your router, a secure connection will be set up across all devices connected to your router. These devices will have their traffic sent through an encrypted tunnel created by the VPN. All these devices will therefore be able to access the internet safely and securely.

With a VPN router, you need not make individual software installations across all your devices. All your connected devices can simultaneously receive continuous network access. A VPN connection can encrypt an individual device, while on the other hand, a VPN router protects multiple devices at once.

Should I Install a VPN on My Router?

The number of devices we use today has increased exponentially. Almost every household owns a PC, smartphone, tablet, or a combination of all these. So considering that all these devices are being used to connect to the internet, it’s quite obvious that they also need to be secured as well.

As such, having a VPN installed on your router may be the best option to provide you with security across all your devices.

If you were wondering whether you should install a VPN on your router, you should consider these advantages of installing a VPN on your router.

  • It can cover devices that don’t support VPNs– Some Wi-Fi enabled devices don’t support VPN coverage on their own. By installing a VPN directly on your router, all of these devices are covered and can use the VPN.
  • Connect multiple devices at once– A VPN enabled router counts as only one device. So all your devices can connect to the router and still appear as one connected device.
  • Always-on security and privacy– With a router VPN, all your devices will always be connected to the VPN server. As long as your router is working, you’ll never forget to secure yourself since all your devices will be sending and receiving traffic through an encrypted tunnel.
  • Convenience– With a VPN router, you won’t have to set up the VPN software on all your devices. You just set up the VPN on the router and all your devices connected to the router can use VPN services.

Despite these pros, installing a VPN on your router has its cons. These are:

  • Traffic between the devices and the router is not secure. This is because encryption only occurs on the router and the traffic between the devices and the router will not be encrypted.
  • At times, the VPN router may block incoming connections which may be a headache to most people.
  • The configuration and encryption power depends on your router. So if you have a weak router, this may be an issue. You may have to upgrade to a router that supports more secure protocols.
  • Managing your VPN settings is harder- This is because your router doesn’t have a user interface and you’ll therefore have to access it through another device to change your VPN settings.

All in all, having a VPN installed onto your router seems like a pretty good idea!

How Do I Know if My Router Is VPN Compatible?

When searching for a VPN router, you’re essentially looking for a router that can run VPN client software. But searching for a router that supports VPN functionality is often the trickiest part for most people.

You cannot install VPN software on all routers. So the question is how do you know if your router is VPN compatible?

You should consult the router’s manual or simply just Google it. This will let you know whether your router is compatible with VPN software. You could also try checking with the router manufacturer for VPN compatibility.

Do Any Routers Have a Built-In VPN?

As we have already mentioned, finding a router that is VPN compatible can be a headache most of the time. The good news, however, is that several routers come with an in-built VPN.

For example, routers from Netgear and Linksys have built-in VPN servers that give all your devices a secure connection.

These are out-of-the-box VPN compatible routers that have built-in VPN and come pre-installed with firmware that can connect to a range of VPN servers. These routers allow you to connect to a wide variety of different VPN servers. They support OpenVPN protocol which offers you the advantage of using almost any VPN provider you want.

All in all, a VPN router will help you keep all your devices secure without much fuss. So try it out and see for yourself.



Mark Lewis

Security nerd with a Data Privacy First mindset!

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