NordVPN Routers: A Compatibility Guide
The internet may be a happy and useful place for you to learn more about anything and to connect with different people all over the world. But, at the same time, it can also be quite a dangerous place for you to be in especially when it comes to the hazards that come with different online activities.
You could easily fall prey to cybercrimes, privacy issues, and personal information theft, which all lead to how VPNs are now becoming commonplace when it comes to internet use.
And when it comes to VPNs, NordVPN is actually pretty great and can even be used for routers. But how do you do that and what kind of routers are compatible with NordVPN?
NordVPN is compatible with pre-configured routers that are made to be compatible with NordVPN. These include Netgear and Linksys but NordVPN itself recommends that the routers that should be used for home purposes are Asus routers because they have a built-in OpenVPN client that will make things easier.
NordVPN can actually be installed in your router so that all of the devices connected to it are already running NordVPN.
This means that your connection automatically becomes safer the moment you connect to your internet connection.
But because there are plenty of different routers that may or may not be compatible with NordVPN, you have to read more about what we have to say about the routers that work well with NordVPN.
Can you put NordVPN on your router?
How using NordVPN can help your entire household
With how the world is now increasingly becoming more digital every single minute, more and more people are now living online and are doing their usual activities through the internet.
Some people might think that this is a safer and more secure way to live because of the very fact that you are minimizing your contact with other people and you are doing away with physical copies of your data and private information.
But that isn’t necessarily true because criminals have now evolved with the times and are now doing their stuff in cyberspace.
In other words, there will still be cybercriminals and third-party entities who will have their own ulterior motives on the internet.
That means that they will still commit unlawful acts online, and you may end up becoming one of their victims if you are not vigilant and careful enough with your online activities.
A lot of people have become too careless to the point that their personal information and private data have been stolen and used to their detriment.
And, to a less harmful extent, third party entities are able to get their hands on your information and data to be used for their marketing.
But, even if you are still careful when it comes to your online activities, the danger is still lurking behind especially because internet service providers or ISPs can monitor and store all of your internet traffic to the point that your privacy is anything but an afterthought.
Allowing your ISP to basically see everything that you are doing might not be harmful at first but it can open the floodgates to danger such as when cybercriminals use this to their advantage or when your ISP sells your information to third parties.
This is where a VPN service provider such as NordVPN comes in. NordVPN allows you to have more secure and private access to the internet because of how it encrypts your connection and even masks your IP address and location from anyone in the world.
One of the best features when it comes to NordVPN’s security policy is that it doesn’t keep any logs. What that means is that, unlike your ISP, NordVPN won’t be able to see, monitor, record, or store any of your internet traffic.
On top of that, NordVPN also cannot see your location and IP address. You are basically invisible to the internet even to NordVPN itself even if it is the one providing you the service.
So, when your location, connection, personal information, internet traffic, and data are all encrypted, you are less at risk to internet scams, cybercriminals, and third-party entities that could very well harm you and put you in danger.
NordVPN makes it a point to give you the best kind of security and privacy experience on the internet so that you can do all of your online activities with full confidence knowing that it would be extremely difficult for any person to bypass the safety protocols that NordVPN has put in place.
Another great feature when it comes to NordVPN is that up to six different devices can use it simultaneously even if you are simply using one account.
NordVPN is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android users and is very easy to use and access for any person in the household. So, with that, you can actually help keep the entire family secure from possible online attacks.
But there is one more reason as to why NordVPN is great at protecting your entire household…
NordVPN can be used on your router
While it might already be a good feature that NordVPN can be used by up to six different devices all at once, there are some instances wherein you might want to make sure that everyone connected to your internet at home is secured and is given the type of privacy you want to have from NordVPN.
After all, you wouldn’t know when you’re going to have guests around and they would ask for your Wi-Fi password. In some instances, you might be living in a really big household with more than six people using the same internet connection.
Or maybe you just want to make sure that your connection is secured and that you don’t want to go through the trouble of using the NordVPN app on every device that’s connected to your router.
There are also instances wherein you might think you are safe just because you are doing your online activities using NordVPN but one of your devices is actually connected to the internet without using NordVPN.
This is quite common especially if you are using your phone with the NordVPN app activated but your tablet isn’t running NordVPN. What happens is that there is still a possibility that your privacy is at risk just because one of your devices isn’t secure.
In such cases, it is better to make sure that all of your devices are using a VPN the moment they are connected to your internet. And the best way to do it is by setting up NordVPN on your router.
Yes, that’s right. NordVPN allows you to set the VPN up on your router so that everything that goes through the router is now encrypted and secured instead of actually securing the individual connections of every device that is connected to your Wi-Fi.
NordVPN does this by creating an encrypted and secured connection between the router and its connection with your ISP’s network.
In such a case, the connection between your router and your devices might not appear to be secure but NordVPN, instead, actually encrypts all of the traffic that goes through your router and the connection it has with your ISP.
Think of three roads that intersect at a single large tunnel. What happens when you are using NordVPN on individual devices is that all the cars passing through the roads all go through individual checkpoints in their respective roads before they go through the tunnel, which is the router, and then out of it.
So, if one of the roads those roads don’t have a checkpoint before passing through the tunnel, there is still a security risk involved there.
But when you are setting up NordVPN on your router, what happens is that the vehicles going through the individual roads will now have to pass through one and the same checkpoint inside the tunnel, which is the router in this case.
In that sense, every car going out of the tunnel has now been checked for security even though they may not have had to go through individual checkpoints in the roads prior to entering the tunnel.
So, that’s what happens when you set up NordVPN on your router. You are no longer risking the chances of one of your devices leaking out private information and data just because it wasn’t connected to NordVPN.
Basically, anyone and anything that connects with the router goes through an encrypted connection that has to pass through NordVPN’s servers instead of having those individual devices connecting with NordVPN’s servers on their own. It is now the router’s job to connect everyone to NordVPN’s servers the moment you are connected to your Wi-Fi at home.
Pros and cons of setting up NordVPN on your router
For those who are wondering why a lot of people are still using their NordVPN apps instead of setting up NordVPN in their routers, here are some quick pros and cons that will make you decide whether or not you would want NordVPN on your router instead of on your phone or computer:
- Your security and privacy features are always on
When you are using NordVPN for your computer or your mobile device, you have to turn on the NordVPN app or use the automatic turn-on feature to make sure that your security and privacy are protected.
This is not the case when you are using NordVPN on your router.
By setting up NordVPN on your router, you are now always protected the moment your devices are connected to the Wi-Fi.
You no longer have to turn on your NordVPN app because the router already has NordVPN installed on it.
This makes it great for those who are quite busy and are quite forgetful when it comes to turning on their NordVPN apps.
So, even when you are sleeping or in the middle of a tough work schedule, the NordVPN on your router will always be turned on to protect you and your family.
- Covers the entire household
While one single NordVPN account can protect up to six devices all at once, there are some cases when that may not be enough for you and your entire household.
That’s why it might be best for you to set up NordVPN in your router because of how it covers the entire household.
Having NordVPN on your router will give you comprehensive coverage because every device that is connected to the router will automatically get connected to NordVPN’s servers.
As such, even your guests will enjoy the same kind of security that you do.
- Applies to devices and operating systems that are not compatible with NordVPN
NordVPN is one of the best VPN service providers in terms of how it covers a wide range of operating systems. But there are just simple devices and operating systems that are not capable of running VPNs.
The list includes smart TVs not running on Android, gaming consoles, and other types of devices. This is where setting up NordVPN on your router plays a role.
So, even when you are enjoying Netflix at home on your smart TV or if you are playing your favorite video games, you can still feel the same kind of protection and security that NordVPN offers your other devices if you have set it up in your router.
You can now also bypass Netflix’s geo-blocked content with your television instead of simply using your computer or your mobile devices to watch movies and shows not available in your country.
- The traffic between you and your router won’t be secured
Because the router will only be securing the traffic between it and your ISP, what happens is that the connection between you and your router won’t be secured.
That won’t be too much of a problem as long as you know who are the ones connected to your Wi-Fi. But if random people start connecting your home’s internet connection, this becomes a big security issue because they can easily find ways to access your personal information and data as long as you are connected to the same network.
- Managing the VPN settings won’t be very easy
If you are already using NordVPN, one of the things you would quickly notice is how easy it is for you to manage the settings.
All you have to do is to open the app and then go to the settings tab to see everything you can change and turn on/off. The same cannot be said about NordVPN on your router.
Because your router doesn’t have the same kind of user interface as your computer or your mobile device, you won’t easily be able to control the settings of your VPN. It still is possible but it is far from being convenient because you need to access your router’s settings using another device.
But don’t expect it to be as easy as tapping on a button to turn the settings on/off.
- Not all routers can work with NordVPN
Truth be told, there are some routers that don’t work with VPNs because they only come with the basic power that allows them to simply route your internet connection.
That’s why it is important that you know which routers will work with NordVPN before you even think about setting NordVPN up on your router.
What routers work with NordVPN?
Again, as mentioned, not all routers come with the power that will allow you to set up NordVPN on them. In most cases, stock routers or the more affordable routers only come with the power for basic encryption or tunneling protocols but are not configured or equipped to handle VPNs.
That’s why, when you are looking to set NordVPN up on your router, you should choose one that is actually compatible with NordVPN.
While NordVPN has a partner merchant named FlashRouters that already sells pre-configured routers that are already able to run NordVPN, you can still configure a router so long as the one you have or the one you are planning on getting can run NordVPN.
There are Netgear and Linksys routers that can be used for NordVPN, the people behind NordVPN actually recommend that you use Asus routers because most of them already come with a built-in OpenVPN client that will allow you to easily set NordVPN up in a simple and quick manner that won’t require you to do a lot of things.
Otherwise, there are routers that may be able to handle NordVPN but they require custom firmware flashing that doesn’t always work on most routers and can easily take up a ton of your available time and effort.
And if you are not trained or knowledgeable when it comes to routers, doing so might be too tricky in your case. That’s why you might want to use routers such as Asus RT-N18U, Asus RT-AC66U, Asus RT-AC68U, Asus RT-AC87U, Asus RT-AC3200.
But, as long as the routers can handle and support custom firmware such as DD-WRT, Tomato, Padavan, OpenWRT, and Merlin, you may still be able to set NordVPN up but it might require flashing on your part.
As such, it is easier for you to go to NordVPN’s partner merchant or to hook yourself up with an Asus router that works well with NordVPN.
What is the best router for NordVPN?
Regardless of whether or not they are easy to set up or if they already come pre-configured to handle NordVPN, here are the best routers for your NordVPN in terms of overall performance and speed:
- Asus RT-AC86U, RT-AC88U (AC3100), and RT-AC5300 – already comes with OpenVPN
- D-Link DIR-885L and DIR-895L – requires flashing with DD-WRT
- Linksys EA8500, WRT1900ACS, and WRT3200ACM – requires flashing with DD-WRT
- Netgear R7500, R7800, R8500, and R9000 – requires flashing with DD-WRT
With those routers, you can expect speeds of up to 60 Mbps with OpenVPN encryption and you can expect the best performance even if there are plenty of different devices connected with the router.
Just make sure you don’t connect too many devices or else you will end up compromising the speed and performance of your router.
How to set up NordVPN on your router
If you have already secured yourself a router that can be set up with NordVPN, here is how you can install NordVPN on it:
- Gain access to your router by logging into it
After you have purchased your router, read the manual first to get to know more about it and so that you will understand how you can log into its administration section so that you can adjust the settings depending on your personal preferences and needs.
In case it doesn’t come with a manual because your compatible router came with your internet service provider, just simply contact your ISP’s support page to know how to log into your router and tinker with its settings.
- Find the VPN options
Once you have accessed your router’s admin section, find the options for the VPN.
It differs from router to router depending on what the brand and model of your router are but it can usually be found somewhere in the advanced settings because the VPN options aren’t part of the basic settings of most routers.
However, always make sure that your router actually is compatible with a VPN and can be set up with NordVPN to make sure that this option is available to you.
In some cases, you may even have to configure your router first. The way you configure your router depends entirely on what firmware your router is running on.
That’s why it is important for you to completely study your router’s manual so that you will have an easier time setting NordVPN up with your router.
Routers such as the ones that Asus has already have integrated VPN functionality that is quite easy to use and to set up.
However, there are other routers that need to be reconfigured first so that you will be able to direct your internet traffic to NordVPN’s servers. NordVPN offers a complete router guide here:
Just make sure that your router is one of the routers listed on that guide so that you will be able to completely configure your router for NordVPN.
- Add a profile for your VPN client
After you have entered your router’s VPN settings, the next step for you is to add a profile for your VPN client, which is NordVPN in this case.
That means that you have to log into your NordVPN account. So, make sure that you first register with NordVPN before you get to this step or else you won’t be able to use your login details in this step.
- Download the OpenVPN client
Following the previous step, the next one you have to do is to download the OpenVPN client configuration files using the computer you are accessing your router from. NordVPN has made the files available here:
Install these files onto your router by following the steps given to you by the download file.
After doing so, the next step is to enter your router’s WAN section, where you will have to manually enter NordVPN’s DNS servers because you will be redirecting your internet traffic to those servers instead of your ISP’s servers.
NordVPN’s DNS servers are 22.214.171.124 and 103.8699.100.
- Check the VPN status
Return to your router’s VPN tab and then check whether or not NordVPN’s entry is there. If it is, you can check it out and activate it by clicking on the ‘activate’ option.
The tab will also show you whether or not you are connected to your VPN. You may also change your NordVPN settings from this tab although it won’t be as easy as you would with the usual NordVPN app on your computer or mobile device.
Remember here that you will only be able to connect to your NordVPN page if you are connected to your router at home.
You can always activate or deactivate the VPN whenever you want but make sure that you are actually using your router’s internet connection to do so.
You won’t be able to do this remotely as opposed to when you can simply activate or deactivate NordVPN on your phone or computer regardless of what connection you might be using.
Finally, when you are using NordVPN on your router, try not to use double coverage by turning on NordVPN on your computer or mobile device.
While this may improve your security, you may end up harming your speeds because of how NordVPN was not designed to be used in this manner. Only use one method when you want to connect to NordVPN’s servers.