VPNs or Virtual Private Networks have emerged as one of the most popular means to protect your online privacy. In this digital age where data-hungry companies are lurking around the corner and snooping on your data, VPNs allow you to surf the internet anonymously without being tracked by websites.
However, connecting a VPN every time you connect to the internet from your smartphone or desktop is a tedious process. What if there was a means in which a VPN is installed directly on your router so that every time you connect to the internet, your internet traffic is routed through a virtual private network.
If you are wondering whether this is possible, the answer is yes. There are some routers which can be flashed and installed with a VPN to make your internet browsing safe.
On some routers, it is possible to replace the in-built firmware with open-source software called DD-WRT which helps you in installing a VPN on your router’s firmware. It might sound confusing but it is a fairly easy process.
What Is DD-WRT?
DD-WRT is a Linux based firmware meant for wireless routers and access points. It was originally developed for Linksys WRT54G series routers but nowadays a variety of router models are compatible with it.
In DD-WRT, DD denotes the German license plate letters used in the city of Dresden — the city from which the development team of the firmware belonged. Likewise, WRT was taken from the Linksys router model for which it was designed.
You can consider installing a DD-WRT firmware on a router similar to jailbreaking an iPhone. It removes the restrictions imposed by the stock firmware of the router.
Once DD-WRT firmware is installed on a router you can increase its performance to some extent, route your internet traffic through a virtual private network and even create segmented Wi-Fi networks. Basically, DD-WRT turns your simple router into a powerful, business-class router.
Now that you know what is DD-WRT and how it is helpful if you want to secure your digital privacy, you must be searching for VPNs that are best for DD-WRT enabled routers.
We have compiled a list of the best VPNs for DD-WRT routers that you can use to safeguard your digital privacy without using individual VPN apps for every device you use.
Best VPNs For DD-WRT Routers
PureVPN is one of the most cost-effective VPN that you can use with a DD-WRT flashed router. The VPN provider packs some helpful security features that you can use to evade privacy attackers.
You get more than 2000 servers located in over 140 countries around the globe. PureVPN promises that it does not log any personally identifiable information when you use their VPN service.
They have a strict no-log policy that guarantees secrecy and anonymity. Some of the security features that are accompanied with PureVPN are killed switch, split tunneling and 256-bit AES encryption which is considered as the military-grade encryption technology out there.
Setting up PureVPN on a router is an easy process and it is compatible with all the routers that have been flashed with DD-WRT open-source firmware.
2. Surfshark VPN
Surfshark is another popular name in the VPN niche. It is one of the VPNs that offer a strong set of features at a nominal price. Compatible with all routers that have been flashed with DD-WRT firmware, Surfshark VPN bundles highly useful features.
One of the highlighting features of Surfshark VPN is that it allows connections up to unlimited simultaneous devices which are a real steal deal. Surfshark VPN offers 800 servers situated in more than 50 countries all over the world.
Some of the worth mentioning features of Surfshark VPN are NoBorder mode, camouflage mode, Cleanweb, whitelister, kill switch, multi-hop, and industry-leading AES-256-GCM encryption.
Surfshark VPN also allows P2P torrenting for those who love downloading movies, software, and music from torrent websites. Installing Surfshark VPN on a router can be done in a few steps.
3. Express VPN
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for DD-WRT routers. Considered as the fastest VPNs by most VPN experts, Express VPN offers a long list of servers evenly distributed all over the world.
With more than 3,000 VPN servers located in over 160 locations in 94 countries, Express VPN offers a vast collection of servers that are functional almost all the time. Many people use ExpressVPN for unblocking geo-restricted websites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other websites that are restricted due to censorship by ISP or government authorities.
It also offers additional security features like zero-knowledge DNS, network lock kill switch, VPN split tunneling and AES-256 encryption. ExpressVPN does not put a cap on the bandwidth and also promises that your internet speed is not throttled when you are connected to their VPN servers.
All these features combined result in a VPN which most suitable for all the routers that are flashed with DD-WRT open-source software.
4. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost is a new player in the market but the fact that it is established itself firmly in the list of best VPN providers out there is indicative of its prowess and offered features.
CyberGhost VPN is popular for offering dedicated servers for unblocking popular media streaming websites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu in areas where they are geo-restricted. The VPN provider is easy to install on routers that have DD-WRT firmware installed on them.
By installing CyberGhost VPN on your router, you can get rid of individual apps for your Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. CyberGhost VPN offers 4877 servers located in more than 60 countries around the world. Nord VPN proudly claims that it is safe P2P torrenting which is a great feature for those who like to download movies and tv shows from torrent websites.
The VPN provider also ensures that your connection time stamps, IP address, websites you visit and other information that could be used to identify you.
5. Nord VPN
NordVPN is counted as one of the best VPNs for DD-WRT routers. If you are not sure how to install NordVPN on your router, the VPN service provider also offers tutorials to help you in installing the VPN on your DD-WRT router.
NordVPN comes with in-built security features like IP leak protection, kill switch, onion over VPN and dedicated IP address. NordVPN offers 5608 servers in more than 60 countries all over the world. The VPN provider does support P2P downloads, torrenting and does not put any limitation on the bandwidth you can consume.
It also promises strict no-log policy wherein details like your IP address, connection time stamps, and websites you are visiting are not recorded by the VPN provider. NordVPN also unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
If your priority is unblocking geo-restricted websites as well as security, Nord VPN should be your go-to VPN. You can download OpenVPN config files for all servers from the NordVPN’s website for your router.
If you are looking forward to a VPN for your DD-WRT router, we recommend that you must avoid free VPNs and most of the free VPNs do not offer OpenVPN configurations that are mandatory with routers.
Some of the popular DD-WRT routers that you can purchase from the market are Linksys WRT3200ACM, Asus RT-AC5300, Netgear Nighthawk R7000, Asus RT-N16, Netgear Nighthawk R9000 X10 and Linksys Cisco E4200.
While choosing a VPN for your router, you must ensure that the VPN you are choosing has quality features for protecting your security as all the devices will be protected by it. Any lapse in the security could impact your internet connection on all the devices.