Best VPNs for Netgear Routers in 2021

Netgear has been producing top-quality networking technology for 25 years now and has maintained its reputation throughout that time with popular product after popular product. 

However, Netgear routers are best paired with a VPN, which will significantly enhance your privacy and keep you safe online.

What are the Best VPNs for Netgear Routers

We have listed the best VPNs for your Netgear router. All of these services can be loaded onto your VPN compatible router. If you need more information, check out our detailed summaries further on in this article. 

  1. ExpressVPN - the best VPN for your Netgear router. Super-easy to set up and worth it for access to its massive server network.
  2. NordVPN - an excellent choice for Netgear routers, with best-in-class security features and stress-free set up instructions.
  3. CyberGhost VPN - A solid-all rounder with a sleak, easy-to-use interface design and Netgear router compatibility.
  4. Private Internet Access - An ultra-secure VPN with a no-logs policy that's been proven in court and an excellent reputation for keeping users safe.
  5. Surfshark - is a cheap VPN for Netgear routers. It works well with VPN compatible routers and comes with state-of-the-art privacy tools.

When choosing the VPN that's right for you and your Netgear router, the main things to look for are:

Best VPNs for Netgear Router: in-depth analysis

Here's a closer look at why we've chosen these five VPNs as our top picks to use with Netgear routers. 

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for your Netgear router. It has thousands of servers and can unblock the most sought-after geo-restricted content as a result.

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN is an easy first pick to pair with Netgear, largely due to the superior security features it offers along with the provider's huge server network. ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers worldwide, which means you can access everything from US Netflix to BBC iPlayer from practically anywhere in the world. This large collection of servers is one of the many reasons ExpressVPN can reliably produce excellent connection speeds. 


Another impressive string to ExpressVPN's bow is its long list of security features. As well as providing users with AES-256 bit encryption, a kill-switch, and DNS leak protection, ExpressVPN can guarantee that no logs of your activity are kept by running all its servers on RAM. This means all the data held (the minimal needed to just run the servers) is lost forever when each server is powered down – something that happens regularly. ExpressVPN also offers obfuscation technology so your traffic appears as if it isn't coming from a VPN. 


This provider lets you use the same account on 5 devices, but if you're installing it on your Netgear router, it'll only count as one – so you can share the account with friends and family. Although well worth the money, ExpressVPN is one of the pricier providers out there. However, you can try it out for an entire month and the provider will give you your money back if you aren't happy. 

NordVPN is an excellent choice for Netgear. It has a number of innovative security details and set up instructions for various types of firmware on their website.

  • Pricing

    From  $4.13 - $11.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

NordVPN is based in Panama, a country with notoriously stringent privacy laws and a government that has no interest in obtaining VPN provider data. Even if they did, NordVPN's strict no-logs policy would mean there'd be nothing to hand over. NordVPN has a number of other security and privacy features that go beyond the industry-standard kill-switches and IP address masking. NordVPN has recently rolled out NordLynx, built around the cutting-edge WireGuard encryption protocol to improve your speeds without compromising your security. Double VPN, on the other hand, is not offered by many providers and gives you an additional layer of privacy by sending your traffic through two private servers instead of one. 


NordVPN has an excellent customer support line, which may come in handy when going through a process like flashing your router. This commitment to the user experience is perhaps best illustrated by the super-clear instructions on how to flash your router with Tomato and DD-WRT firmware available on their website, which makes it simple for even a PC novice. Other ways they make life better for their customers include maintaining lightning quick connection speeds – which is ideal for watching content from around the world without worrying about latency issues. Nord is actually the speediest provider on this list – if you're sceptical, just pay for 30 days and get your money back if you finish the month unhappy!

CyberGhost is a solid all-rounder when it comes to speeds and security, and the company's attitude to privacy is second to none. This is an excellent VPN for beginners, particularly if you've never flashed a router before.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.25 - $12.99
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

CyberGhost, based in Romania, has some of the best security features around. The provider is one of the few VPNs to offer extended bandwidth in some locations, such as its NoSpy servers in Romania which are maintained by a team of security experts, meaning your logs of user activity are ever kept. Like NordVPN, CyberGhost has made adjustments to further secure WireGuard and let its users reap the benefits of quicker connection times at no cost to their security. CyberGhost offers all the security protocols you could ask for from a provider, and its customer support means installing a VPN on your Netgear router is stress-free. 


CyberGhost has a huge network of over 6,000 servers in 88 countries, which means not only will your speeds be solid, but you'll be able to bypass numerous geo-restrictions – something this provider has a proven track record at excelling at. CyberGhost, as mentioned previously, is a great VPN for beginners thanks to its slick app interfaces and ease of use – this is no different when it comes to installing it on your router. It also may be the VPN for the indecisive punters – you have 45 days (rather than the leading standard of 30) to make up your mind, or CyberGhost will give you your money back.

Private Internet Access, commonly known as PIA, is one of the most secure VPNs around. They've been enhancing user privacy for over a decade now and are well-regarded in Reddit circles.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.69 - $9.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Private Internet Access is one of the few VPNs that have been subpoenaed by the US government as part of a criminal investigation – which means it was required by the government to hand over their logs. Fortunately, PIA had no logs to hand over – proving its privacy promise to all watching. This makes it a great VPN for those who are worried about their privacy, and if you were to instal PIA on your Netgear router, your entire home network would be protected. The provider uses its own DNS server to prevent leaks and has recently rolled out its Next Generation Network on servers in the US, UK Hong Kong and the Netherlands, providing enhanced security and faster speeds. 


Private Internet Access has over 15,000 servers worldwide, which makes for speedy connections and an internet browsing experience without irritating geo-restrictions on the things you want to watch. Although Private Internet Access doesn't provide instructions on how to flash your router, it does offer guidance on how to set up a VPN on the firmware options available for Netgear routers. So why not try it out on yours? If you change your mind within 30 days, you can just ask for your money back. 

Surfshark is the cheapest VPN on this list but manages to compete with the best in the business when it comes to offering premium security and privacy features.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.49 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Surfshark is a fantastic VPN if you're looking for a cheap option for your Netgear router that won't let you down. Its customer support is great, and they have set up instructions on its website for the different firmware types you'll be choosing between. Surfshark is a speedy operator, second only rapidity to NordVPN out of the providers we have reviewed in this article, and this means it can handle multiple devices connecting to the same VPN via a router. Surfshark also, quite impressively, offers all its features on all its servers (camouflage mode, extension support etc.) – a claim many other providers can't match. 


Surfshark has a CleanWeb tool that will automatically block malware and viruses from establishing a connection with users' devices, sending commands and collecting data. Camouflage Mode, on the other hand, disguises your traffic so even your internet service provider doesn't know you're using a VPN. The multi-hop function, on the other hand, gives you an extra level of security by rerouting your data through two VPN servers before spitting it out the other side. Although Surfshark has a money-back grace period of 30 days after you instal it, the fact it does so much for such a small cost means that customers rarely take advantage of it! 

Advantages of having a VPN on your Netgear router

There are some definite benefits to installing a VPN on your Netgear router, as opposed to just installing them on all your network-connected devices individually. Advantages include:

'Flashing' your Netgear router 

The only two ways to get a VPN on your Netgear router are to either buy a router that's pre-configured with a VPN/VPN-friendly firmware or installing your own. But if you're reading this article, it's likely your router isn't pre-configured with a VPN or the relevant firmware.

That means you'll need to 'flash' your Netgear router. Flashing is the process of reconfiguring your router with new firmware that supports the installation of a VPN. The two most common types of firmware you can flash your router with for this are DD-WRT and Tomato

There is also OpenWRT routers, but if this is your first (or even second or third) time flashing a router, it might feel unnecessarily technical when there are simpler options available that still perform all the functions you'd need them to. Some companies even develop their own firmare for routers (such as AsusWRT on Ausus routers).

DD-WRT can be installed on a much wider range of routers than Tomato, but Tomato does work better with the OpenVPN protocol and some consider it to have a slightly easier-to-manage user interface.

Most Netgear routers work with both, so the choice is ultimately up to you.

How to flash your router: a step-by-step guide

  1. Ensure you are connected to the internet through your Netgear router.
  2. Download the new firmware you're using to make your router VPN-ready.
  3. Head over to https://routerlogin.net via your browser.
  4. Enter the username or password into the router admin panel.
  5. Navigate to the 'advanced' section of the user interface. 
  6. Click on the 'Administration' tab on the menu on the left-hand side. 
  7. Select 'Browse' and find the firmware you have downloaded. 
  8. Upload the firmware onto the router by selecting 'Upload'. 
  9. Restart your router.
  10. Enjoy using your Netgear device with an enhanced level of privacy!

Are there any downsides to installing a VPN on a router?

  • Managing your VPN settings is slightly more difficult, as routers do not have user interfaces in the same way other devices do. 
  • Traffic between devices on the same network is not secured, but this shouldn't be a problem if your devices aren't set to auto-connect to other networks.

Before you flash your router...

 

If you go through this process incorrectly, you can end up 'bricking' your router – in other words, causing permanent damage to it and making it no more useful than, you guessed it... a brick. This means it's of paramount importance that you get to grips with exactly what you're doing before you start. 

What if I don't want to flash my router? 

As we mentioned above, it is possible to purchase routers already pre-configured with the correct firmware you need, and even with a VPN already installed. 

For many, this will only be a serious option if you're looking to buy a new router, anyway. That being said, the average router's lifespan is only about four to five years and can become internally damaged if they overheat regularly – so it might be time to invest in a new one, particularly if you're experiencing slow connection speeds. 

If you're looking for a new router and you like the idea of one with a VPN, check out our review of the best routers for DD-WRT or this rundown of the best pre-configured VPN routers

Want a simpler option?

 

Check out FlashRouters – They offer pre-flashed routers at excellent prices, and you can even get them with pre-installed VPNs! FlashRouters even has a handy app, so you get total control over your router without the fuss.

Visit FlashRouters

Can I use a free VPN with my Netgear router?

Although there are some great free VPNs out there, most of them cannot be installed onto a router and only really work on devices like mobiles and laptops. 

However, even if you manage to find one that does, it's never advised to go with a free VPN over a paid one, even if the free VPN is just the non-paying version of a premium service. Free VPNs attached to premium services will always have key security features omitted, or else no customers would ever have a reason to upgrade. 

You should also treat providers that offer their whole service for free with extreme caution. Free VPNs have been known to leave users exposed to viruses, sell their data to third-parties, and cooperate with law enforcement authorities. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article will help you make the best decision you can when it comes to choosing a VPN for your Netgear router. If you're still undecided, here's a brief reminder of our top 5: 

  1. ExpressVPN - the best VPN for your Netgear router. Super-easy to set up and worth it for access to its massive server network.
  2. NordVPN - an excellent choice for Netgear routers, with best-in-class security features and stress-free set up instructions.
  3. CyberGhost VPN - A solid-all rounder with a sleak, easy-to-use interface design and Netgear router compatibility.
  4. Private Internet Access - An ultra-secure VPN with a no-logs policy that's been proven in court and an excellent reputation for keeping users safe.
  5. Surfshark - is a cheap VPN for Netgear routers. It works well with VPN compatible routers and comes with state-of-the-art privacy tools.

Written by: Aaron Drapkin

After graduating with a philosophy degree from the University of Bristol in 2018, Aaron became a researcher at news digest magazine The Week following a year as editor of satirical website The Whip. Freelancing alongside these roles, his work has appeared in publications such as Vice, Metro, Tablet and New Internationalist, as well as The Week's online edition.

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