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The Best VPNs for Routers in 2024

Finding the right VPN for your router can be challenging. There are so many to choose from; they all offer the same features; and they all make the same complicated promises about increased privacy and protection online. 

To save you time, stress, and money, we’ve meticulously tested every router-compatible VPN and identified five that deliver lightning-fast speeds, secure router connections, and easy setup.

Here they are:

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for routers, with stealthy servers that bypass censorship, offer buffer-free streaming, and industry-best security.
  2. TIP

    In our testing we checked that all ExpressVPN plans work for Netflix. The one year plan is the best value: three months free and a 30 day risk-free trial.

  3. Surfshark - A powerful, budget-friendly VPN for routers offering multi-device protection, affordable pricing, and unlimited connections.
  4. NordVPN - Premium VPN for routers offering a vast server network, top-tier security, and reliable performance.
  5. CyberGhost VPN - Beginner-friendly VPN with a user-friendly interface, intuitive setup, and excellent value for casual users.
  6. IPVanish - Easy-to-use apps across unlimited devices, fast speeds, robust security, and multi-device compatibility.

GRAB YOUR 30-DAY FREE EXPRESSVPN TRIAL

By signing up on this page , ExpressVPN grants you a no-strings-attached 30-day trial. Experience the unparalleled privacy of the #1 VPN, especially if you're curious about the best VPN for remote workers.

Clear-cut terms—should you decide it's not for you within 30 days, contact support for a full refund. Initiate your ExpressVPN trial here .

Here’s a quick breakdown of the criteria we used in selecting these VPNs (keep reading for more details):

TEST WINNER ExpressVPN Surfshark NordVPN CyberGhost VPN IPVanish
Website ExpressVPN Surfshark NordVPN CyberGhost VPN IPVanish
Ranking for routers 1 2 3 4 5
Performance 10
9
9
7
7
Reliability 9
8
8
7
7
Free trial
Total servers 3000
3200
6200
11625
2000
Payment PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
Unblocks: Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Supported platforms Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android

Deep dive: The best VPNs for routers in 2024

Now you know the basics, let’s look at the five VPNs that made the cut – and what makes each one stand out. 

If you’re still not convinced, check out our complete VPN reviews for a deeper dive into each one. 

1. ExpressVPN
Editor's Choice | July 2024

ExpressVPN is our number 1 VPN for routers – and everything else! It delivers reliable, high-speed, and secure connections with unparalleled privacy.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months + 3 months FREE + Backblaze backup: $6.67/mth
      49% OFF
    • 6 months: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • The fastest VPN in the world
    • Industry-best security
    • Independently audited by Cure53, PwC, KPMG, and others
    • 3,000+ servers in over 94 countries
    • Crypto payments and TOR website for added privacy
  • Cons

    • Premium price tag
    • Doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer
    • Streaming servers aren’t labeled
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Our global research team extensively tested ExpressVPN's connection speeds when installed on routers. We connected to servers across continents, often thousands of miles from our physical locations. 


The outcome? 


No team member experienced an impact on their internet speed or overall performance. Everyone could stream, game, download, torrent, and browse uninterrupted. 


Wherever you are in the world, ExpressVPN’s 3,000+ servers guarantee a fast, reliable connection. 


ExpressVPN's security features make it an industry leader. With IPv6 leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption, RAM-only zero-knowledge servers, advanced cloaking, obfuscation software, and more, it ensures a smooth online experience. Using ExpressVPN on your router is not just about functionality; it transforms your internet usage. Once activated, reverting to a non-VPN internet setup feels outdated, slow, and cumbersome.


Despite its advanced tech, ExpressVPN's user-friendly apps make navigation effortless on every device. Launch the app, connect to a server, and open, private, fast internet.


ExpressVPN offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

Surfshark is an excellent, budget-friendly VPN for routers, providing advanced privacy tools to conceal your location, identity, and online activities.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.19/mth
      86% OFF
    • 12 months + 3 months FREE: $2.79/mth
      82% OFF
    • 1 month: $15.45/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited device connections
    • Zero-logs policy
    • Excellent value
    • Easy-to-use apps
  • Cons

    • Occasional slow server
    • Monthly plans are expensive
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Surfshark is a feature-rich VPN with advanced privacy and security tools often absent in pricier alternatives. We get built-in protection against malware and spam, ad blocking, dark web monitoring, IP rotation, and more. Its stealth mode uses advanced server obfuscation technology to hide the fact you’re using a VPN – excellent for regions where they’re illegal or suspect.


Surfshark maintains zero logs and ensures no record of your online activities remains on its servers. 


If setting up the VPN on your server is too complex, the unlimited device connections make installing Surfshark on every device in your household easy and cost-effective. However, for complete peace of mind, it’s still best to install directly on your router.


Every Surfshark plan includes a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee.

NordVPN is a fast and reliable VPN for routers. It offers cutting-edge security features to protect your data and online activities.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $3.69/mth
      70% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      59% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • NordLynx VPN protocol
    • User-friendly apps
    • Affordable plans
    • Strict zero logs policy
  • Cons

    • You can’t pick servers for a specific need (i.e., streaming or P2P)
    • Suffered a data breach in late 2019
    • Doesn’t work well for torrenting
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

NordVPN excels in advanced security features, incorporating 256-bit AES encryption and 2,048-bit DH keys to ensure the utmost protection. Notable extra security tools include an instant kill-switch (in case your internet connection is disrupted), DNS and IPv6 leak protection, stealth modes, anti-malware tools, and much more.


Beyond security, NordVPN boasts an extensive global network of over 5,000 servers, optimized for speed and stability without compromising security. In our tests, our team could access region-locked websites such as Hulu, Netflix US, and Amazon Prime Video from anywhere in the world. Once we had access, we could stream our favorite shows in HD with zero buffering.


Headquartered in Panama, one of the most private places on Earth, NordVPN adheres to a strict no-logs policy, safeguarding your browsing history from third parties, including your local government and internet provider.


NordVPN supports simultaneous connections on up to six devices, and each plan includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost is a user-friendly VPN for routers, providing an excellent experience on a wide range of devices.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.11/mth
      83% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.99/mth
      42% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • User-friendly interface
    • Connect up to seven devices simultaneously
    • Accepts cryptocurrency payments
    • Excellent value
  • Cons

    • Lacks some advanced configuration options
    • Doesn’t reliably work in China or UAE
    • No VPN obfuscation
    • Limited torrenting
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

CyberGhost prioritizes user privacy through a stringent no-logs policy, RAM-only servers, and regular automatic data wipes, ensuring that none of your data is stored at any time. This commitment to privacy is reinforced through routine independent security audits.


In addition, CyberGhost boasts an extensive network of over 9,000+ servers, many of which are specifically optimized for streaming purposes. These servers reliably access popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Paramount+, and Hulu, ensuring quick and stable connections. Our tests confirmed a seamless experience in accessing and streaming content worldwide.


You can easily set up CyberGhost on up to seven devices, and its user-friendly apps are available for almost every device you’ll use, including Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, Mac, smart TVs, and routers. This simplicity makes it an excellent choice for VPN newcomers, offering quick and easy installations on all your devices.


CyberGhost extends a generous 45-day money-back guarantee with every new plan.

IPVanish is a reliable VPN with user-friendly apps for unlimited devices. They deliver fast speeds, robust security, and airtight privacy.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $3.33/mth
      75% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
      70% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited device connections
    • Excellent value
    • Lots of US servers
    • Strong encryption and a kill-switch
  • Cons

    • Based in the US
    • Doesn’t work with Netflix US or Hulu
    • Slow support
    • No browser extensions
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

IPVanish has 2,000+ servers spanning 75+ countries. So, while the overall number of servers is smaller than big players like ExpressVPN, you’ll still get strong connections anywhere in the world. 


Established in 2012, IPVanish has enjoyed recognition in the VPN industry for its commitment to security and privacy. Even though it's based in the US – the core member of the Five Eyes surveillance group – IPVanish has repeatedly proven its security credentials – including two court cases!


IPVanish offers unlimited device connections on a single plan. If you can’t install it on your router for any reason, you can do individual installs on every phone and computer in your household. This flexibility guarantees comprehensive protection for your entire home network.


Every new IPVanish user gets a 30-day money-back guarantee on your plan.

Methodology: how we tested the best VPNs for routers

For this guide, our team installed the top VPNs on their home routers via specialized apps, manual configuration, and other methods. 

The final list of five router VPNs is a small selection from the overall number of VPNs we evaluated. However, we won't burden you with a review of every VPN we tested.

Instead, here are the criteria we employed to determine the best VPNs for routers:

For a more detailed breakdown, read our comprehensive testing methodology overview.

How to set up a VPN on your router

Adding a VPN to your router is more technical than most devices, like your phone or laptop. Here's the general process.

Six steps to set up a VPN on your router:

  1. Confirm if your router supports VPNs and update its firmware if necessary.
  2. Select a VPN with router support and compatible protocols. We recommend ExpressVPN.
  3. Log in to your router's interface using your web browser and router credentials.
  4. Locate the VPN settings section under "Advanced Settings" or "Security."
  5. Enter your VPN provider's credentials, server details, and protocol settings per their instructions.
  6. Save the changes and restart your router if required.

Consider clearing your browser’s cache and cookies as well. This will clear any lingering location and tracking data from websites. 

Can I use a free VPN with my routers?

The short answer is no. 

No trustworthy free VPNs we know of include easy-install router apps. So, you’ll have to configure the software directly on your router. This requires a lot of technical know-how. 

But that’s not the only issue. 

Free VPNs lack the technical capabilities of premium VPNs like ExpressVPN and Surfshark. They’re slow, unreliable, and blocked by most major websites. 

Because they don’t charge a subscription fee, they often resort to questionable practices to make money. This can include:

  1. Bombarding you with ads 
  2. Selling your private data to brokers and other malicious entities
  3. Hosting malware or spyware on their networks to infect your devices. 

Even if you find an honest free VPN like Atlas VPN, you'll likely face slow connections, data limits, and other restrictions that make using routers challenging. 

Stick to a reliable paid VPN for a safer and smoother experience on your router or any other device.

VPN for routers FAQs

Written by: Conor Walsh

Conor is a tech writer with professional paranoia. He's passionate about privacy, and when not writing about it, can be found trying to get far away from his phone and any other technology, enjoying some live music, outdoorsy stuff, or a good (physical) book.

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