If you’re a frequent internet user, you need to think about protecting your devices, and thereby keep your personal and sensitive information safe and secure.
There are plenty of solutions for ensuring your online security, but installing a VPN might be the best one. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) will reroute your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, making it impossible for anyone to intercept it.
It will even prevent your ISP from monitoring your online activity and throttling your bandwidth. VPN is also great for unlocking geo-blocked content, as well as encrypting public WiFi connections, among many other benefits.
But what about VPN routers? How are they different from a VPN?
What Is a VPN Router, and Why You May Need One?
They are an excellent way to ensure online security for all the devices you connect to the internet on a single network.
VPN providers allow you to connect a limited number of devices using their service. This isn’t very convenient if you have lots of them, especially if you have plenty of IoT devices. Also, when you get a VPN, you need to connect each of your devices separately to its remote servers.
With a VPN router, you can connect as many devices to the internet as you want, and the router will direct each through its encrypted tunnel. You don’t have to install an app on every device, and you can have unlimited connections. What’s more, all your devices will be connected to VPN servers 24/7.
So, the greatest benefit of these routers is scale. The other major benefit is flexibility.
There are lots of WiFi-enabled devices that don’t have VPN support, such as home entertainment systems. This is also where the router can come in handy.
If some of your devices don’t support a VPN, you can encrypt internet connections for those devices by installing a VPN on your router.
Of course, to actually set up a VPN on your router, you need to get an account first, so find a reliable provider if you haven’t yet.
Types of Routers
There are three types of routers:
- VPN-compatible routers – These routers have integrated VPN support.
- Pre-configured VPN routers – You can choose which network you want to configure this type of router for, but this is the most expensive option of the three.
- Manually flashed VPN routers – These are regular routers that you turn into VPN-ready routers. Upgrading your router to make it support a VPN is called flashing, and you can easily do it on your own.
How to Install a VPN Router?
Setting up a VPN on your router is easier than it may seem. It doesn’t require extensive IT knowledge and skills. There are also many routers that feature EasyLink technology, which enables incredibly easy configuration. It pretty much does all the work for you.
If your router doesn’t feature this technology, you need to do the configuration on your own to make your router VPN-ready.
Before diving into all the necessary steps, you need to make sure that your VPN supports router connections. If you still don’t have a provider yet, this should be one of the key features to look for.
- Connect Your Router
You need to connect your router both to your modem and desktop computer to start the process. Use an Ethernet cable to connect the router from its WAN port to the modem’s primary LAN port.
Then connect another Ethernet cable from your router’s LAN port to your desktop computer’s LAN port.
- Log into Your Router
You can log into your router by typing its IP address in your browser’s search bar, and then entering the username and password. If you don’t know either of those, your ISP will gladly tell you. You can then change the username and password to ensure your router’s security.
- Configure VPN on the Router
The configuration itself depends completely on the firmware you’re working with. Every VPN provider has all the configuration instructions you’ll need on their website, so be sure to check out their tutorials. The process is different for each router, but you’ll find step-by-step instructions that will show you exactly what to do.
As you can see, using a VPN router is very beneficial. You can connect an unlimited number of devices to the internet through an encrypted tunnel. Most importantly, you can connect devices that don’t support VPN apps and enjoy all the benefits that online anonymity provides.
Setting up a VPN connection on a router is very easy, even if you choose to configure your router manually. Simply visit your VPN provider’s website, and you’ll find a step-by-step tutorial.