If you use a VPN service, you’ve likely already encountered the annoyance of having to install the VPN software onto all of your devices. The advantages of going the VPN route are obvious: you get to encrypt your data, remain anonymous online, and even access region-restricted websites.
While it’s possible to install a VPN on a normal Wi-Fi router, it’s simpler to get a VPN router. A VPN router is capable of running VPN software directly with little fuss and lets you connect all your devices including computers, tablets, and smartphones to a VPN service without installing any software on each one. If you are new to the VPN world, we suggest you first learn about what a VPN is and how to use one.
If this sounds like what you need, but you don’t know what to look for, keep reading — we’ve got the best VPN routers listed below.
The best VPN routers:
Editor’s note: We will be updating this list regularly as new devices launch.
1. Netgear R7800 Nighthawk DD-WRT from FlashRouters
As we mentioned before, buying a VPN router with everything baked in is the easiest approach but it comes with a downside — most of the routers here are either lesser-known brands like ZyXEL or super expensive gaming models from brands like Linksys and Netgear. What if you want the reputable brands but don’t necessarily want a super gaming VPN router? You might want to consider FlashRouters instead.
FlashRouters provides improved and VPN-optimized versions of routers you already know and trust. That includes the Netgear R7800 Nighthawk DD-WRT Flashrouter, which has four powerful external antennas, along with a 1.7GHz dual-core processor. There’s also the FR Privacy App to make setting up the VPN quick and easy.
FlashRouters also sells top-of-the-line routers from Asus and Linksys, all of which are made even more powerful with upgraded firmware. The company’s ordering system is fully custom, so you can select your VPN service and preferred router brand and the router ships to you perfectly customized to your setup.
2. TP-Link Archer A7 — Home VPN router
The TP-Link Archer A7 VPN router is a great solution for small offices. In addition to VPN connectivity, it works with Amazon Alexa for easy Wi-Fi control through voice commands.
This router with VPN can even help with productivity. It supports parental controls so you can limit your kids’ access to websites like YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, and others. It also has a range of up to 2,500 square feet — plenty for many houses and easy to expand in minutes.
The TP-Link Archer A7 is an easy and affordable solution. It lets you manage VPN, parental controls, and support more than 50 devices from one router. The TP-Link Archer A7 retails at $80 on Amazon.
3. Synology RT2600ac — small business
Getting a powerful router on a budget is possible with the Synology RT2600ac. This quad stream VPN router sports a 1.7 GHz dual core processor and plenty of features to boot. It supports the MU-MIMO technology and offers speeds of up to 2.53 Gbps. The best thing about it, however, is undoubtedly its range, which can cover an area of approximately 3,000 square feet. The Synology RT2600ac also supports both 5GHz and 2.4GHz wireless networks, is Dual WAN capable (more than one broadband connection) and has a great VPN package.
Another great thing about this VPN router is how easy it is to use — newbies can get a hang of it quickly, but there also are features that enthusiasts will appreciate. It even has a companion app that allows you to connect through your VPN on the go, on an iPhone or an Android phone. Considering all of these perks, it’s not hard to dub the Synology RT2600ac as one of the best VPN routers on the market.
4. Linksys WRT AC3200 — VPN router for personal use
The Linksys WRT AC3200 is open source ready, so you can customize it with OpenWrt and DD-WRT. You can set up a secure VPN, turn the router into a web server, detect network intrusions, and more. The router also features MU-MIMO technology for delivering a fast Wi-Fi connection to multiple devices simultaneously, and it has a companion app for creating separate guest networks, prioritizing your devices, and setting parental controls.
The Linksys WRT AC3200 offers loads of features, which means it isn’t the cheapest VPN router out there — you can get it from Amazon for around $250.
5. Netgear Nighthawk XR500 — gaming
Gamers have a wide variety of Wi-Fi routers to choose from, and the Netgear Nighthawk XR500 even comes with VPN software included. It uses DumaOS, an operating system developed specifically for routers like the Nighthawk, which includes its own VPN client. While you will still have to sign up for a third-party VPN service, the Nighthawk, combined with the DumaOS, will make that setup process very simple.
In terms of hardware, the Netgear Nighthawk XR500 includes four antennas supporting up to 2.6Gbps wireless speeds, a dual-core 1.7GHz processor, five gigabit ethernet ports (four LAN ports and one WAN port), and two USB 3.0 ports. You can also prioritize gaming devices, like your gaming notebook, PC, or consoles, so they get the most bandwidth.
6. Asus RT-AC5300 — gaming
This is a great VPN router if you’re a gamer. It has a built-in WTFast client for accessing the VPN: a private network of route-optimized servers to ensure consistently low ping times. The device offers a combined data rate of 5334Mbps and is AiMesh-compatible, allowing you to connect it to other Asus routers to expand the Wi-Fi coverage in your home.
The Asus RT-AC5300 is equipped with MU-MIMO technology and features AirProtection, which offers vulnerability protection, malicious site blocking, and more. Amazon currently sells it for around $270.
7. Asus RT-AC88U — gaming
If you want a gaming VPN router that’s a bit more modest than the flashy Asus RT-AC5300, look no further than the Asus RT-AC88U. There’s not a significant price difference at $249, though the 5,000 square-foot range is pretty impressive. It offers everything most users would want. This dual-band router features MU-MIMO technology, which allows it to stream data at top possible speeds to all connected devices. Data transfer speeds reach up to 3100Mbps. Its 1.4GHz processor also ensures optimized traffic with no hick-ups.
The Asus RT-AC88U deals with the dreaded lag in competitive online games with its Adaptive QoS technology. It even has built-in protection provided by Trend Micro. Better yet, it’s easy to set up and use. The Asus router app gives you all the controls you’d need at your fingertips, with helpful tips that explain what each setting does. The app also allows you to set up parental controls, manage usage, increase security and more.
8. D-Link DSR-500 — corporate VPN router
The DSR-500 router with VPN is equipped with four Gigabit LAN and two Gigabit WAN ports. It’s capable of simultaneously managing ten SSL VPN tunnels and fifteen Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) tunnels. It also supports up to 35 IPSec VPN tunnels and 25 additional PPTP/L2TP tunnels.
The router has a number of Green Ethernet features on board for saving power and cutting energy costs. The Green WLAN Scheduler can shut down your wireless network automatically, based on the schedule you choose. The Green Ethernet feature can detect the length of the cables connected to the router and adjust power usage accordingly to save energy without sacrificing performance. It can also detect if a link is down on a port and put the port into sleep mode.
9. Linksys LRT224 — corporate
This VPN router features a Gigabit firewall, site-to-site VPN, and various remote access VPN technologies. It supports up to 50 IPsec tunnels and five OpenVPN tunnels for iOS and Android users. It comes with four LAN ports, one WAN port, and one port that’s shared for DMZ and WAN2.
The Linksys LRT224 router with VPN offers 900Mbps firewall and 110Mbps IPsec throughputs. It’s a breeze to deploy and manage thanks to the simple web administrative interface — the setup process takes around five minutes. It has a few great business features on board including OpenVPS server support, allowing OpenVPN clients running on employees’ laptops, smartphones, and tablets to connect to the office using two-factor authentication.
These are our picks for the best VPN routers you can get your hands on, although we’re sure there are plenty of other great options available. We’ll update this post with new models once they launch.