Using A Router With A VPN
A VPN-capable router is a convenient device — it can provide VPN connections to your computers and mobile devices via Wi-Fi. You won’t have to install a VPN client on each device. Instead, all your devices are routed via one connection to your VPN provider. Also, you can connect devices incapable of running a VPN client (such as Kindles, Netflix boxes, Apple TVs, and Xbox).
The easiest way to get a VPN Router running is to buy one pre-flashed and pre-configured for a specific VPN service. This means the router has VPN firmware installed on it (DD-WRT or Tomato). The firmware replaces the router’s original built-in OS, allowing VPN installation.
FlashRouters: Routers That Are VPN Ready
FlashRouters is a company that is focused on supporting VPNs on open routers. They sell routers from these three vendors: NetGear, Asus, and Linksys. The routers come pre-installed with VPN configurations using in-house software. However, you will still need to purchase a VPN service separately from the router.
The people at FlashRouters are experts in open-source routers. They have extensive articles that offer step-by-step help in their Support Center, and they also offer personal support for their customers. This is a good thing because installing and optimizing these routers often requires a few extra steps.
They have routers that are pre-configured for the following VPNs providers:
- Private Internet Access
- Perfect Privacy
- VPN Unlimited
- Spy Off
- Le VPN
- Smart DNS Proxy
- Foxy Proxy
Vilfo is a new dedicated VPN router that was crowdfunded on Indiegogo. Because it’s built to be a VPN router, the Vilfo interface provides robust access to the VPN and offers many pre-installed VPN configurations. The hardware can encrypt VPN traffic at 600 mbit/s.
The VPN pre-integrated is quite useful; it means:
- You don’t need to upload any configuration files to use the provider
- Vilfo automatically fetches an updated server list from the provider every day
During testing, I found the set-up well organized and documented. During set-up, I did have to change my computer’s DNS settings to reach the Admin interface. I then entered the VPN credentials of my provider.
Vilfo also allows you to organize your devices into groups. For example, you can place your TV, Chromecast, or Apple TV in a group that you connect to a USA server to access restricted streaming content.
Vilfo has a built-in killswitch that will work for any OpenVPN provider.
If you want to use another router with great wireless connectivity, you can change its settings to work as an access point and then connect it to one of the LAN ports to Vilfo.