Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) offer great protection for your internet traffic. You download a piece of software onto your computer or mobile device and then turn on the service. After that, the VPN protects all of your communications from that device.
A clever way to cover your whole home with VPN protection is to install the privacy software on your router. With a VPN protecting your router, every connection you make will be secure. However, it is a lot of bother getting that software onto your router. If you’ve never tried to change your router settings, you may have doubts about tackling such a technical task. Also, how do you know whether the router you have will be compatible with VPN software?
There is a simple solution to the difficulties of buying the right equipment and properly setting it up with the right software. A small number of companies sell routers with VPNs already installed on them. All you have to do is plug it in and connect.
The VPN router is a really clever invention. However, tracking down the very few companies that sell them can take time. You shouldn’t jump at the first VPN router company that you see without assessing the alternatives. To make your life easier, we’ve put together a list of the five best VPN router companies for you.
Quick Links to our 5 best VPN router companies
- Seven-day money-back guarantee on VPN software
- 30-day refund guarantee on hardware
- Choice of DD-WRT and Tomato routers
- DDoS protection
- Stealth technology
- Variable speed performance
Since our first TorGuard review, they have managed to add on a range of options that augment its standard VPN service. The company offers a large number of routers, including cable and WiFi models. The TorGuard router can be augmented with a dedicated IP address, which improves your chances of getting around the tough regional restrictions that are operated by streaming services such as Netflix and Sky Go. The company operates a network of 1,600 servers, located in 50 countries around the world. It uses stealth technology to evade detection and some of its servers include Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection. TorGuard is a good choice for those who like to download media file with torrents. The TorGuard store has the largest selection of routers of all of the companies on this list. TorGuard ships its routers to anywhere in the world. You don't have to pay any tax on the purchase, but you are responsible for paying any import duty that your country may impose.
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- 14-day money-back guarantee
- Specialist server for peer-to-peer (P2P) downloading
- Small and lightweight router
- Servers in 31 countries
- Gets into Netflix
- Not very fast
The Shellfire Box is a very stylish and compact router. Shellfire VPN is very good at getting into streaming services with regional restrictions. Like TorGuard, Shellfire recommends a dedicated IP address in order to fool tougher regional restrictions. However, tests show that the standard shared IP address gets into Netflix. When you buy the Shellfire Box, you own the router, but you have to renew the subscription to the VPN protection. The number of server countries you get access to with the Shellfire Box depends on the level of subscription service that you opt for. The Premium package includes servers in 20 countries and the Premium Plus option gets you access to servers in 31 countries. Shellfire is a particularly good choice for Germans because this is the company's home country, so customer support is available in German as well as in English. The VPN-only price is €60. You can get the router with the VPN service for one or two years bundled into it. The two-year offer is €70 more than the one-year price. Thus you can save yourself €10 if you just get the router with one year of VPN service and then renew the subscription for a year when that runs out.
- Five-day money-back guarantee on VPN
- 90-day refund period for router
- Very competent customer support team
- Good at getting into streaming services
- Smart DNS server
- Variable service quality
StrongVPN grew out of a PC store in South Lake Tahoe, California, so it made sense for the company to combine its VPN service with hardware. When you buy the combo, you select your preferred router and then add on a subscription to the VPN service. There is a choice of five different models, which are all quite pricey. The routers aren't sent out by StrongVPN, but are drop-shipped by Sabai Technology in South Carolina. You get access to a free Smart Domain Name System (DNS) service with a VPN subscription. This service selectively redirects your internet routing to pass requests to servers with regional restrictions through a proxy server in the right country. The VPN network has servers in 24 countries. The customer support staff is extremely competent at guiding customers through technical issues. However, you don't need to be a technical whiz to use the VPN router because the company's protection software will already be loaded on the device.
- 30-day money-back guarantee on router
- 30-day free trial for VPN
- Option for Tor
- Lifetime warranty
- Accepts Bitcoin
- Not very fast
Our full VyprVPN review shows it's a well established VPN service, based in Hungary. The benefits of its service include excellent privacy procedures, no activity logging, and automatic DDoS protection. You won't find the VPN router offer at the VyprVPN website: the protected routers are offered by Anonabox, which loads its routers with VyprVPN software. You can also get a version of the router that channels communications over the Tor network, as well as one that has both Tor and the VyprVPN software.
VyprVPN created its own cloaking methodology that evades detection. This is important if you are in a country that controls access to the web and tries to block VPN traffic. VyprVPN is very good at avoiding detection by streaming servers that operate regional restrictions. These computers not only block access from other countries but also search for VPN traffic. VyprVPN fools all of these systems and will get you in. The automatic DDoS protection is marketed for gamers. Attacks on gamers to block them out of online competitions at key moments in a game form the biggest sector of cyberattacks today. No one can block your access to game servers if they don't know your IP address.
- Seven-day free trial on software
- Six-month money-back warranty on router
- Access to streaming services with regional restrictions
- Servers in 50 countries
- Free router with two-year VPN subscription
- Money back only if the router breaks
Astrill has a choice of a nice cheap little router that would just cover a single room or small apartment, or a more powerful WiFi router. Both come pre-loaded with the Astrill VPN software. The company also sells a range extender. The price of the cheap router plus the extender comes out at less than half the price of the more powerful router option. That offers a great opportunity to save money.
The router settings allow you to nominate which devices the VPN protects. You can also specify VPN-protected sites. The router has port forwarding capabilities that allow P2P connections through. The cheaper of the two routers gets even cheaper if you sign up for the two-year VPN plan. The little router gets progressively more expensive with shorter subscription periods. The routers can be shipped anywhere in the world from China. The VPN service operates servers in 50 countries and can get you into Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
The market for routers with specialist software pre-loaded is still in its infancy. This configuration offers a busy family a much better solution than individual installs. Many people forget to turn on a VPN before connecting when it is installed on a computer or a smartphone. The ability to install the VPN client software on the router ensures that all internet connections made through it are automatically protected.
Getting VPN software on to games consoles and set top boxes, such as Kodi, can also be difficult. If all of these devices are connected to the internet through your VPN router, you don’t need to bother installing a VPN on them.
Having your VPN software pre-loaded on your router gets over a lot of technical problems that you might encounter should you try to install the software yourself on a store-bought router. Not all routers are able to run VPN software and there are many different operating types. You reduce the risk of getting incompatible components if you buy both together in a bundle.
VPN Router Selection
Check out all of the options available when you buy a router. StrongVPN and TorVPN have a wide selection of makes and models. Anonabox and Shellfire Box each just have one model on offer, but you might prefer to have the selection of router taken out of your hands if you don’t have the time or the interest needed to research different router types.
Best VPN Router Companies: Conclusion
Simplify your privacy protection by getting the VPN installation done for you. A VPN router will cover all of the internet-connected devices in your home without you having to download and configure the software on every individual piece of equipment.
The five VPN router companies on our list all offer the best VPN services in the world, along with top-brand equipment. Keep all of your family and visitors to your home protected by a VPN router.
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