How Does a VPN Router Work?

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How does a VPN Router Work?

Updated: April 11th, 2016

Quick Answer

Quite simply, all you have to do is buy a VPN-enabled router, sign up for the VPN provider, and then log onto the service as you would through any other device. Then you can benefit from a VPN which will support any device using your Wi-Fi, regardless of whether the device itself will allow you to download a VPN.

Detailed Answer

Using a VPN router is perhaps one of the less well-known ways of using a VPN to increase your privacy and security while online, but it is in actual fact one of the most flexible and powerful methods out there.

Unlike a VPN which you download onto your computer or mobile device, a VPN Router is able to ensure that every device using your internet connection at home enjoys the protections of the VPN. This is great for two reasons.

Firstly, it means you only need one VPN connection for all your devices. And secondly, it means that even devices which use the internet but don’t have a VPN capability can enjoy the same levels of protection. With the raid growth of the internet of things, this is likely to be particularly important in the years ahead.

As VPN-enabled routers become more and more common, with many websites and even some high street stores now stocking them, we are finding more and more people are approaching us with questions about them. SO in this article we will explain exactly how a VN router works.

So, how does a VPN Router Work?

To enjoy the benefits of a VPN through a router, there are a few simple steps you will need to follow to get things set up.

1. Buy a VPN-enabled Router

This is easier than ever these days as the number of products grows and, as mentioned above, they are available nowadays on numerous websites as well as several high street stores.

Obviously if you order one online, be aware that you will have to spend at least a few days waiting for it to arrive before you can get connected.

2. Sign up for a VPN

This step is pretty much identical to the way you would normally sign up with a VPN. Head over to their website and select which subscriber package you would like. Go through the payment process, which with most providers is fairly simple to follow, and then if they require it, click on the link in an email account to verify your account with them.

3. Setup a VPN connection to your router

Most VPNs will offer a router download option on their menu of devices and operating system you can link to. Clicking to this link should start the download automatically.

If this is not the case with your provider, consult the instructions with your router. All should have clear guidelines on how to install a VPN onto the device. This can vary somewhat between different routers so I will not expand on the details of this stage here, but they are, for the most part, very straightforward to follow.

4. Connect to your chosen server on your VPN Router

During the installation process, you will usually be invited to choose which server to connect to. If this is not the case with yours, you will then be able to make that choice once the installation process has finished.

Once this connection has been established, you should then be able to connect to your routers Wi-Fi signal with any device, and your internet connection will be rerouted via the VPN until you change the settings to stop it.


There are sometimes one or two downsides to having your VPN built into the router. For example it can be difficult with some models to switch the server once the system has been set up. And of course if you take your device outside, you do not enjoy the benefit of a VPN without signing up again.

But the benefits in my view outweigh these inconveniences. They offer a comprehensive VPN service which can be used with any Wi-Fi connected device in your property, regardless of whether it accepts VPN software itself or not.

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