How to Connect Home Router to a VPN to Bypass Web Censorship? If you want to get all the VPN services on your router so that all the devices on your home router can get benefited with full proof security, bypassing censorship, evading geo-restriction or availing discounts; then you have landed in the right place. With our comprehensive guide, you can learn how to connect home router to a VPN by going through the easy steps given below.
Unquestionably, today’s internet world has become more prone to cyber threats than ever before. Moreover, it’s not just cyber attacks which have worried the netizen but also the government’s snooping, internet censorship and geo-blocking have added fuels to the burning wrecks of netizens problems. But fortunately, now we have an all in one shield that is capable of saving us from all these issues. And that is none other than a VPN. Using a VPN can solve all those previously mentioned problems, be it privacy and security threats or unblocking any region-restricted website; you can all do it by just getting a VPN in hand. (also see, A Beginner’s Encryption Guide: What is Encryption and How to Set it Up?)
Furthermore, if you connect your home router to a VPN; you will have scads of benefits to enjoy. Configuring a VPN on your home router will enable all the connected device on your network, to get facilitated with all the services that a VPN has to offer you. Be it any gaming console, your mobile, TV(if it has Wifi connectivity), laptop, tablet or internet of things; all these devices if sharing the same home router will be protected round the clock with your VPN’s extra layer of security. Also, all the devices connected to your home router can also evade geo-blocking and avail discounts that are only available to any particular location.
Why Do You Need To Connect Home Router To A VPN?
There is no denying the fact that there are numerous advantages that you can have if you connect your home router to a VPN. Firstly, every device on your network will not have connected to the VPN whenever they get connected to the internet. It is because if the VPN is connected to your router providing internet connection to all your devices on the network, it does not require you to connect to the VPN every time you start using the internet. Also, all your devices will stay protect 24/7 ; and if any of your devices is heading over to any website that can draw the attention of local authorities like torrent; the VPN protecting their privacy and encrypting their internet traffic will hide their internet activity and will save them from government’s snooping or getting a copyright infringement notice.
Also, it can be more useful for the corporate sector; a businessperson may need to connect home router to a VPN; so that all its employees connected to the same network will not fall prey for cyber attacks like ransomware or DDoS attacks. As the confidentiality and security of data are more valuable to any company than any individual. So, connecting VPN on the router will protect all the computers on the company’s network. ( also check 5 Best Business VPN Services 2017)
What’s the Downside?
Where there is a myriad of upsides that can convince you to connect home router to a VPN; there are few downsides as well. One of which is that by connecting the VPN on your router will result in losing a portion of your bandwidth and it may cause the speed of internet slows down a bit. So, if you are patient enough to bear speed lagging in order to have an extra layer of security, then you must connect home router to a VPN. Though it requires you some workaround, that will definitely be worthwhile as it has so many benefits as well.
Which Router Should You Select?
After choosing the right VPN, choosing a router can fuss your mind. Here is the option you have when selecting a router to connect it to a VPN.
A Router That Supports VPN Clients:
This comes as no surprise; that in a bid to setup a VPN on your router, you need a router that supports VPN client. Call it unfortunate or what, but there are a quite a few routers in the market that comes with VPN client mode. Typically, if you get any ASUS router that has VPN clients then you are in luck; because these routers have VPN client support baked right in. However, they may not provide you the level of encryption you want but still, if you do not want to flash your router with a new firmware then this can be your choice.
Flash DD-WRT on Your Router:
You can also flash DD-WRT on your existing router. The good news is DD-WRT is a third-party firmware which comes free to flash on your router. Be it e venerable old Linksys WRT54GL or the flagship routers like the Netgear R8000; you can always flash them to DD-WRT to connect home router to a VPN.
Get A Pre-Flashed Router
Getting a pre-flashed router is the most hassle free option. This saves you from tweaking the configuration and flashing the firmware on your own. Especially if you are a layperson; then it is made for you!
How To Connect Home Router To a VPN:
In this guide that helps you connect home router to a VPN; we are going to use a DD-WRT flashed router and VPN service provided by ExpressVPN.
1. Backup Your Configurations:
Since we are on our way to tweak your router’s configuration; this is the best time to use the backup configuration option. However, it is not that we can not reverse it manually; but who would take that pain if this backing up facility is available?
You can head over to the backup Tool under Administration > Backup; as shown in the image below:
In a bid to create backup; simply click on the backup button, and your browser will automatically download a file with nvrambak.bin name. You can give a more relevant name to this configuration backup file.
You can use it if you do not feel like to configure VPN client on your router halfway. All you need to do is to navigate back to the same page and hit Restore Configuration button. This will save you from reversing your pre-VPN client settings manually.
2. Run the Configuration Script:
Following are the steps to automate the process to execute the configuration script:
- Sign in to your ExpressVPN account, go to its customer dashboard and click on VPN accounts.
- Here two options are of our interest; if you want to change end point of your VPN; you can do it by clicking Change Server, and click “Get Installers” link to get your hands on DD-WRT installer.
- Now in installer section, click the first option; which is DD-WRT.
- This installer will not be any real file; instead, it is a command which is designated for your configuration.
- Copy this entire command and head over to router’s control panel.
- Now go to Administration > Commands, paste that command into the Commands box and click Run Command.
- Then your router will reboot. Once it is done; you may to navigate to Status > OpenVPN to check the status.
- Ensure whether or not the client state is connected.
- If everything looks fine on the router’s side; now check your IP by typing “What’s my IP” on Google; if it looks like the following picture; then it is a success! That means VPN is running on your router.
Since our ISP uses a 71.-block address as our IP. And that means for the rest of the world we are using our internet from miles away from our actual location.
3. Change Your DNS:
You may need to change your DD-WRT DNS if you want an improved level of security. Here is how you can do it:
- Navigate to Setup > Basic and scroll down to the “Network Setup” section.
- You need to specify static DNS servers. Here are some renown and secure public DNS servers you can use as alternatives to your ISP’s default servers.
- In the above picture, you can see that we have filled two slots with Google DNS and one Level 3 DNS server. It is fall back if in case Google DNS is down.
- After doing that; click Save and Apply Settings.
4. Disable IPv6:
IPv6 is not considered safe as it can contain the MAC address of the connecting device, and most VPN providers don’t use IPv6. It is because it can make the information of your online activity vulnerable. To disable IPv6, navigate to Setup > IPv6; check it if it’s already disabled or not; if yes then turn it off and save the settings.
Given that, it is not so easy, and one has to dig deep into configuration and all those steps; it is worth making all the efforts. It is because having a VPN service that protects all the device on your notice is way better than having a VPN service just on a single device. So, learn to connect home router to a VPN and be safe 24/7. (also read, VPN GUIDE – EVERYTHING A BEGINNER NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT VPN)