The Best VPN Routers in 2022: Unflashed and Pre-Flashed

Giant router next to a VPN-shield, a trophy and a woman using a laptop
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Roundup: The Best VPN Routers

When you install a VPN on your router, all devices connected to that router’s network will automatically be protected by the VPN. This is what makes VPN routers so useful, as you can protect the online data of your entire family in one simple step.

There are now several VPN routers on the market. In our view, the following are the best overall VPN routers you can get today:

  1. ASUS RT-AX86U: The best VPN router overall
  2. Linksys WRT-3200 ACM: The best VPN router with open-source software
  3. TP-Link Archer X21: The best VPN router at a low price
  4. Synology RT-2600AC: The best mid-tier VPN router
  5. Netgear Nighthawk X10: The best VPN router for ultra-fast speeds
  6. TP-Link AC5400: The best VPN router for gamers
  7. ASUS RT-AC5300: The best open-source VPN router for gaming

Each of these router supports a VPN connection out of the box. However, you will need to configure them manually. If that’s not something you’re comfortable with, you can get a router that comes with NordVPN pre-installed. NordVPN is our top-rated VPN for 2022, and Flash Routers provides pre-flashed NordVPN versions of excellent routers.

Read the rest of the article to learn more about the unique features of each router!

In today’s world, most homes and enterprises have multiple devices connected to the same network. One way to encrypt and anonymize data on all devices is by installing a VPN app on each one. However, this can be rather cumbersome.

Instead, a VPN router encrypts all data passing through your network. In other words, it secures the connection on all devices without the need to individually install a VPN app on each.

Given the sheer number of router options, it can be difficult to identify the best one for your needs. In this article, we cover the best VPN routers at different price points for different use cases. Some pre-flashed VPN routers that work with NordVPN are also covered.

The Best VPN Routers: Quick Comparison

Best VPN routers iconIn creating the list of best VPN routers, we looked at the speeds they offer, the price points, connection ports, and ease of installing a VPN provider. We also ensured that we covered routers across the price spectrum, from affordable routers to expensive premium machines.

Check out the table below for a quick summary of the five best VPN routers. Keep reading below for our full list of recommended routers, as well as our more in-depth reviews for each.

VPN RouterASUS RT-AX86ULinksys WRT-3200 ACMTP-Link Archer X21Synology RT 2600 ACNetgear Nighthawk X10
Data Transfer Rate5700 Mbps3200 Mbps1800 Mbps2500 Mbps7200 Mbps
Number of Ports74557
Processing Power1.8 GHz1.8 GHz1.7 Ghz1.7 GHz1.7 GHz
WiFi Connection Standards802.11a/b/n/ac/ax802.11 ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11 ac/ad
Price$269.99$298$99$199.99$285
Where to BuyView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

Each of these routers is excellent in its own right, though they’re suited for different purposes. We dive deeper into each router individually below. But before that, it’s important to quickly understand the different kinds of VPN routers on the market.

Two Kinds of VPN Routers

Infographic showing two kinds of VPN routersBefore pressing the buy button, it’s worth knowing the two kinds of routers you can get. This should help you narrow your search. There are broadly two kinds of VPN routers: pre-flashed and unflashed.

Pre-flashed routers

Pre-flashed routers come with a pre-installed VPN. This kind of router is for people who already know which VPN they want to use and those who don’t want to go through the process of setting up a router. We covered the best pre-flashed routers for NordVPN later in this article.

Unflashed routers

On the other hand, unflashed routers require you to use the router’s app or web GUI to activate your VPN connection. This means you can switch between VPN providers if you’re still unsure about which to use.

Note, however, that in some cases, the router’s original firmware may not support your preferred VPN connection. It’s also possible that the original firmware only supports certain kinds of VPN protocols (such as OpenVPN or IPSec).

If you want to use an unsupported VPN client or protocol on an unflashed router, you will need to replace the stock firmware with open-source router firmware such as DD-WRT and Tomato. This process is known as “flashing.” We explained the steps for installing DD-WRT on your router later in the article.

The Definitive List of the Best VPN Routers in 2022

As mentioned above, we looked at a range of factors, such as speed and connectivity, when selecting the best VPN routers. We also tried to include a diverse set of brands, including well-known ones such as ASUS and lesser-known ones like Synology. For each router, we’ve provided an overview of its design, installation process and, of course, performance.

Please note that some of the latest routers do not support DD-WRT and you will be limited to the VPN options provided by the router manufacturer. Make sure to do your research before buying an unflashed router.

1. ASUS RT-AX86U: The best VPN router overall

ProsCons
WiFi 6 supportNo wall mounting
Useful gaming add-ons
Great ASUS app and interface

Asus RT-AX86U RouterSpecifications:

  • Brand: ASUS
  • Data Transfer Rate: 5700 MBps
  • Processing Power: 1.8 GHz
  • Frequency: 2.4 and 5 GHz
  • Wireless Type: 802.11n, 802.11b, 802.11ax, 802.11a, 802.11ac
  • Voltage: 19 Volts

If you’re looking for a router that’s fast, powerful, and packs in some useful additional features, look no further than the ASUS RT-AX86U. Launched in 2021, this router features the latest iteration of the WiFI standard, i.e., WiFi 6 or 802.11ax. This means that its WiFi connections are more efficient and faster than its other counterparts. Of course, you would need a WiFi 6 compatible device to experience the fastest device, but it performs well even on non-WiFi 6 devices.

The router is built well and looks pretty great overall. The red accents add a nice touch to the overall design and make it look like a gaming router. It does pack some features gamers will appreciate, including a dedicated gaming port and optimization for Nvidia’s GeForce Now.

The ASUS router app makes it a breeze to get the router running. You can easily optimize the router as per your requirements using the app. It also has a feature known as Instant Guard, which lets you set up a VPN server and client using your router. It uses the IPSec VPN protocol and AES2-56 bit encryption, which is a fairly high standard. The router also boasts parental controls quality of service settings, and USB 3.0 ports, which helps improve its functionality.

Please note that DD-WRT and Tomato support for WiFi 6 routers is limited. This means you won’t be able to run custom firmware on these routers. However, the AX86U comes with ASUSWRT-Merlin, a high-end firmware that supports different VPN connections. You can also get a pre-flashed version of this router with NordVPN from FlashRouters for around $425.

Check out the ASUS RT-AX86U on Amazon

2. Linksys WRT-3200 ACM: The best VPN router with open-source software

ProsCons
Supports DD-WRT2018 model
Great designNo WiFi 6 support

Linksys WRT-3200 ACM RouterSpecifications:

  • Brand: Linksys
  • Data Transfer Rate: 3200 Mbps
  • Processing Power: 1.8 GHz
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz and 5Ghz
  • Wireless Type: 802.11ac
  • Voltage: 12 Volts

The Linksys WRT-3200 ACM is a high-end router that supports DD-WRT. As a result, you can completely customize the firmware and enhance the device’s capabilities as per your liking. While it offers speeds of up to 3200 Mbps out of the box, this can be ramped up after flashing custom firmware. As the image shows, the router has a pretty cool design that will stand out at home or in an office.

Another interesting feature is that this is a dual-band router with Tri-stream 160 technology. This means it supports two 160 Mhz bandwidth channels in the 5 GHz band, preventing devices from clogging up the 5GHz bandwidth channel. However, this is different from the tri-band technology that some routers in this list have, where there are two distinct 5 GHz bands.

There are, however, a couple of downsides to the WRT-3200 ACM. It’s a 2018 device and doesn’t support WiFi 6. With the increasing availability of WiFi 6 devices, the router may be redundant in a couple of years.

View the latest offers on the Linksys WRT-3200 on Amazon
ProsCons
Budget-friendlyVPN cannot be set up from the TP-Link app
WiFi 6 supportNo parental controls
Simple but effective design

TP-Link Archer X21 RouterSpecifications:

  • Brand: TP-Link
  • Data Transfer Rate: 1800 MBps
  • Processing Power: 1.7 GHz
  • Frequency: 2.4 and 5GHz
  • Wireless Type: 802.11 g,802.11n, 802.11b, 802.11ax, 802.11a, 802.11ac
  • Voltage: 12 Volts

If you want a good VPN router that costs less than $100, then the Archer X21 is probably your best. A WiFi 6-enabled router from TP-Link, the Archer X21 packs powerful performance into a sleek and well-designed frame. Unlike previous TP-Link routers in this series, the X21 is not prone to overheating, thanks to the addition of silicone feet.

In terms of performance, the Archer X21 delivers speeds of up to 1200Mbps. While this is slower than other routers on this list, it should be more than enough for use at home or even in small offices. TP-Link’s tether app is fairly easy to use, and setting up the router shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes for most users.

However, there’s no way to set up a VPN server and client from within the Tether app. You will have to use TP-Link’s web GUI, which supports OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP. Another downside is the unavailability of parental control options which are pretty standard on most other routers. Overall, the Archer X21 is still an excellent option for the price it comes for.

View the Archer X21 on Amazon

4. Synology RT-2600AC: The best mid-tier VPN router

ProsCons
Support for several VPN protocolsUnispring design
Great app and web UILimited after-sales support

Synology RT-2600AC RouterSpecifications:

  • Brand: Synology
  • Data Transfer Rate: 2500 MBps
  • Processing Power: 1.7 GHz
  • Frequency: 2.4 and 5GHz
  • Wireless Type: 802.11 g, 802.11n, 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11ac
  • Voltage: 12 Volts

Synology isn’t as well known as ASUS or TP-Link. But its RT-2600AC is certainly one of the best VPN routers available in the $150-$200 price range. While it doesn’t support WiFi 6, it offers some great speeds, reaching up to 2500 Mbps in ideal conditions. The device isn’t compact but certainly isn’t large and should fit on most table tops and shelves.

Under the hood, the RT-2600 AC packs a 1.7 GHz Qualcomm chipset which allows the router to run multiple applications easily. It boasts four external antennas, which can be adjusted to ensure optimal connectivity for all devices. The Synology app and WebUI are very well designed and pack in a bunch of value-added features, including a range of VPN options (such as Open VPN, PPTP, SSETP, Synology SSL VPN, L2TP/IPSec, and WebVPN).

After-sales support for the RT-2600 AC may be limited in some countries, given that Synology isn’t a global brand yet. The design may also be a little bland or boring for some users.

Get the best offers on the Synology RT-2600AC on Amazon

5. Netgear Nighthawk X10: The best VPN router for ultra-fast speeds

ProsCons
Support for 60GHz bandSet up process can be laggy
Ultra-fast speedsThe connection range is limited

Netgear Nighthawk X10 RouterSpecifications:

  • Brand: Netgear
  • Data Transfer Rate: 7200 MBps
  • Processing Power: 1.7 GHz
  • Frequency: 2.4, 5 and 60 GHz
  • Wireless Type: 802.11ac, 802.11 ad
  • Voltage: 19 Volts

Let’s say you want to get a router that’s going to serve you well for the next five years or so. The Nighthawk X10 by Netgear is a great option since it features a 60GHz connection, in addition to the usual 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands on most other routers.

Theoretically, you should achieve speeds close to 7200 Mbps across the three bands. While real-life speeds will surely be lower, it will likely be the fastest router on the list and the ideal choice for transferring large files and streaming 4K videos. The presence of seven ethernet ports means you can connect up to seven wired devices for faster connections and transfer speeds.

VPN services can be configured on the Nighthawk by using the Netgear Genie app or by visiting the Web GUI. That said, the initial setup process can sometimes be a bit laggy. Moreover, the Nighthawk’s connection range is questionable, with significant drop-offs in speed as the distance increases.

Click here for the best deal on the Netgear Nighthawk X10
ProsCons
Tri-band routerLarge size
Nine ports for better-wired connectivityNo WiFi 6 support
Consistent performance across different distances

TP-Link AC5400 RouterSpecifications:

  • Brand: TP-Link
  • Data Transfer Rate: 5500 MBps
  • Processing Power: 1.8 GHz
  • Frequency: 2.4 and 5GHz
  • Wireless Type: 802.11ac, 802.11 n
  • Voltage: 19 Volts

You can tell just by looking at the TP-Link AC5400 that it was designed for gamers. It gets a spot on our list of best VPN routers due to its excellent security and performance. Like other routers on this list, it has a reasonably powerful 1.8GHz processor that can handle most tasks easily.

It’s also a tri-band router with two dedicated 5GHz channels. As a result, you can connect several devices to the faster 5GHz channels without clogging the network. The AC5400 also delivers exceptional speed, even up to 100 feet away. This makes it suitable for usage in large homes or offices.

A unique aspect of this router is its focus on security, with a built-in malicious content filter and intrusion prevention system. The nine connectivity ports and USB 3.0 support ensure you can hook this router up to many devices using ethernet cables for ultra-fast speeds.

Since it’s a TP-Link router, the AC5400 uses the same Tether app as the Archer X21. As we mentioned above, it seems like a VPN connection cannot be set up from within the app and you need to use the web interface instead. Of course, TP-Link supports the major VPN protocols, such as OpenVPN and PPTP.

While the router looks pretty cool, it is bulky and occupies a lot of space. Moreover, the antennas cannot be adjusted and you will have to carve out some serious space to house this beast of a device. But if you don’t have too many WiFi 6 devices, then this could be the best option for you.

View the best Amazon offers on the TP-Link AC5400

7. ASUS RT-AC5300: The best open-source VPN router for gaming

ProsCons
Support DD-WRTLarge footprint
Optimized for gaming and 4K streamingNo Wi-Fi 6 support
Tri-band routerExpensive

Asus RT-AC5300 RouterSpecifications:

  • Brand: ASUS
  • Data Transfer Rate: 5300 MBps
  • Processing Power: 1.4 GHz
  • Frequency: 2.4 and 5GHz
  • Wireless Type: 802.11ac
  • Voltage: 19 Volts

The ASUS RT-AC5300 is another router designed specifically for gamers. The design, which is pretty similar to TP-Link AC5400, will appeal to gamers due to its red accents and multiple antennas (it 8 antennas!), and one-click quality of service settings. Of course, the device is pretty hefty, and like the last router on this list, you will need to devote significant space to it.

The AC5300 is a tri-band router, with one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. You should get fast speed on all bands regardless of how many devices are connected. 5300 Mbps is the theoretical maximum speed this router can provide, though you should explore closer to about 1000 Mpbs on most devices.

It runs on the ASUSWRT firmware, which packs all the basic features and some advanced functionalities too. One of the functionalities is, of course, VPN support. Unlike other ASUS routers on this list, the RT-AC5300 does support DD-WRT. As a result, you can flash it and run your preferred VPN client on the router.

Despite the RT-AC5300’s heft price tag ($369 on Amazon), it lacks some critical features. For instance, it does not support WiFi 6 or a 60GHz channel. Additionally, the size and design may not be appealing for non-gamers.

Check out the ASUS RT-AC5300 on Amazon

The Best Pre-Flashed Routers in 2022

If you want to avoid the hassle of setting up a VPN using the router’s app or web interface, you can opt for a pre-flashed router. These routers come with leading VPN providers, such as NordVPN, pre-installed. You just have to power up the device and fill in your subscription credentials.

NordVPN is our highest-rated VPN for 2022. It offers excellent speeds, a vast network of servers, and advanced security features, such as a kill switch and double VPN. Unfortunately, this VPN service does not supply pre-flashed routers on its own, like some other competitors. Instead, you can get pre-flashed routers with NordVPN installed from sites like FlashRouters.

NordVPN
Our pick
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Deal:
Only $2.99 a month for a two-year subscription with a 30-day money-back guarantee!
From
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9.3
  • Excellent protection and a large network of servers
  • Nice and pleasing application
  • No logs
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You can also get a free trial with NordVPN by using its 30-day money-back guarantee. Let’s take a look at the best VPN routers with NordVPN pre-flashed.

1. ASUS RT-AX86U with NordVPN

Asus RT-AX86U RouterSpecifications:

  • Brand: ASUS
  • Data Transfer Rate: 5700 MBps
  • Processing Power: 1.8 GHz
  • Frequency: 2.4 and 5 GHz
  • Wireless Type: 802.11n, 802.11b, 802.11ax, 802.11a, 802.11ac
  • Voltage: 19 Volts

Our best pre-flashed router is also the best router overall. The ASUS RT-AX86U can be purchased pre-flashed with NordVPN if you purchase from Flash Routers. The subscription bundles a year of NordVPN for free. It’s one of the few pre-flashed WiFi 6 routers available on the market at the time of writing.

As mentioned earlier in the article, the RT-AX86U is prized for its dedicated gaming port, Nvidia GeForce optimization, and Instant Guard feature (that lets you set up a VPN server using your router). You can secure your connection with IPSec and military-grade AES-256 encryption. At a price tag of $425, it’s one of the best deals you can find on pre-flashed routers.

Check out the Pre-flashed ASUS RT-AX86U on Flash Routers

2. ASUS RT-AX68U with NordVPN

Asus RT-AX68U RouterSpecifications:

  • Brand: ASUS
  • Data Transfer Rate: 2700 Mbps
  • Processing Power: 1.8 GHz
  • Frequency: 2.4 and 5GHz
  • Wireless Type: 802.11ax
  • Voltage: 19 Volts

Not to be confused with our top-rated VPN router (the AX86U), the Asus AX68U can be purchased as a pre-flashed unit from Flash Routers. This model is slightly downgraded from the RT-AX86U. However, it’s still a fantastic overall router and comes with NordVPN installed out of the box.

The router is WiFi 6-enabled and performs well across different bandwidth channels. Its advertised maximum speed is 2700 Mbps, even half of which should be enough for most internet-based activities. However, if you don’t have any WiFi 6 devices, then you may be better served by looking at a cheaper ASUS model such as the RT-AC86U. Just remember that the pre-flashed version is more expensive than a normal router, with a price tag of $224.99.

Check out the Pre-flashed ASUS RT-AX68U on Flash Routers

3. Netgear R6400 with NordVPN

Netgear R6400 RouterSpecifications:

  • Brand: Netgear
  • Data Transfer Rate: 1000 MBps
  • Processing Power: 1 GHz
  • Frequency: 2.4 and 5GHz
  • Wireless Type: 802.11ac
  • Voltage: 12 Volts

Another router that comes pre-flashed with NordVPN is the Netgear R6400. It’s much cheaper than both the models listed above but still offers great speeds and exceptional range. While it doesn’t have WiFi 6 capabilities, its speeds on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidths are more than enough for streaming and gaming on most devices.

The design is a little plain and doesn’t have the cool accents or trims of some of the other routers on this list. It also lacks advanced features, such as MU-MIMO, which is useful for splitting bandwidth across multiple connected devices.

Check out the Pre-flashed Netgear R6400 on Flash Routers

How Do I Set Up a VPN on My Router?

Router with a VPN shieldThe process of setting up a VPN on your router differs based on the brand and firmware. For most routers on our list, you should be able to set up a VPN using the router’s app or their web interface. Guides on how to do this for each brand are also easily available online.

The VPN protection offered by routers on this list should be sufficient for most people. But if you want to install a VPN of your choice, you must “flash” your router. This just means you’ll be replacing the existing operating system software on the router’s flash memory. However, you do need to follow the right instructions because there’s a small chance the router will be damaged if you make a mistake.

How to flash your router: A step-by-step guide

Not sure how to flash a router? We’ve made things straightforward for you. Simply follow our step-by-step guide to flashing a router below. This will ensure all your connected devices automatically use the VPN connection:

  • Find your router in the router database of DD-WRT (on this page) and download the .bin file. Please note that most WiFi 6 routers do not currently support DD-WRT or Tomato, which are the leading open-source firmware for routers.
  • Install the new firmware by checking the specific instructions on this DD-WRT page. If your router isn’t listed, simply Google your router in combination with the phrase “DD-WRT.”

The easiest way to change the firmware is by using the Web GUI of your router. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Reset your router (via the button on your router).
  2. Get your device’s IP address to access the web GUI. To find the IP address on a Windows device, press the Windows Key + X to bring up the Power User menu.
  3. Select Command Prompt from the same menu.
  4. Type in “ipconfig” in Command Prompt and press enter. It should display your IP address.
  5. Copy your IP address and paste it into the URL bar of your browser with HTTP added as a prefix. This should load the firmware management system.
  6. Log in using the credentials provided for your router. These are usually listed on the box or on the device itself.
  7. Check the management system for where you can flash new firmware.
  8. Flash the firmware. Take note: this process shouldn’t be interrupted, or your router may be permanently damaged. Hence, it makes sense to use a wired connection.
  9. Reset your router.

That’s it — you’re good to go!

For more information on how to flash your router, please check out our DD-WRT article, which explains how to flash a router in greater detail.

I already have a Wi-Fi modem. Can I still use a VPN Router?

Chances are you received a Wi-Fi modem from your internet service provider (ISP). If you still want to connect your devices to a VPN router, you have to buy it separately and connect it to the Wi-Fi modem of your ISP. The best way is to connect your VPN router to your Wi-Fi modem with a cable. This will allow you to reach the highest speeds.

Moreover, you’ll need to set your Wi-Fi modem to “bridge mode.” This ensures that your Wi-Fi modem will only transmit the internet to the next router and won’t act as a router itself. By doing this, you’ll be able to connect a VPN router with a standard Wi-Fi modem from your internet provider.

What Should You Look for in a VPN Router?

There are a few important things to remember when deciding which VPN router is the best. In addition to general factors, such as speed, it’s wise to consider the following things:

5 things to look for in a VPN router, with illustrations

  • Easy installation process: When putting together our list of best VPN routers, we paid special attention to routers that allow for the easy installation and use of a VPN.
  • Different network ports and connectivity: It’s possible to set up different network ports or connections on routers. This allows you to use a VPN on some connections, but not all. Moreover, this means you can set up different VPN servers on different network ports. This way you could have a local VPN tunnel on one port, and an American one on the other.
  • Appropriate price: There will be those of you looking for the best budget VPN router. The difference in price between routers can be huge. Some VPN routers are four times more expensive than others. Therefore, it’s important to consider whether you actually need the extra options that more expensive routers offer.
  • High processing power: Usually, when choosing a router, the processing power isn’t too important. However, this is different for VPN routers. Since the VPN router has to encrypt and decrypt your data, it has to work harder than a regular router. That’s why we also took processing power into consideration when compiling our list of the best VPN routers.
  • Advanced features: Most routers are now complex machines with several advanced connectivity and gaming features. Keep a look out for terms such as MU-MIMO and beamforming as these indicate a router’s ability to handle connections simultaneously.

Note that the price of the VPN software is important to consider, as well. After all, most VPNs aren’t free. To use the VPN functionality of these routers, you’ll have to get a VPN subscription, so make sure to factor that in when shopping for a VPN router.

Pros and Cons of a VPN Router

Pros and cons iconWhile a VPN router definitely helps secure internet activity on all your devices, it can also have some downsides. We discuss these below.

Pros of using a VPN router

  • No need to install a VPN app on all devices. When your router is already connected to a VPN, this removes the need to install a VPN app on each of your devices. Family members and houseguests are also automatically connected to the VPN without any need for configuration on their devices.
  • Use a VPN on gaming consoles. Want to use your PS5 to watch international Netflix libraries? Now you can. Although no VPN apps are available for gaming consoles, you can work around this using a VPN router.
  • Cost-effective as one VPN subscription can protect multiple devices. Most VPN subscription plans limit the number of devices that are protected. With a VPN router, you can secure your internet traffic across all devices with just one subscription. This is particularly useful if you have numerous devices that require VPN protection.

Cons of using a VPN router

  • Routers tend to come with limited VPN features and settings. If you use the built-in VPN that comes with your router, chances are that advanced features like multi-hop and dedicated servers won’t be available. The selection of server locations may also be limited.
  • Speeds may be slower across devices. Since multiple devices are working through a single VPN server, chances are that overall speeds may be slower than if a VPN was installed on each individual device.
  • Setting up a VPN on a router can be complicated. Setting up a VPN on a router usually requires one to know how to access the router’s firmware, which can be challenging for some users. However, more routers now come with dedicated apps that simplify the process of setting up a VPN. Of course, it’s still not as easy as using a VPN app.

Choosing the Best VPN Router in 2022

VPN routers are a great one-stop solution for security and encryption on all your devices. You can’t go wrong choosing any of the routers on our list. If you’re on a budget, then the TP-Link Archer X-21 router is your best option. For gamers, the TP-Link AC5400 is a solid choice due to its unique features and connectivity options.

For the best VPN router, however, the ASUS RT-AX86U is a clear winner overall. It even has a pre-flashed version, making it easy to get the VPN up and running for users who are uncomfortable with configuring a VPN on their own.

NordVPN is our VPN of choice for pre-flashed routers. This VPN service protects your online activity and offers excellent speed, robust security features, and an impressive server network across the globe. Aside from pre-flashed routers, NordVPN also has a mobile privacy app for Android and iOS and is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, and other smart devices.

Get NordVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee
The Best VPN Routers: Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for the best VPN routers of 2022? Take a look at our FAQ below to get the answers you need.

The Asus RT-AX86U is, in our opinion, the best router for VPNs. With no less than seven network ports, high speeds, easy to install VPN software, and a reasonable price, this router delivers an excellent all-round performance.

Would you rather use a different router? Read about different options in our top best VPN routers for 2022.

Yes, several routers now come with built-in VPNs. For instance, ASUS’s RT-AX86U and AX68U both come with Instant Guard, which allows your router to function like a VPN server.

You can also get a router with your preferred VPN provider pre-installed from sites like Flash Routers. They offer pre-flashed versions of the RT-AX86U and RT-AX68U with NordVPN, our top rated VPN provider of 2022.

If you’re wondering how to flash a router, the good news is it’s simple.

  1. First, search the DD-WRT router database for your router and download the .bin file.
  2. Check the specific instructions to learn how to install the new firmware.
  3. Adjust the firmware via Web-GUI. We recommend you read our extensive manual for a step-by-step explanation of how to do this.

When you set up a VPN connection on your router, all data traffic that travels through the router is automatically secured and anonymized. There’s no need to install a VPN on all your devices separately. Your online traffic will be encrypted, so no one will be able to see what you’re doing online.

VPN routers ensure that all devices on your local network are securely connected. If multiple devices use the local network, they’re automatically protected. This saves time compared to installing a VPN app on all of these devices individually.

Author
Tech journalist
Mohit is a legal and public policy researcher whose work focuses largely on technology regulation. At VPNOverview, he writes about cybersecurity, cryptocurrencies and sports events.
Author
Tech journalist
Tove has been working for VPNoverview since 2017 as a journalist covering cybersecurity and privacy developments. She has broad experience developing rigorous VPN testing procedures and protocols for our VPN review section and has tested dozens of VPNs over the years.
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  1. My friend has TP-Link Archer C2300 with NordVPN, he’s happy with it, but I want to make a present for Christmas and buy him a new router, going to buy him the Asus ROG Rapture GT because according to you it’s good and I mean… it looks like from a sci-fi movie hahaha

  2. Flashrouters is a good product for pre-flashed devices; you’ll pay about a $100 mark-up for their labor, app, and a year of support. But after that year, good luck, because their pricing model for extended support is very poorly-priced. It’s another $100 for another year of support (keep in mind it was $100 extra for the flashed router, app, AND support at point of purchase), or $50 for three months of support. It makes no sense whatsoever. Why not $75 for a year of extra support and $25 for three months of e-mail support? Why not an a la carte option where you can pay for support when you need it?

    But my biggest complaint is the lack of providers for their app. They don’t even have Mullvad on there and Mullvad is out there doing big deals with Malwarebytes and Mozilla.

  3. This is very informative. As using PureVPN, I came to know that it is easily configured with almost all the routers that are mentioned in the blog. I have just upgraded my PureVPN account as they are having Black Friday deal giving away 88% discount so it cost me $79 for a subscription of 5 years.

    • True! PureVPN also works with many routers. The Black Friday deal is still live now, since it’s Cyber Monday, as are many of the great deals by other VPN providers. We hope you enjoy your PureVPN subscription!

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