While using a public Wi-fi network, it is essential that the data transmitted is encrypted and not vulnerable to any attacks. A VPN, known as the virtual private network, provides privacy and a secure connection to a user. The VPN masks the IP address of the user’s device. Therefore the device becomes untraceable by the intruder and helps maintain our web activities anonymous, keeping the browsing history of a user hidden.
How To Choose A VPN?
Before choosing a VPN to set up for your router, the below questions will be asked to select the best VPN:
- Is the privacy of the user being respected?
- Is the current protocol being employed?
- Are there data limits for usage?
- Location of servers.
- Can we set up VPN access on multiple devices?
- Cost of setting up a VPN.
Make Your Router VPN Ready
Some routers are VPN server compatible and VPN client compatible. The client compatible router can be changed to server consistent, and this allows the user to reach his/her home network via a VPN connection no matter where he/she is accessing from.
To set up a VPN on your router, make sure that you have a VPN client compatible router and so you can proceed setting up a VPN on your router. If in case the router is not compatible for VPN set up, follow the steps given below:
Installing firmware in your router
A VPN service is provided by installing firmware in your router. The most popular firmware is DD-WRT and Tomato. Installing firmware is simply like installing an operating system in your system.
Find your router’s IP address
After installing a firmware, find the IP address of your router, and this process varies depending on the operating system of your computer.
Accessing the router
Enter the IP address of the router in the URL box of the browser. A prompt appears, and you need to enter the username and password. If the username and password were not changed before, enter the credentials given in the router manual. After entering the credentials, search for the firmware install page, and in most of the router interfaces, we can find that page under the ‘Administration’ category.
Upload the firmware’s bin file
In case you are using DD-WRT firmware, upload the bin file of the firmware, and after uploading, you will find the firmware installed.
Set up the credentials
DD-WRT default IP address is 192.168.1.1. Or choose a stable address via IPRouterLogin.com. Enter the IP address in the browser and set up a new username and password for your router. After this, you will be able to configure the VPN.
Ensure that the router is connecting to the internet after performing the above steps.
Prepare the router for installing a VPN
Go to the VPN tab under the ‘Services’ section and select the ‘Enable’ radio button.
Now the router is ready for a VPN client.
Set Up A VPN On Your Router
After the router is ready for a VPN setup, follow the steps given below to enable a VPN on your router:
Router configuration panel
Open the router configuration panel by entering the router’s IP address in the browser. The procedure for finding the IP address varies according to the operating system.
Every VPN and firmware has its steps and procedures. Ensure to follow them for a hassle-free VPN setup.
Ensure stable internet connection in the router
If the router does not connect to the internet, check if the above-given steps are followed correctly.
Advantages Of A VPN Router
- Effectively masks the IP address of the user and ensures anonymity.
- Protection from eavesdropping and any vulnerabilities caused by the hacker/intruder.
- Instead of having a VPN installed in each device, it is better to install a VPN in the router so that there is no overload in installing a VPN in the tools used.
- When the data used by a user reaches the limit, the internet service provider slows down the speed, and this is called data throttling. This can be avoided by using a VPN.
- The router’s VPN services can be used by the devices in which a VPN cannot be installed.
Disadvantages Of A VPN Router
- The internet connection will be slowed down as there is an overload in the encryption of the data that the user transmits over the public network.
- Though we can ensure encryption by setting up a VPN on the router, we are unaware of the degree of encryption that may lead to vulnerable attacks.
- Connection breaks can occur when using a VPN.
- We cannot ensure complete anonymity while browsing the internet.
- The VPN service which is being installed might monitor your activity and use your data.