As an increasing number of people become concerned with ensuring that they are able to access the Internet privately and securely, the popularity of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) continues to rise. If you’re among these people, one of the ways of maintaining your online privacy and security is by purchasing the best VPN router.
High-quality VPN routers are equipped with firmware that makes it easy for you to configure them to be used with a good VPN service in a way that doesn’t compromise the speed of your Internet connection.
When looking for the best VPN router that caters to your needs, the question becomes what qualities should you look for? Your top priority should be the speed of connectivity. Industry-leading VPN routers have speeds high enough that the difference between the regular non-VPN speeds and the speeds when connected are barely noticeable.
Furthermore, a good VPN router should allow for seamless integration with any of the leading VPN services on the market. This means that the interface of the VPN router should be intuitive enough that even beginners can use it with relative ease. Some of these devices feature firmware that will help you install your VPN, whereas some may be compatible with third-party firmware (e.g., DD-WRT) that you can use with a VPN.
Here’s our list of recommended VPN routers for 2018.
Linksys WRT 3200 ACM
- Speed:11n: 600 Mbps, 802.11ac: 3x 867 Mbps
- Connectivity: 1 ESATA/USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 port, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
- Features: 256MB flash memory, 512MB RAM, 1.8GHz dual-core CPU, Tri-Stream 160
- Exceptional features
- Supports open source firmware
- Tailored toward office rather than home use
- Occasionally spotty coverage
Our top recommendation for the best VPN router of 2018 is the Linksys WRT 3200 ACM. Housed within the device’s no-nonsense design is a powerful router with impressive versatility, making it a solid choice for VPN use.
For VPN compatibility, it allows for installation of third-party firmware such as DD-WRT. It comes with 3 bands and 4 antennae for expansive and fast network speeds. Even without a VPN, it’s a fantastic router in its right, because it comes with a USB 3.0 port as well as four Ethernet ports.
- Speed: 802.11ac 1734 Mbps down
- Connectivity: 1 USB 3.0 port, 1 USB 2.0 port, 5 Gigabit LAN ports
- Features: Adaptive QoS WTFast Gamers Private Network, Traffic Analyzer, MU-MIMO
- Great coverage
- Extensive firmware
- Divisive looks
- Complex firmware
If you’ve had some experience with the Asus brand, especially its products that are geared to gaming, then you probably know exactly what kind of device we’re dealing with here, more so when it comes to design.
However, that is not to say that you should disregard the router if all you’re looking for is a great router. The excellent features on this VPN router make it among the fastest in the industry. You will barely note the slight decrease in speeds when your VPN is on. Moreover, you can install third-party firmware on the device if you’re interested.
- Speed: 802.11n: 600Mbps, 802.11ac: 2,167Mbps
- Connectivity: 1 USB 3.0 port, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 WAN port, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
- Features: 8 external antennae, 512MB RAM, WPS, Traffic Analyzer, Link Aggregation, MU-MIMO
- Great gaming features
- Extensive coverage of Wi-Fi
- 1 USB 3.0 port
If you’re looking for a powerful high-end gaming router, the Asus RT-AC5300 is the perfect choice. It packs various advanced features which facilitate online gaming by reducing lag. It’s a solid option if you don’t mind paying a premium price to enjoy its features. Admittedly, not everyone is going to like the spider-like design of the device. However, the 8 servers have an important role to play: broadcasting your Wi-Fi connection throughout your home.
Linksys WRT32X Gaming router
- Speed: AC3200
- Connectivity: 1 eSATA/USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 port, 4 Gigabit LAN ports, 1 Gigabit WAN port
- Features: MU-MIMO, 1.8GHZ Dual-Core CPU, Customized Firmware, Killer Prioritization Engine
- Firmware is easy to use
- Impressive Wi-Fi speed
- Quite pricey
At first glance, it might appear as though there’s no difference between this device and the Linksys’ flagship router, the Linksys WRT3200. You’d be right to make that observation. The WRT32X packs all the beneficial components of its high-end counterpart. Additionally, it makes use of custom firmware that is highly intuitive and visually appealing.
Once again, the quality of device is reflected in the price. However, if you’re an online gamer and your top priority is finding a VPN router with a reliable ping performance, then this device is among the best on the market and will likely satisfy your needs.
- Speed: 11ac
- Connectivity: 1 USB 3.0 port and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
- Features: SmartConnect, Advanced Wireless AC beamforming, MU-MIMO
- Great performance
- Nice range of features
The D-link DIR-885L/R is a great VPN router to consider if you’re in search of a reliable mid-range device that brings together features tailored to games and an expansive range of Wi-Fi. This router’s great selection of ports is accompanied by an intuitive interface, which makes configuration of the router easy. It also supports DD-WRT, meaning that it’s a powerful and flexible device that you can customize to suit your needs.
Netgear Nighthawk X4S VDSL/ADSL Modem Router D7800
- Speed: 802.11n: 800 Mbps, 802.11ac: 1733Mbps
- Connectivity: 1 eSATA port, 2 USB 3.0 ports., and 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports
- Features: VDSL 2 modem
- VDSL 2 modem
- Impressive Wi-Fi performance
- For faster speeds, it needs special hardware
- Does not have 1024-QAM
Compared to the other VPN routers on this list, the D7800 is among the most visually appealing with its solid black color. It’s also incredibly fast and provides a pair of USB 3.0 ports as well as an eSATA connector.
However, the main advantage of the Nighthawk X4S D7800 is the VDSL 2 modem that’s built right into it, meaning you won’t spend more money buying or leasing a good one separately. The native software is good enough. Lastly, the device’s Dynamic QOS system makes it easy to manage multiple devices on your home network.