Best VPN service for Netgear routers (and how to install them)

Netgear routers can connect to VPNs in one of two methods, depending on the model:

  • You may configure a VPN server directly on the router, granting remote access to your home network.
  • You may establish a secure connection to another location’s VPN server.

By default, Netgear routers support just the first option, which enables secure remote access to a computer, IoT device, or media server in your house. In essence, the router serves as a VPN server.

The second option encrypts all of your home’s internet connections and enables you to unblock region-locked content. This is for you if you desire private torrenting, geo-unblocking, and increased security.

Regrettably, the VPN feature incorporated into the Netgear router firmware is incompatible with the second option. Therefore, if you wish to connect your Netgear router to a VPN server located in another area, you’ll need to install firmware such as DD-WRT or Tomato.

While updating the firmware on your router is free and rather simple, there are some dangers involved, including the possibility of harming the router or voiding the warranty.

NordVPN is the best VPN for Netgear routers.

We strongly suggest NordVPN if you wish to safely connect your Netgear router to a VPN server in a faraway location.

If your router supports DD-WRT firmware, you may manually configure it using the instructions on NordVPN’s website. Another alternative is to acquire a FlashRouter-configured NordVPN Netgear router.

NordVPN is the quickest VPN we’ve tested and is excellent for unblocking geo-restricted content such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. Additionally, it is very secure since it does not save any identifying logs. Customer help is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the website’s live chat function.

Although NordVPN is our top recommendation, CyberGhost VPN and ExpressVPN are equally viable options.

VPNs on Netgear routers explained

Although several Netgear router models enable Virtual Private Networks, this may not mean what you expect. The VPN configured on the default Netgear router is somewhat different from the VPN configured on the phone or laptop.

Netgear enables customers to configure their VPN server directly on the router. This enables you to connect to your home network through the internet from a remote place. For instance, if you’re away from home and want to connect to your home PC, internet-of-things devices, or a media server, you may.

This configuration, however, does not safeguard your internet connection at home nor does it allow you to access region-locked content.

That is where a VPN service, such as NordVPN, comes in handy. VPN services maintain servers located across the globe and link you to them through encrypted tunnels. This allows you, for example, to access information that is only accessible in certain countries. Additionally, it safeguards your privacy by preventing your ISP, government organizations, and hackers from monitoring your browser and downloading activities.

Regrettably, Netgear routers cannot connect to a remote VPN server. If you want to do so, you must replace the firmware.

How to configure a Netgear router to connect to your home network using a VPN

This configuration, which is included as standard on several Netgear router models, enables remote access to your home network, not the internet. This is advantageous for smart home and Internet of Things devices, as well as for home media servers and remote access to PCs. It is not meant to provide you with an encrypted internet connection or a separate public IP address

Although not all Netgear routers provide this capability, many do, including all ProSafe and Nighthawk models.

Since you’re configuring both the client and the server, you’ll need to configure the VPN on both the router and the device to which you’re connecting.

How to configure a VPN on a Netgear router:

  1. Navigate to via a web browser.
  2. Enter your router’s administrator username and password (Netgear Genie). By default, the username is admin and the password is password; however, if you haven’t previously, you should update them.
  3. Navigate to Advanced > Advanced Configuration > VPN Service.
  4. Select the Enable VPN Service checkbox and click Apply.
  5. Configure the VPN service according to your preferences. This is determined by the purpose for which you want to use the VPN.
  6. Download the OpenVPN configuration files for the device you want to connect to, such as Windows or Android.
  7. Transfer the files to the device that will be connected to the VPN and import them into your preferred OpenVPN client.
  8. Connect using the OpenVPN profile you have established on the app!

You may utilize the official OpenVPN programs, which are available for free on the majority of major operating systems. Typically, they are accessible via your device’s app store or default repository.

How to upgrade a Netgear router’s firmware

If you wish to connect your router to a distant VPN server, you’ll need to upgrade the firmware. This procedure, referred to as “flashing,” has the potential to permanently harm your router and lose its warranty if not completed properly, so continue with care.

  1. Download firmware that is VPN-compliant and compatible with your particular Netgear router model. We can propose anything along the lines of DD-WRT or Tomato.
  2. Navigate to via a web browser.
  3. Enter your router’s administrator username and password (Netgear Genie). By default, the username is admin and the password is password; however, if you haven’t previously, you should update them.
  4. Select Advanced > Administration > Routing and Switching > Router Update.
  5. Navigate to the firmware you downloaded in step 1 by clicking Browse.
  6. To flash the router, click Upload.
  7. Restart the router if necessary.

After installing the updated firmware, you may configure a VPN connection. For more details, see our articles on the best VPN for DD-WRT and the best VPN for Tomato routers.

Are there any free VPNs for Netgear routers available?

As mentioned before, you may configure some Netgear routers to act as VPN servers, allowing you to access your home network. This is a built-in function that may be accessed via the use of free and open-source VPN applications on your phone or laptop.

However, there are no free solutions for connecting your router to a VPN server in another area that we are aware of. The majority of free VPNs are only compatible with smartphones and computers running major operating systems.

In any case, free VPNs are to be avoided at all costs. They limit your usage, restrict downloads, and require users to connect through queues. Numerous websites monitor your online behavior and sell the information to other parties, including marketers. Certain individuals may even infect your device with malware or sell your bandwidth for botnet assaults.

If you want a high-quality service, pay for a VPN.

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