Setting up a virtual private network (VPN) on your router rather than individually on each device has numerous benefits. You can connect as many devices as your router can handle, and any device connected to it will be automatically protected. However, the instructions for VPN installation vary by router model, often leading to confusion.
If you are wondering how to use a VPN with your router, we are here to help. In this guide, we will explain how to install a VPN on Xfinity, AT&T, TP-Link, Netgear, Asus, Belkin, and Cisco routers. Read on to start browsing without limits.
How to install a VPN on an Xfinity router
Installing a VPN on Xfinity routers is a difficult task, as most VPN providers do not support them. You will need to buy another router, preferably Asus, Netgear, Linksys, or TP-Link, and use your Xfinity router as a modem in bridge mode. Once you have the second router box, follow the steps below to enable bridge mode on your Xfinity router:
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- On a device connected to your Xfinity router, visit the Xfinity Admin Tool page.
- Log in with the default username (admin) and password (password) unless you have changed your login details previously.
- Click on “Gateway” in the left sidebar, then “At a glance”.
- Select ‘Enable’ next to ‘Bridge Mode’.
- When you see a warning message, click “OK” to continue.
Note: In bridge mode, your Xfinity router will not provide Wi-Fi. You will also lose xFi functionality.
Once your Xfinity router is in bridge mode, connect it to the second router using an Ethernet cable. Next, find a VPN that is compatible with your second router and buy a subscription. Depending on the VPN provider and the model of your second router, the setup instructions may vary. You can find detailed instructions in your router’s user manual or on your VPN provider’s website. These are the general steps to follow:
- Visit ExpressVPN and sign up for an account
- Find your VPN firmware file suitable for your router model and download it.
- Visit your router’s admin tool page and log in.
- Navigate to the firmware update menu, usually in the connectivity settings, and upload the VPN firmware file.
- Wait until the firmware is installed. You may need to restart your router afterwards.
- Follow the instructions provided on your router’s admin tool page to set up a VPN. In most cases, you will be asked to enter an activation code sent by the VPN provider via email.
- Once the VPN is configured, go to the service panel of your VPN, select the desired server location and enable the connection.
How to install a VPN on the AT&T router
AT&T routers do not support internal VPN encryption. This means that you will have to connect each device to a VPN individually instead of running the VPN on your router. Depending on the VPN provider, the instructions may vary. Here is an example of how to set up a VPN connection on a Windows computer using ExpressVPN:
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- Buy a suitable subscription through ExpressVPN Official site.
- Go to the ExpressVPN panel and log in.
- Check your email for a verification code from ExpressVPN and enter it in a dedicated window when prompted.
- Click the “Download” button in the ExpressVPN application and copy the activation code shown on the same page.
- Find the application installation file in the “Downloads” folder and double-click on it.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to install the application. Enter your activation code when prompted.
- Select your preferences.
- Once the application is installed, run it and expand the drop-down menu on the main page.
- Select the desired server location.
- Click the large power button to connect to the chosen server.
Note: If you are looking for a VPN router, you will need to purchase a router from a different brand.
How to install a VPN on a TP-Link router
Most TP-Link routers support VPN encryption. Depending on your chosen VPN provider, the setup instructions may vary slightly. One of the most popular VPNs on the market is ExpressVPN. Therefore, we will provide instructions to configure ExpressVPN on your TP-Link router as an example. Follow the steps below:
- Buy a preferred subscription plan through the official ExpressVPN site.
- Check in to your ExpressVPN account and enter the verification code you received by email when signing up.
- You will be redirected to the manual configuration page. Under “Manual Configuration” select “L2TP / IPsec”.
- You will see your IP address and password. Keep this browser page open.
- Login to your router administrator panel with the default credentials (username “admin”, password “password”) or with the credentials you have previously set.
- Click on “Advanced”, then on “Network” and “Internet”.
- Under “Internet connection type”, select “L2TP”.
- Enter your IP address and password shown on the ExpressVPN configuration page (step 4).
- Select ‘Dynamic IP’ next to ‘Secondary connection’.
- Select “Manually” next to “Connection Mode”.
- Set “Max Idle Time” to “0” and click “Connect”, then “Save”.
- Go to the ExpressVPN dashboard and select the desired server location. Click the big power button to connect.
How to install a VPN on a Netgear router
All Netgear routers support a VPN, so setting one up is pretty simple. We will provide setup instructions on the ExpressVPN example, although depending on the VPN provider, the steps may vary slightly. Follow the instructions below:
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- Visit the ExpressVPN official website and purchase the desired subscription.
- Head to settings page and select your router model from the drop down menu. Then click on “Download Firmware”.
- You will be redirected to a page that displays an activation code. Copy it or keep the page open.
- Go to your router administrator panel and log in. By default, the username is “admin” and the password is “password”.
- Go to the “Advanced” tab and click “Administration”, then “Router Update”.
- Click “Browse” and select the firmware file you downloaded in step 2. Then click “Upload”.
- Wait for your router to reboot.
- Head over to the ExpressVPN dashboard and expand the drop-down menu under the large power button.
- Select the desired server location and click the power button to connect.
How to install a VPN on an Asus router
Asus routers come with VPN encryption support. Here’s how to set up a VPN on your router in the ExpressVPN example:
- Buy a subscription through ExpressVPN Official site.
- Go to the VPN settings page and log in. Then paste a verification code sent to your email.
- You will see your username, password, and activation code. Keep this browser page open.
- Expand the menu under “America” or “Europe” depending on your location and download the configuration file.
- Log in to the admin panel of your Asus router. By default, the username is “admin” and the password is “admin”.
- Select “VPN” in the left sidebar.
- Click on “VPN Client” and then on “Add Profile”.
- Open the page with the ExpressVPN login details. Copy the username and password and paste them into the dedicated fields on the Asus admin page.
- Click “Choose file” next to “Import .ovpn file” and select the configuration file you downloaded in step 4. Click “Upload”, then “OK”.
- Click on “Activate”. If activation is successful, you will see a check mark icon under “Connection Status”.
- Go to the ExpressVPN dashboard, select the desired server location and connect to it.
How to install a VPN on a Belkin router
Belkin routers can connect to a VPN using a PPTP protocol. Here’s how to enable it:
- Enter “192.168.2.1” in the address line of your browser to open the login page of the Belkin admin panel.
- Enter the default credentials to log in: username “Belkinxxxxx”, password “Belkinxxxxx_5GHz”, where “xxxxx” represents the last five digits of your router’s serial number.
- Click on “Settings,” then “Security.”
- Click on “VPN Passthrough”.
- Check the checkbox next to “PPTP Passthrough” to enable it. Then click “Apply”.
The next steps may differ depending on the VPN provider you choose. Please note that before purchasing a subscription, you need to make sure that the VPN provider is compatible with your router model. We use ExpressVPN because we have tested all the router brands on this page and confirmed successful connections. Then follow the instructions below:
- In the Belkin admin panel, click on “Internet” in the left sidebar, then navigate to the “PPTP” tab.
- In “PPTP Settings”, enter the username and password that you use to log into your VPN account.
- Enter the address of your PPTP server in the “Service IP address” field. You can find this on your ExpressVPN dashboard.
- Set “Connection ID” to “0”, “MTU” to “1400” and “Type” to “Maintain Connection”.
- Click “Apply”.
- Head over to your VPN dashboard and connect to the desired server location.
How to install a VPN on a Cisco router
Cisco is one of the best-known names in networking for institutions, including business and educational facilities. To set up a VPN on your Cisco router, you will first need to install a VPN client. Here’s how to do that in the native Cisco AnyConnect VPN client example:
- Download the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client by following this Link.
- Find the “InstallAnyConnect.exe” file on your device and follow the on-screen instructions to install it.
- Click “Finish” once the installation is complete.
Once the installation is complete, you can start the VPN client and log in with the credentials provided by your employer or university. On the main panel, you will see a “Connect” button. Click on it to enable the VPN connection.
Hopefully our guide has helped you set up a VPN on your router. The instructions for some routers are very straightforward, while for others they can be quite confusing. If you are not a tech savvy, feel free to contact your ISP for help.
What is your choice of VPN provider and why? Share in the comment section.