Setting up a virtual private network (VPN) on your router rather than individually on each device has many advantages. You can connect as many devices as your router can handle, and any device connected to it will be automatically protected. However, VPN setup instructions vary by router model, which is often confusing.
If you're wondering how to use a VPN with your router, we're 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 tricky task, as most VPN providers don't 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:
- On a device connected to your Xfinity router, visit the Xfinity Admin Tool page.
- Sign in with the default username (admin) and password (password), unless you have already changed the login information.
- Click on “Gateway” located in the left sidebar, then on “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 compatible with your second router and purchase a subscription. Depending on the VPN provider and the model of your second router, setup instructions may vary. You can find detailed instructions in your router's user manual or on your VPN provider's website. Here are the general steps to follow:
- Visit ExpressVPN and create an account
- Find the correct VPN firmware file for your router model and download it.
- Visit your router's Admin Tool page and log in.
- Go to the firmware update menu - usually in the connectivity settings - and download the VPN firmware file.
- Wait for the firmware to install. 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 your VPN service dashboard, select the desired server location and activate the connection.
How to Install VPN on AT&T Router
AT&T routers do not support internal VPN encryption. This means you'll need to connect each device to a VPN individually rather than running the VPN on your router. Depending on the VPN provider, the instructions may vary. Here is an example of setting up a VPN connection on a Windows computer using ExpressVPN:
- Purchase a suitable subscription through ExpressVPN official website.
- Head to the ExpressVPN dashboard and sign in.
- Check your email for an ExpressVPN verification code and enter it in a dedicated window when prompted.
- Click the "Download" button on the ExpressVPN app and copy the activation code displayed on the same page.
- Locate the application installer file in your "Downloads" folder and double-click it.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to install the app. Enter your activation code when prompted.
- Select your preferences.
- Once the app is installed, launch it and expand the drop-down menu on the main page.
- Select your desired server location.
- Click the big 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 VPN on TP-Link Router
Most TP-Link routers support VPN encryption. Depending on the VPN provider you have chosen, setup instructions may vary slightly. One of the most popular VPNs on the market is ExpressVPN. So we will provide instructions for setting up ExpressVPN on your TP-Link router as an example. Follow the steps below:
- Buy a preferred subscription plan through the official ExpressVPN website.
- Log in to your ExpressVPN account and enter the verification code you received by email when you signed 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.
- Log in to your panel router's administrator with the default credentials (username "admin", password "password") or with the credentials you set earlier.
- Click on “Advanced”, then “Network” and “Internet”.
- Under "Internet connection type", select "L2TP".
- Enter your IP address and password shown on the ExpressVPN setup 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".
- Head 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 straightforward. We will provide setup instructions on the ExpressVPN example, although depending on the VPN provider, the steps may vary slightly. Follow the instructions below:
- Visit the ExpressVPN official site and purchase the desired subscription.
- Head to the configuration page and select your router model from the drop-down menu. Then click on “Download Firmware”.
- You will be redirected to a page displaying an activation code. Copy it or keep the page open.
- Head to your router's administrator panel and log in. By default, the user name is "admin" and the password is "password".
- Go to the “Advanced” tab and click on “Administration”, then on “Router Update”.
- Click "Browse" and select the firmware file you downloaded in step 2. Then click "Upload".
- Wait for your router to reboot.
- Head 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 on the ExpressVPN example:
- Purchase a subscription through ExpressVPN official site.
- Head to the VPN setup page and connect. Next, paste a verification code sent to your email address.
- 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.
- Login to the administration panel of your Asus router. By default, the user name is "admin" and the password is "admin".
- Select "VPN" from the left sidebar.
- Click on "VPN Client", then on "Add Profile".
- Open the page with the ExpressVPN connection information. 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 "Download", then "Ok".
- Click on “Activate”. If the activation is successful, you will see a tick icon under "Connection status".
- Head to the ExpressVPN dashboard, select the desired server location, and connect.
How to Install a VPN on a Belkin Router
Belkin routers can be connected to a VPN using a PPTP protocol. Here's how to activate it:
- Enter "192.168.2.1" in your browser's address line to open the Belkin Admin Panel login page.
- 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 “Configuration”, then on “Security”.
- Click on “Passthrough VPN”.
- Check the box next to "PPTP Passthrough" to enable it. Then click "Apply".
The following steps may differ depending on the VPN provider you have chosen. Keep in mind that before buying a subscription, you need to make sure the VPN provider supports your router model. We use ExpressVPN because we've tested with every brand of router on this page and confirmed successful connections. Then follow the instructions below:
- On the Belkin Admin dashboard, click "Internet" in the left sidebar, then navigate to the "PPTP" tab.
- Under "PPTP Settings", enter the username and password you use to log into your VPN account.
- Enter the address of your PPTP server in the "Service IP address" field. You can find it on your ExpressVPN dashboard.
- Set "Connection ID" to "0", "MTU" to "1400", and "Type" to "Keep me connected".
- Click "Apply".
- Head 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 institutional networking, including businesses and educational institutions. To configure a VPN on your Cisco router, you must first install a VPN client. Here's how to do it on the native Cisco AnyConnect VPN client sample:
- 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" when the installation is complete.
Once the installation is complete, you can launch the VPN client and log in with the credentials provided by your employer or college. On the main dashboard, you will see a “Connect” button. Click it to enable VPN connection.
Hope our guide helped you set up a VPN on your router. The instructions for some routers are very simple, while for others they can be quite confusing. If you're not particularly tech-savvy, don't hesitate to contact your ISP for help.
What is your choice of VPN provider, and why? Share in the comments section below.