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Best VPN routers 2020: top routers for Virtual Private Networks

the best VPN routers
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In this guide to the best VPN routers of 2019, we've listed the top routers that make it easy to connect to the internet via a Virtual Private Network (VPN),. 

If you subscribe to a VPN, or are interested in doing so, then buying the best VPN router for your needs will allow you to browse the internet safely and anonymously.

We've carefully picked the best VPN routers no just because they are compatible with VPNs, but because they make setting up and configuring the VPN quick and easy. Many people may think that using a VPN router is for advanced users only, but the best VPN routers on this page allow pretty much anyone to set up a VPN in a matter of minutes.

The best VPN routers we list on this page can be used no matter what VPN service you sign up to. Plus, they will make sure that even with your network traffic going through a VPN, your internet speeds won't be impacted too much.

While you can sign up for VPNs through browser extensions, by using the best VPN router for your budget, you're ensuring that all your network traffic goes through the VPN. This means every device on your network can take advantage of the security and privacy benefits of the VPN you sign up with.

So, read on for our list of the best VPN routers of 2019, and at the end we have some expert advice on how to sign up for the best VPN for your needs.

Picking the right VPN for your needs

To complement your VPN router, here are our guides to picking the VPN for your requirements:

The best VPN routers in 2019 at a glance:

  1. Linksys WRT 3200 ACM router
  2. Asus RT-AC86U router
  3. Asus RT-AC5300 router
  4. Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router
  5. D-link DIR-885L/R router
  6. Netgear Nighthawk X4S VDSL/ADSL Modem Router D7800

Linksys WRT 3200 ACM

1. Linksys WRT 3200 ACM router

The best overall VPN router

Speed: 802.11ac: 3x 867 Mbps, 802.11n: 600 Mbps | Connectivity: 4x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x USB 3.0, 1 x ESATA/USB 2.0 | Features: Tri-Stream 160, 1.8GHz dual core CPU, 512MB RAM, 256MB flash memory

Open source firmware support
Excellent features
Coverage sometimes spotty
More suitable in an office than a home

The Linksys WRT 3200 ACM is our choice for the best VPN router of 2019. Its no-nonsense design hides a remarkably versatile and powerful router that is a great choice for VPN use. You can install DD-WRT firmware for VPN compatibility, and it comes with four antenna and three bands for fast and wide-ranging network speeds. It also has four gigabit Ethernet ports and USB 3.0, making it an excellent router in its own right, even without a VPN.

Read the full review: Linksys WRT 3200 ACM

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Synology RT2600ac.

Asus RT-AC86U

2. Asus RT-AC86U router

Performance as loud as the design

Speed: : 802.11ac 1734 Mbps down | Connectivity: : 5 x Gigabit LAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 | Features: : MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS WTFast Gamers Private Network

Extensive firmware
Great speed and coverage
Complex firmware
Divisive looks

Anyone who’s familiar with Asus, and especially its more gamer-centric products knows exactly what they’re getting themselves into here – especially regarding design. However, if you're not a gamer, and just looking for the best VPN router, then don't discount the Asus RT-AC86U. It has some excellent VPN features that makes it a fast performer that won't see your internet speeds dropping too much when using a VPN. You can also install third party firmware if you want greater choice.

Read the full review: Asus RT-AC86U 

best VPN router

3. Asus RT-AC5300 router

A high-powered router that's great for VPN

Speed: 802.11ac: 2,167Mbps, 802.11n: 600Mbps | Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x WAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO support, Link Aggregation, traffic analyzer, WPS, 512MB RAM, 8 external antenna

Great Wi-Fi coverage
Powerful gaming features
Large
Single USB 3.0 port

The Asus RT-AC5300 is an excellent high-end gaming router that comes with a number of advanced features for making online and network gaming as lag and frustration free as possible. It also means it's a brilliant VPN router, and if you don't mind the expense, this is a great choice. The spider-like design won't be to everyone's tastes, but the eight antennae serve a purpose, as they can be used to direct your Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, giving this router an excellent range.

Read the full review: Asus RT-AC5300 Tri-band Gigabit Router

Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router

4. Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router

A gaming router with the performance to back it up

Speed: : AC3200 | Connectivity: : 1 x Gigabit WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x eSATA/USB 2.0 | Features: : Killer Prioritization Engine, Customized Firmware, 1.8GHZ Dual-Core CPU, MU-MIMO

Great Wi-Fi speed
Easy to use firmware
Very expensive

On the surface, the Linksys WRT32X might not look that different than Linksys’ heavy-hitter, the WRT3200. And, well, that’s not actually that far off. The WRT32X takes all of the successful components of that highly rated router, and puts them in a router with a custom firmware that’s extremely easy to navigate and a very subdued and attractive visual design, making it one of the best routers with VPN you can buy in 2019. You will be paying a premium for this repackaging, but if you’re looking for reliable ping performance that online gaming requires, the Linksys WRT32X takes one of the best VPN routers and tailors it to your needs.

Read the full review: Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router 

D-link DIR-885L/R

A great all-rounder

Speed: 802.11ac | Connectivity: 4x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO, Advanced Wireless AC beamforming, SmartConnect

Good selection of features
Good performance
Pricey

If you're looking for a dependable mid-range VPN router that combines speed with a great Wi-Fi range and features aimed at games, then you'll definitely want to consider the D-link DIR-885L/R. It has a good selection of ports, and the user interface for setting up and configuring the router is nicely designed and easy to use. It also supports  DD-WRT open-source firmware, which makes this a flexible and powerful VPN router that you can customise for your needs.

Netgear Nighthawk X4S VDSL/ADSL Modem Router D7800

6. Netgear Nighthawk X4S VDSL/ADSL Modem Router D7800

Built-in VDSL modem and 4x4 wireless speeds make this a great all-rounder

Speed: 802.11ac: 1733Mbps, 802.11n: 800 Mbps | Connectivity: 5x Gigabit Ethernet, 2x USB 3.0, 1x eSATA | Features: VDSL 2 modem

Great wireless performance
VDSL 2 modem
Lacks 1024-QAM
Requires special hardware for fastest speeds

If routers had a fashion contest, Netgear’s D7800 would be among the top contenders. Its solid black finish is complemented by a quartet of antennas. Plus it’s damn fast and bettered by its inclusion of a duo of USB ports paired with an eSATA connector. The real centerpiece, though, is the VDSL 2 modem built into the Nighthawk X4S D7800, negating the need to buy or lease one separately. The outfitted software isn’t too shoddy either; a simple Dynamic QOS system makes it a breeze to govern a multitude of devices on a single home network. Best of all, it's a great router to use with a VPN.

Our pick of the best VPN to use with your router

ExpressVPN

The best overall VPN

Number of servers: 2000 | Server locations: 148 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 3

Excellent iOS support
Huge range of servers and locations
Somewhat expensive
No free trial

Performance-wise, this British Virgin Islands-based provider delivered solid results in our performance tests. ExpressVPN also offers a native iPad app, and it supports iOS 8 (or better). It’s neatly organised so that you can connect with one click and immediately hook up with the fastest server available. For older iOS versions, there is a detailed setup instruction for configuring the VPN manually, thus making it a great fit for older-generation iPads.  

On the security front, ‘best in class’ 256-bit encryption is in place, along with support for OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP protocols, and a private, encrypted DNS. ExpressVPN doesn’t log any traffic data, DNS queries, or anything that could be used to identify the user.

A quick glance at the pricing scheme shows that the service costs more than most VPNs. You don’t get to try it out through a free trial, but there is a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee available. Going the yearly route is the most affordable option of the three price plans on offer. The packages available are: