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The Synology RT2600ac combines all the must-have VPN router features in an affordable package, making it our top pick for the best overall. This router has excellent range, zippy Wi-Fi transfer speeds, can handle more than one broadband internet connection, and includes a fantastic VPN package.
The RT2600ac is a quad-stream (4x4) router that features four ethernet jacks and both 5GHz and 2.4GHz wireless networks, so it has plenty of speed and range. Where it really shines, however, is the firmware. This router is extremely easy to set up and use, but advanced users will find a huge variety of additional options.
The VPN package is robust and a lot easier to use than routers that require custom firmware. It includes must-have features like a kill switch to shut down the data connection in case of a VPN failure, supports PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and even has an app that allows your Android or iPhone to connect through your VPN remotely.
If you’re working on a really tight budget, but you still want to secure your internet connection with a VPN router, the ASUS RT-N12 gets the job done at a very stomachable price. You don’t get all the same features as more expensive VPN routers, but it has the basics covered.
The RT-N12 router supports IPSec, PPTP and L2TP protocols for pass-through, but it only supports the PPTP server protocol. If your VPN service supports that, you can enter your credentials and secure your entire connection. Otherwise, you can set the VPN up on individual devices.
While the RT-N12 features two antennas, supports MIMO, and is capable of streaming 4K video and running VoIP, this is a slower router than most of the more expensive options. It only operates in 2.4GHz, not 5GHz, and it tops out at 300Mbps. It also includes four Ethernet ports.
If you decide to upgrade to a more expensive VPN router in the future, the RT-N12 may still find a home in your network as a Wi-Fi range extender.
If you’re willing to splash out some extra cash on a VPN router, the Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 makes a strong argument for itself as a splurge. This router might look like a cross between a stingray and a futuristic fighter jet, but those swept wings conceal a staggering eight antennas that enable mouth-watering speed, rock-solid connections, and extremely competent VPN features.
This tri-band router features two 5GHz data streams and one 2.4GHz data stream, so it’s an excellent choice if you have a lot of data-hungry wireless devices. It also has two gigabit LAN ports and two gigabit WAN ports for superior wired speeds.
If you want a VPN router that can handle your gigabit internet connection, stream flawless 4K video, game without a hint of lag, and download blazing-fast torrents, the Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 can get it done.
Beyond its VPN features, the Nighthawk RAX200 includes another essential security feature: automatic firmware updates. Netgear essentially keeps the unit up to date for you, so you never have to worry about unpatched security holes.
The Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router is a VPN router that’s specifically designed to provide you with the best gaming experience possible. Linksys advertises up to a 65 percent reduction in ping, which may provide you with just the edge that you’re looking for.
This router includes four gigabit Ethernet ports that are, hands down, the most effective way to connect a game console to the internet. It also features dual-band wireless, including a blazing-fast 5GHz connection and a slower, though more reliable, 2.4GHz connection if you absolutely need to connect via Wi-Fi.
The thing that edges this router out over the competition is the built-in data prioritization. Whenever your game console would normally fight for bandwidth with other devices on your network, the router automatically skips your game console to the front of the line.
On the VPN side, the Linksys WRT32X supports VPN tunnels through the IPSec and PPTP protocols. Just look for a VPN service provider that’s compatible with those, and you’re good to go.
The TP-Link TL-WR902AC is a pocket-sized powerhouse that can help you stay secure on the road, at the local coffee house, and everywhere else. It includes dual-band AC750 Wi-Fi, built-in support for VPN services, and works in multiple different modes.
This router is literally small enough to fit in your pocket, and it’s capable of acting as a Wi-Fi network range extender, connecting devices that don’t have Wi-Fi to a Wi-Fi network, creating a Wi-Fi network from a wired internet connection, and even connecting to a public Wi-Fi network and then passing that connection through its own secured Wi-Fi network.
In each of those use scenarios, you can set the TP-Link TL-WR902AC to run through a VPN service like NordVPN or ExpressVPN, and protect your privacy, security, and anonymity regardless of the overall security of the internet connection itself.
The ASUS RT-AC68U is an excellent dual-band VPN router that’s capable of handling all your devices and providing solid Wi-Fi coverage to moderately sized homes. If you end up with a dead spot, or your house is too big for a single router, it supports AiMesh to create a flexible whole-home mesh network by adding additional compatible devices.
This router can act as a VPN client or a VPN server, and it supports a wide variety of protocols, including IPSec Pass-Through, PPTP Pass-Through, L2TP Pass-Through, PPTP Server, and OpenVPN Server.
As a flexible home router, the AiMesh feature is the most attractive thing about the RT-AC68U. If a single router can’t reach dead spots or far-flung corners of your house, you can simply hook up additional AiMesh compatible devices to extend the reach of your network. With a VPN set up on your RT-AC68U, devices connected through the extended AiMesh network will receive the same protection.
Business-class VPN routers tend to be more expensive than general consumer devices, but they provide a much-needed extra level of stability. The D-Link DSR-1000AC splits the difference nicely, providing business-class features with a price tag that’s still relatively affordable.
The DSR-1000AC is designed to run a high-performance VPN using your choice of PPTP/L2TP, GRE, or SSL. If you have off-site workers, this router allows them to connect securely through the VPN without exposing your valuable data to the outside world.
With the business user in mind, this router also features port monitoring and bandwidth control, load balancing, and even web content filtering if you want to control access to the internet through your network.
While this router is an extremely capable unit, it’s more complicated to set up and use than most consumer grade VPN routers. That makes it better suited for small business than general home use.
The TP-Link Archer A7 provides a whole lot of value for your dollar. You can find more powerful VPN routers, but this unit strikes an excellent balance between price and feature set.
The Archer A7 is a dual-band router that’s capable of providing both 5GHz and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks. The 5GHz network is capable of running at 1,300 Mbps, so it’s even suitable for 4K streaming. It also includes four gigabit LAN ports to provide your wired devices, like game consoles, with a rock-solid wired connection.
VPN capabilities are relatively basic and include support for PPoE, L2TP, and PPTP for setting the router up with a VPN. It also supports PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec protocols for VPN pass-through if you prefer to set up individual devices with your VPN service instead of setting the router up directly.
The Archer A7 and Archer C7 routers are identical, with the minor difference that the A7 is certified to work with Alexa.