Best VPNs for Netgear Routers in 2021

Netgear has been producing top-quality networking technology for 25 years now and has maintained its reputation throughout that time with popular product after popular product. 

However, Netgear routers are best paired with a VPN, which will significantly enhance your privacy and keep you safe online.

What are the Best VPNs for Netgear Routers

We have listed the best VPNs for your Netgear router. All of these services can be loaded onto your VPN compatible router. If you need more information, check out our detailed summaries further on in this article. 

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When choosing the VPN that’s right for you and your Netgear router, the main things to look for are:

Best VPNs for Netgear Router: in-depth analysis

Here’s a closer look at why we’ve chosen these five VPNs as our top picks to use with Netgear routers. 

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Advantages of having a VPN on your Netgear router

There are some definite benefits to installing a VPN on your Netgear router, as opposed to just installing them on all your network-connected devices individually. Advantages include:

‘Flashing’ your Netgear router 

The only two ways to get a VPN on your Netgear router are to either buy a router that’s pre-configured with a VPN/VPN-friendly firmware or installing your own. But if you’re reading this article, it’s likely your router isn’t pre-configured with a VPN or the relevant firmware.

That means you’ll need to ‘flash’ your Netgear router. Flashing is the process of reconfiguring your router with new firmware that supports the installation of a VPN. The two most common types of firmware you can flash your router with for this are DD-WRT and Tomato

There is also OpenWRT, but if this is your first (or even second or third) time flashing a router, it might feel unnecessarily technical when there are simpler options available that still perform all the functions you’d need them to. Some companies even develop their own firmare for routers (such as AsusWRT on Ausus routers).

DD-WRT can be installed on a much wider range of routers than Tomato, but Tomato does work better with the OpenVPN protocol and some consider it to have a slightly easier-to-manage user interface.

Most Netgear routers work with both, so the choice is ultimately up to you.

How to flash your router: a step-by-step guide

  1. Ensure you are connected to the internet through your Netgear router.
  2. Download the new firmware you’re using to make your router VPN-ready.
  3. Head over to via your browser.
  4. Enter the username or password into the router admin panel.
  5. Navigate to the ‘advanced’ section of the user interface. 
  6. Click on the ‘Administration’ tab on the menu on the left-hand side. 
  7. Select ‘Browse’ and find the firmware you have downloaded. 
  8. Upload the firmware onto the router by selecting ‘Upload’. 
  9. Restart your router.
  10. Enjoy using your Netgear device with an enhanced level of privacy!

Are there any downsides to installing a VPN on a router?

  • Managing your VPN settings is slightly more difficult, as routers do not have user interfaces in the same way other devices do. 
  • Traffic between devices on the same network is not secured, but this shouldn’t be a problem if your devices aren’t set to auto-connect to other networks.

Before you flash your router…


If you go through this process incorrectly, you can end up ‘bricking’ your router – in other words, causing permanent damage to it and making it no more useful than, you guessed it… a brick. This means it’s of paramount importance that you get to grips with exactly what you’re doing before you start. 

What if I don’t want to flash my router? 

As we mentioned above, it is possible to purchase routers already pre-configured with the correct firmware you need, and even with a VPN already installed. 

For many, this will only be a serious option if you’re looking to buy a new router, anyway. That being said, the average router’s lifespan is only about four to five years and can become internally damaged if they overheat regularly – so it might be time to invest in a new one, particularly if you’re experiencing slow connection speeds. 

If you’re looking for a new router and you like the idea of one with a VPN, check out our review of the best routers for DD-WRT or this rundown of the best pre-configured VPN routers

Want a simpler option?


Check out FlashRouters – They offer pre-flashed routers at excellent prices, and you can even get them with pre-installed VPNs! FlashRouters even has a handy app, so you get total control over your router without the fuss.

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Can I use a free VPN with my Netgear router?

Although there are some great free VPNs out there, most of them cannot be installed onto a router and only really work on devices like mobiles and laptops. 

However, even if you manage to find one that does, it’s never advised to go with a free VPN over a paid one, even if the free VPN is just the non-paying version of a premium service. Free VPNs attached to premium services will always have key security features omitted, or else no customers would ever have a reason to upgrade. 

You should also treat providers that offer their whole service for free with extreme caution. Free VPNs have been known to leave users exposed to viruses, sell their data to third-parties, and cooperate with law enforcement authorities. 


Hopefully, this article will help you make the best decision you can when it comes to choosing a VPN for your Netgear router. If you’re still undecided, here’s a brief reminder of our top 5: 

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