Best VPN OpenWRT

OpenWRT is a Linux distribution made for embedded devices; this includes mainly wireless routers. Routers running this distribution are easily modifiable and let users run the features they want without too much hassle. By running a VPN on a router, users are able to protect all of the devices that are connected to their network. This is a benefit for users who are running VPNs that don’t offer an unlimited number of device connections.

Many of us have several devices that all need to be protected by our VPN. However, it isn’t always possible to protect all of them with a single VPN subscription. An OpenWRT router helps to solve this problem.

Here, I have reviewed the top VPNs available for OpenWRT in detail. However, if you’re in a rush, here’s a quick summary.

Best VPNs for OpenWrt:

  1. NordVPN: My number one choice for OpenWRT routers. It offers fast speeds and strong security measures. In addition, it also has a large network that consists of over 5,000 servers globally. It can also easily unblock restricted services and offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee. It also comes with detailed setup instructions on how to install it on OpenWRT routers.
  2. Surfshark: This is a great budget option that still offers powerful features. It has over 3,200 servers and offers users an unlimited number of connections. Surfshark provides OpenWRT installation instructions on its website.
  3. ExpressVPN: This is another solid OpenWRT option. It offers fast streaming speeds and has strong security measures in place. ExpressVPN has confirmed support for OpenWRT and the support staff is knowledgeable and can assist with the installation of the service on OpenWRT.
  4. PrivateVPN: This is a newer service that has servers in around 63 countries. It is fast, reliable, and secure.
  5. VyprVPN: Has setup instructions for the service on its website and is also compatible with DD-WRT and Tomato firmware.
  6. PureVPN: Provides detailed instructions on how to install the service on OpenWRT and is easy to use for beginners.

As it turns out, there are many VPNs that are compatible with OpenWRT. However, not all VPNs are of the same quality. Here, I have reviewed the best VPNs for OpenWRT in detail based on the following criteria:

  • Compatibility with routers
  • Fast and knowledgeable customer support
  • Fast and reliable connections
  • Strong security and privacy measures such as encryption and non-storage of logs
  • Wide range of servers to choose from

You can find out more information about the criteria I used in the testing methodology section found later in this article.

How to setup a VPN on OpenWRT

While the method will vary slightly depending on the router you’re using, the general steps are the same.

Here’s how you can set up your VPN service on a router running OpenWRT:

  1. First, you should select a suitable VPN provider and subscribe to their service. I recommend using NordVPN.
  2. Next, ensure that the router has been flashed with the OpenWRT firmware.
  3. Enable OpenVPN on your router by changing the root password and then installing the OpenVPN package.
  4. Next, you will have to download your VPN provider’s VPN configuration files for the location you wish to use. You will also have to change the file extension from “openvpn” to “conf”.
  5. Next, create a new network interface and firewall zone and add a forwarding rule.
  6. Next, configure your DNS servers according to your VPN provider’s instructions.

Best VPNs for OpenWRT

Here are the best VPNs for OpenWRT:

1. NordVPN

nordvpn homepage

NordVPN is my top choice for an OpenWRT VPN. It has a fast network of over 5,000 servers in 60+ countries. It also offers strong security measures and is capable of providing secure assess to services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. In addition, it can be set up on routers running OpenWRT without any excessive hassle. NordVPN has instructions on how to configure the service on routers running OpenWRT on its website.

In addition, NordVPN has several security and privacy features in place. These include 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks, an automatic ad-blocker,  a malware scanner, and the service stores no logs. In addition, it goes an extra step to protect users’ privacy by offering cryptocurrency payments. This means that when someone makes a payment for a NordVPN subscription with cryptocurrency, their name won’t be associated with the payment as it is with a regular credit card payment.

NordVPN has apps available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. It supports installation on supported routers and of course, such routers that run OpenWRT can have NordVPN installed on them. This provider allows for six simultaneous device connections and the customer support team can be reached 24/7 via the provided live chat.

Pros:

  • Fast connection speeds
  • Strong security and privacy measures are in place
  • No logs are stored
  • Apps are available on many different platforms
  • The customer support team can be reached 24/7

Cons:

  • The desktop app can be slow at times

BEST VPN FOR OPENWRT:NordVPN provides instructions on how to install the service on OpenWRT directly on its website. It is also fast and secure. With a network of over 5,000 servers, users also have a lot of choices for changing their IP address. This service comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Surfrshark

Surfshark homepage

Surfshark is a great budget VPN. It is affordable but this does not mean that the quality of this offering has been compromised. Users get fast speeds with this service and a network of over 3,200 countries across 100+ countries. There are also step-by-step instructions on the Surfshark website for the installation of OpenWRT.

In addition, this service has several strong security and privacy measures in place. These measures include 256-bit AES encryption, protection against IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks, and a kill switch. Traffic scrambling is also provided. This provider takes cryptocurrency payments, which allow for users’ names to not be exposed when making payments for a subscription to the service. Surfshark doesn’t store any logs either.

Surfshark apps can be downloaded for Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. Some routers can also have the service manually installed on them. This provider allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections which is excellent for users with a large number of devices. The customer support team is available 24/7 as well via live chat.

Pros:

  • Surfshark can unblock many different services
  • Fast connection speeds
  • Strong security and privacy measures
  • An unlimited number of connections are supported
  • Cryptocurrency payments are supported

Cons:

  • Some servers can be slow at times

BEST BUDGET VPN FOR OPENWRT:In addition to its support for OpenWRT, Surfshark is a fast, secure platform. It doesn’t skimp on quality, offers an unlimited number of connections, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. ExpressVPN

expressvpn homepage

ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN option for users that stream a lot. Its network provides very fast connection speeds and its network consists of over 3,000 servers in 94+ countries. In addition, this service can be installed on OpenWRT routers.

The provider has strong security measures in place too. These include perfect forward secrecy, a kill switch, and protection against WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks. There is also a .onion website for the service which needs to be accessed via the anonymous TOR network. In addition, cryptocurrency payments are supported, which means that users are able to make payments without exposing their names.

ExpressVPN apps can be downloaded for iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and iOS. It can also be installed on supported routers. The customer support team can be reached 24/7 via the provided live chat.

Pros:

  • Fast connection speeds
  • Can unblock many different services
  • .onion site available and cryptocurrency payments are supported
  • Strong security measures such as a kill switch in place
  • Can unblock many different services

Cons:

  • More expensive than many other options reviewed

GREAT STREAMING OPTION:ExpressVPN is a great option for streaming and has fast servers optimized for gaming. In addition to its strong security, this service supports OpenWRT and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. Private VPN

PrivateVPN homepage

PrivateVPN is a smaller VPN provider with just over 200 servers. It has detailed setup instructions on how to install the service on an OpenWRT router on its website.

The provider has strong security measures in place as well. These include 256-bit AES encryption, protection from IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks, and this service stores no logs. On top of that, the provider accepts cryptocurrency payments that allow for a greater level of anonymity.

PrivateVPN apps are available for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. In addition, Linux devices and routers can be manually configured to work with this service. One thing to note is that customer service agents can only be reached during regular business hours. However, the quality of customer service is excellent. 10 devices can be connected on a single subscription.

Pros:

  • Fast connection speeds
  • Can unblock many different services
  • Doesn’t store logs
  • Works in China

Cons:

  • Small server network
  • Customer support isn’t available 24/7

PRIVACY-FOCUSED VPN:PrivateVPN is a privacy-focused VPN that has features such as 256-bit AES encryption in place to keep you safe and it works well with OpenWRT. In addition, this service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. VyprVPN

vyperVPN homepage

VyprVPN is a solid option when it comes to security and streaming speeds. It has over 700 servers in total and it provides instructions on how to install the service on OpenWRT on its website. This VPN’s speeds aren’t the fastest we’ve seen, but they’re still enough for lag-free streaming.

The provider has excellent security and privacy features in place as well. These features include 256-bit AES encryption and no logs are stored. What’s more, this VPN can connect automatically if you use a public WiFi hotspot. WireGuard support arrived in a recent update.

VyprVPN is compatible with Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS. If you’d like to protect an unlimited number of devices, you can also manually install the VPN on select routers. 24/7 live chat is available in the unlikely event you have any issues.

Pros:

  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Strong security measures are in place
  • Stores no logs
  • Fast connection speeds

Cons:

  • Could be cheaper considering that there are better options out there
  • No pre-configured OpenWRT or DD-WRT routers are available

VALUES PRIVACY: all-rounder, but security is where it really shines. Follows a strict zero-logs policy and ensures you can stream, torrent, or browse safely, wherever you are. Users can take advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6. PureVPN

PureVpn homepage

PureVPN has over 6,500 server locations across 78+ countries, giving it considerable unblocking and streaming capability no matter where you are in the world. Enjoy fast connection speeds!

Your traffic is secured with 256-bit encryption with the L2TP/IPSec protocol and comes with both DNS leak protection and a VPN kill switch. PureVPN only stores a timestamp and the total amount of bandwidth used when connected to a server, but logs no personally identifying information. Most servers allow torrenting.

PureVPN is an easy-to-use VPN for beginners that stores no traffic logs on its servers. Apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and DD-WRT routers.

Pros:

  • Server locations in 78+ countries
  • Strong encryption protocol
  • Great for unblocking streaming sites

Cons:

  • Connection speeds aren’t the most consistent
  • Some past issues with privacy

GOOD FOR BEGINNERS: are easy to use. Its connections are usually fast but can sometimes be unpredictable. Includes a seven-day money-back guarantee.

Our testing methodology: How I chose the best VPNs for OpenWRT

There are many different VPNs available. However, not all of them are created equal. I used strict criteria to compile a list of VPNs that work well with OpenWRT. Here are the factors that I considered while compiling my list:

  • Router support: In order for the service to be installed on OpenWRT, the VPN must be able to be used on a router in the first place. There should also be documentation on the VPN website explaining how to complete the setup process.
  • Speed: All VPNs slow down your internet connection a little. However, this should be barely noticeable, if at all.
  • Security: VPNs should protect users in the online environment. This is done through security measures such as 256-bit AES encryption and not keeping logs. I have only chosen VPNs that adhere to the strictest security standards.
  • Server network: VPNs should have large server networks to ensure that users are able to access IP addresses and unblocking capabilities in a wide variety of geographic locations.

Best VPNs for OpenWRT FAQs

What is a .ovpn configuration file?

A .opvn configuration file is a file format that stores VPN configuration settings. These files let you manually set up OpenVPN on an operating system of your choice. For example, you could use a .opvn file to set up a VPN service on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, or even Linux.

How can I flash OpenWRT onto my router?

There are multiple ways to achieve this. Your router can be flashed using a bootloader, via OEM firmware, via an ethernet port, via a bootloader and serial port, or via JTAG. OpenWRT.org provides full documentation and user guides related to the installation process.

Can I use a free VPN with OpenWRT?

You shouldn't do this. Setting up a VPN with OpenWRT is not a task for beginners. Support is usually needed and this probably isn't going to be provided by a free VPN service. In addition, free VPNs are typically slow and cause lag and buffering. They also tend to not have the best security measures in place and may not even encrypt your connection. For these reasons, it's better to use a reputable paid VPN service.

Is OpenWRT safe?

While many are afraid of damaging their router by installing firmware such as OpenWRT, it should be noted that the likelihood of this happening is extremely small. OpenWRT comes with detailed instructions, so the process is fairly simple. As long as you follow the instructions, you'll be fine.