Best VPN TP-Link routers

It’s normally pretty easy to start using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) – just install the app, pick a server, and go. However, things are more complicated for users looking to protect lots of devices simultaneously or encrypt data from systems that don’t support traditional VPN apps (such as game consoles or smart TVs). That’s where a router VPN really comes in handy. Unfortunately, getting set up takes a little more time and many VPNs aren’t even suitable for TP-Link routers.

Don’t fret, though. Our team has carefully considered this problem and identified the top five VPNs for TP-Link routers. Below, we’ll let you know more about each of these services and walk you through the installation process step-by-step. We’ll also address some of the most common questions people have about VPN routers in case you have any lingering doubts.

You’ll find more detailed reviews of our top VPNs a little further down. For now, though, here’s a quick overview of each:

Best VPNs for TP-Link routers

  1. NordVPN: Our top VPN for TP-Link customers. Delivers extremely high speeds, a strong set of security features, and impressive streaming ability. There’s even a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
  2. Surfshark: The best low-cost VPN for TP-Link routers. Works with most major streaming services and has an independently-verified no-logs policy. 24/7 support in case of any issues.
  3. ExpressVPN: A quick and reliable VPN with nearly 100 locations to choose from. First-class customer support team and no issues with even the most stubborn geo-blocked sites.
  4. CyberGhost: This ultra-fast VPN has around 10,000 servers globally, and offers automatic ad-blocking on routers. Strict no-logging policy and two protocols to choose from.
  5. IPVanish: Zero-logs provider boasting impressive performance and unblocking abilities. Good selection of servers and protocols, plus around-the-clock support via live chat.

WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE?

NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for TP-Link routers with no restrictions for a month. That’s perfect for anyone looking to verify compatibility or just see what a router VPN can do.

There are no hidden termsjust contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.

Finding the highest-quality VPNs for TP-Link systems

Not every VPN works with TP-Link routers. Our first task was to find those that do, then narrow down the list of options by eliminating any candidates lacking the high speeds and strong security needed for day-to-day browsing. All of our top TP-Link VPNs meet the following criteria:

  • Supports OpenVPN connections (and ideally, IKEv2 or WireGuard as well)
  • Offers either dedicated support for TP-Link devices or manual router setup instructions
  • Has minimal impact on your connection speeds
  • Keeps your online activities hidden using uncrackable encryption and leak protection
  • Refuses to store any logs that could personally identify you
  • Provides 24/7 support over live chat

Best VPN for TP-Link users

Now, let’s take a closer look at the best VPNs for TP-Link devices:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Mar 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is the best overall service for TP-Link routers. It has around 5,000 servers to choose from, which is far more than its rivals. These are spread across 60 countries and deliver some of the fastest speeds we’ve seen, so you shouldn’t notice any slowdown even when lots of people are using the network. Further, in our experience, NordVPN is one of the most reliable options for accessing region-locked platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and 7plus.

This VPN protects your privacy using automatic DNS and IPv6 leak protection, plus uncrackable 256-bit AES encryption. What’s more, it has been independently-audited several times to prove that it doesn’t keep any logs. Staff are happy to walk you through the router configuration process via live chat, day or night.

Unfortunately, NordVPN doesn’t provide the files needed to configure a WireGuard connection, so you’re limited to OpenVPN. Additionally, router users can’t take advantage of its censorship-beating obfuscated servers. Still, if you’re looking for a versatile, reliable VPN that doesn’t compromise on privacy, NordVPN is well worth trying.

NordVPN has apps for all major platforms. What’s more, it offers novice-friendly setup instructions for over a dozen different types of router firmware.

Pros:

  • Exceptionally high speeds
  • Works perfectly with services that normally block VPNs outright
  • Support staff are helpful and knowledgeable
  • Verified no-logs policy

Cons:

  • Only supports OpenVPN on routers

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR TP-LINK ROUTERS:NordVPN is our first choice. It’s easy to set up, security-conscious, and delivers top-tier speeds. Not only that, but it includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Interested? Why not check out our comprehensive NordVPN review?

NordVPN Coupon
SAVE 67% on a 2 yr plan + gifts
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

2. Surfshark

Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is the best budget router VPN. Its network spans 100 countries (including less-common locations like Nigeria and Pakistan), meaning the amount of content you can access is effectively limitless. It delivered average speeds of over 180 Mbps in our latest tests too, proving once and for all that you don’t always have to pay more for a superfast VPN.

Users can choose to connect via OpenVPN or WireGuard. Either way, you’ll be protected with uncrackable encryption and leak protection. Better still, this VPN keeps no logs and has been repeatedly audited to prove it. The only downside is that the apps offer several features that are unavailable to router users, such as regularly changing IP addresses and automatic ad-blocking.

Although Surfshark doesn’t have specific setup instructions for TP-Link routers, it does provide setup guides for other manufacturers as well as general guidance on how to flash firmware with a built-in VPN client. Of course, you can always just ask staff to walk you through the process – they’re on-hand 24/7 and usually respond in seconds.

Surfshark also has apps for most popular operating systems. Surfshark One subscribers can access benefits such as the privacy-focused search engine and breach alert system by logging into the Surfshark website.

Pros:

  • Impressive performance for its price
  • Supports WireGuard connections
  • Works with most streaming services
  • Far more server locations than its rivals

Cons:

  • Can’t take advantage of the app’s more advanced tools

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is a fantastic low-cost option for TP-Link routers. Boasts impressive performance, WireGuard support, and the ability to beat the toughest online restrictions. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more information, read our complete Surfshark review.

Surfshark Coupon
Save 79% + Get 2 Months FREE
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN has been a popular choice for over a decade and it’s easy to see why. This service is extremely user-friendly, with average speeds approaching 200 Mbps and the ability to securely access just about any region-locked service you can think of. Its network spans 94 countries, so whether you’re looking to watch your local Netflix library or a less-popular channel like RTBF, ExpressVPN has you covered.

There’s no need to worry about your privacy either. This VPN offers 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a strict no-logs policy. The company even brought in KPMG, a leading auditor, to verify this. Unlike many of its competitors, ExpressVPN doesn’t require special configuration to work in places like China – if you’re in a country with extreme online censorship, it’ll automatically obfuscate your traffic, keeping you safe from government surveillance.

This VPN does have its own router app, but it’s not guaranteed to work on TP-Link hardware. Unfortunately, this means you won’t be able to take advantage of its proprietary Lightway protocol and will have to rely on OpenVPN instead. On the plus side, since ExpressVPN doesn’t really have many advanced features, router users are only really missing out on ad and tracker-blocking (which can be rectified with a DNS-based filter like AdGuard).

ExpressVPN has its own app for Asus, Linksys, and Netgear routers, and a step-by-step guide to manually configuring connections on most others. Alternatively, you can install its apps on Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, or iOS devices.

Pros:

  • Large network of high-speed servers
  • Ideal for anyone in a place with strict digital censorship
  • Near-identical experience on routers and apps

Cons:

  • Custom router app not guaranteed to work with TP-Link devices

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

WORKS ANYWHERE:ExpressVPN functions perfectly, even in places like China. Better still, it’s one of the fastest providers we’ve tested and works reliably with major streaming platforms. There’s no harm in trying it either, thanks to ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee.

Find out more in our full review of ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN Coupon
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
Get Deal >
Coupon applied automatically

4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost is known for its huge network. With over 10,000 servers in 100 countries, you’re almost guaranteed to have one nearby. Additionally, this VPN lets you choose between general-purpose servers or those specifically optimized for gaming. CyberGhost is one of the quickest services available today, boasting average speeds of nearly 300 Mbps. As such, it’s a fantastic choice for streaming, torrenting, or those with large households.

This VPN does technically support WireGuard, but doesn’t provide the configuration files needed for manual setup at the time of writing. As such, your options are IKEv2 or OpenVPN. The good news is that CyberGhost offers plenty of flexibility here, creating custom files depending on whether you’d like to block ads and trackers, prevent access to malicious sites, or force HTTPS.

There aren’t many VPNs as committed to privacy as this one. CyberGhost uses 256-bit AES encryption, prevents the most common types of data leaks, and refuses to store any logs. Additionally, it publishes regular transparency reports, is audited annually, and has a bug bounty program so that hackers can make money legitimately if they find any vulnerabilities.

CyberGhost supports a wide range of routers, though it doesn’t have a dedicated TP-Link setup guide. As you might expect, this VPN also has its own apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

Pros:

  • Only VPN in this list to offer ad-blocking on routers
  • Blazing-fast speeds
  • Suitable for any day-to-day task

Cons:

  • Streaming-optimized servers not available on routers

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

PLENTY OF CHOICE:CyberGhost supports multiple protocols and has a truly expansive network, with servers optimized for any task you can think of. Doesn’t keep logs, throttle your connection, or limit your bandwidth. Best of all, it offers a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Take a look at our complete CyberGhost review to learn more.

CyberGhost Coupon
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

5. IPVanish

IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish offers access to roughly 2,200 servers in around 50 countries, with the majority of these in the United States. While it used to have issues with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, this is no longer the case. What’s more it delivered extremely impressive speeds  in our most recent testing, so you should be able to watch on multiple devices simultaneously. Support staff are available around the clock over live chat just in case you run into problems.

Like some of the VPNs above, IPVanish supports WireGuard but doesn’t make the configuration files available, so this protocol isn’t available on routers. You can, however, manually set up an IKEv2 or OpenVPN connection. These are both considered secure, and when combined with IPVanish’s encryption and leak protection, your traffic will be completely unreadable. IPVanish has a true no-logs policy, a fact that was recently confirmed by third-party auditors.

IPVanish officially supports a wide range of routers and its support staff can help you configure your connection on most types (including TP-Link). Further, this VPN has its own Android, Windows, iOS, and MacOS apps.

Pros:

  • Speedy, versatile VPN
  • Works on a much greater range of sites than it did previously
  • Puts your security and privacy first

Cons:

  • Fewer countries to choose from than others in this list
  • Manual setup instructions are quite vague

Our score:

4 out of 5

BLAZING FAST VPN:IPVanish is lightning-quick, outpacing many of its better-known rivals. It has dramatically improved its unblocking capabilities lately and doesn’t keep any connection or activity logs. Annual plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Still have questions? You’ll find answers in our full IPVanish review.

IPVanish Coupon
SAVE 75% on the 2 yr plan
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

How to install VPN on your TP-Link router

Setting up a VPN is always going to be a little more in-depth than simply installing an app, but it’s nothing you can’t do in an afternoon. Follow these steps to automatically protect every device on your home network:

  1. First, you’ll need your VPN’s configuration files. These are usually available in the help section or control panel of the website. NordVPN can even suggest a server based on your requirements and lets you download the required file immediately
  2. Next, check TP-Link’s website to see if your router supports VPN clients. If so, simply follow TP-Link’s VPN configuration instructions and you’re good to go

    Screenshot of TP-Link's VPN-capable routers
    Ticking the VPN Client box on TP-Links website will let you see every router that supports VPN connections without the need for a firmware change
  3. If your router doesn’t support VPNs natively, don’t panic. All this means is that you’ll have to install different firmware before we can really get started. There are many different types of router firmware, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll use DD-WRT in this example.
  4. Take a look at DD-WRT’s compatibility list to see if your router can run it

    DD-WRT compatability list for TP-Link routers
    If your router isn’t compatible with DD-WRT, you’ll have to try a different firmware. Trying to install DD-WRT anyway could render the router useless
  5. Follow the firmware’s installation instructions carefully
  6. At this point, your router should be running DD-WRT instead of TP-Link’s Router OS
  7. All that’s left is to upload the configuration file you downloaded earlier and tweak a few settings. The exact details are different for every provider, so consult your VPN’s DD-WRT setup guide for specifics.
  8. Finally, try browsing the internet like you normally would. If sites fail to load, you’ve likely misconfigured something, so start from step six and double-check everything has been entered correctly. If you’re still having problems, contact your VPN’s support team for one-on-one assistance.

Methodology: How we chose the best VPNs for TP-Link routers

There are hundreds of VPNs to choose from but not all of them can be installed on a router. To make sure we only recommended the highest-quality VPNs for TP-Link routers, our team carefully examine candidates to see how they fared in the following areas:

  • Infrastructure: Most consumer VPNs offer around 60 server locations. This is important as the closer your chosen server is, the lower your latency. Our team kept an eye out for VPNs with decently-sized networks, well-distributed servers, and less-common locations
  • Speed: Slow speeds lead to longer loading times, playback issues when streaming, and possibly even sporadic disconnections. Comparitech performs regular speed tests ensuring that our recommendations are quick enough for everyday usage.
  • Suitability for routers: The best VPNs for routers support multiple connection protocols and work with a wide range of firmware.. They may even offer pre-flashed routers, custom configuration files, or their own router apps.
  • Versatility: Your VPN has to be able to handle whatever you throw at it. As such, we looked for services that allow P2P activity, provide unlimited bandwidth, and go undetected by streaming platforms like Disney+.
  • Security and privacy: You normally can’t use more advanced VPN features like automatic reconnection or obfuscation on routers. That said, 256-bit AES encryption or better is mandatory, and we also require our top picks to prevent DNS and IPv6 leaks. Most importantly, they must not store any logs that could identify you.
  • Support and ease of setup: Installing a VPN on your router can be tricky. That’s why having access to 24/7 support is so important. Additionally, we strongly prefer services with specific instructions on configuring TP-Link devices.

TP-Link VPNs: Frequently Asked Questions

Do TP-Link routers support VPN clients?

For a long time, TP-Link routers had no VPN functionality at all. In fact, users couldn’t even flash open-source firmware that would let them set up a connection manually. This all changed In 2016, when the FCC forced the company to support third-party firmware like DD-WRT.

Thankfully, TP-Link seems to have realized that consumers want more control over their hardware. A handful of its newer routers (specifically the Archer series) now have built-in VPN clients and a series of updates is being rolled out to introduce WireGuard support.

Why should I install a VPN on my router?

Installing a traditional VPN app is quick and easy, but there are certain situations where this isn’t possible. Further, most VPNs place limits on the number of devices you can connect at the same time. This means that if you share your account with family, you could find yourself having to deactivate the VPN on one device so that you can browse securely on another.

Instead, you could install the VPN on your router. This only counts as a single connection, even if you have a hundred devices using the network. Additionally, this approach encrypts all traffic on the network, making it possible to secure devices that don’t normally support VPNs, like Xbox consoles or older Smart TVs.

Am I completely anonymous if I use a VPN?

VPNs use encryption to hide your online activities from snoopers. Once connected, your internet service provider can only see that you’re using a VPN, not which sites you visit. Further, website owners can only see the VPN server’s IP address, meaning your real location remains hidden.

However, this doesn’t mean that you’re 100 percent untraceable. Individual websites can still see what you get up to while using their services and if you log in, any data that they collect will still be associated with your account.

Realistically, VPNs are just one tool in the privacy-conscious user’s arsenal. It’s a good idea to educate yourself on the basics of internet security, look into privacy-focused browser extensions, and generally be more mindful about the amount of personally-identifiable information you share online.

Why does my router have VPN client and VPN server options?

Some newer routers let you set up both VPNs clients and VPN servers. These might sound similar but they actually serve very different purposes. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.

The VPN client lets you route all of your network traffic through an encrypted server on another network. For instance, if you’re a NordVPN customer, you can manually configure your router to use this company’s servers as opposed to installing the app on all of your devices.

Your router’s VPN server options, however, are designed for accessing your home network while traveling. For instance, you could print something out at home or activate smart devices while still being in the office. This setup doesn’t actually encrypt outgoing traffic, though. In other words, while at home, your online activities will be fully visible to your ISP, government, or anyone else monitoring the network.