A basic wireless router is sufficient for most consumers and small-scale businesses. If all you need to do is add an additional layer of security or gain access to restricted websites you can do this with a subscription to an established VPN service that is installed on your devices.
For companies that require access to the entire network,, things get a little more complicated. For those who want to connect to a particular network, they may require a VPN router. What does that mean.
VPN routers explained
To understand VPN routers you must first understand what VPNs are.
When you make use of a VPN or virtual private network, you send your web traffic through an encrypted tunnel to a private server. In this way, you ensure that no one can peek into your online activities, including seeing your ISP. This is typically done by installing a VPN application that allows you remote access to servers. This is a good option for one or two devices but for businesses it's not the best option.
A VPN router, then, is an internet router that has VPN software installed directly.
What are VPN routers actually do?
Simply put simply, a VPN router secures the entire network through a single VPN connection.
Let's say you are employed in a branch office of a larger company and all employees require access to the same resources as the main office. Instead of installing and configuring applications on every computer in the office, it's much simpler to make use of a VPN router to create secure connections for the entire network.
Your employees will only need to sign in to the VPN when they're working remotely, not every time they start their computers.
While the majority of home users do not require VPN routers but there are circumstances where you may need to connect to servers in another country to allow access to geo-restricted sites. A VPN router is the only method to change your location for devices such as smart TVs and game consoles.
A VPN router can be used to circumvent the limitations on devices imposed by premium VPN providers. The router counts as a single device.
Can all routers be VPN routers?
There are a variety of ways to get a VPN router.
VPN providers offer firmware that can be manually installed, but not all routers will allow it. In fact flashing (install) incompatible firmware or doing it incorrectly can leave you staring at a funny-looking paperweight. If you're planning to try this method you'll need to conduct some research about the brand and model of your router before you get started.
It is an excellent idea to visit the website of your VPN provider before you buy the latest router. This will help ensure that they are able to support it. If you want to go even further is to purchase a router that's preconfigured with the VPN so that you don't need to worry about installing.