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With hacking on the rise in 2020, the trend will continue into 2021 as the post COVID world has shifted working and shopping preferences from in-person to online.
Today, we do everything online, from banking to shopping to chatting with friends.
Many of us have jobs where the internet plays a central role in our work.
However, as we all increase our digital footprint, we put ourselves at risk of cyber threats.
When you visit a website, it pings the incoming server to get your location and your identity.
This might not seem like you’re giving away a lot of data, but it’s enough to attract the attention of wrong type of people
Using a VPN is the best way to increase your online security and protect your data.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a software tool creating end-to-end encryption between your device and the internet.
With a VPN, you send and receive data securely online, without the threat of anyone intercepting your transmission.
A VPN routes data through servers before sending it to the receiving website.
As a result, the website receives information from the server, not your computer.
To the website, your connection appears authentic and from a verified local source.
To secure your data, the VPN creates an encrypted tunnel that protects it from unauthorized access.
There are several benefits to using a VPN on your PC, laptop, or mobile device.
However, with dedicated VPN software on your device, all the other PCs, laptops and phones using your home network remain unprotected.
With a VPN router, you can secure every device on the network, giving you complete coverage through the router.
Most VPN companies charge you per device, or they give you a limited number of devices that can connect through your account.
A VPN router will protect all of your devices under the same account, including things like your smart TV which traditionally can’t take advantage of a VPN.
This can save you hundreds of dollars if you are looking for a comprehensive privacy solution for your entire household or office.
What is a VPN Router and How Does it Work?
A VPN router allows you to create a protected network for your home or office.
All devices that connect to the router receive coverage by the VPN while they remain connected.
VPN routers come in two variants; built-in and installed models.
With an installed VPN router, you download the VPN software and install it yourself on your router.
This method is effective, but individuals with no experience working with VPNs might find the setup somewhat challenging.
The second option is to purchase a preinstalled VPN router with the VPN already integrated into the hardware.
The router features firmware installed into the device, establishing a secure VPN connection at the hardware level.
With this router, you can connect any device to the network, and it receives protection without the need for an individual VPN app installed on your phone, laptop, or PC.
Who is a VPN Router for and Do I need one?
A VPN router is suitable for home networks and small businesses, or anyone looking to protect multiple devices and data.
They are readily available from leading manufacturers and are a pragmatic solution to your internet security.
Let’s look at the top advantages of using a VPN router to protect your network.
1. Holistic Network Security for Homes and Small Businesses
Your home network presents a weak point in your online security.
With the increase of devices in the Smart Home, including connected speakers that are always listening, cameras that are recording inside and outside of your home, the thermostat, lights and more, each of these devices provides a possible point that a bad actor can breach.
Leveraging a security gap in one of these devices, access to your entire home or office network won’t be far away.
With a VPN router, you cover all the devices in your home that connect to your router.
That includes devices like smart fridges and camera systems.
A VPN router is also a good choice to protect business data.
If you run a coffee shop and provide customers with free Wi-Fi, a VPN router provides your customers with safe and secure access.
2. Coverage for Your Devices that don’t Support a VPN
There are loads of devices that aren’t compatible with a VPN but can benefit from VPN protection.
Trying to access geo-blocked content through your smart TV is next to impossible.
There’s no way to download a VPN app for the TV.
However, if you have a VPN router, you connect the TV to the router, and you have access to geo-blocked content through online providers.
3. Connect Unlimited Devices
When you purchase a dedicated VPN package for a device, most providers allow you to connect multiple devices.
However, not all of them offer this perk.
If you have a VPN router, there are no limitations on how many devices you can connect to the VPN.
Since the VPN covers the router and not individual devices, you have more options for connections.
4. 24/7 Online Security
When you set up a VPN router, you have always have an ongoing, secured connection.
If you have a dedicated VPN app, there’s a chance the link could drop, exposing your IP.
You might also forget to turn on your VPN before browsing or sending data.
However, with a VPN router, you have protection every time you connect to the internet.
Therefore, if any devices initiate any automatic updates or connections, like your finance app connecting to sync your balances in the middle of the night, it remains protected.
What’s the Difference between a VPN Router and Installing a VPN on My Device?
When you sign up with a VPN provider, most of them give you the option of installing it on several devices.
You’ll get one for your laptop or PC, and another for your mobile device.
However, some providers also let you set up your VPN account on your router.
It’s a bit of a challenging setup vs installing on individual devices, but you get the best coverage and protection across your home network.
Your current router likely does not have the hardware and processing power to realize the benefits from installing a VPN.
Therefore, the best option is to go for a VPN router.
These devices come with the VPN software built-into the device’s hardware.
The result is a secure connection for every device on the network.
It’s also important to note that running a VPN client on your phone or laptop can put extra demand on system resources, draining your battery faster.
Therefore, by installing it on your router, you don’t have to worry about the energy demands since it’s a hardwired system.
Do I need a VPN Router if I have a VPN service?
If you already have a VPN service, you may want to opt for a VPN router to gain complete coverage of all devices in your home.
However, check the terms and conditions of your current plan.
The provider might offer you an option for setting up the VPN on your router.
Will a VPN Router Affect the Speed of My Connected Devices?
In most cases, a VPN will slow down your connection speed by as much as 20%, depending on the service provider and the network demands.
The ISP, how far you are from the data center, and the VPN connection you’re using all play a central role in determining your VPN router’s performance and speed.
However, with some providers, you might not even notice a difference.
For this reason, it’s crucial to test a few providers before settling on the best option.
Can you put a VPN on your router?
Yes, you can install VPN software on your router to protect your home or small business network.
Installing the VPN yourself requires some technical know-how, but it’s nothing that a YouTube video or online guide can’t teach you.
It’s important to note that most basic routers lack the power needed to run a VPN properly, which is why we suggest going for a router with a built in VPN.
After setting up the VPN on your router, it covers all devices connected to the network.
Some routers come with VPN software installed into the device, with automatic updates controlled through the router’s firmware.
A built-in VPN router offers the easiest setup and the most consistent connection.
Is a VPN router worth it?
Yes, a VPN router is worth the investment.
Canadians wanting to view geo-blocked content or enhance their privacy will benefit from using a VPN router.
A VPN router doesn’t cost much more than a standard router, yet it provides an invaluable layer of protection to your online activities.
Do I need a VPN service if I have a VPN router?
Yes, you’ll need to connect your router to a VPN service to activate the protection.
How do I choose a VPN for my router?
When choosing the right service provider or manufacturer for your VPN router, we recommend looking for reputable companies in the space.
Look for non-biased reviews of services and devices to understand the players.
It also pays to surf social media to see what people say about a specific model.
Look for social proof supporting the VPN router you want to buy, and ensure other people have a positive experience with the device.