Best VPN for Asus Routers in 2021: Client & Server

Asus routers are some of the best out there with solid firmware out of the box and hardware that is powerful enough to handle some moderate VPN loads. With this in mind, we’re taking a look at the best VPNs for Asus routers to help you get the most out of your equipment and keep all of your devices protected.

Brian Murray
By Brian Murray (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2021-05-24T12:36:52+00:00

Setting up a virtual private network (VPN) on your router has a number of benefits, and we’ve already looked at the best VPN for routers, but a big part of what you’ll be able to get out of your router comes down to what kind of router it is. For that reason, today we’re specifically looking for the best VPN for Asus routers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Asus routers are versatile right out of the box and can be used with a wide variety of VPN services without the need for new firmware.
  • There are a few providers, such as ExpressVPN and VyprVPN, that still opt to provide their own router firmware, which usually provides more functionality than the standard Asus firmware.
  • Setting up a VPN provider on your router is a simple and quick way to ensure all the devices in your home are using a protected connection.

Asus routers are actually some of the best for running a VPN right out of the box. Unlike Netgear routers or other routers, many VPN providers support the stock Asus router firmware, so it won’t be necessary to upgrade to something like DD-WRT or Tomato. We do have a guide to the best VPN for Netgear routers, though.

While there are dedicated VPN routers, such as the one we looked at in our Vilfo router review, many of the most popular Asus router models that are already widely in use in many homes can be used to provide a protected connection to every device on your network.

  • Using a VPN on an Asus router offers the same benefits as using a VPN in general, but with the added benefit of protecting all of your devices at once. A VPN will improve the security and privacy of your home network via your router.

  • ExpressVPN is consistently the fastest VPN provider out there in our testing, making it a great fit for Asus routers. The VPN has excellent performance so it’s no problem to stream, torrent and transfer large files and it can be done quickly from practically anywhere in the world, including your home router.

  • Not many free VPNs allow you to set it up on your router without paying. However, ProtonVPN is a great option that gives you unlimited data and you can use it on your Asus router without having to pay for a subscription.

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What Makes the Best VPN for Asus Router

Each of the VPNs on this list will not only work well on your router, but they will also provide reasonably good speed, security and privacy. However, each VPN offers some kind of stand-out benefit as well.

  1. ExpressVPN — Fastest and best overall VPN
  2. NordVPN — Quick VPN with secure torrenting
  3. Surfshark — Cheap VPN for streaming
  4. VyprVPN — VPN provider with cutting-edge features
  5. CyberGhost — VPN with added router configuration options

All of the VPN services we look at here cover the same basics we expect to see from every VPN — things like a kill switch, OpenVPN protocol and a solid privacy policy. In addition, they support Asus routers or (in the case of CyberGhost) DD-WRT firmware routers, which you can learn more about in our how to install DD-WRT article.

Because of the sheer number of VPN reviews we’ve done, there were a lot of contenders to look at, and competition was especially fierce for the lower spots. For this reason, each VPN provider also had to stand out in some way from the crowd of other options, and we’ll highlight the key features that really drew us to the options we picked.

The 5 Best VPNs for Asus Router

Now that it’s clear what we’re looking for in an Asus router VPN, let’s dive in and look at the best VPN services to help you turn your ordinary Asus router into a VPN router.

1. ExpressVPN

best vpn for roku expressvpn
ExpressVPN offers custom VPN firmware for a number of routers, including the very common RT-AC68U.

More details about ExpressVPN:

Pros:

  • Very fast & reliable
  • Custom firmware for many Asus routers
  • Works on streaming services
  • Great security & privacy

Cons:

  • A bit expensive

Unsurprisingly, ExpressVPN has secured the top spot on this list. For a number of reasons, ExpressVPN ranks highly in practically all of our “best of” articles, including our best VPN for routers article. It’s the best all-around VPN available today and provides ample security, access to geoblocked content, tons of features and insane speeds.

On top of that, one thing that especially makes ExpressVPN stand out among its peers when it comes to router performance is that it is the only VPN service that provides its own custom firmware for a number of router models — including the widely used RT-AC68U.

On its website, ExpressVPN provides guides on how to use its configuration files to manually set up the VPN on your ASUS router, or you can download the ExpressVPN firmware that corresponds to your model of router and flash that onto your hardware to protect your entire home network even more easily.

Fastest and Most Reliable Speeds 

ExpressVPN ranked at the top of our fastest VPNs list, and for very good reason. It’s not only that ExpressVPN hits higher speeds than the VPN competition, but that it can do so with incredible consistency. Day in and day out, from almost anywhere in the world, you can rely on ExpressVPN’s server network to be quick.

expressVPN signup without discount
ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month on the annual plan, without a discount.

Pricing is arguably ExpressVPN’s biggest weakness. While it isn’t necessarily overpriced, it’s not priced to draw people in with its affordability, either. ExpressVPN knows that it offers a top-shelf VPN provider and prices itself accordingly. However, you can try it out and make sure you like it with the VPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN is a mainstay in any of our “best of” VPN articles because it simply nails everything we look for. It’s fast, secure, user-friendly and even offers its own VPN firmware for numerous router models, including about a half-dozen ASUS options. Be sure to check out our ExpressVPN review for the full details on what we love about the service.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN P2P config
NordVPN allows you to use the dedicated P2P servers on your router, letting you torrent quickly and safely from any device.

More details about NordVPN:

  • Pricing: $3.71 a month for two years
  • Provider website: nordvpn.com

Pros:

  • Dedicated servers for torrenting
  • Massive server network
  • Affordable long-term pricing
  • Great privacy & security

Cons:

  • Some speed inconsistency at times

While NordVPN often goes toe-to-toe with ExpressVPN and holds its own, a few things kept it from stealing the number-one VPN spot this time. For starters, NordVPN simply isn’t as reliable as ExpressVPN when it comes to speeds. Although NordVPN is fast and can achieve some pretty impressive speeds, there are also times that you will be connected to a server that is noticeably slower.

This inconsistency has been improving over time, but it still holds NordVPN back enough to prevent it from being at the top of our list. Additionally, while NordVPN does provide configuration files and guides to help you easily set up a VPN on an ASUS router, it does not provide custom firmware like ExpressVPN does.

Safe and Speedy Torrenting: P2P Servers

While NordVPN might not always be able to match ExpressVPN’s speeds in everyday use, it does have one eye-catching feature that beats out ExpressVPN: dedicated P2P servers. NordVPN offers a few different types of specialty servers, but the ones that impress us the most are the torrenting servers that are set up to improve the security and speed of P2P connections.

nordvpn pricing
Although it doesn’t beat out the VPN competition by much in monthly pricing, NordVPN offers solid long-term pricing.

Another area where NordVPN appears more compelling than its main rival is pricing. The monthly pricing is roughly the same, with NordVPN coming in at a dollar a month less, but NordVPN’s long-term pricing is much better. You can get two years of NordVPN for less than one year of ExpressVPN. Plus, the VPN provider also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Although NordVPN might not beat ExpressVPN’s all-around dominance and reliability, the specialized servers will certainly draw some people in. The torrenting servers are the most impressive, but you can find out about the other kinds of dedicated servers offered in our NordVPN review.

3. Surfshark

Surfshark firmwares
Surfshark only provides guides for custom firmware like DD-WRT and Asus routers.

More details about Surfshark:

  • Pricing: $2.49 a month for two years
  • Provider website: surfshark.com

Pros:

  • Very affordable with unlimited connections
  • Excellent for streaming 
  • Unlimited devices 
  • Good privacy & security

Cons:

  • Mediocre speeds

Surfshark might be one of the most under-appreciated VPN providers available today. As we saw in our Surfshark review, it offers a variety of features — including the coveted split tunneling — as well as impressive speeds and a large server network with locations all around the globe.

Where Surfshark really excels, though, is its value. Although the month-to-month pricing is the same as ExpressVPN’s, the longer subscriptions come with steep discounts that make it a great budget-friendly VPN for streaming. 

Value for Streaming  

In our testing, Surfshark was able to get us access to every streaming service we tried including Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. It even managed to land itself a spot on our best VPN for BBC iPlayer list. While it isn’t the fastest VPN out there, the speeds are good enough to stream HD content without any issues.

surfshark pricing
Although you can’t use the free trial on routers (only mobile), it lets you get a feel for the VPN service’s speed and streaming capabilities.

Surfshark’s monthly pricing isn’t anything to write home about. However, the six-month and two-year options bring the price down considerably and make Surfshark a hard deal to beat. Add to this the unlimited connections allowed on each account, the seven-day free trial on mobile devices and the 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can see why we consider Surfshark a pretty good value.

Surfshark isn’t fast enough to land itself a spot at the top of this list, but it’s got enough going for it to manage a respectable third place. For the price, Surfshark’s streaming performance is hard to beat, and for the many people looking for a VPN for that exact purpose, this could be a great option.

4. VyprVPN

vyprvpn-router-app
VyprVPN provides its own VPN firmware for a variety of routers that can greatly improve the VPN functionality of your existing Asus routers.

More details about VyprVPN:

  • Pricing: $1.66 a month for three years 
  • Provider website: vyprvpn.com

Pros:

  • Custom firmware
  • Proprietary protocol that obfuscates VPN connection
  • Good privacy & security

Cons:

  • Very slow connections

The foundation of any VPN’s security comes from the protocol and encryption that it uses. Most VPNs use OpenVPN, which is widely considered to be very secure, as you can read about in our VPN protocol breakdown. Many VPNs are now adopting a newer protocol called WireGuard that shows promise for security and very high speeds. 

VyprVPN stands out from the crowd thanks to its proprietary protocol called Chameleon. This protocol is based on OpenVPN but adds a layer of obfuscation to the data, making it much more difficult for someone looking at your connection to know that it’s a VPN connection. This can help in places with tight censorship that might block connections, such as in China.

Advanced Protocols and Router Firmware

In addition to the custom protocol, VyprVPN provides custom firmware for Asus routers. This allows you to use the Chameleon protocol as well as a few other features, such as controlling the VPN connection on a per-device basis. Configuration files are also available for OpenVPN and PPTP protocols if you want to set up the VPN to run on the router’s standard Asus firmware.

vyprvpn pricing
VyprVPN is one of the slower services on this list, but offers plans for less than two dollars a month.

VyprVPN’s pricing starts off very high, coming in at the same price as ExpressVPN, but the more long-term options come with very steep discounts. The three-year plan is actually a good value, but it’s worth pointing out that VyprVPN has pretty poor speeds.

However, as we looked at in our VyprVPN review, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to try the VPN service out risk free. If it’s too slow for your purposes, you can still get a refund.

VyprVPN sets itself apart from the VPN competition thanks to its unique protocol that cuts through censorship as well as its impressive custom firmware for Asus routers. While the VPN’s speeds are lackluster and hold it back from reaching a higher spot on this list, it still manages to carve out a distinct niche for itself.

5. CyberGhost

cyberghost features
CyberGhost offers some unique VPN options when you’re choosing how to set up your router’s configuration file, including things like ad and tracker-blocking.

More details about CyberGhost:

  • Pricing: $2.25 a month for three years 
  • Provider website: cyberghost.com

Pros:

  • Unique features for router configuration
  • Decent speeds & security
  • 45-day money-back guarantee on longer plans

Cons:

  • Does not work on most streaming services 

CyberGhost used to be one of our top VPN picks when it came to a lot of things, but in our recent CyberGhost review, we found that it seems to have declined somewhat. Despite having dedicated servers for a number of different streaming platforms, we could only get Netflix to work. Hulu, Amazon and BBC iPlayer all locked us out while using CyberGhost.

Aside from the poor streaming performance, CyberGhost still manages to perform well in most other categories. The VPN provides a user-friendly experience, keeps the speeds up and has dedicated torrenting servers that seem to work better than the streaming ones.

Added Configuration Options

A large reason CyberGhost still managed to secure itself a spot on this list is that the VPN gives users a few extra options when setting up their configuration files. These options include things like ad- and tracker-blocking and protection against malicious websites — all done from your router, so every device on your home network can be protected.

Cyberghost pricing
CyberGhost gives users a generous 45 days to try out the VPN service and get a refund if it’s not for them.

CyberGhost’s pricing is very similar to a lot of the other options we’ve looked at. The monthly option is not a great bargain, but the value increases with longer subscriptions. CyberGhost’s longest option brings the price down to just a few dollars a month. The VPN also offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee on longer plans (though it drops to 14 days on the monthly plan).

CyberGhost has certainly experienced a fall from grace in our most recent review of the VPN service. Its inability to access most streaming content is a pretty big letdown, but its overall performance and its unique features still secure it a spot on this list — albeit the lowest one.

The Best Free VPN for Asus Router

ProtonVPN

protonvpn-homepage-2020
ProtonVPN is a decent VPN service with a sleek interface, but the unlimited free data is a big draw for a lot of people.

Not many VPNs offer free plans anymore, and even fewer let you put the free version of the VPN on your router. While ProtonVPN isn’t the best free VPN we’ve ever looked at, a couple of things make this VPN stand out here and put it well ahead of the other free VPNs we’ve seen for use on an Asus router.

First, ProtonVPN lets you use an unlimited amount of data. You’re limited in which VPN servers you can use, but the total bandwidth is uncapped, making this VPN ideal for protecting multiple devices through a router. Additionally, most free VPNs don’t let you set the service up on a router. ProtonVPN graciously lets you use the service for a VPN router — even with the free plan.

Final Thoughts

Not all VPNs are created equal, and although a VPN service like ExpressVPN or NordVPN will cover the router needs of a vast majority of people, there are people looking for more specific features. 

For that reason, we made sure that every VPN we looked at here has something that distinguishes it from the rest — besides being able to work on routers. This way, we hope we’ve provided at least one VPN option that will meet your needs.

Did we cover your favorite pick for an Asus router VPN? Have you used one of our VPN picks in the past? Did you find setting a VPN up on your router to be difficult or easy? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.