What's so special about a DDWRT VPN Router?
Routers, modems, cables and all of it can be a bit confusing, even for the tech expert. And then when you bundle additional software like DD-WRT, Tomato, and other encryption networking software inside these components-- installing and properly using these components is a whole nother’ ballpark.
If you’ve heard of a VPN Router, and you are wondering why you might need one, this is a good place to be! We’re going to outline some common use cases for VPN routers, how they work, and which ones you should buy.
What is a VPN Router?
A VPN router is a router that functions with VPN software enabled. Basically, the layman explanation is that your router can encrypt your internet traffic.
With a normal VPN just installed on your PC as an app, your PC’s internet connection is encrypted, and you are assigned a different anonymous IP. With a VPN router, any device that connects to it will have encryption and anonymous IPs. If a VPN on a computer is an umbrella, then a VPN Router would be an entire building.
The detailed explanation is that the router has installed software--called DD-WRT or Tomato--or other firmware, that allows you to enter in a login / password to access a VPN server via a configuration file provided from said VPN.
Difference Between Normal Router and VPN Router?
The difference between a normal router and VPN router is that a normal router doesn’t encrypt your traffic. You also use an IP address that reveals your real-world location. Without encryption, your ISP can monitor all your activity and see what you are doing.
With a VPN router, none of that is possible, and any online presence only can see the anonymous IP provided from your VPN server that connects via the VPN router software.
The main difference between a VPN and normal router is the firmware that allows the VPN access. However, not every router is compatible with VPN firmware, and it can be a tricky process to “flash” or “install” this firmware on your own. A lot of the time users who try to install firmware manually end up bricking their router or breaking it. Therefore, the easiest way to get a VPN router is to buy a “pre-flashed” VPN router, or one that already has the required software installed for you, so setup is easy and quick!
What is the Best VPN Router to Choose for a Beginner?
In order to choose a good VPN Router to start off, you need to decide what capability that you need. If you want to game with your VPN router, and access servers/regions or game betas formally unavailable, or just to game with the VPN on to prevent DDOS and other forms of online attack, then you will need a beefy VPN router. You might also want to spend a lot of time downloading content, or streaming 4K video. In this case, you would also need a fast and powerful VPN router.
On the other hand, if you just want an affordable router for basic browsing and regular HD streaming, you can select one with a more modest cost but capable power. The Linksys WRT AC1200 is a great device for a more affordable but still powerful VPN router.