How to setup VPN for Netgear router [Complete Guide]

Elena Constantinescu
by Elena Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
Elena started writing professionally in 2010 and hasn't stopped exploring the tech world since. With a firm grasp of software reviewing and content editing, she is always trying new things to improve her skill... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Netgear routers have support for VPN server mode, allowing you to access your home network from anywhere else. Unfortunately, these routers don't have native support for VPN client mode.
  • It's not the end of the line, though. You can set up a VPN client on Netgear by flashing the router with custom firmware. Discover the best VPN for Netgear to protect your privacy and unblock websites.
  • Join our Netgear section to learn more about this company's products and services.
  • Come back to our VPN Troubleshooting Hub whenever you have trouble with your VPN.
use VPN for Netgear routers

Routers have distinct ways of dealing with VPN, depending on their make, model, and firmware. If you want to add VPN to a Netgear router, you can do this in two ways: turning your router into a VPN server, or setting up a VPN client on Netgear.

The two methods are unrelated, however, as you will learn in our step-by-step guide below.

How do I setup a VPN on my Netgear router?

  1. Make sure your device is connected to the router‘s Wi-Fi network.
  2. Using a web browser, access the Netgear admin panel.
  3. Log in with your router‘s username and password (admin and password by default).
  4. Go to Settings > Advanced Settings > VPN Service.
  5. Check the Enable VPN Service option.
  6. At Clients will use this VPN connection to access, pick All sites on the Internet & Home Network.
  7. Click Apply.
  8. Click For Windows, For non-Windows, or For Smart Phone to download the OpenVPN config files.
  9. Download the OpenVPN client and set it up on the device you want to use for accessing your home network (e.g. smartphone, tablet, laptop).
  10. Copy the OpenVPN file from Netgear to the OpenVPN configuration folder on the device.
  11. You can now access your home network through OpenVPN.

enable VPN service on Netgear router

When you set up a VPN server at home, you don’t have to spend any money since the Netgear firmware supports VPN server mode. You just have to use the OpenVPN client, which is free and open source.

Once connected to your home network, you can access your files and printers, share photos or videos, and even map network drives over VPN – just as if you were sitting in front of your computer at home.

On the other hand, you can’t use this solution to unblock websites, for example. It’s not the same as downloading a VPN client on your device and using it to create a secure tunnel on the web.

What about adding a VPN client to Netgear?

Unfortunately, Netgear firmware doesn’t support VPN client mode. On the bright side, it lets you install custom firmware, such as Tomato, DD-WRT or OpenWRT. We’re talking about free and open-source firmware that gives you the possibility to install a VPN client directly at the router level.

Once you install the new firmware, all you need to do is purchase a premium VPN subscription plan, download its OpenVPN configuration files, and add them to your Netgear router.

From that point on, you will be able to protect your home network from hackers, remain anonymous when browsing the web, unblock Netflix US from anywhere else in the world, find cheaper flights with a VPN, and more. It depends on how good your VPN is.

What’s the best VPN for Netgear routers?

use PIA for Arris router

Made by Kape Technologies, Private Internet Access is a top VPN for Netgear routers, thanks to its superior security features and excellent speed. You can connect to more than 3,300 VPN servers in 48 countries, watch Netflix US from anywhere, as well as to access Hulu and other streaming services.

PIA supports OpenVPN with up to 256-bit military-grade encryption, ensuring that no one can decipher your data over the web. It also uses the WireGuard protocol, Shadowsocks and SOCKS5 proxy servers, split tunneling, native port forwarding, and an emergency kill switch.

You can easily set up PIA on routers with custom firmware using OpenVPN manual configuration mode. Meanwhile, its native app can be installed on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. It allows up to 10 simultaneous device connections through the same account.

More about PIA:

  • No logs or leaks
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No free trial
Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Easily set up a VPN client on Netgear routers using this fast and secure VPN.

Buy it now

To recap, there are two ways to use a VPN on Netgear: turn the router into a VPN server for free, or flash it with custom firmware for free and then install a paid VPN client.

If you’re looking for a way to set up a VPN on your router so that all your home devices can use the secure tunnel to get online and unblock websites, then you must use the second option. And we can’t think of a better VPN than PIA.

Your connection is not secure - websites you visit can find out your details:

  • Your IP
  • Your IP Address:

Companies can sell this information, alongside your location and internet provider name, and profit from it by serving targeted ads or monitoring your data usage.

Use a VPN to protect your privacy and secure your connection.

We recommend Private Internet Access, a VPN with a no-log policy, open source code, ad blocking and much more; now 79% off.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Private Internet Access is the best VPN that works with Netgear routers.

  • If you want to use a VPN for Netgear, you can turn the router into a VPN server so that you can access your home network from anywhere. But if you want to protect all devices connected to the router with a VPN, you must install custom firmware and then add a VPN client.

  • Yes, you can set up a VPN at home if you want to access your home network from any other location.

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