VPN does not work through router: Here’s how to enable the connection

By: Elsie Otachi
5 minute read
vpn doesn't work through router

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A VPN comes in handy when you want to access geo restricted content, or get better software prices, or browse anonymously through a secure tunnel. With all these needs, there is a real need for a router that can make all these and more, happen.

Connecting your router to your VPN service also has many benefits in terms of online privacy because both your router and VPN would be on, and you can connect to either Wi-Fi or Ethernet so your router is protected.

There are two ways to setup your VPN on your router: either buy a new router setup for the specific job, or install it into your existing router – make sure to check for compatibility in both cases.

A VPN router, however, will protect all your devices while providing better security, plus you get an easy to use interface, use more devices with a single VPN account, and defeat censorship on all devices.

In all this, though, you may encounter a situation when your VPN does not work through router, and probably restarting the VPN app or even your computer and/or router doesn’t yield any tangible results.

This article lists some solutions you can try to fix the problem.

FIX: VPN does not work through router

  1. Slow speeds
  2. Unable to browse
  3. Loss of connectivity
  4. Connected, but not getting VPN IP Address
  5. Check Error Logs on your router
  6. What to do when disconnected:
  7. Unable to connect
  8. Other steps you can take

1. Slow speeds

If you’re experiencing slow speeds owing to the VPN does not work through router issue, here’s what you can do:

  • Disable the firewall of your primary router (ISP modem)
  • Connect with different servers
  • Switch between available protocols i.e. PPTP / OpenVPN
  • Connect VPN with the servers which are closer to your physical location. For instance, if you are in US, the servers in Canada or Mexico will get you better speeds.

2. Unable to browse

If you cannot browse because your VPN does not work through router, try the following steps:

  • Change your router DNS settings to OpenDNS i.e. 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220 Or Google DNS  8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
  • Save settings
  • Restart your router

–  ALSO READ: FIX: Windows 10 VPN error 789 connection failed due to security issues

3. Loss of connectivity

If you lost your internet connectivity as soon as you connect your VPN on your router, and the VPN does not work through router, make sure that your router is not working as a modem. You cannot directly configure VPN on your ISP’s modem / router. As soon as you will change the modem or router WAN settings, you will lose your internet connection. You have to configure it on an extra one, as you cannot configure two connections on a same router at the same time.


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4. Connected, but not getting VPN IP Address

5. Check Error Logs on your router

  • To check error logs you are suggested to follow below mentioned steps:
  • Go to the Services tab in DD-WRT.
  • Enable Syslog on the Services tab, or simply go to administration tab then select commands and enter command as cat /tmp/var/log/messages. (DDWRT)

– ALSO READ: Fix: VPN not working with Google Chrome

6.What to do when disconnected:

  • Disable the firewall of your primary router (ISP modem)
  • Switch between different protocols i.e. PPTP / OpenVPN
  • Switch between different servers

7. Unable to connect

If you’re unable to connect because the VPN does not work through router, do the following:

  • Try to connect with OpenVPN protocol if PPTP protocol is causing problems
  • If the issue remains unresolved, disable the firewall of your primary router (ISP modem)
  • Connect PPTP / OpenVPN protocol on any other device for testing purpose and check if you are able to connect VPN using the same protocol

Note: Ensure that the following protocols are supported by the router: PPTP or OpenVPN.  Before configuring VPN on router make sure that your router is not working as modem. You cannot directly configure VPN on your ISP’s modem / router. As soon as you will change modem / router WAN settings, you will lose your internet connection. You have to configure it on an extra one. You cannot configure two connections on a same router at the same time.

8. Other steps you can take:

  • If your equipment supports NAT-T (NAT Traversal), turn it on.
  • Contact your network administrator to understand details of how you need to configure your VPN software.
  • If your company uses L2TP pass through, register your router’s MAC address with your company’s system administrator.
  • Upgrade to the latest router firmware.
  • Enable Port Forwarding for the VPN port 500, (for IPSec VPN‘s), port 1723 for PPTP VPN‘s, and port 1701 for L2tp- L2tp routing and remote access. Port 500 may be listed under the list of services.

Note: Check if the WAN IP is Public or Private. Ports can be opened on Public IP addresses only.

By default the router’s firewall is configured to drop (delete) ICMP packets sent from outside your network to the WAN port. Your VPN may require the ICMP packets. To accept them:

  • Log in to the router using a browser by typing http://192.168.0.1, http://routerlogin.com, http://routerlogin.netor http://192.168.1.1.
  • Type adminfor the username and password for the password (unless you change the password from the default).
  • Select WAN SetupAdvanced > Respond to Ping on Internet Port.
  • Click Apply.

Has any of the above solutions worked for you? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below.

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