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Best VPN Router

Flynnie
Interested
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎16-11-2021

Best VPN Router

Hi all

Just renewed with Plusnet for another 18mths.  On the back of renewing I decided its probably a good time to finish setting things up properly - (Only a few years delay)

I have long since completed my wired connections around the house owing to not being able to take the abuse from the kids anymore moaning about the poor wifi! 

My next step is to finally put two fingers up to the american governament and tech companies who think its okay to harvest my data by getting a VPN.  I want the VPN to be in the router because it will protect the kids xbox's and it means I don't need to worry about anything once its done.

The priority for any router/VPN will be that the kids gaming can carry on uninterrupted.  I also have subs to Netflix, Prime, Disney and Apple and I don't want those to be affected by what I do.  Occasionally I have bought cricket off NowTV, but TBH, I probably won't do that anymore as getting a crappy picture from an illegal stream is one thing, but getting a poor picture when you're paying for it is a whole different matter.  The only other thing I stream is PPV boxing. (All bought through legit providers/nothing dodgy).

So my question is:

What s the best dual band router/modem that I can buy to completely replace my Plusnet box?

I want to put a VPN on said router and then be done with it, (save for fettling  here and there).  I would like to future proof any purchase as much as possible and I am prepared to pay up to maybe £300 for the equipment (Then ongoing VPN sub). That really is my maximum and less is always good. 

I am in a FTC area and my kids completely hammer the broadband.

Most of our stuff is wired, but the iphones aren't and it's those which give me the headaches 'This wifi is rubbish!, LessNet' etc, etc.

Finally, I have no desire EVER to make my home a smart home by having the washing machine talk to the hoover, I just want people to be able to get on the wifi on their phones and my wifes work PC (through a VPN) as almost everything else I have is on Cat5.

Thanks for reading, looking forward to seeing what you recommend.

 

Ant

 

5 REPLIES 5
bill888
Aspiring Champion
Posts: 1,143
Thanks: 213
Fixes: 33
Registered: ‎18-10-2008

Re: Best VPN Router

Finding the best router for VPN may be tricky.

 

A growing number of VPN providers no longer support the VPN protocols with weak security, like PPTP.  Some still support L2TP protocol, but for how long, who knows.  Most routers (without modem) will support these ancient VPN protocols and you can get decent speeds.  You don't need a 'VPN specific' router.  Just plug it into the spare LAN port of the Plusnet Hub One router.

https://www.expressvpn.com/support/vpn-setup/manual-config-for-tp-link-router-with-l2tp/ 

 

I think virtually all VPN providers support more secure OpenVPN protocol.  However, OpenVPN has a high processor overhead.

 

Asus and GL.inet are only router manufacturers that offer built in OpenVPN client on some of their routers as far as I'm aware.   Asus 'may' offer a model with built in VDSL modem and VPN support, but it won't be one of the better models (ie. slow for OpenVPN).

 

The 1.8GHz Broadcom quad core ARM powered Asus RT-AC86u (no VDSL modem) has been around for a few years.  It can handle 'upto' 75 mbps openvpn speeds 'out of the box' with stock AsusWrt.   With RMerlin's modified AsusWrt, PIA claim upto 150 mbps is possible by enabling hardware-accelerated AES encryption.  

https://www.snbforums.com/forums/asuswrt-merlin.42/ 

 

Some VPN providers like Nord, offer Wireguard which is a newer protocol with less demands on processor, but it is still very much 'work in progress'.  It's can be 4x faster than OpenVPN.  You'd need a router which can run OpenWRT for example, which will open up a new can of worms (eg. wifi compatibility etc).   Some GL.inet routers support Wireguard protocol out of the box, but I'm also aware of reports that Wireguard may not work on these routers.

 

A lot of streaming services and banks have got wise to VPNs and will try to block them.  Netflix, Prime video etc.  I'd be wary of using VPNs if you primarily use many of the UK based streaming services.  ie. it may cause you more grief than it is worth when the kids start screaming Disney or Netflix don't work, and you have to faff about with the VPN router.

Using a VPN may also introduce some latency. It could affect online gaming?

 

Just my two pennies worth. 

 

Flynnie
Interested
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎16-11-2021

Re: Best VPN Router

Firstly, thanks for your detailed reply. You know as hell of a lot more about this than I do.

I've kind of kept up with bit of what you've written, but I clearly need to do a lot more research as this isn't quite as straightforward as first appears.

Not thought about the online banking etc.

It begs the question why do I need a VPN and the answer is I don't really because I've nothing to hide, but I just don't like what's happening with all data being harvested from me and my family. I've had to accept the kids and wifes listening devices from apple but I want to fight back a bit.

Thanks again for giving me the pointers, I'll do some more digging.

 

Ant 

 

bill888
Aspiring Champion
Posts: 1,143
Thanks: 213
Fixes: 33
Registered: ‎18-10-2008

Re: Best VPN Router

Unless I'm mistaken, if you own an Apple HomePod, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, your data will still be harvested by those companies when you use a VPN, simply because you are using their services.

A VPN won't do anything to solve your data harvesting concerns imho.

 

 

 

 

 

Baldrick1
Moderator
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Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Best VPN Router


@Flynnie wrote:

The priority for any router/VPN will be that the kids gaming can carry on uninterrupted. 


As I understand it, VPN encrypts and sends the connection 'around the houses' on it's journey to the end server. Regardless of the quality, speed wise, the software, hardware and additional routing involved needs time and gamers are an impatient lot.

I sympathise with your reasoning but wonder how it will pan out with gamers in the family. They are probably more concerned abour response times than the US government monitoring their game progress.

It might be more practicable to put a VPN on devices that are used for none gaming applications.

 

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markhawkin
Pro
Posts: 463
Thanks: 81
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎17-07-2016

Re: Best VPN Router

@Flynnie 

I'm not convinced that a router implemented VPN will be an improvement for you.

There will be a performance overhead in the router encrypting the data and the de-encrypting at the far end may not be able to cope with the connection speed so be another performance limitation.

Where would you like your internet connection to "pop out" of the encrypted tunnel ?

You may have got your data beyond the UK but it will be processed by whatever jurisdiction it lands in and you will appear to various services to be there.

This kind of system can be useful if you want to appear to be in the UK when abroad and I've used a router supporting inward VPN connections for that purpose (in the days when foreign holidays were not more trouble than they are worth).

Would a browser like Opera that lets you use a VPN be better for what you wish to achieve ?

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