The Net neutrality debate has been going on for years. Now that ISPs are starting to block certain websites, apps, and services, it’s more important than ever to understand what is and isn’t allowed on the Internet.
One of the ways you can stay connected while on the go is with a VPN. A VPN app can encrypt your network traffic and hide your activities from hackers and the government. Some VPNs even have special features like DNS leak protection and kill switches that can help protect your personal data.
With all these great features, it’s quite natural that VPNs have become quite popular. However, not all VPNs are made equal. Some are simply designed for online shopping and don’t offer the security and privacy that you need when browsing the web. This definitely isn’t what you want if you’re already starting to feel uneasy about your own country’s laws.
Thankfully, there are several great VPNs designed specifically for routers. These VPNs offer the best of both worlds – all the security and privacy features you could need while also being able to access the Internet freely.
What Is A VPN For?
Before we begin, it’s important to understand the purpose of a VPN. A VPN is a type of security software that acts as a proxy server. When you connect to a VPN, all your network traffic is encrypted. This means that no one – including the owners of the VPN – can see what sites you’re visiting or what content you’re sharing. Each time you make a request to a website, your VPN will act as a middleman and send the request on to the server. It will then decrypt the information and send it back to you.
As you can see, this added layer of security adds a bit of an overhead, so you’ll want to make sure that you have a strong enough connection before you use a VPN. Depending on the strength of your connection and how frequently you use the VPN, this overhead could end up being fairly minimal.
Which Types Of VPNs Are Available For Routers?
If you’re looking for VPNs for your router, it’s important to understand the various types of VPNs that are available. Like web browsers, there are several different types of VPNs, each offering a unique set of features.
You’ll most commonly see three types of VPNs on a router:
- OpenVPN – OpenVPN is probably the most popular type of VPN for routers. It is completely free and open-source, which makes it one of the most reliable and secure VPNs around. It has gained a large following due to its simple setup and documentation. Unfortunately, OpenVPN is also very inefficient on lower end devices. If you’re using a laptop or desktop, you’ll most likely see better performance with the more expensive and advanced VPNs.
- PPTP – Microsoft has produced its own VPN protocol, Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). It’s not as secure as OpenVPN, but it’s easier to set up and quite reliable. You can use Microsoft’s open-source StrongSSL to make your VPN stronger. Although PPTP is free, there is no trial version, so you’ll have to pay for it eventually. If security is of high importance to you, consider PPTP.
- L2TP/IPSec – Layer two tunneling protocol (L2TP) is another VPN protocol developed by the IETF (the standards body for the Internet). It is very similar to PPTP but encrypts all your data as it passes through the VPN. IPSec is the IP Security Protocol, which is the successor to PPP. IPSec provides authentication, encryption, and some level of encryption (AES or 3DES) to ensure data privacy. It is the preferred choice for people interested in security since this protocol is well-regulated and considered quite strong.
Why Choose An OpenVPN Installed On A Belkin Router?
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use VPN for your home network, you’ll most likely end up choosing an OpenVPN installed on a Belkin (or other brands) router. This is because many reputable VPN companies have partnered with Netgear to create a line of routers specifically for use with VPNs.
Not only do these routers make setting up a VPN easy, but they come with several great features designed to make your life on the Internet easier and more enjoyable. Here’s a quick overview of what’s inside a Netgear router:
- Cloud VPN – One of the most useful features of a Netgear router is the built-in Cloud VPN. This feature allows you to securely connect to a server maintained by a VPN company, which will give you access to all the content that you need – regardless of where you are. When you’re connected to a VPN, all your Internet activity is encrypted, so no one can track your activity or steal your personal information. With the Cloud VPN, all your traffic is kept secure even if you don’t have a strong enough Wi-Fi connection to make a regular VPN connection. There’s also the added security of the VPN company itself since your data is encrypted as it passes through their servers.
- DNS Leaks Protection – If you’ve ever tried to visit a site that ends in.au or.za and then try to access a US-based site, you’ll know how frustrating it can be when all of a sudden, you’re rerouted to the US version of the site you were originally trying to reach. This can cause all kinds of problems, including personal data exposure.
- DDoS Protection – You may have heard of a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. A DDoS attack is when a third party attacks another website or network resource by flooding it with data requests. A VPN can help protect your devices from getting bogged down in these types of attacks by shielding them from the outside world. This is why many VPNs are sold with dedicated hardware or software DDoS protection.
- IPv6 – This is the next-generation version of Internet Protocol (IP). Just like IPv4 (the previous version), IPv6 allows devices to communicate with each other, but it is much more efficient. In fact, IPv6 allows for much faster speeds and less likely to run into issues when connecting to other devices or services. Many routers now come with IPv6 enabled, so if you’re interested in connecting to the Internet fast and efficiently, this is the option for you. Some VPNs offer advanced features, such as IPv6 Tunneling Protocol (or 6in4), which enables your device to act as a router and create its own private network.
- Parental Controls – It’s always nice when parents can protect their children from harmful content online. One feature that some routers offer is the ability to set up parental controls. This feature allows you to restrict access to certain websites, apps, and other content, ensuring your children’s safety while online.
- Personal VPN – If you’ve ever shopped online, you’ll know that sometimes a site will recommend a VPN to keep your activity private. When you connect to a Personal VPN, all your Internet activity is encrypted, which means no one can track your activity or steal your personal information. This type of VPN is only useful if you’re the only person who will be using it, otherwise it’s just another layer of security you need to worry about.
- Randomized IP – Sometimes it can be difficult to connect to a specific website or service through an IP address. If you’re using a public library or computer at a coffee shop, it can be hard to predict what websites you might connect to. A Randomized IP can help solve this problem by creating a temporarily assigned IP address that can be replaced with another whenever you connect to a different site or service. In other words, it works like a charm every time!
As you can see, all of these features make it quite easy for you to stay connected while also feeling secure. You don’t want to be searching for a library or coffee shop to use when you need one, so letting a VPN handle these details for you is the best option. Doing so saves you both time and resources, allowing you to fully focus on browsing the web and sharing content with your family and friends.