If you’re still using a router that doesn’t come with built-in VPN functionality, then it’s time to upgrade. Not only do VPNs provide you with enhanced security, allowing you to connect to trusted networks and enjoy high-quality online content – they also offer you much more flexibility. Whether you need to access restricted websites or simply want to ensure your personal data is always secure, VPNs let you achieve these goals with ease. This post will give you some ideas on how to block VPNs on your router so you can take advantage of all the flexibility they offer.
Built-In VPN or Third-Party VPN?
One of the first things you’ll want to consider when blocking VPNs on your router is whether you want to do this via built-in VPN or a third-party VPN. The former offers you the advantage of automatic setup and configuration once the VPN is connected, while the latter typically requires a bit more work. If you’ve tried both and want to share your thoughts on which one you prefer and why, feel free to leave us a note in the comments below!
Block All VPNs Except for One
Unless you know for certain that a particular VPN is completely secure and offers you no eavesdropping or data leaks, you might not want to give it full access to your computer or mobile device. Rather than blocking all VPNs, you can selectively allow or block them based on your needs. To do this, first log into your router’s settings and search for the term “VPN.” You’ll see a list of all the different VPNs connected to your device, along with their associated IP addresses. Navigate to the Settings tab and click the button to the the right of the VPN name in order to enter a configuration mode. From here, you can choose to block or allow connections to each individual VPN.
How to Configure Your Router to Block VPNs
Once you’ve accessed the Settings page of your router, you’ll see a list of all the different VPN connections available. Simply find the one you need and click the option to the right of the name in order to enter a configuration mode. This screen will then display all the different options available to you. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll be covering the following items:
- Account Settings
- VPN Options
If you don’t need any fancy security protocols or other advanced functions, then you can choose to configure your router in what is known as basic mode. This mode doesn’t require a username, password, or other identification information, which makes it much simpler to use. You’ll just need to make sure your router is on and connected to the internet via WiFi when you want to use it. If you go this route and forget to renew the DHCP lease for the router once every 60 days or so, your internet connection could be at risk of being terminated by your ISP.
Why is it simpler to use Basic Mode? Because by default, all of the settings for a VPN are managed by your router, which takes the guesswork out of connecting and configuring your device. If you’re looking to connect to a single VPN at a time, things get even easier as you don’t have to mess with adding extra configurations for each one. Another perk of using Basic Mode is because it doesn’t require any security information to be entered (neither does a third-party VPN), it prevents eavesdropping and data leaks from occurring. For more information, be sure to check out the IPVanish FAQs as well as this informative guide by Small Business Trends on how to set up and use your VPN.
How to Configure Your Router to Use a Third-Party VPN
If you think that Basic Mode isn’t secure enough for your needs or if you want to be able to connect to multiple VPNs at once, then you can choose to configure your router to use a third-party VPN. A third-party VPN allows you to connect to any VPN server you want, as long as you have a working knowledge of the IP addresses for these locations. These servers can then be individually configured to meet your specific needs. Some of the best-known services that offer third-party VPNs are NordVPN, IPVan, or Private Internet Access. While it’s great that VPNs give you enhanced security, what happens when the service you’re using is compromised? What if they’re owned by a foreign entity, who might then sell your personal data? Using a VPN that is known and respected in the security community can help prevent these types of situations from occurring. If you’re looking to learn more, be sure to check out the Security Now podcast on iTunes, where Leo states upfront that he doesn’t recommend using free VPNs and that instead, you should try and find one that costs $2 a month or more.
The main difference between using built-in versus third-party VPNs is that the former typically comes with a one-month free trial or a free VPN key that can be used for up to seven days. You’ll then need to either purchase a license key or pay $2 a month for the service. Third-party VPNs also typically come with a money-back guarantee, no questions asked. As mentioned before, if you decide that the service isn’t for you, you can easily cancel your subscription at any time. This way, you won’t be locked into a contract if you don’t want to be.
Block All VPNs Except for One That You Manually Configure
If you really don’t want to give your VPNs access to your router, then you can manually configure them to only allow access to a select few. To do this, navigate to the VPN section of your device’s settings and click the button to the right of the name in order to enter a configuration mode. This screen will then display all the different options available to you. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll be covering the following items:
- Automatic Settings
- Account Settings
- VPN Options
If you prefer a plug-and-play experience when connecting to your VPN, you can configure your router to automatically connect to the VPN server of your choice whenever you want to use it. Some of the best-known services that offer this feature are NordVPN, IPVan, or Private Internet Access. This way, you won’t have to worry about connecting and configuring your device every time you want to use the service. If you need help, you can read the IPVan FAQs for more information.
Customise the Login Screen
Although it’s not common, some routers allow for a customised login screen. This means that instead of seeing a standard login page with the word “admin” in the bottom right corner, you can replace this text with whatever you want. To see an example of this, log into your router’s settings and search for the word “username.” You’ll then see an empty box where you can input the username you want to use. You can then click the button to the right of the word “admin” to enter a customised login screen.
Use a Specific DNS Server
If you’re one of the many people who use the internet to browse the web, then you’ll notice that when you do so, your device occasionally searches for the nearest DNS server whenever it needs to look up an IP address. This type of DNS lookup is known as an internal DNS server, and because these servers are stored in your DNS manager (usually on your device), you don’t have to worry about your settings being overwritten by a user updating their device’s DNS settings. If you want to use a specific internal DNS server, then you can navigate to the DNS section of your device’s settings and create a new internal DNS server there. Doing this won’t affect your device’s ability to connect to external servers like Google or Facebook, but it will make all DNS requests sent from your device go through this specific server instead of the one your ISP provides. This means that even if an external DNS server is down, your device will still be able to access the internet as long as it’s connected to WiFI and the internal DNS server is enabled.