How to Set Up NordVPN on a Router — Complete 2024 Guide

Ahmed Khaled
Ahmed Khaled Writer
Updated on: June 5, 2024
Fact Checked by Katarina Glamoslija
Ahmed Khaled Ahmed Khaled
Updated on: June 5, 2024 Writer

Short on time? Here’s the best way to set up NordVPN on a router in 2024:

  • 1. Sign up for NordVPN. Choose a NordVPN plan (the longest plan is the cheapest) and create your NordVPN account.
  • 2. Configure the VPN on your router. Open your router’s admin panel and set up the VPN. It usually takes around 5–10 minutes.
  • 3. Connect your devices to your home network. You can now securely browse the internet on any device that is connected to the network.

I like to protect all of my devices with a VPN, but that’s not always possible. My smart TV doesn’t support VPNs and neither does my PlayStation 5, so I can’t stream securely or stop my ISP (Internet Service Provider) from throttling my connection speeds. Plus, my NordVPN account only covers 10 devices, so I sometimes have to choose which device to disconnect from the VPN when other members of the household need it.

Luckily, setting up NordVPN on my router solves this problem. The router counts as one device, so I can connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously and secure them all at once, including any device that doesn’t natively support VPN apps.

But NordVPN doesn’t have a dedicated router app, which means that it’s not as simple as downloading and installing it on your router and connecting to a server. Instead, you have to manually configure NordVPN to your router.

That’s why I’ve put together easy-to-follow guides on how to set up NordVPN on popular router brands and firmware, including Asus, DD-WRT, TP-Link, and Tomato, so you don’t have to spend hours figuring out how to get it to work on your router.

GET NORDVPN FOR YOUR ROUTER NOW

Editor’s Note: Note that performing a firmware update on your router carries the risk of “bricking” it, which essentially means it will stop working if the update is done improperly. If you need to install additional firmware to make your router compatible with NordVPN, it’s very important to closely follow the correct guide for your router or seek help from an expert.

Why Should You Set Up NordVPN on Your Router?

  • Protect all devices under 1 connection. When you set up NordVPN on your router, all devices connected to your network will be automatically protected by the VPN. This means everyone in your family or house can install the VPN on all of their devices.
  • Cover devices that don’t support VPNs. Gaming consoles and some smart TVs don’t work with VPN apps. The only way to protect your connections on these devices is to configure NordVPN on your router. This way, all devices connected to it will benefit from the VPN connection, including those that don’t natively support VPNs.
  • Secure your connection. NordVPN has excellent security features, including 256-bit AES encryption, an audited and confirmed no-logs policy, and a kill switch that prevents data leaks by disconnecting you from the internet when your connection to the VPN drops. It also has advanced security features like RAM-only servers (wipe all data upon reboot), full leak protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks, and perfect forward secrecy, which generates a different key for each VPN session.
  • Great streaming support. NordVPN works with 10+ streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video, so you can stream on your favorite platforms from anywhere.
  • Fast speeds. NordVPN provides very fast speeds that are great for all online activities, including gaming, torrenting, and general browsing. In my tests, HD videos loaded instantly, 4K videos took 2–3 seconds to load, and I didn’t experience any buffering or lag.
  • Prevent speed throttling. Internet service providers (ISPs) may limit your internet speeds if they detect heavy bandwidth usage, such as HD or 4K video streaming or gaming. This can lead to slow video load times and frequent buffering. However, since NordVPN encrypts all of your traffic, your ISP won’t be able to see what you’re using bandwidth on, so it won’t be able to throttle your speeds.

What You Need Before Setting Up NordVPN on Your Router

  • A NordVPN subscription. You’ll need an active NordVPN account to configure the VPN on your router. Pick a plan here (the longest one provides the best value) and create your NordVPN account.
  • A compatible router. Not all routers are compatible with NordVPN — a lot of them are, but it’s best to check the list of supported routers before proceeding. Keep in mind that you can only configure NordVPN on routers that support the OpenVPN protocol.
  • A wired connection. To set up NordVPN on your router, you’ll need to connect your router to your computer via an Ethernet cable. Make sure you have an Ethernet cable ready before you begin.
  • A computer. You’ll need a computer to access your router’s settings and configure NordVPN. Make sure your computer is connected to the same network as your router.
  • Your router’s IP address. You’ll need to know your router’s IP address to access its settings. This information can usually be found in the router’s manual or by contacting your ISP.
  • Server and protocol configuration files. To create a connection, you’ll need the OpenVPN configuration file for the server location you want to connect to. You can find these on NordVPN’s server page. Once you select your preferred country and server, click on Show available protocols and download the configuration files.

Which Routers Allow You to Set Up NordVPN?

NordVPN only works on routers that support the OpenVPN protocol. It no longer supports L2TP/IPsec and PPTP connections, so you can’t configure it on most ISP-issued routers.

If your router doesn’t support OpenVPN, try to flash it with third-party firmware that supports the OpenVPN client (like DD-WRT and Tomato firmware) to make it work with NordVPN. If you have an ASUS router, you should check if it has built-in OpenVPN client support — most ASUS models do.

Alternatively, you can buy a NordVPN pre-configured router from FlashRouters, one of NordVPN’s partners. This option is great if you’re in the market for a new router and want to avoid the manual setup.

Router Brand Required/Compatible Firmware
Asus AsusWRT, AsusWRT-Merlin or Tomato
D-Link DD-WRT or Tomato
Linksys DD-WRT, Tomato or OpenWRT
Netgear DD-WRT, Tomato or Voxel firmware
TP-Link DD-WRT
GL.iNet OpenWRT or DD-WRT
Netduma DumaOS
MikroTik RouterOS version 6.45 and later
EdgeRouter and Ubiquiti EdgeOS version 2.0.9 and later
DrayTek Vigor DrayOS
pfSense pfSense
Sabai SabaiOS
Arris
Belkin
Cisco
TRENDnet
Tenda
TotoLink
Ubee
Huawei

How to Set Up NordVPN on a Router (Step-By-Step Guides)

To install NordVPN on your router, you’ll need a NordVPN subscription. NordVPN offers plans starting at $3.39 / month. The longest plan is the cheapest and provides the best value, and NordVPN sometimes offers extra months for free with it. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try NordVPN risk-free.

The installation steps depend on the brand of your router and the firmware you have. I have included detailed, step-by-step guides for getting NordVPN to work on ASUS and TP-Link routers, as well as DD-WRT and Tomato firmware.

How to Set Up NordVPN on ASUS-WRT

  1. Log into the control panel of your Asus router. You can do this by typing either 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.50.1 (if the former does not work) in the address bar of your browser. You can also enter router.asus.com or asusrouter.com instead of the IP address. A window will appear, prompting you to enter your username and password. If you haven’t changed your credentials, use the default username, which is “admin,and the default password, which is either “admin” or no password.
  2. Click on VPN in the left sidebar menu, then select VPN Client at the top of the page. Click the Add profile button located at the bottom of the page, followed by the OpenVPN tab in the pop-up window that appears.
  3. Add credentials for your VPN connection. You can find these in the dashboard of your NordVPN account.
  4. Upload the OpenVPN client configuration files. Go to NordVPN’s server page, choose the server you want to connect to, and click on Show available protocols. From there, download the OpenVPN configuration files. Then, go back to the control panel of your router and upload the configuration files. Leave the box next to “Import the CA file or edit the .ovpn file manually” unchecked and click “OK” to complete the configuration process.
  5. You will see the created connection in the VPN Client tab. Click “Activate” to connect your router to NordVPN. The Connection Status column will show a blue checkmark, indicating that you are now connected to NordVPN on your Asus router.
  6. To disconnect from NordVPN, click on the Deactivate button. Your IP address and protection status will be visible at the top of the nordvpn.com page, but be sure to refresh the webpage as it might be loaded from the cache.

How to Set Up NordVPN on DD-WRT

DD-WRT is an open-source firmware that supports the OpenVPN protocol, which allows you to establish a NordVPN connection. In this guide, I’ll show you how to set up a DD-WRT VPN using an OpenVPN connection using the DD-WRT OpenVPN client UI.

  1. Set NordVPN’s DNS addresses. On the DD-WRT admin interface, go to Setup, click on Basic Setup, and scroll down to the Network Address Server Settings (DHCP) section. Set the addresses as follows:
  • Static DNS 1: 103.86.96.100
  • Static DNS 2: 103.86.99.100
  • Static DNS 3: 0.0.0.0 (default)
  • Use DNSMasq for DHCP: Checked
  • Use DNSMasq for DNS: Checked
  • DHCP-Authoritative: Checked
  1. Disable IPv6 traffic. Go to the IPV6 section under Setup, set IPv6 to Disabled, and click on Apply Changes. This step is recommended to ensure your IP doesn’t leak.
  2. Enable the OpenVPN client. Navigate to Service, then VPN, and set Start OpenVPN Client to Enable. You can then fill in the blanks with the following information:
  • Server IP/Name: Find the server hostname under its title on NorVPN’s server page.
  • Port: 1194 for UDP or 443 for the TCP protocol
  • Tunnel Device: TUN
  • Tunnel Protocol: UDP (or TCP)
  • Encryption Cipher: AES-256-CBC
  • Hash Algorithm: SHA-512
  • User Pass Authentication: Enable
  • Username, Password: Enter your NordVPN service credentials
  • First Data Cipher: Not set
  • Second Data Cipher: Not set
  • Third Data Cipher: Not set
  1. Enable Advanced Options. Enable NAT and disable the LZO Compression option. Set the TLS Cipher to None.
  2. In the Additional Config box, enter or copy/paste these commands:

remote-cert-tls server

remote-random

nobind

tun-mtu 1500

tun-mtu-extra 32

mssfix 1450

persist-key

persist-tun

ping-timer-rem

reneg-sec 0

#log /tmp/vpn.log

  1. Open the OpenVPN configuration file you downloaded in a text editor (like WordPad or Notepad++). Find the <ca> part of the file and copy its contents into the CA Cert field, including the —–BEGIN CERTIFICATE—– and —–END CERTIFICATE—– lines.
  2. Copy the contents of the TSL Key in the configuration file, under the <tls-auth> part, and paste them into the TLS Auth Key field, including the —–BEGIN OpenVPN Static key V1—– and —–END OpenVPN Static key V1—– lines. Click Save and then Apply Settings.
  3. That’s it! Your DD-WRT router is now configured to use NordVPN. To check if the VPN is working, go to Status, click OpenVPN, and look for a message that reads “CLIENT: CONNECTED SUCCESS.”

How to Set Up NordVPN on TP-Link

  1. Go to your router’s control panel. You should be able to do that by entering one of the two IP addresses: 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1.
  2. Enable the VPN client option, which you can find in the Advanced tab, and select VPN client from the side menu.
  3. To create a new connection for NordVPN, go to the Server list and click Add. You’ll then need to provide information about the connection, as follow:
  • Description: You can give the connection any name you want.
  • VPN type: OpenVPN.
  • Username: Your NordVPN username (find it in your NordVPN account dashboard).
  • Password: Your NordVPN password (find it in your NordVPN account dashboard).
  1. Upload the OpenVPN client configuration files from NordVPN’s site. Visit NordVPN’s server page, choose a server, and click on Show available protocols. Download the OpenVPN configuration files, go back to the control panel of your router, click Browse in the Add Profile window, and upload the configuration files.
  2. Enable the newly created NordVPN connection in the Server list. Then, in the Device List section, add the devices that you want to use the NordVPN connection. Toggle the VPN access bar next to each device and click OK to save the changes.

How to Set Up NordVPN on Tomato

  1. Open your router’s control panel by entering its local address (192.168.1.1 by default) in your browser. Select VPN Tunneling from the left-side menu and click the OpenVPN Client option.
  2. Configure the OpenVPN Client. You’ll need to:
  • Check the Start with WAN box.
  • Select TUN as the Interface Type.
  • Choose either UDP or TCP as protocol.
  • Enter the hostname of the server (find it on NordVPN’s server page) in the first field next to Server Address/Port. In the second field, input 1194 for UDP or 443 for TCP.
  • Select the Automatic option next to Firewall.
  • Choose TLS as Authorization Mode.
  • Check the box next to the Username/Password Authentication field and enter your NordVPN credentials.
  • Select Outgoing (1) next to Extra HMAC authorization (tls-auth).
  • Check the box next to the Create NAT on tunnel field.
  1. If you don’t see any fields in the OpenVPN client, go to Administration > Scripts and enter the following commands into the Init field (make sure to enter your NordVPN username and password):

echo username > /tmp/password.txt

echo password >> /tmp/password.txt

chmod 600 /tmp/password.txt

  1. Configure your Advanced settings. In the Advanced tab, make the following changes:
  • Poll Interval: 0
  • Redirect Internet traffic: Checked
  • Accept DNS configuration: Strict
  • Encryption cipher: AES-256-CBC
  • Compression: Disabled
  • TLS Renegotiation Time: -1
  • Connection retry: -1
  • Verify server certificate: Unchecked

Then, copy and paste the following in the Custom Configuration field:

remote-cert-tls server

remote-random

nobind

tun-mtu 1500

tun-mtu-extra 32

mssfix 1450

persist-key

persist-tun

ping-timer-rem

reneg-sec 0

auth sha512

#log /tmp/vpn.log

#Delete `#` in the line below if your router does not have credentials fields

#auth-user-pass /tmp/password.txt

  1. Open the Keys tab. Paste the Static Key from the configuration file from <tls-auth> to </tls-auth> block and the Certificate Authority from <ca> to </ca> block, and save the changes.
  2. To establish a connection, click Start Now. You can check if you’re successfully connected to NordVPN in the Status page.

Tried Installing NordVPN on Your Router, But It’s Not Working? Try These Troubleshooting Steps

Check Your Internet Connection

You can’t use NordVPN unless you’re connected to the Internet, so if NordVPN is unable to establish a connection, it’s best to check whether you’re connected to the internet.

The easiest way to do this is to open a web browser on any device connected to that network and try to visit any website. You can also check if your router is properly connected to your modem and that your modem is receiving a signal from your internet service provider.

Ensure Your Router Is Compatible with NordVPN

Only some routers are compatible with NordVPN, so make sure to check if your router is on the list of supported devices before proceeding with the setup.

If your router isn’t compatible, you can install a custom firmware that supports the OpenVPN client (NordVPN only works with routers that support OpenVPN connections), buy a router that comes pre-configured with NordVPN, or install NordVPN directly on your mobile or desktop device.

Check for Double Coverage

In most cases, this double VPN setup should not interrupt your phone connection. This can happen if you have an active VPN on your router and another active VPN connection enabled on another device, like your phone or PC, which will create another layer of encryption and routing on that device.

However, it might cause slower internet speeds, high latency, or connection instability because the traffic is encrypted and routed twice. If that’s the case, it’s best to disable the VPN on either the router or the phone to see if it resolves the problem.

Check Your Router Firmware

Outdated firmware can cause all kinds of issues. Firmware updates often include bug fixes and performance improvements and outdated firmware might not be compatible with the latest version of NordVPN or the NordVPN servers. If you’re having connectivity issues, It’s best that you check for any updates to the firmware.

Review Your Router Configuration Settings

If the VPN configuration isn’t done correctly, it won’t work as intended. Details like the server address, your NordVPN username and password, and sometimes certain security settings (depending on the type of router or custom firmware you’re using) have to be set exactly as instructed in the NordVPN setup tutorials so that the VPN is configured properly.

Try a Different NordVPN Server

If you can’t connect to a server, it could be due to overcrowding or technical issues. Try connecting to a different NordVPN server to see if that fixes the connectivity issue.

Contact NordVPN’s Support Team

You should reach out to NordVPN’s customer support if you’re experiencing issues with your NordVPN connection. Its reps should be able to identify the cause of your connectivity issues.

NordVPN has great 24/7 live chat support — it only took a couple of seconds to get connected to a rep, and all of the reps I talked to were very knowledgeable and provided me with helpful answers. NordVPN’s email support was also fast. When I tried it out, I got a response in around 6 hours.

Reset Your Router to Factory Settings

Resetting your router to its factory settings can help clear any configuration issues that might be causing problems with your VPN connection. However, keep in mind that this will remove all your customized settings, including your Wi-Fi network name (SSID), Wi-Fi password, and any advanced settings you’ve configured.

This means you’ll need to set up your VPN connection again, so I only recommend doing this if none of the troubleshooting steps above have helped with the issue.

To reset your router, press and hold the Reset button for about 5 seconds. Once you release it, the router should restart and return to its factory settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use NordVPN on multiple devices through a router?

Yes, you can use it on an unlimited number of devices if you set it up on your router. When you set up NordVPN on your router, every device that connects to the internet through that router is effectively using NordVPN, regardless of the number of devices.

Note that all devices connected to the router are connected to the same VPN server you’ve set up on the router, and they’ll all share the bandwidth of that VPN connection. If you want different devices to connect to different VPN servers (for example, if you want to appear in different countries), you would need to manage those connections on individual devices.

Will setting up NordVPN on my router slow down my internet connection?

Yes, but you’re unlikely to notice it. Using a VPN, including NordVPN, can potentially slow down your internet connection to some extent. This is because your data has to travel further to reach the VPN server and because it takes some time to encrypt and decrypt your data.

But, NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, so it minimizes speed loss. When I tested it, all sites and HD videos loaded instantly, and I didn’t experience any buffering or lag.

Can I set up NordVPN on my own or do I need technical expertise?

Setting up NordVPN on your router is a process that can be done on your own, especially if you’re comfortable with basic networking concepts. However, the process can be more technical than installing a VPN app on your computer or smartphone. The good news is there are plenty of easy-to-follow tutorials that can guide you through the process.

Is a VPN router the same as a regular router?

A VPN router is a regular router that has been configured to directly connect to a VPN. This means that any device that connects to the internet through this router will have its traffic routed through the VPN, without you needing to set up the VPN on each individual device. When you set up NordVPN on your router and enable the VPN connection, it will essentially become a VPN router.

Does NordVPN work with all routers?

NordVPN is compatible with most routers but not all models. It typically only works with routers that support the OpenVPN protocol.

If your router doesn’t support the OpenVPN client, you might be able to flash it with custom firmware such as DD-WRT or Tomato that can add VPN functionality. Once the alternative firmware is installed, you can configure it to connect to NordVPN using the OpenVPN protocol.

Can I still use my router’s features and settings after setting up NordVPN?

Yes, setting up NordVPN on your router won’t prevent you from using other settings. However, keep in mind that all your traffic will be routed through the VPN, so some router features that depend on direct access to your internet connection, such as certain types of Quality of Service (QoS) settings or port forwarding, might not work as expected.

Read more about NordVPN in our full review

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About the Author
Ahmed Khaled
Updated on: June 5, 2024

About the Author

Ahmed is a former tech writer at SafetyDetectives with a keen interest in online privacy and cybersecurity. He has been writing tech articles since 2018, covering a wide range of topics that aim to provide the general public with information about how various apps and tools work as well as tips and tricks on how to best use the latest tech products. He’s also pursuing a medical degree with a clinical research interest. In his free time, Ahmed enjoys exploring new technologies, spending time with his family, traveling, and playing video games.

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