When it comes to the best Netgear routers, many of them can act as VPN-ready routers. So, if you have a Netgear device that you’re willing to turn into a VPN relay, be prepared to do some tinkering. With that said, we’re here to show you how to set up a VPN on your Netgear router, making this process as effortless as possible.
Keep in mind that Netgear routers work in a bit different way than “traditional” VPN routers. That’s because once you enable the VPN functionality on a Netgear router, it acts as a home VPN server (which relies on a locally installed OpenVPN configuration).
If you’re looking to run a commercial VPN on your Netgear router, our strong recommendation is to go for ExpressVPN, which comes with its custom firmware capable of running on a range of routers. For more info, turn to our guide on how to install ExpressVPN on a Netgear router.
And now, here’s what you want to know. These are the 4 general steps to set up a VPN on your Netgear router.
Step #1: Enable Your Netgear Router’s VPN Feature
Before you start to set up a VPN on your Netgear router, you need to enable this functionality (which comes disabled by default). So, do the following:
2. Provide your router’s credentials (go with admin/password, by default).
3. Now, pick the ‘Advanced‘ tab, which you’ll see just below Netgear’s logo.
4. Navigate to Advanced Setup > VPN Service.
5. Check the box next to ‘Enable VPN Service.’
Your Netgear router should provide additional options as well, at some point while going through the following procedure. So, make sure to check ‘All Sites on the Internet & Home Network,’ which comes as a radio button on the ‘VPN Service‘ page.
Step #2: Install OpenVPN on Your Device
Since Netgear relies on OpenVPN to create a VPN tunnel, you need to install OpenVPN’s client on your device. Proceed with the following steps:
1. Visit the download section on OpenVPN’s website.
2. Download one of the ‘Installer‘ files (available for Windows 32bit, 64bit, and ARM).
3. Then, double-click on the freshly downloaded files. Complete the installation.
4. Once done, OpenVPN’s icon should be found on your desktop.
By default, OpenVPN’s client will install in the ‘Program Files‘ directory. You’re free to install it elsewhere but make sure to take a note of that directory. That’s because you’ll need that directory to set up a VPN on a Netgear router, as explained below.
Step #3: Configure Your Local OpenVPN Client
Now, it’s time to download Netgear’s OpenVPN configuration files, which allows you to speed up the installation process, done in the following way:
2. Navigate to Advanced > Advanced Setup > VPN Service.
3. Select ‘For Windows‘ (or use other buttons, if applicable).
OpenVPN is available on other devices as well, so Netgear offers you different types of configuration files. When choosing to download the configuration files, you can pick ‘For Windows,’ ‘For Non-Windows,’ and ‘For Smart Phone.’ So, you’ll have three options at your disposal.
4. You’ll end up with a ZIP file. Make sure to unzip it.
5. Now, visit the directory of your OpenVPN client, as discussed above.
6. By default, you need to navigate to C:\ > Program Files > OpenVPN > config.
7. Copy the freshly downloaded files to the ‘config‘ folder.
8. Now, navigate to Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Ethernet.
9. Pick ‘Change Adapter Settings.’
10. Find the local area connection labeled ‘TAP-Windows Adapter.’
12. Change the connection’s name to ‘NETGEAR-VPN.’
Step #4: Check If Your VPN Works Properly
And finally, it’s time to check if you’ve set everything up correctly. You’ll need to use your locally installed OpenVPN client for that purpose.
1. Launch the OpenVPN client on your device.
2. If prompted to connect, make sure to confirm your decision.
3. Then, right-click on OpenVPN’s icon on your desktop and pick ‘Show Status.’
4. It should say ‘Current State: Connected.’
Those would be the required steps to set up a VPN on a Netgear router. In case you have any questions or doubts, post your comment below. And finally, thanks for reading!