How to Set Up DD-WRT for NordVPN

Editor’s Note: As mentioned in the very first section of the DD-WRT links, you risk bricking the router if it’s not supported! We’ve already received real user comments about troubleshooting – make sure your device is there and make sure you’re tech-savvy enough to handle this.

If you are wanting to set up NordVPN on your router to protect your entire home network and all the devices connected to it, you will need to set up DD-WRT. That is, if your router does not have native VPN support (i.e. like many Asus routers do.)

Before you get going, though, check that—

  1. Your router supports DD-WRT firmware
  2. You have installed DD-WRT on it

If you tick both these boxes, you are ready to go with setting it up with NordVPN.

Why Should I Install NordVPN on My Router?

Like we mentioned before, setting up NordVPN on your router will protect your entire network. Remember NordVPN has a maximum device limitation? That’s right, you can only use up to 6 devices at the same time under one account.

The trick is, your network will be counted as one device.

If you’re on this page, you probably already know this!

Setting Up DD-WRT with NordVPN Using the OpenVPN Protocol

Editor’s Note: by default, all NordVPN’s native apps (e.g. desktop programs and smartphone apps) are able to use OpenVPN. It is a protocol that is versatile, secure, and supports strong encryption. It is considered to be the best tunneling protocol in the industry, and it should always be used when available.

Once you have installed DD-WRT on your router…

1. Open the DD-WRT admin panel

In here, navigate to Setup > Basic Setup that can be found under Network Address Server Settings. When you are here, you will need to enter some standard information.

As in the screenshot above, set—

  • Static DNS 1: 103.86.96.100
  • Static DNS 2: 103.86.99.100
  • Static DNS 3: 0.0.0.0
  • Use DNSMasq for DHCP: Checked
  • Use DNSMasq for DNS: Checked
  • DCHP-Authoritative: Checked

Once you have done this, hit Apply Settings then Save.

2. Disable IPv6

Go back to your DD-WRT admin panel and navigate to Setup > IPv6 and ensure that Disable is checked.

Once again, click Apply Settings then Save.

Note: IPv6 is objectively a better protocol than IPv4. You will be using IPv4 in order to use NordVPN.

3. Enable OpenVPN

From the DD-WRT admin control pane, navigate to Services > VPN and then under OpenVPN Client set “Start OpenVPN Client” to Enable. Doing this will reveal additional configuration options.

Set the values for these as follows—

Server IP/Name: us3268.nordvpn.com

  • Side Note: You should set this value as your most optimum server or the one you want to use for your router. You can find your most optimum NordVPN server here or choose a different country entirely. In this tutorial, we have used us3268.
  • When you have chosen a server, click “Show available protocols” and download the OpenVPN UDP configuration (or TCP if you prefer reliability over speed.) We will use this later.

Port: 1194

Tunnel Device: TUN

Tunnel Protocol: UDP

Encryption Cypher: AES-256-CBC

Hash Algorithm: SHA-512

User Pass Authentication: Enable

Username: Your NordVPN username (email address)

Password: Your NordVPN Password

  • Side Note: If the Username and Password fields aren’t there, save your progress and navigate to Administration > Commands and follow the instructions from NordVPN directly on DD-WRT Setup via script.

4. Run the following command in Additional Config

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
#auth-user-pass /tmp/openvpncl/user.conf

  • Side Note: Delete the final line (in red) if your Username and Password boxes were missing and you had to enter your credentials as a command.

5. Find the OpenVPN configuration you downloaded and open it

You can use most word processors, but we recommend Notepad++. Regular Notepad will not work. After you have opened the .ovpn configuration in your word processor, scroll down slightly until you see a mishmash of letters, numbers, and symbols… it will look something like this—

Copy everything between the <ca> and </ca> tags including the —–BEGIN CERTIFICATE—– and —–END CERTIFICATE—– and paste it into the CA Cert field back in your browser.

6. Return to your OpenVPN configuration file once more

This time, scroll down until you find the <tls-auth> part of the file and copy everything highlighted in red.

Paste this into the TLS Auth Key field underneath the CA Cert field.

Once again, click Apply Settings and Save.

6. Check that everything is working

That’s it for the set up. Although this is quite an advanced thing to do, if you have followed this guide to the letter everything should be working. To check this, in the DD-WRT admin panel navigate to Status > OpenVPN.

If everything is working correctly, you should see “CONNECTED SUCCESS” next to the Client field in the State section…

You’re now done—DD-WRT has been set up to work with OpenVPN through NordVPN on your router and you can browse safely in the knowledge that all your devices are protected (that is, if they are connected to your home network!)

If you don’t see “CONNECTED SUCCESS” then go through this guide again and be sure to follow all the steps properly.