Asus has a range of high-end routers that are fast, meet current standards, and have built-in support for OpenVPN through AsusWRT, Asus’ proprietary router firmware.
Why Install NordVPN On a Router?
There are many reasons why NordVPN users opt to install the VPN on their routers.
First of all, installing the VPN on an Asus router facilitates the protection of all devices that are connected to your network. There is no need to install NordVPN’s native app on every device you own—as long as a device is connected to the router network with NordVPN installed on it, your traffic will be protected.
Second, it enables the protection of devices that don’t have built-in VPN support or native applications available. When NordVPN is installed on your router, every device connected to your network from your phone to your Wi-Fi enabled washing machine will be covered.
Router Installation Checklist
Before you can install NordVPN on your Asus router, make sure you have the following—
- An Asus router (!) that is running AsusWRT, a popular model being the RT-AC5300
- An active NordVPN subscription
- OpenVPN configuration files from NordVPN (.ovpn files). Each file represents a different server and the file name tells you which country the server is in. ca171.nordvpn.com, for example, is a Canadian server, number 171. If you want help choosing the right configuration files for you, NordVPN can give you a hand. We recommend always using UDP .ovpn files instead of TCP for speed since UDP is generally faster.
Installing NordVPN on Asus Routers Step-by-Step
Just for reference, we are using an Asus RT-AC87U router flashed with AsusWRT-MERLIN firmware to produce this guide, however, all the steps are virtually the same for other Asus routers.
1. Log in to your router’s control panel
Unless you have changed any of the default settings, you can do this by heading to the router’s address through your internet browser—type 192.168.1.1 into the address bar—and entering your username and password. By default, both the username and password are admin.
When you have logged in, click on the VPN tab located in the left-hand menu.
Then click on the OpenVPN Clients tab.
2. Download the latest .ovpn files from the NordVPN website
Again, if you need any help deciding which UDP .ovpn files to download then contact NordVPN’s live chat support team. You will get an answer immediately!
When you have done this, head back to your Asus router’s control panel and click on the Browse… button under OpenVPN Clients.
Then select the .ovpn file(s) you have downloaded from your file browser (you can select multiple at one time) then click on Open and, finally, Upload.
3. Enter your NordVPN username and password
When the .ovpn files have uploaded and the page has refreshed, you will need to enter your NordVPN username and password. The fields for this can be found on the same page towards the bottom.
Scroll down further and set the Accept DNS Configuration option to Strict since you will be using NordVPN on all your home network’s devices.
Then scroll down even further still to the Custom Configuration box.
And paste the following in—
# log /tmp/vpn.log
Finally, click Apply at the bottom of the page. It may take a few minutes for your changes to save so do not refresh or click away.
4. Check if everything is working
If you have followed this guide step-by-step, you should see the Service state turn green when the page refreshes after applying your changes.
Even if you see this, you still want to double and triple check that everything is working properly and that your network is protected.
Checking Your Router Installation is Working
There are a few things you can do—
- Check your IP using Google
- Perform an IP leak test
- Perform a DNS leak test
By doing this, you can see if any of your personal information (i.e. your real IP address and location) is being detected.
1. Check your IP using Google
Simply type “What is my IP address?” into Google.
If this shows your personal IP address (unlikely if you have followed all the steps above and the Service state is showing as green) then it means the VPN isn’t working properly and you are not protected. If this happens, go through the process again and contact NordVPN if the issue persists.
If you don’t see your IP address, then your VPN router configuration is working fine.
2. Perform an IP leak test
Just because your IP has changed doesn’t mean your real one isn’t leaking, though. While we have never detected leaks with NordVPN, it’s always worth checking. Head to ipleak.net and look at what information comes up. When connected to a U.S. server, we saw this—
On this page, you want to see the location you are connected to as denoted by the flag and an IP address other than your own.
3. Perform a DNS leak test
To be extra, extra safe, perform a DNS leak test, too. This can be done at dnsleaktest.com.
Again, you are looking for leaks of your IP address and location.
If everything passes, your network is successfully being protected by NordVPN and you can use all your devices safe in the knowledge that your traffic is encrypted… that is, as long as you keep your device connected to your router.
Try Out NordVPN for Free
If you have yet to buy a subscription and have read this guide as part of your research in finding out if NordVPN will work on your Asus router, why not sign up to NordVPN now and try it risk-free?
NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all their competitively-priced plans. Whether you opt for a rolling monthly subscription or their 3-year subscription, you can get a full refund within 30 days with no strings attached if you aren’t happy with the service.