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R7000 VPN setup for entire home?

I am new to the VPN world and will be purchasing a VPN service soon.

 

I want to know if I'll be able to configure my R7000 so it automatically connects to my VPN service from my home network. I want to set things up so all computers and devices (regardless of OS) in our home would automatically connect to the VPN service via the R7000.

 

If the R7000 isn't able to do the above, I have a few questions:

 

1. Does Netgear plan on adding this VPN functionality to the R7000 via FW?

 

2. If not, is there a different Netgear router which can achieve the above?

 

3. If not, would I have to setup the VPN service at the device level on each separate device to be protected? If so, does this mean that I would not have to install the OpenVPN client on each device, but rather install whatever client my VPN service provides?

 

To be clear, I am not asking about if there's a way to reach our home network when we're away from home. I'm only concerned about secured VPN operation from home. Thanks for your help.

 

Model: R7000|Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router
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Guru

Re: R7000 VPN setup for entire home?


@droyder wrote:

I am new to the VPN world and will be purchasing a VPN service soon.

 

I want to know if I'll be able to configure my R7000 so it automatically connects to my VPN service from my home network. I want to set things up so all computers and devices (regardless of OS) in our home would automatically connect to the VPN service via the R7000. 


It's not possible to do this with stock firmware.  It can be done with third-party firmware (DD-WRT, Tomato or Asuswrt-Merlin).  Note: Any VPN service that uses OpenVPN to operate will not perform well on the R7000.  The R7000's CPU is not well suited to performing the encryption required by OpenVPN.  I don't know the exact numbers but it may be in the 50 Mbps range or less.



1. Does Netgear plan on adding this VPN functionality to the R7000 via FW? 


Netgear has never expressed any plans to go in this direction.



2. If not, is there a different Netgear router which can achieve the above? 


Their SOHO/business-class VPN firewalls have this capability.


3. If not, would I have to setup the VPN service at the device level on each separate device to be protected? If so, does this mean that I would not have to install the OpenVPN client on each device, but rather install whatever client my VPN service provides? 

Yes and yes.

 

Message 2 of 10
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Re: R7000 VPN setup for entire home?


@TheEther wrote:

@droyder wrote:

I am new to the VPN world and will be purchasing a VPN service soon.

 

I want to know if I'll be able to configure my R7000 so it automatically connects to my VPN service from my home network. I want to set things up so all computers and devices (regardless of OS) in our home would automatically connect to the VPN service via the R7000. 


It's not possible to do this with stock firmware.  It can be done with third-party firmware (DD-WRT, Tomato or Asuswrt-Merlin).  Note: Any VPN service that uses OpenVPN to operate will not perform well on the R7000.  The R7000's CPU is not well suited to performing the encryption required by OpenVPN.  I don't know the exact numbers but it may be in the 50 Mbps range or less.

 

Gotcha. Which of those 3 FW options would you recommend for my very basic VPN service needs? I've read about each of them and can't tell which might be easier (or maybe slimmed down) just for VPN purposes for a networking beginner. (Regardless of FW choice, I will make sure that whichever VPN service I purchase does not use the OpenVPN client.)



1. Does Netgear plan on adding this VPN functionality to the R7000 via FW? 


Netgear has never expressed any plans to go in this direction.

 

For the R7000, or for all of their consumer/non-business class routers in general?



2. If not, is there a different Netgear router which can achieve the above? 


Their SOHO/business-class VPN firewalls have this capability.

 

Thanks.


3. If not, would I have to setup the VPN service at the device level on each separate device to be protected? If so, does this mean that I would not have to install the OpenVPN client on each device, but rather install whatever client my VPN service provides? 

Yes and yes.

 

Outside of the small hassle, are there any advantages or disadvantages of setting up the VPN just at the device level, rather than at the router level via 3rd party FW?


 

Thanks again, appreciate your help.

 

Message 3 of 10
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Guru

Re: R7000 VPN setup for entire home?


@droyder wrote:

@TheEther wrote:

@droyder wrote:

I am new to the VPN world and will be purchasing a VPN service soon.

 

I want to know if I'll be able to configure my R7000 so it automatically connects to my VPN service from my home network. I want to set things up so all computers and devices (regardless of OS) in our home would automatically connect to the VPN service via the R7000. 


It's not possible to do this with stock firmware.  It can be done with third-party firmware (DD-WRT, Tomato or Asuswrt-Merlin).  Note: Any VPN service that uses OpenVPN to operate will not perform well on the R7000.  The R7000's CPU is not well suited to performing the encryption required by OpenVPN.  I don't know the exact numbers but it may be in the 50 Mbps range or less.

 

Gotcha. Which of those 3 FW options would you recommend for my very basic VPN service needs? I've read about each of them and can't tell which might be easier (or maybe slimmed down) just for VPN purposes for a networking beginner. (Regardless of FW choice, I will make sure that whichever VPN service I purchase does not use the OpenVPN client.)


I think they're all about the same.  Unfortunately, they're all geared towards OpenVPN.




1. Does Netgear plan on adding this VPN functionality to the R7000 via FW? 


Netgear has never expressed any plans to go in this direction.

For the R7000, or for all of their consumer/non-business class routers in general? 


All.




2. If not, is there a different Netgear router which can achieve the above? 


Their SOHO/business-class VPN firewalls have this capability.

 

Thanks.


3. If not, would I have to setup the VPN service at the device level on each separate device to be protected? If so, does this mean that I would not have to install the OpenVPN client on each device, but rather install whatever client my VPN service provides? 

Yes and yes.

 

Outside of the small hassle, are there any advantages or disadvantages of setting up the VPN just at the device level, rather than at the router level via 3rd party FW? 


I suppose it's easier to control which devices go through the VPN.  It's possible to do the same at the router level but it requires some advanced configuration.

 

Message 4 of 10
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Re: R7000 VPN setup for entire home?

If you use one of the popular VPN services (such as PIA) you will find numerous websites that provide step-by-step instructions to setup the VPN service on any of the main 3rd-party firmware options (Tomato, DD-WRT, Asuswrt-Merlin). I personally use Xwrt-Vortex (Asuswrt-Merlin for the R7000) and generally find it to be very stable, easy to use and it gives me the features I need (e.g. ability to run an ad-blocker, AB-Solution, directly on the router). As TheEther mentioned, the CPU on the R7000 is not well suited for VPN encryption. I have 50 Mbps (down) internet service and I max out at 30 Mbps for traffic through the VPN (this is with overclocking the CPU at 1200 MHz). One of the advantages of running the VPN on the router is that most VPN services have a limit on the number of simultaneous clients (e.g. 5 for PIA) and this gets you past those limits. It's also good for devices where you can't install the VPN client directly such as smart home devices and security cameras. It is fairly easy (at least on Xwrt-Vortex) to designate specific devices to bypass the VPN on the router. I have a couple laptops with i7 processors where I install the VPN client locally to get close to the maximum download speed provided by my ISP.
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Aspirant

Re: R7000 VPN setup for entire home?


@cancon1 wrote:
If you use one of the popular VPN services (such as PIA) you will find numerous websites that provide step-by-step instructions to setup the VPN service on any of the main 3rd-party firmware options (Tomato, DD-WRT, Asuswrt-Merlin). I personally use Xwrt-Vortex (Asuswrt-Merlin for the R7000) and generally find it to be very stable, easy to use and it gives me the features I need (e.g. ability to run an ad-blocker, AB-Solution, directly on the router). As TheEther mentioned, the CPU on the R7000 is not well suited for VPN encryption. I have 50 Mbps (down) internet service and I max out at 30 Mbps for traffic through the VPN (this is with overclocking the CPU at 1200 MHz). One of the advantages of running the VPN on the router is that most VPN services have a limit on the number of simultaneous clients (e.g. 5 for PIA) and this gets you past those limits. It's also good for devices where you can't install the VPN client directly such as smart home devices and security cameras. It is fairly easy (at least on Xwrt-Vortex) to designate specific devices to bypass the VPN on the router. I have a couple laptops with i7 processors where I install the VPN client locally to get close to the maximum download speed provided by my ISP.

 

So for those laptops, are you saying that you get close to 50 Mbps DL when you install PIA's VPN client directly on the laptops, as opposed to when they run through the VPN on the R7000?

 

If so, let's say that you only have 3 devices total which you want VPN protection for - would you only install the client on each of those devices and not even bother with setting it up on the R7000?

 

 

Message 6 of 10
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Re: R7000 VPN setup for entire home?

Yes, when I run the VPN client on my laptops I get download speeds around 47 - 48 Mbps (vs 50 Mbps with no VPN and 30 Mbps with VPN on the router). My laptops have i7 processors but even an i3 or i5 processor will give you better VPN performance than the CPU on the R7000 (or pretty much any home router). VPN speeds will also depend on other factors such as how many servers your VPN provider has and how close you are to them but everything else being equal, a decent laptop or desktop CPU will perform better than a router CPU. If you only have 3 devices where you want to use the VPN and your VPN service provider allows at least 3 simultaneous connections then I would not bother running the VPN on the router.
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Virtuoso

Re: R7000 VPN setup for entire home?

Just FYI, I use NordVPN.  My maximum download speed is 230mb/s (300mbps ISP service) without the VPN running and 10-50mbps with the VPN.  This is on an I7 3.6GHz CPU in my desktop.

Keith

(2xWNR2000, 3xWNCE2001, FWAG114, FS116, GS116, 6xR7000)
Message 8 of 10
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Aspirant

Re: R7000 VPN setup for entire home?


@sktn77a wrote:

Just FYI, I use NordVPN.  My maximum download speed is 230mb/s (300mbps ISP service) without the VPN running and 10-50mbps with the VPN.  This is on an I7 3.6GHz CPU in my desktop.


Wow that's a massive dropoff in speed. Did you install the VPN on your router or just on the desktop itself?

Message 9 of 10
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Virtuoso

Re: R7000 VPN setup for entire home?

On the desktop.  You need to use a third party firmware to do it on the router and I don't want to mess with that.

Keith

(2xWNR2000, 3xWNCE2001, FWAG114, FS116, GS116, 6xR7000)
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