How to get the best out of your personal VPN?

How to get the best out of your personal VPN?

When you choose a VPN solution for your home, make sure all your home devices are supported.

PureVPN has an impressive device compatibility list. It supports the usual suspects: Windows, Android, Iphone but also more exotic devices such as Android TV, Amazon FireStick, Kodu, Roku, Chromecast, Playstation and even Raspberry Pi.

PureVPN List of Devices Supported Personal VPN Online Privacy SSID

You will find on PureVPN website, a step by step guide to configure the service on each of these devices.

But managing the installation and configuration of PurePVN on every single device can quickly become cumbersome. Plus, PureVPN allows you five concurrent connections on a single account which means that you can only have five connected devices at the same time. It sounds a lot but how many devices do you have at home?

I personally have 10 connected devices: 3 smartphones, 3 tablets, 3 laptops, 1 desktop and 1 Android TV Box. Therefore, I needed a better solution to secure all my home devices.

So how can you enjoy seamless VPN connectivity across all your devices?

The solution resides in your home gateway. Instead of creating VPN connection from your end devices, why not simply enable a VPN on your home router where all the devices are flowing anyway?

Luckily for you, PureVPN supports PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN. These are standard tunnel protocols that are also supported by a wide range of home gateways.

If you would like to find out if your router is compatible with PureVPN, click here.

If you configure PureVPN on your home router, you will not need any additional configuration on any of your home devices. Plus, you will be able to connect as many devices as you like behind your home gateway and it will still count as one unique connection (PureVPN is limited to 5 simultaneous connections). How great is that?

Configuring PureVPN on your home router is a 5-15 minute process depending on your router complexity and your technical skills. PureVPN documentation is extremely detailed and you should be fine as long as you follow their guide thoroughly.

Once configured, the tunnel will be activated and all the traffic coming from your home devices will flow through the VPN as long as these devices are connected to Wifi.

Therefore, one of the downsides of configuring PureVPN on your home router is that the VPN will be always ON and all the traffic by default will flow through the VPN. We will explain later in this blog how to overcome that.

If you are extremely paranoid, you may be fine with your traffic routed exclusively through the VPN.

To my point of view, this is not optimal. Even if PureVPN performance is great, it will never be as good as a direct pipe. Plus, some Internet Service Providers offer a customer self service portal which is only accessible from their internal network. This portal will become unavailable if all traffic flows through the VPN.

So you will be forced to login to the router to disable/enable the VPN every single time. And this VPN will be enabled or disabled for every single device in the household. Not very flexible!

Another downside is that if you want to switch the VPN location from US to UK for instance, you need to reconfigure your tunnel. Or create a bunch of tunnels in advance and switch from one to the other manually via the router admin page.

Dedicated WiFi SSID for PureVPN

My first idea to overcome this issue was to implement traffic management / route splitting techniques on the router and only push through the VPN pipe, traffic to specific services such as Netflix or Spotify. But I quickly find out that this is not a good solution either because it involves a lot of tweaking, especially when you need to add new services to the VPN.

Finally I figured out a solution which to my honest opinion is perfect at every level.

Here it is:

My Wifi Network is called Tsunami. Side note: this is a tribute to Cisco which used “Tsunami” as the default SSID for its range of access points decades ago. Nostalgia.

I am going to create a new network on my home router with a dedicated WiFi SSID called Tsunami_VPN. Only the devices connected to this new Wifi network will go through the VPN.

If I want to use a direct non encrypted pipe, I will connect to my old SSID Tsunami. If I wish to access sensitive applications, I will switch to the WiFi SSID Tsunami_VPN.

I can go even one step further and create multiple Wifi networks for multiple VPN destinations.

Example: Tsunami_VPN_US, Tsunami_VPN_FR

For example, my Spotify account is registered in the US. I need from time to time to connect to a server in the US to re-login and continue to enjoy the music service.

On the other hand, I like to watch popular TV shows from France, my home country. The content is systematically geo-blocked. By using a personal VPN and connecting to a server in France, I can enjoy all my favorite TV shows seamlessly.

With this simple technique, every device in my home can access a VPN in two clicks. Plus, I do not have any over subscription issues as I use a single account for everything. In fact, I will use two accounts as I will configure simultaneously one VPN to US and one VPN to France.

With this solution, I do not have to manage any software on any device. I do not have to login to the router every time to enable / disable the router or to change the VPN destination.

This is simply ideal.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Would you like to know how to implement a dedicated WiFi SSID for PureVPN on your home router?

I have two tutorials for you:

Configure PureVPN on Mikrotik with a dedicated Wifi SSID network

Configure PureVPN on DD-WRT with a separate Wifi SSID network (Work In Progress)

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