Frequent Questions with General Answers
VPN is an acronym for ‘Virtual Private Network’, historically used by private organizations to seamlessly link geographically diverse locations via the Internet.
A virtual private network (VPN) provides privacy, anonymity and security to users by creating a private network connection across a public network connection. VPNs can be used in combination with proxy servers, and overlay networks.
A VPN will re-route you traffic between two devices by transmitting it over a secure network. For this reason, there are also clearly identifiable benefits to individual Internet users accessing a VPN.
ShieldMe has been integrated and works well with many of the most popular VPN providers so that you get the maximum benefit from your VPN subscription. Currently, the following providers are supported:
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A VPN router with ShieldMe will work as a standalone router by connecting your modem to its WAN port.
You can also start using it in a “dual-router” setup by connecting the ShieldMe router to another existing router through a LAN port. Either way, a VPN router can be configured to tunnel all traffic through the VPN server of your choosing.
If you would like to set up your home network so that some devices are being tunneled through a VPN server, and others are connecting to your Internet Service Provider, then it is recommended to use ShieldMe on separate router, as an auxiliary device.
As an alternative, ShieldMe supports Policy Based Routing which allows you to set custom rules for specific devices in your network to bypass the VPN connection.
ShieldMe does not affect your connection speed, as it just runs the VPN client to establish a connection to a VPN server from the supported VPN providers.
That being said, if you have a broadband connection, a router with a VPN connection may slow down your transfer speeds due to the processor encrypting all of your data.
However, in some cases, using a VPN can also prevent an ISP to engage in connection speed throttling for specific services like Netflix or Amazon Video etc.
Open Source firmware like DD-WRT or OpenWrt has many features that are either equivalent to what stock firmware offers among many additional new features to a router, unavailable otherwise.
Keep in mind, however, that some features are lost from the stock firmware when a router is flashed. These are typically features that are put into the stock firmware by the manufacturers themselves. Things like the Linksys App and the NetGear Genie are examples of what would not be available or compatible on the router after flashing.
Most routers also have a WPS button. By default, the WPS button’s functionality is disabled when a router is flashed as it can be vulnerable and a security risk.