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Apr 17, 2005
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I run a pretty basic home network with both my Sons PC and his smart TV on an ethernet cable connection. I use powerline network connectors on the network for ease of cabling to my PC, a network printer/scanner, a spare PC in the garage and a CCTV HDD unit in the loft plus our lounge Smart TV. We run dual band WiFi for tablets, phones, MacBooks, Alexa, Hive etc.

Our ISP is Virgin who also provide our TiVo box and landline.

I have never used a VPN service before but I am considering using NordVPN (no doubt everyone has their preferred VPN provider of choice) both to increase security and hide our online activity I may even try streaming shows from a remote server such as USA to watch foreign content on my TV at some point eg Netflix.

1) Would the VPN run on each item as a standalone piece of software, or could I run it somehow on my router to protect absolutely everything coming into/out of the house ?
2) I presume I would need to install/run it on individual portable devices that also connect outside the home such as smartphones/tablets ?
3) I understand NordVPN comes with up to 5 connections as standard ?

As a VPN noob can anyone offer me helpful advice eg how easy to install/setup, pitfalls to avoid, connection issues, firewall and port forwarding woes etc ?

Many thanks
You can run the VPN on the router, but then every device is subject to it.

The drawback with this, I have found, is that some sites recognise that you are behind a VPN and show only a blank page. I have found this even if the VPN is set to the same country as the web site and I am surfing in that country.

I would go with per device. NordVPN allows quite a lot of devices on one account.
I had NordVPN for last 2 years and im not renewing.

nothing against Nord, they are pretty good.
i used it mainly to use on an IPTV account i had on my firestick for football :)

something else to be aware is that your internet speed is slower through a VPN too.
this affected me badly as my internet is 24mb at best and even losing 5meg of it impacted usage.
I run my own Netgear router and the Virgin "Hub" is used without its WiFi, sorry I should have mentioned that.

Speed could be an issue as Virgin Broadband has become absolute dogshit in our area. They are rolling out BT Fibre this year and we will probably jump ship once its available.

Thanks for the links they are food for thought. I don't do Torrents and don't need TOR so that's narrowed it down a bit.
I use ExpressVPN on any device that I need it on, though it is possible to install on the router. Works fine for my needs. It gets updated regularly, the major benefit I've noticed is that it connection time is super fast these days.

There is a small speed drop when running via the VPN but it is insignificant.
I use NordVPN on my phone and laptop mainly so that I can access UK media services when abroad and it does this alright. As has been pointed out though it does slow things down or make performance erratic sometimes and it’s not possible to access BT’s webmail through it either.
I finally decided upon ExpressVPN, then after paying for and downloading it the software got stuck in a loop during install, not a good start.

I got a good response via email from their helpdesk which soon got my PC sorted via running a script from the command prompt to fix my WMI repository which then allowed the VPN to install and run without issue. Its a known issue their engineers are working on.

My PC needed a few housekeeping tasks anyway due to a corrupted windows update and it is now running sweetly and the VPN has zero affect on my internet speeds or website access thus far.....Now to update all our other devices.

I have now ordered a new Netgear R7000 router which I will update the firmware on and run ExpressVPN on it, my old Netgear router is showing its age.

Thanks again for all the tips and advice.

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