How do I use Surfshark with my router?

You can improve the security of your small business or home network by configuring your router with a VPN. To do this, you must have a router that supports VPNs. Continue reading to find the VPN-enabled router that we recommend. We’ll also answer your question, “How do I use Surfshark with my router?

Are you ready? Get Surfshark with our link to get an excellent deal without sharing your personal or payment information with us. You’ll check out securely at the Surfshark website.

How do I use Surfshark with my router?

Besides publishing apps for every major operating system, Surfshark makes resources available for use with VPN-enabled routers.

Why should I use Surfshark with my router?

By enabling Surfshark on your network’s router, you can send all traffic through the VPN. Doing so will help in the following cases:

  • Automatically route guest users through VPN.
  • Send IoT traffic through VPN. Smart TVs, Smar home devices, etc.
  • Protect devices that can’t run a SurfShark app.
  • Don’t worry about managing Surfshark apps while connected to your home or business network.
  • Some members in your household or business may not cooperate by enabling their Surfshark VPN app. By protecting your network, you can prevent such lapses.

Why setting up your router with VPN a bad idea?

Before you configure your router to use Surfshark VPN, you need to be aware of some potential limitations:

  • You’ll lose many configuration options.
  • All connected devices will lose access to websites that block VPN traffic. In other words, in some ways, connecting your VPN to Surfshark VPN might be inconvenient.
  • Surfshark’s router configuration might slow your connection more than the Surfshark VPN apps might slow it down. (All VPN services involve data overhead. The key is to minimize the amount of bandwidth used to support your VPN tunnel.)
  • You’ll have to buy a VPN-enabled router if you don’t already have one. Most cable/DSL/satellite modems don’t have VPN capabilities.

Should I configure my router for Surfshark?

Only you can decide. You have advantages and disadvantages by configuring your network’s router for use with Surfshark VPN.

If you decide to do this, continue reading.

How do I use Surfshark with my router?

We’re going to show you how to configure an Asus RT-AX88U VPN router for use with Surfshark using third-party Asus Merlin firmware.

Step 1 – Buy a VPN enabled router

If you don’t have a VPN-enabled router (most ISP-issued routers do not support VPN), buy one.

We recommend the ASUS RT-AX88U. Use our Amazon link to get an excellent price on this router. You’ll check out directly with Amazon.

Step 2 – Sign up for Surfshark

If you don’t have a paid Surfshark VPN subscription, get Surfshark now. You’ll get a fantastic deal while supporting at no cost to you.

Step 3 – Load Asus Merlin Firmware

Get Asus Merlin Firmware for your router

Visit Sourceforge to download the latest release of ASUS Merlin firmware for ASUS RT-AX88U. If you have a different ASUS router, navigate Sourceforge to download the firmware for your Asus router’s model number.

Get the latest Asus Merlin release for your router.
Get the latest release version of Asus Merlin for your router.

Using Finder (Mac OS) or File Manager (Windows) navigate to your download file. It’s a “zip” file, so you must double click on it to expand it into a folder.

Expand the zipped Asus Merlin firmware file.
Expand the zipped Asus Merlin firmware file.
Update your router’s firmware

Log into your Asus router’s Administrator window. If you don’t know how to do this, check the user guide which came with your router.

Navigate to the “Firmware Upgrade” tab.

Asus manual firmware upgrade
Asus router manual firmware upgrade.

Click the “Upload” link.

In the dialog box, navigate to your Asus Merlin firmware file and click the “Open” button.

Choose the Asus Merlin firmware file and click "Open"
Select the Asus Merlin router firmware file.

Wait for your router to upload and install the Asus Merlin router firmware file.

Your router will install Aus Merlin firmware.
Wait for your router to install Asus Merlin firmware.

When you log back into your router, return to the “Firmware upgrade” page to verify the current firmware level is installed.

Step 4 – Get your Surfshark configuration information

Select your server.

Log in to your Surfshark account.

On the left, choose the option that says, “Manual Setup.” Next, choose, “Router.”

In the center column, click “Fastest server.” (Alternatively, you may browse available servers to choose a server location that you desire.)

Get your router configuration files from your Surfshark account page.
Download Surfshark’s router config files from your Surfshark account “Manual setup” screen.
Download Surfshark configuration file.

In the “Download setup files” dialog box, download the files for UDP.

Download Surfshark UDP files
Download Surfshark VPN UDP files.

Save the files to a location on your hard drive.

Save Surfshark openvpn files to your hard drive.
Save Surfshark openvpn file to your hard drive.

Step 5 Configure your Router’s VPN client

Navigate to the VPN client tab.

Scroll down in your router’s menu untill you see “VPN” under the “Advanced” section.

Click the VPN option under advanced
Click “VPN” in the “Advanced” section of Merlin’s menu.
Choose an open client instance.

On the “VPN Client” tab, find an available VPN client slot. (Asus Merlin supports up to five different VPN clients.)

In the image, you’ll see that we already have three slots filled on ours, so we’ll use “Client 4” as our “client instance.”

If you have never configured a VPN on your router before, you’ll probably use “Client 1” as your “client instance.”

Choose an available VPN instance from your ASUS Merlin menu.
Choose an available VPN “client instance.”
Upload the Surfshark config file.

Look for the “Browse” button to “Import.ovpn file.” Browse to the file which you’ve downloaded from Surfshark. In the file dialog box, click the “Open” button.

Click the "Open" button to upload your VPN conviguration file.
Open the Surfshark configuration file.

Now, click the “Upload” button. You’ll see the name of your file appear in gold.

Click the "Upload" button to upload your Surfshark configuration.
Click the “Upload”

You will see the word, “Complete” appear if your upload was successful.

Obtain and enter Surfshark manual credentials.

Next, return to your Surfshark account page and get your login credentials. These are not the same values as those you used to log into your Surfshark account.

Generate login credentials for your manual VPN connection.
Copy your credentials from within the “Router” section of your Surfshark account.

Return to your router’s “VPN client” page.

Scroll down until you see the “Authentication Settings” section.

Click “Yes” for “Username/Password Authentication.”

Now, paste the user name and passsword you just got from Surfshark into their respective fields.

Enter your Surfshark VPN manual credentials.
Enter your manual credentials for Surfshark VPN.
Enter other settings

Your config file enters most of the settings on the page.

  • Description = [You can change this if you want.]
  • Automatic start at boot time = Yes.
  • Accept DNS Configuration = Exclusive.
  • Force Internet traffic through tunnel = Yes.

Now, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Apply.”

Click apply to apply your Surfshark configuration.
Apply your Surfshark VPN settings.

To start using your VPN with Surfshark, either reboot your router or set the “Service state” to “On” in the “Client control” section at the top of the page.

When you are connected, Asus Merlin will display your ISP and your Surfshark IP addresses.

Your VPN is active only when it’s in the “ON” condition.

Verify the "ON" position of Merlin Surfshark VPN configuration.

If your VPN isn’t on when you think it should be on, you’ll have to go back and check the settings, including your manual username and password.

Step 6: Verify your connection

Never “assume” that your VPN connection works. Test it before doing any mission-critical online activities.

DNS Leak Test

Use Surfshark’s DNS Leak Test to make sure that your ISP-assigned DNS isn’t giving you away.

A Passing Test Result = You don’t see your ISP’s DNS address listed.

What is my IP?

Make sure you’re not exposing your ISP-assigned IP address by using the “What is my IP?” test.

A Passing Test Result = An IP address that’s different from the one assigned to you by your ISP.


Sometimes your browser will reveal your true IP address through a protocol called WebRTC. Test for WebRTC leaks here.

A Passing Test Result = “WebRTC feature is disabled or not available.”

Learn more about Surfshark

Use our link to get Surfshark now.

If you want to learn more, check our Surfshark reviews, guides, and information published right here at