ExpressVPN is the best VPN for IoT devices, ensuring robust data integrity and privacy across your smart speakers, baby monitors, home entertainment systems, lighting, printers, and other internet-connected devices.
Top 3 VPNs for IoT Devices?
PrivateVPN offers secure ports on its OpenVPN protocols to access your IoT devices remotely without hackers intercepting the connection. It can also be installed on compatible routers to protect your IoT device fleet from home or the office on one account.
ExpressVPN supplies a robust, easy-to-use router app to better protect IoT devices. It also offers port forwarding on routers for easy and secure remote access to your IoT devices from anywhere.
NordVPN offers OpenVPN-enabled servers on its router setup to ensure top security and privacy on connected IoT devices. It also promises reliable anti-DDoS security against hackers who want to hijack your IoT devices for botnet attacks.
You shouldn’t wait to become a part of a class action lawsuit like the Ring (Amazon) users who discovered that their doorbells gave hackers a backdoor into their Wi-Fi network and all data transmitted on it.
Get my top VPNs for IoT devices today, and rest assured your connected devices’ data, security, and privacy prospects are in safe hands.
Secure Your IoT Device Experience Using These Top 5 VPNs
Have you wondered if Big Brother listens to your Alexa calls, steals your Amazon Ring footage snippets, or messes with your smart entertainment system?
Say no more with these reliable VPNs for IoT units:
- ExpressVPN – Secure Port Forwarding & Obfuscation for IoT Devices
- PrivateVPN – Free Port Forwarding for IoT Devices and Controlling Units
- NordVPN – DDoS Protection & Secure Tracker Blocking on IoT Units
- Surfshark – Unlimited Simultaneous IoT Device Connections
- Private Internet Access – Port Forwarding, Anti-DDoS, and Security for IoT Devices
If you’re already excited about how these VPNs will solve your IoT device privacy and security issues, wait till you discover how much more they offer you!
Best VPNs for IoT Devices: 5 Testing Criteria
I reviewed 20+ VPNs for their encryption, IoT device support, port forwarding, multi-platform compatibility, and DDoS protection to choose the best ones for IoT devices. Here’s how the top five VPNs across these tests fare against one another.
ExpressVPN - Secure Port Forwarding & Obfuscation for IoT Devices
ExpressVPN’s AES 256-bit encryption keeps hackers and snoops out of your IoT device data like child’s play. Hence, hackers can’t gain access to your smart TV’s camera and microphone to monitor you, as the FBI warned.
While ExpressVPN is costlier than the rest, it leaped to the top of the page for its robust router support. It’s the only Virtual Private Network (VPN) here with a router app (but for selected routers), making switching servers and tweaking settings over your router easier.
In contrast, the others only offer manual VPN-router setups, which can be tedious to manage.
On top of that, ExpressVPN offers port forwarding on its routers.
I’ve used this to securely check into my home video camera feeds while vacationing in Mexico. You could also set it up to securely access other smart units in your home or office while you’re not on-site.
A point of failure for most people protecting IoT devices is the controlling units, like your smartphones and PCs. After all, a hacker could breach those if they can’t get in through your smart units.
Fortunately, ExpressVPN provides easy-to-use mobile and PC apps to encrypt the connections on these devices too.
Remember I said ExpressVPN is costlier than the rest?
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PrivateVPN - Free Port Forwarding for IoT Devices and Controlling Units
PrivateVPN offers port forwarding on its PC apps.
So, you can set up the VPN client software via a virtual router for your IoT devices and still enjoy its secure ports.
That beats ExpressVPN, which only offers port forwarding on its router app, and the others (except PIA) lack this functionality.
This VPN service provider steps that up with DDoS protection.
So, even though botnet attacks leveraging IoT devices continue to grow, none of my devices were used as part of such malicious IoT networks.
This might sound like a small flex until you consider how much sensitive data traffic may be exposed to hackers commanding such attacks.
Like ExpressVPN, PrivateVPN uses secure AES 256-bit encryption.
If you’re setting up the VPN for your IoT devices as a virtual router, you can choose its 128-bit encryption for faster speeds instead.
However, I’ve discovered that IoT devices don’t need blazing-fast connection speeds to operate, and the 128-bit encryption is dangerously low security for your units. So, there’s no reason to stray from the AES 256-bit option.
Finally, PrivateVPN offers ten simultaneous device connections to protect the PC and mobile devices controlling your IoT devices.
That’s two more connections than ExpressVPN, and it’s still cheaper than ExpressVPN.
But the price is justified when considering ExpressVPN’s automatic obfuscation and dedicated router app.
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NordVPN - DDoS Protection & Secure Tracker Blocking on IoT Units
NordVPN would have featured higher than PrivateVPN, but its lack of port forwarding put it third. Still, this is one of the most robust VPN providers I tested with my smart TV and heating system.
In fact, NordVPN’s encryption is so robust that I get gibberish output whenever I run Wireshark on my NordVPN-enabled router connection.
Hence, not even my ISP – which has direct access to my network – can see any file I send on my smart printers or intercept my remote camera feed!
Avast’s chief security executive once said that hackers steal smart coffee machines’ owners’ bank details and passwords via the phones controlling these units. To curb this, NordVPN offers highly secure mobile and PC apps for Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, and Windows.
But what about your IoT units? While they can’t download a native NordVPN app, the VPN service provider is compatible with numerous router systems (Tomato, DD-WRT, OpenWRT, etc.).
So, install NordVPN on your router and connect ALL your IoT devices to the secure router network to keep the hackers at bay.
One time when I didn’t have a VPN-compatible router, I set up NordVPN as a virtual router via my Windows PC, and it worked wonders for my IoT units.
So, you’re spoiled for options.
Did I mention NordVPN’s DDoS protection? The VPN even hides your IoT devices’ true IP addresses, making it impossible for hackers to hijack them for their nefarious botnet attacks.
All that is less expensive than ExpressVPN with these fantastic discounts.
Surfshark - Unlimited Simultaneous IoT Device Connections
Surfshark is the best IoT VPN where numerous controlling devices need individual protection. That’s because while the other VPNs have limited simultaneous connections, Surfshark allows you to secure all units from one account.
That’s why I could share my Surfshark subscription with my family to secure their IoT experiences, even though we don’t live in the same place.
The best part is that Surfshark doesn’t compromise on IoT security solutions by offering limitless connections. Instead, it uses the same AES 256-bit encryption as the others.
I even tested its DDoS protection via IP leak and kill switch tests, and Surfshark stood tall in both cases. So, I sleep easy knowing that my smart home devices (or those of my family members) won’t be used to maliciously DDoS an unsuspecting victim.
Lest I forget, Surfshark is also router-compatible, making it easier to secure IoT devices that can’t download a VPN. Else, units like my smart thermostat (which doesn’t have a VPN app) could have been turned against me like the residents of those apartment buildings in Finland in 2016.
However, don’t expect port forwarding support from Surfshark.
Likewise, it lacks a dedicated router app like ExpressVPN.
So, you’ll have to make do with the manual router setup.
But that’s not enough to sweep this robust IoT VPN provider under the carpet.
While you’re here, grab Surfshark the cheapest with these discounts.
Private Internet Access - Port Forwarding, Anti-DDoS, and Security for IoT Devices
Private Internet Access offers the ideal cocktail of everything you’ll need in a secure IoT VPN: port forwarding, anti-DDoS, and reliable encryption.
However, it was demoted to fifth on this list because it’s based in the USA, a Five Eyes nation. But since it has a court-proven no-logs policy, you know the provider won’t collect your IoT device data and hand it over to the authorities.
Speaking of its port forwarding, it beats ExpressVPN by offering remote ports on PC. I enjoy this by setting up its port forwarding to access my Ring doorbell cameras via the PC virtual router model.
Likewise, PIA combines AES 256-bit encryption and DDoS protection on every server you connect to. Whether you set it up via a proper router or the PC virtual router method, IoT units like your smart printers wouldn’t have the same fate as the 800,000 vulnerable smart printers left open to data hijacking and botnet usage in 2018.
If you think that’s not an issue, imagine someone hacking your printer memory and accessing all the sensitive emails, passwords, cryptocurrency recovery phrases, and other sensitive documents you’ve printed on your machine!
On top of that, PIA mimics Surfshark’s unlimited simultaneous connections to PCs and mobile devices. That’s why I can split my IoT device controls across multiple devices and install PIA to limit my exposure.
And for good measure, PIA is competitively cheap alongside Surfshark.
Get these PIA deals to save more on this VPN service provider.
How to Set up a VPN for IoT Devices?
Setting up a VPN for IoT devices should consider the smart units and the devices controlling them. That’s because protecting only one of these device types leaves the other vulnerable to attacks.
Setting up a VPN on IoT Devices
IoT devices and smart units can’t download a native VPN app.
That leaves users with two other ways to get the VPN’s encryption for privacy and security: the router setup and the virtual router setup.
I’ll use my top IoT device VPN, ExpressVPN, for this demonstration.
For the router setup:
Ensure that your router is VPN-supported, or get a VPN-supported router for this to work. Alternatively, flash a custom firmware (as shown in the video below) onto your router to make it VPN-compatible. However, be careful, as this may break some routers.
Once confirmed that your router can install a VPN, do these:
- Subscribe to ExpressVPN. Get these discounts for impressive savings.
- Install ExpressVPN on your router. Follow the video guide below to set it up.
- Connect your IoT devices to the ExpressVPN-enabled router.
- Enjoy secure data transmission on your smart speakers and keep hackers from your smart camera networks.
To set up the PC/virtual router:
This PC router setup method is handy because not everyone will have a VPN-compatible router. You’re configuring your choice IoT VPN such that your PC broadcasts a VPN-encrypted hotspot network to your devices.
Here’s a stepwise guide to help you:
- Get an ExpressVPN account using these discounts. You’ll get 3 months free on the 12-month plan.
- Install ExpressVPN on your PC. This works best on Windows PCs.
- Launch the ExpressVPN app and log in with your account credentials.
- As shown in the video below, set up your PC as a virtual router.
- Connect your IoT devices to the PC’s hotspot.
- Enjoy your smart speakers, knowing no one is hacking your conversations via your network.
Setting up a VPN on IoT Controlling Units
Most IoT devices can be controlled from your phones and PCs.
Some (like smart cameras and baby monitors) can be accessed remotely on your controlling units.
But you don’t want to give hackers access to your entire home network via a poorly-secured controlling unit.
So, do these:
- Grab your preferred IoT-securing VPN. I’ll use ExpressVPN (discounts here) for this example.
- Download the ExpressVPN app for your PC (ExpressVPN download page) or smartphone (go to your device’s app store).
- Install the app, launch it, and log in with your account credentials.
- Click/tap the “Smart Location” tab to automatically connect to the best remote VPN server.
- Or click/tap the three dots icon to pull up the server list from where you can connect to a choice server.
- Enjoy secure encryption between your devices and the secured IoT devices.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Your IoT device manufacturer can still see your smart devices’ data over your VPN connection. This is because the device is configured to automatically send them some usage and operational data, which isn’t disrupted by the VPN connection.
However, a VPN can keep the manufacturer from identifying you with the collected IoT data since your IP address is randomized. Still, they can use the device’s unique identifier (like IMEI) to get this information.
You can’t use a free VPN for IoT devices as most free VPNs lack router support, which is the best way to connect to IoT units. Likewise, free VPNs offer poor encryption, low-grade privacy, and below-par security while lacking DDoS protection. Hence, exposing you to all the issues they should have protected your IoT devices from.
Be a Smart User
Most smart device users expose themselves to hackers, snoops, malicious neighbors, and anyone with the technical know-how to steal their feeds.
While a VPN alone isn’t enough, it helps keep the IoT network side secure.
So, grab reliable VPNs like ExpressVPN to ensure no one ever intercepts the communication between your IoT devices and their controlling units ever again.