The Vilfo VPN router is a powerful device that allows you to protect all devices on your home network without installing VPN apps.
In this comprehensive Vilfo review, I‘ll provide an in-depth look at the setup, features, speeds, pros, cons, and more based on using this router daily for over 2 weeks.
I‘ll also share tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your Vilfo router.
Overview of the Vilfo VPN Router
The Vilfo router is designed specifically for running a VPN service at the network level. It has a powerful processor, plenty of RAM, and optimized software to handle VPN connections with speed.
Some key highlights:
- Runs OpenVPN protocols for connecting to VPN services
- Supports most major VPN providers or you can add custom OpenVPN files
- Allows split tunneling so you can customize which devices use the VPN
- Includes a built-in VPN server for remote access
- Sick fast processor provides great VPN speeds
- Easy to use interface for configuring and monitoring
The Vilfo isn‘t cheap at around $400 but it‘s one of the best performing and full-featured VPN routers available today. Keep reading for the full review.
Why You Should Use a VPN Router
There are several benefits to using a VPN at the router level rather than individual apps on each device:
- All devices protected without installing VPN apps
- Choose which devices use the VPN with split tunneling
- Use VPN on devices that don‘t support VPN apps like gaming consoles
- Never worry about forgetting to connect the VPN
- Access home network remotely through built-in VPN server
A VPN router sets up a secure tunnel from your router to the VPN server. This tunnel encrypts all the traffic leaving your home network so your ISP and others can‘t see what you‘re accessing.
Who Created the Vilfo Router?
Vilfo was created by a team of developers in Sweden who also run a VPN service called OVPN. However, Vilfo operates as its own independent company.
The Vilfo software has gone through many iterations after being originally released for the OVPNbox router in 2018.
According to Vilfo‘s about page, their team includes expertise in electronic hardware, embedded systems, web development, Linux infrastructure, and network security.
Unboxing and Overview of Vilfo Router
I purchased the Vilfo router directly from their website for $379 and used the coupon code TROYPOINT to get free shipping to the US.
Here‘s what comes inside the box:
- Vilfo router unit
- Power adapter
- Ethernet cable
- 2 wireless antennas
- Quick start guide
The Vilfo router has a solid feel and sleek design. The casing is made from aluminum alloy for efficient cooling.
On the back of the unit you‘ll find the WAN port, 3 LAN ports, USB 3.0 ports, HDMI port, and power jack.
The front has a small display panel that shows the SSID and IP address.
Step-by-Step Setup Process
I found the setup process to be quick and straightforward. Here are the steps I followed:
Attach the wireless antennas and connect the power adapter.
Connect the WAN port to your modem or primary router.
Connect wirelessly to the Vilfo SSID shown on the front display.
Open a browser and go to http://admin.vilfo.com. This brings up the setup wizard.
Follow the prompts to configure admin password, DHCP range, domain name, and time zone.
Skip adding a VPN provider for now – we‘ll do this manually.
Once setup completes, you‘ll be redirected to the web admin dashboard.
That‘s it! The whole process took about 5 minutes. Next I‘ll show you how to integrate IPVanish VPN.
How to Setup IPVanish VPN on the Vilfo Router
IPVanish is my go-to VPN service for the past several years due its reliability and fast speeds. Here are the steps to integrate it with Vilfo:
Download the OpenVPN config files for IPVanish from their website.
Extract the zip folder and edit the .ovpn file:
- Delete the line starting with "ca"
- Paste cert contents between tags
On the Vilfo admin, go to VPN Providers > Custom Provider.
Upload the .ovpn file and enter your IPVanish credentials.
That‘s all it takes to connect IPVanish VPN. You can connect different device groups to various IPVanish servers using the Devices page.
Review of the Vilfo Router Features and Admin
The Vilfo web admin provides tons of options for configuring and monitoring your router. Here‘s an overview of the key pages:
This allows you to group clients on your network and connect them to VPN servers. You can split tunnel so different groups use different locations.
Provides tools for administering the router including reboot, factory reset, backups, remote access, etc.
Configure network settings like DHCP, DNS, WiFi channels, VLANs, and more.
Add and manage integrations with VPN services. Supports most major providers.
Allows you to run your own VPN server for remote access. Useful for managing the Vilfo while away.
Select protocol and enable the all-important VPN killswitch to prevent leaks.
Configure split tunneling rules to bypass VPN for certain websites, IPs, ports, and devices.
Adjust admin credentials, auto-updates, usage tracking and other general settings.
Charts for monitoring bandwidth usage, connections, CPU load, and RAM usage.
Get alerts about the router status via email or mobile push notifications.
The admin panel provides tons of configuration options while still being user-friendly for basic setup. Next I‘ll go over my speed test results.
Vilfo Router Speed Test Results
To evaluate the performance impact of running VPN on the Vilfo router, I ran a series of speed tests under different conditions.
For wireless testing, I used the 5GHz 802.11ac band with the Vilfo router located 10 feet away from the client device.
Here are my baseline speed test results without VPN enabled:
Fire TV Stick 4K (wireless): 136 Mbps down / 123 Mbps up
Gaming PC (wireless): 135 Mbps down / 77 Mbps up
Gaming PC (wired): 525 Mbps down / 121 Mbps up
Now with the IPVanish VPN enabled, here are the results:
Fire TV Stick 4K (wireless): 129 Mbps down / 107 Mbps up
Gaming PC (wireless): 96 Mbps down / 110 Mbps up
Gaming PC (wired): 178 Mbps down / 83 Mbps up
As you can see, the speed reduction with VPN enabled was minimal, especially for wireless connections.
Wired connections saw a bigger drop, but 178 Mbps down is still very usable and faster than I get with VPN apps on some devices.
Overall, the Vilfo router provides excellent VPN speeds compared to other routers I‘ve tested.
Accessing Storage and Running Apps via USB & HDMI
The Vilfo router includes HDMI and dual USB 3.0 ports on the back panel.
These connections give you direct access to the Linux operating system running on the router.
Hooking up a monitor and keyboard allows advanced users to configure network settings at the terminal.
You can also attach storage drives and set up network-attached storage. The USB ports provide up to 5 Gbps transfer rates.
Other options include setting up a Pi-hole ad blocking server, Wireguard VPN, and apps like Kodi or RetroPie for media streaming.
These capabilities provide plenty of room for future expansion and customizations down the road.
Vilfo VPN Router Pricing
As I mentioned earlier, the Vilfo router currently sells for $379 directly from their website.
You can use the coupon code TROYPOINT to get free shipping if you‘re in the US.
At close to $400, the Vilfo is not cheap, but it‘s one of the top tier consumer VPN routers out there.
For comparison, a regular wireless router that can barely handle VPN might run you $200.
The extra cost with Vilfo gets you excellent VPN performance and features tailored specifically for VPN usage.
If you‘re serious about running a VPN router, Vilfo is worth the investment in my opinion.
Pros of the Vilfo VPN Router
Here are some of the best things about the Vilfo router:
- Very fast VPN speeds compared to other routers
- No need for VPN apps on individual devices
- Split tunneling provides lots of customization
- Useful notifications to monitor status
- Easy to setup VPN providers
- Built-in VPN server for remote access
- Powerful hardware optimized for VPN usage
- Regular firmware updates
- Helpful and responsive customer support
Cons of the Vilfo Router
A few downsides to be aware of:
- Price is on the high side
- WiFi range could be better
- No option for combining 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands
- Browser extension for split tunneling is hit or miss
- Can‘t bypass VPN for streaming boxes (Fire TV, etc)
The issues I encountered are relatively minor. Performance and core VPN functionality of the Vilfo router is excellent.
Vilfo VPN Router Specs
Here‘s a rundown of the hardware specs:
- Processor: Intel Celeron dual core 2.9GHz
- RAM: 2GB DDR3
- Storage: 8GB SSD
- WiFi: Dual-band 802.11ac (867 Mbps max)
- Ports: 1x WAN, 3x LAN, 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI
- Antennas: 2x external dual band
The Vilfo is powered by an embedded version of OpenWrt Linux for the firmware.
Final Thoughts on the Vilfo VPN Router
The Vilfo router made it very easy to set up a VPN for my entire home network. Performance has been stellar and the web admin provides tons of options.
Some aspects like the browser extension need a bit more polish but firmware updates are continually improving the product.
For the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it VPN solution for your home, the Vilfo router is currently one of the best options available.
If you have any questions about the Vilfo VPN router, feel free to ask in the comments! I‘m happy to help decide if the Vilfo is the right solution for your needs.