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AsusWRT Merlin setup with NordVPN

These instructions will help you set up an OpenVPN connection with NordVPN on your ASUS router flashed with AsusWRT-Merlin firmware. The instructions were made using an ASUS RT-AC87U router with version 380.59 of the AsusWRT-Merlin firmware.

  1. Log in to the control panel of your router. To do this, open your internet browser and in the address bar enter the router’s address, which is 192.168.1.1 by default. A prompt will appear, asking you to enter your username and password. If you have never changed the username or password, enter the default values admin for the username and admin for the password.


     
  2. Once you have signed in, select VPN in the left sidebar.


     
  3. Go to the OpenVPN Clients tab.


     
  4. Now you need to download the OpenVPN configuration files. You can use our recommended server utility here. The configuration files can be found under the recommended server by clicking on Show available protocols.



    Go back to the router’s control panel and click Browse….


     
  5. Select the configuration file you have just downloaded and press Open. If you need help deciding which configuration file to choose, feel free to contact our customer support team.



    We recommend using UDP files that have udp1194 in their names. It means that the configuration will use UDP, which is faster than TCP.
     
  6. Click Upload and wait for the page to refresh.


     
  7. Once the page has refreshed, most fields will be filled in automatically, except for your NordVPN username and password — you will have to type those in manually.



    You can find your NordVPN service credentials in the Nord Account dashboard. Copy the credentials using the "Copy" buttons on the right.


     
  8. Set Accept DNS Configuration to Strict if you are planning to use NordVPN on all your home network devices or Exclusive if you will use it on specific devices. We recommend setting it to Strict.


     
  9. In the Custom Configuration field, enter this text:

    remote-cert-tls server
    remote-random
    nobind
    tun-mtu 1500
    tun-mtu-extra 32
    mssfix 1450
    persist-key
    persist-tun
    ping-timer-rem
    reneg-sec 0

    #log /tmp/vpn.log

     
  10. Now you need to configure NordVPN’s DNS settings. In the left sidebar, click WAN. In the Connect to DNS Server automatically field, select No and fill in NordVPN’s DNS servers as follows:

    103.86.96.100
    103.86.99.100



     
  11. Click Apply at the bottom of the page and wait a few seconds for the changes to apply. If you can see the green ON button, congratulations – you are now connected! You can verify this by going back to the VPN Status tab or by checking your IP address on our website (you will find your connection status, along with your IP address and ISP, at the top of the page).


     

Optional Kill Switch setup (for advanced users):

Here’s how to set up the Kill Switch feature on AsusWRT Merlin firmware:

  1. Go to VPN > OpenVPN Client.
  2. Under Advanced Settings, select Redirect Internet Traffic: Policy Rules
  3. A new option will appear, Block routed clients if tunnel goes down. Enable it.
  4. Under Rules for routing client traffic through the tunnel, add your whole network:

    Description: all devices
    Source IP: 192.168.1.0/24 (if you have a different network or subnet mask, change accordingly)
    Destination IP: leave blank
    Iface: VPN

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