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What is a VPN Passthrough?

VPN passthrough

You may have stumbled across the phrase “VPN passthrough” in your quest to discover the best VPN for you. A VPN passthrough is a function that enables VPN traffic to pass through your router.

Although you don’t need to activate a VPN passthrough provided your VPN service uses an advanced VPN protocol like OpenVPN, you’ll undoubtedly need to do so for your router to create an outbound VPN connection if using outdated protocols such as PPTP and L2TP.

If not, it will be impossible to connect to a VPN, as your router won’t be able to detect the outdated protocols used to deliver your VPN traffic.

How does a VPN passthrough work?

Network Address Translation(NAT), a feature that most conventional routers provide, is necessary for a VPN passthrough. Before any data can be transferred, NAT converts private IP addresses to public IP addresses.

Although similar, the primary distinction between NAT and PAT(Port Address Translation) is that IP addresses are converted into public IP addresses using specific source port numbers.

NAT technology depends on precise details about the connections entering and leaving your router to operate properly. Earlier VPN protocols would encrypt the connection, which interferes with the proper functioning of NAT. Consequently, traffic cannot move through.

Home routers are frequently affected by this bug, which leaves significant security breaches for businesses that provide remote access to the workplace and employee IT monitoring. These limitations can be overcome using a VPN passthrough, allowing NAT to access data in IP packet headers.

Do you need a VPN passthrough?

You typically don’t need to be concerned about this feature.

Why is this:

It is a standard feature of current routers.

A VPN passthrough comes pre-installed on all current routers.

Therefore, everything should be alright unless you run an outdated operating system.

Reliable VPN services provide access to complex protocols.

Your router doesn’t require a passthrough capability since reputable VPN providers always provide their clients access to the latest network protocols.

Nevertheless, if you use a free VPN service, your traffic can pass via antiquated protocols, which, incidentally, won’t offer you privacy or effective encryption.

You may require them only if you run an antiquated Operating System

You should be able to use current VPN protocols if your operating system is no earlier than Windows XP.

It only becomes necessary to enable antiquated protocols that demand a VPN passthrough if you run a remarkably older operating system.

How does a VPN passthrough differ from a VPN router?

A VPN passthrough and a VPN router are frequently interpreted as a single concept owing to their names.

However, these two things are rather unlike one another.

VPN passthrough

VPN passthrough is a capacity possessed by your router’s software to accommodate traffic coming from outdated virtual private network protocols like PPTP or L2TP.

VPN router

A VPN router is a router with a VPN client (software) already set up. Any device using that router to access the internet will have its traffic diverted via a VPN server.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I allow VPN passthrough?

If your VPN connection uses antiquated VPN protocols like PPTP and L2TP, you ought to. NAT does not get along with these protocols. Routers employ NAT to map and redirect packets on network gadgets. There is no reason to use the VPN passthrough if you are connected to a current VPN. The reason is that they operate with NAT.

Is VPN passthrough Safe?

The VPN passthrough protocols available are not protected. They will sacrifice your security to provide the quickest speeds. If online security concerns you, you should deactivate the VPN passthrough and adopt VPN connections with current security protocols, like the OpenVPN protocol.

How do I turn on the VPN passthrough-?

By typing the router’s address into your browser, you can reach the router settings menu on most current routers and enable a VPN passthrough there.


A VPN passthrough function enables your router to handle older VPN protocols. This capability was required in the initial days of the internet since older protocols didn’t function with NAT.

Since PP2P and L2TP are not industry standards in current technology, using a VPN passthrough is essentially unnecessary. Additionally, reputable VPN service providers like NordVPN use cutting-edge protocols that integrate with NAT effortlessly while enhancing your security and speed.