tp-link AC1200 Mesh Wi-Fi Router Archer A6 - Noob wants VPN

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VideoGameDana
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Joined: 11 Jun 2021
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 16:00    Post subject: tp-link AC1200 Mesh Wi-Fi Router Archer A6 - Noob wants VPN Reply with quote
Hello. I know the FAQ said not to sound amateurish but to be honest I am not a networking buff, so please bear with me.

I just purchased two years of a VPN service that I primarily wish to use with my smart TV. Of course nothing is ever as easy as it originally seems, and my router happens to not be natively compatible with my VPN service of choice.

As the title suggests, my router is the tp-link AC1200 Archer A6 - specs found here: https://routerchart.com/tp-link/tp-link-archer-a6-a6-425

At first I thought there would be some sort of interface within the VPN software that would allow me to manage all of my devices, but it wasn't until after I made the purchase that I found that each device must have its own software, OR the router itself must be configured. Given there is no VPN software for Roku TV OS, it looks like I need to configure my router.

I chose NordVPN, and after researching, I found that NordVPN is not supported on tp-link routers across the board on their native firmware. Even though the box for my router states that it supports OpenVPN (which NordVPN states it supports), after looking into it tp-link's version of OpenVPN is only purposed for accessing the network while away, and not for running a VPN like Nord. I do have a 30-day money back guarantee, but I'd rather see if I can get this working before I go that route.

Further research led me to DD-WRT, which I'm pretty sure is a custom firmware for routers that can allow use of a VPN. I checked the compatible routers database, and the closes I found was a tp-link AC1200 Archer C6. Given mine is an A6, I decided it was best to look for something specifically made for the A6. Since the database itself states that it is outdated, I decided to come here to ask if my router is supported? Also, I see that there is a shop. Is DD-WRT a paid software or are those shop activations for special, non-noob benefits only? I really just want my router to continue to be functional while also allowing me to use my VPN service.

Not sure if this matters but my front-end OS's are Windows 10 and Android.

Again sorry for being a noob.
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kernel-panic69
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Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 13182
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 16:32    Post subject: Reply with quote
Neither version I could find information for is supported by DD-WRT, but is supported by OpenWRT:

https://wiki.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_Devices#TP-Link

https://wikidevi.wi-cat.ru/TP-LINK_Archer_A6_v2.x

https://openwrt.org/toh/hwdata/tp-link/tp-link_archer_a6_us_tw

https://openwrt.org/toh/hwdata/tp-link/tp-link_archer_a6_v3

You have to be entirely sure which version you have before even considering custom firmware.

That being said, the C6 v2 is similar (same for v3):

https://openwrt.org/toh/hwdata/tp-link/tp-link_archer_c6_v2_eu

https://wikidevi.wi-cat.ru/TP-LINK_Archer_C6_v2.x

TP-Link has a knack for rebranding identical hardware, but neither the C6 nor the A6 are supported by DD-WRT whatsoever. To get support, hardware donation or detection information is required.

https://dd-wrt.com/donations/

https://dd-wrt.com/router-detection/

Do keep in mind that vendors are locking down 3rd party firmware flashing capability and that TP-Link stock firmware is based on OpenWRT, so they usually are able to port devices easier.

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VideoGameDana
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 11 Jun 2021
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 16:46    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank you very much for your reply and the information. I will continue my research with the information your provided.
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