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VPN FUSION & VPN DIRECTOR Merlin Firmware

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marcd5123

Occasional Visitor
Apologies if this has been discussed a few times in previous posts I am newish to this .

I have a brand new Asus RT-AX86U Pro router and had to nicely working with my Surfshark VPN using the fantastic VPN Fusion software built into the ASUSWRT stock firmware and I was able to very simply use the Asus app and switch regions on the fly using the Asus app and it worked really well very impressed indeed.

However ☝️.. I decided to give the AsusWRT Merlin software ago as many folks highly recommend using it to get the very best out of my 8600U Pro not to mention the stock firmware or self it dam impressive!! .. anyhow yes I did read about Merlin firmware before I uploaded it so I knew what it was going to do which is fine the router is working like a dream however why could thr guys at Merlin not leave in place VPN Fusion software as well as VPN Director software so you have a choice??? ... I'm hoping perhaps for their next update maybe they could somehow implement the VPN fusion software into the Merlin software ???.

I can simply just reflash the firmware back to the previous stock software and get the VPN fusion back but I kinda like the Merlin firmware is this sadly just one of those traid offs 🤔🫤...

Anyone have any ideas 💡 on this please or a so called work around .

Many thanks .
 
My understanding is VPN Director is superior/different from VPN Fusion.

What do you want to do? Maybe somebody can help with that instead? Eric will not be including it in his firmware (he wouldn't have made VPN Director if so).
 
Hi Yes with VPN Fusion it was just the "simplicity" of it all ...You literally just entered in the name you wanted so I just called it "Surfshark VPN" then just popped in the "Private Key" which is generated on the surfshark website on your account ,you then just pop that in under VPN fusion and I checked "all devices" and that was it !! So simple far simpler than even I expected that's what made it so fantastic and I believe others have stated when I looked up previous posts here .

You then opened up the Asus app clicked under VPN fusion and it came up with the Surfshark details showing the same and private key and then a full list of all their surf shark servers around the world. You then just terminated the current connection then selected your next server or the server you prefer then connect and that was it simples!! .

With VPN Director it's great yes but it's trying to be to cleaver I think their needs to be an option/tab for the straightforward setup as with Asus WRT stock firmware and turn a tab for advanced setup. I personally found it way to complicated or I'm a missing something my end something silly perhaps?? ...

I really want to learn obvious I did try but it was just to confusing even for me and I'm very persistent lol .

So yes please that's all I really want for that part anyway. I can. Create independent servers with their own IP address and separate keys from Surfshark account but the entire point with the fusion software is it's just one key and then the app handles the rest you then select the country want and connect that's it .

🤔
 
Yes, VPN Director is far more superior than the old VPN fusion. It is much more stable with better options and functionality. I would have simply returned my router back to vendor had it not been for VPN director and how well it works compared to stock option.
 
Yes, VPN Director is far more superior than the old VPN fusion. It is much more stable with better options and functionality. I would have simply returned my router back to vendor had it not been for VPN director and how well it works compared to stock option.
Hi Would you mind please explaining to me how I can get VPN Director to work in the same exact way I had with VPN Fusion with my Surshark account and with the Asus app I can select different regions in the app ?? I don't want to be spending lots of time adding each region one by one .

With Fusion it was private key and it linked it up and that was it ..I had my VPN setup in under 5mins ..

I am struggling to get this setup and find it well overkill for my needs which is fairly simple needs this is were VPN fusion was perfect for what I needed it for ..So if I am missing the trick would would mind helping me out please 😕.
 
Hi Would you mind please explaining to me how I can get VPN Director to work in the same exact way I had with VPN Fusion with my Surshark account and with the Asus app I can select different regions in the app ??
You likely can't. The Asus app isn't fully support by the Asus-Merlin firmware. If you want to use the Asus app to control VPN Fusion then use the stock Asus firmware. Otherwise to control VPN Director you have to use the GUI not the mobile app. Per RMerlin when asked about Parental Controls:
https://www.snbforums.com/threads/a...ta-is-now-available.88336/page-12#post-886148
Configure it through the webui. The mobile app is not supported.
PS: And before it is suggested the app be changed, here is RMerlin's response on the app:
https://www.snbforums.com/threads/dev-asuswrt-merlin-388-1-development.81087/page-9#post-795362
I have no control over the mobile app, it's developed by Asus, not by me.
 
You likely can't. The Asus app isn't fully support by the Asus-Merlin firmware. If you want to use the Asus app to control VPN Fusion then use the stock Asus firmware. Otherwise to control VPN Director you have to use the GUI not the mobile app. Per RMerlin when asked about Parental Controls:
https://www.snbforums.com/threads/a...ta-is-now-available.88336/page-12#post-886148
I only want to go back to stock AsusWRT as a last resort. I want to learn!..I don't mind using the WebGUI via Chrome not fussed I'm just stuck on how to get it to work period!..

VPN fusion you only had to enter "SurfShark Private key" entire the name of the VPN it self so I called it SURFSHARK VPN then enabled all devices and bang ☝️ that's all you had to do the rest was via the Asus app you went to VPN Fusion and you just scrolled down on all the VPN servers around your world it would connect within moments and that was it so simple no faffing around...

I dont understand why I can't simply do this via VPN Director I keep asking and everyone keeps stating it's fantastic and it's far superior yet no one seems want to help me properly.

That's why I came to these fomrus for help and guidance from the community.

I'm not asking for someone to hold my hand lol just asking the community to help a fellow member out .

So thanks for your input so far I'm more than happy to go to the WebGUI that's simple enough but how to I get VPN director to behave in the same way as VPN fusion please 😕.
 
If needed. Some additional discussion on how to use VPN Director to exclude a specific client or assign a VPN to a specific client.

One uses Rules to create rules for specific VPN clients. Sample of the "Rules" dialog box:
Rule.jpg
 
Hi guys I've had a look and to be honest...for me that term that VPN Director is advanced and far superior to VPN fusion the way I see it is not that simple and in some regards kinda not a true statement at all !!..

VPN fusion works with WireGuard technology it's newer and using UDP and not TCP which is perhaps slower to what I have read . Wireguard maynot be perfect but it does get the job done and works bloody well I'm very impressed!☝️

Asus has developed it's mobile app extremely well the way I see it . I mean you pop into the stock Asus firmware put in your private key for the same of argument mine being SS VPN you cut and paste it from your account into the Wire guard Fusion software on the router name the VPN in so Surfshark VPN either allow independent clients to connect or chose all devices it's that simple!!. You then head into the Asus app and go to VPN then choose VPN Fusion select which server you want and that's it's bang your connected within moments.

The way I see it and pardon me from a layman's point this is far simpler quicker efficient and all the work has been done for you .

I've just spent the most I've ever spent on a router very expensive the RT-AX86U Pro it's an awesome piece of kit that it very powerful indeed and killer hardware using Merlin software enables me to get the absolute best out of it but sometimes it's great to have some "simplicity" where it's needed ☝️.

Reading up on VPN Director unless you have lots of client devices in a Business or a large home with multiple clients then for a Small home user like me with a handful of clients which includes Nvidia Shield pro and Apple TV 2022 128GB device to use wireguard technology using VPN fusion and being able to select the servers straight away within the Asus WRT app is flipping brilliant and still offers all the privacy protection someone home like me would ever need !!!

Using the VPN director will take allot more of my time up as well as having to add each region one by one from the surf shark account why would I do all this if AsusWRT stock firmware and app in tandem with wireguard/fusion takes all that hassle and time and does all that for you ...

Sorry if this seems rather simple but to be VPN director is fantastic yes I agree but it's an "alternative" to using Fusion/wireguard and in my view should not have been omitted from the Merlin software ...that my take anyway as a newcomer.

I absolutely love how Merlin works and how advanced it is especially getting the very best of my Wi-Fi of all my clients and being able to really optimise how my Wi-Fi works in my flat with all my clients can't fault it ☝️and it's great that the guys are Merlin are able to fix bugs and improve on what Asus have already done again I can't fault that credit is where it's due for sure .

However not everyone has lots of client devices some of us have only a handful of items on a small network so Fusion in this regards is a absolute godsend I'm very glad that Asus have not implemented VPN director and got rid of VPN Fusion so theirs always a flip side to things ... I dont understand that with the enhancements and updates that Merlin have done that Fusion can't be or implemented as an extra tab as well as VPN director ext ...Surly I can't be the only member out their that has this situation?? ..😕😊


For me using my Nvidia Shield Pro 2019 which I primarily use with Kodi Omega RC2 and Real Debrid I need the speed and reliability so VPN Wireguard/Fusion works virtually seamlessly and being able to use this at router level is great it means I don't have to use Surfshark VPN app on the Shield anymore which then means it does not run in the background and does not take up resources . I have purchased a very expensive router it would make total sense to have the router perform all the hard work at router stage and it has all the power to do so .

I took a few screenshots from Surfshark own website but this very same information is widely available on lots of other websites.
 

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VPN fusion works with WireGuard technology
VPN Director also supports WireGuard.

I dont understand that with the enhancements and updates that Merlin have done that Fusion can't be or implemented as an extra tab as well as VPN director ext
1) Providing two competing features that conflicts with one another makes no sense and would lead to lots of confusion as to why one feature breaks the other one
2) Asus' OpenVPN implementation is closed source, and therefore I have no way of knowing how VPN Fusion is meant to interface with OpenVPN
For me using my Nvidia Shield Pro 2019 which I primarily use with Kodi Omega RC2 and Real Debrid I need the speed and reliability so VPN Wireguard/Fusion works virtually seamlessly and being able to use this at router level
Nothing hard there to configure in VPN Director:

- Enter the Shield`s IP as the source
- Select which VPN client to route through
- You're done.
 
For me using my Nvidia Shield Pro 2019 which I primarily use with Kodi Omega RC2 and Real Debrid I need the speed and reliability so VPN Wireguard/Fusion works virtually seamlessly and being able to use this at router level is great it means I don't have to use Surfshark VPN app on the Shield anymore which then means it does not run in the background and does not take up resources .
WireGuard is supported in VPN Director Rules in addition to the WireGuard Client under Asus-Merlin:
Rules - WireGuard.jpg

WireGuard Client.jpg
 
VPN Director also supports WireGuard.


1) Providing two competing features that conflicts with one another makes no sense and would lead to lots of confusion as to why one feature breaks the other one
2) Asus' OpenVPN implementation is closed source, and therefore I have no way of knowing how VPN Fusion is meant to interface with OpenVPN

Nothing hard there to configure in VPN Director:

- Enter the Shield`s IP as the source
- Select which VPN client to route through
- You're done.
Hi Thanks for the information much appreciated 😊..👍

However☝️ we still come back to my original point with fusion you have the option to manually assign per device or you can opt for all devices from the off that is what makes it in my eyes much more appealing to use and it can be all done then you can pick and choose from over 20 sites around the world without having to manually enter each Site server that you may or may not want to use . Obviously I won't be using more than a handful of sites but it's more of a point as a comparison between the two softwares.

With VPN Director you have to assign each device manually so it still involves more work from the offset with fusion theirs none of that to worry about as it's automatically done between AsusWRT & Wireguard/Fusion.

This is very subjective and some folks won't mind this and some won't like this it's very much each to their own...VPN Fusion still offers that simplicity and fluidity of control from Router to the Asus app and you don't have to use AsusWRT website it's done via the app so in my eyes Asus have done a Stella job on that front .

It's all done to personal preference and for Wireguard/Fusion still wins it hands down for my particular use !.

You get very strong security and privacy and you get the best possible speeds better than OpenVPN and IPSec which has been proven by many people.

For absolute control and advance features then VPN Director is the way to go .

If I change devices or want to add devices each time on my own small network even at short notice Wireguard/Fusion adjusts the parameters automatically via the router and app with VPN Fusion with VPN Director you have to manually entire the changes each time you make a form of adjustments or their has been an IP address change again Fusion does all this automatically.

Your comment here ..."Asus' OpenVPN implementation is closed source, and therefore I have no way of knowing how VPN Fusion is meant to interface with OpenVPN"

See this is were we differ in views or our priorities are different as long as my router makes that VPN connection with Sufshark and I can see that connection via the AsusWRT app I can just do a quick IP address check to make make the VPN is working otherwise Im not the slightest bit bothered about worrying "VPN fusion is meant to interface with Open VPN" ... No offence on that front.😊


so plenty of pros and cons to each .
 
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However☝️ we still come back to my original point with fusion you have the option to manually assign per device or you can opt for all devices from the off that is what makes it in my eyes much more appealing to use and it can be all done then you can pick and choose from over 20 sites around the world without having to manually enter each Site server that you may or may not want to use . Obviously I won't be using more than a handful of sites but it's more of a point as a comparison between the two softwares.
I've never used VPN Fusion, so excuse my ignorance. Between VPN Director and VPNMON-R3, I have complete control over what devices go to which VPN Client Slots. And each (up to 5 slots) can be pointed to completely different locations... like the VPN1 slot are pointing to all servers randomly being selected for the entire country of Canada, while the VPN2 slot only only handles all servers available for the City of Atlanta. This is all controlled with API calls to your VPN provider to pull all the latest VPN server IP addresses. If you want to get granular, you can just manage your own shortlist of servers you want each of your slots to pick from.

With VPN Director you have to assign each device manually so it still involves more work from the offset with fusion theirs none of that to worry about as it's automatically done between AsusWRT & Wireguard/Fusion.
This is pretty much "set and forget". I don't touch it... ever. Except for when I set it up, or when I have to make a change very infrequently.

This is very subjective and some folks won't mind this and some won't like this it's very much each to their own...VPN Fusion still offers that simplicity and fluidity of control from Router to the Asus app and you don't have to use AsusWRT website it's done via the app so in my eyes Asus have done a Stella job on that front .
I have no use for apps... having your router exposed to allow for interaction with an app just exposes it to more risk. I prefer automation and set-and-forget. ;)
 
I've never used VPN Fusion, so excuse my ignorance. Between VPN Director and VPNMON-R3, I have complete control over what devices go to which VPN Client Slots. And each (up to 5 slots) can be pointed to completely different locations... like the VPN1 slot are pointing to all servers randomly being selected for the entire country of Canada, while the VPN2 slot only only handles all servers available for the City of Atlanta. This is all controlled with API calls to your VPN provider to pull all the latest VPN server IP addresses. If you want to get granular, you can just manage your own shortlist of servers you want each of your slots to pick from.


This is pretty much "set and forget". I don't touch it... ever. Except for when I set it up, or when I have to make a change very infrequently.


I have no use for apps... having your router exposed to allow for interaction with an app just exposes it to more risk. I prefer automation and set-and-forget. ;)
Hi Thanks for the information makes for a very interesting read and theirs plenty of experimentation for sure sounds great .

A little confused with the last comment you made

"having your router exposed to allow for interaction with an app just exposes it to more risk. I prefer automation and set-and-forget."

Not sure how the app can be exposed if my mobile phone is secure and on locked WiFi network in my flat how could that be a security risk out of curiosity ?? It's on a closed network otherwise Asus would never have developed AsusWRT software to interact with its own app if it insecure to use .I have WPA2/3 with a very strong password in place their very little if any change my mobile or router would become exposed how ??.🤔😳🙂
 
Hi Thanks for the information makes for a very interesting read and theirs plenty of experimentation for sure sounds great .

A little confused with the last comment you made

"having your router exposed to allow for interaction with an app just exposes it to more risk. I prefer automation and set-and-forget."

Not sure how the app can be exposed if my mobile phone is secure and on locked WiFi network in my flat how could that be a security risk out of curiosity ?? It's on a closed network otherwise Asus would never have developed AsusWRT software to interact with its own app if it insecure to use .I have WPA2/3 with a very strong password in place their very little if any change my mobile or router would become exposed how ??.🤔😳🙂

No experimentation required. It works as advertised.

Depending on how you have things setup, you may be exposing your web UI that the app uses from the WAN side. That can be very risky.


The app may or may not work internally with Merlin FW... if it does, it will just show Asus-specific settings, and won't be able to manipulate any Merlin customizations.
 
Hi Would you mind please explaining to me how I can get VPN Director to work in the same exact way I had with VPN Fusion with my Surshark account and with the Asus app I can select different regions in the app ?? I don't want to be spending lots of time adding each region one by one .

With Fusion it was private key and it linked it up and that was it ..I had my VPN setup in under 5mins ..

I am struggling to get this setup and find it well overkill for my needs which is fairly simple needs this is were VPN fusion was perfect for what I needed it for ..So if I am missing the trick would would mind helping me out please 😕.
Sorry but I don't use the Asus App at all (I don't think that many people here do). VPN Director is fairly easy to use and here is my setup that I have been using as an example:

2024-03-26_220701.png



Field number one is to tell the router to route all traffic via the Wireguard Profile1. Fields 2-3 direct specific devices to the main WAN (i.e. bypassing the Wireguard VPN tunnel). Fields 5-6 direct all clients connected to my guest network via the wireguard tunnel. You can set as many profiles as you like and point specific clients to a profile of your choosing. Field 4 allows my other WGD clients (remote devices) to connect to my router bypassing the WGD server (i.e. like punching a whole through my WGD tunnel to allow remote clients to conntct to my router).

Hope this helps.
 
Sorry but I don't use the Asus App at all (I don't think that many people here do). VPN Director is fairly easy to use and here is my setup that I have been using as an example:

View attachment 57471


Field number one is to tell the router to route all traffic via the Wireguard Profile1. Fields 2-3 direct specific devices to the main WAN (i.e. bypassing the Wireguard VPN tunnel). Fields 5-6 direct all clients connected to my guest network via the wireguard tunnel. You can set as many profiles as you like and point specific clients to a profile of your choosing. Field 4 allows my other WGD clients (remote devices) to connect to my router bypassing the WGD server (i.e. like punching a whole through my WGD tunnel to allow remote clients to conntct to my router).

Hope this helps.
Hi Thank you kindly for that information. I am going to give this another go and see how I go with it .

I love networking my self any I have a reasonably basic to intermediate understanding of it but still learning and willing to learn but sometimes I would prefer just to be a few clicks and keep things fairly simple for use hence why I preferred the nature of VPN Fusion in some respects I do also love a challenge I do tend to get somewhat impatient with things like this and can loose my temper lol ...

I come from a electronics and PC background my self and have worked and serviced my own Hifi equipment.

Anyhow I'm not going to give up ☝️and I will persist and try a few more times with the help of you guys here 🙂.
 
then you can pick and choose from over 20 sites around the world without having to manually enter each Site server that you may or may not want to use .
If you are referring to Surfshark servers, this has nothing to do with VPN Fusion. This is just Asus who got paid by Surfshark to include a proprietary client specifically for Surfshark's service.

With VPN Director you have to assign each device manually so it still involves more work from the offset with fusion theirs none of that to worry about as it's automatically done between AsusWRT & Wireguard/Fusion.
You don't. Either set "Redirect All" on the VPN client configuration, or enter your entire LAN subnet in VPN Director.

You get very strong security and privacy and you get the best possible speeds better than OpenVPN and IPSec which has been proven by many people.
This has nothing to do with VPN Fusion.
 

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