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That was at least a friendly way to alert you to the problem :D

My suggestion regarding a VPN is to use OpenVPN. I have set that up several times using an Asus 1900 / AC-68U and the Asus Merlin Firmware and it works great (https://x3mtek.com/openvpn-server-setup-instructions-for-asuswrt-merlin/). It is also possible to run a VPN client and Server on the same router using Policy Based Routing which is simpler than it sounds (if you already use a VPN client for a service like Nord, etc).