Aircove Go review

The Aircove Go is a good, albeit expensive (NZD$390) portable router featuring dual-band Wi-Fi 6 and secure WPA3 encryption capabilities. 

It comes with ExpressVPN’s AircoveOS software, which ensures your internet use is private and secure and allows you to easily change your IP address to access content that might be unavailable in your location. Essentially, it’s a VPN on the go.

The Wi-Fi Link technology is the standout here. It lets you establish your own secure, encrypted Wi-Fi bubble wherever you are – at a hotel, airport, or even at home. This will keep your data hidden from online hackers and criminals. But as a portable device, it’s only useful in certain situations.  

To use the Aircove Go, you need a $6.67/month ExpressVPN subscription, which also allows you to install the standard ExpressVPN app on up to eight devices. If you’re like me, unless you have more than eight devices you want to secure, there isn’t much need for the $390 Aircove Go. Similarly, if you want to use the device at home, you’ll probably get more use from the more powerful standard Aircove router. 

But if you have a lot of devices, maybe you’re on holiday with your family, then the Aircove Go is incredibly easy to set up; it’s compact, portable, fast and reliable. And most importantly it will provide you with a secure and safe internet connection in places where your online data might be at risk. It’s the best portable router on the market, even if you don’t use the VPN capabilities. 

Pros

  • Secure, private VPN network
  • Compact and portable
  • Fast, reliable Wi-Fi 6

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not great as a home router
  • Only useful in specific situations

Price 

The Aircove Go isn’t available to buy in New Zealand. Instead, you must buy it from the ExpressVPN store and have it shipped internationally. The base unit costs USD$170, and shipping to my address in Auckland added an additional USD$30. There’s also taxes, which added another USD$30, bringing the total to USD$230, which at the time of writing is around NZD$390. That makes it a pretty expensive router.  

There are a couple of things to consider here: an ExpressVPN subscription, which allows you to install the ExpressVPN app on up to eight devices, costs $6.67/month or $100 for 15 months. Also, you can buy a high-end Wi-Fi 6 router like the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 for around the same price, obviously without the VPN and Wi-Fi Link technology. 

Aircove Go review

Design/Setup 

Weighing only 245g and measuring 125mm x 82mm x 36mm, the Aircove Go is nice and compact. It won’t take up much space in your bag if you’re travelling. It’s a good size and looks quite nice, sporting a cream colour and a simple design. 

On the back, there’s a USB-C port for power, an Internet port and two LAN ports. This wasn’t enough for me at home, but if you’re using it as a portable device, it’s plenty; with Wi-Fi Link, you won’t even need the ports (more on that below).

In the box, there’s a two-piece power adapter compatible with US, UK, EU, and Australia/New Zealand power outlets. It’s important to know that this requires power to work. That means if you’re in an airport, you must find somewhere to plug it in, which isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

Setting up the Aircove Go is very easy. To begin with, you need to make sure you have an ExpressVPN subscription and plug it into your existing router or modem. This is important to remember because unless you have physical access to a router that has internet, you won’t be able to set up the Go. That means it’s probably unlikely you’ll be able to set it up while away from home. You’ll have to do it before your trip. 

From there, you can access expressvpnrouter.com, and you’ll be prompted with steps and an easy-to-follow guide.  

Specs 

As a router, the Aircove Go is decent. It boasts dual-band (2.4GHz/5GHz) Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, up to 600Mbps speeds on the 2.4GHz channel and 1,200Mbps on the 5GHz channel, a 70 square meter range, a 1.2GHz 64-bit Quad-Core CPU, 512MB RAM and 128MB of flash storage.  

It’s a good router and I noticed it was significantly faster than a router I had flashed ExpressVPN software onto. I noticed very little stuttering when trying to stream services like Hulu, MAX and BBC iPlayer here in New Zealand. It works well. 

Aircove Go review

Features 

The main features of the Aircove Go are the ability to encrypt your online traffic, which allows you to surf the web anonymously, the ability to change your IP address so you can make it look like you’re connecting to the internet from a different country, and the impressive Wi-Fi Link technology which allows you to set up your own secure Wi-Fi network.

The Go boasts WPA3 encryption capabilities, the highest Wi-Fi security standard available. From our tests, we’ve found that ExpressVPN is very secure—in fact, it’s one of the best VPNs on the market.  

I never had issues accessing streaming services or websites from other countries when connected to the Go. Changing your IP address is a doddle. All you need to do is connect to the network and access expressvpnrouter.com, and you can change it from there. It’s quick and easy, and you won’t need to log your devices out and log them in again; they’ll just pick up the new IP address. 

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs. With its proprietary VPN protocol, Lightway, built in, the Aircove Go will allow you to access streaming services like 10Play, BBC iPlayer, and MAX with ease from anywhere in the world. You also have access to OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols as alternatives.

You can use the router plugged in with an ethernet cord, but the Wi-Fi Link technology stands out here. This allows you to seamlessly connect your router to any local network, and create your own secure, encrypted one. Once set up, there’s no need to connect each device to the Wi-Fi individually or handle multiple VPN applications. Every device that pairs with Aircove Go will automatically reconnect in the future. It’s easy to do and works well. 

It also comes with a threat manager, parental controls and ad-blocking capabilities. You can also set up a custom DNS so long as you turn the VPN functions off.  

Aircove Go review

Verdict 

The Aircove Go is a solid piece of technology, delivering impressive Wi-Fi 6 and WPA3 encryption capabilities in a compact form. 

Its integration with ExpressVPN’s AircoveOS software ensures robust security and privacy online, making it a useful tool for those who frequently travel or need a secure internet connection in various locations. However, its high price point of NZD$390 and the necessity of a monthly ExpressVPN subscription may deter potential buyers, especially those who already have fewer than eight devices or are looking for a home setup. 

The device is at its best when creating a secure, encrypted “Wi-Fi bubble” around you, using Wi-Fi Link technology, which is particularly valuable in public spaces like hotels and airports. But it’s not as useful in a stationary home environment, where the standard Aircove router is a better option.  

The Aircove Go is undoubtedly one of the best in its category for those needing a portable, reliable, and secure internet connection on the go. Yet, its price and practicality might not appeal to everyone, making it a specialised, albeit excellent, solution for specific needs. 

REVIEW OVERVIEW
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Design
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Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.
expressvpn-aircove-go-review The Aircove Go is a good, albeit expensive (NZD$390) portable router featuring dual-band Wi-Fi 6 and secure WPA3 encryption capabilities.  It comes with ExpressVPN's AircoveOS software, which ensures your internet use is private and secure and allows you to easily change your IP address to...

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