The best way to put a VPN on your router 17

I’ve been using a VPN installed on my router to watch streaming services outside of their broadcast zones for a while now.

It’s easily the best and most effective way to watch Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and all your favourite streaming services anywhere in the world. 

In this article, I’ll explain the easiest and best way to get a VPN on your router, so you can watch any streaming service from the comfort of your home.

The benefits of putting a VPN on a router?

The benefits of putting a VPN on a router far outweigh the cons.

The only issue with putting a VPN on a router is that it’s slightly more complicated than simply downloading an app as you would do with most devices.

A router-based VPN is beneficial for VPNs with limited simultaneous connections because it only acts as one installation. A VPN router allows you to connect an unlimited (depending on your router) amount of devices to your VPN. You could connect your laptop, phone, tablet, TV, and loads more, and it would only count as one connection.

A VPN router also allows you to use your VPN on any device. You may have noticed that some devices like Smart TVs, Apple TV and others, don’t support VPNs on their app stores. A VPN router bypasses this and allows you to use a VPN with these devices. I connect to US streaming shows like HBO Max and Hulu in my home in New Zealand on my LG TV.

If you’re looking for a VPN for security and online anonymity, a VPN router makes that easy as well. Every device connected to the router will benefit from the VPNs secure connections. No need to download and install the VPN on every device.

In short, a router with a VPN makes everything easier. With a brief time investment, you can have a secure, anonymous internet connection on all of your devices, and you’ll also be able to access all your favourite streaming services from around the world in the comfort of your own home.

The best way to put a VPN on your router: Guide

There are several different ways you can get a router on a VPN. However, a lot of these techniques are complicated.

I’ve tested all the methods, and I found the easiest way to install a VPN on a router is with ExpressVPN.

For most VPNs, the process of putting a VPN on your router is challenging. ExpressVPN makes it simple.

It’s the method I used, and I’m still using my VPN router to watch my favourite US streaming services in NZ every day.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Sign up for ExpressVPN

To put ExpressVPN on your router, you’ll need an active ExpressVPN subscription. You can go here to get one.

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2. Make sure your router is compatible with a VPN

To put a VPN on your router, your router needs to support OpenVPN. This is a protocol that allows your router to connect to other devices within your secure home network.

Although there are a lot of routers that support OpenVPN, some routers make installing a VPN complicated.

If you want to put a VPN on your router easily, then we recommend these routers. The process is simple, and they reliably work with ExpressVPN.

  • Asus RT-AC56(U/R/S)
  • Asus RT-AC68U
  • Asus RT-AC87U
  • Linksys EA6200
  • Linksys WRT1200AC
  • Linksys WRT1900AC(S)
  • Linksys WRT3200ACM
  • Linksys WRT32X
  • Netgear R6300v2
  • Netgear R6400v2
  • Netgear Nighthawk R6700v3
  • Netgear Nighthawk R7000
  • Netgear Nighthawk R7000P

I used a Netgear R7000P to set up ExpressVPN.

I’ll show you how I did it, and you can follow along.

Disclaimer: Each router is different. The interface may look different if you have a different router to the R7000P that I’m using. However, the concepts and steps will be similar. 

3. Download ExpressVPN firmware

To put ExpressVPN on your router, you’ll need to download the ExpressVPN software that’s compatible with your router.

You can go here to find it.

Make sure you select your correct router details. You can find these on the box your router came in or on the router itself.

For me, I will select Netgear R7000P.

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Save the file somewhere you’ll remember because you’ll need this later.

4. Find out your IP address

To log in to your router, you’ll need to find out your IP address

To find your IP address the process is different for different devices. See below:

For Windows:

  • Click the Windows button at the bottom left
  • Type CMD
  • Press enter
  • Type ipconfig
  • Press enter
  • Your IP address is next to the IPv4 address
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For Mac:

  • Click the Apple logo in top left
  • Select system preferences
  • Select network
  • Select advanced
  • Select TCP/IP tab
  • Your IP address will appear next to IPv4 address
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For iOS:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Select WiFi.
  • Select the name of the WiFi network your device is connected to.
  • Your IP address will appear next to IP address.

For Android:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Select WiFi 
  • Select your current active WiFi network.
  • Select Advanced. 
  • Your IP address will appear under IP address.

5. Login to your router

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Once you have your IP address, type it into a search bar on a browser.

You’ll be asked for a username and password. 

If you haven’t set this up yet, the default username and password is admin/admin.

6. Select advanced

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7. Select administration on the left

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Once in administration, click on router update at the bottom of the list.

8. Click browse

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Search for the .chk file you downloaded in step 3.

9. Click upload

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Your router will now upload the ExpressVPN firmware.

If you’re prompted to terminate internet connections, select ok. 

Your router will now restart automatically.

10. Connect your device to the router

If you’re using a device over WiFi, look for your routers WiFi signal.

For me, the name of the wireless network is NETGEAR55.

Connect to this and you’ll be asked for a password. This can be found on a sticker on the router, under Network Key (Password)

11. Set up ExpressVPN

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Once you’re connected to your router, you’ll be taken to the ExpressVPN router dashboard. 

If it doesn’t come up automatically, go to www.expressvpnrouter.com 

Once you’re here, follow the instructions.

IMPORTANT: Take note of the Username and password and your router password

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12. ExpressVPN is now set up on your router

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You’ll now be able to stream all your favourite shows from the comfort of your home. 

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.

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