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This tutorial will show you how to set up the ExpressVPN app on the Netgear R6300v2 and Nighthawk R7000 routers.

Important: Before starting, please verify that you have the Netgear R6300v2 or the Nighthawk R7000 and not another model. Some Netgear and Nighthawk models may not support VPN. Be sure to check carefully before proceeding.

Jump to section

Download the ExpressVPN firmware
Set up your Netgear router
TECHNICAL: Flashing your Netgear router
Connect your devices
Connect to a different server location
Manage devices connected to the router
Finding your passwords
Need help with MediaStreamer?
I’ve set up my router but cannot connect to the internet


Download the ExpressVPN firmware

Sign in to your ExpressVPN account using your email and password.

ExpressVPN Sign-in screen with Sign In button highlighted.

You will be taken to your account dashboard. Keep this page open. You will need to return here and retrieve your account activation code later.

Select Set Up on More Devices. (On mobile, select Set Up ExpressVPN.)

Click on "Set up ExpressVPN."

Select Router, then from the Select your router dropdown menu, choose Netgear R6300v2 or Netgear Nighthawk R7000. Make sure you select the actual model name for your router.

Hit Download Firmware to start downloading the ExpressVPN firmware.

ExpressVPN setup page with Download Firmware button highlighted.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Set up your Netgear router

Important: If your network is currently using a different router, ExpressVPN recommends that you simply add the Netgear router as a secondary router on your existing network. If you wish to replace your existing, primary router with the ExpressVPN router, we recommend that you first set up the Netgear router as a secondary router and then remove your primary router.

To set up your Netgear router:

Setup for routers without internet access

Make sure your router is powered on, with any required antennae attached. Connect your computer to the router by:

  1. cable, or
  2. the secure wireless network name found on the bottom of the router.

Access the Netgear router dashboard by visiting routerlogin.net. If you cannot access the dashboard through the URL, try to find your router’s gateway (e.g., 192.168.1.1). You can follow the instructions here.

Log in with admin/admin.

If you have the option, skip changing WiFi name (SSID) and password, as well as admin credentials. This is because the information will be reset to default when you flash the ExpressVPN app onto the router.

You will now arrive at the router admin dashboard. Proceed to the steps below.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

Setup for routers with internet access

You should be connected to the internet and able to browse sites on the internet.

Open a browser and access the Netgear router dashboard by visiting routerlogin.net. If you cannot access the dashboard through the URL, try to find your router’s gateway (e.g., 192.168.1.1). You can follow the instructions here.

You will be prompted to log in. Enter your existing router username and password. (The default login/password is admin/admin).

You will now arrive at the router admin dashboard. Proceed to the steps below.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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TECHNICAL: Flashing your Netgear router

Important: Flashing the firmware will erase any current settings, such as your Wi-Fi SSID and password, on your router. Although you can revert to the default firmware, users are not recommended to attempt the below without prior technical know-how.

On your router dashboard, click on the ADVANCED tab.

Netgear genie with Advanced tab highlighted.

On the sidebar, select Administration, and then Router Update.

Netgear Administration sidebar with Router Update highlighted.

Click on Browse and select the ExpressVPN firmware file that you downloaded above. The filename format is: expressvpn-netgear-rxxxxx-vxxxx.chk

Locate firmware prompt with Browse button highlighted.

Click Upload to reflash the router with ExpressVPN firmware. You may need to restart the router.

After restarting, you will need to ensure you are connected to your Netgear router.

  • If you are connected via cable (recommended), then you are already connected to the Netgear.
  • If you are connected via Wi-Fi, you need to find the NETGEAR_(modelname)_(revision) Wi-Fi network and connect to it. The password can be found on the sticker at the front of the router.

You will be taken to the ExpressVPN router dashboard. Click Get Started.

Click on "Get Started."

If you know your ISP username and password, enter it and click Connect. If not, click My ISP Has No Login.

Enter your ISP credentials.

Paste the account activation code you found before and click Sign In.

Enter your ExpressVPN activation code.

You can share crash reports and other anonymous analytics to improve ExpressVPN. Click OK if you agree to share reports.

Share analytics for ExpressVPN.

You will now configure the details for your Wi-Fi network. Enter the Wi-Fi name and Wi-Fi password you want to use and click Continue.

Set the Wi-Fi username and password.

Next, set the router admin password. This is the password you will use to access the ExpressVPN router dashboard.

Set the new dashboard password.

Click Done to confirm your router administration settings. You may need to reconnect to your router’s Wi-Fi.

You’re advised to keep a record of your router usernames and passwords.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Connect your devices

By default, the ExpressVPN router app will connect you to the best possible VPN location, called Smart Location. This is determined using anonymous metrics such as download speed, latency, and distance.

All devices connected to the internet via your ExpressVPN router (either through cable or Wi-Fi) will have its traffic sent through a secure VPN.

The ExpressVPN router app is connected.

To connect any device to the VPN, plug its network cable into the ExpressVPN router or connect the device to the ExpressVPN router’s Wi-Fi. The network name and password are given as the last two items at the bottom of your router.

You can also change the VPN server location you are connected to or disconnect a device connected to the router by logging in to www.expressvpnrouter.com.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Connect to a different server location

To connect to a different server location, click on the location picker.

Click on the location picker.

Browse through the available locations, then click on a location to connect to it.

Browser server locations in the ExpressVPN router app.

You can also use the search bar to search for a location to connect to. Click on a location to connect to it.

Search for locations in the ExpressVPN router app.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Manage devices connected to the router

By default, the ExpressVPN app routes all traffic through the VPN. However, you may configure the app so that only certain connected devices use the VPN.

On the router dashboard, go to the Devices tab.

If Each device uses is set to Router VPN, all connected devices will use the VPN.

Configure all connected devices to use the VPN.

If Each device uses is set to Per device, you can select which devices are protected by the VPN.

Configure selected devices to use the VPN.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Finding your passwords

All the passwords you need are written on the bottom of your router. For joining the router Wi-Fi:

  • SSID/Wi-Fi name: NETGEAR<XX>
  • SSID/Wi-Fi password: <labeled as “Network Key (Password)” on the sticker on the bottom of your router>

For logging into www.expressvpnrouter.com

  • Router admin password: <the password you previously set>

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Need help with MediaStreamer?

If you are looking to use the MediaStreamer DNS servers, read this article: How to set up DNS on your Netgear router.

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I’ve set up my router but cannot connect to the internet

If you have set up your Netgear according to the instructions above but cannot connect to the internet, please:

  1. Check that your internet cable is plugged into the yellow “Internet” port at the back of the router
  2. Check that your Linksys router is connected to your modem (if the Netgear router is your primary router) or existing router (if you’re using the Netgear router as a “secondary” router)
  3. Reboot your router and try connecting to the internet again

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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