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This tutorial will show you how to share your Windows VPN connection on Windows 8 and 10. For instructions specific to your OS version, refer to the sections below.

Important: Do not connect to the ExpressVPN app before you begin to set up your virtual router.

You will learn how to set up a virtual router or mobile hotspot, share the connection, and connect to ExpressVPN.

Jump to…

Check if your Windows PC can support creating a virtual router
Create your virtual router
Start your virtual router
Windows 10 only: Share VPN via mobile hotspot
Windows 8 only: Share your virtual router
Connect to ExpressVPN
Check if the virtual router is working
Disable your virtual router


Check if your Windows PC can support creating a virtual router

Before starting, you need to verify whether your computer can support creating a virtual router. Press the Windows logo key (⊞) + S to launch the search bar, then type cmd to bring up Command Prompt. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

For Windows 10, you can skip directly to the instructions for creating a mobile hotspot.

For Windows 8:

Click "Run as administrator."

In the Command Prompt, type the following:

netsh wlan show drivers

Type the command in the Command Prompt.

Hit Enter.

If you see “Hosted network supported : Yes,” then your network adapter can create a virtual router.

A command prompt that shows "Yes" to "Hosted network supported."

If you do not see this message, you may need to update your network adapter drivers.

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

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Create your virtual router

In the Command Prompt, type the following:

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=NETWORKNAME key=PASSWORD

Name your virtual router by setting the following values:

ssid=[choose a name for your network]
key=[choose a password for your network]

Hit Enter.

Name your virtual router in the command prompt.

You will then see this message:

The hosted network mode has been set to allow.
The SSID of the hosted network has been successfully changed.
The user key passphrase of the hosted network has been successfully changed.

The hosted network has been set to allow.

Congratulations! You have successfully created a virtual router.

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

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Start your virtual router

Important: Do not run or connect to the ExpressVPN app on your Windows computer when preparing to share your connection.

To start your virtual router, type the following in the Command Prompt:

netsh wlan start hostednetwork

Start your virtual router.

Hit Enter.

If the virtual router starts successfully, you will see a message that says, “The hosted network started.”

Your hosted network started.

If you get a message saying the hosted network could not be started, update your network adapter drivers.

Important: Do not run or connect to the ExpressVPN app on your Windows computer when preparing to share your connection.

If you do not use Windows 10, follow these next steps.

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

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Windows 10 only: Set up your mobile hotspot

Click the Windows logo. Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile hotspot.

Toggle the Mobile hotspot on.

Toggle your "Mobile hotspot" on.

Under Share my Internet connection from, select Wi-Fi.

Select "Wi-Fi."

To set a new network name and password, click Edit.

Under Related settings, click Change adapter options.

Click "Change adapter options."

In the Network Connections window, note the name of the connection you just created. (This example uses “Local Area Connection *11”).

Note the name of the connection you just created.

Right-click ExpressVPN Tap Adapter and select Properties.

Select "Properties."

Click the Sharing tab and check the box for Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection.

From the dropdown menu, select the name of the connection you just created. Click OK.

Select the name of the connection you just created.

Now, follow the next step to connect to ExpressVPN.

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

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Windows 8 only: Share your virtual router

To share your virtual router on Windows 8, follow these steps.

Open the Run prompt by pressing the Windows logo key (⊞) + R, or by clicking the Start button. Type ncpa.cpl, then hit Enter or OK.

Click "OK."

In the Network Connections window, you should now see your new Wi-Fi connection in your list of network adapters. The description will show the ssid name that you assigned earlier. Note the name of the connection. (This example uses “Local Area Connection* 5.”) You will need this later.

Note the name of the connection.

Now, look for a network connection with the description “ExpressVPN Tap Adapter.” (This example uses “Ethernet 2.”)

Right-click it and select Properties.

Select "Properties."

In the Properties window, click the Sharing tab and check the box for Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection.

Under Home networking connection, select your newly created connection from the dropdown menu. (Ours was ”Local Area Connection* 5.”). Then click OK.

Click "OK."

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

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Connect to ExpressVPN

On your Windows device, launch the ExpressVPN app and connect to the server location of your choice.

Congratulations! Your Windows PC is now a virtual router.

Now, you can connect any Wi-Fi-enabled device to your new virtual router and share your VPN connection.

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

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Check if the virtual router is working

On any other device, connect to the mobile hotspot your Windows device created earlier in your network settings.

You can check if your IP address location has changed.

Check if your IP address location has changed.

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

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Disable your virtual router

For Windows 10:

Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile hotspot. Toggle the Mobile hotspot off.

For non-Windows 10:

Return to the Command Prompt and type the following:

netsh wlan stop hostednetwork

Stop hosted network in the Command Prompt.

You will see a message that says, “The hosted network stopped.”

The hosted network stopped.

This will stop and disable your virtual router. If your virtual router is no longer in the Network Connections window, then you have successfully disabled it.

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

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