How to share a VPN connection over a wireless network
A VPN encrypts and secures all network traffic leaving your device. But what if you want to extend your VPN coverage to your phone, game console, or media streamer?
Sharing your VPN over a wireless network will protect all your devices, giving you privacy and security no matter how you use the internet.
Why share a VPN over a wireless network?
Sharing a VPN connection over a wireless network ensures that every device connected to that network is automatically protected by the VPN.
This means there is no need to download and install VPN apps for each one of your devices, saving you time.
Sharing a VPN connection over a wireless network also means your friends and family can benefit from a private and secure internet experience.
How do I share a VPN from my laptop or desktop computer?
You only need a few items to share your VPN. Make sure you have:
- An active ExpressVPN account
- A Windows or Mac computer, connected to the internet through Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable (Ethernet cable required for Mac)
- The additional device(s) you want to use the computer’s shared VPN connection, with Wi-Fi switched on
Note: A mobile device can use your computer’s shared VPN connection, but you cannot share a VPN connection from a mobile device, such as by using an Android or iPhone as a mobile hotspot.
How to share a VPN on Windows
To share your VPN from a Windows computer, you’ll first need to check whether your computer can support a virtual router.
Check if your Windows PC can support creating a virtual router
Before we begin, let’s find out if your computer can support creating a virtual router. Type Windows + S to launch the search bar, then type cmd to bring up the Command Prompt. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
For Windows 10:
For Windows 8:
For earlier versions of Windows:
In the command prompt, type the following:
netsh wlan show drivers
If you see “Hosted network supported : Yes,” then your network adapter can create a virtual router.
If you don’t see this message, then you may need to update your network adapter driver.
Next, you need to connect to ExpressVPN and then share your connection.
How to share a VPN on Mac
If you’re using a Mac, you’ll need to set up a PPTP VPN on your computer.
Important: L2TP-IPsec provides weak security benefits and should only be used for anonymization or for changing locations.
Set up a L2TP VPN on your Mac
Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen, then select System Preferences...
In the System Preferences menu, click the Network icon.
In the Network window, click on the plus (+) sign at the bottom of the left panel to add a new service. In the pop-up window, select the following options:
VPN Type: L2TP over IPsec
Service Name: [choose a name for your VPN connection]
Then click Create
After this, configure your L2TP VPN and connect your devices.
You can also share a VPN connection over a VPN router
Besides sharing your VPN connection over a wireless network, you can also achieve the same benefits by using a VPN router.
Instead of having to set up a wireless network every single time, a VPN router only requires a one-time setup. After that, any Wi-Fi-enabled device can connect to the router and enjoy encrypted internet connections!
What’s better, a single router can support six, seven, eight or even more devices simultaneously, depending on its specifications. That means more time saved and more devices protected.