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This guide will show you how to choose the appropriate Wi-Fi settings on a router running ExpressVPN.

A router running ExpressVPN is automatically set to use the best wireless channel based on its network environment. Normally there is no need to adjust your settings. If you are not getting the Wi-Fi speed or stability you expect, you can change the Wi-Fi settings of the router to try and improve your connection.

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Which frequency should I choose, 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz?
Which channel bandwidth should I choose?
Which channels should I choose?
How to hide your network name
How to change the Wi-Fi settings of the router


Which frequency should I choose, 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz?

2.4 GHz and 5 GHz are the two frequencies modern routers use to transmit wireless internet connections. The main differences between them are coverage and speed.

  • The 2.4 GHz frequency provides a larger range of coverage but slower speeds.
  • The 5 GHz frequency provides a lower range of coverage but faster speeds.

Whether you should choose 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz depends on numerous factors, such as the size of your home or office, nearby interferences, and neighboring Wi-Fi networks. Because the 2.4 GHz frequency is used by many devices nowadays, such as Bluetooth speakers and microwaves, 2.4 GHz is more likely to be overcrowded than 5 GHz.

What is the 2.4 GHz frequency best suited for?

  • a large home or office that requires greater coverage
  • devices that move around a lot or are farther away from the router
  • activities that require a lower bandwidth (e.g., browsing the internet)
  • a sparsely populated living area with low interference from other devices

What is the 5 GHz frequency best suited for?

  • a smaller home or office that doesn’t require broad coverage
  • devices located close to the router
  • activities that require a higher bandwidth (e.g., gaming and HD streaming)
  • a densely populated living area with high interference from other devices

Learn more about the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands.

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

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Which channel bandwidth should I choose?

Channel bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred within a network. The 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies come with with different sets of bandwidths:

  • 2.4 GHz: 20 MHz or 40 MHz
  • 5 GHz: 20 MHz, 40 MHz, or 80 MHz

In theory, higher channel bandwidths mean more data can be transferred. In practice, data transfer rates vary according to the frequency you are on and interference from nearby devices and networks.

The 2.4 GHz frequency – 20 MHz or 40 MHz

In most cases, choose the default 20 MHz, which offers a larger number of non-overlapping channels and higher stability in crowded places. Only use 40 MHz when you are in a remote area with low interference from nearby devices and networks. This lets you take advantage of higher available speeds.

The 5 GHz frequency – 20 MHz, 40 MHz, or 80 MHz

If you are choosing to use the 5 GHz frequency, choose the highest bandwidth available, which is 80 MHz, to take advantage of the higher speed.

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

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Which channels should I choose?

The 2.4 GHz frequency operates 11 channels, while the 5 GHz frequency operates 23 channels. Choosing the right channel can boost your Wi-Fi speed and stability.

The 2.4 GHz frequency

In general, use the default channel 1, 6, or 11. These are the only non-overlapping channels of the 2.4 GHz frequency.

If you are still not getting the Wi-Fi speed and stability you expect, your neighboring networks might be using the same channel as you, leading to network performance drops. In this case, you can install a third-party network analyzer app that searches for available channels.

Disclaimer: ExpressVPN is not affiliated with any third-party network analyzer apps. Use these apps at your own risk.

The 5 GHz frequency

In general, use channel 36, 40, 44, or 48. These channels are suitable for domestic use and least likely to be affected by external interference. You can also install a third-party network analyzer app that searches for the available channels for you to use.

Disclaimer: ExpressVPN is not affiliated with any third-party network analyzer apps. Use these apps at your own risk.

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

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How to hide your network name

If you do not want your router’s network name (SSID) to be visible to your neighbors, you can hide it in your router’s settings.

Note: After hiding your router’s network name, connect your devices to the router using a LAN cable. If your device does not have an Ethernet port (e.g., iPhone), you will need to manually set up a connection in your device’s settings.

Read more about hiding your Wi-Fi network name.

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

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How to change the Wi-Fi settings of the router

  1. Sign in to your router running ExpressVPN.
  2. Select Network Settings > Wi-Fi Settings.
    Select “Wi-Fi Settings.”
  3. Select Advanced settings. Select your preferred options.
  4. Under Other settings, you can enable or disable Hide network name (SSID). Select Save.
    Hide network name is selected under advanced settings.
  5. Select Continue.

It may take a few minutes for your device to detect your updated network. If you are connecting to the router running ExpressVPN using Wi-Fi, wait for the network name to appear in the network list and select it.

If your network does not appear in the network list, you might have selected a Wi-Fi channel that is not available in your region. To resolve this, choose another Wi-Fi channel:

  1. Connect your device to the router using the other Wi-Fi channel bandwidth (2.4 or 5 GHz) or an Ethernet cable.
  2. Sign into your router using ExpressVPN.
  3. Select Network Settings > Wi-Fi Settings > Advanced settings.
  4. Choose another Wi-Fi channel.
  5. Select Save.

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

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