How to set up the ExpressVPN Router App for Netgear R6300v2 and Nighthawk R7000

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

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.


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Download the ExpressVPN firmware
Set up your Netgear router
Flashing your Netgear router
Connect to a different server location
OPTIONAL: Change default SSID/Passwords
OPTIONAL: Manage Devices


Download the ExpressVPN firmware

Begin by downloading the ExpressVPN firmware on your router.

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

ExpressVPN Sign-in screen with Sign In button highlighted.

Click Set Up on More Devices.

ExpressVPN setup screen with Set Up on More Devices button highlighted.

Click on Router on the left side of the screen. On the right, select your router model name, then click Download Firmware.

ExpressVPN setup page with Download Firmware button highlighted.

You will also see your activation code listed on the screen. Keep this tab open or paste your code into a word processor, because you will need to refer to it later.

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

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Set up your Netgear router

Important: ExpressVPN recommends keeping your existing network and adding the ExpressVPN router as a second router. You can do this by connecting an Ethernet cable from your modem to the WAN port of your primary router, then connecting a LAN port on your primary router to the WAN port of the ExpressVPN router.  If you would like to only use the ExpressVPN router, you are recommended to first set up the ExpressVPN router as a secondary router and later 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 antennas 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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Flashing your Netgear router

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.

Go to expressvpnrouter.com, and enter the default login and password, admin and admin.

ExpressVPN router page showing Username and Password fields.

Enter your ExpressVPN activation code and click Activate. You will be connected to the VPN.

ExpressVPN Router page showing activation code field, with Activate button highlighted.

If you were previously not connected to the internet, you will need to plug in an Ethernet cable now.

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, make sure you are disconnected from the VPN.

ExpressVPN connected status bar with Disconnect button highlighted.

Click on Select another location, then click on the location you want to connect to.

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

ExpressVPN location picker with Select another location highlighted.

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

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OPTIONAL: Change default SSID/Passwords

On the VPN tab of the ExpressVPN router dashboard, go to ExpressVPN Help & Support and click the buttons to reset WiFi name (SSID), WiFi password, and router dashboard credentials.

ExpressVPN Router page showing Edit WiFi SSID & Passwords menu.

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

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OPTIONAL: Manage Devices

On the VPN tab of the ExpressVPN router dashboard, go to VPN Options. Scroll to Recently connected devices and select which devices you wish to have protected by VPN or not protected by VPN.

Note: You will not be able to toggle VPN protection on/off for devices connected via a static IP.

ExpressVPN Router page with VPN, VPN Options, and recent devices highlighted.

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

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