How to setup ExpressVPN on your DD-WRT Router

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Note: You will need a DD-WRT firmware that can run the latest VPN configurations and has a minimum of 8 MB of flash.

To set up ExpressVPN on your DD-WRT router, you will first need to download the OpenVPN configuration files. Follow these instructions to configure your router with OpenVPN.

Jump to…

Download the VPN configuration files
Configure your router
Configure your ExpressVPN keys and certificates
Additional steps for older DD-WRT firmware versions


Download the VPN configuration files

Open the Welcome Email you received when you signed up for ExpressVPN. Click the link in the email.

open the welcome email

If you can’t find the link, log in to your account here .

log in to expressvpn.com

Once you’ve clicked the link in the welcome email or logged in to the website, click on Set Up ExpressVPN on the Active Subscriptions page. This will take you to the Downloads page.

set-up-expressvpn

Click on Manual Config on the left side of the screen and then select the OpenVPN tab on the right. You will first see your username and password and then a list of OpenVPN configuration files.

Download and save the .ovpn file(s) or locations (e.g. Los Angeles, New York, etc.) that you wish to connect to.

Note: Please have your username and password ready, as you will be asked to enter them later in the setup process.

new openvpn manual configuration

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Configure your router

On your web browser, go to your router’s settings page (on most DD-WRT routers the default address is http://192.168.1.1

Once in the DD-WRT main control panel, click on the “Services” tab, and then click on the “VPN” sub-tab.

Enable the “Start OpenVPN Client” option. This will reveal the OpenVPN configuration panel where you will enter your settings.

start openvpn client

The next steps depend on whether you’re using a new version of DD-WRT firmware that has User Pass Authentication.

Versions of DD-WRT with User Pass Authentication
Versions of DDWRT without User Pass Authentication

For versions of DD-WRT with User Pass Authentication

If you’re using a version of DD-WRT that has User Pass Authentication, your screen should resemble the screenshot below. Enter the settings for the following fields:

  • Server IP/Name: open the file configuration file you downloaded in a text editor and copy the server address
  • Username: the username you obtained above
  • Password: the password you obtained above

new dd-wrt firmware

For versions of DD-WRT without User Pass Authentication

If you’re using a version of DD-WRT that doesn’t have User Pass Authentication, follow the steps below:

Look for the Additional Config text box and enter the following command: auth-user-pass /tmp/auth.txt

The “Server IP/Name” is the address of the ExpressVPN server location you want to connect to.

You can find your Server IP/Name and Port in the .ovpn config file you downloaded earlier. Next:

  1. Open the .ovpn config file using any text editor.
  2. Copy any of the “remote” server cluster names listed in the config file, and paste it into the Server Address/Port field of the OpenVPN basic control panel.
  3. Do the same for the port.

For the keys and certs, please see the instructions below this section.

copy the server address from the .ovpn config file

Need help? Click here to contact the ExpressVPN Support Team via Live Chat

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Configure your ExpressVPN keys and certificates

In the Additional Config box, enter the following:
persist-key
persist-tun
fragment 1300
mssfix 1450
keysize 256

From the downloaded configuration (.ovpn) file:

Copy-paste the text in between the <tls-auth> and </tls-auth> block into the TLS Auth Key field. See sample image below:

tls auth key sample

Copy-paste the text in between the <ca> and </ca> block into the CA Cert field. See sample image below:

ca crt sample

Copy-paste the text in between the <cert> and </cert> block into the Public Client Cert field.See sample image below:

client crt sample

Copy-paste the text in between the <key> and </key> block into the Private Client Key field. See sample image below:

client key sample

Click on Save, and then click Apply settings to start the connection to the VPN.

For users of DD-WRT without User Pass Authentication, please follow the instructions here.

To check on your connection status, Click on Status > OpenVPN. If you only see blank forms, something must not have been seen properly. You might have to retry. It should look like the screenshot below.

dd wrt open vpn router status

Need help? Click here to contact the ExpressVPN Support Team via Live Chat

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Additional steps for older DD-WRT firmware versions

After configuring the OpenVPN client and saving the settings, go to Administration > Commands and enter the following commands:

echo USERNAMEHERE > /tmp/auth.txt
echo PASSWORDHERE >> /tmp/auth.txt

Click Save Startup.

Go to Administration > Management and click Reboot Router.

Need help? Click here to contact the ExpressVPN Support Team via Live Chat

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