How to setup ExpressVPN on your DD-WRT Router

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Note: You will need the Mega or Big builds DD-WRT firmware for this to work.

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
Optional (but highly recommended): Set the Static DNS on your router
Set DNSMasq options


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

download openvpn configuration files

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

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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

Enter the settings as shown in the screenshot below.

openvpn client settings for dd wrt router

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. Open the .ovpn config file using any text editor. 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. 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

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.

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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Optional (but highly recommended): Set the Static DNS on your router

Now let’s set the Static DNS for your router. Under Setup > Basic Setup, find the section for Network Address Server Settings (DHCP). Set the Static DNS 1, Static DNS 2, and Static DNS 3 using any combination of the following:

Google DNS: 8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4 (not recommended if Google is blocked where you are)
Neustar DNS Advantage: 156.154.70.1, 156.154.71.1
Level 3: 209.244.0.3, 209.244.0.4
Norton ConnectSafe: 199.85.126.10, 199.85.127.10

change the static DNS

Click Save > Apply Settings to connect your router to the new VPN server.

For any further details about using your DD-WRT router, please refer to the guide provided with your FlashRouter.

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

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Set DNSMasq options

Under Services > Services, find the section for DNSMasq. In the field for Additional DNSMasq Options, enter the following:

dhcp-option=6, 8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4, 199.85.126.10, 199.85.127.10

You can replace Google DNS with these other Public DNS addresses:

Google DNS: 8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4 (not recommended if Google is blocked where you are)
Neustar DNS Advantage: 156.154.70.1, 156.154.71.1
Level 3: 209.244.0.3, 209.244.0.4
Norton ConnectSafe: 199.85.126.10, 199.85.127.10

This will tell all devices connected to the router to use the specified list of DNS servers to ensure that all DNS goes through the VPN tunnel.

set dnsmasq

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

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