Boost Your Connection: ExpressVPN OpenWRT Setup Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on setting up ExpressVPN on OpenWRT routers. As our lives become increasingly reliant on the internet, it’s crucial to ensure that your online activity is private and secure. By installing ExpressVPN on your OpenWRT router, you can enjoy enhanced privacy and security for all devices on your network.

In this guide, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to set up ExpressVPN on OpenWRT routers, including optimizing the VPN connection for faster speeds and troubleshooting common issues. We’ll also discuss the benefits of using ExpressVPN on OpenWRT, such as bypassing geo-restrictions and preventing ISP throttling.

So, whether you’re a tech-savvy user or new to the world of VPNs, this guide will help you get the most out of ExpressVPN on your OpenWRT router. Let’s get started!

What is ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN is a popular Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that enables users to create a secure and private connection to the internet. When using ExpressVPN, your online activity is hidden from prying eyes, including your internet service provider (ISP), hackers, and government surveillance.

One of the key features of ExpressVPN is its ability to encrypt your internet traffic, protecting your personal information and ensuring that your privacy is maintained. With 256-bit AES encryption, ExpressVPN makes it virtually impossible for anyone to intercept and read your data.

ExpressVPN has a large network of servers in over 90 countries, allowing you to connect to the internet from virtually anywhere in the world. This is particularly useful for accessing geo-restricted content, such as streaming services and websites that are blocked in certain regions.

Overall, ExpressVPN is a reliable and secure VPN service that offers a wide range of features to protect your online privacy and security.

Why Use OpenWRT?

If you’re looking to take your network to the next level, OpenWRT is the way to go. This open-source firmware can be installed on a wide range of routers, giving you greater control over your network settings and performance. Here are some of the key advantages of using OpenWRT:

Advantages of OpenWRT
Customization: OpenWRT allows you to customize your network settings to your exact specifications, giving you greater control over everything from bandwidth allocation to VPN settings.
Performance: With OpenWRT, you can boost your network performance by optimizing your router’s settings. This includes everything from disabling unnecessary services to overclocking your router’s CPU for faster processing speeds.
Security: OpenWRT is known for its strong security measures, including built-in firewalls and support for VPNs. By using OpenWRT, you can help keep your network safe from hackers and other threats.

Overall, OpenWRT is an excellent choice for anyone who wants more control over their network. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or just looking to improve your connection speeds, OpenWRT can help you achieve your goals.

Setting Up ExpressVPN on OpenWRT

Setting up ExpressVPN on OpenWRT routers is a straightforward process that can be completed in just a few steps. Follow the guide below to get started.

Step 1: Install Required Packages

The first step is to install the necessary packages on your OpenWRT router. Connect to your router’s web interface and navigate to System > Software. In the “Download and install package” field, enter the following package names:

Package Name Version
openvpn-openssl >=2.4.7-3

Click “OK” to start the installation process. This may take a few minutes to complete.

Step 2: Download ExpressVPN Configuration Files

Next, download the ExpressVPN configuration files from the ExpressVPN website. Log in to your account and navigate to the “Set Up Other Devices” section. Click the “Manual Config” button and select “OpenVPN.” Download the configuration files for the server location you want to connect to, then extract the files to an easily accessible location on your computer.

Step 3: Configure OpenVPN

Once the necessary packages are installed and the configuration files are downloaded, it’s time to configure OpenVPN on your router. Connect to your router’s web interface and navigate to Network > Interfaces. Click “Add new interface.”

In the “General Settings” section, enter a name for the new interface (e.g., “VPN”). Under “Protocol,” select “Unmanaged.” In the “Covered networks” field, enter the IP address range that you want to route through the VPN.

Next, navigate to the “Physical Settings” section. Under “Device Configuration,” select the network interface that connects to the internet (e.g., “WAN”). Under “Firewall Settings,” select “Create / Assign firewall-zone” and enter a name for the new firewall zone (e.g., “VPN”).

Click “Save and Apply” to create the new interface. Then, navigate to Services > OpenVPN and click “Enable” to start the OpenVPN service.

Step 4: Configure ExpressVPN

Finally, it’s time to configure ExpressVPN on your router. Connect to your router’s web interface and navigate to Services > VPN. Click “Add” to add a new VPN client.

Under “General Settings,” enter a name for the new VPN client (e.g., “ExpressVPN”). Under “Protocol,” select “UDP.” Under “Server address,” enter the hostname or IP address of the server you want to connect to (e.g., “”).

Under “OpenVPN Client,” click “Choose File” and select the .ovpn file from the configuration files you downloaded earlier. Enter your ExpressVPN username and password in the “Username” and “Password” fields.

Click “Save and Apply” to save the VPN client configuration. Then, click “Connect” to establish the VPN connection.

That’s it! Your ExpressVPN connection is now set up on your OpenWRT router.

Optimizing ExpressVPN for OpenWRT

Once you have set up ExpressVPN on your OpenWRT router, there are additional optimizations you can apply to improve your connection speed and security.

Changing ExpressVPN Protocols

ExpressVPN comes with several protocols that you can use to connect to the VPN. By default, ExpressVPN uses the UDP protocol, which is fast and efficient but can be less stable on some networks. If you experience frequent disconnections or slow speeds, consider switching to the TCP protocol, which is slower but more reliable. You can change the ExpressVPN protocol in the OpenWRT web interface under the VPN client settings.

Enabling Split Tunneling

Split tunneling is a feature that allows you to choose which apps or devices on your network use the VPN connection and which ones do not. This can be useful if you want to use the VPN for specific tasks, like streaming or torrenting, while allowing other devices to access the internet directly. To enable split tunneling on ExpressVPN for OpenWRT, you can use the Custom Configuration field in the VPN client settings to add the “route-nopull” command, followed by the IP addresses of the devices or apps you want to exclude from the VPN connection.

Adjusting MTU Settings

The maximum transmission unit (MTU) is the maximum size of data packets that can be transmitted over your network. If the MTU is set too high, it can cause performance issues and connection drops. To optimize ExpressVPN for OpenWRT, you can adjust the MTU settings in the VPN client settings. A good starting point is to set the MTU to 1400, but you may need to experiment with different values to find the optimal setting for your network.

Disabling IPv6

IPv6 is a newer version of the internet protocol that is designed to replace IPv4. While IPv6 can provide some benefits over IPv4, it can also cause connectivity issues with some VPN services, including ExpressVPN. If you experience problems with your ExpressVPN connection on OpenWRT, you can try disabling IPv6 in the network settings. This can be done by accessing your router’s web interface and navigating to the Network > Interfaces page. From there, select your WAN interface and click the Edit button. Scroll down to the Advanced Settings section and select “Override automatic DNS” and “IPv6 Assignment” to “Disable”.

By following these optimizations, you can ensure that your ExpressVPN connection on OpenWRT is fast, secure, and reliable.

Troubleshooting ExpressVPN on OpenWRT

While setting up and using ExpressVPN on OpenWRT routers is generally straightforward, users may still encounter issues. Here are some common problems users may face, along with troubleshooting tips to resolve them.

Connection Problems

If you are having trouble connecting to the VPN server, first ensure that the server you are attempting to connect to is not undergoing maintenance or experiencing downtime. You can check the status of ExpressVPN servers on their website.

If the server is online and you are still unable to connect, try switching to a different server location. Some servers may be experiencing a high volume of traffic, causing slow or failed connections.

If you are still having issues, try restarting your router and devices. If this does not resolve the issue, contact ExpressVPN support for assistance.

Slow Connection Speeds

If you are experiencing slow connection speeds, first ensure that you are connected to a server location that is geographically close to you.

Additionally, try optimizing your connection by enabling the “Fastest server” option in the ExpressVPN app and using the “OpenVPN UDP” protocol.

If you are still experiencing slow speeds, try rebooting your router and devices and connecting to a different server location with less traffic.

DNS Leaks

A DNS leak can occur when your device uses your ISP’s DNS server instead of the encrypted server provided by the VPN. This can compromise your online privacy and security.

To prevent DNS leaks, use ExpressVPN’s built-in DNS server or set up a custom DNS server. You can also disable IPv6 connectivity in your network settings to prevent IPv6 leaks.

If you suspect a DNS leak, you can use a DNS leak test tool to verify your DNS settings.

Other Issues

If you encounter any other issues while using ExpressVPN on OpenWRT, check the ExpressVPN support site for troubleshooting tips and solutions. If you are still unable to resolve the issue, contact ExpressVPN support for assistance.

Securing Your OpenWRT Router

Using OpenWRT firmware on your router already provides a level of security and customization options. However, additional measures can be taken to further secure your network and devices.

One important step is to change the default login credentials for your router. This includes both the username and password. Using a strong and unique password is crucial in preventing unauthorized access to your network.

Enabling WPA2 encryption for your wireless network also adds an extra layer of security. This ensures that all data transmitted between your devices and router is encrypted and cannot be intercepted by third parties.

It’s also recommended to disable WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup). While WPS was designed to simplify the process of connecting devices to a wireless network, it has been found to have security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.

Finally, regularly updating your OpenWRT firmware and applications, such as ExpressVPN, is important in keeping your network and devices secure. These updates often include bug fixes and security patches.

Benefits of ExpressVPN on OpenWRT

Setting up ExpressVPN on OpenWRT routers offers numerous benefits that go beyond just enhancing your online privacy. Here are just a few of the advantages:

Advantage Description
Bypass Geo-Restrictions With ExpressVPN, you can access content that may be geographically restricted, such as streaming services and websites.
Prevent ISP Throttling By encrypting your traffic, ExpressVPN prevents your internet service provider from throttling your connection based on your online activities.
Enhanced Privacy ExpressVPN encrypts your internet traffic, making it more difficult for hackers, governments, or other third parties to spy on your online activities.
Customization Options OpenWRT firmware allows for greater customization of your router’s settings and network configurations.
Improved Network Performance OpenWRT firmware can help improve your router’s performance and stability, leading to a better overall internet experience.

By combining the powerful features of ExpressVPN with the flexibility and customization options provided by OpenWRT firmware, you can create a high-performance, secure, and versatile network that meets your unique needs.

ExpressVPN vs. Other VPN Services on OpenWRT

When it comes to VPN services on OpenWRT, there are a few options available. However, ExpressVPN stands out from the crowd due to its exceptional speed, security, and reliability.

Compared to other VPN services, ExpressVPN offers a larger network of servers in more countries, which allows for greater flexibility when selecting a virtual location. Additionally, ExpressVPN uses advanced encryption protocols like OpenVPN, ensuring a secure and private connection.

While some VPNs may offer comparable features, ExpressVPN’s user-friendly interface and 24/7 customer support set it apart from the competition. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user, ExpressVPN offers an intuitive and adaptable product that caters to your specific needs.

Finally, ExpressVPN has a no-logs policy, which ensures that your personal information and online activities remain private and secure. Other VPNs may claim to have the same policy, but ExpressVPN has proven its commitment to this principle through third-party audits and transparency reports.

Overall, if you want the best VPN service for your OpenWRT router, ExpressVPN is the clear choice. Its speed, security, and ease of use make it the top contender among other VPN services.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I set up ExpressVPN on any OpenWRT router?

A: ExpressVPN is compatible with most OpenWRT routers. However, some older models may not be able to handle the VPN connection or may require additional configuration. Check the ExpressVPN website for a list of supported routers.

Q: Do I need to be tech-savvy to set up ExpressVPN on OpenWRT?

A: While some technical knowledge is helpful, setting up ExpressVPN on OpenWRT is relatively straightforward. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions in Section 4. If you have any issues, consult the troubleshooting tips in Section 6 or seek help from the ExpressVPN support team.

Q: Will setting up ExpressVPN on OpenWRT slow down my internet connection?

A: Using a VPN can decrease connection speeds due to the encryption process. However, ExpressVPN is designed to minimize any impact on performance, and OpenWRT’s customizable firmware can help optimize your connection. Refer to Section 5 for tips on optimizing ExpressVPN for OpenWRT.

Q: Can I use ExpressVPN on OpenWRT to bypass geo-restrictions?

A: Yes! ExpressVPN allows you to connect to servers in different countries, giving you access to content that may be blocked in your region. Refer to Section 8 for more information on the benefits of using ExpressVPN on OpenWRT.

Q: Is ExpressVPN secure on OpenWRT?

A: Yes! ExpressVPN uses military-grade encryption to protect your online activity, and OpenWRT’s customizable firmware allows you to implement additional security measures to further protect your network and devices. Refer to Section 7 for tips on securing your OpenWRT router.

Q: Can I use ExpressVPN on OpenWRT with other VPN services?

A: While it is possible to use multiple VPN services simultaneously, it is not recommended as it can cause conflicts and decrease performance. Refer to Section 9 for a comparison of ExpressVPN to other VPN services available for OpenWRT.

Q: How can I get help if I have issues setting up or using ExpressVPN on OpenWRT?

A: If you have any issues, consult the troubleshooting tips in Section 6 or seek help from the ExpressVPN support team. Additionally, the OpenWRT community provides support through forums and documentation. Refer to Section 12 for additional resources.


Setting up ExpressVPN on your OpenWRT router is a simple yet effective way to boost your connection speed and enhance your online security and privacy. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article and implementing the recommended optimizations, you can enjoy a seamless and secure VPN experience.

Whether you want to bypass geo-restrictions, prevent ISP throttling, or simply protect your sensitive data, ExpressVPN on OpenWRT has got you covered. With its easy-to-use interface, top-notch customer support, and wide range of features, ExpressVPN is a reliable choice for those looking to take control of their online presence.

If you have any further questions or concerns about ExpressVPN on OpenWRT, be sure to check out the FAQ section of this article or visit the additional resources listed below.


Additional Resources

Looking for more information on setting up ExpressVPN on your OpenWRT router? Check out these helpful resources:

  • ExpressVPN Support Center: The official ExpressVPN support center offers a wealth of information on setting up and troubleshooting the VPN service. You can access the center by logging in to your ExpressVPN account.
  • OpenWRT Wiki: The OpenWRT wiki contains a wealth of user-contributed knowledge on configuring and customizing the OpenWRT firmware.
  • OpenWRT Forums: The OpenWRT forums are a great source of support and information, with a helpful community of users and developers ready to assist with any questions or issues.
  • ExpressVPN Blog: The ExpressVPN blog offers regular updates and information on the latest privacy and security news, as well as tips and tutorials for getting the most out of the VPN service.

About ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a leading provider of virtual private network (VPN) services, offering users a secure and reliable way to protect their online activity from prying eyes. With servers located in over 90 countries around the world, ExpressVPN provides users with the ability to bypass geo-restrictions and access content that may be blocked in their region.

Founded in 2009 and based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN has gained a reputation for its commitment to user privacy and security. The company operates under a strict no-logs policy, meaning that it does not collect or store any user activity logs, providing users with enhanced privacy and protection.

ExpressVPN is also committed to providing users with fast and reliable connections, with its proprietary Lightway protocol designed to deliver faster speeds and greater reliability than traditional VPN protocols. With 24/7 customer support and easy-to-use apps for a range of devices, ExpressVPN is a popular choice for users seeking high-quality VPN services.


Q: Can ExpressVPN be used with any OpenWRT router?

A: ExpressVPN can be set up on most OpenWRT routers. However, it is recommended to check the compatibility list provided by ExpressVPN to ensure your router model is supported.

Q: How do I install ExpressVPN on my OpenWRT router?

A: To install ExpressVPN on your OpenWRT router, you will need to download and install the necessary packages provided by ExpressVPN. Step-by-step instructions can be found in the ExpressVPN setup guide.

Q: Can I use ExpressVPN on multiple devices connected to my OpenWRT router?

A: Yes, once you have set up ExpressVPN on your OpenWRT router, any device connected to the router will be protected by the VPN. This means that all devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, can benefit from the privacy and security provided by ExpressVPN.

Q: Will using ExpressVPN on my OpenWRT router slow down my internet connection?

A: While using a VPN may slightly decrease your internet speed due to the encryption process, ExpressVPN is known for its optimized servers and fast connection speeds. You should still be able to enjoy a reliable and fast internet connection with ExpressVPN on your OpenWRT router.

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