This tutorial will teach you how to set up your ExpressVPN router app on the Linksys WRT1200AC.
If you have a Linksys router but are not sure which model it is, see this troubleshooting guide.
- 1 Get your Linksys router
- 2 Download the ExpressVPN firmware
- 3 TECHNICAL: How to flash to the ExpressVPN firmware
- 4 Connect your devices
- 5 Connect to a different server location
- 6 Manage devices connected to the router
- 7 Finding your passwords
- 8 Need help with MediaStreamer?
- 9 I’ve set up my router but cannot connect to the internet
Get your Linksys router
To purchase the Linksys WRT1200AC, please visit the official Linksys website or the official Linksys Amazon page.
Download the ExpressVPN firmware
Sign in to your ExpressVPN account using your email and password.
You will be taken to your account dashboard. Keep this page open. You will need to return here and retrieve your account activation code later.
Select Set Up on More Devices. (On mobile, select Set Up ExpressVPN.)
Select Router, then from the Select your router dropdown, choose Linksys WRT1200AC (see this guide on identifying your model) and hit Download Firmware to start downloading the ExpressVPN firmware.
You will be flashing to this firmware later, so make sure you select the correct firmware for your model.
TECHNICAL: How to flash to the ExpressVPN firmware
Connect your computer to your router using an Ethernet cable. Use any of the four blue ports (labeled 1-4) and not the yellow “Internet” port. If you use a Mac, you may need a USB-C to Ethernet adapter.
While your router is NOT connected to the internet, go to https://www.linksyssmartwifi.com/. You can also access your router setup screen by finding the router’s default gateway.
Check the boxes for “I have read…” and “I want to contribute…”, then click Manual Configuration. You will not see this screen if you have configured your router before.
After loading, you will see a notice: “Internet connection is down.” Click Login to proceed. You will not see this screen if you have configured your router before.
In the “Sign In” screen, enter “admin” then click Sign In.
In the main “Smart Wi-Fi” screen, click Connectivity.
Click Choose File.
Select the ExpressVPN firmware you downloaded before and then click Start.
You will see notifications informing you the firmware is not recognized and updates will require a reboot of your router. Click Yes and Yes to continue.
Once the firmware has been successfully installed, click Ok to initiate the router rebooting.
After the router has rebooted, you should be automatically redirected to www.expressvpnrouter.com. You may need to reconnect to your router’s Wi-Fi.
If you are not redirected, you can access the ExpressVPN router dashboard by entering the router gateway address (e.g., 192.168.1.1, 192.168.132.1, etc.)
To begin the setup process, click Get Started.
If you know your ISP username and password, enter it and click Connect. If not, click My ISP Has No Login.
Paste the account activation code you found before and click Sign In.
You can share crash reports and other anonymous analytics to improve ExpressVPN. Click OK if you agree to share reports.
You will now configure the details for your Wi-Fi network. Enter the Wi-Fi name and Wi-Fi password you want to use and click Continue.
Next, set the router admin password. This is the password you will use to access the ExpressVPN router dashboard.
Click Done to confirm your router administration settings. You may need to reconnect to your router’s Wi-Fi.
You’re advised to keep a record of your router usernames and passwords.
Connect your devices
By default, the ExpressVPN router app will connect you to the best possible VPN location, called Smart Location. This is determined using anonymous metrics such as download speed, latency, and distance.
All devices connected to the internet via your ExpressVPN router (either through cable or Wi-Fi) will have its traffic sent through a secure VPN.
To connect any device to the VPN, plug its network cable into the ExpressVPN router or connect the device to the ExpressVPN router’s Wi-Fi. The network name and password are given as the last two items at the bottom of your router.
You can also change the VPN server location you are connected to or disconnect a device connected to the router by logging in to www.expressvpnrouter.com.
Connect to a different server location
To connect to a different server location, click on the location picker.
Browse through the available locations, then click on a location to connect to it.
You can also use the search bar to search for a location to connect to. Click on a location to connect to it.
Manage devices connected to the router
By default, the ExpressVPN app routes all traffic through the VPN. However, you may configure the app so that only certain connected devices use the VPN.
On the router dashboard, go to the Devices tab.
If Each device uses is set to Router VPN, all connected devices will use the VPN.
If Each device uses is set to Per device, you can select which devices are protected by the VPN.
Finding your passwords
All the passwords you need are written on the bottom of your router. For joining the router wifi:
- SSID/Wifi name: LinksysXXXXX
- SSID/Wifi password:
For logging into www.expressvpnrouter.com
- Router admin password:
Need help with MediaStreamer?
If you are looking to use the MediaStreamer DNS servers, read this article: How to set up DNS on your Linksys router.
I’ve set up my router but cannot connect to the internet
If you have set up your Linksys WRT1200AC according to the instructions above but cannot connect to the internet, please:
- Check your internet cable is plugged into the yellow “Internet” port at the back of the router
- Check your Linksys router is connected to your modem (if the Linksys WRT1200AC is your primary router) or existing router (if you’re using the Linksys WRT1200AC as a “secondary” router)
- Reboot your router and try connecting to the internet again