How to Set Up and Use ExpressVPN on DD-WRT Router

By Novak Bozovic / July 6, 2023

To set up ExpressVPN on a DD-WRT router, you need to download the VPN's OpenVPN files from your ExpressVPN account dashboard. Then, you'll use those files to create a connection from your router to a specific VPN server location.

Before we get started, know that ExpressVPN should work on any DD-WRT router as long as it has 8MB of flash. It's also recommended to use the latest DD-WRT firmware version available, letting you create more secure and more stable VPN connections.

How to Set Up ExpressVPN on DD-WRT Router

Setting up ExpressVPN on your DD-WRT router takes some time, but it's not an overly complex procedure. Here are the steps you need to take:

1. Sign up for ExpressVPN on its official website using any Web browser.

2. Then, click "My Account" in the main menu of ExpressVPN's site. Access your dashboard using your email and password and provide a verification code if needed (from your inbox).

Signing In to ExpressVPN Website

3. Select "Set Up Other Devices" when you access your ExpressVPN dashboard. Then, navigate to "Manual Configuration" on the left using the list of support devices.

4. Make a note of your OpenVPN username and password. Also, pick a VPN server location just beneath and download its OVPN file to your computer. 

ExpressVPN Online Dashboard View for OpenVPN Manual Configuration

5. Now, access your DD-WRT router's admin panel using the IP address (type it in the Address bar of your Web browser and hit 'Enter'). 


If you can’t access your router, re-check its IP using your router’s manual. You can also find your router’s IP on WindowsmacOSAndroid, and iOS.

6. You will be asked for your router’s username and password (both should be 'admin').

7. Select the "Services" tab once you open your router's admin, and then select "VPN." 

8. Under "OpenVPN Client," enable the "Start OpenVPN Client" option.


If you have a DD-WRT version WITH 'User Pass Authentication,' feel free to keep following the steps below. And if you have a DD-WRT version WITHOUT 'User Pass Authentication,' skip the steps below – and just do these installation steps instead

9-A. At this moment, you should be looking at the OpenVPN configuration panel. Fill out the configuration fields as per the information below. 

Setting Up VPN on DD-WRT

Below, you'll find the installation steps for DD-WRT versions WITHOUT 'User Pass Authentication.' If you went through the steps above (for DD-WRT versions WITH 'User Pass Authentication'), skip the following steps and proceed to configure keys and certificates.

9-B. At this moment, you should be looking at the OpenVPN configuration panel. Look for the "Additional Config" field and type in – auth-user-pass /tmp/auth.txt. Then, fill out all the fields in front of you, based on the following. 

10. Look for the "Additional Config" field, and type in what you see in the image below. 

Information for Additional Config Fied DD-WRT

11. Make sure to have the OVPN file opened in the background in a text editor. Then, in the "TLS Auth Key" field, copy everything between <tls-auth> and </tls-auth>.

Copying TLS Keys from ExpressVPN

12. For the "CA Cert" field, copy everything between <ca> and </ca>.

Copying CA Keys from ExpressVPN

13. For the "Public Client Cert," copy everything between <cert> and </cert>.

Copying Certificate Keys from ExpressVPN to DD-WRT

14. And for "Private Client Key," copy everything between <key> and </key>.

Copying Private Key Details from ExpressVPN to DD-WRT

15. Click "Save" and then make sure to click "Apply Settings."


If you have a DD-WRT version without "User Pass Authentication," make sure to navigate to Administration > Commands. Then, enter the following commands: 

  • echo USERNAME HERE > /tmp/auth.txt
  • echo PASSWORD HERE >> /tmp/auth.txt

16. Click on "Save Startup" and go to Administration > Management > Reboot Router. Wait for your DD-WRT router to reboot and establish the newly created VPN connection. 

VPN Connection Status DD-WRT Router

To check if everything works correctly, make sure to navigate to Status > OpenVPN. In the "State" field, there should be a note that reads "Connected Success" – which means your Web connection is now encrypted, and your data runs through your chosen ExpressVPN server.

Final Thoughts

That's it - you've now installed ExpressVPN on DD-WRT, which means all your incoming and outgoing traffic will be protected and encrypted. If you ever wish to use a different server, repeat the steps found above and just download a different OpenVPN file.

Of course, keep in mind that you'll want to use ExpressVPN on to go as well. So, when you're not at home, you can rely on the VPN's client apps. To learn more, here's our guide on how to set up ExpressVPN - covering over 60 different devices and platforms.


Does ExpressVPN Support DD-WRT?

Yes, ExpressVPN supports DD-WRT by allowing you to configure an OpenVPN connection to any of its 3,000 highly secure servers.

Which DD-WRT Router Is Best for ExpressVPN?

The best and the most popular DD-WRT router that works with ExpressVPN is NETGEAR's R6700 router, which comes as a very affordable option.

Of course, many more options exist. Here are the best DD-WRT routers overall. And then, here are the best DD-WRT routers under $50 and under $100.

Which Protocol Does ExpressVPN Use on DD-WRT?

ExpressVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol on DD-WRT. That means you'll get the highest possible protection for your sensitive information and the ability to unblock websites.

Where to Find ExpressVPN's Config File Download?

After you subscribe to ExpressVPN, click "My Account" on its website's home page. Log in, and then navigate to Set Up Other Devices > Manual Configuration. That's where you'll find your OpenVPN credentials (username and password), as well as ExpressVPN's config file downloads for each of its 3,000+ servers.

Should I Use ExpressVPN's Firmware or DD-WRT?

ExpressVPN's own firmware comes with a highly intuitive interface, making it suitable for less experienced users. Going the DD-WRT route is great if you're a more advanced user.

To learn more about the differences between the two, check our guide on how to download, install, and use ExpressVPN on a router.

That would be all on how to set up and use ExpressVPN on DD-WRT. If you have any questions, make sure to post a comment just below. Finally – thank you for reading!

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