How to Share Your ExpressVPN Connection From Windows

If you have devices that don’t support running VPN services natively, there are still methods to cover those as well. With that said, you’ll want to know how to share your ExpressVPN connection from your Windows PC. And yes – that’s precisely what we’ll show you.

Note

The following instructions apply to Windows 10 and Windows 8. If you use an earlier version of this operating system, ExpressVPN strongly recommends you upgrade your system to ensure a stable and leak-free VPN environment. 

1. The first step would be to sign up for ExpressVPN.

2. You’ll land on ExpressVPN’s website, where you need to click on 'Get ExpressVPN.'

3. Select a subscription plan (go for a long-term plan if you’re after a discount). 

4. Then, provide your email address and finalize the sign-up procedure. 

5. Now, proceed to install the ExpressVPN app on your Windows computer.

6. Once you install the ExpressVPN app, don’t forget to launch it and log in

7. Make sure that the app is ready – but DON’T connect to a server just yet. 

Important

The following steps apply to those who want to share their ExpressVPN connection from Windows 10. In case you use Windows 8, feel free to jump directly to these steps.

8. Launch the Start Menu and select 'Settings.'

9. Then, navigate to Network & Internet > Mobile Hotspot

Enabling Mobile Hotspot on Windows 10

10. Flip the switch just underneath the 'Mobile Hotspot' heading. It should say 'ON.'

11. Also, make sure to pick 'Wi-Fi' underneath 'Share My Internet Connection From.'

Sharing from Wi-Fi via Mobile Hotspot on Windows 10

12. You need to set up a new Internet connection, so click on 'Edit.'

13. Select the 'Change Adapter Options' link in the 'Related Settings' group. 

14. At this moment, you should be looking at your network connections (a grid of icons). 

15. First, note the name of your newly created connection

Accessing Network Connections on Windows

Tip

As you can see from the screenshots, we’ve created a connection called 'Local Area Connection *11.' Make sure to know the name of the connection you’ve created, and don’t confuse it with ExpressVPN’s virtual adapter that we’re about to use. 

16. Now, right-click on 'ExpressVPN TAP Adapter' and pick 'Properties.'

ExpressVPN TAP Adapter Properties Screen

17. Select 'Sharing' and check the first box you’ll see there (enabling Internet sharing).

18. Then, make sure to pick the name of the newly created Internet connection. 

Setting VPN Sharing on Windows 10

19. To apply the changes, click on 'OK,' and the 'Properies’ window will close. 

Important

If you're on Windows 10, you can now proceed to initialize a VPN connection and start sharing your Internet connection with other devices. In other words, the following steps apply to Windows 8 only!

20. If you’re on Windows 8, you first need to check if your PC is compatible. 

21. Press the Windows key + S to launch the search bar.

22. Type in 'CMD,' right-click on 'Command Prompt' and pick 'Run as Administrator.'

Windows 8 Search Bar Showing Command Prompt

23. In the Command Prompt, type in "netsh wlan show drivers" and hit Enter

Checking Network Drivers Command Prompt

24. Check for a note saying, "Hosted network supported: YES." 

Checking the Support for Hosted Networks via Command Prompt

Tip

If you see the message mentioned just above, that means your device is compatible. So, feel free to proceed with the following steps. However, if your Windows PC isn't compatible, it can’t act as a virtual router. As a way to overcome this problem, you might want to update your drivers.

25. Now, type the following command in the Command Prompt – "netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=NETWORKNAME key=PASSWORD" and press Enter. However, keep in mind that you need to choose a name for your network for the 'SSID' bit, and for the 'key' bit, you need to create a password for your network.  

Creating Virtual Router on Windows via Command Prompt

26. Wait a couple of seconds, and you should see a series of confirmation messages

Virtual Router Created Sucessfully

27. Now, it's time to initialize the newly created virtual router using the Command Prompt.

28. Type in "netsh wlan start hostednetwork" and press the Enter key to confirm. 

Initializing Shared Network on Windows via Command Prompt

29. Wait a couple of seconds, and you should see a confirmation message

Shared Network Initialized via Command Prompt Sucessfully

30. Now, press the Windows key + R, type in "ncpa.cpl" and press Enter

31. Right-click on 'ExpressVPN TAP Adapter' and pick 'Properties.'

Accessing ExpressVPN TAP Options

32. Select 'Sharing' and check the first box you’ll see there. Then, press 'OK.'

Sharing Internet Connection on Windows 8

33. And also, pick the newly created Wi-Fi connection from the dropdown menu.

Important

No matter if you use Windows 10 or Windows 8, your PC is now ready to start sharing a VPN connection. So, the following steps apply to all ExpressVPN users, no matter the Windows version you might run. 

34. Launch the ExpressVPN app on your Windows PC, and wait until it fully opens. 

35. Then, press the ON/OFF switch to connect to the nearest server

36. Once the app’s interface turns green, your VPN connection will become active. 

37. From this moment on, your Windows PC will start sharing your VPN connection. 

38. To connect to a different server, use the button below the ON/OFF switch

39. Pick any server’s name and double-click on it. You’ll re-connect automatically. 

Tip

Keep in mind that as long as your ExpressVPN connection is active, your other devices will use that VPN connection (as long as it gets shared). Once you disconnect, your other devices will lose their Web connectivity. Therefore, your computer needs to be on while Internet sharing is active. 

40. Finally, let’s show you how to disable your newly created virtual router. 

41. On Windows 10, go to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Hotspot

42. Then, flip the switch you'll see there (to 'OFF').

43. On Windows 8, launch the Command Prompt once again. 

44. Then, type in "netsh wlan stop hostednetwork." That’s it!

That would be all on how to share your ExpressVPN connection from your Windows PC. In case you have any questions or doubts, make sure to post your comment just below. You can be sure that we’ll respond in a timely manner. And lastly, thank you for reading!

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