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How To Use ExpressVPN Port Forwarding in 2024? +Alternatives

expressvpn port forwarding

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs to support port forwarding. But, despite it being a top-quality service with this feature, I would still recommend using PrivateVPN as the better alternative for port forwarding.

or check out the ExpressVPN Port Forwarding Alternatives

Why? The main reason is that ExpressVPN’s router-only port forwarding support is not the most user-friendly solution for most VPN enthusiasts. 

Still, if you’re a tech-savvy user who wants to set up ExpressVPN on their router, you’ve come to the right place. In this concise guide, I’ll go over the step-by-step process of setting up ExpressVPN.  I’ll also discuss more about PrivateVPN and other viable alternatives worth exploring.

Does ExpressVPN Allow Port Forwarding? 

Yes, ExpressVPN supports port forwarding. Unlike its biggest competitors, NordVPN and Surfshark, ExpressVPN enables you to utilize this feature. However, I should note that ExpressVPN only allows port forwarding on routers. 

As none of ExpressVPN’s main apps support port forwarding, you’ll need some technical knowledge to set up ExpressVPN’s router app to open ports. This might be discouraging to casual users who want a more streamlined experience. Additionally, you need a router that’s compatible with ExpressVPN. 

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How To Set Up Port Forwarding With ExpressVPN?

To set up ExpressVPN port forwarding, you’ll first need to have a router compatible with ExpressVPN. The service recommends getting its in-house produced Aircove router, but you can use any of the compatible routers listed on the site.

Once you have a compatible router, here’s how to set up ExpressVPN router port forwarding:

  1. Sign in to your ExpressVPN-compatible router.
ExpressVPN homepage
  1. In the Advanced Settings tab, go to Port Forwarding and choose Add New Rule.
ExpressVPN Port Forwarding rules
  1. Enter the details that include the device, ports, and protocol of your choice.
ExpressVPN Port Forwarding settings
  1. Click on Save to implement the changes.
Saving ExpressVPN Port Forwarding settings

That’s it! If you followed this simple four-step guide, you’ve successfully set up port forwarding on your router. Keep in mind, this setup guide is for routers running ExpressVPN (v2). For routers running the older ExpressVPN (v1), the setup might be slightly different. 

Is ExpressVPN Port Forwarding Good?

Yes, ExpressVPN port forwarding is an excellent feature when set up properly. Plus, the provider’s proprietary Lightway protocol works excellently combined with port forwarding to deliver the fastest and most stable direct connections.

In the broader context of VPNs, ExpressVPN is generally considered a reputable VPN service that prioritizes user privacy and security. It’s been in the industry for well over a decade and has been audited several times in recent years. So, it’s a very safe premium pick for any privacy-conscious user looking for a robust VPN for port forwarding.

Read next: ExpressVPN Review.

What Are ExpressVPN Port Forwarding Alternatives?

As ExpressVPN only supports port forwarding on its routers, it’s understandable that not all users find it a suitable pick. If you don’t have a compatible router, you’ll have to get one first. This only adds to the overall cost of port forwarding with ExpressVPN.

With that in mind, if you’re looking for alternative solutions, here are a few other port-forwarding VPNs worth considering:

  • PrivateVPN — After comparing the top services in this aspect, I’ve found that PrivateVPN is the best VPN for port forwarding in 2024. It’s a very flexible VPN for port forwarding, as it offers servers that allow you to open random single ports or all ports at once. 
  • PureVPN — PureVPN is a great port-forwarding VPN for users who want a more applied approach. It lets you manually open specific ports one by one, or open all ports with one press of a button. The only downside compared to my top pick PrivateVPN is that PureVPN applies an extra $0.99 charge for its port forwarding feature.
  • Private Internet Access — PIA’s intuitive apps make port forwarding easy and streamlined. Simple settings allow you to quickly pick the optimal servers for port forwarding. However, unlike the two previously-mentioned options, Private Internet Access doesn’t support port forwarding on any of its US servers. 
  • TorGuard — With its reliable security and privacy features, TorGuard is a popular choice for torrenting. Compared to ExpressVPN, it’s also a more user-friendly VPN for port forwarding, as it includes this feature in its apps. TorGuard’s price plans can vary based on the extent of the offered features, but each of them includes port forwarding.

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ExpressVPN Port Forwarding FAQs:

Which ports does ExpressVPN use?

ExpressVPN doesn’t disclose a lot of data on the ports it uses. However, the provider’s support confirmed that the service uses the following ports for both OpenVPN and Lightway:

  • TCP443
  • UDP1194
  • UDP1198
  • UDP10088 to UDP10098
  • UDP10188 to UDP10198
  • TCP10288 to TCP10298

Does ExpressVPN have port forwarding?

Yes, ExpressVPN has port forwarding. However, this feature is only available on ExpressVPN-compatible routers. The service doesn’t include a port forwarding feature on any of its apps.

Is port forwarding with ExpressVPN safe?

Port forwarding with ExpressVPN is safe. However, it’s essential to understand the potential risks. Port forwarding opens specific ports on your device, potentially exposing it to incoming traffic. If not managed carefully, it could lead to security risks.

Do I need port forwarding with ExpressVPN?

In most cases, you do not need port forwarding with ExpressVPN for typical VPN usage. Port forwarding is only necessary if you want to allow specific external devices or services to connect directly to your device or network while using the VPN. 

Do you need Express VPN port forwarding when torrenting?

No, you don’t need ExpressVPN port forwarding when torrenting.  If you are just downloading and uploading torrents like a regular user, port forwarding is typically not required, and your torrent client should function without any issues.

What routers does ExpressVPN support for port forwarding?

ExpressVPN, supports Aircove, Asus (RT-AC56R, RT-AC56S, RT-AC56U, RT-AC68U, RT-AC87U), Linksys (EA6200, WRT1200AC, WRT1900AC 13J1, WRT1900AC 13J2, WRT1900ACS, WRT1900ACS V2, WRT3200ACM, WRT32X), and Netgear (R6300v2, R6400v2, R6700v3, R7000, R7000P).

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