Today, we’ll be reviewing the ExpressVPN Linksys WRT1200AC. This product comes from a collaboration between the two companies, and offers a high-performing Linksys router with military-grade VPN encryption.
Pros and Cons of the ExpressVPN Linksys WRT1200AC
Pros of ExpressVPN Linksys WRT1200AC router:
• High performance VPN connection
• Firewall-based DNS leak protection
• Easy to setup and use
• Ability to tun VPN on or off for each connected device
Cons of ExpressVPN Linksys WRT1200AC router:
• Buying the pre-flashed version is more expensive than getting the stock Linksys WRT1200AC
• Flashing to the ExpressVPN firmware will invalidate the default Linksys hardware warranty
Linksys WRT1200AC Router Specifications:
Let’s take a look at the specs of the Linksys WRT1200AC, from the official Linksys product page:
The Linksys WRT1200AC features a black and blue casing and sports two antennae that are screwed on at the back. A spacious front panel facilitates easy reading of the router’s usage. Overall, the 1200 is quite sturdy, stacks nicely with other Linksys products from the same series, and has plenty of ventilation holes to ensure the router remains cool during peak performance.
Setup and Software:
All of the ports and switches for the 1200 come at the back of the router. These include: one eSATA/USB 2.0 connector, one USB 3.0 port, a power connector, a reset button, a switch, and four Gigabit Ethernet ports. While the many ports available may intimidate less tech-savvy users, you only need to plug in the power cable and an internet cable to use the router.
In our experience, setting up was very straightforward. We plugged in the router, followed ExpressVPN’s setup guides, and were online within 10 minutes.
In terms of software, users who bought the router via Flashrouters will get the 1200 with ExpressVPN’s firmware loaded in. But you’ll still need an active ExpressVPN subscription to use the VPN functions of the router. If you decide not to get an ExpressVPN subscription, you can just use the 1200 as a normal router.
Tech-savvy users looking to save a buck can also get the 1200 from Amazon and then manually flash ExpressVPN’s firmware onto the router. Make sure you’re flashing to the firmware specific to the 1200 since flashing to the wrong firmware will “brick” the router.
In our tests, the 1200 operated very smoothly. It showing plenty of processing power and memory even when running a processor-intensive protocol like OpenVPN, with no noticeable loss of speed.
Using the stock hardware, we noticed the Wi-Fi range is adequate for most residential homes. However, users looking for even wider coverage can replace the stock antennae with higher-end offerings.
The performance of ExpressVPN’s tailor-made VPN app for routers was equally impressive. With the ExpressVPN firmware installed in the router, we went over to www.expressvpnrouter.com and connected to a number of ExpressVPN’s 130+ server locations with no issues.
ExpressVPN offers unlimited server switches, so if your media diet includes a healthy dose of Fox Sports Australia and American Netflix, just switch to a new IP by connecting to a different VPN location, and you’re done!
One of the highlights of the ExpressVPN router app is a nifty feature called “split tunneling.” This lets you turn VPN protection on or off for each of your connected devices. While you might want to save time and connect everything to the VPN, split tunneling is great because it lets you keep VPN protection on devices like your laptop and phone while keeping access to local network devices like your network printer.
Our Verdict on the ExpressVPN Linksys WRT1200AC:
In a word, we think the ExpressVPN Linksys WRT1200AC is a great package. The router from Linksys and the app from ExpressVPN are a joy to use, guards against common issues like DNS leaks, and runs smoothly at all times.
For users looking for a top quality router with industry-leading VPN protection, we highly recommend the ExpressVPN Linksys WRT1200AC.
But don’t just take our word for it! Check out ExpressVPN’s own humorous take on why you should consider a product like the ExpressVPN WRT1200AC!