Reply

Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

big_river
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

Ok, I was able to successfully upload the ExpressVPN firmware. What a pita. I used a direct ethernet connection and nmrpflash (https://github.com/jclehner/nmrpflash/releases/tag/v0.9.13), and it worked like a charm. Follow the instructions in the readme, and you should be ok.

 

I'm on macOS, so I logged into Terminal and made sure I had his OSX file (https://github.com/jclehner/nmrpflash/releases/download/v0.9.13/nmrpflash-0.9.13-osx.zip) and the ExpressVPN firmware in the same directory. Then you:

1) unplug your router

2) run the nmrpflash -L to find which network interface to use. Mine was en3, so my command ended up being: 

sudo /path/nmrpflash -i en3 -f expressvpn-netgear-r7000-v1.3.6.chk 

where /path/ is the directory where the files are. 

3) plug the router back in

 

I kept getting "Timeout while waiting for TFTP_UL_REQ." errors. After some googling I stumbled across a DD-WRT pdf (https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/download.php?id=42046), which provided the breakthrough - as soon as you get the timeout warning, you have to quickly arrow up and hit enter (i.e., run the exact same nmrpflash command). It automagically loads the ExpressVPN firmware. Reboot the router, and then go to expressvpnrouter.com, login, and go. Username / password was admin/admin, I believe.

 

Also, the folks that were telling you that you can't run this behind another modem / router are flat-out wrong. I have the exact same configuration that nibert was trying to set up, and it all works fine after I was able to get the firmware loaded onto the router. 

 

Good luck. 

Message 26 of 43
big_river
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

Sorry, I need to clarify something, and I can't figure out how to edit the original post. 

 

I'm on macOS, so I logged into Terminal and made sure I had his OSX file (https://github.com/jclehner/nmrpflash/releases/download/v0.9.13/nmrpflash-0.9.13-osx.zip) and the ExpressVPN firmware in the same directory. Then you:

1) run the nmrpflash -L to find which network interface to use. Mine was en3, so my command to flash the new firmware ended up being: 

sudo /path/nmrpflash -i en3 -f expressvpn-netgear-r7000-v1.3.6.chk 

where /path/ is the directory where the files are. 

2) unplug your router

3) run your respective command. In my case it was: sudo /path/nmrpflash -i en3 -f expressvpn-netgear-r7000-v1.3.6.chk 

4) plug the router back in

Message 27 of 43
Aurelius2010
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

Have got exactly the same issue as the original post. Reluctant to try the nmrpflash approach, if anyone has any other suggestions I would appreciate it. My next attempt will be to try updating the firmware with cable connected rather than over wifi, that is when I get around finding an ethernet adaptor for my MacBook Pro .....
Model: R7000|Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router
Message 28 of 43
Lucas10
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

same problem here. I will return the router without a solution as this was purchased only for expressvpn

Message 29 of 43
Lucas10
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

Do you think the firmware can be installed using a TFTP client?

Model: R7000|Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router
Message 30 of 43

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade


@Aurelius2010 wrote:
My next attempt will be to try updating the firmware with cable connected rather than over wifi, that is when I get around finding an ethernet adaptor for my MacBook Pro .....

Good thinking. Trying any complicated move, even something as basic as a firmware update, is best done with a wired connection and using local files.

 

Given how flaky wifi can be, asking an update to use wifi and retrieve files from the internet is fraught with dangers, especially when the process you are trying to carry out involves messing around with the internet connection.

 

If you look at the release notes for Netgear's firmware, it usually suggests using a wired connection.

 

 

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 31 of 43

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade


@Lucas10 wrote:

Do you think the firmware can be installed using a TFTP client?


If the objective is to put third party firmware, from ExpressVPN for example, on a router then my inclination would be to ask the people who created it, ExpressVPN, for advice on something like this.

 

I see no results there if I search for tftp.

 

Is there self-support group, like this one, for ExpressVPN? I can't find one.

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 32 of 43
Aurelius2010
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

Agree this is more ExpressVPN issue than Netgear. I've been on LiveChat support with ExpressVPN four times asking a simple question "what out of the box Netgear firmware version has the ExpressVPN firmware known to have updated successfully". No clear answer, and not really any help at all.

 

I do feel like ExpressVPN should remove the R7000 as one of their supported routers which does make it a Netgear issue as they will lose some sales.

 

For now I will not be making as big a commitment to ExpressVPN as I had originally planned. Will stick to month to month commitment and occasional VPN usage.

Message 33 of 43
windowsdan
Tutor

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

There is an easy fix for this:

 

  • Just download the R7000 DD WRT firmware and update through the netgear firmware update page.
  • You might need the mod one if you're on a new Netgear firmware and it needs to be a firmware that has its version number higher than the one you're flashing over. (link for convenience Github dd-wrt.K3_R7000_mod)
  • Then when rebooted and in DD WRT you can go straight to firmware update and load the ExpressVPN firmware (latest) just fine. (see note below)

 

NOTE:

If you want any port forwarding the ExpressVPN firmware does not have this feature so set it up in DD WRT first and when updating the firmware make sure "keep settings" is used. This will allow the port forwarding to carry over to the ExpressVPN firmware even if you then can't manage it.

 

Model: R7000|Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router
Message 34 of 43
TheWiz
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

Hello ,I think I download  ExpressVPN to my R7000 Router how can I tell if ExpressVPM is on my R7000 Router

 

Thank you for your time and help

Model: R7000|AC1900 Smart WIFI Router
Message 35 of 43
windowsdan
Tutor

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

You will access it via
expressvpnrouter.com

This should have ExpressVPN branding all over every page and it'd be very noticeable!
Message 36 of 43
MsBratty
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

ExpressVPN now has a beta version that works for the Nighthawk TA ending in R3.  I don't know what the issue was, but after 3 techs they finally gave me the latest version 0.2.25 and it worked!

 

this is the file name:  xv-netgear-r7000-v0.2.25.chk

Model: R7000|AC1900 Smart WIFI Router
Message 37 of 43
windowsdan
Tutor

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

Where did you get that file from though as the 1.3.6 is still the current version on their website?

 

Also are you should you're not going backwards as 0.2.25 seems earlier than 1.3.6 ??

Message 38 of 43
Lucas10
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

It did not work with my Nighthawk TA ending in R3 unfortunately.

Message 39 of 43
babbles_doflkor
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

I had the exact same problem as you. It's pretty easy to solve by taking an extra step: install the dd-wrt firmware on the router first, and then from dd-wrt install the expressvpn firmware. At the time of writing the latest dd-wrt for the Nighthawk R7000 was this one: ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2019/06-30-2019-r40167/netgear-r7000/
Model: R7000|AC1900 Smart WIFI Router
Message 40 of 43
KW1994
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

I am having the same issue , specifically got that router per express VPN

Message 41 of 43
windowsdan
Tutor

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

There is an easy fix for this:

Please see my previous post for solution...
Message 42 of 43
gnorris
Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk R7000 ExpressVPN Firmware Upgrade

It would appear that Express VPN are promoting their product with the Netgear R7000, which is currently not fit for purpose. Installation and fixes, should not be this difficult. Being first to market only works, if the end product resolves an issue, rather than creates one.
Message 43 of 43
Top Contributors
Discussion stats
Announcements

Orbi WiFi 6E