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Saturday, April 20, 2024

ExpressVPN Launches Aircove in the UK: World’s First Wi-Fi 6 Router with Built-In VPN Protection

Today, ExpressVPN, a leading consumer privacy and security company, announces the UK launch of ExpressVPN Aircove, featuring new features that enhance security and speed for users. Aircove stands as the world’s first and only Wi-Fi 6 router with built-in VPN functionality, providing a user interface tailored for families seeking comprehensive protection. Developed by the same security experts behind ExpressVPN’s award-winning VPN software, Aircove offers users effortless home security with VPN protection right out of the box.

With Aircove, users can safeguard and encrypt every device in their homes within minutes, including smart TVs, voice assistants, and other smart home devices typically incompatible with VPN software. After its initial release in the US in 2022, Aircove is now available to customers in the UK.

This becomes particularly significant as 81% of Brits currently use smart devices for entertainment purposes, such as Smart TVs and streaming devices. Additionally, nearly a third rely on smart devices for building safety, utilizing smart cameras, house alarms, or smoke detectors. Alarming research reveals that 98% of all IoT device traffic remains unencrypted, posing a risk of potential data breaches via devices like baby monitors or other smart home gadgets.

Harold Li, Vice President of ExpressVPN, commented on the launch, stating, “The use of smart devices is growing significantly,  according to a recent study the average UK home now containing nine connected devices. By 2030, it is projected that there could be up to 50 billion IoT devices used worldwide. When you add traditional devices like laptops, tablets, and phones, it becomes increasingly challenging to keep track of and ensure the protection of every device. That’s why we created Aircove – to provide users with a simple, flexible, VPN-protected internet connection across every room, on every device, for every household member.”

Introducing Advanced Protection Features

Since its US launch, Aircove has received multiple product updates through auto-updates. The UK launch brings the addition of advanced protection features that will gradually roll out to all Aircove users in the coming days. These include Threat Manager (a tracker and malware blocker), an ad blocker, and parental controls to block adult sites and restrict internet access during specific times. Threat Manager prevents devices from communicating with known trackers or engaging in malicious behavior, while the ad blocker prevents advertising content from displaying during browsing sessions.

Aircove already simplifies the task of keeping children safe on devices connected to the home Wi-Fi network, and the new parental control settings allow parents to further customize their kids’ internet experience. Users can create device groups for their children, set time limits, block adult sites and content, ensuring a safe online environment. For instance, parents can block their kids’ iPad access during evenings while allowing them to use the family computer for school work. Parental controls also extend to blocking adult sites and ads on all devices accessible to children, while Threat Manager protects against malicious third parties.

Enhanced Functionality and Privacy

Aircove’s features include a ‘Device Groups’ functionality, enabling users to effortlessly categorize their devices into up to five groups, each associated with a specific VPN location. This feature empowers users to easily assign devices to desired locations. For example, grouping smart TVs together and connecting them to a US location or placing a phone in the Paris group for French account banking. Additionally, Aircove allows multiple users or devices to utilize the VPN for various purposes without compromising one another’s activities.

User privacy and security were paramount in designing Aircove. For instance, sharing the home Wi-Fi network with visitors can be done by providing a QR code for scanning, eliminating the need for password sharing. Aircove’s auto-update feature ensures users always have the latest features and security enhancements, ensuring a safe and secure network.

Third-Party Audit for Enhanced Security and Trust

To bolster security and instill trust, ExpressVPN engaged cybersecurity firm Cure53 to conduct a penetration test and source code audit of Aircove before the launch. The audit, conducted between June and July 2022, demonstrated that the ExpressVPN team has achieved an excellent level of security for the audited components. Cure53 acknowledged the high priority given to security during development and affirmed the software’s robustness.

For further details, the full audit report on Aircove by Cure53 is available on Cure53’s website.

Aircove utilizes Wi-Fi 6 technology, delivering faster and more reliable wireless connectivity with speeds of up to 1,200 Mbps (600 Mbps for 2.4GHz and 1,200 Mbps for 5GHz). It covers homes up to 150 square meters and is available for purchase in the UK on Amazon starting today, with a special launch price of US$169 (~£131).

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