ExpressVPN beta launches Lightway, a VPN protocol for the modern internet


Most VPN services rely on a standard set of protocols—methods by which your device connects to a VPN server—each with its own strengths and weaknesses. 

But ExpressVPN set out to create an all-new, next-generation protocol, built from the ground up to serve modern needs for a faster, more secure, more reliable VPN experience. The result is Lightway.

Lightway is now available in public beta for all ExpressVPN subscribers on the ExpressVPN apps for Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and routers, with iOS on its way.

A new standard for speed, security, and reliability

We’ve been providing consumer VPN services for over a decade—probably the longest of any major provider today—so we’ve learned a ton about what makes a first-rate VPN and where current VPN protocols fall short.

Here are a few ways that we’ve used our experience to make Lightway work better for you:

1. Everything you need and nothing you don’t, boosting performance

Lightway isn’t weighed down by the legacy features or technical debt of other major protocols. You’ll see this in our incredibly lightweight codebase—and feel it in virtually every aspect of your experience.

This makes it faster to establish a VPN connection—as fast as a fraction of a second, depending on your network. It also means lower processor load, so staying protected doesn’t have to mean a depleted battery.

Lightway’s minimalist codebase also makes it easier to audit and maintain, making it more secure and enabling us to more quickly develop and deliver new features.

2. Built for motion, handling network changes or drops seamlessly

You step out of your home and your phone switches from Wi-Fi to 4G, then you step into the elevator and lose cell service until the doors open again. Legacy VPN protocols weren’t built with these scenarios in mind. Lightway is.

With Lightway, you’ll stay connected even when your device switches networks. And your VPN session persists even when your network connection drops unexpectedly, so once you’re back online, your VPN is, too—no need to re-establish the VPN link.

3. Tried and tested security that you can see for yourself

Our experience has given us the insights for building a better modern VPN protocol, but building a cryptography library is a different kind of job. So we knew that the right approach was to turn to something that has been thoroughly battle-tested and is widely trusted.

Lightway uses wolfSSL, whose well-established cryptography library has been extensively vetted by third-parties, including against the FIPS 140-2 standard. 

And soon, the core library of Lightway will be open-sourced, ensuring that it can be transparently and widely scrutinized. 

Try it out

If you use ExpressVPN on your Android, Windows, Mac, or Linux device, or on your router, you can try Lightway by updating your app to the latest version and changing your protocol setting. If you have tried Lightway, do let us know what you think.

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