Lightway: A modern VPN protocol by ExpressVPN

Delivering a VPN experience that’s faster, more secure, and more reliable. It’s Lightway, now on ExpressVPN apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and routers.

What is Lightway?

Lightway: A next-generation VPN protocol

Lightway is ExpressVPN’s pioneering new VPN protocol, built for an always-on world. It makes your VPN experience speedier, more secure, and more reliable than ever. Designed to be light on its feet, Lightway runs faster, uses less battery, and is easier to audit and maintain.

A VPN protocol forms the foundation of a VPN service, shaping every aspect of your experience. Most providers use the same off-the-shelf protocols, but now ExpressVPN has engineered its own: Lightway.

Router VPN Optimized for speed.

The fastest is getting faster

ExpressVPN has already been ranked the fastest VPN by TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, and others. Lightway will make your VPN connection even faster.

With Lightway, you’ll also be able to get connected to ExpressVPN more quickly—often in just a fraction of a second. Nine out of ten beta users reported that Lightway got them connected to the VPN faster than before.

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Secure and transparent

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

The core codebase of Lightway has been open-sourced and is available on GitHub, ensuring transparency to our users. Cure53 has also conducted two independent assessments on Lightway to confirm its security—once in 2021 and the second time in 2022.

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Fewer connection drops

If you’re switching between networks or your signal drops out, Lightway doesn’t skip a beat. That’s because your VPN connection becomes idle, not terminated. Whether you’re switching from Wi-Fi to mobile data or stepping in and out of an elevator, you’ll maintain the same connection, to the same ExpressVPN server.

This means your VPN connection picks up the moment your device gets back online, ensuring no interruptions to your browsing or security. In many common situations, such as waking a device from sleep mode or deactivating airplane mode, the time it takes for the ExpressVPN connection to become active again is virtually imperceptible.

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Post-quantum protection

Advances in the quantum computing space could undermine today’s cryptography, making it possible for encrypted information to be decrypted in the future. But our users have a headstart.

Lightway includes post-quantum protection by default, shielding you against attackers with access to both classical and quantum computers. This makes ExpressVPN one of the earliest VPNs to deploy post-quantum protections, future-proofing our users for a quantum-safe world.

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Tuned for performance

Built for the modern world, Lightway forgoes features that aren’t needed in a consumer VPN, only implementing those that provide a smooth, secure experience.

It has only about 2,000 lines of code—fewer than other major protocols—which makes it easier to audit to find and fix problems. You might also notice that it uses less battery on your devices.

Download ExpressVPN on all your devices

A single ExpressVPN subscription lets you download a VPN for every popular platform. Need a VPN for multiple devices? Set up ExpressVPN on everything you own, and use it on eight at the same time.

Download ExpressVPN apps.

‘A step up from other VPNs’

Don’t just take it from us—here’s what beta users had to say:

ExpressVPN user recommendations.

I really love the Lightway protocol. I love being able to connect instantly and not wait. And I love how there is less battery drain. Now I can’t even tell the difference if I’m using a VPN or not.

ExpressVPN user recommendations.

The instant connection is exceptional. Definitely a step up from other VPNs.

ExpressVPN user recommendations.

Lightway is extremely fast and efficient when compared to the OpenVPN protocol! Great work!


Get the only VPN with the speed and security of Lightway

Lightway is now available in the ExpressVPN apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and routers.

Don’t have ExpressVPN yet? We’re so confident in our product, we’re offering a 30-day money-back guarantee.