ExpressVPN launches Lightway protocol to improve performance and reliability

Expressvpn Logo 4
Expressvpn Logo 4 (Image credit: ExpressVPN)

What you need to know

  • An update to ExpressVPN improves its connection time, reliability, and speed.
  • The improved performance is due to ExpressVPN launching its own VPN protocol called Lightway.
  • ExpressVPN had an independent security audit performed on Lightway and open-sourced the protocol's code.

ExpressVPN, one of the best Windows 10 VPNs, just fully launched Lightway, its own VPN protocol. With the new protocol in place, ExpressVPN promises faster speeds, improved reliability, and quicker connections. Lightway is available on all platforms supported by ExpressVPN, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and routers.

Compared to older protocols on average, in its beta testing, ExpressVPN found that Lightway:

  • Connects 2.5x faster: More than half of the time, Lightway connects the VPN in less than 1 second.
  • Improves reliability by 40%: This means that users experience fewer drop-offs and having to reconnect, especially on mobile.
  • Increases speed by 2x: Lightway makes VPN speeds even faster, so users can do what they love online without interruption.

In addition to the launch of Lightway, ExpressVPN announced two new trust and transparency initiatives for its protocol; a security audit from Cure53 and open-sourcing Lightway's code.

Cure53 performed a penetration test and source code audit of Lightway in March 2021. It found 14 security-relevant findings, though none of them were classified as "critical." ExpressVPN addressed the findings, and Cure53 verified the work in June 2021.

Harold Li, vice president of ExpressVPN, said:

Speed, performance, privacy, security, reliability—no one protocol had them all. That's why we invested resources to build Lightway from the ground up for modern VPN needs. The two latest trust and transparency initiatives give us even more confidence to fully launch Lightway at scale, and we are thrilled for more people to enjoy the benefits of Lightway.

ExpressVPN also published the source code of the Lightway Core on GitHub under an open-source license. This should allow the protocol to be viewed by any organization or person that wants to perform their own security tests.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at