ExpressVPN, one of the largest and most well-respected VPN providers, recently released Lightway, a modern VPN protocol that ExpressVPN says will provide its users with a faster, more secure, and more reliable connection.
A VPN protocol is the set of rules that determines the connection between the VPN client and the VPN server. It’s essentially the heart of your VPN connection. With most providers sharing the same off-the-shelf protocols, how does Lightway compare to what’s currently out there – and is it any better?
What is Lightway?
Lightway is ExpressVPN’s very own protocol, built in-house. If you’re wondering what features it has on offer, the clue is in the name. Lightway has been designed by ExpressVPN to be light on its feet, using less battery but running faster.
Also, it’s easier for ExpressVPN to update and maintain. It’s currently in beta but will be available to run on all ExpressVPN apps when it gets an official release later in the year. Plus, it’s a free upgrade that comes as standard with a subscription to ExpressVPN.
Do I Need It?
ExpressVPN is already one of the best VPN providers out there so a free upgrade of an entirely new protocol is a pretty significant one. Whether you need it or not depends on the quality of service and the connection speed you’re currently getting from whichever VPN you’re with at the moment. To help you make that decision, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Lightway.
ExpressVPN Gets Even Faster
ExpressVPN has already been ranked the fastest VPN provider by websites such as Comaritech and ProPrivacy, so any kind of update that offers to build on the speeds that are currently on offer is certainly impressive. You’ll be able to connect to ExpressVPN and protect your identity online in just a fraction of a second, ExpressVPN claims.
It’s important to choose a VPN provider that values your online security. ExpressVPN already has lots of security features in place to protect its users, but Lightway takes that even further. Due to the way it’s been developed, Lightway has fewer lines of code in comparison to the most common protocols that are used by other major VPN providers.
This means it’s easier to fix if anything goes wrong and also makes ExpressVPN easier to audit by security professionals. The way they store and process user information will be up for scrutiny.
Longer Battery Life
The limited number of code it runs means the VPN takes up less CPU when your devices are connected to it. It’s not as draining to run so you can expect your devices to run a lot longer as a result.
As ExpressVPN is now using a protocol it developed internally, it’s ultimately accountable for anything that goes wrong with its network. In the rare instance that servers are down, or if you’re struggling to get connected, ExpressVPN will be able to tell you what’s gone wrong and why it’s happening.
Like any new system, it’s expected that Lightway may have some minor teething problems to get through. Hopefully, with a beta trial currently in progress, any potential issues will be identified and addressed before Lightway is officially launched to consumers.
While the most common VPN protocols are off-the-shelf solutions, they’re at least tried and tested. They’ve undergone regular updates to ensure they’re fully protected against the latest threats.
While Lightway uses wolfSSL, which has been extensively vetted by third parties, it’s still a new protocol that may have undiscovered vulnerabilities. It’s not open-source yet, either – although it will be very soon. Eventually, it’ll be possible to scrutinize the protocol in greater detail where necessary.
If you’re not already using ExpressVPN as your VPN provider, the addition of Lightway provides a perfect opportunity to consider a switch. ExpressVPN is already one of the fastest VPNs out there so if you take your connection speeds seriously, there’s a lot to get excited about when Lightway gets an official release later this year.
If you’re interested in learning more about what ExpressVPN has to offer its users and how its features compare to other VPN providers, you can take a look at our extensive review here.