Does ExpressVPN Use WireGuard?

By Srijani Ghosh / January 29, 2022

No, ExpressVPN doesn't use the WireGuard protocol. But it has built its own VPN tunneling protocol 'Lightway' from scratch that renders all the benefits of WireGuard coupled with high-end security features. 

WireGuard unquestionably provides the greatest speed, but it lacks the impenetrable shield you need to access the internet these days. Also, it does not suit such a large VPN network like ExpressVPN, which gives top-most priority to online privacy and security. That's why ExpressVPN has built its own protocol inside out to serve the modern needs of its users. 

So, if you want to subscribe to ExpressVPN and make the most of your subscription, check our complete guide. We've discussed its protocols in detail and mentioned how to use them properly according to your different requirements.  

Is ExpressVPN Lightway WireGuard?

No, ExpressVPN Lightway is not any modified version of WireGuard. This VPN tunneling protocol is designed from the ground up to fulfill all of your speed and privacy requirements. 

In recent times, many VPN providers have adopted WireGuard with a little modification, but that doesn't work as promisingly as the completely built protocol, Lightway does. It discards all the technical debts of WireGuard and performs smoothly on any network.

The protocol works on an incredibly lightweight codebase comprising only 2000 lines of code that enable you to set up connections to the VPN servers in seconds. Whereas, WireGuard is written on 4000 lines of code that don't really perform as fast as Lightway. 

In fact, hundreds of ExpressVPN users said that Lightway connects to the VPN servers 2.5 times faster than any other available VPN tunneling protocol. So, you can easily understand how Lightway is setting up an all-new industry standard for speed, security, and reliability while dodging its peers like WireGuard. 

Is ExpressVPN Lightway Safe?

Yes, the Lightway protocol is completely safe to connect to the ExpressVPN servers. It uses the well-known cryptography library, wolfSSL, which is vigorously vetted by third parties, including against the FIPS 140-2 standard, to make sure none of your data is ever collected or stored.

Alongside that, Lightway uses dynamic encryption keys and assigns you a new IP address each time you reconnect to the VPN servers. It has also made the source code available to the public to help worldwide security researchers find any flaw and patch it quickly for an enhanced experience. 

Moreover, Lightway renders special support for connection drops. That means, whenever you're switching your network on a PC or smartphone, you don't need to re-establish the VPN connection as you already stay connected until you're back online or manually turning the VPN connection off. 

However, you get the same benefits on all of your ExpressVPN supported devices. And, such security measures of Lightway help it become one of the most secure VPN protocols available on the market. 

Lightway VS WireGuard

Lightway and WireGuard, both of these VPN protocols, come with many perks. But when compared, Lightway performed better in all the aspects mentioned below. 

1. Privacy

First of all, WireGuard is not that good to render online security. It leaves that area for the VPN providers to modify the protocol as per different requirements. It also stores IP addresses on the VPN servers and doesn't assign a new one each time you reconnect. Also, the keys are pre-shared on all endpoints connected to those IP addresses. So, anybody can easily recognize your identity and online traffic when connected to WireGuard if any extra layer of security isn't provided.

But in the case of Lightway, you always get dynamic IPs depending on the availability of LRU (least recently used) addresses. However, Lightway doesn't log your data when you set up a connection. Hence, no third party can ever find you on the web. 

2. TCP and UDP

WireGuard doesn't support TCP, which makes this protocol, not a good choice if you regularly game or stream on public Wi-Fi. Even some network providers don't support UDP, so in that case, you need to use TCP to access the web. 

But Lightway supports both TCP and UDP to ensure your VPN never goes down irrespective of what network you're using. Lightway improves reliability by almost 40% by making sure your VPN session persists while switching between networks. 

3. Obfuscation

WireGuard doesn't hide the fact that you're using a VPN to reroute your online traffic. This way, your connection never becomes obfuscated, and your ISP or network admin can still detect that you're using a VPN. 

But Lightway comes with an in-built plug-in that helps you make your connection obfuscated so that you can easily avoid ISP throttling and bypass network surveillance to unblock any website or platform you want. 

Which Other Protocols Do ExpressVPN Use?

ExpressVPN uses 5 protocols as a whole. Apart from Lightway, there are OpenVPN, PPTP, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec that you can use as per your needs to connect to the VPN servers.

However, you should also consider the type of device you're using while choosing the right protocol. Though Lightway works on all widely-used platforms, including routers, you still get to pick from 4 other VPN tunneling protocols to make your browsing experience as customized as possible. 

Further Read: Which VPN Protocol Should You Use?

What VPN Uses WireGuard?

There are many VPN services available that incorporate WireGuard protocol these days. But very few of them do that correctly. That means, except for some premium VPN providers, no other VPN uses any extra security layer with WireGuard. So, using such a service may lead you to uninvited trouble. 

That's why you must learn about the best VPNs with WireGuard protocol that use their own security layer before you actually connect to the servers.

That's all! Now you know that ExpressVPN doesn't use WireGuard but a fast-performing and secure protocol, Lightway. In case you have some preferences, you've also got the other VPN services with WireGuard to choose one.

For other queries, drop us a comment through the below button. And lastly, know about all the new features and developments in ExpressVPN. Thanks for reading!

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