V2Ray protocols: What is the difference between VLESS and Vmess?

VLESS and Vmess are different V2Ray protocols. Project V is a collection of utilities that enable you to construct a personalized privacy network on the Internet. The primary component of Project V, known as V2Ray, oversees network protocols and communication. It is capable of functioning independently or in conjunction with other tools.

Features of V2Ray

  • Multiple inbound/outbound proxies: one V2Ray instance supports in parallel multiple inbound and outbound protocols. Each protocol works independently.
  • Customizable routing: incoming traffic can be sent to different outbounds based on routing configuration. It is easy to route traffic by target region or domain.
  • Multiple protocols: V2Ray supports multiple protocols, including Socks, HTTP, Shadowsocks, VMess, etc. Each protocol may have its own transport, such as TCP, mKCP, WebSocket, etc.
  • Obfuscation: V2Ray has built-in obfuscation to hide traffic in TLS, and can run in parallel with web servers.
  • Reverse proxy: General support of reverse proxy. Can be used to build tunnels to localhost.
  • Multiple platforms: V2Ray runs natively on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc. There is also third-party support on mobile.

The VLESS and Vmess Protocols


VLESS is a protocol developed by V2Ray that provides better security and performance compared to the original V2Ray protocol. VLESS uses the same underlying technology as V2Ray, which is based on the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol.

The main difference between VLESS and V2Ray is that VLESS uses a simplified handshake process and eliminates unnecessary features to reduce the attack surface. VLESS also uses the latest version of TLS to provide better encryption and authentication.

VLESS is designed to provide a more lightweight and efficient alternative to V2Ray, making it ideal for use on low-end devices and in resource-constrained environments. It also provides better security by using stronger encryption and authentication mechanisms.

In summary, VLESS is an improved version of V2Ray that provides better security and performance and is ideal for use on low-end devices and in resource-constrained environments.


Vmess is a protocol used for communication between a client and a server in a Virtual Private Network (VPN) setup. It is a protocol developed by the V2Ray project, which is an open-source project that aims to provide a flexible and extensible framework for building customized network proxies. Vmess stands for “VMessage” and is based on the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, which provides a secure and encrypted communication channel between the client and server.

Vmess is designed to be fast, efficient, and secure. It uses advanced encryption algorithms such as AES, RSA, and HMAC to ensure that all communication between the client and server is secure and cannot be intercepted or tampered with. Vmess also supports multiple transmission modes, including TCP, UDP, mKCP, and WebSocket, which makes it a flexible protocol that can be used in various network environments.

One of the main advantages of Vmess is that it is highly configurable and can be customized to suit specific use cases. It also supports features such as traffic obfuscation and dynamic port allocation, which can help to bypass network censorship and improve network performance.

Vmess is widely used in China and other countries where internet censorship is prevalent, as it can be used to bypass government restrictions and access blocked websites and services. However, it is important to note that the use of Vmess may be illegal or against the terms of service of some internet service providers, and users should exercise caution when using it.

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What is the difference between VLESS and Vmess?

Taking a look at the explanations above, we come to understand that VLESS is a user control protocol for client-server authentication/communication and does NOT work without any other encryption method like XTLS in Xray’s case.

Vmess on the other hand is a full circumvention protocol but is not considered safe since 2020 with the GFW advancing their packet sniffing techniques and quite a few mistakes in V2ray’s core. Later workarounds like Vmess+TLS+WS have stemmed to keep V2ray’s legacy going.

And what about the Trojan protocol?

V2Ray and Trojan are two different software programs that serve similar purposes.

V2Ray is an open-source network proxy that can help users bypass internet censorship, hide their IP addresses, and encrypt their internet traffic. It supports various protocols such as Shadowsocks, VMess, and HTTP/2. V2Ray is commonly used in mainland China, where the government restricts access to many websites and services.

Trojan is another open-source network proxy that is designed to provide similar functions as V2Ray, but with a different approach to obfuscation. Trojan disguises network traffic as HTTPS traffic, making it difficult for firewalls to detect and block it.

V2Ray can be used in conjunction with Trojan as a transport protocol. When V2Ray and Trojan are used together, the V2Ray acts as the transport layer, while the Trojan acts as the application layer. This combination can provide additional security and obfuscation for internet traffic.

It is worth noting that while V2Ray and Trojan can help users bypass internet censorship and protect their online privacy, they can also be used for malicious purposes. It is important to use these tools responsibly and in compliance with local laws and regulations.

If we were to recommend you a better option?

For now, your best option would be Trojan. Although VLESS+XTLS (Xray) claims to have better performance than TLS by choosing XTLS, I’m skeptical that it’s a significant improvement since I haven’t heard of it being used outside of VPN-related contexts, and VPN client developers haven’t widely adopted it yet. Vmess+TLS+WS is like adding another layer of security on top of an already secure system, and using WebSocket doesn’t make sense when HTTP/2 is available. However, if you’re concerned about data privacy and security when browsing the web on an untrusted device, this could be an option.

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