WireGuard protocol – usually known simply as ‘WireGuard’ – is the new kid on the block in the world of VPN protocols.
You’ll usually see it mentioned alongside exaggerated words like “revolutionary” or “trail-blazing” – but is it overhyped?
Many VPN companies like to portray it as *the* solution to all VPN drawbacks (such as: slower speeds, variable security standards and difficulty of use), but this is inaccurate at best.
WireGuard may not have been as thoroughly tested as more established protocols like OpenVPN, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid using it. A lot of VPN providers are using WireGuard now, and I’m going to outline exactly what the positives & negatives are, and which protocol is best.
️🔥Best WireGuard VPNs
- AtlasVPN – budget VPN using WireGuard, cheap but feature-packed
- NordVPN – the best VPN all round, includes full WireGuard support
- Surfshark – perfect for streaming or torrenting
- IPVanish – Secure browsing in addition to WireGuard
Positives & Negatives of WireGuard:
- 🚀 Fast speeds due to UDP usage
- 🔒 Strong security with modern cryptography
- 🤖 Easy to install and use on all major platforms
- 🔄 Agile connection management for seamless roaming across networks
- 🚫 Only supports UDP and lacks support for deep-packet inspection
- ⚙️ Requires additional software for non-Linux devices
- 🌐 Limited server support compared to older protocols
- 📉 Still relatively new, so less widely used and less audited
What are the benefits of WireGuard?
WireGuard’s primary strength lies in the fact that it is just *so* easy to use.
The lightweight and intuitive design makes it simple to use and expand upon. This is in sharp contrast to other VPN protocols, which are cumbersome and time-consuming to set up and are prone to problems or bugs.
This is very different from the slow, buggy, and resource-hogging VPN protocols of the past.
The second is that the speeds and low overheads of WireGuard are both nothing short of miraculous (hyperbole aside, it’s really true). Because of its streamlined construction, WireGuard can multitask with ease and use few system resources, no matter how complex the task at hand. This is very different from the slow, buggy, and resource-hogging VPN protocols of the past.
Plus, WireGuard offers unrivalled security compared to other protocols. All information is encrypted and safe from prying eyes thanks to its cutting-edge cryptography. Users can confidently engage in online activities, knowing that their data is reasonably secure from the prying eyes of third parties such as governments, corporations, and hackers.
Finally, WireGuard is a cutting-edge system because of its adaptability and user-friendliness. From mobile phones to laptops, servers, and routers, it can be quickly and easily set up and deployed by pretty much anyone, even those new to the world of VPNs. 🙂
So it’s a great option for those seeking a powerful yet simple VPN protocol to try out, mainly because of its compatibility with a wide range of devices and operating systems.
Do all VPNs use WireGuard now?
Not all VPNs use WireGuard, no – for example, because of supposed security issues with WireGuard, ExpressVPN developed its own private Lightway protocol instead.
ExpressVPN claim that Lightway has all of the advantages of the WireGuard protocol and more. It also improves upon key areas like privacy, UDP/TCP compatibility, and obfuscation features. You have the option of using either the advanced encryption standard (AES) or the ChaCha20 cypher (which is better for mobile).
If you use WireGuard rather than ExpressVPN’s LightWay, your activity could be tracked back to your IP address. Why? Because WireGuard relies on static IPs and stores them on a server until it is rebooted. Lightway eliminates the need for a static IP address by providing a new one every time you connect.
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What are the drawbacks then?
Beneath the glossy veneer of marketing-speak and buzzwords, lies a harsh reality that should cause some concern.
The name itself is a bit of an issue for me: “WireGuard” implies a certain level of control and monitoring that is a tad reminiscent of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984”. And even if you don#t have an issue with that, while WireGuard promises to be faster and easier to use than traditional VPN protocols like OpenVPN, it also has other significant drawbacks that cannot be ignored.
First and foremost, WireGuard has some weaknesses that are frankly quite difficult to ignore. For example, it doesn’t support IPv6, which is becoming increasingly important in a world where IPv4 addresses are becoming scarcer and close to running out.
WireGuard doesn’t block deep-packet inspection
Additionally, WireGuard doesn’t block deep-packet inspection, making it unsuitable for use in certain situations, such as trying to bypass the Great Firewall of China. However, obfuscation tunnels can be supported as a layer on top of WireGuard’s architecture easily enough. Here’s a video explaining how to do it:
WireGuard also lacks some important features that are standard in other VPN protocols, such as support for obfuscation and port forwarding.
What else do I need to know?
WireGuard has clearly been designed to be very lightweight and efficient, and don’t forget it’s fully open source too.
All of this helps to improve its speed & security even further. In contrast to other VPN protocols like OpenVPN, which use more complex and resource-intensive algorithms, WireGuard uses state-of-the-art cryptography that’s both simpler and faster. In short, this means that it can process data more quickly, which results in faster connection speeds for VPN users like you.
However, the fact that WireGuard only supports UDP can also be a downside in some situations – because UDP doesn’t have built-in error correction or flow control, it can sometimes be less reliable than other protocols in situations where packets may be lost or dropped. This can result in a lower connection quality.
Is WireGuard Secure?
Yes, in fact WireGuard is one of the safest protocols – some even go as far as calling it ultra-safe. It safeguards your data from prying eyes with the help of cutting-edge cryptography and simplified coding. It’s one of the most secure VPN protocols out there, keeping your online activities hidden from prying eyes.
What’s more, WireGuard’s security is enhanced by its ease of use in comparison to the rather cluttered OpenVPN, which requires a more sophisticated setup and is more prone to errors and misconfigurations. For newbies and others new to VPNs, compared to OpenVPN at least, it’s a doddle. 🙂
How fast is WireGuard?
A comparison test showed that under typical settings, WireGuard’s raw speed was around 15% faster than OpenVPN’s.
Things got more interesting once WireGuard was switched over to use the slower TCP option – here, WireGuard was twice as quick. In almost every use case, when compared to OpenVPN, WireGuard is faster and has a smaller impact on battery life too. Both protocols are open-source and have minimal security flaws, however WireGuard is preferred by most users nowadays because of its superiority in efficiency and a better feature-set.
WireGuard vs IKEv2
WireGuard and IPSec/IKEv2 are two rapid VPN technologies available today. IPSec also known as IKEv2 is a more well-established protocol, but WireGuard is built right into the Linux kernel and makes use of state-of-the-art cryptographic primitives. In some cases, IPSec/IKEv2 was shown to be faster than WireGuard, however this was not the case in others.
While WireGuard requires additional files to be installed, IKEv2 is supported by the majority of devices out of the box. WireGuard, on the other hand, has an advantage due to its cutting-edge cryptography libraries. In most situations, IKEv2 may be expected to be quick and light on the CPU.
Check out our WireGuard vs. OpenVPN comparison too.
Who owns WireGuard?
It’s owned and developd by Jason A. Donenfeld.
Donenfeld – already well-known in Linux circles – dreamed of an alternative to the more involved VPN protocols like OpenVPN and IPSec. He set out to design a Virtual Private Network (VPN) protocol that would be both user-friendly and secure.
When WireGuard was finally released, it went through an extensive development process and numerous revisions. A notable step forward for the protocol came when it was incorporated into the Linux kernel for the first time in 2019.
Since then, WireGuard has seen massive growth in use by VPN users, programmers, and businesses alike. Many VPN services already use it, and it’s been accepted by industry heavyweights like Google, Cloudflare, and Mozilla.
As it’s open source, and therefore anyone can download and edit the code, this perhaps explains why it hasn’t ever been sold to a larger company. To this day is still maintained by a small team of volunteers, developers and geeks. Original backers Mullvad and IVPN, though they don’t have any control or say in how WireGuard is run, still use it.
WireGuard has only been around for a short period of time, yet it has had a significant influence on the VPN industry. Many users and developers choose it because of its cutting-edge design and emphasis on simplicity and security.
So should I use WireGuard?
One thing is for sure here: WireGuard is a truly ground-breaking piece of tech. There’s no denying its advantages: it outperforms previous protocols in terms of speed, ease of use, and safety. However, there are costs and benefits to everything.
- WireGuard is the best option if you want the latest and greatest in security technology. Most of the top VPNs use it already.
It has excellent cryptographic primitives and a leaner codebase than older, more cumbersome programmes, making it more secure. That said, it’s far from ideal. There are many unanswered questions because WireGuard is so new and hasn’t yet gained widespread adoption.
- On the one hand, you have a technology that promises to be more secure than anything before it, while also being significantly more efficient.
In a nutshell, we have cutting-edge innovation that hasn’t been put through its paces yet.
The final decision I leave up to you. But one thing is certain: be vigilant and cautious with all technological advances, and always question the motives of those who seek to exploit our personal information for their own gain.
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Frequently Asked Questions
WireGuard is a VPN protocol that offers a secure and efficient way to create encrypted tunnels between devices.
Yes, WireGuard is one of the safest VPN protocols available, thanks to its modern cryptographic primitives and streamlined code.
Yes, WireGuard is known for its agility and speed, allowing for fast connections and faster data transfer compared to other VPN protocols.