Considering WireGuard VPN: Is It the Best VPN Protocol for Your Needs?
Looking for a VPN protocol that offers fast, secure, and easy-to-use connectivity? You might have heard about WireGuard® VPN then. With advanced cryptographic algorithms and simplified network configurations, WireGuard VPN is quickly becoming a top choice for online privacy and security. But what is this protocol exactly, and how does it work? Read along to find out.
What is WireGuard VPN?
Launched in 2018, WireGuard VPN is an open-source VPN protocol designed to be a “faster, simpler, leaner” and a more secure alternative to OpenVPN, IPSec, and PPTP. First introduced for Linux kernel, WireGuard is easily portable between operating systems and works on a few major ones, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
Note: Wondering what protocol do you need? Check out our guide on how to choose a VPN protocol.
WireGuard is already considered a top choice in the VPN industry. It has advanced cryptography, fast speeds, and is easy to set up as it has fewer lines of code (4,000 lines of code compared to OpenVPN’s hundreds of thousands).
Is WireGuard a VPN? How to use this VPN protocol
WireGuard is a VPN protocol VPN apps and services can use to create secure and private network connections. There also are standalone WireGuard apps available for various operating systems. You can use them to connect to a VPN server that supports the WireGuard protocol. However, note that these apps let you set up and manage your VPN connections using the WireGuard protocol, but they do not provide the VPN service itself.
How to use WireGuard
WireGuard is a relatively new VPN protocol, so not all VPN providers may offer it yet. If you’re looking to try out WireGuard VPN in an easy-to-use VPN, go for VeePN. Our app supports WireGuard on all major operating systems, including iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows. Easily choose and switch between VPN protocols in the settings.
WireGuard benefits and drawbacks
WireGuard seems to be all the rage. Famous tech and programming personalities, like Linus Torvalds, the inventor of Linux, admired this protocol on the Linux Kernel mailing list as a “work of art” compared to its older counterparts. So, why exactly does it stand out? And what are its disadvantages (as there surely are some)? Let’s find out.
WireGuard VPN pros
👍 Speed: Designed to be fast and efficient, WireGuard VPN uses fast cryptography code. When receiving data, WireGuard uses predetermined configurations and fewer resources.
👍 Security: WireGuard uses smart, modern cryptographic primitives with secure defaults. Its fewer (4,000) lines of code also mean a lesser attack surface to find flaws in. Besides, WireGuard is easier to audit than other VPN protocols.
👍 Simplicity: WireGuard’s smaller codebase makes it easy to test and work with.
👍 Cross-platform support: WireGuard VPN is supported on a wide range of platforms, including Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS, making it a versatile VPN solution.
WireGuard VPN cons
👎 Newness: WireGuard VPN is a relatively new protocol, and its code is still being audited and improved. So it may not be as widely tested and trusted as other more established VPN protocols.
👎 Limited support: Not all VPN service providers offer WireGuard support, which may limit your choices and options when choosing a VPN service.
👎 Lack of features: While WireGuard VPN is simple and efficient, it may lack some of the advanced features that are available in other VPN protocols, such as multi-hop routing, split tunneling, and more.
👎 Limited configuration options: WireGuard VPN is designed to be simple and easy to use, which means that it may not offer as many customization and configuration options as other VPN protocols.
How does WireGuard work?
The WireGuard VPN protocol is unique in its security approach. Unlike other protocols, it doesn’t require establishing security configurations between the client and server because they are already predefined. This makes the connection faster as there is no need to connect or reconnect to the server.
To use WireGuard, all you need are your and the server’s keys, which are exchanged using NoiseIK, a single round-trip key exchange. But as an everyday user, you don’t need to worry about the technical details — the VPN app that offers the WireGuard protocol will handle everything automatically.
Is WireGuard secure?
Yes, WireGuard is considered to be a secure VPN protocol. It uses the most advanced cryptographic algorithms to create an encrypted tunnel between two devices based on symmetric encryption. WireGuard’s streamlined codebase and simple design also make it less vulnerable to security threats and easier to audit compared to other VPN protocols.
The current WireGuard version uses the following set of algorithms:
- ChaCha20 for symmetric encryption
- Poly1305 for authentication using RFC7539’s AEAD construction
- Curve25519 for key exchange
- BLAKE2s for hashing and keyed hashing
- SipHash24 for hashtable keys
- HKDF for key derivation
- UDP as the Transport Layer protocol
- Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) to protect user data
Note: Learn more about WireGuard’s technical details on their website.
But note that the security of your VPN connection also depends on the security practices of your VPN provider, so it’s crucial to choose a reputable one that values user privacy and security.
Now, with WireGuard roaming the VPN industry, let’s find out whether it’s indeed a better alternative to two major players on the market — OpenVPN and IPSec/IKeV2.
Is WireGuard better than OpenVPN and IKeV2?
WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 are all secure VPN protocols that have their own strengths and weaknesses. To put it briefly:
WireGuard is newer and has garnered a lot of attention for its faster speeds, streamlined codebase, and simplified implementation.
OpenVPN is a widely-used VPN protocol developed more than 20 years ago. It’s known for its flexibility, support for multiple platforms, and strong security features. It uses customizable encryption algorithms and can be configured to run on TCP or UDP ports, giving it better compatibility with firewalls and routers.
IPSec/IKEv2 is known for its stability and fast connection speeds. It’s often used on mobile devices due to its ability to quickly reconnect to VPN servers when switching between Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
WireGuard vs OpenVPN vs IKeV2
Let’s compare them head-to-head.
Although such comparisons are helpful, they don’t always tell the whole story. Many things can affect the speed and performance of VPN protocols, like how fast your Internet is, how busy the VPN servers are, how well your device works with the VPN software, and how far away you are from the VPN server. Nevertheless, here are the standard “best uses” of each protocol:
|VPN protocol||Use it best for|
|WireGuard||Streaming media and playing games due to outstanding speeds|
|OpenVPN||Making payments, using a public Wi-Fi network, or dealing with sensitive data|
|IPSec/IKeV2||Mobility — when you need to quickly change the Wi-Fi network to mobile data|
Even though the WireGuard protocol seems to be performing better than OpenVPN or IKEv2, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work better for you specifically. The best way to find out which protocol works the smoothest for you is to try them all out in one VPN app. VeePN offers all popular VPN protocols on all major operating systems and lets you easily switch between them in the settings.
Is WireGuard VPN right for you? Find out with this simple checklist (with some help from us)
- Does the VPN provider I’m considering offer WireGuard VPN as an option? (Yes, VeePN offers WireGuard on iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux).
- Does WireGuard support the devices and platforms I plan to use with my VPN (such as Windows VPN, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, router VPN and so on.)? (Yep, all are supported).
- Does WireGuard offer faster speeds compared to other VPN protocols? (Yes, designed to be fast and efficient, WireGuard uses predetermined configurations and fewer resources).
- Is WireGuard easy to set up and use, even for non-technical users? (Yes, as long as you choose a user-friendly VPN provider that offers WireGuard, like VeePN).
- Does WireGuard use strong encryption and other security features to protect my data and privacy? (Yes, WireGuard uses smart, modern cryptographic primitives).
- Does WireGuard offer Perfect Forward Secrecy to ensure that even if someone were to obtain my encryption key, they would not be able to decrypt my past or future VPN traffic? (Yep, PFS is provided).
- Does WireGuard have any known vulnerabilities or security issues that I should be aware of? (Not anything that we know of yet).
- Does the VPN provider offer 24/7 customer support, in case I need help with my WireGuard VPN setup or usage? (Sure thing! VeePN offers round-the-clock support via live chat or email).
- Is WireGuard VPN affordable and within my budget? (VeePN offers three subscription plans, with the 5-year plan being the most appealing with its 85% off!).
- Does WireGuard VPN meet my specific needs and requirements, such as unblocking geo-restricted content, torrenting, or accessing online banking services securely? (Yes, VeePN offers servers in 89 locations across the world so you can access any content you need. It also uses AES-256 encryption which gives your sensitive data the best protection).
Wrapping up on WireGuard VPN
WireGuard VPN is a newer, faster, and more secure VPN protocol worth considering. With advanced cryptographic algorithms and fewer lines of code, it delivers a streamlined and efficient VPN experience.
Want to see for yourself how well WireGuard works? Give VeePN a try. Just pick WireGuard as your VPN protocol in settings, and our app will handle the rest. Choose your subscription plan (all backed up by a money-back guarantee) and try it out yourself risk-free.
FAQ: What Is WireGuard VPN?
Yes, WireGuard is considered a good VPN protocol that offers faster speeds, better security, and simpler implementation compared to many other VPN protocols. Find out what WireGuard is all about in our blog post.
WireGuard and OpenVPN are both secure VPN protocols that have their own strengths and weaknesses. WireGuard is newer and has gained popularity for its faster speeds and streamlined codebase, while OpenVPN is known for its flexibility and strong security features. Find their comparison in this blog post.
WireGuard VPN works by creating a secure and encrypted tunnel between your device and the VPN server. It uses advanced cryptographic algorithms and Perfect Forward Secrecy to protect your data and privacy. Find out more in our blog post.
WireGuard can use any UDP port, but it uses port 51820 by default.
Yes, WireGuard is considered a safe and secure VPN protocol. It was designed with a focus on simplicity, performance, and security, and has been subject to security audits and reviews. The protocol’s primary integration into the Linux kernel is a testament to its security and stability.
However, as with any VPN protocol, the overall security of a VPN service depends on how well the VPN provider implemented and configured it. So, if you’re considering using a WireGuard VPN, go for a reputable and trustworthy provider with a strong commitment to security and privacy.
No software is completely hack-proof. However, WireGuard has undergone security audits and is designed to be less susceptible to certain types of attacks than other VPN protocols due to modern cryptographic algorithms and a simpler codebase, which reduces the likelihood of coding errors and vulnerabilities. The security of a VPN service that uses WireGuard also depends on how well it is implemented and configured by the VPN provider.
While some VPN providers that offer WireGuard may come as free of charge, most reputable VPN providers require a subscription to access their WireGuard servers. It’s important to choose a trustworthy VPN provider that values user privacy and security to experience all the benefits of the WireGuard protocol.