What is WireGuard?

November 22, 2022
Described is the WireGuard VPN protocol

The VPN market has taken notice of the WireGuard VPN protocol. Compared to prior VPN protocols like OpenVPN and IPSec, notable tech and programming figures like Linus Torvalds, the developer of Linux, have described it as a “work of art” – and now, many VPNs are employing this quick and safe protocol. It linked and reconnected far faster than competing protocols, according to an early Ars Technica assessment, and its cryptographical decisions made it more secure as well.

You’ll discover what the fuss is about in this post and how WireGuard can help you safeguard your internet.

Described is the WireGuard VPN protocol

A VPN client (such your computer or phone) talks with a VPN server using the WireGuard protocol. The app that you can use on your devices is sometimes referred to as “WireGuard” in some contexts.

Only UDP, which doesn’t employ handshake protocols, is supported. It’s quick in part because of this. It can forego the verifications that OpenVPN TCP must carry out.

Pros and disadvantages

In the world of VPNs, WireGuard is a game-changer with a number of outstanding benefits that are crucial to the cybersecurity industry. You may see why this tunnel is so revered in this instance:

  1. Agility. Even when you switch between networks, WireGuard connects and disconnects quickly. In circumstances where other VPN protocols might fail, it maintains the connection. In comparison, several other VPN protocols can seem clumsy or fragile.
  2. Security. WireGuard picks clever, contemporary cryptographic primitives with secure defaults in comparison to competing VPN applications. Additionally, it is substantially smaller and simpler than prior protocols, making it much easier for security experts to audit.
  3. Speed. Utilizing quick cryptography code is WireGuard. Additionally, it is quicker than userspace VPNs because its low-level component resides within the Linux kernel (on Linux-based servers and desktops).
  4. Deployment simplicity. WireGuard’s client and server components are both quite simple to deploy. The platform app store offers ready-to-use client applications for desktops and mobile devices. Setting up WireGuard on the server is comparable to configuring SSH, a job that almost all IT specialists are familiar with.
  5. But we have to give up something in order to receive something magnificent. Consequently, WireGuard has a few drawbacks as well:
  6. Baked-in assistance. Even though WireGuard provides client applications for all popular platforms, other than some Linux distributions, it requires additional software to function. Use a different protocol if you want to use a VPN on a device where you can’t install apps.
  7. Obfuscation. The goal of the WireGuard project is not to create a VPN that can thwart deep packet inspection. For instance, using WireGuard by itself won’t allow you to pass the Great Firewall of China. The architecture of WireGuard, however, enables it to handle obfuscation tunnels as an additional layer.

How does WireGuard function?

Modern cryptography and network code are used by WireGuard to establish an encrypted tunnel based on symmetric encryption between two devices. It even functions when the client device’s IP address changes thanks to some cunning tricks. For instance, you can use Wi-Fi instead of mobile data without having to wait for the VPN to reconnect after thirty seconds.

How safe is WireGuard?


A safe tunneling protocol is WireGuard. In reality, WireGuard is one of the safest VPN protocols available since it employs cutting-edge, thoroughly tested cryptography. An external attacker cannot access your client device or the VPN server and learn much about your browsing.

The fact that its code is extremely streamlined and employs less lines of code than, say, OpenVPN, unquestionably adds to its safety. Less complex setups are less prone to mistakes and incorrect configurations. Your overall safety is increased by all of this.

What makes WireGuard crucial?

When compared to earlier standards, WireGuard is extremely fast and easy to configure. Options like IPSec and OpenVPN were sizable, inadequately examined codebases that might have hidden a variety of security flaws. All of this is made simpler with WireGuard, which also provides a superior end result.

Is WireGuard a superior protocol to others?

Yes. The Linux kernel and quicker cryptography used by WireGuard allow it to send data more quickly than competing protocols. However, you’re more likely to notice that WireGuard connects more quickly. Here is how it compares to the current two alternative WireGuard protocols:

OpenVPN vs. WireGuard

OpenVPN vs. WireGuard


In one test, WireGuard outperformed OpenVPN in terms of raw speed by 15%. WireGuard was 56% faster when OpenVPN was limited to its slower TCP mode. You’ll clearly notice WireGuard’s performance improvement, especially with large downloads, even though the best-case comparison doesn’t show a startling difference.

Both OpenVPN and WireGuard are open-source, have a small number of security flaws, and need additional configuration files to be installed on the majority of devices. The difference is that WireGuard is far more effective and uses much more sophisticated cryptographic libraries. Additionally, the WireGuard protocol has a considerably smaller impact on battery life than OpenVPN.

IKEv2 against IPSec: WireGuard

Another quick and relatively new protocol is IPSec. However, WireGuard has two advantages: it is part of the Linux kernel and its cryptographic primitives may be faster. In a test, IPSec outperformed WireGuard in one specific scenario, but WireGuard was consistently faster.

IKEv2 and WireGuard are different in that the former will be supported by default on the majority of devices. You’ll need to install extra files in order to use WireGuard. It does, however, have a benefit thanks to its more recent cryptography libraries. IKEv2 will be quick in most usage scenarios despite not requiring a lot of CPU power to defend against attacks.

How to set up WireGuard clients quickly

The WireGuard software for mobile devices allows you to just scan a QR code rather than painstakingly copying certificates and inputting information. You may be given a QR code to scan by your VPN service provider or server software. Hit the plus symbol and select “Create from QR code” from the WireGuard app.

To sum up

Even though popular VPN protocols like IPSec and OpenVPN have generally functioned well, they are not flawless. Older protocols are challenging to keep safe, might be slow, and rely on antiquated cryptography. The world of VPN protocols was completely upended by WireGuard.

Look no further than WireGuard if you want to stay on the cutting edge of technology with a next-generation VPN experience.