WireGuard VPN vs OpenVPN: Unravelling the Benefits of a Modern VPN Protocol
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are essential tools for internet users seeking privacy, security, and unrestricted access to online content. Two popular VPN protocols, OpenVPN and WireGuard, often compete for the top spot in terms of performance, ease of use, and security. In this blog post, we'll delve into the advantages of WireGuard over OpenVPN to help you determine which protocol best suits your needs.
Speed and Performance
One of the most significant advantages of WireGuard over OpenVPN is its superior speed and performance. WireGuard utilises modern cryptographic protocols and a lightweight design, making it faster and more efficient than its older counterpart. OpenVPN, while highly configurable and reliable, can be slower due to its complex architecture and reliance on older cryptographic protocols. As a result, WireGuard offers a smoother and more responsive experience for users.
Simplicity and Ease of Use
WireGuard boasts a minimalistic design with only around 4,000 lines of formally verified code, making it easier to audit, maintain, and troubleshoot compared to OpenVPN's 100,000+ lines of code. This simplicity reduces the likelihood of vulnerabilities and bugs, while also making it more straightforward for users to set up and manage their VPN connections. Additionally, WireGuard's native support across various platforms, including our Telco Electronics products and various cloud platforms, further enhances its usability.
Although both WireGuard and OpenVPN offer robust security features, WireGuard leverages cutting-edge cryptographic protocols such as Noise Protocol Framework for key exchange, Curve25519 for ECDH key exchange, ChaCha20 for encryption, Poly1305 for authentication, and BLAKE2 for hashing. These modern, proven algorithms reduce the potential attack surface and provide strong encryption to protect user data. If a security vulnerability is ever discovered, then it is simply a matter of upgrading to the next version of WireGuard, much simpler compared to OpenVPN, in which all parts of the infrastructure will need to be manually updated. Furthermore, WireGuard will refuse to work if it is set up improperly, following the security principle of "fail closed" rather than "fail open". With OpenVPN on the other hand, it is possible to think you are running a secure VPN without it actually being secure.
WireGuard shines when it comes to handling changing network conditions. Its ability to seamlessly transition between different networks (e.g., from Wi-Fi to mobile data) without dropping the VPN connection is a significant advantage over OpenVPN. This feature is especially useful for mobile users who frequently switch between networks, or perhaps a mobile data router inside a vehicle on the move.
Better Battery Life
For mobile users, battery life is always a concern. WireGuard's lightweight design and efficient cryptographic protocols lead to lower power consumption compared to OpenVPN, thus preserving battery life on smartphones and other portable devices.
WireGuard is considered a future-proof protocol due to its focus on modern cryptographic standards and streamlined design. As technology continues to evolve, WireGuard is well-positioned to adapt and meet the growing demands of users, while OpenVPN may struggle to keep up due to its legacy architecture and allowance of older cryptographic protocols.
WireGuard VPN offers a compelling alternative to OpenVPN, boasting several advantages such as better speed, simplicity, improved security, seamless roaming, and lower power consumption. While OpenVPN remains a viable choice for many users, WireGuard's modern design and focus on innovation make it an attractive option for those seeking an efficient, secure, and future-proof VPN protocol.