WireGuard vs OpenVPN: Which one to use?

WireGuard is a relatively new VPN protocol in the VPN industry, while OpenVPN serving users for two decades. People get confused about picking one for their VPN, don’t know which one performs better. Don’t worry, comparing both VPN protocols provides you with a better understanding, before choosing the right one. You are at the right place to determine which suits your usage after going through this detailed guide.

WireGuard vs OpenVPN

With the arrival WireGuard protocol, the VPN industry 📈improved a lot over other older VPN protocols like OpenVPN. Till then, OpenVPN has been 👑king for decades. But have evaluated both VPN protocol strengths & weaknesses. Protocols are the 💓heart of a VPN (Virtual Private Network), choosing the right one will boost performance. Wondering if WireGuard can beat OpenVPN? Let’s 🔎find that out…

Quick Feature Comparision

FeatureWireGuardOpenVPN
Created In 20192001
EncryptionCurve25519, ChaCha20,
Poly1305, BLAKE2,SipHash24
OpenSSL Library
(AES,ChaCha20,BlowFish, and others)
Open SourceYesYes
SecurityStrong Strong
PrivacyStrongStrong
SpeedLightning FastDecent

What is a VPN Protocol?

WireGuard, OpenVPN 😓doesn’t make any sense for newbies. First of all, they are VPN Protocols. You can ⏩skip this section if you knew already.

Once you turn on your VPN, it will create a secure encrypted 🕳️tunnel to the VPN server(Server you selected), where you will get a new IP address. A VPN protocol is a set of 🔖rules/instructions determining how this encrypted tunnel is formed. There are only advancements in protocols over its earlier versions, nothing is an 💡ideal protocol.

WireGuard

Wireguard is created in recent times (2019) by Edge Security, specially designed to overcome limitations of existing protocols in terms of speed, security, and ease of use. WireGuard is an OpenSource protocol and uses a noise protocol framework (Curve25519, ChaCha20, Poly1305, BLAKE2, SipHash24).

Optimizing the code lines to 4000, very easy for potential adults (No flaws found yet). Despite being a recent one into the VPN industry, many VPN providers incorporated this protocol. 🥳In fact, some providers like NordVPN created NordLynx powerful protocol eliminating potential threats in the WireGuard protocol (⚡fastest protocol on earth).

OpenVPN

OpenVPN protocol is initially created in 2001 by James Yonan, privacy is the key step of this invention. OpenVPN Inc offers a b2b (business-to-business) solution to customers running OpenVPN protocol. OpenVPN is an OpenSource protocol that uses OpenSSL Library (which makes this most versatile).

Every VPN supports OpenVPN protocol (TCP/UDP), no flaws were found even after going through numerous audits. OpenVPN code consists of 100,000 lines (though to implement), 🛡️security is top-notch & recommended in public Wi-Fi.

Detailed Comparision

Speed Comparision

WireGuard is speed centric protocol, whereas OpenVPN is security-centric. WireGuard uses all processor cores & faster encryption methods, 🚀boosting the speeds. WireGuard protocol team conducted a speed test against other protocols. Results are shocking with 🔥4x time faster than OpenVPN. Have a look at the results once.

Source: WireGuard

No other protocol is as fast as a WireGuard. While other protocols take more ⏲️time to establish a connection with the VPN server compared to WireGuard. Because of its robust architecture, there are no sudden/frequent connection drops observed in WireGuard.

Without😴blindly believing the lab scores, we conducted a real-time performance with NordVPN (NordLynx built on top of WireGuard). We selected some places and checked the internet speed on shifting between these two protocols with a base connection speed of (40 Mbps).

PlaceOpenVPNNordLynx(WireGuard)
United States5.97 Mbps34.24 Mbps
Unites kingdom10.23 Mbps31.67 Mbps
Canda7.84 Mbps33.19 Mbps
NordVPN

Everyone has to admit that WireGuard is a faster VPN protocol. Also, quickly establish a VPN connection (👁️look at the PING once). Even keeping the OpenVPN in UDP still can’t match 20% of WireGuard.We should say NordVPN NordLynx nailed the performance of the WireGuard protocol.

It’s reported in the technical study that OpenVPN needs 8 seconds to establish a connection, whereas 100 milliseconds for WireGuard protocol.

🥇Winner: WireGuard

Security & Encryption Comparision

Speeds are just a factor, security is the primary concern behind using a VPN. OpenVPN has different encryption cipher choices but, WireGuard has only 😥fixed encryption for every release(Donenfeld’s words). 🙆‍♂️Heart-melting pain, can’t do anything until next release (if any vulnerabilities are found). But OpenVPN can be 😄quickly configured to a different algorithm.

OpenVPNWireGuard
EncryptionAES, Blowfish,
ChaCha20, Poly1305
ChaCha20, BLAKE2
Poly1035, SipHash24
Perfect Forward SecrecySupportedSupported
Known Vulnerabilities 00

It’s 🤗Lucky that both OpenVPN and WireGuard have no vulnerabilities yet. Since OpenVPN uses the OpenSSL library (thoroughly tested since 1998) has a wide range of encryption techniques, whereas for WireGuard there isn’t much.

WireGuard protocol code is very small (4000 lines) and efficient as there are only a few encryption techniques that make it very comfortable & easy to audit. OpenVPN code is very lengthy with 100,000 lines. This makes the 🚪backdoor entry wider for OpenVPN compared to WireGuard.

Though WireGuard is relatively new & has few encryption techniques, still it is 🔥unstoppable for some reason.

  1. Minimal Code Base: Experts can aduit WireGuard protocol very frequently and rigorously as it has only 4k lines of code.
  2. ChaCha20 encryption: 20 in “ChaCha20” indicates number of times encryption happens. Even ChaCha8 is still unbreakable, there is no doubt that ChaCha20 will keep you under security hoods.
  3. Linux and Google support: Linus Torvalds (Linux creator) clearly mentions “I 💗love WireGuard (though the code isn’t perfect)…but it’s a work of art compared to horrors in OpenVPN & IPSec. WireGuard is included in Linux kernel“. Google also using ChaCha20 encryption for it’s android devices.

Though both protocols are most secure from its 🔥core. Having an 🤞option to choose or let it be🙌 is the only difference. If you like the idea behind WireGuard (most recent and efficient), then go for it.

📝Note:- If you are 🧑‍💻tech-savvy, keep security ⚙️settings under your control OpenVPN will be a better choice for you.

It’s a Tie🙌

Unblocking Comparision

What is a VPN for? to unblocked geo-blocked websites right? Both OpenVPN & WireGuard protocols perform neck-to-neck to deliver a stable server connection to unblock any website. However, OpenVPN has a slight advantage over WireGuard supporting TCP/UDP to run on 443(HTTPS) port.

High surveillance countries like China, Russia, etc block even HTTPS. It’s better to use WireGuard there. Here is a quick glimpse of both VPN protocols in comparison.

TCP
(Transmission Control Protocol)
UDP
(User Datagram Protocol)
OpenVPNSupportedSupported
WireGuardNot SupportedSupported
SpeedsModerateSuper Fast

WireGuard runs on UDP (super fast) and is equally stable💪 compared to OpenVPN. But when it comes to bypassing firewalls of websites, streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, and other TCP-supported protocols i.e OpenVPN is more preferable.

While most of the VPN services use OpenVPN as default, only NordVPN uses NordLynx (WireGuard) out of the 📤box. NordVPN shines WireGuard to NordLynx eliminating its drawbacks by combining 🚀speeds + 🤞bypassing (🔥Ultimate Combination). For testing purposes, we check most VPN services provided like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, PureVPN work well in China.

📝Note:- WireGuard wins on considering NordVPN into account. You know the name for other VPN services it’s OpenVPN.

🥇Winner: OpenVPN

Privacy & Logging Comparision

When it comes to privacy, OpenVPN has a slight advantage. Since WireGuard is built for security and speed (not for Anonymity and privacy), so it stores the connected IP on the server by default.

OpenVPNWireGuard
LoggingNoneStores IP Address in server

You might be worried if the server is compromised connecting to VPN is useless since all your 🆔identity will be ☹️exposed.

So, how VPN services are using WireGuard? Not thinking about user privacy🤔?

Well, no-log VPNs come up with different approaches to this problem to keep users’ browsing history private. Here’s how NordVPN handles this situation with its NAT system.

NordLynx

NordVPN- NordLynx Approach

NordVPN addresses WireGuard’s privacy issue with their “Double NAT System” implemented in NordLynx (new protocol). This system will establish a secure VPN connection without storing anything on the server (Assigned IP will remain till the session).

While other VPNs have a different approach e.g erasing the data stored after the session (Mullvad VPN, OVPN). Whatever they do, if you are more concerned about your privacy 🧅Onion Over VPN will be the ultimate solution (compromising speeds).

📝Note:- Check your VPN provider (how they are handling WireGuard protocol) if privacy is your main concern.

🥇Winner:- OpenVPN

Device Compatibility

OpenVPN is a native protocol in every VPN service, whereas only a few services adopted WireGuard. Others are catching up very quickly right after WireGuard is released, even some VPN providers customized WireGuard.

VPNOpenVPNWireGuard
NordVPNAvailableAvailable
ExpressVPN Available NA
CyberGhost Available Available
IPVanish Available Available
SurfShark Available Available
PrivateVPN Available NA
PIA Available Available

You can observe that how VPN services are readily adopting the 🤖advancements. Also, other VPN providers that aren’t covered up in the list still support both protocols. Those who support WireGuard are providing it as default on their Android, iOS, Windows, etc

📝Note:- Only a few VPNs support WireGuard protocol at the router level, Mullvad is one of them.

🙌It’s a Tie

Others

WireGuard is very simple & easier to configure manually compared to OpenVPN. Its light and small codebase make it easy to deploy even in small computing devices like Raspberry Pi. OVPN made WireGuard based applications for their devices.

People who don’t like tweaking settings out of the box like OpenVPN (default protocol in most VPNs). So 😅it’s up to you which one you like depending on your nature.

VPNs with WireGuard

NordVPN: Best in budget (All Rounder)

nordvpn logo
  • 5500+ servers in 62+ Countries
  • Double VPN feature for extra privacy
  • Unlimited Streaming in Ultra HD quality without data caps
  • Unlimited P2P/Torrenting anonymously with dedicated P2P servers
  • Unblocks International services Netflix, Hulu, Prime, HBO, iPlayer, Disney+ and Amazon Prime.
  • CyberSec to avoid malware and block ads
  • Reliable kill switch
  • Strict No-logs policy
  • 30 Days full refund policy

NordVPN is one of the best torrenting VPNs as it offers high-grade security without any DNS/IPv6 leaks (proven in tests). With its 5400+ servers in 62+ countries all over the world to quickly connect to a server, also offers Onion over VPN for complete anonymity. Downloads speeds sky-rocket with the latest WireGuard protocol (Special protocol).

NordVPN has a very simple UI and is beginner-friendly and compatible with all the device platforms like Android, iOSWindows, and macOS. You can enjoy the service in six simultaneous connections per subscription NordVPN is a top VPN recommended by Reddit users. NordVPN is also a great choice for unblocking the geo-blocked content in different platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and other streaming Apps.

NordVPN is very affordable compared to other VPNs, check out in the full review. It also offers 30 days of the money-back guarantee program. So you can try this without any risk. So, if you don’t like the app then you will get your full refund within 5 days. And if you need a VPN for 1-2 weeks only then can try NordVPN for free using its money-back program.

CyberGhost:

CyberGhost VPN
  • 6500+ Servers in over 90 countries.
  • Unblock Amazon Prime, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and many other streaming platforms in high quality. 
  • Military Grade AES 256 bit encryption with malware blocker, other features
  • Dedicated servers for streaming, P2P torrenting, gaming, etc.
  • Compatible with Android, iOS, Chrome, Linux, and other devices
  • Reliable kill switch, split tunneling
  • 7 simultaneous device connections.
  • No Log Policy
  • 45 days money-back guarantee.
  • 24/7 Customer Support

Cyberghost is the best No-Log VPN for beginners especially brilliant at unblocking Netflix on Android. Its 2200+ servers in more than 60 countries offer great & reliable speed to stream your favorite content.

Like other VPNs on this list, CyberGhost has a zero-logging policy and completely makes you free from 14 eye surveillance. This VPN ranked third as there is no Split Tunneling and all the IP Addresses are static.

Cyberghost has multiple protocols like OpenVPN, AES 256 encryption with a kill switch feature to protect you from unexpected disconnections. Cyberghost will also unblock popular video streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and many more that come along the way.

CyberGhost is specially designed to determine which server will work on your streaming services. They also have app for almost all the platforms. Also, they are offering 7 days free trial for Android, iOS, and Windows.

They offer 45 days risk-free money-back program and 24/7 live chat support for all of your problems. If you want then there is a hidden page for low price subscriptions. Check out all its features in a detailed review.

VPNs with OpenVPN

ExpressVPN: Fast VPN with High Security Features

  • ExpressVPN offers full torrenting support along with full security
  • Unblock Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, and more
  • Contains tons of server locations with class-leading connection speed.
  • Allow Torrenting on all servers but no special servers for P2P
  • WebRTC leak protection with private DNS for the best privacy.
  • 5 simultaneous device connections with a reliable kill switch
  • No Log Policy.
  • 30 Days full refund policy

ExpressVPN encryption is very tough (at its core) along with speed, although there isn’t any special protocol like in NordVPN. ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which has no data retention laws keeps you completely safe all the time.

ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN, Ikev2, and L2Tp-IPSec protocols, which are known as the most reliable security protocols. This VPN has 3000+ servers across 94 countries all over the world, you can choose the best server that firs your choice for torrenting to unblock websites.

ExpressVPN has 30 days money-back program, whenever you don’t like the service “Claim for Instant refund“. Don’t worry you will have 24/7 live chat support for all of your problems. If you want then there is a hidden page for low price subscriptions.

Final Verdict

WireGuard is more pronounced in VPN providers– many VPNs already adopted & implemented new protocols on top of WireGuard. Though OpenVPN is an elder (more privacy), while WireGuard is at early stages being more 🛡️secure and extremely 🚀speedy.

It’s better to choose a VPN that offers both VPN protocols since WireGuard has a lot more to offer. So that you can choose between them based on the scenarios.

ScenarioProtocol to Use
Lighting speeds & less data consumptionWireGuard
Shifting frequently between WiFi & Mobile NetworkWireGuard
Building VPN for small computing devicesWireGuard
Countries where VPNs are highly restrictedOpenVPN
Utmost privacyOpenVPN
Scenarios

Only a few VPNs utilize WireGuard’s full capabilities, one of such is VPN is NordVPN delivering supreme speeds, stable connection, security, and privacy. Additionally, you can also 🥳enjoy OpenVPN benefits with it.

😉Tip:- NordVPN is offering 📢72% huge discount + 🔥30 days money-back guarantee (risk-free) program to try out WireGuard.

FAQs Related to WireGuard vs OpenVPN

Which one should I use (WireGuard or OpenVPN)?

You should use both protocols based on your necessity. It’s better to have two 💪powers with you rather than one, own a VPN that offers you both.

Best VPN offering both VPN protocols?

So far NordVPN is the leading VPN that handled WireGuard flaws effectively on NordLyx protocol (inheriting WireGuard). Offers best speeds, security, privacy supporting Onion Over VPN & VPN chaining.

Which one is faster among both?

WireGuard protocol is insanely fast among both protocols. It is built with security and speed. Don’t worry VPN providers brought their protocol which is built based on WireGuard on fixing its issues.

Which one is more secure?

As you can see that there are no flaws detected in both protocols yet. So far from attack’s wise WireGuard has less surface with minimal codebase (most secure) & audited effectively compared to OpenVPN.

Does WireGuard store IP Addresses?

Yes, it stores the connected IP Address on the server. But don’t worry VPN providers address this issue in different means (improving flaws) for e.g NordVPN NordLynx uses a double NAT system.

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