The use of virtual private networks (VPN) is becoming more mainstream every year. It’s not surprising — the awareness of benefits that VPN service provides spreads throughout the web. VPNs are most well known for their ability to get around annoying geo-blocks. And they also protect internet users from cybercrime and surveillance.
But not all VPNs are equal, or even as good when comparing their various features. The use of different VPN protocols is a significant part of that.
Developers have introduced quite a few VPN protocols over the years. Each new protocol tries to be better than the last. The latest in this long list is a new open-source VPN protocol called WireGuard. This new protocol intends to be faster and simpler, and more stable than what’s on the market right now.
Even though it’s still in early development, WireGuard has already gained a lot of traction thanks to its features. Some people have also dubbed it the “protocol of the future”. But what are the specifics of this new VPN protocol, and will it deliver on its promises? Here’s a breakdown of what makes WireGuard tick.
What is a VPN Protocol?
The basis of any VPN is how it transfers data and how it keeps that data safe. A protocol has a hand in both of these things. Protocols define how a VPN service sets up a secure and stable connection that transfers data through its servers.
Nowadays, there are many different VPN protocols in use:
Their speed, compatibility, level of encryption, and connection stability differ. OpenVPN open-source protocol is the current fan-favorite.
Most people aren’t all that worried about which protocol they get when they choose a VPN service. While VPN protocols aim to do the same thing, they aren’t all alike. Some of them provide faster connection speeds, for instance, while others are more secure. So what makes WireGuard different?
What is WireGuard?
At first, WireGuard was only available for the Linux Kernel operating system. But it has now made its way to other platforms, including Windows and macOS. It is one of the latest VPN protocols to gain traction under both services and tech-savvy users. Many have seen the value of having a more straightforward yet improved protocol at their beck and call.
Most VPNs use standard, ready-built protocols that consist of strong cryptography but take long to execute. They also have a broad attack surface. Thus, WireGuard’s developers have been changing protocol algorithms to be easier to configure and deploy. At the same time, they’ve implemented cutting edge cryptography to make sure that the protocol stays secure.
Why the New WireGuard Protocol is Making Waves
WireGuard protocol simplifies the encryption process without sacrificing security. That’s the basis of its appeal. WireGuard provides a safe connection while improving connection speeds and manual configuration.
What’s more, Wireguard is an open-source protocol and only consists of 4000 lines of code. That’s excellent for cybersecurity because more people can test and fix the code. That leads to more secure pieces of software. Plus, it makes issues much easier to find. And it has also resulted in making WireGuard a lot faster than other protocols. Thus, WireGuard users have a much lower ping, which is excellent news for online gaming and streaming.
Some VPN service providers have already adopted WireGuard. They enable their users to connect through it. Since this protocol is still under heavy development, there are some risks to using it. Users can encounter bugs, stability issues, and even security concerns. But WireGuard is getting better, and it already provides a lot of perks to its users.
Those who wish to go at it on their own with an experimental new technology should weigh the risks as well. There’s code to test and a lot of work to do. As of right now, there’s limited commercial support for this protocol. Most VPN users will have to wait a while longer before they get to use it.
Will these qualities lead to WireGuard becoming the most sought-after protocol in the future? Anything is possible, and the odds look good for WireGuard. But as for right now, this protocol shows a lot of potential in theory yet needs to catch up in practice.