WireGuard Vs OpenVPN | 5 Differences between WireGuard and OpenVPN

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WireGuard Vs OpenVPN | 5 Differences between WireGuard and OpenVPN

WireGuard Vs OpenVPN | 6 Differences between WireGuard and OpenVPN

For a long time, OpenVPN has remained the standard protocol for VPN services. Comparing to all of the other protocols it has the best performance and security. Even most of the VPN clients tend to keep OpenVPN as their default tunneling protocol. 

Then came the alternative WireGuard protocol with better services than the PPTP, L2TP etc....WireGuard is a new type of VPN which keeps everything simple as possible. It is no surprise that WireGuard protocols are even capable of competing with the standard OpenVPN. Now the question that raises among the user is, which is a better protocol among OpenVPN and the WireGuard ? This is one of the toughest questions to answer as both the OpenVPN and the WireGuard has its own pros and cons. 

In this article, I am going to tell you about WireGuard Vs OpenVPN | 5 Differences between WireGuard and Open VPN. At the end of this article, you will know which provides better services.

Let's get started,

1. Speed

OpenVPN : OpenVPN is considerably a slower protocol. It is even slower than L2TP and PPTP counterparts. However this is not actually a problem until the release of multi-threaded processing. Today most computers support the use of multi-threaded processing. Furthermore OpenVPN is placed on the userspace, which takes a part on the CPU usage. Due to this the OpenVPN will not be able to cope up with the speed demands.

WireGuard : While WireGuard is incorporated in the kernel space. As there are no any usage taken from the CPU, it can work more efficiently with it multi-threaded capabilities. This allows WireGuard actually to be more faster. Moreover benchmark test clearly indicates how a WireGuard outranks OpenVPN in terms of performance.

Winner : WireGuard

2. Security

OpenVPN : OpenVPN is generally considered to be secure and reliable without vulnerabilities. It uses a mechanism known as CVE tracking to report and patch vulnerabilities. Besides that OpenVPN uses SSL and TLS protocols those which are custom security protocols. All these protocols are incorporated in the library of security protocols called as the OpenSSL. Furthermore as mentioned earlier OpenVPN is placed on the user space. User space is the location where virtual memory is protected against external threats. Since the OpenVPN operates there it can be guaranteed as a secure protocol. 

WireGuard : As for WireGuard uses a cryptographic protocol known as the Secure Shell (SSH). Similar to a TLS it also comes with a lot of security features. But unlike an OpenVPN, WireGuard operates inside the kernel space. Hence, all of the operations are happening away from the operating system. This makes them more secure and quick. Even more secure than the OpenVPN.

Winner : WireGuard

3. Usability

OpenVPN : OpenVPN uses almost 600,000 lines of code in total. With these high number of codes, developers have to face a lot of difficulty in modifying this code. This also limits the number of platforms on which it is supported. 

WireGuard : While a WireGuard uses fewer lines of code, only 4000. The lean code structure of WireGuard allows it to be user friendly and supports cross platforms.

Winner : WireGuard

4. Compatibility

OpenVPN : Almost all of the platforms such as Windows, Linux, MocOS, Android and IOS support the use of OpenVPN. Moreover modern VPNs are incorporated with the OpenVPN protocol. And also most router's firmware uses OpenVPN for securely tunneling data packets.

WireGuard : On the other hand, WireGuard has been used by only few of the VPN clients such as the TunSafe, Mullvad and IVPN. Those VPN clients are available on Windows, MacOS, Linus and IOS. However in the near future, WireGuard plans to release itself with Linux kernel. Which means that all the UNIX-like operating systems will be able to incorporate WireGuard as a kernel module.

Winner : OpenVPN

5. Authentication

OpenVPN : Authentication used by the OpenVPN is of 2 types. One is Certificate based and the other is the Preshared keys. Cerficate based authentication is considered very secure but they are actually slower. In the vise versa, Preshared keys are less secure but faster. According to the network environment, OpenVPN can choose either of these 2 authentication methods. However if you find out that you need more security, you can have your own configuration too.

WireGuard : Coming to WireGuard, it uses a different method known as the RFC 7539's AEAD. The purpose of RFC 7539's AEAD is to authenticate endpoints in a network. And for the encryption part, WireGuard uses Poly 1305 cryptographic cipher.

Winner : Draw

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