What is WireGuard VPN Protocol

The main aim of any VPN is to create a safe encrypted tunnel for internet traffic, protecting it from hackers and other third parties. VPN providers can choose from a variety of protocols - OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, etc., to create and manage an encrypted tunnel. But every protocol has its own advantages and disadvantages.

How WireGuard® VPN Protocol Works - KeepSolid VPN Unlimited®

Wireguard is the Best VPN Protocol

Although OpenVPN is the most popular option, it was developed over 20 years ago and internet technologies have made some progress since 2001. WireGuard is a game-changer in the world of VPN protocols and has already got some credit in the cybersecurity industry.

WireGuard is a new open-source VPN protocol that uses state-of-the-art cryptography and aims to outperform the existing VPN protocols like IPsec and OpenVPN. It was originally released for the Linux kernel, but is now cross-platform and can be widely deployable. Though WireGuard is still under development, it can already be considered as one of the most secure, fast, and easy-to-use solutions in the VPN industry.

Features and Technical Details of WireGuard Protocol

The WireGuard protocol features a much lighter code base than most VPN protocols (at least open-source ones). It consists of just around 4000 lines of code, which largely contrasts strongSwan/IPsec and OpenVPN/OpenSSL, which have 400,000 and 600,000 lines of code correspondingly.

Such a light build means WireGuard is much easier to audit for security vulnerabilities. Audit of WireGuard may be done by a single individual, whereas auditing of enormous IPSec or OpenVPN’s codebases is a difficult task even for a whole team of security experts. WireGuard’s smaller codebase also implies a minimal attack surface that can be exploited by cybercriminals.

How Wireguard Protocol Works 

The state-of-the-art cryptography employed by WireGuard includes the following protocols and cryptographic primitives:

  • ChaCha20 for symmetric encryption, authenticated with Poly1305
  • Curve25519 for ECDH
  • SipHash24 for hashtable keys
  • BLAKE2s for hashing and keyed hashing
  • HKDF for key derivation

The usage of high-speed cryptographic primitives and the fact that WireGuard lives inside the Linux kernel can make networking both secure and very high-speed. WireGuard’s good performance makes it suitable for both small devices like smartphones and loaded backbone routers.

Another noteworthy peculiarity about WireGuard VPN protocol is that connection handshakes take place every few minutes to provide rotating keys for perfect forward secrecy. They are performed based on time rather than the contents of data packets. 

There is an in-built mechanism ensuring that the latest keys and handshakes are up-to-date and renegotiated when required. It utilizes a separate packet queue per host, thus minimizing packet loss during handshakes, at the same time providing uninterrupted performance for clients.

Simply put, you turn on your device and everything is handled automatically for you. No need to disconnect, reconnect, or reinitialize, just enjoy the smooth VPN connection!

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WireGuard Protocol Pros and Cons


  • Performance. WireGuard is a fast VPN protocol and uses high-speed cryptographic primitives. And it is supposed to provide faster performance and bandwidth among all the protocol solutions. This recommends WireGuard to be used in embedded devices such as the smartphone and home routers.
  • Configurations. WireGuard does not require a certificate infrastructure because it uses Public keys only. This makes every particular software easy to configure in WireGuard.
  • Security. WireGuard uses a cryptographic key routing process to provide a secure online connection. It does not follow AES-256 encryption standards and combines VPN IP addresses with Public encryption keys for better security.
  • Code Base. WireGuard uses only about 3800 lines of code, which is very few compared to OpenVPN and IPSec. This makes the WireGuard protocol easier to audit and reduces the number of vulnerabilities.
  • Platform Support. WireGuard supports all of the most popular platforms. Currently, it supports Windows, Android, iOS, Mac OS, and Linux.


  • Built-in support. Even though WireGuard provides applications for every popular platform, it doesn’t work without additional software. If you want to use a VPN on a device where you can’t install apps, you’ll need to use a different protocol.
  • Obfuscation. The WireGuard project does not seek to build a VPN that counters deep-packet inspection. If, for example, you’re trying to get through the Great Firewall of China, WireGuard by itself won’t do the trick. However, WireGuard’s architecture allows it to support obfuscation tunnels as a layer on top.

VPN Unlimited and WireGuard

VPN Unlimited is a WireGuard VPN provider. This protocol is available in the VPN Unlimited apps for:

  • Android
  • Windows
  • iOS
  • macOS

“OpenVPN” is a registered trademark of OpenVPN Inc.

“WireGuard” is a registered trademark of Jason A. Donenfeld.

Want to protect your private data with the WireGuard client?

Check out what is WireGuard VPN security and learn how WireGuard protocol works on your device with our manual.

VPN Unlimited Supported Protocols

VPN Unlimited suggests the set of available VPN protocols. If you know what protocol you need in your situation, your web experience will be much better. Anyway, whatever protocol you choose your data will be protected on any platform with VPN Unlimited. Choose from the following VPN tunneling protocols:

FAQ About VPN and WireGuard Technologies

WireGuard vs OpenVPN. Which one is better?

WireGuard is much faster than OpenVPN. It consumes 15% less data, handles network changes better, and appears to be secure. However, OpenVPN has been tried and tested, is more privacy-friendly, and is supported by a larger number of VPNs.

Is WireGuard safe?

WireGuard is a highly secure software, but with several breaches. It was not designed with privacy in mind, that’s why its biggest weakness is assigning IP addresses. When you connect to a VPN service using OpenVPN or IKEv2, you're assigned a different IP address each time.

What does WireGuard do?

WireGuard is a communication protocol. It is free and open-source. This software implements encrypted VPN, and its goal is to improve the performance speed, protect from attacks and improve the total web experience.

Does WireGuard use TCP or UDP?

Wireguard uses both TCP and UDP depending on the situation. Wireguard uses UDP for sending traffic between the VPN nodes or uses TCP to work better through firewalls if necessary.

I don’t know how to use WireGuard. Can you help me with this protocol?

Sure. Don’t hesitate to ask our customer support via [email protected]. We are ready to help you day and night.

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