OpenVPN vs. WireGuard: Comparison of the Two Most Popular VPN Protocols

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become increasingly popular tools for securing internet connections and maintaining privacy in the digital world. With the variety of VPN protocols available, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your needs. In this article, we will compare two popular VPN protocols: OpenVPN and WireGuard. We will discuss their performance, security, and ease of use, to help you make an informed decision.


OpenVPN, an open-source protocol, has been a leading choice for VPN users for many years. It offers strong security, high performance, and compatibility with a wide range of platforms. Meanwhile, WireGuard is a newer VPN protocol that aims to provide faster and more efficient connections with a simpler codebase. It has quickly gained traction due to its impressive speed and lightweight design.

OpenVPN vs. WireGuard – Performance

When it comes to performance, WireGuard has a clear advantage over OpenVPN. Its streamlined codebase and modern cryptographic algorithms make it faster, more efficient, and less resource-intensive. In various benchmark tests, WireGuard has shown significantly better performance in terms of connection speed, latency, and CPU usage. This can be particularly beneficial for users with slow internet connections or older devices.

On the other hand, OpenVPN, while not as fast as WireGuard, still offers reliable performance. It supports a wide range of encryption ciphers and can be configured for optimal speed and security, depending on the user’s requirements.

screenshot showing the OpenVPN protocol

OpenVPN vs. WireGuard – Security

Both OpenVPN and WireGuard have strong security features, but they differ in their approaches. OpenVPN has been battle-tested for years and has proven itself to be highly secure. It supports a variety of encryption ciphers, including AES-256, which is widely considered to be extremely secure. Additionally, OpenVPN’s extensive configuration options allow users to fine-tune their security settings to suit their needs.

WireGuard, on the other hand, uses a simpler security model with fewer configuration options. It employs modern cryptographic algorithms like ChaCha20 for encryption and Poly1305 for message authentication. While these algorithms are considered secure, WireGuard’s relative newness means it has not been as thoroughly audited as OpenVPN. However, its simplicity and smaller codebase may make it less prone to vulnerabilities in the long run.

banner advertising a VPN service offered by

OpenVPN vs. WireGuard – Ease of Use and Compatibility

OpenVPN is compatible with a wide range of platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. There are numerous third-party apps and clients available for managing OpenVPN connections, making it relatively easy to set up and use.

WireGuard is also available on many platforms but may require more technical knowledge to configure and manage. While some VPN providers have integrated WireGuard into their apps, others require manual setup. Nevertheless, as WireGuard gains popularity, it is expected to become more user-friendly and accessible to a broader audience.


Choosing between OpenVPN and WireGuard ultimately depends on your priorities and specific needs. OpenVPN has a proven track record of security and offers more configuration options, making it a suitable choice for those who value customizability and compatibility with a wide range of devices. WireGuard, with its superior performance and simpler design, may be better suited for users seeking speed, efficiency, and a lightweight solution.

As VPN technology continues to evolve, it is crucial to keep informed about the latest developments and choose a protocol that aligns with your requirements. By considering factors like performance, security, and ease of use, you can select the VPN protocol that best meets your needs.