WireGuard VS OpenVPN: An In-Depth Comparative Analysis

By LightNode ·


VPN is populated by many protocols, but two stand out in modern times: WireGuard and OpenVPN. both are powerful in their own right, but how far apart are they? Here's a comprehensive comparison.

WireGuard VS OpenVPn


1. Simple Design

WireGuard: Sleek and modern in design, with only about 4,000 lines of code. This streamlined approach makes it easier to audit and reduces potential vulnerabilities. OpenVPN: While tried and true, the code base is larger, with about 70,000 lines of code.

2. Performance

WireGuard: Offers superior performance and low latency thanks to its streamlined design and the latest encryption technology. OpenVPN: Reliable in many cases, but may not be as efficient as WireGuard in terms of raw speed.

3. Encryption Standards

WireGuard: Uses state-of-the-art encryption protocols such as Curve25519, ChaCha20 and Poly1305. OpenVPN: Utilizes the OpenSSL library, which, while versatile, introduces potential vulnerabilities inherent in OpenSSL.

4. Configuration

WireGuard: Known for its simplicity of configuration and is a breeze to set up. OpenVPN: More complex to configure, especially in large-scale deployments.

5. Cross-platform Support

WireGuard: Integrated into the Linux kernel and can be implemented on many other platforms. OpenVPN: Offers broader platform support, including Windows, Linux, macOS and a variety of mobile devices.

6. Maturity and Track Record

WireGuard: A new entrant, but is quickly gaining acceptance among developers and organizations. OpenVPN: Has stood the test of time, proving its stability and reliability over the years.

7. NAT Traversal

WireGuard: Has innate NAT traversal capabilities and is therefore more adaptable to dynamic IP addresses and mobile devices. OpenVPN: May require additional configuration to effectively handle NAT and dynamic IP.

8. License

WireGuard: Runs under the GPLv2 license. OpenVPN: Uses the AGPLv3 license.

9. Privacy Considerations

WireGuard: Retains client IP addresses for longer periods of time, which may raise privacy concerns for some. However, the actual impact on privacy depends heavily on the logging policies of the VPN provider. OpenVPN: Many providers have a policy of rotating client IP addresses, adding an extra layer of anonymity.

10. Kernel-space and User-space

WireGuard: Operates as a kernel space VPN, which runs directly in the operating system kernel for improved performance. OpenVPN: Runs in user space, which may introduce a slight performance overhead due to context switching.

11. Handshakes and Reconnections

WireGuard: Utilizes a novel "zero handshake" concept that allows it to re-establish a connection almost immediately when needed. OpenVPN: May take longer to re-establish a connection after disconnection.

12. Community Support & Development

WireGuard: Newer, but has enthusiastic support from developers. OpenVPN: Has a large and active community with extensive documentation, guides and forum discussions.


While both WireGuard and OpenVPN offer strong benefits, the choice depends on specific requirements; WireGuard is growing in popularity for its simplicity, performance and modern security features. In contrast, OpenVPN remains a trusted choice for many with its extensive track record and broad platform support.

If you want to use either WireGuard or OpenVPN, you can purchase LightNode servers, and our servers support the installation of both protocols.

Buy WireGuard and OpenVPN VPS

FAQ about WireGuard VS OpenVPN

How to setup WireGuard VPN on VPS of LightNode?

If you want to install WireGuard VPN on VPS, you can chaek this article: How to Setup WireGuard VPN on VPS - WireGuard Server Setup.

Is WireGuard best protocol?

WireGuard is favored by many users for its speed, security, and simplicity, especially for those prioritizing performance and modern encryption. However, "best" is subjective and depends on specific needs. For certain scenarios, other VPN protocols might be more appropriate.

Which regions of LightNode support the installation of WireGuard and OpenVPN?

At LightNode, all locations support the installation of WireGuard and OpenVPN, including Argentina VPS, Bahrain VPS, Bangladesh VPS, Brazil VPS, Bulgaria VPS, Cambodia VPS, Chile VPS, Dubai VPS, Egypt VPS, France VPS, Germany VPS, Greece VPS, Hong Kong VPS, Indonesia VPS, Japan VPS, Kuwait VPS, Malaysia VPS, Mexico VPS, Nepal VPS, Oman VPS, Pakistan VPS, Philippines VPS, Russia VPS, Saudi Arabia VPS, Singapore VPS, South Africa VPS, South Korea VPS, Taiwan VPS, Thailand VPS, Turkey VPS, UK VPS, USA VPS, and Vietnam VPS.