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Logo of WireGuard.svg
Original author(s)Jason A. Donenfeld
Developer(s)Edge Security LLC.
Stable release
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Operating system
TypeVirtual private network
As of3 November 2018

WireGuard is an open-source software application and protocol that implements virtual private network (VPN) techniques to create secure point-to-point connections in routed or bridged configurations. It is run as a module inside the Linux kernel and aims for better performance than the IPsec and OpenVPN tunneling protocols.[2]


WireGuard aims to provide a VPN that is both simple and highly effective. A review by ars technica observed that popular VPN technologies such as OpenVPN and IPSEC are often complex to set up, disconnect easily (in the absence of further configuration), take substantial time to negotiate reconnections, may use outdated ciphers, and have relatively massive code (400,000 to 600,000 lines of code for the two examples given) which makes it harder to find bugs.[3]

WireGuard's design seeks to reduce these issues, making the tunnel more secure and easier to manage by default. By using versioning of cryptography packages, it focuses on ciphers believed to be among the more secure current encryption methods, and also has a codebase of around 4000 lines, about 1% of either OpenVPN or IPSEC, making security audits easier. Ars technica reported that in testing, stable tunnels were easy to create with WireGuard, compared to alternatives, and commented that it would be "hard to go back" to long reconnection delays, compared to WireGuard's "no nonsense" instant reconnections.[3]


WireGuard utilizes Curve25519 for key exchange, ChaCha20 and Poly1305 for data authentication and BLAKE2s for hashing.[4] It supports layer 3 for both IPv4 and IPv6 and can encapsulate v4-in-v6 and vice versa.[5] It was written by Jason A. Donenfeld and is published under the second version of the GNU General Public License (GPL).[4]

As of April 2018, WireGuard has been adopted by the VPN service providers Mullvad and AzireVPN. WireGuard has received donations from Mullvad, Private Internet Access and the NLnet Foundation.[6]

As of June 2018 the developers of WireGuard advise treating the code and protocol as experimental, and caution that they have not yet achieved a stable release compatible with CVE tracking of any security vulnerabilities that may be discovered.[7][8]

Oregon senator Ron Wyden has recommended to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that they evaluate WireGuard as a replacement for existing technologies like IPsec and OpenVPN.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Installation". WireGuard. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  2. ^ Preneel, Bart; Vercauteren, Frederik (eds.). Applied Cryptography and Network Security. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-93387-0.
  3. ^ a b Salter, Jim (26 August 2018). "WireGuard VPN review: A new type of VPN offers serious advantages". ars technica. Archived from the original on 20 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b "WireGuard: fast, modern, secure VPN tunnel". WireGuard. Archived from the original on 28 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  5. ^ Donenfeld, Jason A. "Introduction & Motivation" (PDF). WireGuard: Next Generation Kernel Network Tunnel (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Donations". WireGuard. Archived from the original on 28 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  7. ^ "About The Project". WireGuard. Work in Progress. Archived from the original on 25 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Installation". WireGuard. Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  9. ^ "US Senator Recommends Open-Source WireGuard To NIST For Government VPN". Phoronix. 30 June 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.

External links[edit]