5 Best WireGuard VPNs in 2023 (Fastest Speeds Compared)
Using modern cryptographic principles and SSH levels of easy configuration, the WireGuard communication protocol has been a game changer. And, what’s very important, WireGuard is no longer an experimental VPN protocol like it was a few years back. It passed multiple audits and now works well.
In fact, most top VPNs added WireGuard to their apps, enabling you to take advantage of all of the perks this protocol brings to the table. Having said that, finding a good VPN that implements WireGuard in a way that doesn’t compromise user privacy can be challenging.
To help you with the best WireGuard VPN based on your needs and preferences, we’ve researched a few dozen top VPN providers in great detail. Moreover, besides discussing the top services, we’ll also answer a long list of FAQs about WireGuard VPNs.
- NordVPN – has high-end security and very fast speeds.
- Surfshark – offers parallel connections.
- AtlasVPN – a great all-around budget choice.
- Private Internet Access – offers a huge server network.
- CyberGhost – has dedicated streaming servers.
What Is WireGuard?
WireGuard is a modern VPN communication protocol that uses UDP to transfer data to and from the VPN network. It’s open-source software, has been audited many times, uses state-of-the-art cryptography and offers fast connection speeds.
Initially, WireGuard was only available on Linux. But it now works on all major operating systems. Moreover, in the context of this page, most VPN providers have started adding WireGuard to their apps.
With this in mind, WireGuard serves as an outstanding VPN communication protocol for general use. As it combines both speed and security, users who opt for WireGuard don’t have to stress about compromising one over the other with this protocol.
How Does WireGuard Work?
Like any VPN protocol, WireGuard establishes a secure connection between a VPN app and a VPN server. It works over UDP and creates a secure environment. It does that with the WireGuard interface, private encryption keys, and public encryption keys. It then encrypts data and sends it through that secure channel.
The 5 Best WireGuard VPNs in 2023
We researched 20+ VPNs to find the top VPNs that support WireGuard. Besides that, we checked if they implemented WireGuard in a way that protects user privacy. Also, we ran speed tests to see which WireGuard VPNs offer fast connections. For reference, our original ISP speeds are around 800-900 Mbps, and our tester is from Romania.
NordVPN is the best WireGuard VPN service, according to our tests. NordVPN has NordLynx, which is its own protocol that’s built around WireGuard technology. And NordVPN solved the privacy issue by using a double NAT system. Its servers don’t store any user data.
NordVPN has consistent WireGuard speeds. We managed to enjoy fast streaming while watching 4K and HD videos on Netflix on all server locations. Also, we downloaded large 15-20 GB torrent files really fast – in around 10-15 minutes. Here are NordVPN WireGuard speeds test results:
|Romania||17 ms||419 Mbps|
|The US||105 ms||401 Mbps|
|Japan||258 ms||349 Mbps|
On top of that, NordVPN is a really good VPN. It has fast speeds with other VPN protocols, user-friendly apps, and 5,600+ servers in 59 countries. NordVPN is great for streaming because it unblocks popular streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu. It allows P2P traffic on the majority of its server location. Plus, it also offers split tunneling, which lets you optimize your VPN speeds.
Besides that, NordVPN offers excellent security. It uses bank-grade encryption, a customizable kill switch, and full leak protection. And you get extra features like obfuscation and double VPN connections.
Also, NordVPN has RAM-only servers, meaning every reset wipes all data. And its no-logs policy has been audited twice. Plus, you get Threat Protection, which is an ad blocker that keeps you safe from ads and malicious sites.
NordVPN also offers apps for all major platforms and allows you to conveniently install it on one of many supported types of routers. NordVPN has cheap long-term plans, 24/7 live chat support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Thousands of lightning-fast and well-optimized servers
- Unblocks all the major streaming sites
- Fully supports Torrenting and P2P
- Strict no-logs policy and RAM-disk servers
- Ad blocker and malware protection features
- Robust security features and military-grade encryption to protect you from DDoS attacks and other online threats
- 24/7 live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only 6 simultaneous connections
- No free trial
Surfshark uses a double NAT system to implement WireGuard securely. It also doesn’t assign you static IPs, but dynamic IPs. And Surfshark’s WireGuard speeds are really good. We enjoyed fast streaming, gaming, and torrenting with this VPN. Here are Surfshark’s WireGuard speeds test results:
|Romania||34 ms||457 Mbps|
|The US||105 ms||408 Mbps|
|Japan||264 ms||270 Mbps|
Most VPNs offer around five to seven parallel connections. But Surfshark offers unlimited connections with one account. So you can use this VPN service on as many devices as you want.
What’s more, Surfshark’s apps are very intuitive, and it has a large network of 3,200+ servers. Surfshark unblocks popular streaming sites without any problems. Also, it allows P2P traffic on all servers and has split tunneling.
In terms of security, Surfshark offers powerful encryption, RAM-only servers, and a no-logs policy. It also has a kill switch, obfuscation, and double VPN connections. And Surfshark has a reliable ad blocker called CleanWeb.
This provider has good leak protection, but you will need to manually disable IPv6 on your device to be 100% safe. Surfshark has some of the cheapest plans on the market, 24/7 live chat, and a 30-day refund.
- A very affordable VPN provider
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Ad-blocking feature
- Unblocks streaming platforms
- A fast and light WireGuard protocol
- Allows split-tunneling and has a multi-hop VPN feature
- No-log policy and robust security features
- GPS spoofing on Android devices
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No free version
- Does not allow P2P seeding
AtlasVPN implemented a unique user authentication method for WireGuard to protect your privacy. WireGuard is available on its Android, Windows, and iOS apps. In terms of speeds, AtlasVPN’s WireGuard implementation performed really well:
|Romania||25 ms||401 Mbps|
|The US||110 ms||386 Mbps|
|Japan||270 ms||320 Mbps|
We really think this VPN has one of the best free plans out there. It comes with unlimited data, P2P support, a strict no-logs policy, and it lets you use the WireGuard protocol. What’s more, its plans are very cheap, so this is the perfect WireGuard VPN if you’re on a budget.
Another cool thing about AtlasVPN is that it supports unlimited connections. So you can enjoy WireGuard connections on as many devices as you want. Other perks include strong encryption, a kill switch, and good leak protection.
There’s also the SafeBrowse tracker blocker that protects your privacy from creepy advertisers. Atlas VPN also supports a split tunneling feature. While AtlasVPN doesn’t have 24/7 live chat, it makes up for that with great email support. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Very affordable plans and it has a free version
- Fast Speeds
- Helpful against an ISP throttling your connection
- Unlimited device support
- WireGuard protocol, DNS leak protection, and strong security features
- Unblocks streaming services
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Limited Linux app
- Based in the US
- Not so many servers
4. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access outfitted WireGuard with no-logging features. Also, it uses HTTPS encryption when it sends a request to the VPN server for an IP address. PIA’s WireGuard speeds are also fast, but we experienced some slowdowns when using distant server locations like Japan. Here are the PIA WireGuard speeds test results:
|Romania||33 ms||377 Mbps|
|The US||105 ms||152 Mbps|
|Japan||260 ms||69 Mbps|
PIA has the largest server network on the market. It’s very easy to find a nearby server to get good speeds. The large network also allows PIA to unblock almost any streaming site. And PIA supports torrenting on each server, has user-friendly apps, and offers split tunneling.
Security-wise, PIA uses military-grade encryption, a good kill switch, and great leak protection. Its servers are RAM-only, its no-logs policy has been proven true in court, and its apps are open-source.
What’s more, PIA has a reliable ad blocker called PIA MACE and traffic obfuscation. PIA offers good prices, 24/7 live chat support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Thousands of servers
- Great for torrenting and P2P
- Strong security and encryption
- Block ads, trackers, and malware
- 10 simultaneous device connections
- Anonymous payment methods
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Based in the US
- Not all streaming services can be unblocked
CyberGhost VPN implements WireGuard in a way that ensures the VPN server doesn’t log user data. CyberGhost VPN’s WireGuard speeds are outstanding on most servers. But you might experience minor slowdowns while connected to very far-away servers – like our tester in Romania did when he used servers in Japan. Here are CyberGhost’s WireGuard speeds test results:
|Romania||14 ms||340 Mbps|
|The US||128 ms||201 Mbps|
|Japan||264 ms||94 Mbps|
CyberGhost VPN has user-friendly and intuitive apps and an impressive network of 9,300+ servers in 91 countries. It unblocks most streaming sites thanks to its dedicated streaming servers.
The service refreshes its IPs very often to avoid detection on streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Additionally, CyberGhost VPN has split tunneling. This VPN also has tons of dedicated P2P servers.
With CyberGhost, you get uncompromising top-notch security. It uses powerful encryption, RAM-only servers, and an always-on kill switch. CyberGhost VPN doesn’t keep logs, and it has an ad blocker.
CyberGhost VPN is a very affordable WireGuard VPN provider, it offers 24/7 live chat, and it has a 45-day money-back guarantee if you get a long-term plan.
- Good for streaming and torrenting
- WireGuard protocol available
- No Logs
- Offers Dedicated IP option
- Free browser extension
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- No third-party audits
- Messy app’s interface
Other Providers With WireGuard
The five best WireGuard VPN services we’ve discussed above stand out as prime picks for everyone looking for a VPN with WireGuard support. That said, there are far from the only ones that support this superb protocol.
A number of other VPN services offer WireGuard as part of their lineup. To name a few, here are several additional providers that have WireGuard support:
- Proton VPN
WireGuard VPN Pros & Cons
We’re going to keep this simple. If we tell you that WireGuard prevents relay attacks by using a 64-bit counter instead of reusing nonces, that probably won’t mean anything to you. Plus, it’s not very interesting to talk about. So, we’ll focus on the basic pros and cons instead. And we’ll display them in a table that’s easy to read and scan:
- WireGuard has very fast speeds. It’s actually faster than most VPN protocols.
- WireGuard uses modern encryption ciphers.
- Most VPN providers offer WireGuard, and it works on most platforms.
- WireGuard’s codebase is only around 4,000 lines. It’s easier to audit WireGuard than other VPN protocols like OpenVPN, SoftEther, and IPSec.
- WireGuard has successfully passed multiple security audits.
- WireGuard is very stable, and it allows instantaneous connections and reconnections. In our tests, we always connected to a VPN server in less than 2-3 seconds with WireGuard.
- WireGuard might consume less battery and offer better roaming support on mobile.
- On its own, WireGuard has a privacy issue – it can’t dynamically assign IPs. VPN servers are forced to store user data – unless the VPN provider uses a workaround.
WireGuard vs. OpenVPN: Which is Faster?
Most people say WireGuard VPNs are faster than OpenVPN connections. How true is that, though? We ran some performance tests to find out. More precisely, we calculated an average for the WireGuard speeds we had while testing NordVPN, Surfshark, CyberGhost, PIA, and TorGuard.
Then, we ran speed tests on the same server locations using OpenVPN UDP and calculated an average for those results. And, for reference, our tester is from Romania, and his regular connection speeds are generally in the 800 to 900 Mbps range. Here’s how WireGuard Speeds differ from OpenVPN in different regions:
|Protocol||Average download speed||Average ping|
|Wireguard||398 Mbps||22 ms|
|OpenVPN||124 Mbps||20 ms|
|Protocol||Average download speed||Average ping|
|Wireguard||264 Mbps||110 ms|
|OpenVPN||74 Mbps||138 ms|
|Protocol||Average download speed||Average ping|
|Wireguard||162 Mbps||248 ms|
|OpenVPN||85 Mbps||314 ms|
On average, our WireGuard connections were 65% faster than our OpenVPN connections. The difference was very noticeable. We always had faster browsing, torrenting, streaming, and gaming when we used WireGuard.
We also connected to VPN servers much faster when using WireGuard. It usually took us up to two seconds. With OpenVPN, connecting to a server could take between five and ten seconds.
Of course, with all of the above said, This doesn’t mean that OpenVPN isn’t a good software solution. You can still get decent speeds if you connect to servers in your country or neighboring countries.
Wireguard VPN FAQs
Is WireGuard Safe?
Yes, WireGuard is safe to use. So far, it has undergone all sorts of verifications and audits to prove it’s a secure protocol. And since it’s open-source, anyone can check the code for vulnerabilities. Plus, WireGuard has around 4,000 lines of code, so it’s easy for security researchers to audit it.
Besides that, WireGuard offers other security features:
- Modern cryptography: ChaCha20, BLAKE2s, Curve25519, SipHash24, and HKDF.
- Connection handshakes take place every few minutes to offer rotating encryption keys. That way, WireGuard provides perfect forward secrecy. Even if a hacker were to compromise an encryption key, they wouldn’t be able to crack the entire encryption.
- It doesn’t respond to unauthorized clients, preventing DoS attacks.
WireGuard only has one problem – dynamic IP allocation. It can’t dynamically assign VPN users IP addresses. Instead, it needs to assign them static IPs. Static IP addresses aren’t a huge security vulnerability. However, the way WireGuard works means the VPN server has to log your real IP and connection timestamps. It theoretically makes it difficult to run a no-logs VPN.
Luckily, the top VPNs that implemented WireGuard found workarounds. NordVPN and Surfshark, for example, use a double NAT system to protect their users’ privacy. Other WireGuard VPN services simply erase all IP logs so that no data is stored.
Does WireGuard Work on All Platforms?
Yes, WireGuard is available on most platforms. It started out on Linux, but it now works on Windows, macOS, BSD, iOS, and Android. There are some WireGuard VPN providers that only offer WireGuard on one or two operating systems. But the VPNs we covered in this article offer this protocol on all their apps.
Can WireGuard Be Blocked?
Yes, ISPs, network admins, and governments can block WireGuard VPNs. They can use DPI to detect and block WireGuard traffic. Also, they can block the UDP ports used by WireGuard. On the plus side, WireGuard can use almost any UDP port. So, it’s very easy to bypass VPN port blocks.
WireGuard doesn’t focus on obfuscation. But there are ways to add it – like WireGuard over WSS. However, we haven’t seen any WireGuard VPN providers implement obfuscation for this communication protocol yet.
ISPs and governments can also block WireGuard connections by IP address. If that happens, you’ll have to connect to a different VPN server. But this can happen to any VPN protocol, so it’s not an issue with WireGuard.
Why Is WireGuard Better Than OpenVPN?
WireGuard is faster than OpenVPN and slightly more secure in certain areas. Both VPN protocols offer excellent security, are audited, and are open-source, but WireGuard has more perks:
- It’s simpler to audit WireGuard because it has fewer lines of code. So, it’s easier to find and fix vulnerabilities.
- WireGuard is significantly faster than OpenVPN. In our tests, we had 65% faster speeds with WireGuard than with OpenVPN.
- Because OpenVPN runs many ciphers and protocols, it’s more susceptible to downgrade attacks. Also, hackers can exploit a larger attack surface.
But, OpenVPN is better than WireGuard privacy-wise. Unlike WireGuard, OpenVPN doesn’t force VPN servers to store user data. But many VPN providers found a way around that issue. So, considering all of this, can WireGuard replace OpenVPN entirely?
To be frank, it doesn’t seem WireGuard will entirely replace OpenVPN. While it certainly has a few notable advantages over OpenVPN, there are practical reasons why WireGuard won’t completely phase out OpenVPN. The most significant ones are that OpenVPN works on far more routers and supports TCP.
Can You Do a Manual WireGuard Setup?
Yes, you can manually set up WireGuard for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. There are WireGuard clients for all those platforms which let you manage WireGuard tunnels.
But we don’t recommend doing this if you’re not an experienced VPN user. It’s a pretty difficult process. To manually set up WireGuard on Windows or any other platform, you’ll need to rent a server first. And you’ll need to configure it, which isn’t easy.
Overall, it’s much simpler to use a VPN service that has WireGuard support. NordVPN, for example, has intuitive, user-friendly apps for all platforms. And they all support WireGuard connections.
Is WireGuard the Fastest Protocol?
WireGuard is a very fast VPN protocol, and – in our tests – it was faster than other communication protocols. We tested WireGuard against OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, SSTP, SoftEther, and L2TP/IPSec. We always had faster browsing, streaming, gaming, and torrenting with WireGuard.
We also tested WireGuard against PPTP. It was usually a tie, though PPTP was sometimes faster than WireGuard. But we don’t recommend using PPTP. It’s very unsafe because its encryption is weak. The NSA can actually crack PPTP traffic.
Does WireGuard Work in China?
WireGuard works in China, but the government can also block the protocol with DPI. Unless the VPN provider adds obfuscation to WireGuard, it won’t be able to get around DPI blocking. We recommend using OpenVPN with obfuscation if Chinese authorities use DPI to block your VPN connection.
However, if the government is blocking VPNs by IP, it’s safe to use WireGuard. As long as the VPN you’re using refreshes its IPs fast enough to evade China’s IP blocks, your connection won’t be blocked.
Does WireGuard Work with Netflix?
Yes, WireGuard works with Netflix, but this isn’t a particular advantage, as any VPN protocol should work with Netflix. The site blocks VPNs by blacklisting their servers’ IP addresses. So, the more important part is for the VPNs to refresh their server base often in order to ensure they work with Netflix.
We’ve noticed that some online users say that Netflix uses DPI, which could be a problem because DPI can detect and block WireGuard. But that doesn’t make sense. DPI is a network analysis method, and you’re not using Netflix’s network. You’re using your ISP’s network. It’s more likely that Netflix uses IP blocklists to prevent your VPN from establishing a connection to its platform.
Is WireGuard Free?
Yes, WireGuard is free to use, as it comes without any added costs. But, you need to manually set up a WireGuard connection to use it for free. Moreover, if we’re going into technical details, it isn’t 100% free because you need to rent a server to do that.
While there are free VPNs that probably offer WireGuard, we don’t recommend using them. It’s better to use a paid VPN service. It’s faster, has unlimited bandwidth, and it doesn’t log and sell your data.
Is WireGuard TCP or UDP?
WireGuard uses the UDP network protocol. It can use almost any UDP port. By default, it uses port 51820. WireGuard doesn’t tunnel over TCP to avoid poor network performance.
Should I use a VPN without WireGuard?
You can use a VPN without WireGuard and still get pretty good performance. But, the question is, why miss out on this industry-leading protocol when it’s so readily available at most top VPN services? So, when you have so many VPNs with WireGuard to pick from, there’s no reason to pick one that doesn’t support it.