There’s been a lot of chatter about Wireguard lately, especially after it was added to the official Linux 5.6 kernel back in March of 2020.
In fact, Linux’s creator, Linus Torvald, has high praise for the Wireguard protocol:
“Can I just once again state my love for it and hope it gets merged soon? Maybe the code isn’t perfect, but I’ve skimmed it, and compared to the horrors that are OpenVPN and IPSec, it’s a work of art.”
But is it worth switching to? And more importantly, is it good idea to use Wireguard for torrenting?
For a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, skip to the end of the article. But for those who want a response with more meat, let’s start by highlighting the two areas where Wireguard has improved on its predecessors.
[+] 'Wireguard Torrenting' contents (select to expand)
Wireguard is More Secure
Depending on the specific iteration, OpenVPN uses anywhere from 100,000 to 600,000 lines of code. Wireguard? Around 4,000.
In other words, Wireguard manages to achieve the same thing in a way that’s about 100-times more efficient. No wonder Linus Torvald called it a “work of art”.
But what does this mean for you exactly? After all, the average VPN user isn’t reading through code. They just want a VPN that will protect them while torrenting.
For starters, it makes the code easier to audit. Meaning that any security vulnerabilities are much more likely to be found – and fixed – in Wireguard than in IPSec or OpenVPN. Similarly, the more code there is, the more chance there is for mistakes, i.e. vulnerabilities, to pop up in the code.
In short, not only are mistakes easier to locate in Wireguard’s code, they’re less likely to occur in the first place.
Of course, there’s another reason Wireguard is more secure: its encryption.
While the 256-bit AES encryption utilized by OpenVPN is already incredibly strong, Wireguard goes even further.
We won’t go into all the details here, but those of you looking to nerd out can find the full breakdown on Wireguard’s site.
What matters is, through a combination of more efficient code and state-of-the-art cryptography, Wireguard is more secure than previous protocols.
Does Wireguard Require Logs?
Wireguard has been in development for a couple years and during that time, several sources, including a handful of VPN providers, claimed that there was an inherent problem with the protocol: that it couldn’t be used without keeping logs.
And as we’ve covered time and again here at Cogipas, logs are a big no-no when it comes to VPN security, especially when torrenting.
However, these rumors are simply unfounded. Wireguard doesn’t require logs. And two of the VPNs who’ve already adopted the protocol, Private Internet Access and Mullvad, have taken further steps to ensure that logs are never a problem.
Is Wireguard Safe for Torrenting?
For those of you who may be a little less VPN savvy, we'll summarize the last two sections by answering a simple question: is Wireguard safe for torrenting?
And that answer is a resounding 'yes'. Wireguard has strong encryption, open source and efficient code, and it doesn't require logging. This is everything we want to see in a safe torrenting protocol.
While it's still a rather new technology, it's had a few years to prove itself, and is now supported by many of the top VPNs on the market.
Wireguard is Faster
Between efficient code and some other aspects that are unique to Wireguard, like better “handshakes”, it provides another important benefit: it’s faster.
For so long, you’ve had to sacrifice speed for security when using a VPN, but this trade off may be coming to an end with Wireguard.
However, there’s one big ‘but’ that we have to mention here. As of right now, Wireguard is best optimized on Linux. If you’re a Windows or Mac (or mobile) user, you probably won’t see a huge jump in speed right out of the gates.
But you shouldn’t see a decrease in speed compared to OpenVPN either. And as development proceeds, we’ll hopefully see some of those greater speed increases reach other operating systems.
Which is awesome news for folks looking to use Wireguard for torrenting.
Wireguard vs OpenVPN At a Glance
We've mentioned OpenVPN a few times in this article, so let's sum up how the two VPN protocols compare head-to-head:
- Wireguard is slightly faster than OpenVPN
- Wireguard has more efficient code than OpenVPN
- Wireguard is just, if not more, secure than OpenVPN
- OpenVPN has a much longer track record than Wireguard
- Neither Wireguard nor OpenVPN require logging
In short, Wireguard is arguably a bit better than OpenVPN in all of the things that matter for torrenting, like security and speed. That being said, it's still a fairly new technology. And OpenVPN is still perfectly capable as a torrenting protocol.
Is Wireguard Good for Torrenting? Conclusion
Okay, with all of that out of the way, let’s get back to the original question: is Wireguard good for torrenting?
But again, Wireguard is still in development for Windows and Mac, so if you’re using one of those, we’d recommend using Wireguard through an established VPN provider, like PIA VPN. This will make the protocol easier to use, and you can also switch back and forth between it and OpenVPN as desired.
In short, there’s nothing to lose. Especially since Private Internet Access VPN is already the best torrenting VPN in the business. Sign up today and give Wireguard a try!