While end-to-end encryption dominates the headlines in light of recent legislative efforts, the encryption of our data in transit is also now more relevant than ever before. As a significant chunk of the American population continues to work from home, VPN traffic from private networks has soared by a whopping 34%, according to Verizon. Many companies have decided on the VPN software they will use to help stay afloat. But for many Linux users, WireGuard has already become the preferred weapon of choice after an exciting announcement made late last year: its official integration into the Linux kernel.
While there are several different VPN implementations to choose from, few come close to the simplicity of WireGuard’s open-source tunneling protocol. Compared to other protocols such as IPSec and OpenVPN, WireGuard is notorious for being lightweight, easy to set up, and (most importantly) highly secure. While it is also available for multiple different operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and FreeBSD, it now has a unique home inside the Linux kernel itself. As of version 5.6, users no longer need to manually download and include the VPN as a kernel module (add-on).
News of WireGuard’s merge could not have come at a more appropriate time. As millions around the globe rely on remote connections to access corporate resources from home, WireGuard becomes the de-facto new standard for point-to-point encryption on Linux. Not only does this decision advance the interests of privacy and confidentiality among users, but has also received overwhelming support among the Linux community, including none other than the creator of Linux himself, Linus Torvalds, referring to WireGuard as “a work of art.”
Written by: Conrad Schneggenburger