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NordVPN unveils first mainstream WireGuard virtual private network

NordVPN, a leading VPN company, is adopting the new open-source WireGuard virtual private network technology across its product line.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

I predicted WireGuard, a revolutionary open-source approach to Virtual Private Networks (VPN), would rapidly be adopted by all VPN companies. It's happening. One of the largest of the mainstream VPN companies, NordVPN, is rolling it out in NordLynx. Why? NordVPN's own tests have shown NordLynx easily outperforms the other protocols, IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN.

Also: The best VPNs in 2020

How much faster? According to NordVPN's 256,886 speed tests, "When a user connects to a nearby VPN server and downloads content that's served from a content delivery network (CDN) within a few thousand miles/kilometers, they can expect up to twice higher download and upload speed."

Daniel Markuson, a NordVPN digital privacy expert, said in a statement: "NordLynx is the most significant technological improvement ever introduced to our customers, and a VPN industry. It is a new-generation VPN protocol that is faster than anything we've seen before." He added, "It is faster than the current leading VPN protocols, such as OpenVPN and IPSec."

While speed is what customers will notice, security experts like WireGuard for its code's simplicity. With only about 4,000 lines of code, WireGuard's code can be comprehensively reviewed by a single individual.
NordVPN saw WireGuard potential early on. The company started work on adopting WireGuard in July 2019. 

Besides WireGuard, NordVPN adds in its double Network Address Translation (NAT) system to protect users' privacy. This enables users to establish a secure VPN connection while storing no identifiable user data on a server. You're assigned a dynamic local IP address that remains assigned only while the session is active. User authentication is done with the help of a secure external database.

To switch to NordLynx, users need to update their NordVPN app to the latest version. The NordLynx protocol can be chosen manually from the Settings menu. NordLynx will be available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux users. The updates are released gradually, so it might not be available for all users right away.

For now, NordVPN uses three different VPN protocols: IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, and NordLynx.

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