The Future of VPN Protocols: What's Next?

VPNs are well-known for their ability to provide a secure web experience. However, VPN protocols significantly affect your online experience in terms of security, speed, privacy, and stability. 

The best thing about VPN protocols is that they are continuously evolving to meet the changing needs of internet users. As a result, developers have created several protocols over the years. 

Each new protocol tries to get better than its predecessor. The latest in the long list of VPN protocols is WireGuard, with its high-level encryption, light source code, and super fast speed. Though every VPN protocol has its strengths and weaknesses, the new advancements in this realm are making it difficult to find associated flaws immediately. So let's get a deeper insight into the "protocols of the future" and how they will shape the VPN market in the long run.

Advancements in VPN Technology

The VPN market is predicted to reach approximately $359 billion in 2032. In response to the increased reliance on the remote workforce, enterprises are looking forward to VPN adoption to maximize their online privacy and security. In the past, most VPNs used simplistic encryption methods, which were easy to for hackers, but now many VPNs rely on advanced encryption methods, such as AES-256, which are unbreakable for most cyber attackers. 

Technology users are growing with tremendous speed, as does the need for online security and privacy. As a result, the highly sophisticated network and cloud-based infrastructure can no longer rely on outdated and least secure VPN protocols, such as PPTP and LT2P. That's why advanced VPN protocols rolled out on stage to cater to web users' security and fast speed preferences. 

WireGuard: A Protocol of the Future?

OpenVPN got a lot of traction due to its enhanced speed and security in UDP mode. The only problem with this advanced protocol is its bulky source code base. This resulted in slower installation and setup of this tunnelling protocol. This problem was solved by the newest VPN protocol, "WireGuard". The source code of this protocol is incredibly lean. 

WireGuard has taken the internet by storm, and it is not without reason. Many specialists have termed WireGuard the "future of the VPN market" because of its simplicity and effectiveness. Compared to OpenVPN, which runs on 400,000 lines of code, WireGuard uses just 4000 lines, leading to an easy installation and setup. Moreover, it uses state-of-the-art cryptography and supports UDP protocol.

WireGuard simplifies the encryption process without sacrificing the security of users. With incredible security and speed features, WireGuard is here to stay. Many VPN service providers have already adopted this open-source protocol. However, the protocol is still under development, and users may encounter some bugs or stability issues. That said, the protocol is getting better daily and even exhibits a great capability to replace OpenVPN.

The Urge to Create Proprietary Protocols

NordVPN has created NordLynx, a new technology that is designed around WireGuard. WireGuard protocol has left many VPN protocols behind, such as OpenVPN and IPSec, because of its exceptional speed and encryption. Still, it is often criticized due to its ability to secure users' privacy. 

That said, Nordlynx was developed to create a secure VPN connection without storing identifiable user data on the server. As a result, this latest industry-standard VPN technology has outperformed many speed tests. Nordlynx offers a secure VPN connection for Android, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Windows users.

The Future of Hybrid Protocols

The VPN world has also witnessed some hybrid protocols which are created with the intent to maximize the efficiency of your online journey. For example, many service providers offer users IKEv2/IPSec and L2TP/IPSec hybrid protocols. 

The IKEv2 tunnelling protocol does not offer encryption, so it has combined with IPSec to guarantee an encrypted tunnel for a secure user experience. You can learn more about IPSEC here

Similarly, L2TP/IPSec also offers high-level encryption. However, the highly secure nature of this hybrid protocol has taken a toll on its speed, making this combination less popular among streamers and gamers. 

QUIC: A better Network Protocol

Quick UDP Internet Connection (QUIC) is a high-end network protocol that aims to create stable and quicker HTTP traffic. While QUIC was developed in 2010, this cutting-edge network protocol has gotten a significant push from Google recently. QUIC, with its low latency transportation solution, is a perfect protocol for gamers, streamers, and every application that needs an immediate response.

QUIC requires a single handshake which considerably reduces the connection time. The TLS encryption takes a significant time if the information is transferred via TCP, which is not a problem with QUIC. Moreover, QUIC enables a smooth transition while changing the networks and ensures a better connection performance. QUIC is extremely easy to develop and enhance and exhibits way more flexibility than TCP. These features make QUIC better than TCP, ensuring its widespread adoption shortly.

Potential Challenges and Opportunities for VPN Protocols

As user preferences fuel the new advancements, future developments in VPN tunnelling protocols will most likely depend on the future needs of web users. Unfortunately, the more technology is interconnected, the more it leaves room for cybercriminals to attack. The damages these cyber attacks cause are predicted to cost $10.5 trillion by 2025. 

This indicates that VPN protocols lacking strong encryption, such as LT2P and PPTP, will become obsolete and completely replaced by WireGuard and other protocols with strong encryption algorithms.

Additionally, quantum computing is a major threat to the future of VPNs as they can encryption algorithms. That said, those protocols that use 256-bit encryption, such as OpenVPN, are safe as quantum computing can not completely it down. Moreover, The need for Quantum-safe VPNs is being highlighted to prevent the harms of cloud computing completely.

Final Words

VPN protocols differ in their level of encryption, speed, and privacy. Some tunnelling protocols focus on securing the data via data encryption, while others are more concerned with data transmission speed. Just because WireGuard is getting a fair amount of attention these days does not mean it will be the only survivor of the competition.

OpenVPN is currently the most suitable VPN protocol widely used among VPN users. However, the exceptionally light source code base of WireGuard makes this protocol a strong competitor to OpenVPN. That said, it is still under heavy development, and its vulnerabilities are yet to be discovered. Similarly, QUIC is leaving TCP behind because of its unmatched flexibility, fast connectivity, and ability to ensure stable connection.