Untangle adds WireGuard VPN connectivity to SD-WAN Router 3.0

WireGuard provides higher end capabilities that have 5x the performance of OpenVPN, while having the latter’s ease of use to configure.

Today, SMB-focused network security vendor Untangle is announcing the 3.0 release of their Untangle SD-WAN Router. The main upgrade is the introduction of an integration with WireGuard to provide an encrypted VPN connection that is both state-of-the-art and easy to configure.

Untangle’s SD-WAN router was announced in March 2019 as part of the company’s Network Security framework, and after the beta, the 1.0 release hit General Availability in December of that year.

“It is a lightweight, simple device to suit the needs of small of branch offices,” said Heather Paunet, Senior Vice President of Product and Marketing at Untangle. “It is designed for distributed SMB businesses, many of which are globally dispersed with multiple small offices. It connects to a full security gateway in the headquarters, which can either be our firewall appliance or any security gateway that supports the same protocols. And our Command Center cloud-based management tool lets you manage it all. It works well for a franchise with many branch offices, or for a small company with 20 employees split over two to three offices.”

Paunet said that the Untangle SD-WAN Router is differentiated from many of its competitors.

“We don’t hop everything through the cloud, and it’s lightweight enough to fit into any kind of network you want to use,” she added. “It also features our proprietary predictive routing technology, which recognizes and routes on the first packet. That’s important for the WAN optimization piece, and that’s been there from the beginning.”

The big news with the 3.0 of the Untangle SD-WAN router is the addition of a WireGuard VPN integration, following up on the recent addition of WireGuard to the Untangle NG Firewall 16.0 in its last update.

Heather Paunet, Senior Vice President of Product and Marketing at Untangle

“WireGuard is a new open source VPN technology,” Paunet said. “We like it because you get a higher level VPN technology like IPSec, while also getting the simplicity that you would get with OpenVPN. WireGuard’s cryptography is strong, but it is also simple and fast to configure. You just need a couple public keys on each side to set it up, and it’s easy to get a well-performing network. We found it performed up to 5x as well as OpenVPN, which is just huge.”

Paunet said that while VPN is an older technology, and VPN replacement companies start up all the time, there is still strong demand for the technology, particularly in this part of the market. A major reason for that is that while the technology dates from the 1980s, it has improved enormously in recent years, with a new kind of tunnel like WireGuard being just one example.

“We all remember how VPN used to make computing slow, and messed up voice, and wasn’t very reliable, but those things aren’t the case any more,” Paunet said. “When it comes to Zero Trust, companies solve it in a multitude of ways. Some don’t use VPNs, but some do, and some use VPN access controls.”

In addition to the addition of the WireGuard technology, the 3.0 release has some other new functionality. It also expands LTE provider options to include AT&T

“Our higher end SD-WAN routers have the ability to use LTE with SIM cards – a fail safe to make sure the network is always on,” Paunet said. “With the 3.0 release, we now have the ability to use AT&T as well as T-Mobile and Verizon.”

Paunet also noted that a handful of what she called minor improvements are also in this release.

“For example, we have tweaked WAN optimization, making it easier to configure so that it is easier to use,” she indicated. “It lets you do things like have Zoom go over the best possible route at any given time for the best possible experience. You could optimize it before, but we have tweaked it to make it easier to get to advanced routing configurations.”