It seems that NordVPN really enjoys having the upper hand (or in this case, we should call it cutting edge) since they’ve announced yet another ambitious project, called NordLynx.
If you’re familiar with VPNs and like to keep in touch with the latest developments in this field, you probably already know what WireGuard is, how it can help you increase your security by a great deal and why is it so sought-after.
What exactly is WireGuard, anyway?
A while ago, the most difficult challenge for any VPN service provider was to offer their customers a product that could have both state-of-the-art security features and servers with eye-watering connection speeds.
WireGuard is a recently-developed communication protocol that enables VPN services to establish secure point-to-point connections in either bridged or routed configurations.
WireGuard was aiming to eliminate or at least diminish well-known issues related to traditional protocols such as OpenVPN and IPsec, such as their setup complexity, connection frailty, lengthy re-connection negotiations, outdated ciphers, as well as their massive codes, which made it difficult to locate bugs.
As perfect as it may sound, WireGuard had some issues itself, given that it’s still under development, and its ability to keep users anonymous is still a bit questionable.
NordLynx comes to life
According to one of the posts on the NordVPN blog, NordLynx is a new NordVPN project, based on the popular WireGuard protocol, which aims to quench the most burning desires for a faster, more stable, easier to manage VPN connection.
Remember the issues casually mentioned above? Let’s discuss them for a moment; to put it short, WireGuard isn’t able to assign IP addresses to everyone who’s connected to a server in a dynamic fashion.
This means that, in order to function, the server must encompass a local table of static IP addresses so that it knows the destination of its Internet packets and where they should return to. In other words, customers’ real IP addresses had to be bound to internal IP addresses that were assigned by the VPN.
Of course, WireGuard couldn’t be part of NordVPN’s project (NordLynx) in its current state, so a bit of tweaking needed to be done. This way, NordVPN could enjoy all of WireGuard’s benefits and dodge all of its faults.
The science behind the tweak
Striving to find the perfect way to implement WireGuard and keeping its issues at bay, the NordVPN team came up with “a double NAT (Network Address Translation) system.”
What this system does is generate two local network interfaces for each user: one of them will be used to assign a local IP address to all of the users who are connected to the server and the other one, which has a dynamic NAT system, comes into action.
As opposed to the default WireGuard protocol, NordLynx makes sure that all of the users get the same IP address, since the system assigns a unique IP address for each of the tunnels, ensuring that the Internet packets don’t get mixed up while traveling between the users and their destination of choice.
More so, this system makes sure that the VPN connection is secure with the added benefit of not storing any identifiable data on the servers since the user authentication will be accomplished via an external database, while the dynamic IP addresses remain active only for the duration of the active session.
Good news for Linux users
If you’re itching to find out all about this project and maybe even test it, do we have some good news for you. NordVPN decided to take this show on the road and make NordLynx public. However, there is a ‘downside’ to this: only Linux users can experience it. For now…
There are some steps you need to follow if you want to give NordLynx a try since the Linux NordVPN app runs on OpenVPN by default.
- Make sure your NordVPN app is updated to its latest version;
- Install WireGuard;
- Fire up a terminal and type the ‘nordvpn set technology NordLynx’ command (no quotes);
- In the same terminal, type ‘nordvpn c’ to connect to the VPN (no quotes);
If you followed the steps accordingly, your NordVPN app should be up and running. More so, it should be running on NordLynx. If you want to revert to OpenVPN, all you have to do is launch your terminal, type ‘nordvpn set technology OpenVPN’ and launch the NordVPN app again.