When Cloudflare announced that they would be releasing WARP VPN, everyone got excited. People joined the waitlist in April, excited to test drive WARP. Then, Cloudflare delivered something. What they delivered was not a traditional VPN, yet many consumers are assuming this VPN will hide their identity and IP address. The truth is WARP does not allow one to mask their true location and the WARP app passes along one’s personal IP address to the destination.
What Does a Real VPN Do?
In short, a real VPN hides who you are and what you’re doing. Your internet traffic is sent through a remote server somewhere that encrypts everything you send and receive. Your IP address is hidden, and nobody knows what you’re doing or what your personal IP address is. Your internet service provider, your government, hackers, or anyone else who may potentially be monitoring you or trying to intercept information, will have no idea what’s going on. Some VPNs do even more. WARP doesn’t even fulfill the minimum requirements.
So What is WARP?
WARP is technically powered by Wireguard VPN, which is similar to a normal VPN, but this new protocol has not yet stood the test of time. Wireguard VPNs do provide a decent level of encryption. They’re very user friendly and work well on a variety of platforms, which is likely why Cloudflare chose this framework for their mobile VPN. Traffic is sent over Cloudflare’s existing servers, and it’s sent with the personal IP addresses of WARP users in tow, breaking a crucial element of anonymity necessary for a truly private VPN.
The attachment of the user’s real IP address prevents WARP from working like an actual VPN. Many people use VPNs to bypass restrictions, like region specific blocks on streaming services, or to hide their true location. It also prevents people from accessing blocked websites in heavily censored countries, which is one of the most important reasons VPNs exist.
Ultimately, WARP is something that makes it a little harder for people to spy on you when using insecure WiFi networks. It’s not a full VPN by any means, and is not as secure as an actual VPN service.
How Cloudflare is Disclosing the facts
Cloudflare’s disclosures about what WARP actually is and what it actually does are hidden within their terms of service, rather than expressed outright before people sign up. Most people have a bad habit of not reading the terms of service. If they did, they would see that WARP only claims to “operate similarly to a VPN service” and “is not designed to hide your identity”.
Cloudflare are huge fans of using the term “technically a VPN” and continue to call the service a VPN, even though it only does half the job a real VPN provider does. It’s technically true that using WARP is better than using nothing, but a strong argument can be made that Cloudflare is not doing a good job of informing people that WARP is far less private than what they may assume.
Conclusion: Get a Real VPN
If you want a VPN that will keep you private in all situations, WARP isn’t it. Cloudflare may double down and say it’s the same thing, but at the end of the day, WARP lacks the fundamentals that make a VPN genuinely private. TorGuard VPN will encrypt your browsing and mask your IP address with thousands of servers in fifty five countries worldwide.