Is IKEv2 Better than OpenVPN for Gaming?
- September 4, 2023
- 9 minutes Read
- Gaming VPN
IKEv2 is a better choice for gamers due to its low CPU usage and faster speed. OpenVPN also offers decent gaming performance. However, its strong encryption and data encapsulation often negatively affects gaming performance.
If you’re a hardcore gamer, you should be aware of which internet protocol comes with the best performance. In online games, even a millisecond matters. The ultimate gaming experience requires blazing-fast speeds, fast reconnections, and low latency.
So, it would be best to use a protocol that offers security and speed. All gaming network protocols have their advantages and disadvantages. For now, let’s find out which one is ideal for gaming between IKEv2 and
IKEv2 VS OpenVPN: Head-to-Head Comparison
Both IKEv2 and OpenVPN have their advantages and disadvantages. Take a look at the below comparison table to see the potential differences between them.
|Gaming Performance||It is ideal for gaming due to its fast speed, low latency, and quick reconnection.||It is suitable for gaming, but you may experience ping spikes due to strong encryption.|
|Speed & Encryption||Faster than OpenVPN and low CPU usage, best for mobile gamers.||Comparatively slower due to data encapsulation and encryption.|
|Connection Stability||Quickly re-establishes connection after a network drop or signal loss.||It is not that reliable in terms of re-establishing a connection after a drop.|
|Bandwidth Consumption||Consumes less bandwidth due to few security associations per tunnel and NAT traversal.||Higher bandwidth consumption due to advanced security and encapsulation.|
|Protocol Support||Only supports UDP protocol at port 500 and port 4500 for NAT traversal.||OpenVPN uses both UDP and TCP protocol on any port numbers.|
|Firewall Bypass||Can bypass firewalls but can be blocked by ISPs due to UDP port 500.||Can bypass firewall effectively by changing port if 1194 port is blocked.|
|Ease of -use||It is generally easier to install and comes with built-in support for modern devices.||Complex to set up in devices, and need to install third-party software to use.|
|VPN Blocking||Susceptible to VPN blocking technology due to using limited ports.||The ability to use multiple ports makes it relatively resistant to VPN blocking.|
|Compatibility||Windows, macOS, Linux, Apple iOS, Android.||Windows, macOS, Linux, Apple iOS, Android, DD-WRT (with the correct build).|
We can see from the table that IKEv2 and OpenVPN have significant differences.
IKEv2 VS OpenVPN for Gaming: Detailed Comparison
IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange Version 2) is a secure tunneling protocol that establishes a secure connection between two devices. It’s commonly combined with the IPsec protocol and known as IKEv2/IPsec.
IKEv2 combines vital management protocol with IPsec. Key management helps your device and VPN server identify each other. IPsec provides security when tunneling data between the devices. It provides good speed with good stability and reliability.
IKEv2 consumes less CPU compared to OpenVPN, which makes it an ideal choice for mobile gamers. High CPU usage in mobile devices can cause faster battery drain and heating issues, leading to lag, stutter, and crash while gaming.
OpenVPN uses the OpenSSL library to provide encryption that includes cryptographic algorithms such as 3DES, AES, RC5, and Blowfish. Due to solid encryption standards and data encapsulation, it may cause occasional ping spikes while gaming.
Speed & Encryption
Generally, IKEv2 is faster compared to OpenVPN due to its lightweight features. Its combination with IPsec, fewer security associations per tunnel, and a well-structured key exchange system make the connection faster and more reliable.
OpenVPN is usually a privacy-focused protocol that uses an extra layer of encryption for data security. It uses AES-256-GCM encryption by default, which is the highest security standard. Due to its high security tunneling it often slows down connection. Gamers may face ping spikes and high latency with OpenVPN because of this.
The IKEv2 protocol supports quick re-establishment of connection in the event of a sudden network outage or signal loss. It’s a very critical and helpful feature for gamers. In online gaming, faster reconnection helps you get back on the game without hassle.
Contrarily, OpenVPN doesn’t have reliable quick reconnection support at the time of sudden network drop or disruption. It’s inconvenient for gamers during online games. So, playing online games with OpenVPN can put you in trouble.
Due to its fewer security associations per tunnel, IKEv2 consumes less bandwidth than OpenVPN. Also, IKEv2 comes with built-in NAT traversal that helps to bypass firewalls more quickly and efficiently. It eliminates the need for additional overhead to transfer data between the devices, ultimately reducing the overall bandwidth consumption.
OpenVPN, on the other hand, uses strong encryption and data encapsulation, which needs additional overhead to secure the data transfer. Due to this, it increases the bandwidth consumption while downloading or uploading data.
In IKEv2, UDP 500 is used for the initial key exchange, UDP 50 for the IPSEC encrypted data (ESP), and UDP 4500 for traversing NATs. As a result, IKEv2 is easier to block than OpenVPN because it relies on fixed protocols and ports.
However, OpenVPN supports all UDP and TCP protocol ports for data transfer. By default, it uses port 1194, but it can use different ports if it’s blocked by an ISP. Thus, OpenVPN can be a good choice for unblocking gaming servers.
IKEv2 is more susceptible to block due to limited port usage, it only uses the UDP protocol. It can easily be blocked by your internet service provider or firewalls. As a result, if you want to play a game that’s blocked in your country, IKEv2 won’t help.
OpenVPN can bypass internet censorship and geo-blocks as it uses both UDP and TCP protocol at any port. Due to this, it is able to bypass firewalls and network restrictions. Additionally, OpenVPN supports the best form of encryption to provide the highest security.
Ease of -use
IKEv2 is super easy to install and configure; you can set it up without any additional software or high technical knowledge. Moreover, it comes with built-in support for modern devices like Windows, Android, Wi-Fi routers, etc.
Installing OpenVPN is quite complex, and it requires you to install third-party software to use the VPN. You have to download the .ovpn files of the specific protocol UDP or TCP, then install them with username and password.
Due to the use of one specific protocol and port, UDP port 500, IKEv2 is vulnerable to VPN blocking. Firewalls or ISPs can easily block this port. Furthermore, you cannot bypass the block by using another port due to incompatibility.
OpenVPN is a step ahead of IKEv2 in terms of bypassing firewalls. It supports both UDP and TCP protocols, including all the port numbers. So, if one port is blocked, you can bypass it using different ports without leaking our IP address or DNS server.
IKEv2 supports major platforms like Windows, macOS, Linux, Apple iOS, and Android. It’s easy to configure all these devices without needing any additional software. OpenVPN is comparatively complex to install and requires a third-party VPN client.
Pros & Cons of IKEv2
|1. One of the fastest VPN protocols available, even faster than L2TP and PPTP.|
2. High-security level with multiple advanced encryption standards.
3. The seamless auto-reconnect feature ensures a strong and stable connection.
Supports MOBIKE (Mobility and Multihoming Protocol), which allows for a stable VPN connection even when switching between different internet sources.
4. Built-in NAT traversal helps establish a connection much faster.
5. Less bandwidth consumption due to low CPU usage, NAT traversal, and no overhead.
|1. Because of UDP Port 500, it may be blocked by firewalls and admins.|
2. IKEv2 is not as widely supported as some other VPN protocols.
3. IKEv2 is not open source like popular protocols such as WireGuard.
4. Developed by Microsoft and Cisco, which are notorious for data collection, spying, and backdoors.
May require third-party applications/VPN clients to set up.
This VPN protocol may be more challenging to set up and use compared to others.
Pros & Cons of OpenVPN
|1. Custom security protocols and strong encryption provide better security.|
2. Mobile devices and almost all platforms are supported
3. Great firewall compatibility makes bypassing firewalls easier
4. Easily customizable encryption procedures, ciphers, and network configurations.
5. Can easily bypass firewalls, particularly when TCP 443 is used.
6. A highly customizable tunnelling protocol gives users more control.
7. Reliable connection with excellent community support.
|1. It can be slower than other VPN protocols due to its need to encrypt and route all traffic through a secure server.|
2. May require third-party applications/VPN clients to set up.
3. This VPN protocol may be more challenging to set up and use compared to others.
Verdict: IKEv2 VS OpenVPN, Which One to Choose?
Choose IKEv2 for fast speed, reduced bandwidth consumption, faster re-connections, and ease-of-use. It’s ideal for all types of online games and provides the best experience. Choose OpenVPN if security is your first concern. In exchange for a little less speed, it offers the highest level of security.
What is faster than OpenVPN?
WireGuard has the most speed compared to OpenVPN and other network protocols. It’s open source, comes with great security features, speed, and reliability.
Which VPN has no speed limit?
Symlex VPN has no speed limit and bandwidth restrictions. You can also bypass your ISP’s speed throttling with the dedicated fast servers.
What is the maximum speed of a VPN?
The maximum speed supported by a VPN server is 300 Mbit/s. On average speed above 250 Mbit/s is ideal for 4k streaming, torrenting, video streaming, gaming.
When it comes to intense gaming, choosing the best protocol for robust gaming performance is essential. Between IKEv2 and OpenVPN, IKEv2 is an ideal choice for online games. It consumes less CPU, especially on mobile devices, reducing battery consumption and making it suitable for mobile gamers. As for online fun, OpenVPN can help unblock geo-restricted servers and internet censorship.