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Difference between WARP and VPN – Detailed guide

Cloudflare is a widespread web infrastructure and security company that offers content delivery network (CDN) and DDoS mitigation services. Recently, it introduced a so-called VPN known as WARP that received a lot of attention even before it was released. 

The company described it as a fast and lightweight mobile-only VPN that does not affect the phone performance or deplete the battery. No wonder a lot of people became interested in the latest invention. Or is it? 

First of all, does WARP qualify to be a virtual private network (VPN)? Usually, a VPN should encrypt your traffic and pass it through a remote server instead of the ISP server. Also, it replaces your actual IP address with that of the server you connect to. This makes it impossible for third parties to monitor or track your online activities. Moreover, many VPN services offer additional security features such as perfect forward secrecy, kill switch, multihop, etc. 

So, with that in mind, how does WARP compare to the traditional VPNs? Let’s dive in. 

WARP vs. VPN – Security

WARP will protect your data with encryption to prevent intrusion. However, it does not mask your IP address or give you anonymity on the internet. This means that your internet service provider (ISP) and other third parties can track your online activities or even trace your location. 

On the other hand, most VPNs will encrypt your connections with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption for a more secure online experience. Also, it will conceal your IP address if you connect to a server in whatever country. 

WARP vs. VPN – Privacy

WARP’s parent company, Cloudflare, is based in the US, a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. This is a big red flag if you value your privacy. Furthermore, the company collects more user data than it says. 

On the other hand, most popular VPN providers are headquartered in privacy-friendly jurisdictions like the British Virgin Islands and Panama. Also, they follow a strict no-logs policy, so they won’t gather your identifiable information. 

Sadly, this is the exact opposite with Cloudflare. It will gather your personal information such as IP address, DNS query data, the sites you visit, and much more. So, why should you use the VPN in the first place if the parent company collects data on your online activities?  

Cloudflare indicates that the usage data is kept anonymously and not linked with your personally identifiable information. In addition, it deletes all logs after every 24 hours. However, according to the privacy policy, the company says it has the prerogative of sharing your information in certain circumstances. 

Making matters worse, the privacy policy is phrased ambiguously, and it is hard to know how much data they collect. However, many VPNs embrace independent audits from reputable firms to validate the zero-logs claims. For example, ExpressVPN and NordVPN are audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Cure53. 

WARP vs. VPN – Pricing

WARP’s basic service is free, does not have bandwidth limitations or caps, and supposedly improves your internet speed. However, the WARP+ package is much faster, although the data plan is limited, giving you extra data every time you refer a person. 

The WARP+ Unlimited gives you premium access without data limits. You can purchase the monthly subscription on App Store or Play Store, and the price will vary from region to region. 

Many VPNs have reasonably priced packages, but you can get bigger savings with more extended plans. Moreover, most of them provide mouth-watering discounts on occasions like Christmas, Black Fridays, and Cyber Mondays. 

WARP vs. VPN – Money back guarantee

Cloudflare does not have a money-back guarantee policy. So, you will not be refunded your money, no matter the plan you take. However, you may get a refund if you use Android and request a refund within 48hours of purchase. 

This is a rare occurrence with VPNs. Most of them offer a money-back guarantee ranging between 7 to 30 days. However, some providers, such as CyberGhost, offer a 45-day money-back guarantee. 

WARP vs. VPN – Compatibility

Initially, WARP was only available on mobile devices, including iPhones, iPad, and Android. However, it is also available for desktops for both Windows and macOS. The company does not clearly state the number of multi-logins per account. 

On the other hand, most VPNs are compatible with all the major operating systems, including Linux. Also, they offer lightweight browser extensions and easy-to-follow guides for devices that don’t support VPNs like PS4 consoles and Xbox. 

WARP vs. VPN –Streaming

You won’t get a new IP address when you connect to WARP. Also, it doesn’t have an option to switch servers, so you can’t use it to access geo-restricted content. 

Contrariwise, VPNs are designed for geo-spoofing. Most of them have extensive server networks spread across the world. Connecting to a server will change your IP address, allowing you to unlock streaming services in whatever country you want. 

WARP vs. VPN – P2P file sharing

WARP is not a great choice for downloading torrents because it does not provide anonymity. As mentioned earlier, it won’t conceal your IP address, so the websites you visit will see your identity. In addition, the company collects a lot of personal data, making it unfavorable for P2P file sharing. 

Conversely, VPNs will mask your IP address and encrypt your connections. As a result, you can download torrents on any site worry-free. Thankfully, many VPN providers have optimized their servers for P2P sharing for a better experience. 

WARP vs. VPN frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  1. How do WARP, WARP+, and WARP+ Unlimited differ?

These are the plans that WARP offers. The basic WARP service is free and does not have bandwidth caps or restrictions. However, you need a monthly subscription to access WARP+ and WARP+ Unlimited. The company claims that WARP+ is faster than WARP basic, but you will have to pay for it. 

  1. Does WARP function like a VPN?

No. There is a huge difference between WARP and VPN. While VPN will encrypt your traffic and mask your IP address to make you completely anonymous, WARP will only encrypt your data. Therefore, the websites you visit will see your identity. Also, you cannot switch servers with WARP, so you won’t be able to access geo-restricted content or evade censorship. 

  1. Will I be able to access Netflix in other countries with WARP?

Sadly, it is not possible. As mentioned earlier, WARP doesn’t have geo-spoofing capabilities or even hide your IP address. This means accessing Netflix libraries in other countries like Japan, the UK, or the US will be impossible.

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