Wireguard speed and anonymity

Installed Wireguard on my OpenWrt router about 2 years ago mainly to try it out. Also installed it on my mobile phone and laptop. I could test the speed using wg vs. without using traceroute and speedtest-cli. While at home, using wg had relatively small impact on speed. At distant (rural) locations speed and connectivity suffered greatly...but I'm not sure whether this was a wg problem or just the local isp/tower. So on this point, I'm wondering about other's experience with speed?

Concerning anonymity: I assume since wg sets up an encrypted tunnel between my laptop and OpenWrt router that the data I upload/download is not readable by anyone including my isp. However, where it goes to and where it comes back from is known. Is that correct? If so, then using a VPN is the only way to get anonymity. I used to think I didn't need a VPN, but now I'm beginning to think about one.

On a side note, I recently explored using the Tor-browser as a VPN alternative, but it seems sort of "convoluted," or at least something which requires a significant learning curve. Comments? thx!

They're readable to your VPN provider, just as they would have been to your ISP.

VPN provides zero additional anonymity online.

Paragraph 1: Did you try to speed test with and without wireguard whilst in the rural location?

Paragraph 2: correct, the ISP will be able to see the tunnel between the client and openwrt router but not the contents.
Getting a VPN does afford some minor anonymity, but you are trusting the VPN provider to keep your information secret, they will be able to see your traffic.

Paragraph 3, tor browser is fairly easy to setup, but I've found it to be quite slow. You could run a tails virtual machine which is already setup and ready for you to use https://tails.boum.org/

It's best to do some research of your own and decide what level of anonymity Vs inconvenience you're willing to put up with!

Yes...that's the main reason for the post. I've been researching and would appreciate other's input. My "rural" test was anecdotal, I'll try to do another test maybe from my local city library or similar that will have better connectivity/speed. I was wondering about other's experience.

I've looked into VPN's enough to realize that one can't really know whether they monetize your data, but the "free" ones surely must. I'll read the Shubert link, thx. I'll also check out the "tails" link...I think I've run across that before.

OK, the "Shubert" link is a bit longer...so reading it now. I have checked out Tails earlier in my research. At an extreme level, it can be run via USB and be very effective. Pretty sure I don't want/need to be that extreme. But maybe installing it as a vm in one of my linux distros might be less inconvenient.

What level of anonymity are you trying to achieve?
What data do you want to hide from whom?

To give an idea of what data in your current setup most likely leaks:

  • If you use the mobile network, your provider will know who you are and how much data you send when to your home router.
  • Your ISP at home will see DNS queries and websites you visit, and other activity.
  • Your ISP at home will see the IP of your current locations connection. That might be enough to know your location.

I expect collecting, analyzing or using some of that data to be illegal depending on jurisdiction.