Last Updated on July 13, 2021 by Calvin C.
OpenVPN is an open-source software used to create VPNs that are highly secure. It was started by James Yonan in 2001 after realizing that VPNs at the time did not effectively merge security and usability. In this article, we look at the complete OpenVPN review, digging deeper into the various features.
Features of OpenVPN
This VPN allows creation of site-to-site connections or remote-access connections using server-based or client-based applications. This means on one end we have the OpenVPN client, on the other end the OpenVPN server.
You can use OpenVPN for business or for personal use and it allows you to create a secure VPN tunnel in which data is encrypted.
This is an open-source software and that means the community can freely participate in modifying or or fixing any bugs. The original creators are still actively involved in ensuring OpenVPN is kept up-to-date.
You can quickly start using OpenVPN by downloading a VPN client from any provider that supports OpenVPN. This client comes pre-configured so there is no need to sweat over how things are set up.
Advantages of OpenVPN
- It is updated regularly and consistently by the community. It is open-source so any security flaws that may arise are quickly identifies and fixed.
- This VPN protocol is highly customizable. This is makes it easy to fine-tune the encryption procedures and network configurations, thus enhancing security.
- You can easily bypass Firewalls with OpenVPN as it used UDP and TCP. If you set it to Port TCP 443, VPN traffic easily blends with regular traffic.
- OpenVPN is fast and that means it provides strong encryption without compromising network speeds.
- If you go for the Community Edition, you access to OpenVPN for free
- Highly supportive community of programmers who are ready to address any challenges. There are numerous tutorials and resources that you have free access to.
Disadvantages of OpenVPN
- To use it on your device, you have to install a client that supports OpenVPN. Other protocols like L2TP come already integrated in devices.
- If you are not tech-savvy, it’s difficult to configure OpenVPN. For most normal users, it;s best to let VPN providers like NordVPN to do the heavy-lifting for you. The last thing you want is to skip a step and compromise you security or privacy.
- In some cases, it’s slower than other VPN protocols. This is where WireGuard protocol comes in to provide high speeds and reliabilty.
- Not all servers are able to run OpenVPN protocol and you have to find workaround to keep your data safe.
- Since it is a popular VPN protocol, some sites can detect OpenVPN and block it. As a result, you won’t be able to access content on that site.
- Some devices may you run OpenVPN effectively
OpenVPN platform offers a paid private VPN service that you can sign up for and start to use.
You can use the service to browse the internet anonymously and securely. This allow you to mask your IP address and encrypt your traffic, thus giving you the freedom on the net.
If you sign up for this service, there are 50+ remote servers in 12 countries and 23 regions.
The VPN tunnel is based on the OpenSSL library to provide encryption and this is a standard protocol with a proven track record. It also uses User Datagram Protocol(UDP) or Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) to transmit data securely.
This VPN protocol can operate as a Layer 2 or Layer 3 VPN and only needs one port to work. It can use the same port (port 443) that SSL uses, making it immune to VPN blocking.
Both ends of the VPN tunnel can have dynamic IP addresses, so there is no need to pay for a static IP address in order to set up a OpenVPN tunnel.
WireGuard protocol is the only VPN protocol that is likely to displace OpenVPN as the best VPN protocol.
All major operating systems are supported by OpenVPN and these include:
The private OpenVPN service has a 7-day free-trial so that you test out the features and you choose from 2 plans, a monthly plan or a yearly plan.
You choose the number of devices you want to secure and the more the devices you choose to secure, the bigger the discount.
|Number of devices||Monthly Cost||Yearly Cost|
|3||$6||$36 – Save 50%|
|5||$8 – Save 20%||$48 – Save 60%|
|10||$13 – Save 35%||$78 – Save 68%|
|25||$26 – Save 48%||$156 – Save 74%|
|50||$42 – Save 52%||$252 – Save 79%|
|100||$68 – Save 66%||$408 – Save 83%|
|>100||Get customized quote||Get customized quote|
Payment is by credit card or Paypal and once you finish the setup, you get unlimited security and privacy.
If you run a business and you want to provide remote access for your employees then OpenVPN has packages for that. In that case you use the OpenVPN Access Server, a paid business version.
As a normal user, this version is not necessary as it is mainly tailored for companies that want to set up their corporate VPN servers.
The benefits of using the business package are:
- High productivity as employees are able to access internal services from anywhere
- Create a secure, private network over the internet
- Prevent unauthorized access to specific network resources
- Security maintained over untrusted WiFi and other public networks
- Threat management is extended to remote networks
The pricing of OpenVPN Access Server based on the number of connections you want and the minimum required number is 10.
You get 2 free connections and you can pay monthly or yearly.
To learn more about the business packages you can visit the OpenVPN website.
OpenVPN Community Edition
The Community Edition is free, open source and you can download it on the official website. This is what most people refer to when they say OpenVPN due to the popularity of the version.
The OpenVPN Community Edition has additional setup and configuration tools with more integration features.
With OpenVPN you are able to create client installers, OpenVPN Connect, to connect to a user to one of the Access Servers. You can also use a client from the OpenVPN Community Edition.
OpenVPN Connect is available for major platforms so you can download it from Play Store or App Store, for example.
This is the complete OpenVPN review and you can learn more about other features on their website. I deliberately did not go into much detail on OpenVPN for business as this site mainly focuses on VPNs for personal use.
If you wish to set up your own VPN network and connect devices, OpenVPN provides all the necessary tools you need to make that happen.
To save you the headache of setting things up, you can simply install a VPN that supports OpenVPN and we have put together a list of those VPNs.
If you go the other route, a bit of technical knowledge is needed so that you configure the systems successfully. Leave comments below and share the post with your friends. Subscribe to receive daily updates right in your inbox.