OpenVPN Review: Before you Buy, Is It Worth It?

Once in the tech market, virtual private network softwares has increasingly been used by tech experts. This development has most recently been driven by internet service providers selling browsing histories in the United States. With access to complete VPN services, users can more closely guard their online privacy and access other advantages like better security when using the public network.

The main pillars of a virtual private network are privacy and security, and these services use an encrypted tunnel to transmit your information online. When configuring a virtual private network, there are various options for encryption protocols that can be used, and among these, one of the most popular choices is OpenVPN.

What is OpenVPN?

OpenVPN is not a VPN provider. It is a free, open-source software application that OpenVPN Technologies Inc specifically develops to create highly secure virtual private network connections. Like L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and PPTP, it is a standalone tunneling protocol even though you can enjoy utmost security and benefit from the features of a virtual private network with a premium vendor.

OpenVPN has built a strong reputation for being the most powerful encryption protocol for many valid reasons. These include the information that it uses pre-shared keys, certificates, authentication, IPv6 support, OpenSSL encryption, and it can adapt to TCP and UDP to bypass the toughest DPI and Firewalls.

However, OpenVPN can be a bit slower than other protocols compared to L2TP/IPSec and PPTP. It is the most robust in terms of security and privacy. With OpenVPN, you can anonymously gain access to countless geo-restriction sites and online services such as Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Netflix, and YouTube, regardless of location, even in China and Russia. That is why the best VPN providers use it.

Despite its difficulty, OpenVPN is customizable and can be tunneled over other safety and security protocols such as SSL and SSH to create an added layer of security. You can use it to establish your own VPN connection. That said, the manual configuration method may be risky for those without a solid IT background.

OpenVPN provides an open-source GUI client called “OpenVPN Connect” that is significantly easier to install and manage. In any case, being an open-source platform provides OpenVPN the benefit of an international community of users who offer support and share their ideas and source code to develop the software further.

It also provides optimal levels of security and encryption and is recommended for safe internet surfing. For this reason, Many top-rated recommended VPN service providers use it as their crucial shield against internet threats and as a key to bypassing geo-restrictions.

Pros Cons
Installs on a variety of Linux, Apple, and Windows operating systems Connect Client intended to work with the OpenVPN server
Flexible and Powerful Installation of the Community Client needs knowledge or significant research
Support mobile and even BSD
Supports virtual appliances and cloud instances

A 1 Minute Summary

  • Cannot unblock streaming sites. While this is highly reliable on what servers you use, you will likely have trouble finding a working server with low ping.
  • No servers were provided. If you do not have servers you can use through another virtual private network, OpenVPN is not for you.
  • Strong security features. As compared to other VPN protocols available, OpenVPN came out on top.
  • No-logging policy. It can guarantee your privacy and safety if you use third-party servers.
  • Used by premium VPN services. If you have problems setting up manually, you can get a virtual private network service to do it for you.

How Does OpenVPN Work?

OpenVPN offers private access to the network for its users by routing them through its servers. Users can indirectly be connected to the internet through an OpenVPN server, using that server’s IP address and associated geo-location. For the user, their personality remains protected, and they can access geo-locked streaming sites from other regions or countries.

OpenVPN uses OpenSSL for its virtual private network connections. This is a broad software library for SSL protocols which is what OpenVPN is. OpenVPN also offers unmatched customizability so that you can ensure your privacy and security are maintained across a broad range of platforms.

Pricing

OpenVPN is not a VPN service. Instead, it is a free, open-source protocol that virtual private networks can use. Either You can choose it as an option for the virtual private network service, or you can use it to set up your VPN service manually. There is OpenVPN Access Server which needs a paid subscription and which offers additional installation and configuration tools.

How to Use OpenVPN?

It is necessary to remember that OpenVPN is not a VPN service. It does not add a piece of software to your system or an extension to your internet browser that you click once to connect. There is no simple OpenVPN app you can install on your system or phone. OpenVPN is the safest encryption protocol that can connect to your virtual private network, which means you will need to know how to configure it to your specific server.

However, you can connect to OpenVPN using a premium VPN service. Many virtual private network services provide setup guides that can help guide you through the configuration files you will need to get started. While others may not have tutorials, they will give you what you need to get set up. Search through their support page for OpenVPN, and you will be able to find what you want.

Should You Evade OpenVPN?

OpenVPN is the finest service, but it would be careless of us to point out some of its problems. Firstly, this is not a virtual private network for anyone who does not need to spend time getting their hands dirty under the cover. OpenVPN needs a fair amount of tinkering to set up, and it can be not very easy if you are not used to virtual private network providers.

VPN Services That Work Perfectly With OpenVPN

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the well-known VPN services for providing OpenVPN clients in the VPN industry. Not only it has super-fast and straightforward apps for all your devices such as Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS at the same time. ExpressVPN also takes your safety and security seriously with top-notch OpenVPN implementations.

However, it is a bit expensive as compared to other providers in the market. That is possible the downside to this VPN service because when it comes to security and performance, it is hard to beat ExpressVPN. It has more than 3300 servers in around 90 countries, all of which deliver fast speed and instant connection response, making it one of the best services for streaming movies online.

For encryption, ExpressVPN uses a 256-bit AES cipher with an RSA-4096 handshake. Perfect forward secrecy is ensured through DH-keys, while it uses SHA-512 HMAC for authentication. As such, your safety and security are impenetrable, making ExpressVPN one of the safest and most secure VPN services.

Surfshark

Surfshark VPN
Surfshark VPN

Surfshark is another VPN service that uses OpenVPN protocol by default. For encryption, it uses AES-256 encryption to guarantee the security of your information from brute force attacks. Surfshark has around 3500 servers in more than 60 countries, making for many server locations to select from. The overall performance of Surfshark is exceptionally satisfactory with excellent speed and no disconnections at all.

Surfshark’s privacy policy guarantees no-logging of user information which is another prime attribute of the service, making it the best OpenVPN service. Surfshark is one of the fast virtual private network services in the VPN market.

NordVPN

Nord VPN
Nord VPN

NordVPN provides the most extensive network of server locations out of all other VPN services in the market. It is full of unique features on both security and performance fronts. Surfshark follows a valid zero-logging policy so users can rest assured their information would not be getting into the hands of ISPs or hackers.

NordVPN uses 256-bit encryption with HMAC SHA256 hash authentication in the data channel. NordVPN combines these protocols with the RSA-2048 handshake in the control channel. It can bypass firewalls of streaming websites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and you have one reliable VPN service in your hands.

Conclusion

OpenVPN is undoubtedly the best encryption protocol if you need to surf the internet anonymously and get around the most ISPs and firewalls to access geo-restricted sites. It is flexible and well-managed and connects a broad range of servers.

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