What is OpenVPN

What is OpenVPN – Things You Need to Know

OpenVPN is a widely known VPN protocol that is highly secure and dependable, which is why most VPN providers offer it. However, what exactly is OpenVPN, and how does it function? This comprehensive article will provide you with all the information you need to understand OpenVPN and how it operates. So, continue reading to learn more about this VPN protocol.

What Is OpenVPN?

OpenVPN is a secure open-source protocol that establishes a secure tunnel between the user and the server using encryption and authentication. Many popular VPN providers use OpenVPN to provide online security and often use the tunnel analogy to explain how it works. 

OpenVPN utilizes two transport layer protocols, UDP and TCP, to ensure protection. UDP is the default protocol as it provides faster connection speeds, while TCP offers better control over transmitted data at the cost of slower connection speeds.

Moreover, due to its open-source nature, the worldwide community can take part in its development and modification to improve the code. This means that any bugs or vulnerabilities in OpenVPN can be quickly identified and resolved. Furthermore, if OpenVPN were to experience a disruption, the entire network would pause to ensure no data is lost or compromised.

How Does OpenVPN Work?

OpenVPN works by creating a secure and encrypted “tunnel” between a user’s device and an OpenVPN server. This tunnel acts as a private connection to the internet, allowing the user to browse the web, download files, and perform other online activities with increased security and privacy.

When a user connects to an OpenVPN server, their device first authenticates with the server, ensuring that the connection is secure and trusted. Once authenticated, the user’s device and the server exchange encryption keys, which are used to encrypt and decrypt data sent between them.

After the keys are exchanged, the user’s device and the server establish a VPN connection using either the UDP or TCP transport protocol. This connection creates the secure “tunnel” through which all internet traffic is routed.

As a result of this tunnel, a user’s online activity appears to be coming from the OpenVPN server’s location and IP address, which can be beneficial in maintaining the privacy and accessing geo-restricted content. Furthermore, since all data sent through the tunnel is encrypted, it is protected from interception or snooping by third parties.

Difference Between OpenVPN and Other VPN Protocols

There are several VPN protocols available, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the key VPN protocols and the differences between them and the OpenVPN protocol: 


Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is an older and less secure VPN protocol that uses weaker encryption than OpenVPN. PPTP is often faster than OpenVPN due to its simplicity, but its lack of security makes it unsuitable for most use cases.

2. L2TP/IPsec

L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) is another VPN protocol that is combined with IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) is a more secure VPN protocol than PPTP but is still considered less secure than OpenVPN. L2TP/IPsec is often slower than OpenVPN due to its double encapsulation process, which adds additional overhead to each packet.


Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSPT) is a Microsoft-developed VPN protocol that is often used on Windows devices. SSTP is more secure than PPTP and L2TP/IPsec, but it is less flexible and only works on Windows devices.

4. WireGuard

Lastly, we have WireGuard protocol; it is a newer VPN protocol that is becoming increasingly popular due to its speed and security. WireGuard is simpler and more efficient than OpenVPN, which makes it faster, but it has fewer features and may be less reliable in some cases.

However, OpenVPN is considered one of the most secure and reliable VPN protocols available. It provides strong encryption, authentication, and customizability, and it is widely supported across various platforms. 

Additionally, OpenVPN can run over both UDP and TCP, which makes it more flexible than other VPN protocols. However, the best VPN protocol for you will depend on your specific needs, such as speed, security, and platform compatibility.

Is OpenVPN safe to use?

Yes, OpenVPN is considered safe to use. It is a highly secure encryption protocol that uses advanced cryptographic algorithms to protect your online traffic from prying eyes. OpenVPN uses the OpenSSL library to provide an SSL/TLS encrypted tunnel, which ensures the confidentiality and integrity of your data.

Moreover, OpenVPN is an open-source protocol, meaning its code is freely available for review and audit by security experts and developers worldwide. This transparency allows for any vulnerabilities or weaknesses to be identified and fixed quickly, making OpenVPN one of the most secure and reliable VPN protocols available.

However, it is essential to note that the security of OpenVPN largely depends on the VPN provider you choose. A reputable VPN provider will implement strong security measures, such as using the latest encryption standards and regularly auditing their systems, to ensure the safety of their users’ data. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a trustworthy VPN provider like iProVPN, which uses OpenVPN and implements all the advanced security practices. 

How to Use OpenVPN

Before using OpenVPN, one important thing to understand is that OpenVPN is not a VPN provider and does not provide any software or applications for you to connect to a VPN server. Instead, it is an encryption protocol that can be used to connect to a VPN server, and configuring it to work with your specific server can be quite technical.

However, you can use a trusted and paid VPN, just like iProVPN, to connect to OpenVPN. Moreover, iProVPN offers setup guides and configuration files to help you connect to their OpenVPN servers.

Using OpenVPN with a VPN provider can provide you with enhanced security and privacy while accessing the internet, and it is often preferred due to its high level of encryption and customizability.

Advantages of OpenVPN

OpenVPN has several advantages over other VPN protocols, including:

  • High Security: OpenVPN is one of the most secure VPN protocols available today. It uses advanced cryptographic algorithms to encrypt your data and protect it from unauthorized access.
  • Customizable: OpenVPN is highly customizable, allowing users to configure it according to their specific needs. It supports a wide range of authentication methods and encryption algorithms, making it an ideal choice for security-conscious users.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: OpenVPN is available for almost all operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS, making it a versatile VPN solution.
  • Flexibility: OpenVPN supports both TCP and UDP protocols, allowing users to choose the best option based on their specific requirements.
  • Open-Source: OpenVPN is an open-source protocol, which means that its source code is freely available to the public. This transparency allows for the protocol to be scrutinized by security experts and developers worldwide, helping to identify and address any potential vulnerabilities.
  • Stable and Reliable: OpenVPN is known for its stability and reliability, making it an excellent choice for businesses and individuals who require a secure and dependable VPN connection.

Drawbacks of OpenVPN

While OpenVPN is a highly secure and reliable VPN protocol, it also has some drawbacks that users should be aware of:

  • Complex Setup:  Compared to other VPN protocols, OpenVPN has a more complex setup process, requiring users to manually configure the protocol to their specific server. This can be challenging for users who are not familiar with network settings and can lead to configuration errors.
  • Resource-Intensive: OpenVPN can be resource-intensive, particularly when running on older or less powerful devices. This can result in slower connection speeds and higher battery usage on mobile devices.
  • Not Built-In: Unlike other VPN protocols that are built into operating systems or browsers, OpenVPN requires users to download and install additional software or apps to use the protocol.
  • Limited P2P Support: OpenVPN has limited support for peer-to-peer (P2P) connections, which can be problematic for users who frequently use P2P services.
  • Less Commonly Offered by VPN Providers: While OpenVPN is a widely used VPN protocol, it is not offered by all VPN providers. This can limit the options available to users and make it more difficult to find a provider that offers OpenVPN connections.

Should I use OpenVPN? 

There is no one size fits all answer to this question. Whether or not to use OpenVPN depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you are looking for a highly secure and customizable VPN protocol, OpenVPN is an excellent choice. It is one of the most secure VPN protocols and is offered by saveral VPN providers. 

However, if you are looking for a more straightforward VPN solution or one that is built into your operating system or browser, OpenVPN may not be the best option for you. The setup process can be more complex, and it requires additional software or apps to use.

Ultimately, the decision to use OpenVPN will depend on your specific needs. If you value security and customization and are willing to invest the time to set up and configure the protocol, OpenVPN can be an excellent choice for you. However, if you prioritize ease of use and convenience, you may want to consider other VPN solutions that are more straightforward to set up and use.


OpenVPN is a highly secure open-source VPN protocol that uses 256-bit encryption and the OpenSSL library. It is also a VPN software that allows users to establish secure VPN connections across multiple platforms. Due to its high security and versatility, most VPN providers offer OpenVPN as a protocol option. While OpenVPN is often considered the best choice among VPN protocols, there are other options available such as WireGuard. It is generally recommended to choose a VPN provider that offers access to OpenVPN as well as other VPN protocols for added flexibility. iProVPN offers both OpenVPN and other pre-configured protocols. Simply get your subscription and install the VPN app to get started.

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