Open VPN Review & Test 2020 - Keep This in Mind Before Buying

Sarit Newman | Updated on 27th January 2020
Internet Security Researcher

OpenVPN isn’t a VPN provider. It’s a free open source software application specifically developed by OpenVPN Technologies Inc. to create highly secure VPN connections. Like SSTP, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP it’s a standalone tunneling protocol – only much more reliable and miles more secure. Although, you can still enjoy maximum security and benefit from the features of a VPN with a premium vendor like NordVPN.

OpenVPN has a reputation for being the most powerful encryption protocol for many reasons. These include the fact that it uses pre-shared keys, authentication certificates, OpenSSL encryption, IPv6 support, and that it can adapt to both UDP and TCP in order to bypass the toughest firewalls and DPI.

Though OpenVPN can be a little slower than other protocols, compared to PPTP and L2TP/IPsec (which can be detected be some ISPs and firewalls) it’s definitely the strongest in terms of privacy and security. With it, you can anonymously gain access to countless geo-restricted websites and online services, such as Netflix, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail, regardless of where you’re located – even in China. That’s why it’s used by top-rated providers, such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

Despite its complexity, OpenVPN is customizable and can be tunneled over other security protocols, such as SSH and SSL (OpenVPN over SSH or OpenVPN over SSL) to create an additional layer of security. You can even use it to establish your very own VPN connection.

That said, the manual configuration process may be tricky for those without a solid IT background. On the other hand, OpenVPN offers an open source GUI client called “OpenVPN Connect” that’s significantly easier to manage and install. In any case, being an open source program gives OpenVPN the advantage of a global community of users who provide support and share their ideas and source code in order to further develop the software.

OpenVPN offers optimal levels of encryption and security, and is definitely recommended for safe web surfing. For this reason, our top-rated and most recommended providers use it as their primary shield against cyber threats and as a key to bypassing geo-restrictions.

Features Details
Does VPN keep logs? No
Does VPN include a kill switch? No
Number of devices per license 1
Pricing 5.0
$0.00 /month

OpenVPN is not actually a VPN. Rather, it’s a free protocol that VPNs can use. That means you can either select it as an option for the VPN service you already subscribe to, or you can use it to manually set up your own VPN. There’s also OpenVPN Access Server (OpenVPN-AS), which requires a paid subscription, and which provides additional installation and configuration tools.

Reliability & Support 3.9 / 5.0

Considering the fact that OpenVPN isn’t actually a VPN provider, it doesn’t offer common support channels such as live chat, email, or a ticketing system. However, OpenVPN does boast a large global support community where users and developers share their opinions, ideas, troubleshooting solutions, and source code for the program. There’s also an extremely comprehensive FAQ section, a forum, and numerous setup guides to help you understand the ins and outs of the software, and how to troubleshoot technical problems.

The Bottom Line

Not your typical VPN provider, but a highly secure protocol that’s free and unbeatable.

OpenVPN is without a doubt the best and most recommended encryption protocol if you want to surf the web anonymously, securely, and get around even the most stubborn ISPs and firewalls in order to access geo-restricted websites. Being open source, it’s constantly being improved, plus it’s compatible with most platforms and very adaptive to VPN software clients. And it’s free.

  • Powerful 256-bit encryption
  • Free
  • Allows multiple simultaneous connections
  • Multi-platform support
  • DNS and IPv6 leak protection
  • WebRTC protection
  • Support for API
  • Allows you to setup your own VPN
  • Get started with Open VPN now
Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 0
Mobile app :
Number of devices per license : 1
VPN Plans:
Open VPN User Reviews
Robert Franklin
  •  1
It didn't change my IP/ didn't work/ staying with windscribe/you get what you pay for.

It didn't change my IP, I checked on the Xmyip site. Tried to start it after killing it & a popup notice said "program still running" It also couldn't bypass a DMCA user id / reconnect page from Century Link which I received courtesy of a P2P'ing roommate. Windscribe cut through it like a hot knife through warm butter AND changed my IP. I only wish there was a negative star rating available for this software - I'd give it a minus 80. I'll have to settle for one star, strictly as a "bless their short bus riding & wearing a helmet without being on the football team little hearts" affirmation for their sorry attempt, as apparently, everyone gets a trophy just for trying these days.

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    John K
    Jan 28, 2020
    Robert is not accurate here OpenVPN is a protocol and not a service.

    First and foremost OpenVPN is a protocol and NOT a VPN Service like WIndscribe is. Windscribe in fact runs on OpenVPN., IKEv2, and SOCKS5. OpenVPN as a client requires you to connect via a VPN profile to a VPN service (or VPN you have setup on say AWS or a web server somewhere on OpenVPN server side). It did not change Robert's IP because he likely was not. He may want to check himself instead of leaving a review that a company making a protocol is riding the short bus when he has zero understanding of what exactly OpenVPN is. His review is his own fault and should actively be removed because he is quite clearly someone that has no idea what a protocol is.

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      Feb 10, 2020
      Likely was... what, exactly?

      Play whatever nomenclature games you like - I found what works for me, & what it ISN'T is open VPN. If it is NOT a VPN then perhaps naming this protocol "OPEN VPN" was a less than stellar choice, & underscores my comment regarding the company's "ticket to ride" the short bus. The name Implies that it's a vpn & not merely a protocol. If I read the words "strawberry jam" on a jar at the market & bring it home with me, I very well expect it to contain STRAWBERRY JAM when I pop it open, & not just some protocol client to assist me in locating/spreading jam. Those two things I can do on my own. See how that works? Final thought: You mentioned in your reply that open vpn didn't change my IP because I "likely was not". Likely was not "what"? Would you mind maybe cleaning up the syntax on that thought just a little so that it reads intelligibly? Feels like you might have left part of the sentence out.

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