is openvpn safe

OpenVPN is a popular and widely-used VPN encryption protocol known for its robust security and perceived ability to bypass tough firewalls. Developed by James Yonan and released to the public in 2002 under the GNU General Public License, OpenVPN has since become a go-to choice for individuals and businesses alike seeking secure online access from point-to-point. As a free and open-source software, it offers a customizable and transparent way of encrypting data sent over the internet.

While OpenVPN is often praised for its high level of security and its ability to maintain decent connection speeds, it is not without its challenges. Configuring the protocol can be a daunting task for those new to using VPNs or networking technologies. However, once properly set up, OpenVPN provides a secure and reliable way to protect one’s online privacy and digital presence.

Key Takeaways

  • OpenVPN offers strong security features and reliable data encryption.
  • The protocol strikes a good balance between speed and security.
  • Proper setup and configuration are crucial for making the most of OpenVPN’s benefits.

Understanding OpenVPN

What is OpenVPN

OpenVPN is a widely used VPN protocol designed to create secure connections between users and servers. It utilizes encryption and authentication to establish a secure “tunnel” between the two parties. Many popular VPN providers make use of OpenVPN, as it provides a balanced combination of security, speed, and compatibility.

Open Source

One of the notable features of OpenVPN is that it is open-source. This means that the code is publicly available and can be freely reviewed, modified, and redistributed by the community. As a result, OpenVPN benefits from the collaboration and expertise of developers, security experts, and enthusiasts from all over the world.

  • Transparency: The open-source nature of OpenVPN ensures transparency, allowing anyone to review the code for potential flaws or vulnerabilities.
  • Flexibility: Developers can customize the OpenVPN code to meet specific needs, leading to a wide range of implementations and applications.
  • Innovation: As the community contributes to the project, new ideas and improvements are continuously integrated, keeping OpenVPN up-to-date with the latest security advancements.


The success of OpenVPN can be attributed to its community, which is composed of individuals and organizations that actively contribute to the development, testing, and promotion of the protocol. The community plays a significant role in ensuring the safety and effectiveness of OpenVPN.

  • Code Review: Security experts and developers frequently examine the OpenVPN code, identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities.
  • Bug Reporting: Users report issues and bugs encountered, allowing the community to address these problems promptly.
  • Continual Improvement: Access to the combined knowledge and experience of the community leads to ongoing enhancements in the OpenVPN protocol, resulting in a more secure and reliable VPN solution.

The combination of open-source code, an active community, and transparency makes OpenVPN a trusted and secure choice for many when it comes to VPN protocols.

Security Features of OpenVPN

OpenVPN is a popular VPN protocol known for its security, flexibility, and overall performance. Its greatest strength lies in its security features that protect users’ privacy and ensure data encryption.

OpenVPN utilizes OpenSSL, a widely-used cryptographic library, to support various encryption algorithms such as AES, Camellia, and Blowfish. Among these, AES is considered the gold standard for encryption because of its efficiency and 256-bit key size which makes it practically unbreakable. SSL/TLS is used for secure key exchange which includes RSA and HMAC for message authentication.

Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) is another valuable security feature of OpenVPN. PFS ensures that even if an attacker manages to compromise a private key, they cannot decrypt past traffic. This is achieved by employing ephemeral keys for each session, which are later discarded and not reused.

OpenVPN provides a highly configurable framework allowing admins to choose between the stronger UDP protocol or the more reliable TCP protocol for transporting encrypted data. The UDP protocol offers better protection against DoS attacks and port scanning compared to TCP.

In addition to encryption mechanisms, OpenVPN also supports firewall integration, which adds a further layer of security to users’ data and network connections. This combination of encryption protocols, PFS, and firewall integration makes OpenVPN a secure choice for maintaining privacy and data security.

It’s worth mentioning that, despite its numerous security features, the ultimate safety of an OpenVPN setup heavily depends on proper configuration by the VPN server’s administrator. Thus, users should always opt for trustworthy VPN providers that implement secure OpenVPN setups to ensure they benefit from its full range of security features.

Protocol and Speed

OpenVPN is a highly secure and widely used VPN protocol. It is known for its flexibility and strong encryption methods, making it a popular choice for maintaining privacy and security online. OpenVPN can use either Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP) for creating the VPN tunnel. TCP is known for its reliability, while UDP offers faster speeds and better performance, making it suitable for various use cases TechRadar.

While OpenVPN is considered one of the most secure protocols, it is not the fastest option available. Due to its strong encryption and authentication methods, OpenVPN may have slightly slower speeds compared to other VPN protocols like IKEv2/IPsec or L2TP Comparitech. However, it is still a reliable choice for users who prioritize security over speed.

IKEv2/IPsec is another popular VPN protocol known for its speed and performance. It is particularly effective for mobile devices, as it can quickly reconnect when switching between networks. But despite its speed advantages, it may not be as widely supported or customizable as OpenVPN.

SSTP is another protocol option that offers a good balance between speed and security, but it may not perform as well as OpenVPN in some cases HowToGeek. If speed is your primary concern and OpenVPN is not suitable, IKEv2/IPsec or SSTP can be potential alternatives.

When it comes to choosing a VPN protocol, it’s important to consider factors like security, speed, and compatibility, and understand the trade-offs between them. OpenVPN may not always provide the fastest connection, but its strong encryption and reliability make it a top choice for users seeking a secure way to browse the internet.

Setting Up OpenVPN

Setting up OpenVPN can be a straightforward process if you follow the right steps. First and foremost, it is essential to determine the platform you will be using, as OpenVPN is compatible with various operating systems like Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Before diving into the configuration process, make sure to install the relevant OpenVPN software for your operating system. For those using Windows, MacOS, or Linux, it is common to utilize the OpenVPN GUI as the user interface. On the other hand, Android and iOS users can opt for the OpenVPN Connect app in their respective app stores.

Now, let us delve into the necessary steps for setting up the OpenVPN client and server.

  1. Decide on your VPN type: You can either choose a routed or a bridged VPN for your setup. Routed VPNs are typically more flexible and secure, while bridged VPNs provide a seamless transition between local and remote networks.

  2. Generate certificates and keys: You need to set up your own Certificate Authority (CA) and generate certificates and keys for your OpenVPN server and clients. This step is essential for maintaining security and ensuring that only authorized devices can connect to your VPN.

  3. Create configuration files: For the server and clients, appropriate configuration files should be created. These files will include information about the server’s IP address, authentication methods, and encryption settings, among other crucial components.

  4. Configure the server: Update your OpenVPN server’s configuration file with the correct paths to your generated certificates and keys, and specify your desired VPN settings such as client-to-client communication and encryption options.

  5. Configure clients: For each client, generate a specific configuration file that includes the generated certificates and keys, as well as the server’s IP address and respective options for connecting securely.

  6. Connect from client-side: Once the client’s setup is complete, utilize the OpenVPN GUI or OpenVPN Connect app to establish the VPN connection by selecting the relevant configuration file.

By following these steps, OpenVPN can be set up and configured for various operating systems and provide you with a secure and encrypted connection. Remember to stay vigilant with your security settings and ensure that your certificates and keys are kept private to maintain the integrity of your VPN connection.

OpenVPN Versus Other VPN Protocols

OpenVPN is often considered the gold standard of VPN protocols due to its flexibility, security, and open-source nature. It uses SSL/TLS for key exchange and is compatible with both UDP and TCP connections. OpenVPN’s custom security protocol heavily relies on OpenSSL, similar to the encryption used on HTTPS websites, making it difficult to block and a reliable option for VPN users source.

WireGuard is another popular VPN protocol that has gained traction in recent years. It is designed to be faster, simpler, and more lightweight compared to OpenVPN. WireGuard’s streamlined codebase and modern cryptographic algorithms can result in better performance and lower latency source. However, WireGuard is a relatively new protocol, and its long-term security and reliability are yet to be determined.

When it comes to VPN providers, many of them support multiple VPN protocols, including OpenVPN and WireGuard. One such provider is ExpressVPN, which is known for its high-speed connections and support for OpenVPN source. By offering a variety of protocols, VPN providers can cater to users with different preferences and requirements.

L2TP/IPsec and IKEv2/IPsec are other commonly supported VPN protocols. Compared to OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec is generally easier to set up but may not provide the same level of security. IKEv2/IPsec, on the other hand, is known for its ability to quickly establish and maintain connections, making it a suitable choice for mobile devices or situations with unstable network conditions source.

Some VPN providers also offer proprietary VPN protocols, which are specifically designed to meet the security and performance requirements of their users. However, these protocols may lack the transparency and community support that comes with open-source protocols like OpenVPN.

In summary, OpenVPN, WireGuard, and other VPN protocols each have their strengths and weaknesses. Users should understand these differences while choosing a suitable VPN protocol that meets their needs. VPN providers like ExpressVPN, which support multiple protocols, offer greater flexibility and customization to cater to different user preferences.

Reliability and Support

OpenVPN is a popular and widely-used VPN protocol primarily due to its strong security features and flexibility. In terms of reliability, OpenVPN offers two options for setting up its VPN tunnel: TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol). TCP is known for its maximum reliability while UDP is famous for its rapid speed. This flexibility in choosing between speed and reliability gives OpenVPN an edge over other competing VPN protocols.

When it comes to support, OpenVPN is an open-source protocol, which means it is constantly being updated and improved by the online community. This also means that there are numerous resources and forums available for users to seek assistance if required. Additionally, many top VPN providers choose to incorporate OpenVPN as a part of their service, offering further support and integration for this protocol.

However, it is essential to pay attention to the specific configuration of the OpenVPN setup. The security and reliability of your connection can be affected by the VPN server administrator’s configuration choices. For instance, using static keys instead of public key infrastructure (PKI) can be less secure, but both are configuration options.

It’s important to keep in mind that the safety and reliability of OpenVPN also depend on the provider you choose. As a user, selecting a trustworthy and reliable provider is crucial, as free VPNs or lesser-known providers might not offer the same level of security as renowned ones. So, when assessing the reliability and support of OpenVPN, considering the reputation and track record of the VPN provider is essential.

Usage Scenarios

OpenVPN is a versatile protocol that caters to various online activities, ensuring security and privacy while delivering a stable and robust connection. Some of the most common usage scenarios include streaming, gaming, torrenting, and accessing geo-restricted content on platforms like Netflix.

Streaming: When it comes to maintaining a smooth and buffer-free streaming experience, OpenVPN is an excellent choice. Its strong encryption and tunable performance make it an ideal solution for users looking to safely stream their favorite content without compromising their privacy. Additionally, using an OpenVPN-based VPN service can help bypass geo-restrictions on popular streaming platforms, allowing users to access a broader range of content worldwide.

Gaming: OpenVPN is a great option for gamers seeking a secure and stable connection. With its ability to withstand latency and packet loss, it offers a reliable and consistent performance that can handle the demands of online gaming. Moreover, its secure encryption prevents DDoS attacks, ensuring that the gaming experience remains uninterrupted and enjoyable.

Torrenting: Torrenting requires a strong, private connection to safeguard users from potential security threats and legal issues. OpenVPN is often the go-to choice for torrent users due to its high level of security and no bandwidth limitations. This protocol ensures that downloading and sharing files via torrents remains a safe and private activity.

Netflix: Accessing geo-restricted Netflix content is another popular usage scenario for OpenVPN. Its robust encryption and tunneling capabilities allow users to bypass regional restrictions and enjoy a wider variety of Netflix shows and movies. Not only does OpenVPN offer privacy protection and anonymity, but it also helps maintain streaming quality by preventing internet service providers (ISPs) from throttling connection speeds based on streaming behavior.

In summary, OpenVPN is a reliable and secure option for various online activities, ranging from streaming and gaming to torrenting and accessing geo-restricted content on platforms like Netflix. Its strong encryption, adaptable performance, and compatibility with many devices make OpenVPN a popular choice for users seeking a stable and private online experience.

Server Access and Connectivity

OpenVPN is a popular and widely-used VPN protocol, which provides robust security features for network connections. One of the primary components of OpenVPN is its Access Server, which serves as the central hub for managing and controlling VPN connections. Access Server deals with various types of networks, routing, and access control policies, making it an ideal choice for various use cases.

Access Server is capable of handling different types of connections and network configurations. It supports Network Address Translation (NAT), allowing users to establish secure connections from private networks to the public internet. NAT plays a crucial role in maintaining data privacy and preventing unauthorized access to internal network resources. By using NAT, OpenVPN can efficiently manage multiple concurrent connections without exposing sensitive data to external threats.

To enhance security measures, OpenVPN employs various authentication methods such as certificates, smart cards, and username/password credentials for client connections. These versatile options for authentication ensure that only authorized users can connect to the Access Server.

Within a private network, OpenVPN can be configured to allow or deny access to specific IP addresses, subnets, and protocols. By creating appropriate firewall rules, administrators can establish granular access control policies and ensure that users can only access relevant resources within the network.

In summary, OpenVPN Access Server provides a secure and reliable solution for maintaining connectivity between private networks and public internet channels. With its support for NAT, advanced authentication methods, and flexible access control policies, OpenVPN is an excellent choice for securing server access and connectivity.

Privacy Concerns

OpenVPN is considered one of the safest protocols available for securing your online privacy. Its open-source nature and consistent updates contribute to its high levels of security. However, when using OpenVPN, there are certain privacy concerns that you should be aware of to maximize your online safety.

Firstly, the security of your OpenVPN setup largely depends on how it is configured by the server administrator. While it is generally safe, it can be set up in a less secure manner, using static keys instead of the more secure public key infrastructure (PKI) source. So, it’s crucial to choose a reputable VPN provider that properly configures their OpenVPN servers.

A significant privacy concern for every VPN user, regardless of the protocol they use, is the no-logs policy. Some VPN providers may claim to have a no-logs policy but potentially store user logs and share them with third parties or authorities. OpenVPN doesn’t inherently offer a no-logs policy; this aspect depends on the VPN provider you choose source. It’s essential to research and select a VPN provider with a proven track record of keeping their no-logs promise.

IP address privacy is another crucial factor when using OpenVPN. VPN providers with OpenVPN support should provide an IPv4 or IPv6 address to protect your real location, as your IP address can expose sensitive information, like your approximate location. A good VPN service would ideally provide you with a new IPv4 or IPv6 address and conceal your original one, ensuring that your online activities are private and anonymous.

Finally, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may attempt to monitor or intercept your online activity. With OpenVPN, your data is encrypted, making it challenging for ISPs to access your online activity or demographic information. However, it’s still crucial to choose a VPN provider that offers strong encryption and privacy features to ensure your data is secure throughout your online sessions.

In conclusion, while OpenVPN is generally considered safe and secure, it’s essential to keep in mind the privacy concerns discussed and only rely on reputable VPN providers with a proven history of maintaining user privacy and security.

Pros and Cons of OpenVPN

OpenVPN is a popular VPN protocol that is known for its versatility and security. However, it also has some disadvantages that users should be aware of. In this section, we will explore the pros and cons of OpenVPN.


1. Security: OpenVPN is considered to be one of the most secure VPN protocols available. It uses OpenSSL to encrypt data, ensuring comprehensive privacy by default1. This high level of security is one of the main reasons users opt for OpenVPN.

2. Versatility: OpenVPN is capable of bypassing various types of network restrictions, making it a preferred choice for users who need to access blocked content or work in restrictive environments2. Additionally, OpenVPN runs on multiple platforms, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, and mobile devices, making it suitable for various user needs.

3. Open-source: One of the key appeals of OpenVPN is that it is an open-source protocol, meaning that its source code is accessible to everyone. This ensures transparency and allows a community of developers to support and improve the protocol over time3.


1. Speed: Due to its highly secure encryption, OpenVPN can sometimes lead to slower connection speeds when compared to other VPN protocols4. This can be a disadvantage for users who require fast connections for activities like online gaming or streaming.

2. Complicated setup: Setting up OpenVPN can be more complex than other protocols, especially for users who are not tech-savvy. While many VPN service providers now offer intuitive apps that make setup easier, some users may still find the process complicated5.

3. Device compatibility: Although OpenVPN is available on various platforms, it might not be compatible with all types of devices or operating systems. This could limit the range of options available to some users6.

In summary, OpenVPN is a highly secure and versatile VPN protocol but may have some drawbacks regarding speed, setup complexity, and device compatibility. Users should weigh the pros and cons based on their individual needs and preferences before choosing OpenVPN as their VPN protocol.


OpenVPN is a widely-used industry-standard protocol for VPN connections1. Its robust security features include 256-bit encryption, making it one of the safest options available2. However, it’s important to note that the security of your OpenVPN setup largely depends on how the administrator of the VPN server configured it3.

Some VPN providers offer OpenVPN as part of their services, which might also include additional perks such as a 30-day money-back guarantee. This allows users to confidently try their services and ensure they’re satisfied with the performance and security provided1.

When considering a free VPN solution using OpenVPN, it is essential to be cautious and research the servers or service providers used, as privacy and security are not guaranteed2. As always, making informed decisions about your VPN service and OpenVPN setup will ensure the desired level of protection and performance.

In conclusion, OpenVPN can be a secure and reliable option for VPN connections. To reap the full benefits of its strong encryption and safety features, make sure you choose a trustworthy VPN provider and that the OpenVPN setup is properly configured.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can OpenVPN be trusted?

OpenVPN is a widely trusted and commonly used VPN protocol. It’s known for its high level of security, thanks to its use of OpenSSL for encryption and support for a wide range of cryptographic algorithms. The open-source nature of OpenVPN allows for continuous development and improvements, making it a reliable choice for users seeking a secure VPN system.

What are OpenVPN security issues?

While OpenVPN is generally considered to be a secure VPN protocol, it is essential to keep the software up to date and use appropriate security settings to minimize potential security risks. Some issues can arise from misconfigurations or outdated software that could lead to vulnerabilities or reduced safety. To maintain optimal security, it’s essential to use OpenVPN with reputable VPN providers and stay informed about upcoming releases and bug fixes.

Is OpenVPN safe for torrenting?

OpenVPN is considered a safe and secure option for torrenting due to its robust encryption, which can protect your data from being intercepted or monitored. When using OpenVPN in combination with a reliable VPN provider, users can enjoy a private and secure browsing experience while torrenting.

How does OpenVPN compare to other VPN protocols?

OpenVPN is considered one of the most secure and versatile VPN protocols available. It offers several advantages over other VPN protocols, such as PPTP and L2TP/IPsec. Its main strengths lie in its open-source nature, allowing for continuous improvements, strong encryption, and support for different authentication methods. However, OpenVPN might not be the fastest option due to its powerful encryption, so users looking for speedier connections may consider alternatives like IKEv2 or WireGuard, based on their specific needs.

Does OpenVPN have any vulnerabilities?

As with any software, vulnerabilities may be discovered in OpenVPN over time. However, due to its open-source nature, these potential issues are often addressed quickly by the community and developers. It’s important to keep OpenVPN software up to date to ensure the most secure experience, and always use reputable VPN providers to minimize risks associated with vulnerabilities.

Is OpenVPN safety comparable to NordVPN?

OpenVPN can provide a high level of safety and security when used with reputable VPN providers like NordVPN. NordVPN is known for its fast and secure servers, and they offer OpenVPN as one of their available protocols. Users can feel confident in OpenVPN’s security when used in conjunction with reliable providers like NordVPN.


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