If you are new to VPNs, you might not know what OpenVPN is. The quickest way to describe it, is that it is the most safe and secure protocol that is currently available. It ups the ante on its predecessors PPTP and L2TP/IPsec, allowing its users to have a VPN connection that is essentially impenetrable when set up and used correctly. If you have privacy and security concerns, this article will explain what OpenVPN is and which VPN providers are the best to use for it.
What is OpenVPN?
It's hard to talk about this without getting too technical, so put on your nerd glasses and get ready. OpenVPN is a software application that uses VPNs to make secure connections. It is open source, which means that it can and has been verified by the community. It is the most secure protocol that is currently available, with an encryption strength that far surpasses PPTP and L2TP/IPsec
How Does OpenVPN Work?
One of the most important aspects of OpenVPN is that it is open source. Because of this, VPN providers can use it in their clients and take advantage of its encryption keys and excellent security features. Being open source also means that users can look at the code and make sure that everything is as it seems, that there are no trap doors or nasty business hidden inside by nefarious individuals.
The cryptographic protocols that OpenVPN uses are called Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Certain configurations can be used to get around firewalls and allow you to access https:// sites anonymously.
To make the protocol secure, something called a cipher must be used. This is an algorithm that encrypts your data. VPN providers will generally use either Blowfish or AES as their cyphers, however some also use cyphers called 3DES or Camellia. Blowfish is older and considered to have weaker encryption compared to AES. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and it has better security, as well as being able to process larger files. Because OpenVPN uses such strong ciphers and high quality keys, it is near impossible to penetrate.
OpenVPN vs PPTP
Think of PPTP like the first cellphone you ever saw. OpenVPN is an iPhone 15S. That's pretty much the best way to put it. PPTP has been in use since it was developed for Windows 95 and its simply old and unreliable encryption technology. There have been a number of known security issues in the past and it is expected that the NSA is capable of decrypting it. Yes, PPTP is light and fast, but if you really care about your privacy and security, we strongly recommend that you use OpenVPN instead.
Which VPN is Best for OpenVPN?
Let's not delay any further. Here is our list of the best VPNs for OpenVPN:
#1 & Editor's Choice: Express VPN
ExpressVPN is the reining champion in almost every category. It's hard to find a place where other VPNs surpass it. It is fast and reliable, with servers in bucketloads of countries. Because they are so concerned with the security of their users, they put great importance on OpenVPN. Express VPN have a client that is very functional and has many advanced settings, while its apps for mobile devices are just as easy to use. Their customer service is also top-of-the-line. The only real downside that most users seem to find with their product is the price. It is one of the more expensive options, but it makes up for it with excellent value.
If you are looking for a VPN provider that is serious about your security, IPVanish might be one to consider. They have great OpenVPN encryption, a whole lot of servers, good speeds and no logs. Their customer service is also on point. People with serious concerns might be a little worried about IPVanish, because they are a US based company, so you never know when they might run into problems with the government.
AirVPN is great with all things security and privacy. The only problem is that it is difficult to use. Like really difficult. As in, you might need an IT background or at least not have left your mum's basement for four months to be able to figure it out. Seriously, their commitment to security and privacy is amazing, but for most people, their service is just too difficult to use. If you want the best, go with them. If you don't have a computer science degree and don't want too many headaches, stick to someone else on this list.
One place where CyberGhost beat their competitors is that they also offer a free service. Sure, it's limited, but it gives users a chance to familiarise themselves and see if they really want to jump into the full offering. They also offer a 30 day free trial, so you can try out everything before you commit. They don't keep logs which is awesome and their paid service includes access to lots of servers. The price and speeds are also good, however torrenting isn't allowed through their service.
If you have the money, VPNArea offer a great service. They are a bit pricier than some of the other choices on this list, but the service that they offer makes it worth it. They also offer a 7 day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out without the risk. They offer up to 5 simultaneous connections, good speeds, the ability to pay with Bitcoin and don't keep any logs. With 256-bit AES encryption, you will be safe with VPNArea.