OpenVPN | VPN-review

OpenVPN logo
OpenVPN is a open-source software that has implemented Virtual Private Network also called a VPN. The OpenVPN software creates a secure point to point connection also called a VPN 'tunnel'. OpenVPN is open source which mean that it is available for the public. It uses a implementation of OSI model layer 2 or 3 security network using the standard SSL and TLS protocols. A common mistake on OpenVPN is that its operate's through a web browser via a proxy. That is not true. OpenVPN is not a web application and it does not operate through the web browser since it uses layer 2 or 3 of the OSI model.
OpenVPN is compatible on the standard devices and OS such as Windows, Android and macOS but OpenVPN is also compatible on
  • routers
  • AWS(Amazon Web Services)
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Digital Ocean
Not only is OpenVPN integrated in the most used OS and cloud computing OpenVPN is often integrated in VPN services as a protocol.
Because OpenVPN is open source it is considered as one the safest protocols for VPNs. Everyone can acces the code of OpenVPN and can spot any vulnerability.
OpenVPN has a great community which can help you if you have any trouble with setting up OpenVPN. You can visit OpenVPN to read there features and all there benefits

In this section I am going to explain how to setup OpenVPN on Windows. The installation process is the only thing that is different from Linux and macOS in comparison with the Windows installation. The config file's setup are all the same. If you wish to setup OpenVPN on a router read the next section 'How to setup OpenVPN on a router'. The installation process is different from each OS but the config file setup is all the same for the operating systems.

Windows

installation
First we go the official download page of OpenVPN. You can find that page here.
Here we can download the OpenVPN installer. I suppose most of you guys will have Windows 10. If you have a older version you can download it here. On this page you can download the source code.
OpenVPN installer

Now that we have downloaded the OpenVPN installer lets install the OpenVPN software. You need to agree to there License Agreement. After you agree you will get the screen below. You should click all the components to install. If you are new to OpenVPN you should leave the advanced components as they are. Click on next and your installation will begin.

OpenVPN installation

Config file's
Now we have installed OpenVPN. If the installation went right OpenVPN should be installed in C:\Program Files\OpenVPN. The only thing we need is a config file. The config file tells OpenVPN which server you will use and other options. Most of the VPNs(ExpressVPN, NordVPN etc) have a build in config file builder. I will be using vpnbook(100% free). You can download there config file's here. At the bottom of the page are the credentials. Please remember them if you plan to use vpnbook.

vpn book

If you don't have a paid VPN you can download the config file from vpnbook. Download the appropiate file's you can choose from CA, FR and USA. All downloads includes UDP53, UDP 25000, TCP 80, TCP 443 profile.
Now we have our config file. Lets navigate to C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config. Here goes your config file's. Place all your config file's in this config folder.

Starting OpenVPN
Now lets start OpenVPN. Start the OpenVPN software. There will be a login screen. Enter your credentials. You should get a notication that OpenVPN is started. Now lets start a config file. The video below shows you how to do that.

As you can see I am already connected. Just press the button connect(or in my language 'verbinden'). You can choose between the network protocols TCP and UDP if you have the config files. Congratz you have configured OpenVPN.


With most paid VPN you can connect to a limited number of devices. Most familiy's has at least 5 devices which are connected to the Internet. If buy a VPN then you can protect a limited number of you devices. But what if you protect the router? The router works as a middle men between your devices and the Internet. If we protected the router then all our devices which are connected with that specific router are protected.

Setup OpenVPN on a router
I will be using a TP-link router for the tutorial. Not all routers are compatible with OpenVPN. You should check if your router is compatible before diving into OpenVPN router setup. You will be needing 3 things for this tutorial.
  • Compatible router
  • Stable internet connection
  • OpenVPN

Setup router
First we create the config file. After we have our config file it is time to setup OpenVPN. First the config file. Log in to your router. You can do that be typing the default gateway in to your browser. You can find your default gateway by typing 'ipconfig' in a command prompt.

Now we have the default gateway we can login to the router. Login with your credentials. If have never logged in to your router you can find the credentails at the bottom of your router. If you are logged in you should see on the menu a VPN option. Click on the VPN option.

vpn router The menu of TP-link
As we can see on the picture above there are a couple of options. The service type you can choose between UDP and TCP. You can change the service type if you want that. The server port is the official port number of OpenVPN port number 1194. The server port should you leave like it is.
Under the settings we generate a certificate. Lets generate a certificate. This could take a couple of minutes.

vpn certificate creation Creating a certificate could take a couple of minutes

After you successfully created a certificate you should now export your config file. Click on the button export. Save the config file somewhere where you can find it easily back.

OpenVPN
Now it is time to download OpenVPN go to this page where you can find all the community downloads. Download and install OpenVPN. After OpenVPN is installed you can start OpenVPN.
There is only one thing we need to do now. Lets import the config file and start our VPN. You should get a message that state's 'File importing succeed'. Now lets start the VPN.

vpn state Successfully deployed OpenVPN
To confirm that we successfully setup OpenVPN on our router we go back to our command prompt. Here we type in again 'ipconfig' our IP adress is now changed. To double check you can go to Whats my ip.