OpenVPN – Pros and Cons

Open vpn pros ad cons

Table of Contents

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a great way to protect your private data.

With your business growing and spread across the whole wide world, VPN makes communications secure. And, when you look out for VPN options, the top choice would be OpenVPN.

At 1onlyhost, we often get requests from customers to advise on the best VPN service in our Infrastructure Management Services.

Today, we’ll closely analyze OpenVPN and discuss the pros and cons of OpenVPN .

 

 

Why to use OpenVPN?

In modern world, privacy of data is a major concern for every internet user.

Thanks to VPN, we can have a secure connection to another network over the Internet. Additionally, it helps to access region-restricted websites, mask your browsing activity on public internet connection, and more.

And, naturally we need a VPN software to get all the benefits of private networking. That’s where OpenVPN helps.

OpenVPN works in a client-server model. Basically, it helps to establish a secure channel between the VPN client and the VPN server. Also, it uses its own custom protocol based on TLS and SSL.

Again, OpenVPN is open-source which adds to the popularity of this protocol.

 

Pros of OpenVPN

Just like any other protocol, OpenVPN too has its own pros and cons. But, from our experience in managing Open VPN providers, our Dedicated Engineers see that the pros usually outweighs the cons.

Let’s have close look on the pros, that makes OpenVPN popular among VPN providers.

 

1. Better Security

Security is always a top concern while dealing with sensitive data. Luckily, OpenVPN has an upper edge here as it uses 256-bit encryption keys and high-end ciphers. This gives good protection against the man in the middle attacks. As a result, it is rather difficult to grab the information by altering the data packet.

 

2. Runs on almost all platforms

Secondly, OpenVPN can run on a large number of platforms. Be it Linux or Windows, we can use OpenVPN. Again, the supported platforms include MacOS, iOS, Android, FreeBSD and many more.

 

3. Good firewall compatibility

Similarly, OpenVPN can use any port on TCP or UDP, which makes it easily work with internet. Even when there are network firewall based blocks in place, it is difficult to block the OpenVPN connections. For example, if OpenVPN uses TCP with port 443, then the connection will appear as typical HTTPS connection and can easily pass through the firewall.

 

4. Supports Perfect Forward Secrecy

OpenVPN supports Perfect Forward Secrecy. This encryption method makes decoding of data difficult for the hackers. To enable forward secrecy in OpenVPN, our Support Engineers generate a new random key during each data transmission using the command:

openvpn --genkey --secret /path/my.key

We, then distribute this key securely to each OpenVPN client and to the server. As this key remains valid only for the current session, it will not affect future security too.

 

5. Cost advantages

Last, but not the least, OpenVPN has cost advantages too. OpenVPN software is free for download and use in Windows, Linux, MacOS computers, as well as Android and iOS devices.

OpenVPN client allows to make free connection to a VPN server. Again, when we use it on a server to accept incoming VPN connections, OpenVPN gives free access from two clients.

 

Cons of OpenVPN

Although, there are too many benefits, OpenVPN is not free from demerits too. Now, let’s have a look on the cons.

 

1. Requires additional software client

Unfortunately, OpenVPN is not built into a particular platform, be it Linux or Windows. Therefore, it requires a client program to send traffic through the OpenVPN tunnel and to decrypt the return data.

Additionally, this OpenVPN client requires further configuration too.

 

2. Complex manual configuration

Similarly, manually setting up an OpenVPN server can be a very daunting task. There are too many options with OpenVPN and configuration requires some level of expertise. Unfortunately, this can end up as a mess if done improperly. As a result, OpenVPN setup may not be a beginner’s cup of tea.

 

3. Limit in the number of servers

Although, OpenVPN connection is free for the end users, there is a license for the commercial versions. Again, the number of concurrent VPN users is limited by the license.

OpenVPN supports a maximum of 50 servers, and it can create a road block if you are a VPN provider and need many server connections. That’s why, we always help customers to choose the best suited OpenVPN license as per the requirement.

[Looking for VPN solutions? We can recommend the best possible solution for you.]

 

Conclusion

In a nutshell, OpenVPN is one the popular choices to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. Today, we saw the pros and cons of OpenVPN and why our Support Engineers often recommend it to customers.

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