What Is OpenVPN?

OpenVPN is one of the most mainstream VPN protocols, an open-source solution capable of providing and securing internet connections. With its high level of security, reliability, and compatibility to work with a wide range of devices, OpenVPN is now often used by businesses or individuals to create encrypted tunnels and establish secure connections between devices and networks.

How Does OpenVPN Work?

In general, the workflow of OpenVPN is divided into the following steps.

Step 1. Authentication

OpenVPN is able to use different authentication methods, including certificates, shared keys, username/password combinations, etc. to verify the identity of the VPN client to the server and vice versa. This ensures that only authorized users establish a VPN connection.

Step 2. Creating the Tunnel

Once verification is successful, OpenVPN creates a VPN tunnel between the VPN provider's client and server. You can imagine it as a secure passage through which data can be encrypted and transmitted securely.

Step 3. Encrypt the data

The data transmitted through the tunnel will be encrypted using the OpenSSL library, which supports a variety of encryption algorithms to ensure that the data transmitted by the user is not known to third parties, hackers, or even ISPs.

Step 4. Transmitting Data

The data encrypted by OpenVPN will be transmitted through the tunnel to a connected server. The server decrypts the data and routes it to the target website. Since the data passes through the VPN server, the destination can't determine the user's real IP address.

Pros and Cons of OpenVPN

Industry-leading EncryptionSlower Than Other Protocols
Extremely High SecurityDifficult to Configure
Open SourceNot Good Enough for Mobiles
Stable ConnectionsMight Be Blocked
Good Compatibility
Regularly Updated