What is OpenVPN?

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated September 12, 2022

If you’re looking for the best VPN software, you should also look for the best protocol selection. Security protocols are an essential part of any VPN connection, which might leave you asking questions like, “What is OpenVPN?” This is because OpenVPN is one such protocol. In fact, it’s one of the most common network protocols out there. Keep reading to find out more about what it is and how it works.


  • A VPN doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t use strong protocols and encryption. There is a large selection of protocols that different VPNs use.
  • OpenVPN is the most popularized option for VPN protocols. It’s open-source software that allows you to establish a secure, encrypted connection.
  • There are multiple benefits to using OpenVPN, like the usage of 256-bit encryption. However, it also has downsides, like complicated configuration settings.

Explaining OpenVPN Software

OpenVPN software refers to the most commonly used open-source protocol available. This software allows you to establish a safer connection to the internet, and an OpenVPN server is considered one of the most secure available. In fact, your very own VPN provider probably uses it. That isn’t the only way to help keep your computer safe, however, especially for families. If you’re looking for a highly-rated family password manager, try comparing 1Password vs. Dashlane.

Insider Tip

OpenVPN is one of the most secure protocols you can have.

How Secure OpenVPN Protocol Options Work

Having an OpenVPN connection means having a far more secure connection. It is primarily considered the safest VPN protocol out there. It works by using a robust encryption system with a key exchange to add an extra layer of security to your operating system. Essentially, it generates a “key” once it encrypts data that is exchanged with the receiving system, so it’s able to unlock the encryption. For more information on how VPN protocols work, try comparing IPSec vs. OpenVPN.

The Pros of OpenVPN Software

Considered one of the most secure VPN protocols, OpenVPN is an excellent choice for a multitude of reasons:

  • The usage of 256-bit encryption
  • Ability to establish a secure private network
  • Trustworthy open-source protocol with transparency

The Cons of OpenVPN Software

Unfortunately, if you’re wondering what a company VPN does, it probably doesn’t use OpenVPN. This is due to a couple of reasons, including that it might interfere with a business proxy and requires third-party applications to run. It’s also difficult to understand the configuration settings.


Always use a VPN when using a public network so that your information isn’t vulnerable to hackers.

STAT: In 2020, online scams were responsible for 58 percent of significant cyber security incidents in healthcare organizations in the United States. (source)

What is OpenVPN FAQs

Does my VPN Provider Use OpenVPN?

That depends on the type of VPN provider that you’re using. However, the chances are pretty high that secure OpenVPN protocol options are being used to keep your connection safe.

Why can public internet traffic be dangerous?

There are tons of reasons why public internet is dangerous, especially without a VPN connection that uses a tunneling protocol. The biggest danger of public internet is that your information is visible to hackers and other malicious parties.

What are the most popular VPN protocols?

While there are quite a few protocols, here are the most popular types besides OpenVPN:

  • IKEv2
  • PPTP
  • L2TP
  • SSTP

What can I do to improve internal security features?

There are a few things you can do to increase internal security features. The first is to have a great VPN that uses advanced security features like high-end encryption to keep you safe.
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