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5 Best VPNs for OpenVPN in 2017

The VPN industry accepts OpenVPN as the best standard of VPN encryption. The protocol is a highly robust form of encryption that allows VPN users to keep their web browsing traffic private and secure. That number one position is well deserved. OpenVPN is much better than its competitors, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec protocols. OpenVPN is open source and highly adaptable, which means that it can be implemented in a number of ways.

Unfortunately, that flexibility can also cause problems. Despite being the best form of encryption (and the one that we highly recommend you use), unless OpenVPN is implemented correctly it can be insecure (see our considerations section below to see why). That is why we have gone to the trouble of finding the best VPN for OpenVPN (and four close runners up).

In this article, we have looked closely at the marketplace in 2017 and identified the five best VPNs for OpenVPN. So sit back, relax, and let us guide you through them. We are confident that there is something here for everyone, no matter what their circumstances are.

In addition, all these VPNs not only provide OpenVPN encryption implemented securely but also everything needed from a world-class VPN service: fast connection speeds, excellent server locations, strong privacy policies, reliability, and outstanding customer care.

Five Best VPNs for OpenVPN: Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN Logo
Read Review10/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

NordVPN Logo
Read Review9.2/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

3

AirVPN Logo
Read Review8.6/10
$4.82 / monthVisit Site

4

IPVanish Logo
Read Review7.8/10
$6.49 / monthVisit Site

5

VPNArea Logo
Read Review7.4/10
$4.92 / monthVisit Site

*All prices shown in US dollars

* Advertiser Disclosure
ExpressVPN

Winner

ExpressVPN

5/5

ExpressVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • Strong OpenVPN implementation
  • Servers in 85 countries
  • Lightning fast speeds
  • Three simultaneous connections
  • No usage logs
  • ConsCONS
  • Some connection logs (for internal use)

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for OpenVPN encryption in 2017. It has excellent VPN software for all the popular platforms, with OpenVPN functionality built into them all. OpenVPN is implemented in a highly robust manner (AES-256 cipher with RSA-4096 handshake and SHA-512 HMAC), plus uses Elliptic Curve Diffie–Hellman (ECDH) key exchanges, which means it provides perfect forward secrecy. You can install it on three simultaneous devices, which means that you can connect with OpenVPN on Windows, Android, and iOS if you wish. In addition, the firm sells flashed routers. Thus, if you prefer, you can route via OpenVPN and all your devices will be protected.

Servers are located in 85 countries and all of ExpressVPN’s servers are lightning fast, perfect for streaming in HD. The service in fully featured, has DNS leak protection and a kill switch. Furthermore, customer care is 24/7 and is highly knowledgeable. Finally, the provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for you to test the service.

Try the best VPN for OpenVPN now!

Visit ExpressVPN »

30-day money-back guarantee

2nd place

NordVPN

4.6/5

NordVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • Strong OpenVPN implementation
  • Lots of security features
  • Servers in over 60 countries
  • P2P: yes
  • Zero logs policy
  • ConsCONS
  • Can get a bit slower (especially using double encryption)

NordVPN is very popular with people who want extra security. It implements OpenVPN to a very high standard (AES 256 bit for data encryption, RSA 2048 for handshaking and SHA-2 for data authentication). In addition, the VPN software has many excellent features, such as DNS leak protection, kill switch, double encryption and VPN into Tor.

Sadly, sometimes speeds do get a bit slower than with ExpressVPN and IPVanish, especially if you decide to use double encryption. However, speeds are usually good and you do have more than 600 servers in over 50 countries to choose from.

NordVPN also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service. So if you aren’t happy for any reason, you can ask for your money back risk-free.

Visit NordVPN »


3rd place

AirVPN

4.3/5

AirVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • OpenVPN strongly implemented with PFS
  • Fast connections
  • VPN into Tor
  • P2P: yes
  • Zero logs policy
  • ConsCONS
  • Based in Italy (not ideal)
  • Fewer server locations

AirVPN is a highly advanced VPN that has many features, and is highly secure (AES-256, HMAC SHA1, RSA-4096, HMAC SHA384 and Diffie Hellman elliptic DHE-4096 for perfect forward secrecy). It is a VPN that might not be ideal for beginners because it is quite technical. However, for those with some technical know-how (or who are simply brave and willing to learn) this is an amazing VPN service. OpenVPN is customizable and implemented in a highly secure manner.

It also providers VPN into Tor and SSL and SSH encrypted tunnels for file transfers, which will allow users to operate the VPN without anyone ever suspecting they have one. Bitcoin is accepted. Additionally, AirVPN has a zero logs policy. If privacy is your main priority, this VPN is hard to beat.

However, one drawback is that it doesn’t have such a large choice of servers as our number one recommendation, ExpressVPN. That means you will have a lot fewer options for spoofing your IP address. As such, this is more for die hard privacy people than regular users.

Visit AirVPN »


4th place

IPVanish

3.9/5

IPVanish

  • ProsPROS
  • Strong OpenVPN encryption
  • Excellent value for money
  • Servers in over 60 countries
  • P2P: yes
  • Zero logs policy
  • ConsCONS
  • US-based (but has an outstanding zero logs policy)

IPVanish is a US-based provider with an excellent zero logs policy, which speaks for itself. OpenVPN is implemented to a highly secure standard (256-bit AES encryption with SHA256 data authentication and 2048-bit RSA handshake). It isn’t as strong as ExpressVPN but is still very strong, which means you will be secure with this VPN. Amazingly – for the level of service provided – this VPN is also very affordable.

Servers are located in over 60 countries worldwide and they are all faultlessly fast. Customer care is excellent, though only available is US business hours. The VPN software is fully featured, and has a kill switch and DNS leak protection built into the client. It also offers a seven-day money-back guarantee. Outstanding. It may be fourth on our list, but it could easily be some people’s number one VPN for OpenVPN.

Visit IPVanish »


5th place

VPNArea

3.7/5

VPNArea

  • ProsPROS
  • Fast connection speeds
  • Strong OpenVPN implementation
  • Servers in over 45 countries
  • P2P: yes
  • Zero logs policy
  • ConsCONS
  • Younger, less established firm (but doing an incredible job)

VPNArea is a Bulgarian provider that hasn’t been around as long as some others. However, it runs on mind-blowing VPN software that implements OpenVPN to a high standard (AES-256 with RSA-2048 handshake and SHA256 data authentication). You can install it on five simultaneous devices. In addition, it has a zero logs policy. It also has an auto IP changer that switches your IP every 5 minutes – this interesting feature is certainly good for security.

Servers are located in over 50 countries and they are all seriously fast. All in all, this young VPN company is doing a good job, which is why it makes it into our best five VPNs for OpenVPN in 2017.

Visit VPNArea »


Best VPN for OpenVPN: Considerations

Many VPN providers shout from the rooftops about providing OpenVPN. When we look more closely, however, and start to ask questions about that encryption, we often find out that the VPN isn’t doing things properly. Providers must implement OpenVPN correctly in order to provide strong encryption. That means they must implement cipher size, hash size, handshake type, and perfect forward secrecy strongly. If any one of those aspects is weak, it could mean the security of the entire protocol comes tumbling down like a Jenga stack.

As such, just having OpenVPN available is not a great sign that a VPN is secure. In fact, it is one of the easiest ways for VPNs to pretend to be good when they actually offer an insecure service. This is precisely why selecting a VPN can be such a nightmare, and why so many people come to BestVPN.com to read reviews of individual VPN providers. There are well over 850 providers on the market. Thus both new VPN users and seasoned VPN veterans regularly come to us to make sure that VPN providers are implementing OpenVPN properly: 95% of them aren’t!

OpenVPN: Some Background

OpenVPN is an open source VPN protocol. The protocol is a group of software parameters and instructions that providers can use to create a secure, encrypted connection between devices communicating online. Currently, it is the best of several different protocols that are available to VPN users. Those include PPTP, SSTP, and L2TP/IPSec, all of which function a little differently to establish a secure VPN connection. For a more detailed look at the protocols, check out our PPTP vs. L2TP vs. OpenVPN vs. SSTP vs. IKEv2 article.

Why Is OpenVPN so Great?

When Edward Snowden leaked his revelations about the NSA back in 2013, he revealed that US intelligence can break all VPN protocols except for OpenVPN. In addition, it is believed that if OpenVPN is not implemented properly, the NSA is likely to be able to decrypt that as well. The good news is that if it is implemented properly OpenVPN is completely secure, which is why it is used by the military.

  • OpenVPN is open source as opposed to proprietary. That means its source code is available to anyone and any provider can use it to create their own VPN software. It is during that process that VPN providers decide which ciphers, encryption keys, handshakes and hash authorizations to use. It is those choices that can make or break a VPN service. Although open source flexibility makes it highly adaptable, it can lead to problems. The good news is that the open source nature of the technology leaves it open to scrutiny and review by us here at BestVPN.com (and anybody else). Thus we can check for any unwanted security flaws or weaknesses.
  • OpenVPN employs SSL in its functionality. It is a popular form of encryption for connections between devices and servers. Specifically, it uses SSLv3/TLSv1 protocols and the OpenSSL library. What this means is that OpenVPN can be used to get around firewalls and can be configured to run on any port, including TCP port 443 (the same port used by regular SSL traffic). The outcome is that OpenVPN traffic can be disguised as SSL traffic. This means you can access HTTPS websites without anyone easily being able to tell a VPN is being used.

Ciphers

Another crucial aspect of any VPN protocol is the cipher (the algorithm used to encrypt the data). Choice of cipher has a huge impact on the security of OpenVPN implementation. The most popular ciphers used by VPN providers are AES and Blowfish (others include Camellia, 3DES, and Catfish). Here are the differences between the two most popular ciphers:

Blowfish

  • Blowfish first came out in 1993 and is still being used today because it can be used to establish secure connections. It is still widely regarded as secure, but is known to use weak encryption keys and to struggle with encrypting larger files. Although no conclusive evidence has emerged to prove that it is insecure, Blowfish is still considered the riskier of the two most popular protocols.

AES

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a newer protocol that is now the most popular. It is even used by the US federal government, which certainly indicates its strength and reliability for encrypting securely. It is considered to be the best mainly because it is so successful at encrypting larger files. In addition, it is liked because of its high-level security features and implementation, which have been regularly updated to fix weaknesses as they were discovered.

Both cipher types be used with OpenVPN. In addition – and most importantly – the encryption key used can also be selected independently. If either of the ciphers is implemented with a strong handshake and hash size, then you wind up with a VPN service that is as NSA-proof as you can get in 2017.

All of the VPNs in this guide have been selected because their VPN software uses the highest levels of OpenVPN implementation, which puts all of the services at the forefront of the VPN industry.

Installing OpenVPN

OpenVPN isn’t actually supported by default in any particular operating system. That means VPN providers must choose whether to use an open-source client or to create their own software.

Open Source OpenVPN Clients

An open source OpenVPN client is one way that VPN providers can provide OpenVPN for their subscribers. This, however, leaves most of the setup work with the subscriber. It can be tricky for users to set up, with quite a few steps involved. It works incredibly well, but setting it up does require some tech knowledge, a good walkthrough, or assistance from the VPN provider.

Because of this, the world class VPNs that we have recommended all have custom clients for all of the most popular platforms, so you won’t need to worry about setting up OpenVPN yourself. Just in case, however, (and for information purposes) here are the OpenVPN clients for each platform:

Custom OpenVPN Clients

A custom VPN client is software created by the VPN provider that users can download from its website. It is pre-configured and has a nice, easy-to-use front end. This allows users to simply select OpenVPN, DNS leak protection or a kill switch – and any other features – from a menu system. It also allows users to choose between the different VPN servers located around the world with ease. Any world class VPN for OpenVPN has a custom client that comes pre-configured and is fully featured. This includes features that you won’t get with an open source OpenVPN client that you have to set up yourself.

That is why we have only featured the very best VPNs for OpenVPN in this article – so that you will have everything you need for a secure and private web browsing experience at the very best levels available on the VPN market today.

Conclusion

In this article, we have laid out the five best VPNs for OpenVPN. There is no doubt that OpenVPN is currently the best VPN protocol. For that reason, most people want a VPN that provides it. As we have explained in this article, however, OpenVPN alone is not always good enough to keep you secure. That is why the VPNs in this guide not only provide all the things you need from a good VPN, but also provide OpenVPN functionality implemented in a highly secure manner.

These VPNs have awesome privacy policies all round. They provide excellent speeds, and VPN software that has all the important features you would expect from the very best VPN services. We are sure there is a secure VPN in this list for everybody, no matter what their personal circumstances are.

Finally, if there is anything you want to know then please be sure to drop us a line in the comments section below. We are always here to help.

Best VPNs for OpenVPN: Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN Logo
Read Review10/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

NordVPN Logo
Read Review9.2/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

3

AirVPN Logo
Read Review8.6/10
$4.82 / monthVisit Site

4

IPVanish Logo
Read Review7.8/10
$6.49 / monthVisit Site

5

VPNArea Logo
Read Review7.4/10
$4.92 / monthVisit Site

*All prices shown in US dollars

* Advertiser Disclosure

Ray Walsh I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR. I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality, and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood, and love to listen to trap music.

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6 responses to “5 Best VPNs for OpenVPN in 2017

  1. Hi, is their any possible way which i can setup a free openvpn service on windows 7? I’ve looked into to vpn book and tbh they look a little shady so id rather not take the chance but is their any way at no cost? weather its off a website or setting it up myself, please get back to me at your earliest convenience.
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Linda,

      Not directly, as the Amazon Fire TV stick does not a have VPN client built-in (and its impossible to install one on a non-rooted device).

      – You can. however, share a VPN connection with your desktop/laptop PC, or connect via a VPN router. ExpressVPN itself has instructions for doing these here

      – ExpressVPN also throws in a free Smart DNS service, which you could use instead of a regular VPN. See here for instruction on how to set this up – just replace the DNS settings with those provided by ExpressVPN.

      – A more extreme solution is to root your TV stick. You will then be able sideload any regular Android VPN app. Please see here for instructions.

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