OpenVPN is a robust and highly flexible VPN daemon. OpenVPN supports SSL/TLS security, ethernet bridging, TCP or UDP tunnel transport through proxies or NAT, support for dynamic IP addresses and DHCP, scalability to hundreds or thousands of users, and portability to most major OS platforms.
OpenVPN is tightly bound to the OpenSSL library, and derives much of its crypto capabilities from it.
OpenVPN supports conventional encryption using a pre-shared secret key (Static Key mode) or public key security (SSL/TLS mode) using client & server certificates. OpenVPN also supports non-encrypted TCP/UDP tunnels.
OpenVPN is designed to work with the TUN/TAP virtual networking interface that exists on most platforms.
Overall, OpenVPN aims to offer many of the key features of IPSec but with a relatively lightweight footprint.
What can I use OpenVPN for?
- Tunnel any IP subnetwork or virtual ethernet adapter over a single UDP or TCP port,
- Configure a scalable, load-balanced VPN server farm using one or more machines which can handle thousands of dynamic connections from incoming VPN clients,
- Use all of the encryption, authentication, and certification features of the OpenSSL library to protect your private network traffic as it transits the internet,
- Use any cipher, key size, or HMAC digest (for datagram integrity checking) supported by the OpenSSL library,
- Choose between static-key based conventional encryption or certificate-based public key encryption,
- Use static, pre-shared keys or TLS-based dynamic key exchange,
- Use real-time adaptive link compression and traffic-shaping to manage link bandwidth utilization,
- Tunnel networks whose public endpoints are dynamic such as DHCP or dial-in clients,
- Tunnel networks through connection-oriented stateful firewalls without having to use explicit firewall rules,
- Tunnel networks over NAT,
- Create secure ethernet bridges using virtual tap devices, and
- Control OpenVPN using a GUI on Windows or Mac OS X.
How do I set up OpenVPN?
- Download OpenVPN for your operating system
- Execute the download file to install the client on your computer
- Input url for OpenVPN server or drag and drop config file (you can try VPNBook)
What is the difference between OpenVPN and OpenVPN Connect?
OpenVPN is open source, completely free, and supported by the community. OpenVPN Connect is the commercial implementation of OpenVPN. OpenVPN Connect has a free version but this version is limited to two connections. Both have a similar GUI.
Is OpenVPN free?
Yes, OpenVPN is free and open source. It does require some configuring, but ultimately it has no cost for the user.
- Dynamic TLS Crypt: When both peers are OpenVPN 2.6.1+, OpenVPN will dynamically create a tls-crypt key that is used for renegotiation. This ensure that only the previously authenticated peer can do trigger renegotiation and complete renegotiations.
- CryptoAPI (Windows): support issuer name as a selector. Certificate selection string can now specify a partial issuer name string as
- “–cryptoapicert ISSUER:
” where is matched as a substring of the issuer (CA) name in the certificate.
Previous release notes
New features and improvements in 2.6.0 compared to 2.5.8:
- Android version updated to 0.7.43
- Data Channel Offload (DCO) kernel acceleration support for Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD.
- OpenSSL 3 support.
- Improved handling of tunnel MTU, including support for pushable MTU.
- Outdated cryptographic algorithms disabled by default, but there are options to override if necessary.
- Reworked TLS handshake, making OpenVPN immune to replay-packet state exhaustion attacks.
- Added –peer-fingerprint mode for a more simplistic certificate setup and verification.
- Added Pre-Logon Access Provider support to OpenVPN GUI for Windows.
- Improved protocol negotiation, leading to faster connection setup.
- Included openvpn-gui updated to 22.214.171.124. See CHANGES.rst.
- Updated easy-rsa3 bundled with the installer on Windows.
- Various bug fixes.
Previous release notes
The OpenVPN community project team is proud to release OpenVPN 2.5.7. This is mostly a bugfix release, but adds limited support for OpenSSL 3.0. Full support will arrive in OpenVPN 2.6. Android version updated to 0.7.38.
- Connections setup is now much faster
Crypto specific changes
- ChaCha20-Poly1305 cipher in the OpenVPN data channel (Requires OpenSSL 1.1.0 or newer)
- Improved TLS 1.3 support when using OpenSSL 1.1.1 or newer
- Client-specific tls-crypt keys (–tls-crypt-v2)
- Improved Data channel cipher negotiation
- Removal of BF-CBC support in default configuration (see below for possible incompatibilities)
- HMAC based auth-token support for seamless reconnects to standalone servers or a group of servers.
- Asynchronous (deferred) authentication support for auth-pam plugin
- Asynchronous (deferred) support for client-connect scripts and plugins
- Support IPv4 configs with /31 netmasks now
- 802.1q VLAN support on TAP servers
- IPv6-only tunnels
- New option –block-ipv6 to reject all IPv6 packets (ICMPv6)
- VRF support
- Netlink integration (OpenVPN no longer needs to execute ifconfig/route or ip commands)
- Wintun driver support, a faster alternative to tap-windows6
- Setting tun/tap interface MTU
- Setting DHCP search domain
- Allow unicode search string in –cryptoapicert option
- EasyRSA3, a modern take on OpenVPN CA management
- MSI installer
BF-CBC cipher is no longer the default
Cipher handling for the data channel cipher has been significantly changed between OpenVPN 2.3/2.4 and v2.5, most notably there are no “default cipher BF-CBC” anymore because it is no longer considered a reasonable default. BF-CBC is still available, but it needs to be explicitly configured now.
For connections between OpenVPN 2.4 and v2.5 clients and servers, both ends will be able to negotiate a better cipher than BF-CBC. By default they will select one of the AES-GCM ciphers, but this can be influenced using the –data-ciphers setting.
Connections between OpenVPN 2.3 and v2.5 that have no –cipher setting in the config (= defaulting to BF-CBC and not being negotiation-capable) must be updated. Unless BF-CBC is included in –data-ciphers or there is a “–cipher BF-CBC” in the OpenVPN 2.5 config, a v2.5 client or server will refuse to talk to a v2.3 server or client, because it has no common data channel cipher and negotiating a cipher is not possible. Generally, we recommend upgrading such setups to OpenVPN 2.4 or v2.5. If upgrading is not possible we recommend adding data-ciphers AES-256-GCM:AES-128-GCM:AES-128-CBC (for v2.5+) or cipher AES-128-CBC (v2.4.x and older) to the configuration of all clients and servers.
If you really need to use an unsupported OpenVPN 2.3 (or even older) release and need to stay on BF-CBC (not recommended), the OpenVPN 2.5 based client will need a config file change to re-enable BF-CBC. But be warned that BF-CBC and other related weak ciphers will be removed in coming OpenVPN major releases.
For full details see the”Data channel cipher negotiation” section on the man page.
Connectivity to some VPN service provider may break
Connecting with an OpenVPN 2.5 client to at least one commercial VPN service that
implemented their own cipher negotiation method that always reports back that it is using BF-CBC to the client is broken in v2.5. This has always caused warning about mismatch ciphers. We have been in contact with some service providers and they are looking into it. This is not something the OpenVPN community can fix. If your commercial VPN does not work with a v2.5 client, complain to the VPN service provider.
More details on these new features as well as a list of deprecated features and user-visible changes are available in Changes.rst.
Linux Packages are Available from: