What is OpenVPN?
The world's most trusted cybersecurity service provider
If you type “What is OpenVPN?” into a search engine the results might lead you to believe it’s strictly an open source project. Yes, it is that, but it’s not only that. The more accurate answer is that OpenVPN is the name of:
- An open source project we call Community Edition.
- Our tunneling protocol.
- The company behind this site and the commercial products we make to support the open source work .
OpenVPN Community Edition (Open Source)
The OpenVPN Community Edition (CE) is an open source Virtual Private Network (VPN) project. It creates secure connections over the Internet using a custom security protocol that utilizes SSL/TLS. This community-supported OSS (Open Source Software) project, using a GPL license, is supported by many OpenVPN Inc. developers and contributors as well as the extended OpenVPN community. CE is free to deploy, but it does require a strong understanding of Linux and using the command line interface.
OpenVPN Tunneling Protocol
The OpenVPN tunneling protocol uses the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption protocol to ensure data shared via the Internet remains private using AES-256 encryption. Because the code is available for audits, anyone can find — and fix — vulnerabilities. It’s not only considered the most secure VPN tunneling protocol, it also delivers faster connections and can bypass most firewalls.
Additional benefits include:
OpenVPN Cloud reduces the complexity and high cost of building and managing a company-wide secure network. Built on the open source OpenVPN protocol, OpenVPN Cloud provides the foundation for evolving security initiatives like ZTNA and SASE. That's why the world's most renowned brands use OpenVPN to eliminate vulnerabilities and keep hackers out of their networks.
Recommended Reading: Not sure how to choose the best VPN service? Here are some recommendations.
Cybersecurity has evolved. Legacy systems cobbled together routers, switches, firewalls, and other gateways. And non-cloud VPNs are limited in terms of security, scalability, and flexibility. Built on the proven OpenVPN protocol, OpenVPN Cloud combines:
- Secure remote access
- End-to-end AES 256-bit encryption
- Advanced IP address and domain routing
- Intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems
- DNS-based content ﬁltering
Good to Know: OpenVPN Connect, the OpenVPN client software, works with Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. It also includes a Kill Switch feature so users don't have to worry about leakage, or man-in-the-middle DNS attacks, when VPN connections drop while working on public WiFi.
With OpenVPN users can tunnel:
- Any IP subnetwork or virtual ethernet adapter over a single UDP (user datagram protocol) or TCP (transmission control protocol) port
- Networks whose public endpoints are dynamic such as DHCP or dial-in clients
- Networks through connection-oriented stateful firewalls without having to use explicit firewall rules
- Networks over NAT
Good to Know: OpenVPN Cloud uses the OpenVPN tunneling protocol rather than IPSec, L2TP, PPTP, SSTP, SSL and TLS (SSL/TLS), IKEv2, or SSH security protocols.
Built with network administrators and end-users in mind, OpenVPN supports:
- All of the encryption, authentication, and certification features of the OpenSSL library to protect your private network traffic from bad actors and ISPs as it transits the internet
- Any cipher, key size, or HMAC digest (for datagram integrity checking) supported by the OpenSSL library
- Static, pre-shared keys or TLS-based dynamic key exchange
- Real-time adaptive link compression and traffic-shaping to manage link bandwidth utilization
For functionality, flexibility, and scalability, OpenVPN makes is easy to:
- Configure a scalable, load-balanced VPN server farm using one or more machines which can handle thousands of dynamic connections from incoming VPN clients
- Choose between static-key based conventional encryption or certificate-based public key encryption
- Create secure ethernet bridges using virtual tap devices
- Control OpenVPN using a GUI on Windows or Mac OS X
Good to Know: SSL VPN stands for Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network, and is a security technology used for encrypting network communications.
Remote and hybrid workforces are the new norm. Only OpenVPN delivers the security features and ease-of-use that both administrators and employees need.
OpenVPN is on a mission to make cloud-based security accessible to businesses of all sizes. Get started with OpenVPN Cloud or OpenVPN Access Server for free, and tap into our flexible, economical pricing as your business needs evolve.