Licensing the server to increase allowed connections

These are the licensing methods available for Access Server:

  • Subscription key: monthly or yearly subscription, starting from 10 connections.
  • Fixed license key: purchased for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years, starting from 10 connections.
  • AWS tiered instance: only available on Amazon AWS, in sizes 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, and 500.
  • Unlicensed: allowing only two connections.

When you initially deploy your OpenVPN Access Server, it allows two concurrent VPN connections. These are allowed to test the product without having to commit to a purchase. However, if you need more than two connections, you must purchase a license. Depending on the licensing method you choose, your license can be on-demand, monthly, or yearly.

Subscription key

A subscription key is our most recent licensing model to unlock more connections. It is of the Bring Your Own License (BYOL) type in which you can deploy Access Server on any supported platform and then obtain and install a license. We recommend purchasing a subscription for licensing your Access Server, and it has several advantages over the other licensing methods. Here are the key features of subscription licensing:

  • No activation limit: You can activate it multiple times on multiple servers.
  • Can be shared across servers: You can manage multiple servers with one subscription.
  • Connections are shared: Connections used on servers are taken from a central pool.
  • Can be resized at any time: You can adjust the number of connections at any time.
  • More economical: A larger subscription benefits from a lower price per connection.
  • Per month or per year: You can purchase a subscription monthly or yearly.
  • Requires internet connection: Licensing state is refreshed via the Internet.

To purchase a subscription for OpenVPN Access Server, log in on our website for the OpenVPN Access Server product. Once logged in, click Buy Subscription. You can find your activation key in the subscription details and paste it into the Activation page of your Access Server.

Note: Subscription activation requires Access Server version 2.8.1 or newer. If your Access Server is older, consider upgrading your Access Server first.

Fixed license key

A fixed license key is the old licensing model to unlock more connections. This is an older and less flexible method to license Access Server. We only recommend using a fixed license key in situations where you install your Access Server in an isolated environment where internet access is not possible or severely restricted. This is the only license type that can be activated offline. Here are the key features of fixed license keys:

  • Single-activation only: Once activated it cannot be used on another server.
  • Single-server only: Locks to the server — each server needs its own key.
  • Fixed connection amount: Size of the license is fixed after purchase and activation.
  • Yearly cycle: Only available yearly — no monthly option.
  • Can function offline: With our help your server without internet access can be licensed.

To purchase a subscription for OpenVPN Access Server, log in on our website for the OpenVPN Access Server product Once logged in, click Buy Subscription. You can find your activation key in the subscription details and paste it into the Activation page of your Access Server.

Note: Fixed license key activation can be done online with Access Server 2.6.1 or higher. If your Access Server is older, consider upgrading your Access Server first. Offline activations can be done on legacy versions but require you to contact OpenVPN support for assistance.

AWS tiered instance

The Amazon AWS pre-licensed tiered instances are meant explicitly for Amazon AWS and unavailable elsewhere. Our recommended method for licensing OpenVPN Access Server on Amazon AWS is by launching the unlicensed BYOL instance on AWS and then activate a subscription license. However, if you need the software license billed directly through Amazon AWS or only need the instance on-demand, you can deploy an Amazon AWS tiered instance of OpenVPN Access Server. Here are the key features of AWS tiered instances:

  • Immediately licensed: After launch, the instance is immediately licensed automatically.
  • Hourly billing: Billing occurs by the hour while the instance is running.
  • Pause billing: If you put the instance in 'stop' state, the software billing temporarily stops.
  • Annual discount: Amazon AWS supports an annual discount; details are available on their site.
  • Instance billed separately: The Amazon AWS instance is billed separately from the software license.
  • Billing through AWS: Amazon AWS bills you for the instance and the software, not us.
  • Available in tiers: Only specific amounts of VPN connection amount sizes are available.
  • Fixed connection amount: After launch, you can't alter the size of the license on the instance.
  • Requires Internet connection: The VPN servers need to refresh their licensing via the internet.

We provide seven pre-licensed tiered instances through Amazon AWS:

The above option for five connected devices offers a free trial. If you launch one, the software license for five connected devices is free for the first seven days. You can use this free trial to try the product out, and if you don't like it, terminate the instance within those seven days, and you won't be billed for the software license. You always still pay for the Amazon AWS instance itself, but the software license is on a free trial for seven days for one instance. After seven days, if you continue to use the product, the software license bills to you through AWS, so it converts to a paid instance automatically after the seven days free trial.

Troubleshooting

If you encounter problems getting your software license to work consult the troubleshooting page for software licensing. If we don't answer your questions there, contact OpenVPN support.