First things first: OpenVPN is Open Sourced, not free! Which means that you don’t have to rely on any third party to provide you special software to use OpenVPN, but you will need to pay a third party to provide you with server access.
Essentially, using OpenVPN means that you will be using a VPN service provider’s servers, but OpenVPN’s encryption. So at the end of the day, the speed and the service features still depend heavily on the VPN service provider.
Here is a list of some of the top VPN service providers in the industry with respect to the OpenVPN services they offer:
This is not your standard VPN service provider run-down. I contacted each of the above listed VPN service providers to identify the EXACT services they offer to OpenVPN users, because they differ from standard services.
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PureVPN is one of the VPN industry’s veteran VPN service providers but clearly OpenVPN is not one of PureVPN’s strongest suites. If it wasn’t for one-of-a-kind services like Split Tunneling, good prices, and the unique add-ons PureVPN has to offer, it would have probably made fourth position in this ranking.
By default, PureVPN has over 450+ servers in over 100+ countries. However, only 19 of PureVPN’s servers are available for its OpenVPN users. Also, PureVPN’s OpenVPN servers are only located in US (2), Canada (2), UK (5), Sweden (2) and Netherlands (2).
PureVPN offers four different pricing plans (1, 3, 6 and 12 months) that start from $10.00 for 1 month’s subscription and come down to as low as $4.16 per month for a 12 month subscription.
IPVanish offers 1, 3 and 12 month plans for $7.50, $20.24 ($6.75/month), and $58.49 ($4.87/month).
IPVanish claims that all of its servers support OpenVPN and provides NAT firewall by default on the server end.
ExpressVPN is an extremely OpenVPN friendly service provider. With over 50 servers located in 40 countries around the world, ExpressVPN is one the few OpenVPN providers with a global scope of operation and compatibility.
The ExpressVPN OpenVPN service is part of the standard ExpressVPN all-in-one package that is available in three distinct denominations. That way you can choose the one that fits your pocket and your needs. The 1, 6 and 12 month ExpressVPN plans are available for $12.95, $9.99 and $8.32 per month respectively.
As you can see, the total cost of the 6 and 12 month plans to $59.94 and $99.84 respectively; making ExpressVPN pretty reasonably priced when you consider the return for your money. In addition, all ExpressVPN subscriptions are covered with the 30 day money back guarantee.
ExpressVPN is an ideal OpenVPN service for new VPN users who are considering using OpenVPN to unblock websites and ensure 100% data privacy and online freedom.
HideMyAss comes equipped with solid protocol support including the rock solid OpenVPN that works on all the 841 servers all over the world. Apart from the most secure protocol support of OpenVPN, it also provides the users the options from PPTP, SSTP and L2TP/IPSec to choose from.
HideMyAss provides three different packages named as: Smart-ass, Kick-ass and Half-ass. The Smart-ass package costs you $11.52/month. The Kick-ass package costs you $6.55/month and the Half-ass package costs you $8.33/month.
HideMyAss accepts all the major payment options and provides a 30-day money back guarantee to all its users.
ibVPN offers OpenVPN on a variety of platforms and devices. Thanks to the flexibility of the OpenVPN technology, it is possible to run ibVPN OpenVPN service on just about every internet enabled device/OS.
The standard OpenVPN software that is readily available can be used to run the ibVPN OpenVPN with just a little bit of configuration. The setup guides are available on the official ibVPN website.
ibVPN’s OpenVPN service is part of the standard ibVPN package, which is available in multiple sizes.
Setting up OpenVPN is easy. There are countless tutorials and ‘what is OpenVPN’ videos out there to help you setup OpenVPN. Some by true VPN enthusiasts, others people posing to be VPN enthusiasts but really just looking to market specific VPN service providers – which will explain why they will recommend certain VPN services half way through the tutorials.
My advice is that you start by deciding the VPN service you want to use on your OpenVPN connection. Then go straight to your selected VPN service provider’s website to view the tailored OpenVPN tutorial provided. That way you will be on the same page as Tech Support if you ever have to ask your VPN service provider for help.
OpenVPN’s Drawbacks, Disadvantages & Ground Realities
You will read up different viewpoints on the disadvantages of using OpenVPN, but most of these can be resolved by configuring/tweaking/upgrading measures. I don’t much care for those kinds of disadvantages because they deal more with your ISP, your hardware and your VPN service provider’s service features. Here are a few factors you need to keep in mind before you jump on the OpenVPN bandwagon.
People love OpenVPN because it offers much more configurable features when compared to the classic PPTP and the bulked up L2TP.
OpenVPN is not your standard install-and-go VPN. There is no do-it-all installation wizard for it and some assembly is almost always required. The usual sequence is that once you download the OpenVPN software, you will have to play around a little with configuration files and certificates before you can get OpenVPN running on your device/platform.
Don’t make your decision to adopt/disown OpenVPN based on the speed you experience the first time you run it because speed is influenced by a number of factors.
OpenVPN can double as our site-to-site VPN connection to access your home/office computer system so don’t hesitate to take a few jabs at learning little more about it.
There may not be many Graphical User Interfaces for OpenVPN, but there is hardly a platform on which OpenVPN won’t run and hardly a device for which an OpenVPN tutorial does not exist.
Nobody makes big bucks when you use OpenVPN. Therefore, there is nobody out there constantly looking to tweak it for improvement except for the diehard fans of this technology. It always helps to have a few OpenVPN using friends around before you start the actual process. Nothing beats first hand information.
If you don’t have any friends using OpenVPN, use the LiveChat customer support feature from one of the VPN service providers mentioned above. Doing so will have two outcomes: firstly, you will be able to received detailed guidance, and secondly, you will consequently understand why the VPNs above made the list when you witness VPN customer support at its best.
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