VPN service providers offer their own apps which are generally easy to learn, but remain largely opaque. For those who want more freedom, the OpenVPN solution offers more flexibility. It is free and appreciated for its universal aspect. Here’s how to install and configure OpenVPN.
There are different ways to enjoy a secure connection through a VPN. The option that the majority of users choose is to install free or paid VPN software that offers an easily accessible interface and a list of preconfigured servers. These applications are not all flawless. In addition to limiting you to the provider’s servers, they can be cumbersome, lack of responsiveness and above all, the choices in the configurations are generally limited.
This is where OpenVPN stands out and is highly appreciated by users. Already, the application offers a universal approach by allowing you to connect to any VPN server as long as you have the connection parameters or configuration files. Configurer OpenVPN is very easy. So you don’t have to install software every time you change providers for one reason or another.
Provided of course that the latter supports the OpenVPN protocol, which is the case for most of them. You will be able to connect directly to any free or paid VPN server, as it is possible to connect to VPN servers via PPTP, L2TP / IPSEC protocols directly in Windows 10.
Install and configure OpenVPN
To download the latest version of the OpenVPN application directly from the official website, it’s here. Proceed with the installation. Once complete, launch OpenVPN GUI from the desktop and an icon is automatically added to the Windows taskbar, precisely in the hidden icons. Click the arrow to the left of the clock at the bottom right.
OpenVPN does not have any graphical interface unlike the vast majority of software. And this despite the GUI in the name of the program. This simplicity is also one of its strengths. No unnecessary displays to clutter the mind. You just click on the icon and then click “Connect” after copying the .ovpn files to the program’s installation directory.
The .ovpn files contain all the settings for connecting to the VPN server. You will need one configuration file per server. These files are provided to you by the VPN service provider. They can be free or paid. Once the OpenVPN files have been downloaded, they must be copied into the “config” directory in the program installation folder.
- Under Windows, right click on the icon of OpenVPN GUI on the desktop then on “Open file location”
- If the installation was done in the default directory, you will be redirected to the Program Files OpenVPN bin folder. Go back one step by positioning yourself in the parent folder Program Files OpenVPN then navigate to the Program Files OpenVPN config directory
- Copy all the .ovpn configuration files to this directory
To connect to a server, just do right click on the OpenVPN icon in the taskbar> hover the mouse over the server of your choice> Connect.
You will need to enter a username and password which are usually given to you by the service provider. Complete both fields and click OK. Once connected to the server, the screen on the icon in the taskbar turns green. That’s it that’s all. By following the directions given below, you can encrypt your connection easily without going through proprietary VPN software.