Who owns OpenVPN , its advantages & disadvantages,All about Open VPN
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OpenVPN is a piece of software that offers one of the most effective ways to use VPN. It creates secure site-to-site and point-to-point connections and its popularity is has been constantly on the rise since 2001 when it was created.
The History of OpenVPN
When OpenVPN was launched it completely revolutionized the way we see Virtual Private Networks. It was created by James Yonan who stated that he wanted to create a VPN that could be characterized by both usability and security since all of the Virtual Private Network solutions to that point were unable to connect the two. Furthermore, Yonan was very eager to explore new ways of achieving better security since he was in another country using internet providers from that country and was not feeling safe enough.
He was successful in creation of this new piece of software and he managed to make it work by using TUN/TAP devices as a good model for networking. This resulted in the creation of a so good virtual network that it seemed almost real.
The name OpenVPN was chosen by Yonan himself as he wanted to continue the tradition of other open-source projects such as OpenSSL.
There were two versions released since the initial release, version 2 adding multi-client support and push/pull options as well as improving software and drivers for Windows. Let’s now take a look at what are advantages and disadvantages of OpenVPN
Advantages of using OpenVPN
There are three things that make OpenVPN stand out as a very useful and the most popular tool for VPN:
- Security levels are the highest – There are several security layers that protect you while you use OpenVPN, such as pre-shared keys, peer authentication and many other types of protection. Furthermore, due to the use of OpenSSL Library together with a thing called HMAC packet authentication, your network safety will be on the maximum and you will not have to worry about the bad people online
- Reliable for its users – OpenVPN is said to be very reliable due to the fact that people who improve it and maintain it are the people who are responsible and who made sure that your data is always encrypted and never lost. This all can happen if OpenVPN disconnects for some reason – the whole network is then paused and all of your data is still safe.
- The support of community all over the world – OpenVPN has a huge number of fans and a great worldwide community which can help everyone to use this type of VPN network. This is all made possible due to the fact that OpenVPN is an open-source piece of software that can be modified.
Disadvantages of using OpenVPN
Let’s see now what the disadvantages of using this piece of software are.
- There are certain proxy servers that are not compatible and do not support OpenVPN. That is all – there are few servers like this in the world and you have to be pretty unlucky to happen to be in the right place and the right time to connect through one of these. There are solutions though; such as supportive proxy to which a user can switch.
- Sometimes the latency can be high.User’s space plays important role in OpenVPN and basically all the encryption stages happen in this space. This means that the security is at the maximum but that it can sometimes affect the speed of the network and increase the latency. This problem may occur if you device is not strong enough to support all the processes going on, but if you have a strong machine, you need not worry about it.
- Not really user friendly. OpenVPN has numerous options and it can be very confusing to someone who started using it. Luckily, there are many forums and professional support from VPN providers that can help you grasp the basics and continue experimenting on your own.
OpenVPN vs. Firewall
Firewall is basically the first thing that is suggested by many professionals to be installed when OS is installed. It is basically a router that lets through only the data from the internet that it selects. Basically, firewall filters all the potentially dangerous data and further inspects the data that is let through. So which one is better – OpenVPN or Firewall?
Why not both? Some VPN providers claim that OpenVPN has a security that can imitate firewall but it isn’t exactly that simple and it is strongly recommended to have both installed. There are ways to make both firewall and OpenVPN work perfectly with each other and not affect your connection or security levels.
OpenVPN vs. IPsec VPN
IPsec is considered a sort of a default standard in the world of VPN. However, there are proofs which point out that OpenVPN is far more superior to IPsec. For example, IPsec’s disadvantage is seen in its complexity. It uses very complex technology and it is very difficult to configure it. On the other hand, OpenVPN has clear instructions when it comes to configuration and the technology behind it is rather simple and structured in that way to be understandable to everyone.
The two solutions for VPN can also be used parallelly if you are using Linux and this is one thing that they have in common. Furthermore, there is a possibility to tunnel IPsec over OpenVPN.
OpenVPN is a great tool and it really was responsible for the significant advance that was made in the science of VPN. The most important thing that James Yonan did was choose TUN/TAP drivers for network and SSL/TSL libraries. There are two versions of OpenVPN and it was originally published in 2001 when it invoked the revolution. Of course there are a few weak spots and it is not a perfect piece of software. The currently active version of OpenVPN is 2.0.9 and it is constantly getting better. With this kind of success and user satisfaction, we can soon expect that the third version will come out.
If you are using LimeVPN and if you are stuck in Setting up Open VPN
Check our How to use Section for OpenVPN configuration instructions