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VPN protocols: OpenVPN

Learn more about using OpenVPN and the difference between UDP and TCP.

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OpenVPN protocol

What is OpenVPN?

OpenVPN is a relatively new and highly configurable protocol. ExpressVPN’s version supports both UDP and TCP ports.

UDP stands for User Datagram Protocol. Though it can be configured to run on any port, OpenVPN runs best on a UDP port, which is generally faster. ExpressVPN uses UDP by default unless it is blocked.

TCP stands for Transmission Control Protocol. Unlike UDP, TCP is error-checked, meaning that dropped packets result in retransmission. This results in increased reliability at the expense of latency.

The best thing about OpenVPN is that it is open source. “Open” may not sound like a good thing for a privacy tool, but it is actually a huge advantage. If there are any security flaws in the code—and as yet none are known—they will be quickly identified by the open-source community. Paired with a strong encryption algorithm, OpenVPN is one of the most secure VPN protocols available.

Pros
  • Open source
  • Extremely secure
Cons
  • Not supported on all devices

How to configure your VPN to OpenVPN

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Other VPN Protocols

Not sure which VPN protocol is right for you? Let the ExpressVPN app automatically choose the best VPN protocol for your network.

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