OpenVPN can be necessary if you’re unable to install VPN client apps due to an older operating system or want to take more control of their security and privacy. As an open source application, OpenVPN can be molded to your specific needs if you have the right technical know how. Manual installation is the first step to gaining the freedom to configure the protocol your way, but it also allows you to gain access to premium level security even if you have older devices. Disclaimer: Before we get to the nitty-gritty, it’s essential to know that while you may need to set up OpenVPN manually, due to an old operating system, most premium VPNs don’t recommend it, as the best security and privacy is achieved by using it in their native apps.

How To Set Up OpenVPN Manually On Your Devices

You should also be aware that this method still requires you to subscribe to a premium VPN service, like NordVPN, to gain access to the configuration files.



If you are a Mac user, you can use either the TunnelBlick client or the Viscosity client to install OpenVPN manually. For this example, we are going to use Viscosity.


On a Linux system, you can connect to OpenVPN via Shell or Network Manager. We are going to use Shell for this example.



Advantages of OpenVPN

As an open source software, OpenVPN can be improved upon and developed, making it more secure over time. By having several minds working on strengthing the code and inspecting the service, there’s a higher chance of them catching any faults. In the end, OpenVPN will likely be overtaken by another protocol, its current competition being IKEv2. However, it still stands strong as the industry leader and can be trusted.

Best VPNs With Native OpenVPN Apps

1ExpressVPN – Fastest Connection Speeds

3,000+ global servers Unlimited bandwidth Unlimited speeds

ExpressVPN supports the OpenVPN protocol on all its native applications, automatically providing you with the most secure connection. While this VPN defaults to OpenVPN, it doesn’t restrict your choices and allows for you to choose from other protocols via their app or manual installation if that’s what you prefer. Your devices will be extremely secure with this service as their security features include robust encryption protocols, DNS/IP leak protection, split tunneling, an automatic kill switch, and a strict zero logs policy. Your personal information will be entirely hidden from prying eyes, and they will ensure that no government agencies, ISPs, cybercriminals, or hackers gain access to your data. Like NordVPN, ExpressVPN has a 30-day money back guarantee for you to try out their service. You can also protect up to five devices at once when connected to their servers. Try ExpressVPN now!

2NordVPN – Largest Server Library

5,000+ global servers Unlimited bandwidth CyberSec

With NordVPN’s native apps, you have OpenVPN as the default protocol for all devices except iOS, which only offers the IKEv2 protocol. You’ll also get the choice between IKEv2 and OpenVPN on Mac OS operating systems; however, IKEv2 is only available for OS X 10.2 and newer. This VPN has servers in over 60 countries all with impressive unblocking capabilities and the ability to bypass the geo-restrictions of most streaming sites, including Netflix. They’re also a great choice if you need to bypass internet censorship in countries such as China, Russia, or Iran, as their obfuscated servers specifically designed to sneak past the strict firewalls in place. NordVPN offers all users a 30-day money-back guarantee to test out the full extent of their services without committing to a subscription. You can also keep the entire household secure when using NordVPN as six devices can be connected simultaneously. Get it today!

3CyberGhost VPN – Best Money-Back Guarantee

4,500+ global servers Unlimited bandwidth Connect up to seven simultaneous devices

Native CyberGhost apps use the OpenVPN protocol as a default, protecting you on most major platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android. You can also connect up to seven devices simultaneously, so everyone in the family is protected. This VPN has military-grade security with features such as 256-bit AES encryption, an in-built ad-blocker, and a no logs policy. Being based in Romania means they are located in a country outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. CyberGhost also offers new users a 45-day money-back guarantee. We highly suggest taking advantage of this deal before committing to their service. Try it risk-free!


With incredible speeds, secure codes, and high levels of encryption, OpenVPN is a dependable protocol. Regardless of whether you install the protocol manually or use it within a native app, your data will stay protected. The only native app that NordVPN doesn’t support OpenVPN through is iOS; however, setting it up manually on your Apple devices is a breeze with our guide above. No matter what service you use to set up OpenVPN on your device, you’ll be well protected.