OpenVPN Protocol: How it Works, Which Connection is Faster, UDP or TCP

Stefany Anderson Stefany Anderson

OpenVPN is an open-source encryption protocol with AES-256 and SSL 3.0 support. Connecting using UDP and TCP makes it a flexible VPN protocol in terms of customization for the end-user.


#1. ExpressVPN - No activity logs VPN, all-access pass to global content. 30-day money-back guarantee. 3 Months Special Deal (save up to 49%)

#2. NordVPN - The Most Stable VPN. Protects all your devices, private DNS on every server. Best value deal: save 59% (2 year-Deal)

#3. PureVPN - AES-256 encryption, 6500+ servers in 140+ Countries, 7-day VPN trial. Browsers Extensions available. 31 Days Money-Back Guarantee

#4. Surfshark - Deal of the Day: 59$ for 24 months. Tested on Windows PC - Android - macOS. Split tunneling, Free Trial available

#5. CyberGhost - Ultra Fast Servers, up to 7 devices, no Logs Policy, Special streaming servers, 45-day money back (Incorporated in USA)

Our Top Product Picks

Other VPN Providers

Benefits of the Source Code

OpenVPN was released in 2002 by James Yonan under the GNU GPL license. This means that users can:

  • View the source code of the protocol, improve it, and fix bugs;
  • Use it in combination with third-party plugins or scripts, increasing performance, stability;
  • Remain independent from the developer company (for example, SSTP belongs to Microsoft and can be used to analyze network activity and intercept personal data).
  • OpenVPN is used by almost all VPN providers, pre-processing the protocol source code. Therefore, the principle of its operation, speed, and load on the system will differ from service to service.

How it Works

OpenVPN creates a secure client-server connection bypassing HTTP and NAT. Traffic issuing has one of two transport protocols:

  • Transmitted UDP - Data exchange with the server takes place without the confirmation or retransmission of information. This connection is faster and suitable for online gaming or live streaming.
  • TCP - Has the function of correcting errors, where before sending the next data packet, the protocol checks that it reaches (or sends it again). Additional actions decrease bandwidth and increase latency.

When connecting to a server, OpenVPN first tries to establish a connection via UDP and then switches to TCP.

Public networks carry HTTP, FTP, SMTP, POP3, and IMAP traffic, which requires TCP. This is because it uses port 443, which is compatible with secure HTTPS traffic.

Data and Platform Protection

The provider determines the type of encryption. Generally, this is a 256-bit OpenSSL or AES encryption. Less commonly, AES-128 is found. Also implemented protection by standards:

  • Camellia;
  • 3DES;
  • CAST-128;
  • Blowfish.

Implemented connection to private subnets outside the dedicated OpenVPN servers. Implemented the protocol on all current platforms:

  • Personal computers and laptops on Windows, Mac, Linux;
  • Mobile devices for iOS and Android;
  • Routers with Free/Open/NetBSD and Solaris.

Speed and Larency

speed and larency internet with open vpn

According to tests carried out by the team of developers of another open-source protocol WireGuard, OpenVPN with 256-bit AES encryption, HMAC-SHA2-256 authentication in UDP mode accelerates to 256 Mbps; there is a delay of 1.541 ms. Under the same conditions, WireGuard demonstrates 1,011 Mbps and 0.403 ms.

This difference is due to the high degree of encryption in OpenVPN and running tests on PCs with stripped-down Intel U-series processors. With a powerful PC and a high-speed connection, the speed and response rate will be "comfortable."

Best VPNs with OpenVPN Support

Top VPN providers use the protocol in both desktop and mobile versions of the client. Let's talk about the best of them and mention their core features.

Our Top Product Picks

  • Works in China
  • Plugin for Microsoft Edge
  • First 30 days money back
  • 5 simultaneous connections

Subscribe for 1 year using our link and get 3 months as a gift.

Save 49% Price from $6.67
Visit Site →

  • Does not store user logs
  • Protects against DNS and IP leaks
  • 24-hour online support
  • Connect up to 6 devices at the same time

Built-in obfuscation algorithm allows you to ignore geo-restrictions for Internet access in China, UAE.

Save 80% Price from $3.49
Visit Site →

  • Kill Switch
  • Dedicated P2P servers
  • 10 concurrent connections
  • 31-day money-back guarantee

A 2-year subscription only costs $3.33 per month.

Save 88% Price from $1.32
Visit Site →


  • Suitable for online games
  • Choosing the optimal server
  • Separate traffic tunneling
  • Refunds only for a subscription for 2 years

The service works with P2P servers and does not keep logs.

Save 83% Price from $1.99
Visit Site →

  • Country: Romania
  • Founded: 2011
  • Connections: 5
  • Refund policy: 30 days
Save 79% Price from $2.75
Visit Site →

1. ExpressVPN

Price Range: $6.67 - $12.95. Special offer: $99.95 for 15 months

Money-Back: 30-day free trial

Devices: up to 5

Devices: Apple TV, Fire TV, PlayStation, Xbox, Routers

Platforms: Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux


The fastest ISP to achieve this title using dedicated servers and proprietary Lightway protocol. Protection of personal data is provided by TrueServer technology. Instead of HDD or SDD disks, all information is stored in RAM, which is wholly cleared after disconnecting from the power supply (reboot is enough).


Try ExpressVPN now and get our special offer!

Save 49% Price from $6.67

2. NordVPN

Price Range: $3.49 - $11.95. Special offer: 2-year deal with 68% off

Money-Back: 30-day free trial


Devices: Firestick, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, Raspberry Pi, Chromebook, Chromecast

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS


Service provides double encryption of real IP address. The Kill Switch function is activated if you’re disconnected from the network and remains that way until the connection is restored. The CyberSec function blocks malware, spyware, and advertisements on websites from entering your device.


Try NordVPN now!

Save 80% Price from $3.49

3. PureVPN

Price Range: $1.32 - $10.95. Special offer: 7-day trial for only $0.99

Money-Back: 31-day free trial

Devices: 10

Devices: Routers, Android TV, Amazon FireStick, Microsoft Surface

Platforms: Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox


The only provider with a 7-day trial for less than $1.00. Their best features include data encryption using AES-256, split tunneling, and bypassing ISP restrictions from providers stand out. The service sells dedicated IPs, automatic port switching, and protection against DDoS attacks for a fee.


Now work, binge & stay secure online with PureVPN

Save 88% Price from $1.32

4. SurfShark

Price Range: $1.99 - $11.95. Special offer: Get 81% discount

Money-Back: 30-day free trial


Devices:Android TV, FireTV

Platforms: Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, Chrome


A youthful provider that stands out from the rest with an unlimited number of simultaneous connections (up to 100 devices). They use a solution similar to NordVPN with double IP encryption, protecting users from ads, spyware, and malicious software.


Protect your digital life.

Save 83% Price from $1.99

5. CyberGhost

Price Range: $2.75- $12.99. Special offer: 3 extra months for FREE

Money-Back: 45-day free trial

Devices: 7

Devices: Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, Routers

Platforms: Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux


CyberGhost is a reliable provider with strong encryption and extra features that come with a fair price.It allows access to popular social networks and streaming services even in the countries with active censorship. Technical documentation is quite helpful, and the first line support is responsive and friendly. Overall, CyberGhost is a good choice for beginner and intermediate users.


Enjoy a fast and reliable VPN

Save 79% Price from $2.75

Bottom Line

OpenVPN is a secure encryption protocol that deserves attention due to its open-source code, robust data protection, and compatibility with all platforms. Its biggest drawback is speed drops on weak devices.

Written by: Stefany Anderson

Technical Writer, Visit My WebSite Techno-copywriter, Privacy, Internet Security

Add New Comment