OpenVPN is a full-featured SSL VPN which implements OSI layer 2 or 3 secure network extension using the industry standard SSL/TLS protocol, supports flexible client authentication methods based on certificates, smart cards, and/or username/password credentials, and allows user or group-specific access control policies using firewall rules applied to the VPN virtual interface. OpenVPN is not a web application proxy and does not operate through a web browser.
The official OpenVPN release for Windows ships with a GUI frontend called simply “OpenVPN-GUI” and can be found in the
.\bin\ subdirectory of the installation path, with shortcuts placed on the desktop and start menu unless unselected during program installation. This wiki page describes how to use this GUI frontend.
The GUI lives in the system tray, so controlling one or more VPN processes is always done through the context menu of the GUI icon. When the GUI is launched, nothing will happen beyond placing the icon in the tray. To do something useful with the GUI, you need to interact with it by right-clicking to bring up the context menu.
Please note the GUI will start the VPN process in the context of the running user. When this user does not have administrative rights (or has rights limited through UAC) it will most likely fail to correctly start the VPN as routes and addressing cannot be changed by unprivileged users.
When starting the OpenVPN GUI, the standard Windows practice of right-clicking on the shortcut and selecting “Run As Administrator” will allow a UAC user to run it in administrative context. If the user lacks admin rights, it will be necessary to “Run As…” and enter credentials for an administrative user. Once started in this fashion, further interaction via the tray icon will be run in the context of the elevated user.
Download and Install Open VPN Windows Installer
1) Install the .exe file by click RIGHT button and then from menu select Run as Administrator.
2) Follow the on screen steps clicking “Next” button until TAP Windows provider is displayed. Check the “Always trust OpenVPN Technologies, Inc” option box and click Install button.
3) Continue following the installer steps by clicking on “Next” button until installation is finished. Then check “Start OpenVPN GUI” and click “Finish” button.
Configure Open VPN
After initially launching the OpenVPN-GUI program, the GUI icon will be showed in the tray, as shown in the image below. Note that this icon can be hidden when marked “inactive” by the OS, so check the expanding arrows to the left of the system tray if it’s started but not shown.
Right-clicking on the icon will pull up the context menu. This menu will allow you to connect any of the config files placed as explained above. Note that you must name these files with the .ovpn file extension. Windows has a bad habit of hiding “known” file extensions, so be careful not to name a config file something like Sample.ovpn.txt by mistake.
The screenshots below show the following context menu samples:
1) Context menu when no config files are present:
2) Load client config file and context menu will display this:
3) Click on “Edit Config” to open configuration file and edit according the information provided by Packet Express when purchasing your plan.