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OpenVPN vs NordVPN in 2024

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You probably have heard about OpenVPN as a tunneling protocol. But what about the VPN provider? That’s right! OpenVPN is a VPN provider that is trying to overtake NordVPN’s spot. But will it succeed?

NordVPN has a huge server network of over 6400 servers in 111+ countries. It also offers comprehensive security and a wide variety of other features, such as malware protection and an ad blocker. OpenVPN, on the other hand, doesn’t come with servers or additional features. Continue reading the detailed NordVPN vs. OpenVPN comparison to learn more about these providers.

NordVPN vs. OpenVPN: specifications

As you might be familiar with, NordVPN is one amazing VPN provider with lightning-fast speeds, top-notch security features, extensive server range, and extraordinary streaming and torrenting capabilities. 

On the other hand, OpenVPN is an entirely different product, which is not like the other usual VPNs. It doesn’t have any servers, and it’s not the best torrenting solution. 

Overall, NordVPN is the clear winner, but let’s compare them side-by-side and see what they offer!

📈 Our rating9.8 ⭐N/A
🏷️ Current offerGet NordVPN 72% OFF!N/A
💵 Price starts from$3.39/monthFree
🗓️ Money-back guarantee30 daysN/A
🗒️ No-logs policyIndependently-auditedN/A
🖧 Servers6400+ servers in 111+ countriesN/A
✔️ VPN protocolsNordLynx, OpenVPNOpenVPN
🍿 StreamingNetflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and moreN/A

NordVPN vs. OpenVPN: pricing

Plans and paymentsNordVPNOpenVPN
Free version
NoYes
Free TrialYes, 7-day (AndroidNo
One month
$12.99/month
One year
4.99$7.00/month
Two years$3.39/month
Money-back guarantee
30 days30 days
Payment optionsCredit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, UnionPay, cashCredit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Bitcoin

NordVPN is an affordable provider with a vast array of features. Even though OpenVPN is absolutely free for 2 simultaneous connections, NordVPN beats it in the pricing category due to the value that comes with its subscription plans.

NordVPN pricing

NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Besides this, you will get the chance to choose from the following plans:

As you can see, the lengthiest plan gives you a generous 72% discount and even three additional months for free. If that wasn’t enough, you also have a 30-day money-back guarantee for a month-long risk-free period of use.

Additionally, there are numerous bargains online in the form of NordVPN coupon codes that you can take advantage of. Alternatively, you can test the service with the help of the 7-day free trial that’s available on the Google Play Store. You’ll need an Android device, but there are no other limitations to worry about once you register.

NordVPN doesn’t disappoint in terms of payment methods either. You can pay using conventional methods, such as credit cards, Google Pay, or Amazon Pay. On the other hand, cryptocurrencies are also available if you’d like to pay for the VPN anonymously.

OpenVPN pricing

OpenVPN pricing plans depend on concurrent connections. The best part is that those who need only 2 connections can use the service completely free. As a result, OpenVPN has only one pricing plan, which includes a minimum of 5 connections and a maximum of 2000. You will also get a 30 money-back guarantee.

  • $7.00/month annually

Yet, there’s a catch. Even if you choose the free version, remember that you need to cover the additional cost of configuration files and servers. Without them, you won’t be able to use the service. If you choose the paid plan or use the provider’s scalability, you can pay with PayPal, credit card, Swish, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, and cash payments.

Speed comparison

Speed is another crucial aspect in our OpenVPN vs. NordVPN comparison. However, the winner is again NordVPN.

Due to its thousands of servers and strong VPN protocols, such as NordLynx, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/Ipsec, NordVPN comes with impressive speeds that are sufficient for any online activity. According to our VPN speed test, NordVPN can reach an average speed of 1252.23 Mbit/s, making it one of the fastest providers on the market.

On the other hand, OpenVPN doesn’t have a server fleet. You just route it through your preferred protocol, so you get your speeds according to that. Of course, it utilizes the OpenVPN protocol, which is a bit slower than NordLynx and WireGuard.

NordVPN vs. OpenVPN: which is more secure?

NordVPNOpenVPN
EncryptionAES-256AES-256
HashSHA-512SHA-256
JurisdictionPanamaUSA
LoggingIndependently audited no-logsNo-logs
Kill switchYesYes
Leak protectionDNS, IPv6, WebRTCDNS, IPv6
RAM serversAllNo

Both providers prioritize security. However, NordVPN wins this round due to its renowned security suite. It comes with amazing privacy features and also has validation for its reliability. But first, here’s what NordVPN and OpenVPN have in common:

Privacy

Speaking of privacy, NordVPN belongs to a security-friendly country. It is located in Panama, which means it’s outside of the 5, 9, or 14-Eyes Alliance. Therefore, it won’t log, collect, or share any of your activities with the government.

On the other hand, OpenVPN heats things up as its headquarters is in the USA. In other words, it’s part of a 5-Eyes Alliance country, which can share all of your information with the government.

Logging

NordVPN has an independently audited no-logs policy, ensuring the provider doesn’t collect confidential data.

In comparison, OpenVPN also claims to have a no-logs policy, however, it has not been audited.

Server locations

Server specificationsNordVPNOpenVPN
Servers6400N/A
Countries111N/A
All physical serversYesN/A
Owns all serversSomeN/A

When comparing these VPNs’ server fleets, the difference is evident. So, the clear winner is NordVPN.

NordVPN comes with 6400+ servers in 111+ countries worldwide, while OpenVPN doesn’t even have servers. 

This is because OpenVPN isn’t a regular VPN provider. Instead, you need to select a server from a VPN that you own and connect OpenVPN to it manually.

Features comparison

FeaturesNordVPNOpenVPN
Smart DNS✅SmartPlay❌No
Ad & malware blocker✅Threat Protection❌No
Split tunneling✅Yes❌No
Specialized servers✅Yes❌No

Features are crucial extras for smooth VPN usage. Due to this, the winner is NordVPN, as it excels with its amazing features. Let’s learn more.

Smart DNS

Smart DNS is a beneficial feature that allows you to use a VPN on devices that don’t support it. Luckily, NordVPN utilizes a SmartDNS feature which is called SmartPlay, at the same time enhancing your security by adding an additional encryption layer.

On the contrary, OpenVPN lacks this feature. Due to this, you might have limited VPN experience.

Ad & malware blocker

The ad & malware blocker feature prevents malicious websites and ads from interfering you’re your data. While NordVPN implements this feature under the name Threat Protection, OpenVPN doesn’t utilize this one too.

Split tunneling

NordVPN comes with a split tunneling feature for Windows, Android, and Android TV. Therefore, you can choose which VPN apps will use the VPN and which won’t. This doesn’t allow the VPN servers to overwhelm and is essential for avoiding lagging and buffering.
However, OpenVPN doesn’t offer split tunneling.

Obfuscated servers

Obfuscated servers allow you to effectively bypass geo-restrictions or online censorship.
NordVPN employs obfuscated servers that hide your VPN traffic from your ISP or DPI by transforming it into encrypted data. In comparison, OpenVPN doesn’t employ obfuscated servers.

Netflix and streaming comparison

Streaming platformsNordVPNOpenVPN
Netflix US
✅Yes❌No
Other Netflix libraries
✅Yes❌No
Amazon Prime Video✅Yes❌No
Hulu✅Yes❌No
HBO Max✅Yes❌No
Disney+✅Yes❌No
BBC iPlayer✅Yes❌No
YouTube TV✅Yes❌No

Unsurprisingly, NordVPN wins again. After all, this provider is the best VPN for streaming.

It can unblock popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Additionally, NordVPN has amazing speeds and a SmartDNS feature. This feature is important if you want to watch series on devices that don’t support a VPN connection natively.

OpenVPN Connect unblocking Netflix

The secret behind NordVPN’s streaming unblocking capabilities is its large and efficient server fleet. Meanwhile, OpenVPN doesn’t even have servers. This means the provider’s unblocking success rates will depend on the servers you decide to use. 

Device compatibility

Device supportNordVPNOpenVPN
Major dedicated apps
Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
Other dedicated apps
Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, Kodi add-on
Browser extensions
Chrome (and Chromium-based browsers), Brave, Edge, Firefox, Opera
Manual setup
Routers, firewalls, NAS, Roku, Chromebook, gaming consoles
Simultaneous devices61

Having a VPN compatible with numerous devices is essential if you want to secure as much of your digital life as possible.

Thankfully, NordVPN delivers good results in this regard. It has dedicated apps for the most widely-used platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android). Specialized apps exist for streaming devices as well, such as Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Furthermore, you can install proxy extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers.

There’s also a solution if you own a device that isn’t compatible with NordVPN natively. It involves setting up a router with a VPN and then connecting that device, for example, a gaming console or smart TV, to the router network. Finally, one NordVPN account allows you to secure six devices simultaneously.

OpenVPN Connect is only compatible with the main platforms – Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. It’s worth noting that the protocol itself can be implemented on numerous devices, but that’s the VPN providers’ responsibility.

Desktop applications

NordVPn is known for its great app design. Both Windows and OS versions are modern and sleek. The dashboard features a clickable map, so you can easily find a relevant server location. You’ll find a full country list on the sidebar if you’re looking for something specific.

NordVPN Windows interface

The sidebar also features the most important features of the app. There, you’ll find Threat Protection, one of the best ad blockers on the market. Another tool is Meshnet, which helps to link remote devices. Below, you’ll find dark web monitors, presents, statistics, and settings. A small icon on the bottom left corner will take you to customer support.

nordvpn threat protection settings

While both macOS and Windows versions have a similar light design, they differ in features. You’ll need to get two apps to get the most out of the macOS version. One can be downloaded from the App Store but runs only on the OpenVPN tunneling protocol. Meanwhile, another app is available on the provider’s website. This app features all tunneling protocols.

NordVPN sideload app version

The first thing we noticed about OpenVPN is how complicated it is to get started. Setting up OpenVPN can be challenging for beginners. The process requires at least some technical knowledge, and if you have none, not even the knowledge base can help you much.

Once you get through the setup process, you’ll get a simple and easy-to-use interface. While it looks slightly outdated, at least it’s not overwhelming to use.

Mobile applications

Regarding NordVPN’s Android app, we immediately noticed a simple and smooth interface. The main windows show the map with connection status. There are also tabs to navigate between the app’s features and settings.

NordVPN Android and iOS versions

The iOS app is nearly identical to the Android app. The only difference is, once again, features. While the Android version has split tunneling and a configurable kill switch, you won’t find them on the iOS app.

Yet, the most limited features are the OpenVPN apps. Furthermore, they look slightly dated, at least when compared to NordVPN’s design. However, given that the service is free, OpenVPN does provide a decent user experience.

Torrenting

P2P specificationsNordVPNOpenVPN
Allowed on✅All✅All
Free SOCKS5 proxy✅Yes❌No
Split tunneling✅Yes❌No

The next aspect of our OpenVPN vs. NordVPN comparison is torrenting. Here, NordVPN wins once again. 

NordVPN comes with specialized P2P servers, SOCKS5 proxy, and port forwarding. All of these features together create one exceptional torrenting experience. 

On the contrary, OpenVPN supports torrenting, but it lacks such features. So, its torrenting performance highly depends on your service provider.

China

SpecificationsNordVPNOpenVPN
Works in China✅Yes❌No
Stealth VPN✅Obfuscated Servers❌No
Tor over VPN✅Onion over VPN❌No

The Great Firewall of China is a nightmare for many. That’s why you need a VPN that will help you bypass online restrictions. In this case, that provider is NordVPN.

NordVPN comes with obfuscated servers that hide you’re using a VPN. Also, it has the Onion over VPN feature that additionally protects you while you browse on the Tor network. As a result, your ISP and DPI won’t be able to access your VPN traffic as they’ll perceive it as a regular one. While users report that NordVPN at times struggles to work in the country, the provider’s developers are constantly monitoring the situation and are trying to find new workarounds. 

Whether OpenVPN will work in China largely depends on the servers you choose to use. Unfortunately, OpenVPN doesn’t have the capacity for this due to a lack of obfuscation and no additional features.

Customer support

Support optionsNordVPNOpenVPN
24/7 live chat✅Yes❌No
Phone Line❌No❌No
Email ✅Yes✅Yes
Knowledgebase✅Yes✅Yes

Last but not least is customer support. This is pretty important as you can always get assistance for any issue. The winner in the final round of our OpenVPN vs. NordVPN comparison is NordVPN.

Fortunately, NordVPN comes with 24/7 customer support via live chat, email, knowledgebase, and other guides and tutorials.

On the contrary, OpenVPN’s expert team is accessible only over email and by searching its knowledge base.

NordVPN vs OpenVPN – which is better?

NordVPN🥇OpenVPN🥈
PricingWins✔️Loses❌
SpeedWins✔️Loses❌
SecurityWins✔️Loses❌
ServersWins✔️Loses❌
FeaturesWins✔️Loses❌
StreamingWins✔️Loses❌
Device compatibilityWins✔️Loses❌
TorrentingWins✔️Loses❌
ChinaWins✔️Loses❌
Customer supportWins✔️Loses❌
Total wins10 out of 10o out of 10

After hours of testing, we have our winner – NordVPN! The provider has crushed OpenVPN in all categories. This VPN has an extensive server fleet of over 6400 servers in 111 countries, fast speeds, strong torrenting and streaming capabilities, and advanced security features. OpenVPN, a service that lacks its server fleet, is simply no match for NordVPN. 

However, if you’re willing to invest in a reliable server provider, you can benefit from using OpenVPN for free. But don’t expect much from it, as the provider lacks important features. 

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FAQ

Is OpenVPN free?

Yes, OpenVPN Connect is free to use if you follow the software license agreement. However, OpenVPN Inc.’s commercial products (OpenVPN Access Server and OpenVPN Cloud) aren’t free.

Does NordVPN support WireGuard?

NordVPN supports NordLynx – a proprietary tunneling protocol that is based on WireGuard and has numerous security and performance improvements. It is arguably the fastest protocol available that isn’t used by any other VPN.

Is NordVPN better than OpenVPN?

Yes, NordVPN is better than OpenVPN. The provider has better security features, faster speeds, stronger streaming, and torrenting capabilities, and it effectively bypasses online censorship.

Which is faster, NordVPN or OpenVPN?

NordVPN is faster than OpenVPN as it has a huge server network of 6400+ servers in 111+ countries. It also implements its unique NordLynx protocol that is based on WireGuard. 

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