In the previous article, I have shown you how to set up your own OpenVPN server on a Virtual Private Server (VPS). In this article, I will show you how to connect to your OpenVPN server and start surfing the web. To connect to OpenVPN we need free OpenVPN Connect App. Please note that OpenVPN is using a different VPN technology. Do not attempt to use other connect software or Windows 10 native VPN client to connect to OpenVPN. It will not work and you will just waste your time.
CONNECT TO YOUR OPENVPN ON A WINDOWS MACHINE
Step 1: open your internet browser (Google Chrome for example) and enter your openVPN Server URL:
(replace domain.com with your VPS hostname aka domain name, or you can use server IP address if you don’t have a domain name for the VPS)
Enter your username “openvpn” and password for the openvpn user you set in the previous article and hit GO button to connect.
Step 2: if you are running Windows 10 or earlier, OpenVPN will prompt you to download OpenVPN Connect software. It is safe to install this software. Go ahead and install it and run the OpenVPN Connect App
Step 3: after running the app, you will see an icon on taskbar, right click on it. All server settings were bundled with the installer. All you need to do is clicking on “Connect to xxxxxxxx.” Then, enter VPN username and password to connect. The first time you connect, OpenVPN will warn you about “unverified profile” due your SSL Certificate is a self-signing one. The connection is secured. You don’t need to purchase a trusted certificate for OpenVPN use. It is not needed since you are the owner of the server and in the control of the VPN. There is nothing to be afraid of. Click Yes to accept to connect. The icon on the taskbar will change to check sign. That means you have successfully connected to you VPN. Just go ahead and surf the web. Don’t forget to Disconnect after using to save monthly allowed bandwidth.
In general, it is very easy to use and connect to your VPN. OpenVPN Connect not only works with Windows but also works with MacOS, Linux and mobile device’s operating system like iOS (iPhone) and Android. The process to connect is pretty much the same. If you are using Android or iOS, the step 2 of this tutorial will prompt you a link to access to your App Store to download the OpenVPN Connect App. Simply download the app and follow the instruction to connect to VPN on your phone and tablet. On linux system, it is a bit more complicated. If you are using linux, please use following command to set up OpenVPN Connect client
Step 1: Open Linux Terminal and log in as root user. If this is a remote linux server, use PUTTY to connect to SHH server.
Step 2: Install OpenVPN Connect package
On Fedora/CentOS/RedHat Linux:
On Ubuntu/Debian Linux:
Step 3: access your VPN page on a browser (see above), and download connection profile file (click on “yourself (user-locked) profile).” Then, save it to your linux root folder. The downloaded config file’s name is “client.ovpn.” Alternatively, if you are working on a remote server then you can use “wget” command to download the config file link. Just type: wget <link to download>
Step 4: Go back to terminal or PUTTY and run openvpn with the “client.ovpn” config file we downloaded in step 3.