This guide is intended for the beginner user to provide an easy to understand reference to help you connect to your VPN provider using OpenVPN on Windows with your providers configuration files. While many providers offer custom software which takes out all of the set up of OpenVPN there are many providers who don’t and also there are reasons which can be seen by some as “benefits” for making use of OpenVPN directly.
This guide uses Windows 8.1 but the process will be similar on Windows 10 and earlier versions of Windows.
The below is a video guide with commentary showing you the step by step process. Below that there is a written guide explaining the same process so if you miss any of the steps in the video or want to refer back to it for any reason then you should find this a helpful addition.
- Visit http://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/downloads.html
- If you have 32 bit Windows you should download openvpn-install-2.3.2-I003-i686.exe and if you have 64 bit Windows you should download openvpn-install-2.3.2-I003-x86_64.exe. If you’re unsure of which version of Windows you have then downloading the first one will be fine.
- Double click on the file you downloaded, you may be asked if you want to allow the file to make changes to your computer, press Yes and then follow the installation process through. You do not need to concern yourself with any of the options, just clicking I Agree or Next through the entire process will be fine. You may need to press Install again in a new window or agree to allow changes to your computer, this is fine and you should press Install or Yes depending on the question.
- When the Complete message is reached you should press Next, untick Show Readme and press Finish.
- You can now delete the file you originally downloaded.
- Visit your VPN providers website and download their Windows configuration files. In the video above we used BlackVPN as an example but you should contact your VPN provider if you have difficulty in locating their configuration files.
- Open the file downloaded by double clicking it, it is usually a ZIP file which is an archive that contains further files inside.
- Highlight all of the files then press right mouse button on one of them and press Copy. You may have extra files than in our video but don’t worry, copy these too.
- Locate your C: drive. If you downloaded 32 bit OpenVPN the folder will be in Program Files (x86) and if you downloaded 64 bit OpenVPN the folder will be in Program Files.
- Locate the OpenVPN folder and inside locate the Config folder.
- Right mouse button inside the folder and press Paste. You may need to give permission for these files to be pasted. Close this window.
- Double click on OpenVPN GUI which should be located on your Desktop.
- If you receive an error message, right mouse button on OpenVPN GUI, press Properties, locate the Compatibility tab and tick “Run this program as an administrator“
- Press Apply and OK.
- Double click on OpenVPN GUI. You may be asked if you wish to allow the program to make changes to your computer, press Yes.
- A new icon will now be available in the notification area near the time in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. It will be the image of two monitors, one on top of the other.
- Right mouse button on this and you will see a selection of servers available. Select the server you wish to connect to and press Connect.
- You’ll now need to enter your Username and Password. Press OK and you will be connected to the server.
- Once connected you can double check you are connected by visiting GeoIP. If you see your own location then something has gone wrong and you should run through this guide again double checking you completed each step.
- Once confirmed that you are connected any of your internet browsing will now be through your VPN provider.
- To disconnect right click on the monitors icon in the corner and find the server you connected to, then press Disconnect.
If you get stuck or have any questions please feel free to post in the comments section and we will be happy to help.