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OpenVPN on Windows 7 without Official OpenVPN Client Software?

Posted on 2014-02-03
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Last Modified: 2014-02-05
Friends,

Unfortunately, OpenVPN's client requires Java and I've boycotted anything Java 4 years ago because I got sick and tired of seeing the news of vulnerabilities.

Is there any way to establish OpenVPN connection without using OpenVPN's official provided client software on my Windows 7 PC?

Third party (trusted) client that uses OpenVPN maybe?

P.S. My router doesn't support OpenVPN natively, and it will not run DD-WRT, Open-WRT, Tomato, etc unfortunately...

Thank you Friends
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Question by:neowillendit
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Expert Comment

by:acbxyz
ID: 39830149
It does? The OpenVPN GUI needs java, but OpenVPN itself doesn't as far as I know.
The ovpn-client can be administrated using config files and command line very well without any kind of java.
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Author Comment

by:neowillendit
ID: 39830157
Whoa, excellent news!!  Do you happen to know how to install without Java also being installed automatically?

And also what commandline entries I will need?
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Assisted Solution

by:acbxyz
acbxyz earned 800 total points
ID: 39830209
I never tested the gui before so I think I have to revoke one mention.

I just downloaded openvpn 2.3.2 and installed it on a test 2008r2 server without java installed.
It installed fine and seems to worked properly, no java got installed.

But if you want to start it without Openvpn-gui, you can do it either manually by double-clicking an ovpn-file and control it with F1-F4. Or you can use a windows service if you want autostart for example.

Have a look at this:
http://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/documentation/howto.html#control
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Author Comment

by:neowillendit
ID: 39830243
OK, great news.  I'll look into this tonight. :-)
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39831200
Agree to above said. OpenVPN is used most of the time without the GUI, just running it manually or as a service.
   openvpn --config c:\PathTo\ConfigFile.ovpn
runs a specific config.
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Author Comment

by:neowillendit
ID: 39833190
OK, I looked into this last night, and it worked!! It turns out that when you are at the www.openvpn.net site and click on "VPN service" it will redirect you to www.privatetunnel.com and they maintain a separate client and THATS the one I downloaded and needs Java.

I've now installed the official download from the Community Downloads page at:

http://openvpn.net/index.php/download/community-downloads.html 

This one doesn't require Java but now due to my limited expertise, I cannot get my certificate from www.privatetunnel.com to work...

Can you guys help me with a step-by-step tutorial for using this official client on Windows 7 behind home router using my existing www.privatetunnel.com certificate?
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Expert Comment

by:acbxyz
ID: 39833615
So your original question is answered?


I've never used privatetunnel, but I believe the intention of this project is rather different from openvpn. With OpenVPN you have your own central server which needs either a static ip or at least a static domain name. All traffic goes through this server. Usually you build your own tiny ca and create certificates.
The HowTo provided by openvpn is very detailed in my eyes: http://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/documentation/howto.html
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Author Comment

by:neowillendit
ID: 39833682
I wonder now if I still have the same issue (because I need to avoid Java)...So now am I hearing that the official OpenVPN client is only to be installed on servers, and cannot be used for client-side VPN use (as is my intention)?

If that is the case, I still need a way to connect securely via OpenVPN protocols on my Windows 7 PC...


Thank you so far guys, hopefully we can figure this out...
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Expert Comment

by:acbxyz
ID: 39833992
Server doesn't always mean the big loud machine in a data center. It also describes the services and programs which serves something to others. You can install an openvpn server on any ordinary windows 7 machine. It's the same thing as an openvpn client, only the config file is a bit different.


Please define what you want to do exactly.
  Connect from one of your machines to another?
  Connect with (multiple) friends / other machines?
  Transfer files from any to any pc in this secure network?
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39834210
OpenVPN in server mode means that it can accept multiple connections, waiting for someone to connect. OpenVPN in client mode means that the software needs a remote (the OpenVPN server) to contact to actively.
With OpenVPN in P2P (peer-to-peer) mode you've got a static connection between two partners, each knowing exactly the other one. Noone else can connect.

All those modes are only determined by the config file used. Client/server needs certificates (it would work without, but that is highly insecure), P2P does not, a shared secret and/or user credentials are enough.
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Author Comment

by:neowillendit
ID: 39834463
Hi guys, well I hope to connect to the internet in a more secure fashion is my highest intention.  I hope to hide my "regular" IP address which pretty much identifies precisely who I am to websites, etc.  I also hope to transfer information securely...

Windows 7 PC
Home use
Private Tunnel certificate
Cisco Router
Broadband internet
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39835814
For such kind of VPN you are bound to the VPNs the provider supplies. OpenVPN itself can connect to OpenVPN, nothing else. You want to use a VPN provider for obfuscating your identity - this is a "VPN service", no "VPN connection".

There are a lot of VPN ISPs, which allow e.g. PPTP or L2TP/IPsec, both not needing any 3rd-party VPN software with Windows.
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Author Comment

by:neowillendit
ID: 39836481
Oh yikes...so just because I establish a connection using my PrivateTunnel digital certificate via OpenVPN protocol, this doesn't mean I am now anonymous to websites while browsing the internet?  I thought I would connect to OpenVPN servers via a TLS/SSL protocol and websites would only be able to see the server's address???

I just want to browse securely (encrypted), prevent Google (and many other companies) tracking me and avoid my IP address being recorded as I visit websites...

I can really only trust OpenVPN because the whole world uses it...and I just cannot bring myself to trust these personal VPN providers...I (used to until 2010) fully trusted PGP Corp, Phil Zimmermann, (Kaspersky a little bit) and OpenVPN as far as I have come in my many years of my digital life so far...
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Accepted Solution

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Qlemo earned 1200 total points
ID: 39836531
Using OpenVPN with a PrivateTunnel certificate works for what you are after. I had a look into the software configuration, and it looks like you just need one of the ovpn files in the profiles  folder of privatetunnel, e.g. activation-chicagoil.ovpn.
After installing OpenVPN, you should be able to right-click on such a file, and choose the second option (for connecting with OpenVPN).
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Author Comment

by:neowillendit
ID: 39836544
Thank you greatly, my good man :-)
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Author Closing Comment

by:neowillendit
ID: 39836551
Great and timely responses.  Thank you both.
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