Saturday, April 09, 2016

Unblock Facebook, Twitter, Youtube using VyprVPN

In the previous post I showed you how to install OpenVPN GUI on Windows 10. This post is about obtaining configuration files from VPN service provider and then connecting to VPN service provider using OpenVPN GUI application.

People might use a VPN for various reasons but major use is for unblocking websites such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and for bypassing geographical restrictions imposed by websites. For example, Netflix, an online video streaming company headquartered in United States, offers some content that is only accessible in United States. Those living in US when traveling abroad or those who reside outside US might use a VPN to access their favorite shows. Netflix, however, has recently started blocking users who use VPN service to access content which is only available in US.

Some VPN service providers, particularly those having a greater market share and operating for a long time, don't even offer a free trial. Some do offer a free trail of 3-days or 7-days after which you are billed according to the package selected at the time of registration. You also have to provide your credit card information at the time of registration. In case you are not satisfied with the services of VPN service provider, you can cancel your subscription anytime during trial period.

Some VPN service providers, particularly those who are new in market, provide free accounts with limited data and limited selection of servers.

What is VyprVPN?


VyprVPN is a product of Golden Frog, GmbH incorporated in Switzerland. With VyprVPN you can get a free account without providing any credit card information. The free account gives you 500 MB of data per month free one time 500 MB of data and allows access to all of its servers. You might think that this data limit is too low. Yes, it is but we should also appreciate that we are getting it free. Most VPN providers don't even offer that. You can always buy a paid package plan should you need more data.

On Apr 27, 2016 VyprVPN announced some changes to VyrpVPN Free plan:

    New VyprVPN Free users will receive a one-time 500 MB of data
    Manual connections will no longer be supported by VyprVPN Free - all connections must be established through the VyprVPN apps
This means that this step-by-step guide will not work if you register a free account.

Unblock Facebook, Twitter, Youtube using VyprVPN — A Step-by-Step Guide


This step-by-step guide is written for Windows 10. The process is similar for other versions of Windows.

The guide presumes that you have OpenVPN GUI installed on your PC. If you haven't yet installed OpenVPN GUI see this guide that describes the process of installing OpenVPN GUI on Windows 10.

Select Yes, Continue, Allow, Ok etc. whenever it asks for administrator permission

1) Go to VyprVPN website and click on Try It Free

The picture shows a snapshot of VyprVPN website.
Figure 1: VyprVPN website

2) Scroll down a little and click on Sign up for a free account

The picture shows a webpage at http://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn/buy-vpn There are three paid packages shown. There is also an option for a free account
Figure 2: Signing up for a free account at VyprVPN

3) A box will appear, enter your email address and password. Then click on Create Free Account. Make sure you provide a valid email address because you will be sent a confirmation email at this email address.

The picture shows a rectangular box in focus. The box has two fields. One for entering email address and second for password.
Figure 3: Entering the required details

After clicking on Create Free Account a new page will appear indicating that we need to check our email (see Figure 4).

The picture shows a message from VyprVPN that we have been sent a confirmation email
Figure 4: Confirmation email has been sent

In the confirmation email there will be a link. Click on that link to get your email confirmed.

4) After clicking on the confirmation link in the email, the following page will appear. Click on Control Panel in the upper right corner of the webpage.

Accessing control panel VyprVPN
Figure 5: Accessing control panel of VyprVPN

5) Once in the control panel click on the VyperVPN tab in the extreme left.

Clicking the VyprVPN tab in the control panel
Figure 6: Clicking the VyprVPN tab in the control panel

6) Scroll down on the webpage that appears and click on Setup VyprVPN OpenVPN for Windows 7

Clicking on Setup VyprVPN OpenVPN for Windows 7
Figure 7: Clicking on Setup VyprVPN OpenVPN for Windows 7

7) A webpage with title VyprVPN OpenVPN GUI Setup for Windows 7 will appear. Scroll down and click on here to download VyprVPN .ovpn files. These are the files that need to be copied in OpenVPN config directory.

Downloading VyprVPN .ovpn files
Figure 8: Downloading VyprVPN .ovpn files

8) A zip file containing VyprVPN .ovpn files will be downloaded. Your web browser will put the downloaded zip file in the Downloads folder. Go to the downloads folder, right click on the downloaded zip file and click on Extract to VyprVPNOpenVPNFiles.

Extracting files from zip archive
Figure 9: Extracting files from zip archive

9) A new folder with the name same as of zip archive will appear in the Downloads folder. Go in the folder and you will find two more folders with the names OpenVPN160 and OpenVPN256. The numbers 160 and 256 refer to 160-bit encryption and 256-bit encryption respectively. Obviously 256-bit encryption would be more secure.

OpenVPN 160bit and 256bit Encryption
Figure 10: OpenVPN160 and OpenVPN256 folders

10) Open the OpenVPN256 folder, copy all the files and paste them in the directory at C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenVPN\config

Copying the VyprVPN .ovpn files
Figure 11: Copying the VyprVPN .ovpn files

Pasting the VyprVPN .ovpn files
Figure 12: Pasting the VyprVPN .ovpn files

11) After copying the files close the config folder and return to desktop. Right click on the OpenVPN GUI icon on the desktop and select Run as administrator

Launching OpenVPN GUI
Figure 13: Launching OpenVPN GUI

Next, we see a small dialog box (see Figure 14) stating that OpenVPN GUI does not supports more than 50 configs. This is just a limitation of OpenVPN GUI. A quick solution is to go back to config folder and delete some .ovpn files so that there are fewer than 50 .ovpn files in the config folder.

OpenVPN GUI does not supports more than 50 configs
Figure 14: OpenVPN GUI does not supports more than 50 configs

12) Right click on the OpenVPN GUI icon in the system tray – the portion of the taskbar near the clock. A context menu showing a list of servers will appear. Hover the mouse over any server and select Connect in the sub menu that appears.

Selecting the server to connect to
Figure 15: Selecting the VyprVPN server to connect to

13) OpenVPN GUI is asking for the username and password to connect to the VyprVPN server. The username is the email address that we entered during registration. The password is also the same password that we entered during registration.

Entering the username and password
Figure 16: Entering the username and password

Wait a few moments while OpenVPN GUI creates a secure connection between your computer and the VyprVPN server. After a successful connection with the VyprVPN server, the OpenVPN GUI icon in the system tray will turn green.

To verify if you are indeed connected to the VyprVPN server go to www.whatismyip.com and check the IP address. This website also displays the location with the IP address. In Figure 17 you can see that the WhatismyIP website is showing my location as England when actually I'm visiting that website from Pakistan.

Checking IP address
Figure 17: Checking IP address

14) When you would like to disconnect your connection to the VyprVPN server repeat step 12 but this time click on Disconnect instead of Connect.

Disconnecting from the VyprVPN server
Figure 18: Disconnecting from the VyprVPN server

Wrap Up


In this article we looked at the process of connecting to a VPN server using OpenVPN GUI. OpenVPN GUI needs .ovpn config files to be able to connect to a VPN server. Nearly all the VPN service providers support OpenVPN protocol and provide .ovpn config files. As an example we registered a free account at VyprVPN, obtained .ovpn config files and connected to a VyprVPN server using OpenVPN GUI.

It is very rare for VPN service providers to give you a free account but VyprVPN does. Their website is beautifully designed, have a good customer support, have an app for every platform Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, have servers at 50+ worldwide locations and have their very own Chameleon protocol.

You may also want to read my other tutorial on unblocking youtube using SoftEther VPN.

I hope this tutorial was easy to understand and follow. If you got stuck somewhere and want help or just want to give your feedback on this tutorial, don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments box below.

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