You can set up a manual OpenVPN connection by using the OpenVPN GUI open-source application. This does not use the NordVPN application.
1. First, download the OpenVPN GUI application: https://swupdate.openvpn.org/community/releases/openvpn-install-2.4.6-I602.exe
2. Install the OpenVPN GUI application.
Open the installer file.
Follow the setup wizard.
3. Once the application is installed, you now have to download the NordVPN server configuration files – using these files, the OpenVPN app knows how to connect to NordVPN servers.
4. There you will see a server that will offer you the best possible experience. Click Show available protocols under the server that is suggested.
In the options that show up, click on Download config that is next to OpenVPN TCP and Download config that is next to OpenVPN UDP.
You only need to download these two configurations as only these ones are needed to set up the OpenVPN connection.
After the download finishes go to the folder where the configurations are downloaded and copy them. Mouse click and drag to select both OpenVPN configurations that you have just downloaded, then right click on one and select copy.
5. You’ll have to extract the configuration files which you want to use to this OpenVPN app directory:
Note: The OpenVPN GUI application only supports up to 50 configuration files present in the /config/ folder. Thus, you’ll have to copy only a few configuration files to that folder. Since each file represents a server, you’ll have to know beforehand which servers you’ll want to connect to. Once the installation is complete, you can easily switch between the servers you have copied over.
5.1. To quickly find the OpenVPN /config/ folder, right-click the OpenVPN GUI shortcut on your desktop, and select Open file location.
5.2. Once you’re there, click the parent OpenVPN folder in the address bar.
And then open the config folder.
5.3. Now paste the configuration files to the folder.
We can simply Paste the files with the right mouse button:
Click Continue to allow the files to be extracted to that folder.
Note: depending on your system configuration, you may need to manually add this line to the .ovpn configuration files in order to prevent possible DNS leaks:
6. Now that the configuration files have been loaded into the proper folder for the application to detect them, let’s open the OpenVPN GUI app itself. Double-click the shortcut on your desktop.
7. Allow the application administrative permissions – it’s necessary for a VPN connection.
8. The application will start running in the system tray. It’s the area near your clock:
It might also be in the hidden system tray area:
9. Right-click the application icon, hover over one of the servers, and click connect.
10. Enter your NordVPN credentials, and click OK.
11. After a few seconds, the application will connect and the window will disappear. The system tray icon will turn green, and indicate that you are connected when you hover over it:
And that’s it! You should be successfully connected. To disconnect, it’s the same as step 9, except you select disconnect.