Softether vs OpenVPN – Which one is better?

We were used to create charts about PPTP vs OpenVPN or PPTP vs L2TP etc. Today, we have a new comer. It is Softether and we are going to compare and contrast this new technology with OpenVPN to see which one is better.

SoftEther is the abbreviation of the Software Ethernet and it supports multiple VPN protocols like L2TP, OpenVPN and SSTP. As of 2014, it is one of the most sophisticated VPN software ever written.

Below you can see what it supports.

softether protocol

Developed in Japan, Softether is free to use and open source. Moreover, it is Heartbleed safe since it uses OpenSSL 0.9.8.

Let’s compare and contrast this new software with OpenVPN.

Softether vs OpenVPN

 OpenVPNSoftether
Initial release20022014
LicenceGNU GPLGNU GPL
Source CodeC
91,000 lines
C / C++
378,000 lines
Developed by OpenVPN technologies SoftetherVPN project, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Supported VPN protocolsOpenVPN onlyOpenVPN
L2TP/IPsec
L2TPv3/IPsec
EtherIP
Microsoft SSTP
VPN over HTTPS
VPN over DNS
VPN over ICMP
Supported Native Built-in VPN Clients of Operating SystemsNoWindows (L2TP, SSTP)
Mac OS x (L2TP)
iOS (L2TP)
Android (L2TP)
Throughput<100 Mbps>900 Mbps
NAT traversal functionNoYes
Dynamic DNS functionNoYes
VPN via HHTP proxyYesYes
IPv6YesYes
Packet filteringNoYes
Multi-tenants supportNoYes
Delay, Jitter and Packet loss generator (Simulation function)NoYes
Virtual DHCP & Nat FunctionNoYes
Listen on Multiple TCP/UDP PortsNoYes
Security LayerOpenSSLOpenSSL
Smartcards & USB tokensNoYes
(VPN Server GUI manager)
CUI ManagementLimitedYes
RPC over HTTPS managementNoYes
Config file hand writingNoYes
Multi Language on UIEnglish onlyEnglish, Japanese, Chinese
PlatformsWindows
Linux
FreeBSD
Solaris
Mac OS X
iOS
Android
NetBSD
QNX
Windows
Linux
FreeBSD
Solaris
Mac OS X
iOS
Android

Chart itself shows how superior Softether to OpenVPN in many features.

Softether Installation

You can download this software here. After download is complete, double click on the installation file and click next. Then you will see the step 2 below.

softether set up

In this step make sure you select the Softether VPN Client! Keep on clicking “Next” 

Finish your installation and start the program.

softether set up guide

Right click on “Add VPN connection” and then select “New VPN Connection Setting…”

You will see the configuration page below.

softether set up guide 2

There are some important parts you need to pay attention to. 

  • First of all, Softether is not supported by many VPN companies. Very first company implemented this system to their servers is CactusVPN.
  • If you have a premium account with CactusVPN, you can get the Softether work with Netherlands server. “Destination VPN server” credentials and the “User name & Pass” can be acquired from your client panel.
  • Make sure you select “Radius or NT domain Authentication” while entering your log in details.

What good Softether is? 

When I first started to use Softether, I immediately ran a speed test and I was really impressed with the result.

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You may also see the Softether test result screen shot.

softether speed test

This is the first time I get that much high result from a Europe server.

Wrapping it up

It is out of question that Softether will change the understanding of security, speed and portability in VPN world.

Feature compare and contrast chart as well as the speed test results have already dethroned OpenVPN.  Supporting more than 900 Mbps speeds, Softether seems to be widely used in the future as fiber optic cables, normal internet connections and wireless connections improves.

Hoping to see other VPN companies implement this great software to their services.

2 Comments
  1. I am well pleased with Soft Ether VPN, but there IS one problem. My VPN is NOT concealed from my ISP. My VPN Network Adapters Have been remotely disabled by ISP, and trouble shooting returns a report that a cable or connection between my router and the internet is disconnected. How can I use Soft Ether VPN without my ISP being aware that a VPN is in operation?
    I’m afraid they may have some kind of restriction for network ‘tampering’ and i don’t want to lose my access..

    • Hey there,

      It is very possible to get caught by your ISP in a scenario if you are in a restricted area like dorms, offices etc where the connection is being investigated closely. So rather than using a software, can you try to use PPTP with your OS?

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