OpenVPN and the Platforms on Which It Runs

A Virtual Private Network or VPN, in short, is a network aimed at providing traveling users or remote offices with secure access to a central organizational network through the use of the infrastructure for public telecommunication such as the Internet. It gives its users the opportunity to create secure channels of communication, access robust VPN platforms, guard their online privacy more closely, hide their IP address and true identity, and enjoy good performance and a high level of security. During configuration of a VPN, users face several options for encryption protocols including OpenVPN.

About OpenVPN

OpenVPN is a package for setting up a VPN which allows secure remote access to a local network. It creates tunnels, which are SSL/TLS-encoded connections, between remote devices of users on the Internet and the server, and uses either the TCP or UDP transport layer protocols.

Remote users run an OpenVPN user application so that they could establish a connection with the server. Once the connection is established, they can navigate the network securely, in the same way as if they were locally connected.

Diagram of how OpenVPN works

One of the top performing protocols, OpenVPN yields fast speeds even on long distance high latency connection. For this reason, it’s the most commonly implemented protocol by the fastest vpn providers available to consumers today.

OpenVPN supports operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and MAC OS desktop platforms and Android and iOS mobile platforms. It also runs on some platforms which are less common such as Solaris, FreeBSD, QNX, etc. OpenVPN is the protocol of choice here at

Microsoft Windows

The Microsoft Windows operating systems was introduced in 1985 by the Microsoft Corporation. It began as a graphical layer on the top of the somewhat older MS-DOS environment used for the IBM PC.

Modern versions are based on the Windows NT core borrowed from OpenVMS, which first appeared in OS/2. Windows can run on 32 and 64-bit AMD and Intel computers. Earlier versions also ran on the DEC Alpha, MIPS, and PowerPC architectures. The OS offers a graphical user interface, virtual memory management capabilities, multitasking functionalities, and support for some other devices.

Windows operating systems constitute both client and server versions. While Windows 98, XP, Vista, ME, Windows 7, and Windows 10 released in 2015 are some of the best-known client versions, Windows NT Server 2000, Server 2003, Server 2008 R2, and Server 2016, as the most recent version, are some of the well known Windows server versions.


The second most popular family of operating systems is the Macintosh Operating System. MAC OS was designed and introduced by Apple Inc. in 1984. It was to be installed and run on the Apple Macintosh series of computers. It is a graphical user interface based operating system. Although it was not the first such OS, it was the first successful one, with multiple versions of it released since.

MAC OS provides functionality and services similar to those of Windows or Linux. Early versions of it could only be used on Apple computers. However, in 1991, Apple launched computers containing PowerPC hardware that could run either MAC OS or Windows.

Later versions of MAC OS operating systems could be used in computers with both Intel and PowerPC processors, which expanded their field of use. Some of the latest versions of MAC OS include Macintosh 128K, MAC OS 7, MAC OS X, and MAC Mountain Lion.


Linux is a free open source operating system, based on UNIX. It was created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds, a student at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Its users can modify and create variations of the source code for computers and other devices.

The Linux operating system is most commonly used as a server. But it can also be employed as a desktop platform, for e-book readers, smartphones, gaming consoles, etc. The kernel that is at the heart of all Linux systems is distributed under the General Public License. Its source code is freely available to anyone. A distribution of Linux also includes system utilities, tools, and programs for downloading, installing and uninstalling operating system updates.

Linux is a functional and flexible operating system suited for programming and usable as a development platform. These days there are hundreds of Linux distributions around the world. Many of them have features similar to those of Windows operating systems.

Android and iOS Mobile Platforms

Android is an open-source operating system used on smartphones and tablets. It is based on Linux kernel version 2.6 with APIs and libraries written in C, middleware, and application software that runs on an application network that includes libraries compatible with Java, based on Apache Harmony. It, therefore, provides core system services such as memory management, security, process management, driver model, and network stack.

Android also uses the Dalvik virtual machine for running compiled Java code and for applications written in Java. There are currently more than 200,000 apps available for Android.

iOS is a Unix-based mobile operating system developed for Apple devices. It can run on the iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch, and Apple TV. iOS is based on the same technologies used by MAC OS, particularly BSD interfaces and the March kernel.

There are four abstraction layers included in iOS. Core OS provides low-level features and frameworks for interaction with external hardware and security. The Core Services Layer implements services required by upper layers. The Media Layer provides necessary technologies for audio, video, and graphics. Coca Touch is where frameworks used for the creation of applications are located. iOS has some default applications such as a Safari Web browser, an email client, a portable media player, etc.


Solaris is a Unix-based OS known for its capability of handling a large workload and still operating smoothly across databases, applications, and systems. At the core of Solaris is the Solaris kernel which supports an environment in which multiple programs can be executed simultaneously.

Solaris is also known for its automated self-healing and disaster recovery program for solving computer problems helpful for computer programmers. It has features such as the Solaris Service Manager, which allows the users to adapt many applications to run under this software. Developers also use Solaris for testing new software and consolidate application workloads.


Free BSD is a 4.4 BSD operating system based on Lite and available for Intel (Itanium and x86), ARM, AMD64, and Sun UltraSPARC computer. It focuses on features such as speed and stability, advanced networking, security, etc. It can be used as an Internet or Intranet server as it provides network services even under heavy loads and uses memory efficiently to maintain a good response for multiple user processes performed simultaneously.

FreeBSD brings advanced features of network operating systems to embedded platforms and appliances. These platforms include Intel-based, Arm, PowerPC, and MIPS hardware. It runs more than 24,000 ported libraries and applications and supports the applications for desktop, appliance, server, and embedded environments.


QNX is a real-time operating system. It is Unix-like, and its microkernel implements four services: interprocess communication, process scheduling, low-level network communication, and interrupt dispatching. From its creation in 1982, QNX has been used in nearly 200,000 systems, mostly in applications with the accent on real-time performance flexibility, development, network flexibility, etc.

As an embedded operating system, QNX gained popularity and use in the vehicle industry and is known for its ability to easily establish a connection with external devices such as mobile phone.

About Tim Tremblay

Tim is the founder of Fastest VPN Guide. He comes from a world of corporate IT security and network management and knows a thing or two about what makes VPNs tick. Cybersecurity expert by day, writer on all things VPN by night, that’s Tim. You can also follow him on Twitter and Quora.

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