Best VPN for Linux

VPN Linux

When I first started in the Virtual Private Network (VPN) industry, finding a provider that was suitable for Linux operating systems was almost impossible.

Although you could certainly set up a Linux VPN yourself manually, there were practically no providers that offered simple solutions for Linux users to get a VPN connection.

Thankfully that has all changed, and with the popularity of Linux operating systems and the number of Linux device options rising especially with the introduction of open-source Linux Mint, VPN providers have sat up and listened.

Now there are some excellent VPN for Linux client solutions out there for pretty much all Linux distros.

It still isn’t perfect though and finding VPN providers that proactively support Linux can be a difficult task. You could say that finding a VPN for Linux is akin to finding a needle in a haystack.

Finding VPNs for Linux that also offer a good all-around service is even more difficult.

I’ve been taking a look at the best VPN for Linux systems and testing numerous VPNs for Linux, trying to find the best Linux VPN. Below you will find out pick of the top seven Linux VPNs I discovered.

Don’t have time?

We rate ExpressVPN as our #1 VPN for Linux due to their offer of the best combination of speed, features and Linux specific apps.

So if you’re a Linux buff, keep scrolling to find out which Linux VPNs you should be considering.

Top 7 VPNs for Linux

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. VyprVPN
  3. PrivateInternetAccess
  4. NordVPN
  5. AirVPN
  6. Surfshark
  7. HideMyAss

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN apps on multiple types of devices

Pros
  • Supports most Linux distros
  • Super fast download speeds
  • Audited no-log policy
  • Registered off-shore
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Time-proven provider
Cons
  • Month price expensive
  • Owns VPN ‘review’ sites

ExpressVPN is considered one of the best VPN services in the industry overall and is certainly the best Linux VPN that we have tested for a variety of reasons.

When it comes to privacy and online security features, ExpressVPN is considered the best Linux VPN service for a number of reasons. This VPN for Linux has a very strict no-logs policy, with the strongest VPN encryption you will find working well with any Linux Distro.

ExpressVPN offers robust security protocols (including OpenVPN) and numerous security tools including a VPN kill switch that will prevent data leaks.

There is a dedicated Linux app which means there is no need to manually configure your VPN connections and it also has great apps for other operating systems as well.

ExpressVPN can unblock Netflix, including US Netflix, as well as the streaming service’s catalogue for other countries. It works well with just about every other streaming service too, and its reliable and fast VPN connections mean that it can stream even HD content perfectly.

It also has a major server network with over 90 server locations covered that allows you to hide your identity, bypass censorship, keep your network traffic private, and more.

Also, keep in mind that it has 24/7 live chat support that can help with any problem you might face with your Linux client. Customer support is very helpful, professional, and knowledgeable although you likely won’t need it as this reliable VPN provider is one of the best Linux VPN services in existence at the moment.

Quote

Scott Gilbertson of tech giant website Wired says ExpressVPN is “best for most people” (Source).

It is especially good at securing privacy for Linux users as it supports Ubuntu, Raspbian, Arch, Debian, CentOS, and Fedora.

It features a very user-friendly command-line interface, and it is intuitive.

ExpressVPN Linux GUI

It even features a 30-day money-back guarantee, which will let you get your money back regardless of the plan you take so it is entirely risk-free too.

Our Recommended Choice for Linux

30-day money-back guarantee

2. VyprVPN

VyprVPN website

Pros
  • Suitable for Linux
  • Good range of apps
  • Audited no-log policy
  • Registered in Switzerland
Cons
  • Not great for streaming
  • Not the fastest

VyprVPN has made a significant push towards supporting the Linux market by releasing their VPN clients for both Ubuntu and the ever-popular Mint Linux operating system.

The CLI is more than enough to make a simple connection, preserve your privacy, and get you secure while using their service. There are all the usual VPN settings and online security features you need plus apps for different systems too.

VyprVPN is a firm favourite amongst many users of VPNs, and it’s easy to see why. With an ever-expanding list of VPN servers located in more than 70 locations and more than 300,000 IP addresses, they’ve certainly got options for you.

You can even use it to access streaming services like BBC iPlayer or Netflix and protect your data with the OpenVPN protocol.

This VPN service provider finally did away with their free trial, so that’s no longer possible, but they are now offering a 30-day money-back guarantee. They’ve also made their packages much easier to understand… and cheaper!

3. Private Internet Access (PIA)

PrivateInternetAccess Website

Pros
  • Unimited concurrent connections
  • Big range of locations
  • No logs proven in court
Cons
  • Registered in the US
  • Not great for streaming

Next up, we have Private Internet Access (PIA) – another VPN that is a worthy choice for Linux users concerned about privacy.

The Private Internet Access Linux app supports Ubuntu 18.04+ (LTS), Mint, Debian, Fedora, and Arch. Known as Linux Gui, it is an excellent option for the Linux user as it helps to avoid complicated manual setup and keeps the VPN setup process simple and easy. Few VPN providers can match this offering.

PIA VPN is also known for having low prices, even though it is a very old and reputable VPN service. It’s worth noting they’re now owned by KAPE, the owners of CyberGhost VPN and one or two others.

They’ve been expanding in recent years and now cover a vast 84 countries with over 24,000 VPN servers. However, some of these are ‘virtual locations‘.

Meanwhile, the VPN has strong security and privacy features, such as OpenVPN protocol, DNS servers, and it lets you connect with up to 10 devices at the same time.

With it, you can protect your privacy, your identity, unblock censored content, and much more. Genuinely one of the best Linux VPN providers and has a 30-day money-back guarantee as well.

4. NordVPN

NordVPN Deal

Pros
  • Registered in Panama
  • Audited no-log policy
  • Cheap prices
Cons
  • No Paypal option
  • Not the fastest

In the fourth spot, we have NordVPN – a well-known VPN that has a specific NordLynx protocol explicitly created so you can use Wireguard with Linux. This is a huge bonus!

With it, you get to stream and browse more safely, with your privacy protected by DNS leak protection, OpenVPN, a kill switch, a strict no-logs policy, and other additions that make up its privacy policy.

NordVPN is also considered a really good VPN service for Linux fans because it is user-friendly and it is likely the easiest VPN to start with on Linux.

Simply install the Linux app, enter your login information, and pick a VPN server. That’s it. After that, you can unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more, all while protecting your privacy and internet traffic on your Linux terminal with DNS leak prevention mechanisms, including a kill switch.

If you run into any problems, remember that it has excellent customer support. Simply contact its 24/7 live chat support, and the VPN service providers will help you take care of it.

NordVPN supports Ubuntu, Debian, Elementary OS, Mint, Fedora, QubesOS, RHEL, CentOS, and OpenSUSE, with tutorials for each. When it comes to the best Linux VPNs, most internet users with Linux experience would agree that NordVPN is up there with the very best VPNs for Linux.

NordVPN Linux client

5. AirVPN

AirVPN Website

Pros
  • Good choice for Linux
  • Run by privacy professionals
  • Strong security provisions
Cons
  • Poor website
  • Not great for streaming

Nearing the end of the list, we have AirVPN, a service that is an excellent choice for OpenSUSE, Debian, Fedora, and more.

With this Linux VPN, you can be sure that your activity is not being logged, and you can use it to hide your IP Address, perfect your security on the internet, and prevent anyone from eavesdropping or tracking your content. This client with a great graphical user interface is a perfect choice for those Linux users who value their privacy.

AirVPN allows unlimited bandwidth and has multiple VPN servers across a small range of countries. This is fewer than most others, but AirVPN operates its own DNS servers to ensure they are robust and secure, so be sure to check they’re suitable for your needs.

It protects your internet traffic with OpenVPN or WireGuard, DNS leak protection, a kill switch and other security features that keep your internet connection safe. With this VPN client, you can even hide from your internet service provider.

This Linux VPN service is geared more towards advanced users so if that’s you; then they may be the service you need. However, if you’re among beginners or more intermediate Linux users, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, you will likely be contacting customer support a lot.

There is a short 3-day service which will give you enough time to see if they’re suitable for you.

6. Surfshark

Surfshark Website screengrab

Pros
  • 100+ countries covered
  • Good range of apps
  • Great for streaming
Cons
  • Registered in the EU
  • Lesser Linux support

Next, we have Surfshark, a young and popular new VPN provider that offers unlimited simultaneous connections, a terrific range of existing VPN app options, and has proved hugely popular since it burst onto the market.

This VPN only supports Debian and Ubuntu, but if you need it for one of these, it is an excellent choice. They’re a relatively new provider, so it’s encouraging to see them supporting Linux from the get-go.

It is user-friendly and it features a strict no-logs policy. On top of that, it uses the strongest security protocols – OpenVPN and WireGuard. Of course, it has other protective measures, such as DNS leak protection for your Linux app, a kill switch, as well as P2P support for those native Linux users who love torrenting.

Surfshark provides remote VPN server options across six different continents and 100 different countries, and it is also capable of unblocking various streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more. This VPN provider is extremely capable, and it will definitely improve your VPN experience.

As with the other providers they’ve got the standard 30-day money-back guarantee to allow you to test it with your system. Another great option and one of the best VPNs for Linux.

7. HideMyAss

HideMyAss VPN

Pros
  • Good Linux support
Cons
  • Not very fast
  • Registered in the UK

HideMyAss is possibly the largest Linux VPN service on the planet in terms of public awareness. It’s almost impossible not to of heard of this industry goliath.

That said, HMA is one of the longest-standing Linux VPNs that have offered Linux support which makes them an ideal choice if you’re a Linux aficionado.

HideMyAss VPN has the most complete graphical user interface (GUI) client for Ubuntu. If that doesn’t suit you, then command-line interface software is available for PPTP, L2TP, and even OpenVPN configuration files for the protocol.

OpenVPN is known for being one of the best protocols out there. More than that, OpenVPN is the current VPN industry standard.

On top of the software support, this VPN client offers a rather in-depth knowledge base available covering topics like IP address binding and also how to set up using the OAST tool amongst other useful guides.

They do have a little bit of a murky past in relation to logging but now claim they’re a completely no-log service. If you can see past their historic misdemeanours, then this could be the service for you.

You might not be able to unblock Netflix with it and it certainly isn’t the fastest, but it does offer options like a kill switch, and it should serve you fine for most other purposes.

Why you need a VPN for Linux

You might be thinking – Linux is much safer than Windows; why should I use a VPN for Linux in the first place?

The thing is, the type of protection VPNs offer has little to do with the security of the system. Their job is to protect your internet data as it is travelling from your device to the websites and online services you are using.

Here are some of the main reasons why you should absolutely be using a VPN for Linux:

If you don’t use a VPN for Linux, the data travelling between your device and a server that supports the website you are visiting can be viewed by all kinds of online entities.

The government, hackers, advertisers, websites themselves, and many others monitor online traffic for who knows what reason. This poses a threat to your privacy but also to your online security.

With a VPN for Linux, you can shield your data flow with the OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols. Essentially, a Linux VPN protocol creates a secure tunnel for your data to flow through.

With OpenVPN and WireGuard, your data will be invisible to anyone but yourself. You can also encrypt your data with VPNs, which will let you maintain your privacy and stop almost anyone from conducting surveillance.

When you connect to any website with a Linux device or anything else, your IP address is exposed, and free for the website to log.

This is another way for you to get exposed to the internet. However, with VPN clients, you can connect to a local or overseas server and get a new IP address, which is tied to the server you are connected to.

A VPN will direct anyone who is watching to the server’s location instead of your own, so your real identity and position will be known only to you.

We would stop short of saying you’ll achieve full anonymity as this mostly depends on your actions and what other precautions you take, even if you use VPNs on your devices. But you are a damn site closer to online anonymity with a VPN in place and connected than if you don’t choose to use a VPN for Linux.

Top Tip

PrivacyTools.io says “Using a VPN provider will not make you anonymous, but it will give you better privacy in certain situations” (Source).

By connecting to foreign VPN server locations and masking your IP address, VPNs allow you to appear to be located elsewhere, that much we already explained.

However, a beneficial side effect of this is that using a VPN on Linux will also get full access to all the online content available in the region you have connected to.

This is very useful if you use VPNs to connect to another country and want to access its online services, which are otherwise censored or geo-restricted.

In countries where online censorship is commonplace such as China, Russia, and Iran, it is possible to bypass the strict rules put in place by authoritarian governments and access all internet content freely.

One example of this is accessing the US Netflix catalogue, which can have a lot more shows and movies than you can access in your own region without VPNs.

Not all VPNs can unblock streaming platforms like this, but the best can work with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and many more allowing you to watch whatever you want, whenever you want.

If you are working remotely, using Linux VPN clients to protect your connection to your company’s servers will increase both yours and your company’s security significantly. As mentioned already, both the OpenVPN and WireGuard VPN protocols completely hide your data from view, while strong ‘military-grade’ 256-bit AES encryption makes it unreadable.

Employees often have to access the company’s resources while travelling or working from home, and doing so without a VPN can expose your firm either to competitors or online criminals.

All it takes is a simple VPN connection to retire such concerns completely and be able to work from anywhere, even if you were to connect to extremely unsafe public Wi-Fi. Additional features like a kill switch, obfuscated servers, and DNS leak protection help to ensure that your devices and your data are protected.

What’s the best VPN for Linux Ubuntu?

The best VPNs we mentioned above all support Linux Ubuntu, and so any one of those should serve you well if you are an Ubuntu user and you wish to protect yourself.

Our top choice is ExpressVPN, but they all have money-back guarantees, so you’re free to try and get a refund if you find it’s not for you.

Some other options outside of our top seven include Mullvad, TorGuard, Windscribe, and ProtonVPN.

What’s the best VPN for Linux Fedora?

If you are a Fedora user, you would want to go for ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or AirVPN. They currently lead the way, but VPN providers like IPVanish, HideMyAss, and VyprVPN also do a great job for Linux Fedora users.

Any of these will work as a great Linux VPN client with support for Linux Fedora, and are counted among the top services in the VPN industry.

They all offer a long money-back guarantee which means you will have plenty of time to try before you buy and come with a range of features ideal for Linux users.

The downsides of using a VPN with Linux

When it comes to the downsides of using a Linux VPN client, there aren’t that many to talk about.

In fact, there is only one real negative, and that is less support than you might get when using a VPN with another operating system.

You will need to be comfortable with using things like Terminal for setting up and connecting.

It is also worth noting that Linux VPN providers will often supply GUI interfaces, although it is also important to remember that not all of them do this, so you might have to look around a bit to find one that does.

This article has recommended a range of Linux-focused VPNs, most of which offer a GUI app or interface. Read through our advice carefully and do your own research if you want to be absolutely sure your chosen Linux VPN offers the interface you need.

But, us Linux users are typically more technically-capable than Windows or Mac users, so this likely won’t be too big of an issue for most.

Of course, free VPN options are also available for Linux fans just as they are for other systems and devices.

However, we would always strongly advise users against opting for a free Linux VPN for multiple reasons.

Firstly, on a Linux-specific point, free VPNs offer minimal customer support for users of regular operating systems like Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. In our experience, the free VPN support available for Linux users is pretty much non-existent.

When it comes to Linux apps and GUI interface, forget it.

You may be able to find one or two free VPNs that offer the option for a manual setup on Linux, but on the whole, free VPN services show little interest in Linux users because this isn’t the mass market they want to attract as their customers.

Then there are the broader issues that free VPNs bring with them for all customers regardless of which operating system or device you are using.

Free VPNs are often notorious for logging user data in order to sell it to advertisers, governments and frankly, anyone willing to pay.

Why do they do this? Well, the blunt reality is that VPNs cost money to operate. if you aren’t charging users a fee, you have to generate revenue in other ways, and data is the easiest and most profitable option free VPN companies have.

This can include sensitive personal information as well as details of credit cards, bank accounts, and other sensitive financial information.

While selling user data is the easiest way to generate cash for a free VPN, it is not the only way. Other popular ways include spamming users with adware, bundling VPN apps with malware and spyware, and other hugely risky practices.

Security risks get worse and worse too, with numerous free VPNs having links to the regimes in places like Iran and China and therefore putting users in those countries at significant risk as well as posing a threat to all of us.

Then there are the operational problems that come with a free service. Most have very limited server networks, often consisting of no more than one or two servers in a single location. This in turn impacts connection speeds as these servers are usually extremely busy.

Slow speeds are just the start of the problem however because most free Linux VPNs will also throttle data-intensive activities to try and keep their services functioning. So streaming, online gaming, and other such activities are a complete non-starter.

In short, if you want to use a VPN with your Linux system, it is far, far better to pay a small monthly fee for a proper premium VPN with a dedicated Linux provision, such as the ones we have recommended in this guide, than gamble on a free VPN service that will offer a terrible service and likely pose far more risks than it will offer benefits.

In Summary: #1 ExpressVPN

While Linux is open source and typically much safer than other platforms, Linux users are just as exposed to the risks of the Internet, of hackers, and of Government spies and surveillance officers when it comes to their security online.

However, this is easy enough to fix simply by using a VPN with your Linux device or operating system. VPNs encrypt your internet connection to keep your data private and secure and redirect all of your traffic through an external server to help partly anonymise what you do online.

In this guide, we have listed some of the best VPNs for Linux, many of which are a good fit regardless of the Linux distros you are using.

Make no mistake, using the net without the best VPN these days can be very unsafe, and so you should definitely consider using a VPN if you wish to secure yourself or your company from prying eyes and all the other online risks there are out there.

VPNs are also handy for unblocking streaming content in different countries and other geo-restricted services as well as allowing you to access censored content online. They can also make your data hidden by using OpenVPN and the WireGuard protocols and a variety of other clever tools and features.

We recommend using ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN is the best VPN service provider for Linux users. We have tested all the best, and we’ve listed seven providers that will do the job for Linux users.

But in our professional view, it was ExpressVPN that ticked all the boxes and offered the best all-around service for Linux users. Regardless of which Linux platform you are working on, ExpressVPN will work for you.

It offers the strongest encryption around and is based in the British Virgin Islands meaning its no-user logs promise is set in stone. This has been independently verified as well.

There is a huge server network covering all the major locations around the world and plenty of additional features including all the essentials such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and split tunneling.

For extra security, ExpressVPN also offers RAM-only DNS servers too, and there is even a 30-day money-back guarantee.

When it comes to a Linux VPN, ExpressVPN is top of the pile for us. But all of the VPNs we have reviewed in this guide have something going for them.

We know that Linux users tend to be among the most tech-savvy people out there, so you will doubtless want to do your own research to make sure your chosen VPN has all the features and tools you need.

This is always a good move, but hopefully, this guide will help you to narrow down your search and identify the best VPN for Linux for you!

 

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Author: Christopher Seward

Having used the internet since 1994, Christopher launched one of the very first VPN comparison websites in 2013. An expert in the field his reviews, testing and knowledge have helped thousands of users get the correct VPN for their needs.

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