When I first started in the VPN industry, finding a provider that was suitable for Linux operating systems was almost impossible.
Although you could certainly set-up the service yourself, there were practically no providers that offered simple solutions to get connected.
Thankfully that has all changed and with the popularity of Linux operating systems rising especially with the introduction of open-source Linux Mint, VPN providers have sat up and listened. Now there are some excellent Linux client solutions out there for pretty much all Linux distros.
It still isn't perfect though and finding a provider that proactively supports Linux can be a difficult task. It's like finding a needle in a haystack.
Finding a VPN service that supports Linux, coupled with good service is even more difficult.
I've been taking a look at the best VPNs for Linux systems and testing them, trying to find the best Linux client. Below are the top seven I discovered.
So if you're a Linux buff, keep scrolling to find out which you should be considering.
Top 7 VPNs for Linux
ExpressVPN is considered one of the best VPN services in the industry for a variety of reasons, not solely for Linux use.
In terms of privacy and security features, this is considered the best Linux VPN service for a number of reasons. The VPN has a very strict no-logs policy, with the strongest encryption, most robust security protocols (including OpenVPN), and numerous additions like a kill switch that will prevent data leaks.
It can even unblock Netflix, including US Netflix, as well as the streaming service's catalogue for other countries.
It also has a major server network with over 90 server locations covered that allows you to hide your identity, bypass censorship, 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.
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.
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
VyprVPN recently made a significant push towards supporting the Linux market by releasing their beta command-line interface VPN clients for both Ubuntu and the ever-popular Linux Mint.
The CLI is currently in beta form but will certainly be enough to make a simple connection, preserve your privacy, and get you secure while using their service.
VyprVPN is a firm favorite amongst many users of VPNs and it's easy to see why. With an ever-expanding VPN server list including over 50 countries and more than 200,000 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 OpenVPN protocol.
The VPN service finally did away with their free trial, so that's no longer possible but they are now offering 30-day money-back guarantee. They've also made their packages much easier to understand… and cheaper!
3. Private Internet Access (PIA)
Next up, we have Private Internet Access (PIA) – another VPN that is a worthy choice for Linux users concerned about privacy.
It supports Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, and Arch.
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 77 countries with over 24,000 servers. However, some of these are ‘virtual locations‘.
Meanwhile, the VPN has strong security and privacy features, such as OpenVPN protocol, 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.
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!
NordVPN is also considered one of the best Linux clients because it is user-friendly, and it is likely the easiest VPN to start with on Linux.
Simply install the 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 data 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.
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 service, you can be sure that your activity is not being logged, and you can use it to hide your IP, perfect your security on the internet, and prevent anyone from eavesdropping or tracking your content. This client is a perfect choice for those who value their privacy.
AirVPN allows unlimited bandwidth, but there are only 242 servers in 20 countries. This is fewer than most others so be sure to check they're suitable for your needs.
It protects your data with OpenVPN, 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.
Next, we have Surfshark.
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, it features a strict no-logs policy, and it is registered offshore in the British Virgin Islands. On top of that, it uses the strongest security protocol – OpenVPN. Of course, it has other protective measures, such as DNS leak protection for your Linux app, as well as P2P support, for those native Linux users who love torrenting.
Surfshark covers six different continents and 63 different countries, and it is also capable of unblocking 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.
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 mammoth.
That said HMA is one of the longest-standing VPN services 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 protocols.
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 addresses 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 misdemeanors, then this could be the service for you.
You might not be able to unblock Netflix with it, but 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 Linux VPN client in the first place?
The thing is, the type of protection VPNs offer has little to do with the security of the system.
Here are some of the main benefits of using VPN services with your Linux device:
1. Achieve online privacy
If you use the internet without a Linux VPN client, the data traveling 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 who monitor online traffic for who knows what reason.
With Linux VPN services, you can shield your data flow with the OpenVPN protocol. Essentially, OpenVPN creates a secure tunnel for your data to flow through.
With OpenVPN, 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.
It's worth checking out Wireguard which is set to replace OpenVPN in the coming years as the defacto VPN protocol.
2. Gain a small degree of anonymity
When you connect to any website, your IP address is exposed, and free for the website to log it.
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.
VPNs will direct anyone who is watching to the server locations, instead of your own, and 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..
3. Bypass censorship and geo-restrictions
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 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.
One example of this is accessing the US Netflix catalogue, for example, which can have a lot more shows and movies than you can access in your own region, without VPNs.
4. Safe remote working
If you are working remotely, using Linux VPN clients to protect your connection to your company's servers will increase yours, and your company's security significantly. As mentioned already, the OpenVPN protocol completely hides your data from view, while 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.
What's the best VPN for Linux Ubuntu?
The best VPNs we mentioned above all support Linux Ubuntu, and so anyone of those should serve you well if you are an Ubuntu user and you wish to 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 also include Mullvad, TorGuard, Windscribe, and ProtonVPN.
What's the best for Linux Fedora?
If you are a Fedora user, you would want to go for ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or AirVPN, but also providers like IPVanish, HideMyAss, StrongVPN, and VyprVPN.
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.
Negatives 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.
You must 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 a bit to find one that does.
But, us Linux users are typically more technically-capable than Windows or Mac users, this likely won't be too big of an issue for most.
Is there a free VPN for Linux?
Of course, free VPNs are also a possibility.
However, we would strongly advise users against going for such services for multiple reasons.
First of all, we have already mentioned that even the best VPN provides less support for Linux users, and that's true even for premium services. When it comes to free VPN services, they offer next to nothing, so you will be on your own if you require help.
Not only that, but free VPNs are often notorious for logging user data in order to sell it to advertisers.
Even in the best-case scenario, you could be bombarded with ads, while in the worst-case scenario, you might end up using a fake VPN set up by hackers, who will try to use it to steal your data, money, and maybe even your identity.
In Summary: #1 ExpressVPN
While Linux is open source, and typically much safer than other platforms, Linux users are just as exposed when it comes to their security online.
However, this is easy enough to fix simply by using a VPN.
Here, 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 it if you wish to secure yourself or your company.
They're also handy for unblocking streaming content or other geo-restricted services, and they can make your data hidden by using OpenVPN and similar protocols.
We recommend using ExpressVPN, but we've listed seven providers, so the choice really is yours.