Trusted and easy-to-use VPN app for Linux
- 1 Trusted and easy-to-use VPN app for Linux
- 1.1 10 Best VPNs for Linux in 2023 | VPNs with GUIs & Privacy Features for all Distros
- 1.2 The best VPNs for Linux at a glance
- 1.3 10 Best Linux VPN clients: In-depth analysis
- 1.3.1 1. Surfshark
- 1.3.2 2. Private Internet Access
- 1.3.3 3. ProtonVPN
- 1.3.4 4. AirVPN
- 1.3.5 5. Mullvad
- 1.3.6 6. ExpressVPN
- 1.3.7 7. TorGuard
- 1.3.8 8. NordVPN
- 1.3.9 9. VPNArea
- 1.3.10 10. CyberGhost VPN
- 1.3.11 Which Linux distro is best for privacy?
- 1.3.12 7 Most Secure Browsers – Secure & Private Browsing
- 1.3.13 The best antivirus software for Linux
- 1.3.14 8 Best VPNs for Ubuntu in 2023 | Find fast and secure VPN software for Ubuntu
- 1.3.15 How to Setup VPN server for Linux
- 1.4 The advantages of using a VPN on Linux?
- 1.5 What is a custom Linux VPN client?
- 1.6 Features offered by custom Linux VPN clients
- 1.7 Different ways to use a VPN on Linux
- 1.8 Using a VPN for different Linux distros
- 1.9 Can I get a free VPN for Linux?
- 1.10 Is WireGuard a good option for Linux users?
- 1.11 Why use Linux?
- 1.12 Linux is more secure than Windows do I still need a VPN?
- 1.13 Conclusion
- 1.14 FAQs
- 1.14.1 Is it difficult to install a VPN on Linux?
- 1.14.2 Will a VPN slow down my connection speeds?
- 1.14.3 Can I get a free Linux VPN client?
- 1.14.4 How to set up a VPN on Linux Mint or Kali?
- 1.14.5 How do I install and configure SoftEther VPN client for Linux?
- 1.14.6 What VPN encryption should I use on my Linux machine?
- 1.14.7 How to disguise VPN traffic as HTTPS traffic?
- 1.14.8 How to find my OpenVPN connection log file on Linux?
- 1.14.9 Where are VPN config files imported to on Linux machines?
- 1.14.10 Is WireGuard a good VPN protocol for Linux OS?
- 1.14.11 Can using a VPN on Linux prevent my ISP from tracking my online activities?
- 1.14.12 Which Linux distro is the most private one?
- 1.14.13 Why is my VPN not working with Linux?
- 1.15 Trusted and easy-to-use VPN app for Linux
- 1.16 The Proton VPN Linux app is easy to use and packed with advanced security features.
- 1.17 How to use the Proton VPN Linux app
- 1.18 Security made easy
- 1.19 Why use Proton VPN?
- 1.20 Secure your internet
- 1.21 Why choose the Proton VPN application for Linux
- 1.22 Download a Linux VPN you can trust
- 1.23 Frequently Asked Questions
- 1.24 The Top 5 Best (Truly) Free VPNs for Linux in 2023
- 1.25 Top 5 Best Free VPN for Linux in 2023
- 1.26 Free VPNs Linux Users Should Avoid
- 1.27 How We Picked the Best Free VPNs for Linux
- 1.28 Disadvantages of Using a Free VPN for Linux
- 1.29 NordVPN: The Best VPN for Linux
10 Best VPNs for Linux in 2023 | VPNs with GUIs & Privacy Features for all Distros
Are you a Linux user on the hunt for a VPN? If so, you’ll probably already know exactly why you need a VPN – and that there are generally two types of VPN client available to Linux users; command line and GUI. Unfortunately, not every VPN service out there is compatible with Linux, so we’ve put together a list of the best providers for the job.
All of our suggestions have been thoroughly tested, work with Linux’s most popular distros, and can be counted on to keep your digital life private – so let’s jump right in.
The best VPNs for Linux at a glance
If you’re in a rush to check out our top VPN picks for Linux, check out the table below:
Surfshark – The best overall Linux VPN. Strong on privacy, with an intuitive Linux app, unlimited simultaneous connections, and lots of features.
In testing we found that the ‘Surfshark Starter’ plan (the cheapest) works perfectly for Netflix.
Searching for a reliable VPN is a daunting task at the best of times – and Linux users have the additional obstacle of finding a service that’s actually compatible with Linux systems. Most VPN providers simply don’t offer support for Linux, and this has a knock-on effect on the availability of VPN features that users on other platforms take for granted.
So, that’s why we’ve focused on the best Linux VPN apps currently available. These apps install quickly, come with a complete security toolset, and include a full GUI wherever possible.
All of our Linux VPN recommendations offer the following key features:
10 Best Linux VPN clients: In-depth analysis
If you want to secure your Linux device, as well as your online browsing sessions, then we’d recommend checking out any of the VPNs on the list below.
Editor’s Choice | September 2023
Surfshark is the best overall VPN for Linux. Slick GUI, unlimited simultaneous connections, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.3/mth
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Works with most streaming platforms
- Intuitive and stylish GUI for Linux
- Brilliant for streaming
- Cheap – but doesn’t skimp on features
- Not the cheapest one-month plan
- Lacks port forwarding
- No free trial for Linux
Linux client (GUI)
Built-in kill switch
If you’re familiar with VPNs, you’ve probably heard of Surfshark – a relatively young service that constantly receives rave reviews from customers. I like that Surfshark is compatible with most platforms, including Linux, and is incredibly easy to use. You won’t need to be a tech expert in order to make the most of this VPN.
Surfshark recently introduced a brand new Linux VPN app – complete with a stylish GUI! This is a fantastic step up from the previous command-line-only app, and far more intuitive for users. In addition to a sleek-feeling interface (ideal for Linux newbies who aren’t as comfortable punching commands), the GUI update comes with a number of features that were already available to users on different operating systems. Now, Linux loyalists will be able to enjoy tools like MultiHop, CleanWeb ad-blocking, the speedy WireGuard protocol, and extended leak protection. It’s a hefty update that brings Surfshark’s Linux offering into 2023 – and there’s even more to come, as the provider has promised support for auto-connect and kill-switch tools in the near future.
Currently, the new Surfshark Linux app is available for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Debian 11, Mint 20, though other distros are expected to be supported soon.
Surfshark is also a zero-logs provider that allows its users to enjoy unlimited simultaneous connections! This means you can use it on your Linux computer, and your mobile devices, work computers, and anything else you might own. Surfshark has servers in over 100 countries and it permits torrenting throughout its network. It is also one of the few services that can unblock various Netflix libraries (including Netflix US), BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and other popular streaming services from around the globe. We are always impressed by the level of service you get with Surfshark’s 24/7 live chat support. There is no doubt that you’re getting incredible value for your money when you sign up with Surfshark.
Well worth comparing to our other recommendations using its 30-day money-back guarantee.
2. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is a budget-friendly VPN for Linux with dedicated clients for Ubuntu, Mint, Arch, and Debian. Packed with features and with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.11/mth
- Court-proven no-logs policy – privacy you can trust
- Servers all over the world
- Perfect for torrenting
- Doesn’t offer obfuscated (stealth) servers
- Not the easiest for beginners
- Based in the USA
Linux client (GUI)
Built-in kill switch
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a secure and reliable VPN that is ideal for Linux users. It has a full, custom 64-bit (only) client for Linux that is compatible with Ubuntu, Mint, Arch, and Debian. In addition, PIA has told us it is working on support for other distros too, so watch this space! PIA’s custom Linux client is downloaded as a .run file which you then install from the install directory using the command:
Perhaps surprisingly, the Linux version does everything that PIA’s other desktop apps do, including having a kill-switch, “PIA Mace” (DNS advert and malware blocking), and fine-grained control over the OpenVPN encryption settings. This makes it by far the best GUI Linux client available on the market. And a subscription is extremely cheap, which makes this service an extremely good proposition.
What’s more, PIA is known for its strong no-logs policy, which it has proven in court on more than one occasion. Plus, this service will be compatible with your other devices (iOS, Android, macOS, etc) and it allows you to use it on up to Unlimited devices at once – with just a single subscription. You can test it on Linux – and any other devices you own – for 30 days, thanks to its money-back guarantee.
ProtonVPN is the best secure VPN for Linux. Offers a full-featured GUI client for Linux users and tough encryption, alongside a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Accepts payment in Bitcoin and cash
- DNS leak protection and a kill-switch
- Allows up to 10 simultaneous connections
- Some features are locked behind higher tier premiums
- Not as fast as other providers on the list
- Only recently released its GUI
Linux client (GUI)
Built-in kill switch
ProtonVPN brings both a sleek GUI client and a full suite of features to Linux users. ProtonVPN’s Linux client includes IPv6 and DNS leak protection, a kill-switch, support for torrenting and the ability to unblock the libraries of most of the big streaming providers around the world, including Disney+, Amazon, Netflix and more.
With servers in 67 countries , Proton is a fast service with solid encryption and innovative features to keep users secure. While not the cheapest provider around, it offers a 7-day trial of its premium service, a free tier (which restricts which countries you can connect to), and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its paid-for subscriptions.
AirVPN is the best advanced VPN for Linux. A “techie focused” service with a great “Eddie” GUI client, encryption, and 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Offers VPN through Tor
- A fully-featured Linux app (GUI) called Eddie
- Owned and operated by hacktivists
- Customer support could be better
- Extremely difficult for beginners
- Smaller server network than its competitors
Linux client (GUI)
Built-in kill switch
AirVPN is great for Linux users thanks to its strong reputation for respecting user privacy and for implementing the technology needed to protect it. Unfortunately, this is something of a double-edged sword, as AirVPN’s techie focus can make it difficult for beginners.
We doubt this is a problem for Linux users, though, who should rejoice at the fact that AirVPN’s excellent open-source “Eddie” VPN client provides the full GUI Linux VPN client experience in Linux. This means the Linux client is fully-featured and includes a kill-switch, full IPv4 and IPv6 leak protection, and is effective at mitigating against WebRTC leaks.
Eddie allows Linux users to connect to its VPN servers via the Tor network for true anonymity, and to hide their VPN connections inside an SSH or SSL tunnel (stunnel) in order to defeat VPN censorship. Port forwarding is available via the web interface.
Eddie is available pre-compiled for a Debian, OpenSUSE, Fedora, and ArchLinux. A Tarball is also available for re-compiling on any Linux platform. AirVPN keeps no logs at all (they are sent to a dev/null file), allows up to five simultaneous devices, offers a 1-day free trial on request, and allows torrenting on all servers.
Mulvad is the best anonymous VPN for Linux. It has a VPN GUI for Linux users with all the features you get on Windows and Mac, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Anonymous payment options (including cash!)
- Dedicated graphical user interface/app
- Offers VPN through Tor (manual configuration)
- Strong OpenVPN encryption
- Small selection of servers
- Extremely limited free trial
- Pretty expensive compared to its competition
Linux client (GUI)
Built-in kill switch
Mullvad is a no-logs VPN service based in Sweden, which, like AirVPN, has a very strong privacy and technology focus. Hell, it even accepts anonymous payment in cash sent to it by post! It also offers a full open-source GUI Linux VPN client with all the bells and whistles available to users of other platforms.
These features include full DNS protection (with proper IPv6 support, which is very rare), a kill-switch, and port forwarding. VPN through Tor is supported through manual configuration. Debian (DEB) and Fedora (RPM) install files are available from the Mullvad website, while the full code with build instructions is available from its GitHub page.
Mullvad allows up to 5 devices to connect at once and offers servers located all around the world. It also offers consistently good speeds, which will make engaging in data-intensive tasks a breeze.
ExpressVPN is the best premium VPN for Linux. Can be used via command line client or browser extension, and offers users a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 12 months + 3 months FREE + Backblaze backup: $6.67/mth
- Super-fast speeds
- Watertight privacy and security features
- Excellent encryption options
- An expensive option
- No dedicated GUI – command-line only
- Doesn’t offer port-forwarding
Linux client (GUI)
Built-in kill switch
ExpressVPN is an excellent no-logs VPN service, based in the British Virgin Islands. It’s a top-shelf VPN provider that continues to set standards in the industry, and was a significant driving force behind many other VPN providers adopting a 24/7 approach to customer support. Express offers super-fast servers that operate in RAM only! On top of this, ExpressVPN also published its own proprietary VPN protocol, Lightway, that offers faster and more secure VPN encryption for its users.
Despite being a command-line-only VPN for Linux, it’s a solid VPN with great functionality. It is available for Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Fedora, Arch, and Raspbian, although its source is not available to compile yourself. Give it a try with a 30-day money-back guarantee to fall back on.
Get 3 months free when you buy a 12-month subscription with ExpressVPN
TorGuard is the best torrenting VPN for Linux. With a great GUI Linux app and kill-switch, and a 7-day money-back guarantee.
- Supports torrenting
- Lots of customization available
- Feature-rich GUI
- Netflix and iPlayer will require a dedicated IP bolt-on
- Expensive compared to VPNs like PIA
- Short money-back guarantee period (7-days)
Linux client (GUI)
Built-in kill switch
TorGuard is a no-logs VPN provider based in the US. It offers a global network of fast and secure bare-metal servers that are great for torrenting as well as for unblocking geo-restricted content from around the world. With its fully-featured GUI for Linux, you get great customization with the VPN. Defaulting to OpenVPN in UDP mode, you can switch to TCP mode, and even Cisco OpenConnect (/AnyConnect).
With OpenVPN, you can also choose from a selection of ports to use (for example, OpenVPN TCP port 443 for obfuscation), or you can use stunnel to hide the VPN connections inside a TLS/SSL tunnel. The GUI also has an advanced kill-switch function that lets you disconnect from the internet and even terminate specific programs if the VPN fails. Try TorGuard today with a 7-day free trial and support for Ubuntu, Debian, RedHat, Fedora, CentOS, and Arch.
NordVPN is the best all-rounder VPN for Linux. Controlled via a CLI, with excellent encryption and easy setup, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 24 months + 3 months FREE: $3.69/mth
- Lots of security features
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No port forwarding
- Command-line only
- VPN over Tor servers aren’t always available
Linux client (GUI)
Built-in kill switch
NordVPN is a large no-logs VPN service is based in privacy-friendly Panama. It has a strong consumer-facing focus and is known for its 24/7 live chat support, 30-day money-back guarantee, and its ability to unblock popular streaming services such as US Netflix and BBC iPlayer. A free full Smart DNS is included in the startling-low entry price.
NordVPN offers a simple command-line OpenVPN tool that comes pre-configured for NordVPN’s server locations, including NordVPN’s obfuscated XOR servers. It allows you to switch easily between UDP and TCP connections, which can be useful for evading VPN censorship measures. Its autofill feature also makes life easier.
The app is available to download as a DEB or RPM package, although the CLI setup instructions assume Debian. NordVPN allows you to connect up to six devices at once, offers 24/7 live chat support, and will refund your money up to 30-days after payment.
VPNArea is the best easy-to-use VPN for Linux. With a clean and clear GUI and advanced features, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Excellent Linux GUI
- Superb OpenVPN encryption
- Small server list compared to its competitors
- Not as fast as its leading competition
- Lacks a free trial
Linux client (GUI)
Built-in kill switch
VPNArea is a provider from Bulgaria that has apps for all platforms, this includes a Linux GUI that will work on various distros. The VPN has servers in over 55 countries , and that entire Tier-1 network is more than capable of providing fast enough connection speeds for streaming and gaming online without the hassle of buffering or lag. With VPNArea, you can unblock many of the most sought-after streaming services from around the world, like Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Prime Video, and much more. And if you have any problems, you can always contact its friendly 24/7 live chat support agents.
Where privacy is concerned, this VPN is outstanding thanks to its no-logs policy and strong OpenVPN encryption. It also has a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, and obfuscation. This makes it great for doing sensitive tasks like torrenting that require complete privacy.
We are always impressed by this VPN, and because of its relatively low cost, we consider this a superb option for anybody who needs a VPN for Linux. Well worth testing using its money-back guarantee.
10. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost is the best value VPN for Linux. Available via a CLI and a solid option for the security-conscious, with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
- 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.11/mth
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting allowed
- Based in Romania so no government spying!
- Works with BBC iPlayer and Netflix
- Ad tracking on provider website
- No public security audit since 2012
- Lacks obfuscation (stealth) features
CyberGhost is a well-known name in the VPN sphere – and it is a service that does everything right. Its latest software (CyberGhost 8) is super to use and offers a wealth of awesome features for gaining privacy both at home and on public Wi-Fi.
In this CyberGhost VPN review, we have taken an in-depth look at the security features, speed and performance, and the apps for each platform. We found it to be a versatile service that is able to unblock highly desirable streaming services like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer.
Overall, we consider CyberGhost to be a superb service that offers outstanding value-for-money. Read on to find out why we think it is worth splashing out on this amazing-value VPN.
Which Linux distro is best for privacy?
7 Most Secure Browsers – Secure & Private Browsing
The best antivirus software for Linux
8 Best VPNs for Ubuntu in 2023 | Find fast and secure VPN software for Ubuntu
How to Setup VPN server for Linux
How to install a VPN on Linux
We’ve put together a guide on how to install a VPN on a Linux device. It’s easy to follow, regardless of whether you’re a Linux newbie or just need a refresher, and primarily focuses on the Debian/Ubuntu distros. However, we hope to expand it to include other Linux branches in the near future.
The advantages of using a VPN on Linux?
Most Linux users are already well aware of the privacy issues associated with using the internet. Linux itself is typically known to be much more secure than other, more mainstream operating systems, and certain distros are already being geared towards protecting user privacy. Using a VPN, then, is the next logical step for Linux users who want to keep their online privacy watertight.
A VPN ensures that all the traffic leaving your Linux machine is fully encrypted before it passes over the local network and through your ISP’s gateway servers. This will effectively prevent anyone from tracking what you are doing online and keep your data safely out of the reach of any potential eavesdroppers.
To find out more about what a VPN is, follow the link. Below, we have included a list that outlines what VPNs can do thanks to the encrypted connection they furnish:
- A VPN prevents your ISP from tracking what you do online by acting as your personal proxy. When connected to a VPN, all your ISP will be able to see is that you have connected to the VPN’s IP address- not what you’re actually doing on the internet.
- Your ISP also won’t be able to see the contents of your data because it is encrypted between your PC and the VPN server.
- Given that every government mass surveillance project in the world relies on ISPs logging your data to know what you get up to online, what your ISP doesn’t know, neither will your government (unless it is actively investigating you as an individual, of course).
- The proxy works both ways, so websites you visit can’t see your real IP address. They only see the IP address of the VPN server you are connecting through. Note that websites also use other sneaky ways to follow you online, so a VPN should always be supplemented with anti-tracking browser add-ons.
- Like websites, P2P torrent peers also won’t be able to see your real IP address, allowing you to torrent with peace of mind.
- VPNs are great for defeating censorship, be it on political, “moral”, or copyright grounds. Simply connect to a VPN server located in a region that doesn’t censor the internet!
- Because VPN servers can be located all over the world, they’re great for unblocking geo-restricted content. VPNs are particularly useful for unblocking BBC iPlayer and US Netflix (which has a much bigger catalog than what is generally available to paying customers in other parts of the world). Check out VPN for Netflix guide for more information about unblocking this service.
- Using a VPN protects against Wi-Fi hackers and unreliable Wi-Fi hosts when using public Wi-Fi hotspots, since all data between your PC and the VPN server is securely encrypted.
So if you use Linux, then we think you should also use a VPN!
What is a custom Linux VPN client?
Linux is Linux, so any Linux VPN app can be re-compiled from its source code (usually in Tarball form) to work on any Linux platform.
Most VPN providers, however, also make their apps available as executable DEB files for Debian (Ubuntu/Mint/etc.) users and RPM files for Red Hat (Fedora, RHEL, CentOS/etc.) users. Some may even offer install packages in Snaps or Flatpack format.
However, it’s fair to say that installing and using a VPN client (whether GUI or CLI) works pretty much exactly the same as any other Linux app on your system.
Features offered by custom Linux VPN clients
Using a VPN on Linux can be difficult, and that’s because few VPN providers offer full Graphic User Interface (GUI) apps. Instead, they’ll focus on developing apps for more mainstream platforms like Windows and macOS.
The good news is that there are a few VPNs available on the market that have guides for setting up their VPN using CLI. On top of that, a growing number of VPN providers are also now providing a GUI client as well.
The VPNs we recommend in this article all have Linux compatibility, whether that be via manual setup or using a full client. All of our recommendations have full, user-friendly guides for setting up the VPN, which means that you can easily get the VPN going on your Linux machine, regardless of which provider you choose.
Please bear in mind, however, that if you do opt for a VPN without a GUI client, you may not have access to certain key VPN features when setting up the VPN connection manually. Below, we’ve listed a few features that will typically only be available with a full GUI client:
DNS leak protection
Get Linux VPN to start on boot?
We may cover this subject ourselves in the future, but, for the time being, excellent guides for doing this with OpenVPN are available on the smarthome beginner and IVPN websites.
Different ways to use a VPN on Linux
Now that we’ve covered what you can expect from your Linux VPN, and some of our top recommendations, let’s take a look at some different ways to use a VPN on a Linux device.
Use a custom Linux CLI clients
An increasing number of VPN services now offer custom Linux command-line interface (CLI) clients. These are invariably wrappers to the open-source OpenVPN CLI client. As such, they don’t usually offer any advanced features, although ExpressVPN’s client does feature DNS leak protection.
They do, however, make life easier, as they come pre-configured to use that services’ VPN servers.
Use a custom Linux VPN GUI clients
To get the full VPN functionality that users of custom Windows and macOS clients enjoy, however, requires a full custom GUI Linux client. Only a few of which exist on the market at the time of writing – those from Private Internet Access, AirVPN, Mullvad, ProtonVPN and TorGuard.
These providers’ GUI VPN clients are effectively identical to their Windows and macOS counterparts and offer the same features, including full DNS leak protection, WebRTC mitigation, kill-switches, and other bells and whistles unique to each provider.
On top of offering additional functionality, most people find that GUI clients are much more user-friendly, thanks in large part to the visual prompts they provide. You do, after all, need to be a seasoned Linux user to not flinch when faced with a blinking command prompt in Terminal!
Using NetworkManager as a Linux VPN GUI
Many Linux distros, including most Debian flavors, use NetworkManager as a GUI interface to manage their network connections. Even with distros that don’t (such as Raspbian), it is usually possible to manually install NetworkManager.
NetworkManager provides an easy-to-use graphical interface for managing your VPN connections. Out-of-the-box, it usually only supports the PPTP VPN protocol, but plugins are available for OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2 (using strongSwan). As we’ve already noted, however, this type of setup does not provide any DNS leak protection or a kill-switch.
It is worth noting that AirVPN recommends against using NetworkManager “due to multiple, critical problems”. We have not been able to ascertain what these are, though, and most VPNs are happy to provide setup guides using NetworkManager.
With this being Linux, it’s only natural that you can set up and run a VPN from the command line! The exact commands will depend on the specific distro you’re using, but apps like OpenVPN will work well in any Linux environment.
As we have discussed, you will also need to configure iptables to enjoy a truly secure VPN experience.
Using a VPN for different Linux distros
Ubuntu is by far the most popular desktop version of Linux. It is, therefore, widely regarded by both developers and casual users as the “default” version of Linux. VPN services are no different, and most of the Linux VPN support out there revolves heavily around Ubuntu users.
You’re no doubt used to this if you use a different version of Linux. If you’re a Debian, Mint, Kali, or any other Debian-based user, most Ubuntu guides (and DEB packages) should be useable on your distro of choice. Unfortunately, you’re often on your own if you use an entirely different version of Linux.
Can I get a free VPN for Linux?
Unfortunately, very few VPNs offer a free service compatible with Linux. The good news is that two market-leading services have a limited free plan that is available to Linux users!
Both ProtonVPN and Windscribe offer command-line OpenVPN Linux tools.
ProtonVPN provides guidance on installing its CLI Linux VPN tool on Ubuntu, Archlinux, Manjaro, Solus, and Fedora, while Windscribe not only supports Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS, but also different versions of its tool optimized for different versions of each distro.
For more information on free VPNs (and why you need to take care when picking one), please head over to our Free VPN guide.
Is WireGuard a good option for Linux users?
The WireGuard VPN protocol has been heaped with praise ever since its inception – and for good reason. Developed by Jason Donenfeld, WireGuard incorporates stealth and typically provides faster tunneling speeds than other protocols, which is a win/win for users.
So, it’s encouraging to see more and more VPN providers offer WireGuard connections! You’ll be able to use it in place of the OpenVPN or IKEv2 protocols and, if you’re particularly untrusting of custom VPN apps, you can also use WireGuard to connect to your VPN’s servers, seeing as its connection is made via the third-party WireGuard client.
It should be noted, however, that your data will still pass through the VPN’s servers – and that you’ll need to trust the VPN to handle that data. This is always going to be the case when using a VPN provider. Fortunately, sticking with one of our recommended zero-log VPNs can minimize the risk of interference.
It is also worth noting that WireGuard is still extremely new, and the protocol is not as proven in the wild as something like OpenVPN, which has been audited countless times. That said, the cryptographic primitives that make up the WireGuard protocol are well known and are considered extremely robust.
Why use Linux?
Many people moved over to Linux from other operating systems to take advantage of its added security. The majority of viruses target mainstream operating systems like Windows and macOS, which means that using Linux can keep you much safer from these, and similar, threats. Other users made the switch away from Windows and Mac because of the privacy ramifications associated with the high levels of surveillance capitalism these companies are known to engage in.
Whether you opt for Ubuntu, Fedora, Kali, Mint, OpenSUSE, or another Linux distribution, you’ll gain the advantage of having greater control over your device and the data that it controls. This is a considerable benefit to your privacy, as Apple and Microsoft have previously been found to be working alongside NSA to snoop on users.
Even years after Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA, plenty of credible evidence and rumors persist concerning the implementation of NSA backdoors in Windows and macOS/iOS devices.
Linux offers greater security and user control compared to Windows and macOS
Although using Linux is generally a positive step towards increasing your digital privacy, it is important to understand that the OS itself will not be able to protect any of the data that leaves your device and travels over the internet. To protect that data, you must encrypt it before it travels over the local network and onto the internet – which is where a VPN comes into play.
Using a VPN to encrypt your web traffic – to prevent it from being harvested by your ISP, local network administrators, and the government – is an absolute must.
It’s not just about this serious stuff, either! A Linux VPN will give you the power to bypass geo-restrictions while protecting privacy online. It will let you unblock Netflix or watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world, and with the right VPN you can torrent in safety.
Linux is more secure than Windows do I still need a VPN?
Yes. Although Linux operating systems are far less vulnerable to hacking and malware, they still require a VPN for online privacy purposes. When a Linux machine connects to the internet it behaves the same way as a Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS device.
The data leaving your Linux machine passes over the local network to the router, and then onto the internet – where it passes through the ISP’s gateway servers – on its way to the website you selected in your browser.
This process means that the local network administrator and ISP can track which websites you are using. In some countries, this web browsing data must also be retained due to Mandatory Data Retention directives. As a result, your web data can also be accessed by government agencies.
A VPN encrypts your data on your device before it travels over the internet. This encryption prevents anybody on the local network and your ISP from knowing which websites you are using. It also protects your communications metadata from being monitored.
This VPN encryption not only prevents ISPs and government agencies from snooping on you, but also helps to protect you on public wifi by preventing your data from being intercepted by hackers, and by securing you against the threat of Evil Twin Attacks.
The reasons above make it vital to use a VPN on your Linux machine, as this is the only way to protect your online habits from being tracked and used for profiling purposes.
In addition, the tunnel provided by a VPN conceals your home IP address from websites and services, including other users when you torrent.
This massively increases your privacy by preventing websites from knowing where you are. And by concealing your IP address from other internet users who could potentially be hackers looking for ways to probe your network for vulnerabilities.
Although plenty of VPNs offer some level of Linux compatibility, it is rare for a VPN to offer the same level of service as you would enjoy on its Windows or macOS client. If you want to get the most out of your VPN for Linux, then getting one with a custom GUI for your distro is the best place to start. Here’s a quick reminder of our top VPNs for Linux:
The best overall Linux VPN. Strong on privacy, with an intuitive Linux app, unlimited simultaneous connections, and lots of features.
ProPrivacy TrustScore: 10 out of 10 Simultaneous connections Unlimited Server locations 100 Free trial Yes
The best cheap VPN for Linux. It offers dedicated clients for Ubuntu, Mint, Arch, and Debian, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ProPrivacy TrustScore: 9.9 out of 10 Simultaneous connections Unlimited Server locations 84 Free trial No
The best secure VPN for Linux. Offers IPv6 and DNS leak protection alongside a kill-switch and sleek apps.
ProPrivacy TrustScore: 9.8 out of 10 Simultaneous connections 10 Server locations 61 Free trial Yes
The best advanced VPN for Linux. Includes a Linux GUI client with all the features, as well as Tor compatibility.
ProPrivacy TrustScore: 9.7 out of 10 Server locations 21 Simultaneous connections 5
The best anonymous VPN for Linux. With a full toolset of features, Linux GUI, and strong encryption.
ProPrivacy TrustScore: 9.6 out of 10 Server locations 36 Simultaneous connections 5 Free trial No
If you still have questions – don’t worry! We’ve put together an FAQ section that covers the most common questions related to Linux VPN services.
Is it difficult to install a VPN on Linux?
Installing and using a VPN on Linux can be more tricky than on other platforms. That being said, we have been careful to only recommend services that have either a GUI client or in-depth guides for setting up the VPN manually using the CLI. This means that you can confidently choose any of the VPNs in this guide because they can all be set up easily, regardless of which method you use. And of course, if you do have any issues, you can contact your VPN’s live chat support and they will be able to help you install and use the VPN on your Linux machine
Will a VPN slow down my connection speeds?
Yes. In order to provide the benefits and services it provides, your VPN must encrypt your traffic and route it via a remote VPN server. This inevitably causes a certain amount of latency, and, as a result, you will almost certainly experience some loss of speed. The good news is that all the Linux VPNs in this guide were selected because they have super-fast Tier-1 server networks that should only cause a minimal (unnoticeable) reduction to your regular internet speeds
Can I get a free Linux VPN client?
If you want a free service for Linux, check out our free VPN services for Linux guide. We hand-picked five of the best free VPNs. However, remember that none of them fully support Linux. We’d recommend that you sign-up for a free ProtonVPN account on a different platform and then configure OpenVPN on Linux to use it.
The Linux OpenVPN client is free, and it’s available as either a stand-alone command-line app or as a set of packages that integrate with NetworkMananger. A similar situation exists for PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2.
You might want to check out our guide to WireGuard following the news that native support for WireGuard is going to be built into future Linux kernels. Though WireGuard is a free software, you’ll still need to pay for a service unless you set up a private VPN on your own server)
How to set up a VPN on Linux Mint or Kali?
Seeing as it’s a fork of Ubuntu, Linux Mint is almost identical to it under-the-hood – and as such, so are its setup instructions, whether via NetworkManager or Terminal. Ubuntu and Kali users can use this. Kali is based on Debian, as is Ubuntu (and by extension Mint), all Debian-based Linux distros basically share the same back-end. Check out our How to set up a VPN on Linux guide for detailed instructions on how to set up a VPN on either of these distros
How do I install and configure SoftEther VPN client for Linux?
The Linux SoftEther client can be downloaded from the softether website. They also have extensive instructions on how to use it on their website
What VPN encryption should I use on my Linux machine?
You might be wondering which protocol to go with if you’re relatively new to VPNs. However, we’d always recommend sticking with OpenVPN. OpenVPN may not be the most efficient VPN protocol, mind you, but it is the only protocol known to be secure against the NSA when strong privacy settings are used (most notably perfect forward secrecy).
IKEv2 is well-regarded, and new-kid-on-the-block. WireGuard shows a great deal of promise, but neither has been
How to disguise VPN traffic as HTTPS traffic?
By default, OpenVPN uses UDP port 1194, but it can be run over TCP port 443 to emulate regular HTTPS traffic. This trick can be effective at disguising OpenVPN traffic in a number of situations – but it won’t fool more advanced deep packet inspection (DPI) techniques.
In order to use TCP port 443 in OpenVPN, it must be configured both client-side and server-side, but most VPN providers do support TCP port 443 server-side. Chances are that your provider offers the OpenVPN config file (.ovpn) pre-configured for TCP port 443, but if it doesn’t, then you can create them yourself.
Edit the .ovpn file you want to use in any text editor, remove any existing settings, and add the lines:
remote server.address.com 443
Then save. If in doubt, contact your VPN provider for advice, as it is possible that it uses custom settings or that not all its servers support OpenVPN over TCP port 443
How to find my OpenVPN connection log file on Linux?
OpenVPN logs are typically found in the syslog at /var/log/syslog – though bear in mind that this can vary by distro. OpenVPN config files are usually found in /etc/openvpn/
Where are VPN config files imported to on Linux machines?
You can import OpenVPN files from any convenient location (such as your Downloads folder). Once imported, they can usually be found in the /etc/openvpn/ folder
Is WireGuard a good VPN protocol for Linux OS?
Yes. Although not as widely tested as OpenVPN, WireGuard has been around for a while now, and it has proven time and again that it’s a trustworthy option for users across all OS, including Linux. Besides, since its code is among the most lightweight on the market, this VPN protocol will provide you with unprecedented levels of speed and efficiency.
All in all, WireGuard is simple, modern, and works like a charm with Linux’s latest features. Not to mention its smaller-than-average attack surface makes it less prone to breaches, and, arguably, more secure than most other popular VPN protocols.
Can using a VPN on Linux prevent my ISP from tracking my online activities?
Yes. A VPN will encrypt your online traffic and direct it through a remote VPN server. In the process, your IP address also gets changed. With some advanced VPNs, you even have the option of changing your IP address more than once, or masking it altogether (obfuscation). All this makes your online activities nearly undetectable and indiscernible by your ISP provider, governments and tracking agencies. In other words, your ISP and other snoopers can no longer see what you do online.
Which Linux distro is the most private one?
Being open-sourced and frequently audited, nearly all Linux distros are secure and private, and it’s, therefore, very difficult to name the absolute champion in this area. If we had to name a couple of our favorites, we would choose:
- Qubes OS – the best overall Linux distro for privacy and security.
- TAILS – the best Linux distro for your online anonymity.
- Ubuntu – an excellent distro choice for Linux beginners.
You can read more about these Linux distros, and why are they our top privacy choices, in our brief Linux distros privacy guide.
Why is my VPN not working with Linux?
Not all VPNs are suitable for all devices. Maybe your VPN isn’t working with Linux because it isn’t compatible with that OS. If, however, you’re certain that you’ve chosen the right VPN for Linux, it could be that the server you got connected to isn’t working properly at the moment – or it has been blocked by the online service you’re trying to access.
The solution for this is simple. Choosing another server should suffice in most scenarios. If you still have no luck, contact your VPN customer support (hopefully, you’ve chosen a VPN that offers it). The support team will know exactly what could be the problem and will offer you some viable solutions to try.
Written by: Attila Tomaschek
Attila is a Hungarian-American currently living in Budapest. Being in the VPN game for over 5 years, along with his acute understanding of the digital privacy space enables him to share his expertise with ProPrivacy readers. Attila has been featured as a privacy expert in press outlets such as Security Week, Silicon Angle, Fox News, Reader’s Digest, The Washington Examiner, Techopedia, Disruptor Daily, DZone, and more. He has also contributed bylines for several online publications like SC Magazine UK, Legal Reader, ITProPortal, BetaNews, and Verdict.
Trusted and easy-to-use VPN app for Linux
The Proton VPN Linux app is easy to use and packed with advanced security features.
Users of Ubuntu 20+, Debian 10+, Fedora 35+, Manjaro and Arch Linux (including their derivatives) should follow the instructions on our Linux support page to install the app.
We are regularly supporting additional distros, and if you have any other Linux system, you can still connect to the Proton VPN servers by setting up an OpenVPN connection.
Download the Linux app, then log in with your Proton account. If you don’t have an account, sign up here.
Download Proton VPN for your device
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How to use the Proton VPN Linux app
For step-by-step installation instructions, read our Proton VPN for Linux guide.
Security made easy
Our Linux app offers advanced features carefully designed to improve your online security.
Secure Core VPN
Secure Core protects your connection by routing your traffic through multiple servers before it leaves our network, defending you against advanced, network-based attacks.
Secure Core servers are located in hardened data centers in Switzerland, Iceland, and Sweden, protected by strong privacy laws, and operated on Proton’s dedicated networks.
A VPN kill switch keeps your IP address safe if something goes wrong with your VPN connection.
If your VPN connection fails, the kill switch will prevent your device from connecting to the internet until your device reconnects to a VPN server.
NetShield speeds up your connection and protects you from malware by filtering out images, scripts, and other resources that are from domains known to host malware.
Available for VPN Plus and Proton Unlimited users, NetShield can also block online trackers and ads.
Why use Proton VPN?
We do not keep any logs that can identify what you do online
DNS and IPv6 leak protection
Our Linux app will never accidentally expose your real IP address
The new Proton VPN Linux app has an intuitive graphical user interface that lets you quickly activate features and connect to servers
Share and download files using BitTorrent and other P2P protocols
Free and available to everyone who uses Proton VPN, our unique VPN Accelerator technology can improve speeds by over 400%
Our Linux app uses the OpenVPN protocol at its strongest encryption settings
Based in Switzerland
Switzerland has some of the world’s strongest data privacy laws
Unblock popular streaming services and watch your favorite shows
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Secure your internet
- Strict no-logs policy
- All apps are open source and audited
- High-speed servers (up to 10 Gbps)
- Based in Switzerland
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Why choose the Proton VPN application for Linux
Proton VPN is brought to you by the team behind Proton Mail, the world’s largest end-to-end encrypted email service. Millions of journalists, activists, and citizens worldwide rely on Proton VPN to stay safe. Our VPN app for Linux:
- Protects your privacy by encrypting your internet connection
- Enables you to bypass censorship and access the truth
- Keeps no logs of user activity
- Lets you unblock and watch popular streaming services (Only with VPN Plus or Proton Unlimited plans)
- Is open source and fully audited by third-party professionals
- Proton VPN is a community driven service with a mission to create a more free and open internet. Download our Linux VPN app to join our community.
@ProtonVPN (new window) Wanted to thank you for the outstanding service your company offers – I have used vpn service over the years, and seen many. The speed and reliability of your client software surprised me, instantly – it’s World Class, and better.
I highly recommend @ProtonVPN for an extremely secure VPN with a great reputation. And you can bundle it with @ProtonMail to make your email private instead of having google or yahoo, etc from scraping your inbox and selling your data.
Download a Linux VPN you can trust
- Kill switch keeps your IP address safe at all times
- NetShield blocks malware, ads, and online trackers
- Tor-enabled servers allow one-click access to the Tor network
Frequently Asked Questions
How to choose the best VPN for Linux?
The Proton VPN app for Linux has been specifically engineered to be secure, fast, and easy to use. You can use Proton VPN to stream your favorite shows, share files over BitTorrent, access censored content and protect your privacy. Our Linux app uses streamlined code to improve stability and performance. It also features strong security features, such an always-on kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and requiring no sudo rights.
How to install a VPN in Linux?
To use Proton VPN on Linux you’ll need a Proton VPN account. If you don’t have one, sign up here. The following short guide is for Debian-based systems, you can find a complete installation guide for other distros here.
First, download the DEB file (new window) . Then, Open Terminal and enter the following commands:
sudo apt-get install protonvpn-stable-release_*. deb
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install protonvpn
If your distro is not yet supported by our new client, you can still connect to the Proton VPN servers by setting up an OpenVPN connection.
How to easily connect to a VPN server in Linux?
Using the Linux app, you can connect to fastest server according to you location by clicking the “Quick Connect” button.
How to access blocked content with a VPN in Linux?
The Proton VPN app for Linux will allow you to access most content blocked by your ISP, government, workplace, or college. If you have a VPN Plus or Proton Unlimited account you can also access a large selection of popular streaming services by connecting to one of our Plus servers marked by a play icon.
What is the fastest VPN for Linux?
Proton VPN operates over 2,900 servers in more than 65 countries around the world, so there will always be a VPN server nearby to provide you with a secure, fast connection. Users with a VPN Plus or Proton Unlimited plan can access our large and expanding network of high-speed 10 Gbps Plus servers.
- Free VPN
- VPN Servers
- VPN for Streaming
- Netflix VPN
- Secure Core VPN
- Getting Started
- Download VPN
- VPN for Windows
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- VPN for iOS
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- VPN for Chrome
- VPN for Firefox
The Top 5 Best (Truly) Free VPNs for Linux in 2023
Linux is a security-focused operating system, but to be truly secure online, you’ll need a virtual private network (VPN). Unfortunately, only a few VPNs support Linux, let alone for free. If they do, they’re likely to have ill intentions, such as harvesting your data or infecting you with malware.
With that in mind, we strived to uncover and thoroughly test the best free VPNs for Linux that you can easily set up and start using right away. Below are our results.
- ProtonVPN: Unlimited data and a dedicated GUI
- Windscribe: VPN that blocks malware, tracking, and ads
- TunnelBear: Fast speeds with numerous servers
- PrivadoVPN: Unblocks streaming sites
- Hide.me: Lightweight and powerful
ProtonVPN is our overall best free VPN for Linux due to its unlimited data, top-notch security, and GUI. But if you’re interested in premium features and security, our recommendation is NordVPN. Click the link below to install NordVPN on your device and secure your connection.
Read our article below to learn more about the best free VPNs for Linux and find out what limitations you may experience by using free VPNs.
Linux is a top security- and privacy-friendly operating system. Sadly, it still gets the short end of the stick when it comes to VPNs. Linux users often have trouble finding a VPN that’s easy to use, bug-free, and ready to use out of the box.
Sadly, not all VPNs offer their services for Linux. Plus, being used to open-source solutions, Linux users often dread VPN subscriptions. So, in this article, we focus on easy-to-use, free VPNs for Linux that adhere to the security, speed, and privacy standards that Linux users cherish.
Furthermore, we understand that you support free and open-source software. That’s why we narrowed the list down to the best free VPNs for Linux that are based on open-source security protocols. Let’s dig in!
Top 5 Best Free VPN for Linux in 2023
Below, we compiled the top 5 free VPNs for Linux that are safe to use, lightning-fast, and up-to-date on security protocols.
1. ProtonVPN: Unlimited data and a dedicated GUI
Features at a glance:
- Unlimited data: Use as much as you like
- Easy to install: Has a dedicated Linux GUI App
- Protocols supported: OpenVPN, Wireguard, IKEv2
- Server locations: USA, Japan, and the Netherlands
- Distros supported: Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, MX Linux, Kali Linux, Elementary OS, Fedora, Arch Linux / Manjaro
ProtonVPN is a free VPN for Linux that offers unlimited bandwidth. That is, you can stream, play video games, and download torrents for free — for as long as you want — while being secured by some of the greatest security available today.
The unlimited data is free to use for as long as you like, and you will never be required to switch to a premium version. It also provides adequate speeds for streaming and torrenting, though they may decline at peak periods (as premium users have priority).
ProtonVPN routes all connections over the open-source OpenVPN protocol, which uses the rock-solid AES-256 bit encryption. It has a strict no-logs policy (audited and verified) and publishes regular transparency reports. Its headquarters are in Switzerland, which keeps it out of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance countries, ensuring your privacy. It also features DNS leaks protection and a kill switch to protect your data if your connection is unexpectedly disconnected.
If you prefer a graphical user interface (GUI) over a command line, ProtonVPN is your best bet. It has an elegant look and feel that appeals to most Linux users. More importantly, the GUI eliminates the additional steps of connecting to servers and configuring settings that would be typical with a command line.
For more information on ProtonVPN, check out our full review or visit its website by clicking below.
2. WindscribeVPN: VPN that blocks malware, tracking, and ads
Features at a glance:
- Browser extension: For ads. and malware blocking
- Server locations: Servers in 10 countries (US and Canada included)
- Protocols supported: OpenVPN, Wireguard, and IKEv2
- Supported distros: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch Linux, and CentOS
WindscribeVPN offers 10 GB per month if you provide a confirmed email address. Otherwise, you’ll only get 2GB. This also includes access to servers in 10 locations. At no point will you be compelled to upgrade to a premium version if you’re comfortable working with the data limit.
Besides the CLI application, you can add an additional layer of security by installing Windscribe’s browser extension. The extension is jam-packed with features that protect your online anonymity and privacy and provides an overall pleasurable browsing experience. Windscribe’s browser extension includes free Linux browsing utilities such as:
- Blockers (adblocker, malware blocker, social networks tracking blocker, cookies blocker)
- Privacy enhancers (auto-deletes cookies, limits WebRTC requests to prevent leaks, randomly rotates your user agent)
- uBlock Origin intergration
You should note that these features are strictly for the browser and don’t apply otherwise. Windscribe is excellent for peer-to-peer torrent downloads mostly due to its dedicated torrenting servers. Although you’ll be constrained by the 10GB monthly data limit. The VPN website has a detailed Ubuntu install guide with screenshots if you prefer a manual setup.
3. TunnelBear VPN: Fast speeds with numerous servers
Features at a glance:
- Server network: Extensive global network of free servers
- Bypass censorship: Features geared towards bypassing censorship
- Linux documentation: Step-by-step installation guide for Ubuntu
- Distros supported: Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Fedora
- Reliable speeds: Fast and consistent speeds
TunnelBear’s free version provides access to its global network of over 49 servers. This is useful for Linux users who want to bypass censorship, get discounts on their favorite shopping sites, and avoid geo-restrictions on streaming services.
TunnelBear’s downside is that it only provides 500 MB per month, which is insufficient for intensive internet use like streaming or downloading large files. However, if you tweet about TunnelBear, you can get an extra 1 GB of data. On the other hand, 500 MB may be sufficient for running command line utilities like apt and mail.
TunnelBear’s DNS leak protection prevents your DNS requests from being revealed to your ISP. It goes even farther by integrating a kill switch called VigilantBear, which terminates your connection when the VPN disconnects to prevent your online actions from being exposed. TunnelBear free includes an obfuscation tool, Ghostbear, designed to circumvent censorship and VPN restrictions. It should be noted, however, that TunnelBear is based in one of the 5 Eyes nations (Canada), which is not ideal for privacy.
The VPN’s website provides detailed instructions for installing it on Linux, specifically Ubuntu-based distributions. You can get TunnelBear working on other distros with a bit of tweaking.
4. PrivadoVPN: Unblocks streaming sites
Features at a glance:
- Access blocked content: Unblocks content on streaming sites such as Netflix
- Server security: Owns and operates its servers
- Server locations: Servers in 12 different countries
- Linux support: Step-by-step instructions to install in a Linux system
PrivadoVPN is an excellent free VPN for Linux because of its fast speeds and ability to unblock streaming sites. It unblocks streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. Its unblocking capabilities are mostly attributed to the fact that PrivadoVPN owns and operates its own servers.
PrivadoVPN offers a 10 GB monthly data limit and you won’t be required to upgrade to a premium account if the data limit works for you. The free version gives you access to 9 servers in 12 different locations, which is excellent for a free edition. You may unblock a multitude of online services, including streaming, online shopping, and live sports, thanks to the huge network of servers and its unique unblocking capabilities.
Regarding privacy, the VPN is based in Switzerland, meaning it can’t be compelled to hand over your data to authorities. Furthermore, it maintains a strict zero-logs policy and firmly believes in not storing any user data. It offers strong DNS leaks protection and a kill switch to protect your data for when your connection terminates.
5. Hide.me: Lightweight and Powerful
Features at a glance:
- Multi-distro support: Supports all Debian-, Ubuntu-, Fedora- based distros
- Diverse protocols: OpenVPN, IPsec (IKEv1 and IKEv2), SoftEther, SSTP, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec
- Lightweight: Easy to install, flexible, and powerful
- Linux support: Step-by-step instructions on how to install on Linux
Hide.me supports a wide range of Linux distros due to the CLI app being written in Golang (a cross-platform programming language). Hide.me can thus be installed in any Debian-, Ubuntu-, or Fedora-based distribution. The VPN provides 24/7 customer care for its free users, and they are quite responsive, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you have any issues.
The Hide.me CLI Linux app is open-source and accessible on GitHub, where users can scrutinize it and contribute to its development. It provides a monthly data limit of 10 GB and access to five server locations (Canada, Germany, Netherlands, US East, and US West). Note that you’ll need an email to register for an account.
The VPN is both lightweight and powerful, with adequate download and streaming rates. Its servers support torrent downloads and provide an array of modern security protocols to choose from.
It boasts cutting-edge AES-256 encryption to safeguard your data while online. It also has a kill switch to prevent any data exposure when your connection terminates. Unfortunately, Hide.me’s free edition does not have Wireguard, which improves performance and security.
Hide.me focuses on satisfying users instead of shareholders because it’s autonomous and not owned by any large corporation. The VPN does not store any user data mainly because it’s based in Malaysia, which is a pro-privacy country. This has enabled the VPN to design its systems with a strict no-logs policy. Hide.me is further appealing because it is a member of the VPN Trust Initiative (VTI) and has been independently inspected to guarantee its zero-logs policy.
Free VPNs Linux Users Should Avoid
In the list above, we took the time to thoroughly test the best free Linux VPNs that are safe and have your best interests at heart. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t always the case with free VPNs. You see, it’s difficult for a VPN to be entirely free because running the service requires substantial resources and skilled manpower.
In the case of the free Linux VPNs on our list, the VPNs are only free because premium users pay for the service. This enables the VPN providers to accommodate free users, but only on a limited basis.
Some free VPNs Linux users should avoid are:
- Private Internet Access (PIA): Until recently, PIA was one of the best VPNs for Linux hands down. Why? It offers a full app and GUI for Linux, open-source and transparent, multiple distro support, and much more. However, its servers are being blocked across the board, leaving users experiencing a terrible browsing experience. Technically, this VPN isn’t a free option, either, although it does offer a free VPN trial.
- SecurityKISS: Despite SecurityKISS being a somewhat popular VPN, we highly caution our readers against it. The VPN has a poor anti-logging policy and uses outdated protocols. For example, it implements the PPTP protocol, which is known to be insecure.
- VPNBook: VPNBook has a terrible logging policy that we would advise our readers not to use. It logs your IP address and timestamps, which can be used to track your online activities. Its speeds are quite slow, too, which would make for an unpleasant browsing experience.
With that said, you should be cautious using VPNs that claim they are entirely free. In most cases, you’re paying for the service in other ways you may not be aware of.
How We Picked the Best Free VPNs for Linux
We rigorously tested every VPN on the list to present to you the best free Linux VPNs. Below are the specific KPIs we used to compile the list.
- Truly free: We focused on truly free VPNs that are also safe and secure. The VPNs on the list above do not require any credit card information. Even better, at no point will you be compelled to upgrade to the premium version if you are comfortable with the features and monthly data limits in the free plan.
- Linux support: Linux is known to be not well-supported by VPNs. In our list, we covered providers that strongly support Linux by offering: a user-friendly CLI or Linux GUI, easy installation, Linux documentation, and Linux-focused privacy and security features.
- Strict no-logs policy: A strict no-logging policy was a top priority the free VPNs had to meet to make it to this list. The providers listed here besides TunnelBear are based in privacy-friendly countries. None of the VPNs on the list log any information about you.
- Speeds: Being tech-savvy, Linux users dislike slow speeds. We took the liberty to test each VPN and ensure it had high and consistent speeds on all or most servers. Although, note that you will have limited usage due to most free Linux VPNs having data caps.
- Security features: We aimed for providers with top-notch security features. Besides OpenVPN, we looked for protocols such as IKEv2/IPSec and features such as a kill switch, and leak protection to prevent DNS, WebRTC, or IPv6 leaks.
All VPNs on the list were thoroughly tested on these five premises. Learn more about our VPN testing criteria.
Disadvantages of Using a Free VPN for Linux
A free VPN is capable of providing all the benefits listed in the previous section — but they still fall short. Let’s look at how a free VPN for Linux limits you from having modern, top-of-the-line online security and privacy:
- Limited amount of server options
- Data caps that restrict usage
- Advanced security features reserved for premium accounts
- Slow speeds due to premium users getting priority
Free VPNs are quite limiting, especially for the majority of Linux users who are savvy and firm about online security and privacy. That’s why we recommend a good premium VPN geared for Linux.
NordVPN: The Best VPN for Linux
NordVPN is, by far, the best VPN for Linux that we’ve tested. We say this because it has impeccable Linux support. You can install the VPN in just four easy steps. It supports a wide range of Debian- or RHEL-based systems, such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, and CentOS.
NordVPN is based in Panama, keeping it out of the 5 Eyes Alliance, making it excellent for privacy. It has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries, providing you with ample options for bypassing geo-restrictions and censorship. Most Linux users will appreciate that Nord has dedicated servers for P2P traffic, which ensures fast and ultra-secure download speeds for your torrents.
NordLynx is NordVPN’s proprietary version of Wireguard, enabling lightning-fast speeds coupled with rock-solid security for your connection. The VPN goes above and beyond to implement some of the best security protocols we have today: OpenVPN, TCP/UDP, and IKEv2/IPsec. The only downside is that NordVPN does not have a GUI app for Linux (for those who prefer that over CLI). On the other hand, its CLI is easy and straightforward to use.