The Best VPN for Linux – a much-needed tool to boost your penguin privacy!
Have you ever felt the spooky feeling of someone peaking over your virtual shoulder while you browse the internet? Don’t freak out, but your gut is right: Your ISP is tracking your every digital move, including the ones that brought you to this blog.
VPNs were originally used as a means to establish a secure network for off-site employees. That’s also the reason why the demand for Linux VPNs has surged over the years.
As a whole, Linux users tend to be more worried about their privacy and security than other OS users. Obviously, all the big guys with immense responsibilities use this OS.
While Linux-based operating systems do offer protection against malware and viruses, that security is only limited to your system. As soon as your data leaves the boundaries of your device (like when you browse the internet), there’s no way you can protect it unless you use a reliable VPN for Linux.
Besides providing a secure network to off-site employees, a good Linux VPN can also be used for numerous other benefits such as anonymous browsing, bypassing geo-restrictions, and much more.
Since a VPN routes your traffic through an encrypted tunnel, it ensures that your web traffic can not be trackable by an intermediary, whether it’s your ISP or any government entity. What makes Linux VPN more useful is its ability to ensure a secure connection, especially when you’re using an unsafe and unreliable network like Wi-Fi in a coffee shop or hotel.
VPNs also allow users to circumvent geo-blocks implemented on various streaming services. For example, with Linux VPN, you can stream all the hidden titles available in the American Netflix library from Canada.
If you’re looking for the best VPN for Linux, here’s our guide! After testing 10+ VPN providers, we’ve shortlisted the best ones that work with your penguin OS.
The Best VPN for Linux – Quick Overview
Here’s our pick of the best VPN for Linux:
What makes the Best Linux VPN?
While many personal VPNs focus on ease of use, Linux users tend to tinker a bit when it comes to software. They want to personalize everything themselves and already know a lot about how their system works. This fact alone makes it harder to find a VPN for Linux users that could cater to all of their needs as compared to the best VPNs for macOS or Android VPNs. While shortlisting the services, we considered the following criteria:
- Security: All the tech complicities, including modern tunneling protocols, encryption standards, complex encryption ciphers, are all important for the best Linux VPN.
- Privacy: Another most important factor is privacy. A good Linux VPN should be IP & DNS leak protected. It should also have a kill switch to protect your data during temporary VPN connection drops. Moreover, it should have a strict no-logs policy, warrant canaries, a privacy-friendly business location, and should be independently audited.
- Compatibility with Linux: Of course, a good Linux VPN should have a dedicated Linux client with simplified GUI and intuitive commands.
- Performance: Fast VPN connection, strong unblocking powers, and an extensive server network also make for the best Linux VPN.
- Customer Support: All our shortlisted VPNs offer 24/7 live support in the form of email, chat, calls, and more. Their representative can solve your queries and provide sufficient assistance round the clock.
- Price: Last but not the least, Price! You shouldn’t be paying a lot for features that are not even functional on your Linux device. The best Linux VPN should provide the most value on your chosen platform. Most importantly, they should be backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Best VPNs for Linux – Full Analysis
We have tested several VPN providers and shortlisted the 3 best VPNs for Linux users in Canada. Let’s dig into their details.
1. ExpressVPN – The Best Linux VPN for Privacy
ExpressVPN is our top-recommended VPN for Linux – thanks to its outstanding speed, quality, performance, and unmatched unblocking capabilities. It excels at every department, be it torrenting, streaming, or gaming.
ExpressVPN for Linux has a network of 3000+ servers in 90+ countries, allowing users to access geo-restricted sites from around the globe. Its sheer ability to bypass geo-restricted streaming sites makes it one of the best VPNs for streaming. Whether you want to get American Netflix in Canada or stream geo-restricted Hulu titles from Canada, ExpressVPN will bypass any geo-restrictions for you. I streamed the entire season of Peaky Blinders on my Linux device with ExpressVPN; believe me, there wasn’t a single time I encountered a buffering or lagging issue.
ExpressVPN is compatible with Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, and CentOS and provides a command-line interface for these distros. In addition, you cal also use it on other devices like Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Smart TVs, routers, and more.
The utmost concern for Linux users is security. Thankfully, ExpressVPN uses military-grade AES-256-Bit encryption, Private DNS, RAM volatile servers, and a trusted server network.
In our speed test, it recorded a downloading speed of 89.38 Mbps and 84.66 Mbps of uploading speed on a 100 Mbps connection.
ExpressVPN lets you use five simultaneous connections on a single subscription account worth CA$ 9.03/mo (US$ 6.67/mo)- Black Friday Deal: Grab 3 Free Months + 49% OFF 12-Month Plan. The package is supported by a 30-day refund policy. This allows you to test the service for an entire month and claim a refund if something ruffles your feather.
2. Surfshark – the Affordable VPN for Linux
We’ll award the second spot to Surfshark, which will definitely appeal to a regular Linux user with its longer plans costing only around $2.20/month. That said, even as an affordable VPN, the service has no lack of features and performs as outstanding as our top recommended VPN. In fact, it is considered the best ubuntu VPN client in the industry.
It has 3200+ servers spread across 65 countries, along with a command-line interface VPN configuration for Debian, Arch, Mint, Ubuntu, and more.
Surfshark has a CLI-based utility for Linux devices that allows users to connect to multiple devices simultaneously – the service is compatible with macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, smartphone, and even your Smart TV. Linux users can also benefit from its CleanWeb feature to prevent malware and ads and can also use the VPN is obfuscation mode, making your VPN-encrypted traffic look like regular browsing traffic.
Surfshark delivered 85.49 of downloading speed and 44.42 of uploading speed on a 100Mbps connection for the VPN speed test. We also checked Surfshark for IP/DNS leaks and found it leaked proof.
The fascinating thing about Surfshark is that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections. A single subscription can cover an entire household or office. What’s more, Surfshark also offers WireGUard, the latest and most advanced VPN protocol that will soon be available for Linux. This protocol will get Linux users higher speed and more security.
Surfshark is available for CA$ 2.69/mo (US$ 1.99/mo) - 86% off VPN deal on 2 year plan with 3 months free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. NordVPN – Secure and Reliable VPN for Linux
NordVPN has earned our third spot because of its extensive network of 5500+ servers globally. It’s one of the most well-known VPN providers out there sits highly on our Linux VPN recommendations.
Its Double VPN feature routes your traffic through two different VPN servers, encrypting your data twice for extra security. Linux users also connect through obfuscated servers, making your VPN-encrypted traffic look like regular internet traffic, so nobody can detect you’re using a VPN.
NordVPN’s Linux clients have built-in support for Ubuntu, Debian, Raspberry Pi, Elementary OS, and Linux Mint. Moreover, it has a command-line Linux app containing some advanced security features, including CyberSec, automatic reconnection, and an internet kill switch.
Our speed result showed NordVPN delivering 86.48 Mbps download speed, and 52.42 Mbps upload speed on a 100 Mbps connection. Its fast and stable connection facilitates smooth streaming in 4K video quality.
Linux users can also connect up to six simultaneous connections on a single subscription account worth CA$ 4.45/mo (US$ 3.29/mo) - 2 years with 60% off + Threat Protection for free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
How to install a VPN on Linux
There are multiple ways to install and set up a VPN on Linux. The installation process mainly depends on the kind of distribution you’re using. It also determines which package you have to install, such as Debian, tar.zst, or RPM. The general criteria of installing a VPN on Linux is:
After completing each process, you can open the app and use the terminal or GUI to connect any of your preferred servers.
Setting up Linux PPTP VPN
If you have an existing Command-line working on your system, it will take you less than five minutes to set up a VPN and get going. Here’s how you can do it:
Setting up OpenVPN on Linux
If you want to set up OpenVPN on Linux, here’s what you need to do:
The best VPN for different Linux platforms
Wondering which Linux VPN client will best suit your Linux distros? Here’s what we’ve found:
Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distros – thanks to its accessibility and abundance of software. Most of the VPNs have support for Ubuntu OS. We found ExpressVPN as the best VPN for Linux and ubuntu because it is easier to set up and has a great command-line interface.
Moreover, it delivers fast speeds during streaming with access to 3000+ servers in 94 countries. It also offers a kill switch, military-grade encryption, and DNS leak protection.
If you’re using Arch Linux OS, we strongly recommend ExpressVPN. The reasons are the same: it has the best Linux apps, fast speeds, an easy installation process, and bypasses almost all geo-restrictions. It has an intuitive native client for security and privacy purposes.
Mint OS users should go for the Surfshark. Surfshark Linux client has a GUI-based application that makes it super easy to connect, explore servers and tweak the application settings when required.
For those who’re using Kali OS, you can go for NordVPN, as it is the best free VPN for Kali Linux.
You can download the NordVPN Linux command-line within seconds and optimize the connection however you want. It also lets you access 5500+ servers in 90 countries, all of which are optimized for torrenting, gaming and streaming.
Why do I need a VPN for Linux?
The most important reason you need the best VPN for Linux is security and privacy. While Linux is inherently more secure than other operating systems, several extra benefits are associated with using a VPN service. It serves as a secure means to allow the off-site employees to into corporate networks remotely over an insecure network connection.
Besides providing a secure network for off-site employees, the best VPN for Linux has numerous other benefits such as bypassing geo-restrictions, preventing ISP throttling, warding off online snoopers, and unlocking different regional content libraries.
Since the VPN routes all your web traffic through an encrypted channel, it also ensures that your data will remain protected and untraceable by any intermediary. This makes the Linux VPN essentially useful for browsing the internet over unsafe, unreliable networks like public Wi-Fi in hotels and coffee shops.
To make it more concise, here’s why you need a VPN for Linux:
- For securely accessing corporate network and files remotely.
- Bypassing geo-restricted websites and content on streaming services.
- For encrypting web traffic.
- For anonymity and privacy.
- For preventing your ISP and other government entity from snooping around your activities.
- For browsing the internet freely!
Which Free VPN is best for Linux?
First of all, we don’t recommend free VPN services. I know it’s alluring to have free services for some time, but the risks of using them far outweigh the merits of saving some bucks a month.
For starters, these free services are slower than premium VPNs. They usually come with data caps, so you can hardly stream a video for not more than 10 minutes. The worst part is you might not even be able to enjoy a great browsing experience since most of their servers are overcrowded. And if you happen to be a binge-watcher, proxy errors with these services are a common occurrence.
Another major alarming concern about free VPNs is their lack of privacy. Some Best Free VPN for Linux is even caught logging users’ data and making a profit from them by selling to third parties. So, in short, logging and selling your private data is one of the most common ploys.
If you’re running out of budget and need a Linux VPN, we recommend going for Surfshark. The provider offers top-notch VPN services at reasonable rates. There’s no bandwidth cap or device limitations; you can use as much data as possible and connect as many devices as you desire on a single subscription worth $2.49/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
VPNs to avoid with Linux
Here’s the list of VPNs you should avoid using with Linux:
- TunnelBear – The service doesn’t have a client for Linux OS. It comes with a data cap, and you will have to employ a manual configuration to set it up.
- VyprVPN – the provider only supports Linux Mint and Ubuntu. There’s no official support available for Debian OS, but you might set it up manually.
- ProtonVPN – It has a Linux client with a simplified GUI, but its privacy policies are a bit dubious.
FAQs: Best Linux VPN
Which is the best VPN for Linux?
If you’re a frequent VPN user, you will be able to enjoy the quality and stability of the connections offered by ExpressVPN. It has a kill switch that prevents your data from getting exposed during a temporary connection outage. Apart from its app for your installation, the service also has extensions for the best browser for Linux such as Firefox and Chrome. Its Linux client will automatically connect you to the nearest server, but you can also manually select a server of your choice. The subscription is available for $6.67/month that comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Does Linux have a built-in VPN?
What Linux distro is the most secure?
How to make a VPN kill switch in Linux?
- Create a startvpn.sh script to place firewall rules. By doing so, it will only allow traffic through the VPN tun0 network interface. Here’s the script you can make accordingly:
- $ cat startvpn.sh
- sudo ufw default deny outgoing
- sudo ufw default deny incoming
- sudo ufw allow out on tun0 from any to any
- sudo ufw allow out from any to 184.108.40.206 # <– note this is the IP from the “remote” field of your configuration file
- sudo ufw enable
- sudo ufw status
- sudo openvpn client.conf &
This script will prevent your web traffic from passing through any other network interface. So, when your VPN connection drops, it will automatically terminate the tun0 interface. As a result, no network interface will be left to pass internet traffic. Thus, your internet activity will come to a complete halt.
How to connect a VPN using Linux Network Manager?
- Click on the Network button.
- Click on VPN off and select VPN settings from the drop-down menu.
- Press the + icon besides VPN.
- Import your configuration file or select the protocol you want to configure.
- Enter the details and click Add.
- You will see a VPN connection in the configuration window. Toggle on the slider to turn it green, and it will be activated.
Why is my Linux VPN not connecting?
- Check your network settings. See if your connection is stable and running.
- Switch to a different server.
- Ensure that the right ports are opened.
- Disable the firewall
- Reinstall your VPN software.
Conclusion: What is the best Linux VPN?
While Linux deems to be more secure than other operating systems, the internet exposes all OS users to risks equally. This is where the use of a good Linux VPN comes into play.
After testing numerous providers, if we had to pick one outright, we’d gladly go with ExpressVPN. It is the most reliable and best Linux VPN we’ve ever tested. Sure, at first glance, it looks a bit more expensive than its peers, but the cost comes down when you opt for a longer duration. But considering all of its perks, it’s worth every penny!