Find the Best VPN that actually work with Linux

A good VPN can add an extra layer of security on your Linux while allowing you to hide your IP and bypass geo-restrictions.

Linux is an excellent option for privacy-minded users in general due to its high tech security system. However, despite Linux being one of the safest and most secure operating systems, it’s still open to internet security and privacy issues. Fortunately, with the right VPN you can add an extra layer of protection and stay safe and secure when online.

The problem is Ubuntu, openSUSE, Mint, Zorin, Elementary, Fedora and other Linux distros often get the raw deal when it comes to VPN services. Many providers will have open-source clients for Linux but only a few offer native applications. Unlike open-source clients, native apps come with more features and require less configuration.

In this guide, we’ve created a list of the best VPN providers that offer not only native Linux clients but also provide fast speeds and exceptional security features.

1. NordVPN

Buy here

A standout on the other platforms, NordVPN does exceptionally well on Linux. NordVPN has excellent speeds and is great for streaming and torrenting. You’ll be impressed by the VPN’s SmartPlay technology which automatically bypasses geo-blocks allowing you to access any site with a single click.

NordVPN has over 5400 servers in 61 countries across the world. The extensive server coverage makes NordVPN a perfect choice for bypassing censorship and geo-restrictions. Accessing foreign Netflix version is not an issue, nor is viewing BBC iPlayer from outside the UK.

Privacy & Security

The Panama-based NordVPN has a true zero logging policy and does not any connection or activity logs. The VPN is equipped with military-grade encryptions and in the event your VPN connection drops, a Kill Switch will automatically terminate your internet access and safeguard your data.

Additional security features include Tor over VPN, DNS leak protection, and Double VPN which routes your traffic through an extra VPN server. NordVPN also has a CyberSec feature that guards against malware and other online threats.

Linux Compatibility

NordVPN has a fantastic custom application for Linux. And although the app lacks a graphical user interface, it’s still easy to use thanks to an autocomplete widget that provides you with suggestions while you type commands. If you run into any challenges, know that NordVPN has excellent customer support and you can reach them via email and live chat.

Pricing

NordVPN is moderately affordable. Currently, they are offering an incredible 75% discount on their 3-year plan which is available at $2.99 per month. However, at $11.95, their month-to-month subscription is a bit expensive. Other subscription options include a yearly plan at $6.99 per month and a 2-year plan at $3.99 per month.

The VPN provider has a no-strings-attached 7-day free trial, and their pricing plans are backed by a strict 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Excellent speeds

  • Military-grade encryption

  • Strict no logs policy

  • P2P file sharing

  • Simple setup

  • No GUI for Linux users.

2. ExpressVPN

Buy here

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that ExpressVPN makes this list. The quality on offer sets the VPN apart. The provider offers ultra-fast speeds, and the VPN’s robust security features are a huge draw. ExpressVPN has a massive server network and reliably unblocks geo-restricted sites including service like Netflix, iPlayer, and Hulu.

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction. No connection or activity logs are kept, and your anonymity is fully protected.   

Privacy & Security

The VPN service provider has a wide range of tunnelling protocols including PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and OpenVPN with TCP/UDP. However, Linux users only get to use the more secure OpenVPN with 256-bit AES encryption. Some of the other features include DNS/IPv6 leak protection and an internet kill switch.    

ExpressVPN’s unique feature is split tunnelling which lets you select which traffic will pass through the VPN and which traffic will not use the VPN.

Linux Compatibility

ExpressVPN has a Linux client that uses the command-line interface. The custom client may not have the sleekest interface but does provide the full suite of VPN features. Supported distros include Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS. The provider has tutorials available to help you get started quickly.

In addition to the native client, you can also manually set up the VPN by establishing a Linux OpenVPN connection via Terminal. Customer support. Manual configuration files are available on the ExpressVPN website.

Pricing

ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive VPN. Their monthly subscription is available at $12.95 per month, but their 6-month and yearly pricing plans bring the cost down. All ExpressVPN subscriptions are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can run up to 3 simultaneous connections on a single account.

  • Ultra-fast speeds

  • Excellent security features

  • Strict no-logs policy

  • P2P file sharing

  • Reliable customer service

  • No graphical client

3. TorGuard

Buy here

TorGuard is an amazing VPN for Linux. The VPN offers a massive network of over 3000 VPN servers in 50-plus countries across the globe. The servers are optimised for high-speed connections and boast a 99% guaranteed uptime. TorGuard delivers a dominant performance on Linux and has user-friendly native clients making a popular choice for beginners and seasoned Linux users alike.

Privacy & Security

When it comes to security, TorGuard ranks among the very best. TorGuard clients are pre-configured to protect your data with 256-bit AES encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, WebRTC leak blocking, and automatic kill switch. The VPN offers multiple protocol support and some of its other security, and privacy features include Perfect Forward Secrecy, OpenVPN obfuscation, and malware blocking. TorGuard doesn’t keep any traffic logs on its VPN network.

Linux Compatibility

TorGuard provides a simple native VPN client for Linux. The app features a graphical user interface for a refreshingly easy experience. Supported distros include Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, and Arch. Users get a nifty guide on how to use the Linux client, and TorGuard’s customer support is always on hand to help with any issues.

Pricing

TorGuard offers a great 7-day free trial after which you can subscribe to a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annual or biennial plan. The monthly plan may seem costly at $9.99, but pay annually, and the cost comes down to $4.99. With the biennial plan, you can get an even lower price. A single TorGuard subscription supports 5 simultaneous connections, and you can add more devices at $1.00 per device per month.

  • Reliable connections

  • Dedicated GUI

  • No logging policy

  • Powerful encryption

  • Extra charge for streaming services

4. PIA

Buy here

Private Internet Access does an excellent job bringing an easy to use VPN to the Linux platform. This Linux VPN offers fast and secure connections and has a native client for all the major Linux distributions. PIA has over 3335 VPN and Proxy servers in 33 countries around the world. They offer excellent protection and only uses bare-metal servers in their network.

Privacy & Security

PIA uses the secure OpenVPN standard and allows users to choose the level of encryption that suits their speed and security needs. For the security minded users, strong AES-256 encryption is available as well as a ton of other security features including a kill switch and DNS/IPv6 leak protection. The US-based VPN provider does not keep connection or activity logs on their server network meaning no data trail is left behind.

Linux Compatibility

You want a Linux client that is simple to set up and use, and that’s what Private Internet Access offers. PIA Linux client features a user-friendly graphical user interface, and there are native clients for Ubuntu and Mint. The VPN service provider also offers app setups and OpenVPN setups for Debian, and Arch Linux. Fedora, RoboLinux, and Linux Mate.

Pricing

Private Internet Access is highly affordable and an excellent choice for budget-conscious users. The VPN’s best value option is the 2-year plan which is currently priced at $2.91 per month. Other pricing plans include a $6.95 monthly subscription and a $3.33/month yearly plan. The only drawback on the pricing front is their 7-day money-back guarantee which is way below the industry standard.

  • Fast connections

  • Graphical user interface app

  • 256-bit AES encryption

  • Zero logs policy

  • Limited 7-day money-back guarantee

5. IPVanish

Buy here

IPVanish is one of the most popular VPNs for Linux users, and deservedly so. The VPN service comes with a simple, intuitive client for Linux and has a good server network with over 1200 servers spread across 60-plus countries. They own and operate all their servers, and you don’t have to worry about your privacy being compromised by a third-party contractor. The VPN is fast and works reliably with Netflix. 

Privacy & Security

IPVanish maintains a strict zero logging policy and does not retain traffic and user records. The powerful 256-bit AES encryption protects all connections. On top of that, there is watertight DNS leak protection. However, their Linux client lacks an automatic kill switch which is a major drawback.

Linux Compatibility

IPVanish Linux software offers compatibility for Ubuntu only. However, there are manual PPTP and OpenVPN setups for Fedora, Kari Linux, and Linux Mint. The VPN is easy to set up, and IPVanish has friendly customer support in case you need help with the setup.

Pricing

IPVanish is reasonably priced. Although it’s not the most affordable option on the list, the VPN does come with some great features. The VPN supports an incredible 10 simultaneous connections allowing you to cover all your devices with a single subscription. Pricing plans include a $10 monthly subscription, an $8.99 3-month plan, and a $6.49 annual plan. All subscriptions are covered by a 30-day money back guarantee.

  • Excellent speed

  • 256-bit AES encryption

  • Zero logging

  • Simple Ubuntu client

  • Short 7-day money-back guarantee

How to choose the best VPN for Linux

Selecting the right VPN for Linux can be a daunting task. You want to pick a service that ticks all the right boxes at the right price. Below are some of the factors you should consider when choosing a VPN service provider for your Linux distribution.

  • Linux support: Not every VPN service provider offers a native application for Linux. You should opt for a VPN that supports Linux and has custom apps for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and other Linux distros. A simple easy-to-use app is a huge plus.
  • Server network: A high number of servers will give you a better chance of bypassing geo-restrictions. The best VPN service providers support unlimited server switches and allow you to swap locations with a single press of a button. If you want to unblock BBC iPlayer and US Netflix, make sure the VPN has servers in the UK and US respectively.
  • Speed: Even if a VPN has a vast server network, slow speeds can be a deal breaker. Because VPNs work by encrypting your traffic and tunnelling it through a VPN server, expect your connection to slow down. However, with a top VPN, the change in speed is subtle.
  • Traffic limitations: Some VPN service providers impose bandwidth limitations on P2P networks and torrents. Others even go as far as torrenting altogether. Any VPN that restricts the type of traffic you can send isn’t worth your time.
  • Privacy policy: Does the provider keep activity and connection logs? If so, your browsing behaviour is ultimately traceable back to you. Look for a VPN that has a strict no logging policy, operates in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, and accepts anonymous payment methods.
  • Customer support: Should you run into any technical challenges, a reliable 24/7 customer support can help you get things up and running in no time.

 

Wrap up

Even though Linux is generally a secure platform, it’s still wise to run a VPN when connecting to the internet. Without a VPN, your ISP will still be able to monitor your online activities regardless of the Linux distro you are using.

We tested all of the above VPNs, and each has earned its place on the list. The providers offer excellent speeds, robust encryption, and fully featured Linux clients. The VPNs also reliably unblock geo-restricted sites and do not impose speed, bandwidth or traffic restrictions.

Popular articles