The Best VPN for Linux

A good VPN can add an extra layer of security while running Linux that allows you to hide your IP address 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, Tekcompare is here to help you find the best VPN for Linux, so you can add an extra layer of protection to help you stay safe and secure when online. 

The problem is Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Mint, Zorin, Elementary, Fedora and other Linux distros often get a 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 Linux VPN clients that offer not only native applications but also provide fast speeds and exceptional security features.

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. Since it’s so important to review and compare software before making a final decision, here are the most important 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 the 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 tunneling 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 so far as barring torrenting altogether. Any VPN that restricts your traffic isn’t worth your time.
  • Privacy policy: Does the provider keep activity and connection logs? If so, your browsing behavior is ultimately traceable back to you. Look for a Linux 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 back up and running in no time.

 

Read on to find the best VPNs for Linux Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, and more.

1. NordVPN: Top VPN for Linux

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A standout on other platforms, NordVPN does exceptionally well on Linux. NordVPN offers excellent speeds and is great for streaming and torrenting. Users will 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. Linux users will find it easy to access foreign Netflix libraries or view location-specific services like BBC iPlayer.

Privacy & Security

The Panama-based NordVPN has a true zero logging policy and does not maintain 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.

NordVPN offers a no-strings-attached 7-day free trial, and all of their pricing plans are backed by a strict 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros and Cons of NordVPN for Linux

  • Excellent speeds

  • Military-grade encryption

  • Strict no logs policy

  • P2P file sharing

  • Simple setup

  • No GUI for Linux users.

2. ExpressVPN: Fastest Linux VPN

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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 streaming services 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 tunneling 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 tunneling 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 a command-line interface, which is not the most consumer-friendly for non-technical users. However, the provider does offer detailed tutorials. Once setup is complete, users will still receive full suite of VPN features. Supported Linux 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 manually by establishing a Linux OpenVPN connection via Terminal. Manual configuration files are available on the ExpressVPN website.

Pricing

If you’re looking for a free VPN service for Linux, ExpressVPN likely won’t be your first choice since it’s one of the more expensive VPN options. 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.

Pros and Cons of ExpressVPN for Linux

 

  • Ultra-fast speeds

  • Excellent security features

  • Strict no-logs policy

  • P2P file sharing

  • Reliable customer service

  • No graphical client

  • Difficult set-up for average consumers

3. TorGuard: Easy to Use VPN for Linux

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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 software 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 at 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 per month. 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 each month. Many consumers first research VPNs as a means to bypass geo-restrictions for streaming services. Unfortunately, streaming with TorGuard will cost extra, with the monthly prices starting at $21.98. If streaming capabilities are your top priority, consider cutting costs by paying annually, which averages out to just over $10 per month.

Pros and Cons of TorGuard for Linux

  • Reliable connections

  • Linux VPN client GUI

  • No logging policy

  • Powerful encryption

  • Extra charge for streaming services

4. Private Internet Access: Most Affordable Linux VPN

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Private Internet Access does an excellent job bringing an easy to use VPN to the Linux platform. This Linux VPN software offers fast and secure connections and has a native client for all the major Linux distributions. PIA has over 3,335 VPN and Proxy servers in 33 countries around the world. They offer excellent protection and only use 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 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 yearly plan that comes out to $3.33 per month. The only drawback to their pricing is their 7-day money-back guarantee, a time span well below industry standards.

Pros and Cons of PIA for Linux

  • Fast connections

  • Graphical user interface app

  • 256-bit AES encryption

  • Zero logs policy

  • Budget-friendly

  • Limited 7-day money-back guarantee

5. IPVanish: VPN for Linux Ubuntu

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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 1,200 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 any 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 any help getting started.

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 7-day money back guarantee.

Pros and Cons of IPVanish for Linux

  • Excellent speed

  • 256-bit AES encryption

  • Zero logging

  • Simple Ubuntu client

  • Allows up to 10 connections

  • Short 7-day money-back guarantee

  • Works only with Ubuntu

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 be able to monitor your online activities regardless of the Linux distro you are using.

We tested all VPNs for Linux, 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.

Read Next: A complete guide to the best all-around VPN providers in 2019.

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