A VPN aka Virtual Private Network can protect your privacy online by keeping you anonymous on the internet. The way a VPN works is by routing your network to a different private network and server present somewhere across the globe, thereby protecting your online activity from trackers and phishing websites. If you are on Linux, you’re already a privacy-conscious user and you would want to use a VPN. In this guide, let’s look at the 5 best VPNs for Linux.
NordVPN has been one of our personal favorites when it comes to the best VPNs for Linux. While it’s not free, it’s affordable at effectively $4.5 per month if you opt for a two-year plan. With over 5,000 servers around the globe and in popular locations such as America, Europe, and Asia, NordVPN is also one of the most expansive VPNs on this list.
While the Windows client of NordVPN is easier to use, the Linux version isn’t bad either. It doesn’t come with a front end; so everything needs to be done in the Terminal, which is a bummer. However, the process of setting up the VPN is pretty intuitive if you have even the slightest bit of experience using the terminal. You won’t have much trouble starting a VPN connection.
I regularly use NordVPN for streaming and downloading content and it’s fast; faster than most VPNs out there. Overall, NordVPN is one of the best VPN services you can get, hands down.
Pros Cons Over 5000 servers across the globe No proper Linux client Great upload and download speeds Decent pricing Multi-platform: Available on all platforms
Check out NordVPN
2. Proton VPN
The Proton suite is quite popular among Linux enthusiasts and Proton VPN is arguably the most popular app in the suite besides Proton Mail. ProtonVPN is generally free to use but the free version is limited to just three countries, and you don’t get many features. Proton does offer a subscription to use its VPN service and a 2-year plan costs $5 per month effectively, which is good. But! by paying $3 more, you could get subscribed to Proton Unlimited, which gives you access to Proton VPN, Proton Mail, Calendar, and Drive with 500GB storage.
ProtonVPN has over 3,000 servers across 60 countries around the globe. The speeds that we experienced in the free version in the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands were only second to NordVPN. Yes, the free version offers three free server locations, although, the speeds might depend on how full the server is. The paid version offers an Ad-blocker, Tor over VPN, doesn’t log data, Router support, Split tunneling, etc.
Pros Cons Over 3000 servers across the globe None Great upload and download speeds Tor over VPN and router support Multi-platform: Available on all platforms Great Linux client Free version is great
Check out ProtonVPN
Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPN service providers out there. With its presence in 100+ countries and with 3,200+ servers, it’s also one of the widest and most comprehensive VPN providers you can get on Linux. Surfshark offers a money-back guarantee, access to the VPN on unlimited devices, doesn’t log your data, and comes with a few other perks in the app that help you stay protected against attacks.
At $2.49 per month for a 2-year plan, Surfshark has to be one of the cheapest VPN services you can subscribe to right now. The VPN also helps block ads and also brings 2FA to the table. However, its client is only available on Debian and Ubuntu-based Linux distros. If you’re running Fedora like us, you would need to use OpenVPN and Surfshark’s one-time credentials to connect to a server, and it might not be an easy process if you’re a beginner. The good news is, Surfshark has a guide for Linux users for the same that you can follow on their website.
|Over 3000 servers across the globe||Linux client is only available on Ubuntu and Debian|
|Great upload and download speeds||Not ideal to use with streaming services|
|One of the most affordable VPNs out there||Bad customer support according to the internet|
|Multi-platform||No free version|
Check out Surfshark
4. Private Internet Access
The fourth contender on this list was supposed to be ExpressVPN, but we listed PIA first because it provides users with a good front-end app on Linux, something that so far only Proton VPN does best. At $2.11 per month, PIA is one of the cheapest VPN services on Linux out there, and first-time users get 3 months free on top. PIA claims it has servers in over 84 countries, follows a strict no-logs policy, and provides unlimited bandwidth with good speeds.
PIA also offers unlimited device connections and split tunneling and is available on multiple platforms. Besides, it blocks Ads, Trackers, and Malware, and has Secure Protocols, Kill Switch, Multi-hop, and DNS leak protection. The Linux client with a .run extension can be downloaded and installed in the terminal and works without any issues. Overall, PIA is one of the best VPN services that you can use on Linux.
Pros Cons Servers in over 84 countries. Speeds and latency could be better Great upload and download speeds No free version One of the most affordable VPNs out there Dated UI Multi-platform No-log policy Decent Linux client
Check out Private Internet Access
One of the oldest VPNs on this list; Express is a paid VPN subscription service that offers lots of features for a price that’s significantly higher than its competitors. Leaving aside the same for now, it offers all the features you would expect from a premium VPN service such as a no-log policy, servers in over 90 countries, fast speeds for browsing and streaming, etc. It especially markets itself as a streaming, social media, and gaming VPN.
Besides that, it’s multi-platform and is available on Linux but only via the terminal. Yes, there’s no native ExpressVPN GUI client for Linux and that’s where it loses points. When you’re paying effectively $9 per month for a 1-year plan, you kind of expect a native client but that’s not the case here. Although, you could use its browser extensions on Firefox and Chrome. ExpressVPN is a good VPN service but we would have recommended it more if the price were a bit affordable.
Pros Cons Servers in over 90 countries. Expensive Great upload and download speeds; Great VPN for Streaming, Gaming. No free version Multi-platform No GUI Linux client No-log policy
Check out ExpressVPN