Reading Time: 9 minutes

Best-vpn-for-Linux

Linux is a free operating system that allows you to customize your experience. And thanks to its open-source nature, it’s the first choice of all privacy-conscious users. However, various individuals also use VPN services on their Linux devices to boost privacy.

But here comes the real issue. Finding the best Linux VPN has always been a problem since the OS has never been a priority for VPN providers. This makes choosing the right VPN for Linux tougher than for other operating systems.

But don’t worry! We have come up with an awesome list of the best VPNs for Linux that guarantee straightforward configuration for your Linux device to gain the ultimate form of online security, privacy, data protection, and anonymity. So without further ado, let’s dive deep into the 5 best VPNs for Linux.


Quick Overview – 5 Best Linux VPNs

The following are the best Linux VPNs for 2023. With these VPNs, you’ll get the perfect mix of anonymity and privacy:

  1. ExpressVPN – The Overall Best Linux VPN. Offers fast speeds, robust security, and compatibility with all major Linux distros, including Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, Kali, and more.
  2. SurfsharkBest Budget-friendly VPN for Linux. Service is fast, secure, and an excellent choice for anonymity on Linux at an affordable cost of $2.05/mo .
  3. NordVPN Secure and Private VPN for Linux. Offers advanced security features and obfuscation technology that guarantee complete protection on Linux OS.
  4. CyberGhostPowerful and User-friendly VPN for Linux. Has an extensive network of global servers with dedicated tabs for multiple activities, even on Linux.
  5. PIABest Torrenting VPN for Linux. Allows fast and secure P2P activities with port forwarding and SOCKS5 support to all Linux users.

If you’re short on time, you can skip to our in-depth analysis of the 5 best Linux VPNs in 2023.

Get ExpressVPN for Linux30 Days Money Back Guarantee

4 Reasons: Why You Need the Best Linux VPN

Even though Linux is quite secure, protecting your data is still pretty significant. Here are the top 4 reasons why you should get a VPN for Linux:

  1. Security and privacy: You may not know how many digital trails you leave when using the internet. So, a VPN will encrypt your connection and mask your IP address, making you safe. Moreover, getting a new IP address every time you surf the internet can help you secure yourself from DDoS attacks and doxxing.
  2. Avoid ISP throttling: A few internet service providers throttle different types of activities of users. So, if the websites you access are loading normally, but you’re facing constant buffering while watching your favorite TV show, then your ISP is the one to blame. However, a VPN service will help you bypass ISP throttling by hiding your internet activities from your internet provider.
  3. Secure P2P activities: Users of Linux are highly dependent on P2P networks for exchanging ISO files of the operating system. However, P2P networks are often shady, and you might not know what you’re sometimes downloading. However, a VPN for torrenting will help you stay secure while torrenting and avoid copyright infringement notices.
  4. Unblocking capabilities: If you live anywhere outside the United States, then you can’t access multiple streaming services like Hulu, HBO Max, and Vudu due to geo-restrictions. However, a VPN will help you circumvent these geo-blocks. All you need is the best streaming VPN for this purpose.

5 Best Linux VPNs in 2023 [In-Depth Analysis]

While many VPN providers offer Linux support, most require you to rely on OpenVPN configuration files. Not only that, but you might also find yourself dealing with manual server lists. So after painstakingly filtering out 45+ VPNs, we have managed to compile a list of the 5 best VPNs for Linux:

1. ExpressVPN – The Overall Best Linux VPN

ExpressVPN

Key Features:

  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries, 25 server locations in US
  • No GUI-based Linux client
  • Supported Linux OS: Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, Mint, and Debian
  • Internet kill switch, split tunneling, and server obfuscation
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Linux. This provider has repeatedly proved that it is the most suitable option for offering best-in-class security, privacy, data protection, unblocking, and anonymity on multiple Linux distros.

Even though ExpressVPN’s Linux app doesn’t offer a Graphical User Interface, you can use it with a GUI by installing its browser extension. What we mean is that ExpressVPN’s Chrome and Firefox extensions let you use the VPN without entering any commands in the terminal.

And since the extensions work as a remote control for its Linux app, you can use them to protect your entire Linux device, not just your browser.

Moreover, ExpressVPN Linux setup guides made it quite easy to install the VPN app. Using Ubuntu, we downloaded and installed the file. We then ran the command “expressVPN connect” and were able to protect our data from everyone. This best VPN Linux also offers detailed guides for Debian, Fedora, Mint, Kali, and other distros, and we found them pretty uncomplicated.

Enough about Linux installation – let’s talk about ExpressVPN’s features. The VPN offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries and 25 server locations in US. These servers can allow you to bypass various content geo-restrictions and keep your data encrypted on your Linux device.

As for speeds, ExpressVPN lets us browser, torrent, and stream on Linux without any buffering. When we tested ExpressVPN’s speeds on its US server, they dropped by 13%. Moreover, it offers unlimited data so that you can perform all your favorite activities without any restrictions.

expressvpn speed

Using these speeds, we could enjoy streaming easily on Linux.

For security, privacy, and data protection on Linux, this provider relies on military-grade AES-256-Bit encryption that keeps you secure from the prying eyes of your government and ISPs. ExpressVPN’s kill switch ensures that your online activities do not leak to anyone.

It further ensures it does not your DNS/IP address through its DNS leak protection feature. We tested it by connecting to ExpressVPN’s Germany server, and the VPN did not leak our actual IP address at all:

expressvpn-dns-leak-test-on-german-server

This ensured that your IP address would remain safe on all Linux distributions.

All in all, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Linux. It costs only $6.67/mo (Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE on its 12-Month Plan) and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can claim a refund if you don’t like the service.

Get more details about the VPN in our ExpressVPN review.

Pros
  • Overall the best VPN Linux on the market
  • Fast speeds
  • Compatible with all major Linux distros
  • Thousands of servers worldwide
  • Efficient security and privacy features
Cons
  • Not every feature is customizable
Get ExpressVPN for Linux30 Days Money Back Guarantee

2. SurfsharkBest Budget-friendly VPN for Linux

SurfShark

Key Features:

  • 3200+ servers in 100 countries, 600+ servers in US
  • GUI-based Linux client
  • Supported Linux OS: Mint, Fedora, Ubuntu, Arch, and Debian
  • Internet kill switch, CleanWeb, and MultiHop
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Surfshark is the most budget-friendly VPN for Linux. Launched in 2018, the provider has quickly gained the reputation for being one of the most affordable VPNs for Linux, with subscription plans costing as low as $2.05/mo (Get 84% + 2 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan).

Surfshark has recently launched its new Linux application with a Graphical User Interface. This app is available for Debian 11, Mint 20, and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Thanks to its compatibility and user-friendliness, it’s a great VPN for Ubuntu.

This GUI app is user-friendlier compared to the previous command-line versions. Apart from its smart interface, it is packed with most features available on the Surfshark apps of other operating systems. Now, users of Linux can enjoy features like CleanWeb, MultiHop, and DNS/IP leak protection. It still lacks a kill switch and auto-connect, but we hope to get that shortly.

As for servers, Surfshark offers 3200+ in 100 countries, 600+ servers in US. Using these servers, you can get unrestricted access to all your favorite streaming services. When tested, we could unblock Hulu, HBO Max outside US, Disney+, Showtime, Vudu, and AMC outside the US.

Along with thousands of servers, Surfshark offers fast speeds as well. When we tested Surfshark’s speeds on its US server, we faced a speed drop of about 19%. Now, this is not bad since we could still stream our favorite content in HD without any buffering.

surfshark-speed-test

These speeds were fast enough to enjoy data-intensive activities on Linux without delays.

Even though it’s now headquartered in the Netherlands, this provider offers a strict zero-log policy, AES-256-Bit encryption, and split tunneling to ensure the utmost security and data protection of Linux users.

What’s more, Surfshark also offers WireGuard, the latest and most advanced VPN protocol that is now available for Linux as well. This protocol gives Linux users even faster speed and stronger security.

Furthermore, the VPN keeps users secure by protecting their actual IP address. We went ahead and tested Surfshark for DNS leaks, and you can see in the image below that the VPN didn’t leak our IP address:

surfshark-dns-and-ip-leak-test

Our US IP address remained secure while using Surfshark.

To summarize, if you’re looking for a cheap VPN service, then it’s time you get Surfshark. Along with an affordable price, the VPN also offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee to enjoy the VPN risk-free for a month. If you’re unsatisfied with the service, you can cancel your Surfshark subscription and get a refund.

To learn more about this provider, check out our Surfshark review.

Pros
  • GUI-based app for Linux
  • Unblocks Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Max
  • Offers tons of security features
  • No-logs policy
Cons
  • Located in the Netherlands
Get Surfshark For Linux30 Days Money Back Guarantee

3. NordVPN – Secure and Private VPN for Linux

NordVPN

Key Features:

  • 5500+ servers in 59 countries, 1970+ servers in US
  • No GUI-based Linux client
  • Supported Linux OS: Debian, Ubuntu, Raspberry Pi, Elementary OS & Linux Mint
  • Double VPN, Onion Over VPN, and Obfuscated servers
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

NordVPN is the most secure and private VPN for Linux. This provider offers some of the most state-of-the-art security and encryption features, such as Double VPN, Obfuscated servers, and Onion Over VPN, which aren’t even available with various top-notch VPN providers.

NordVPN offers a command-line Linux app to users, but setting it up is easier than manually configured servers. This app offers some of the advanced security features that you get on the NordVPN apps of other OSes. These include an ad-blocker, kill switch, and anti-malware function.

Suppose you prefer doing everything the old-fashioned way. In that case, it also offers an extensive library of tutorials with instructions for setting up NordVPN on Linux with PPTP, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols.

As for servers, NordVPN offers 5500+ in 59 countries and 1970+ servers in US. Using these servers, we could browse the internet on our Linux OS without any restrictions. Even the speeds were quite fast on most of these servers!

Speaking of which, when we tested NordVPN for speeds by connecting to its US server, the VPN dropped them by about 17%. With them, we could torrent freely, enjoy bufferless streaming, and play our favorite online games like Counter-Strike and Minecraft with low pings.

nordvpn-speed-test

We got the following speeds when tested on our 100 Mbps connection.

By now, it should be clear how important this provider is to your online security and privacy, even on Linux. Among all other features, we tested its DNS/IP securing capabilities, and the VPN did not leak our actual IP address. You can confirm it through the screenshot below:

nordvpn-dns-leak-test-on-brazil-server

You can see that our American IP address and location stayed secure while using NordVPN.

In short, NordVPN keeps you secure on Ubuntu, Debian, Raspberry Pi, and other Linux distributions. Although not as cheap as the other providers mentioned above, NordVPN is competitively priced at $3.49/mo (Get 57% Off + 3 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan). You also get a full 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it out risk-free for a month.

To learn more about this provider, check out our NordVPN review.

Pros
  • Thousands of servers to use on Linux
  • Easy to set up
  • Advanced security features and protocols
  • Unblocks all your favorite streaming content on Linux
  • Doesn’t leak your IP address
Cons
  • Linux app doesn’t have a Graphical User Interface
Get NordVPN For Linux30 Days Money Back Guarantee

4. CyberGhost – Powerful and User-friendly VPN for Linux

CyberGhost

Key Features:

  • 9700+ servers in 91 locations, 1353 servers in US
  • No GUI-based Linux client
  • Supported Linux OS: Ubuntu, Kali, Centos, Mint, and Fedora
  • Wi-Fi protection, streaming dedicated IPs
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

CyberGhost is a user-friendly VPN for Linux. The provider offers purpose-specific modes for streaming, torrenting, and online gaming. It also provides various customizable features for giving the best user-friendly experience to Linux users.

CyberGhost offers a command-line interface to all Linux users and supports Ubuntu, Kali, Centos, Mint, and Fedora distros. Even with CLI, it’s almost as robust and fast as the Graphical User Interface apps. Moreover, the Linux command-line app allows you to sort servers by torrenting and streaming capability.

Installing this VPN on our Linux OS was pretty easy and took about 9 minutes. We used the step-by-step guide available on CyberGhost’s website and faced no difficulties throughout the process.

CyberGhost offers 9700+ servers in 91+ countries and 1353 servers in US. You can select these servers by their suitability for different purposes and enjoy all your favorite activities on the Linux operating system. We connected to its streaming-optimized servers and were able to unblock Hulu, Amazon Prime, Syfy, Showtime, and Netflix with CyberGhost.

When it comes to speeds, this VPN is quite reliable. For testing CyberGhost’s speeds on our local US server, we got a speed drop of about 25% on our 100 Mbps connection. Considering the fact that we also tested several VPNs that lowered our speeds by 40-50%, these results were great.

cyberghost-speed-test

Streaming and gaming without lags were very easy with this VPN.

As for security, CyberGhost’s headquarters is based in Romania, a completely safe jurisdiction outside 5, 9, and 14 Eyes surveillance. It is also a zero-log VPN with military-grade AES-256-Bit encryption, Wi-Fi protection, dedicated IPs, and an internet kill switch.

Furthermore, it also offers a DNS leak protection feature to its Linux users. We tested it by connecting to CyberGhost’s Canadian server, and the VPN did not leak our actual IP address to anyone:

CyberGhost-passed-our-DNS-IP-Leak-test

This ensures that you’re absolutely safe while using CyberGhost on Linux.

Best of all, CyberGhost is very reasonably priced. If you opt for its cheapest plan, you’ll only have to pay $2.03/mo . Last but not least, CyberGhost offers an impressive 45-day money-back guarantee.

To learn more about this provider, check out our CyberGhost review.

Pros
  • Offers dedicated streaming and torrenting modes on Linux
  • An extensive network of servers
  • Unblocks multiple streaming platforms on Linux
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
Cons
  • No GUI on Linux app
  • Speeds are slower than its competitors
Get CyberGhost For Linux45 Days Money Back Guarantee

5. Private Internet Access – Best Torrenting VPN for Linux

PIA

Key Features:

  • 35000+ servers in 84 countries, 50+ servers in US
  • GUI-based Linux client
  • Supported Linux OS: Ubuntu, Mint, Arch, and Debian
  • Ad and malware blocking and WireGuard protocol
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Private Internet Access is the best torrenting VPN for Linux. SOCKS5, zero-log policy, and port forwarding features allow this VPN to provide the most optimized torrenting experience on Linux.

PIA provides Linux users with a graphical user interface, which technically means that you get an easy-to-use VPN app on which you can enjoy one-click connectivity and access settings without needing to use the command line. This makes PIA great for novice VPN users who aren’t familiar with the technicalities of commands.

You will require using the terminal for configuring the VPN app. However, PIA offers a step-by-step guide that can be quite useful for you. Per our tests, it took us about 5-6 minutes to install the VPN and connect to a server.

As for servers, PIA offers an enormous network consisting of 35000+ servers in 84 countries and 50+ servers in US, using which Linux users can easily circumvent geo-restrictions, access torrent clients, and enjoy P2P filesharing from anywhere.

Now, you must be thinking about how fast the VPN really is. Well, PIA is fast on the local servers. When we tested PIA’s speeds on one of its US servers, we received a speed drop of only 35%, which is within the normal range while using a VPN. These speeds let us download a 1.5 GB file on uTorrent within 7-8 minutes.

pia-los-angeles-speed-test

Using these speeds, we could torrent without any lags.

As for security, PIA also offers AES-256-Bit encryption, ad/malware blocking, security protocols such as WireGuard and OpenVPN to protect your online security, privacy, and anonymity.

It also offers a DNS/IP leak protection which protects your actual IP address at all times. We tested this feature by connecting to its Italy server, and the VPN successfully passed our DNS and IP leaks.

pia-ip-leak-test

This ensured that PIA is safe to use on Linux.

It only costs $2.03/mo and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. To learn more about this provider, check out our PIA review.

Pros
  • Offers SOCKS5 and port forwarding support for torrenting
  • Comes with a GUI for Linux
  • Comes with an extensive network of servers
  • AES 256-bit encryption
Cons
  • Speeds are slower than most VPNs
Get PIA For Linux30 Days Money Back Guarantee

Test Methodology: How We Tested the Best Linux VPN

We tested 45+ providers on multiple factors to choose the best Linux VPN. Following are the characteristics on which we tested these VPNs:

  • Speeds: We conducted VPN speed tests to ensure that the Linux VPNs we mentioned in our guide offer fast speeds to users. All the VPNs we jotted down come with a maximum speed drop of 30%, which is quite normal.
  • DNS leak: We tested every VPN for DNS, WebRTC, and IP leaks, and none of the providers we listed above leaked our DNS/IP at all.
  • Command-line apps for Linux distros: We ensured that the VPN services we list down are compatible with multiple Linux distributions, including Debian, Ubuntu, Kali, Mint, and Fedora.
  • Strong security and privacy feature: Security is the primary reason users get a VPN for Linux. All the VPNs listed above offer advanced security and privacy features, including a kill switch, DNS leak protection, a no-logs policy, and more.
  • Decent-sized server network: The best Linux VPN should offer thousands of servers worldwide, so you can unblock any streaming service or social media app you like. We ensured that the VPNs above equip fast servers worldwide so that Linux users can get hassle-free access to their favorite content.
  • Support for popular streaming services: Geo-restrictions are a common issue that can be solved by using a virtual private network. The best VPN for Linux you choose for yourself will allow you to bypass geo-blocks and access streaming services like Hulu, Disney+, and Netflix as if you were physically present in the country.
Get ExpressVPN For LinuxRecommended For Linux

Quick Comparison Table: Best Linux VPN

Here is a quick comparison of the top 5 best Linux VPNs in 2023:

VPNsExpressVPNSurfsharkNordVPNCyberGhostPIA
JurisdictionThe British Virgin IslandsThe British Virgin IslandsPanamaRomaniaUSA
Linux GUINoYesNoNoYes
Linux CLIYesYesYesYesYes
SecurityAES 256 BitAES 256 BitAES 256 BitAES 256-bitAES 256-bit
LeaksNo IP, DNS & WebRTCNo IP, DNS & WebRTCNo IP, DNS & WebRTCNo IP, DNS & WebRTCNo IP, DNS & WebRTC
WireGuard SupportNoYesNoYesYes
Servers3000+ servers in 94 countries3200+ servers in 100 countries5500+ servers in 59 countries9700+ servers in 91 countries35000+ servers in 84 countries
Speed85+ Mbps average80+ Mbps average82+ Mbps average75+ Mbps average70+ Mbps average
StreamingNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, and More
Pricing$6.67/mo (Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE on its 12-Month Plan)$2.05/mo (Get 84% + 2 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan)$3.49/mo (Get 57% Off + 3 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan)$2.03/mo $2.03/mo
Best ForBest Linux VPNBudget-friendly VPNSecure VPNUser-friendly VPNTorrenting VPN
More InfoVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit Site

Setting Up a VPN on your Linux

As we mentioned earlier, most VPN providers don’t tend to offer GUI-based apps for Linux. However, Command-Line can seem overwhelming at first. On the other hand, it is fairly easy to use, even if you’re not tech-savvy.

Here’s how you can set up a VPN on Linux:

1. Setting up Linux PPTP VPN

If you are a coder or have the good old Command-Line Linux working on your system (meaning no network manager), we’re guessing the whole VPN setup process will take you no more than five minutes.

  • Download the VPN configuration files from your Linux VPN service provider and extract them to the path specified by your VPN service provider. This path may vary based on your Linux VPN service provider’s configuration.
  • To set up a PPTP VPN on your Linux, start by opening your console/terminal and entering ‘sudo su-‘. The ‘Sudo’ command is meant to bring you to your Linux console’s root environment and log you into it, so the ‘su’ command will help you log into it.
  • Do not be surprised if the software asks you for your user password when you enter this command. If you beckoned for a password, do not mistake it for your root password.
  • You might need to make certain edits at this point based on the login credentials provided to you by your VPN service provider.
  • Once you have completed the edits, use the ‘call server’ command to activate the Linux VPN tunnel.
  • When you are done using the Linux VPN, the ‘killall’ command will allow you to deactivate your Linux VPN tunnel.

2. Set up ExpressVPN on Linux Operating System

Here’s a video tutorial for setting up ExpressVPN on Linux:

3. Setting up OpenVPN on Linux

While setting up a VPN on Linux is easy, it does not provide the same security level as OpenVPN. Therefore, we reviewed some of the industry’s top VPN service providers for their VPN compatibility.

It appears that most of them only provide OpenVPN for Linux users with a graphical Network Manager. This makes setting up OpenVPN much more difficult than it is to set up PPTP.

Follow these steps to set up an OpenVPN connection using Network Manager:

  • Start by downloading the configuration files from your Linux VPN service provider.
  • Open out the Linux “Network Manager” and access the “Network Connections settings.” Several tabs should be visible at this point. Click on the tab that says “VPN” and click “Import.” Do not click “Add.”
  • Choose the Linux VPN server file from the downloaded configuration files (Consult the VPN provider in this regard).
  • You will find yourself looking at a set of configuration fields to edit your new Linux VPN connection.
  • Your VPN service provider will give you the information you need to enter the fields. Once done with the primary configurations, this includes the configuration you will have to enter in the “Advanced” settings.
  • “Apply” the settings and connect via the “Network Manager.” 

Linux VPNs That You Should Avoid

Various VPNs support Linux operating systems, but that doesn’t mean you should start using them. For example, various free Linux VPN providers generate revenue by selling your personal information. Therefore, the following VPNs should definitely be avoided:

  • Unlocator — It supports Ubuntu, but it’s not safe to use. It is known to keep identifiable logs of your usage, which means your online activity could be traced back to you.
  • SecurityKISS — While it claims to be a secure VPN for Ubuntu and OpenSUSE, its privacy policy shows otherwise. We have found that the VPN logs your timestamps and IP address on Linux, so your anonymity isn’t protected.
  • CactusVPN — While this VPN offers WireGuard support for Linux, it sadly failed numerous unblocking tests.
  • USAIP — This VPN offers OpenVPN support for Ubuntu, but customer support wouldn’t share a privacy policy. Also, it doesn’t have its DNS servers, so your ISP can still track your activity.

FAQs – Best Linux VPN

Let’s now take a look at some frequently asked questions.

If your VPN is not working properly, you can do multiple things: change to a different server, check the settings of your network, ensure that the right ports are opened, disable the firewall, and reinstall the VPN app. 

Following are the best Linux VPNs for unblocking international TV and sports streaming services:

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. Surfshark
  3. NordVPN

Your ISP can view the websites you visit, the pages you surf, and the time you spend on these web pages. They can also see your search and browsing history and the files you upload and download from unencrypted sites.

Proton VPN is the best free VPN for LinuxThat’s because the VPN has an easy-to-use GUI for Linux and can also be used through the terminal. Moreover, it doesn’t have a data cap and lets you select among 3 server locations.

However, the VPN might not keep you as secure as it’s required due to its headquarters in the United States. Also, with only 3 locations to connect to, it might not unblock streaming services.

That’s why we recommend using ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee instead and enjoying unrestricted access to thousands of servers and streaming services on Linux free for a whole month!

No, Linux distributions like Kali, Ubuntu, and Mint are Debian-based. Therefore, they all work the same. This technically means that they can use all the same packages, so there aren’t any differences among them.


Wrapping Up!

The capabilities of Linux as a versatile and powerful operating system are hardly a debatable fact. However, although Linux is more secure than other operating systems, the internet equally exposes all platform users to risks. This is where the role of the best Linux VPN becomes prominent.

Out of all of our recommendations, ExpressVPN is the most reliable and best VPN for every available Linux distribution. The provider is known to offer exemplary VPN services for online security, privacy, data protection, and even reliable unblocking with its 3000+ servers in 94 countries.

If you hurry now, you can avail its limited-time “12 months + 3 months free” subscription, which comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.