Linux is without a doubt one of the most secure operating systems out there. Part of the reasons why programmers love its so much.
But there’s just one caveat. Because of the limited user base, If you wish to install apps on Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, and others, you’ll have to rely on the good old fashion command line. Same goes for VPN apps.
Since GUI based apps are already available for Windows and Macs, developers including VPN providers don’t really feel the need to develop apps for Linux.
Sounds annoying right? Don’t worry, I have come up with an awesome list of VPNs that are super secure, and simple to set up on Linux.
But first, a brief overview…
- PureVPN – A powerful VPN service with 2000+ servers, and super simple configuration for Linux.
- Surfshark – An extremely affordable VPN with 800+ servers and excellent support for Linux.
- NordVPN – A reputable VPN service with over 5600 super secure VPN servers worldwide.
- ExpressVPN – A blazing fast VPN with over 3000 servers & painstakingly easy Linux setup.
- CyberGhost – A powerful VPN service with 3200+ servers, and top-notch features.
5 Best VPNs For Linux
While there are many VPN providers offering support for Linux, most of them 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 tons of VPNs, I have managed to compile a list of 5 best Linux VPNs that are super easy to install:
First up we have PureVPN. With over 2000+ servers available in 140+ countries, and excellent support for Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, and CentOS.
Not only that, PureVPN boasts a super simple command-line interface for easy installation and usage. Aside from that, this VPN is committed to offering vigorous data security through AES 256-bit military-grade encryption.
For even more security, PureVPN also offers the flexibility to switch between various protocols. For instance, you can switch between UDP, TCP, and even OpenVPN.
As far as streaming and torrenting is concerned, PureVPN works phenomenally well. You can not only unblock Netflix, but a lot of their servers are P2P compatible.
Best of all, PureVPN only costs $2.95/mo and comes with a full 31-day money-back guarantee.
For the complete features list, read our PureVPN review.
- Offers a comprehensive list of tunneling protocols
- Offers 5 simultaneous connections
- Easy to setup
- Super affordable
- Can take multiple attempts to connect
Another powerful VPN service with excellent support for Linux is Surfshark. Not only is this VPN service super affordable, but also offer industry benchmark features.
Speaking of affordable, Surfshark starts from just $1.99/mo. As far as compatibility is concerned, Surfshark works on Ubuntu and Debian only.
If we talk about featrues, Surfshark packs in powerful features to compete with best rated VPNs. For instance, Surfshark offers rock-solid encryption, 800+ servers, unlimited simultaneous connection, and much more.
Not only that, but Surfshark also offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Super affordable
- Offers 800+ servers in 6 continents
- Offers unlimited simultaneous connections
- Small server park
Next up, let’s check out NordVPN. One of the most renowned VPNs in the industry, NordVPN offers 5600+ server in 60+ countries. Naturally, the more servers you get, the better the performance.
Aside from servers, NordVPN is super easy to configure on Linux. In fact, it literally takes four simple steps to get everything set up.
Speaking of features, NordVPN offers powerful kill switch, six simultaneous connections, option to choose between TCP/UDP protocols, and much more.
Best of all, NordVPN is super affordable. In fact, you can get NordVPN at a discounted price of $2.99/mo. If you’re not sure about NordVPN, this VPN even comes with a full 30-day refund policy.
- Offers 5600+ servers in 60+ countries
- Offers six simultaneous connectons
- 4 step Linux configuration
- Some servers tend to work slow
Another super-powerful, yet easy to setup VPN you can consider is ExpressVPN. Similar to PureVPN, ExpressVPN is compatible with Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS.
Aside from compatibility, ExpressVPN is super fast and offers 3000+ servers in 94+ countries worldwide.
In addition, ExpressVPN offers features like Kill switch, Split tunneling, zero-knowledge DNS, and many more features to help keep your Linux machine safe.
But there is one caveat. ExpressVPN is quite expensive and costs a whopping $8.32 a month. But regardless of the price, ExpressVPN is worth every penny.
- Super fast VPN
- Easy to setup
- Offers 3000+ servers worldwide
- Expanisve than it competiton
Finally, let’s check out CyberGhost. This is another super powerful VPN service that offers excellent features and support for Ubuntu and Fedora distros.
Speaking of features, CyberGhost offers powerful encryption and top-notch protocols to keep your device totally safe and secure. Not only that, CyberGhost offer over 3200 servers all over the world.
Best of all, CyberGhost is very reasonably priced. If you opt for CyberGhost’s cheapest plan, you’ll only have to pay $2.75/mo. Last but not least, CyberGhost offers an impressive 45-day money-back guarantee.
- Offers 2,600+ Linux VPN servers to users
- Provides a freemium version to its subscribers
- Has an excellent live chat support feature for users
- Does not have a comprehensive list of tunneling protocols
What Makes a Good Linux VPN
A good Linux VPN service is characterized by a good server spread and the availability of round the clock customer support.
These two factors are the most critical elements that will come into play when you have to setup/use/tweak your Linux VPN.
The part that concerns your Linux operating system starts when you begin setting up your Linux VPN and ends once you have finished setting up. Everything else is your VPN service provider’s domain or responsibility.
So do not bother yourself over Linux related tech talk. There is more than enough of that going around and Linux forums are overflowing with helpful posts. Your concern should focus on the VPN for Linux, not on Linux.
Why you should use the best VPN service for Linux
Linux is the most versatile operating system for computers. Being an open-source platform, the customizability of Linux is outstanding.
Unfortunately, a knock-on effect of this versatility is that it leaves room for bugs and glitches that might be converted into malicious code capable of harming user files and data.
The Internet is a source of malware and worms that can cause serious damage to your system and files. This leads us to VPNs as a possible means of protection from the threats surrounding the Internet.
If you use the best VPN service for Linux, the overall security of your system can substantially increase. Therefore, a VPN can be a worthwhile investment to enhance your security.
Bypassing Censorship through a VPN
The Internet is full of sites and content that is only accessible by regular means from a given country or region. Owing to this, users routinely find themselves barred from gaining access to websites of their choice.
A VPN can function as the key that unlocks all the out-of-reach areas of the Internet. If you need to view content that is censored in your country, then your best bet is to use a VPN and make all restrictions irrelevant.
Using a VPN for Linux to Increase Privacy
Users that feel unsafe on the regular Internet and lacking control over their privacy can take advantage of the privacy features of a VPN.
The fact that a VPN masks the IP of users by establishing a connection with a server different than your ISP’s means that your location becomes hidden.
As a result, any surveillance agency will have a much harder time determining your actual identity than they would if you weren’t protected by a VPN.
This is why if you use the best anonymous VPN for Linux mint, you can keep your identity hidden and enhance your privacy.
Linux VPN Services Don’t Offer GUI based apps
Since Linux remains one of the most non-commercial software platforms in the world. It comes as no surprise that companies working in the VPN industry have not put in effort into developing custom Linux clients. As, they have for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms.
The few Linux VPN service providers (like those mentioned above) are not your regular VPN service providers. They provide extensive cross-platform compatibility and a significant return on investment.
Even though there is no install-and-go approach you can use to setup Linux VPN, setting up a Linux VPN manually is much easier than doing it on the four commercial Operating Systems mentioned above.
Since there is no client software available, it does not mean that you get off the hook. You will still be required to download configuration files from your VPN service provider before you can set up your Linux VPN.
Setting up VPN on your Linux
As I mentioned earlier, VPN providers don’t tend to offer, GUI based apps for Linux. Although Command-Line can seem overwhelming at first, it fairly easy to use, even if you’re not tech-savvy.
Here’s how you can set up a VPN on Linux:
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), I’m 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 it 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 PPTP VPN on your Linux, start by opening out your console/terminal and entering in ‘sudo su-‘.
- ‘Sudo’ is the command meant to bring you to your Linux console’s root environment and logs 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 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.
Setting up OpenVPN on Linux
While setting up PPTP on Linux is easy, it does not provide the same security level as OpenVPN is capable of providing. I 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 than it is to set up PPTP.
- Start by downloading the configuration files from your Linux VPN service provider.
- Open out the Linux ‘Network Manager’ and access the ‘Network Connections’ settings. A number of tabs should be visible at this point. Click on the tab that says ‘VPN’ and click ‘Import’. Do not click ‘Add’.
- At this point, choose the Linux VPN server file from the downloaded configuration files (your VPN service provider should be able to tell you which one that is).
- 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 have to enter in the fields at this point. This includes the configuration you will have to enter in the ‘Advanced’ settings once you are done with the primary configurations.
- ‘Apply’ the settings and connect via the ‘Network Manager’.
If you still need more help, here is a simple guide to help you setup VPN on Ubuntu with OpenVPN configuration.
How to make a VPN kill switch in Linux
Interestingly, you can activate a Kill Switch feature on your Linux devices on your own hassle-free. However, you will have to create a startvpn.sh script. By doing so, you can implement Firewall rules. It will enable traffic through VPN tun0 network interface.
Moreover, it allows traffic to go to your VPN server through that interface. Here is how you can develop a startVPN.sh script 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 126.96.36.199 # <– note this is the IP from the “remote” field of your configuration file
- sudo ufw enable
- sudo ufw status
- sudo openvpn client.conf &
As a result, your network traffic cannot be passed from any other network interface. When your VPN connection stops working, it also deactivates the tun0 interface.
Moreover, no network interface is left to pass internet traffic. Thus, your internet connection stops working too.
The same applies to the VPN connection. When your VPN connection ends, you have to remove the firewall rules. You can disable UFW to remove the firewall rules from anywhere instantly.
Are VPNs for Linux Safe?
You can use Linux VPN in different countries other than Russia legally. You may deceive online hackers and data surveillance groups hassle-free. However, your VPN provider can keep an eye on your online tasks if you use a VPN service that keeps their users’ log.
Likewise, a VPN for Linux will safeguard you from copyright holders while torrenting. You can secure your online activities from Wi-Fi hackers.
The capabilities of Linux as a versatile and powerful operating system is hardly a debatable fact. Although Linux is more secure than its counterpart OSs, the Internet exposes all users to risks equally. This is where the role of the best VPN for Linux becomes prominent.
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