Linux is a powerful and secure OS, but it’s not completely free from the inherent vulnerabilities and exploits of cyber criminals.
Even though it provides superior speed, performance, and privacy than other operating systems out there, Linux users still face online privacy threats, government censorship, and geo-restrictions on their favorite streaming services. So, what is the best free VPN for Linux?
Fortunately, there are a few VPN services for Linux that offer great performance and security without costing a fortune.
We tested 60+ free VPNs for Linux, but most of them were difficult to work with. Some had congested servers, while the rest offered slow speeds. While we did find 8 free VPNs that offered us a stable service on Linux, they came with a few caveats.
If you want a VPN without any limitations, we suggest you use a premium VPN like ExpressVPN. This VPN is compatible with various Linux distros, offers unlimited bandwidth, super-fast speeds, and a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
We recommend reading our blog till the end to learn more about these top-rated VPNs.
The Best Free VPNs for Linux [2022 In-Depth Analysis]
We tested 60+ free VPNs based on speeds, security, compatibility, and more to sum up a list of the most satisfactory free VPN services for Linux. Using any of these VPNs, you can get reliable security and reasonable speeds on any Linux distro you use:
1. ProtonVPN – Best Free VPN for Linux with Unlimited Bandwidth
ProtonVPN is the best free VPN for Linux (Ubuntu) that offers unlimited data. The service is known for its excellent security and fast performance.
It offers a command-line tool for Linux that works with a wide range of distros, including SUSE, Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint.
The provider has 3 servers in the free version, including the US, Japan, and the Netherlands. It is one of the few free providers that offer Dutch servers, making it one of the top VPNs for the Netherlands and the UK.
You can use its OpenVPN package for configuration onto your Linux distros. However, don’t be surprised with its speeds, as the free plan limits connection speeds.
One of the best aspects of the VPN is its AES-256 encryption, along with reasonably fast speeds for Linux-based computers. Also, it is one of the few CLI VPNs for Linux with a built-in kill switch.
Unfortunately, its free version does not support torrents. However, you can subscribe to its paid version that also offers a unique Secure Core Protection, along with premium features.
You can learn more about this service in our ProtonVPN review.
- Great security features
- Works with Netflix
- Unlimited data
- Allows P2P
- No-logging policy
- Very small server access for free users
- No live chat support is available
2. Windscribe – Free Command-Line VPN with 10 GB Free Data per Month
Windscribe is a powerful free VPN for Kali Linux and other distros. It offers compatible versions for various popular Linux distros, including Debian, Fedora, CentOS 6+ and Ubuntu.
In addition, there are dedicated setup guides for Ubuntu available on its official website, and it also supports both OpenVPN and IKEv2.
Users can access 10 servers on the free version, using 256-bit encryption to protect user data. It offers a 10 GB per month data allowance, which is a lot considering most free VPNs offer a limited data allowance.
Its free servers are available in the US, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, the U.K. and Hong Kong.
Windscribe is pretty satisfactory for a free service on the speed front and is compatible with torrents. The downside is that it has a data cap of 10GB/month. Thus, although it works with US Netflix, you won’t be able to stream for more than 5 hours at best without the data running out.
Read our Windscribe VPN review for more details.
- Unlimited device connections at the same time
- No IP stamps
- 10 server locations
- Great speeds
- Supports P2P
- Only 10 GB/month of data
- Is inconsistent at unblocking streaming services
3. TunnelBear – VPN with Easy Setup Guides for Ubuntu and Fedora
TunnelBear is a free VPN that only supports Ubuntu and Fedora distros. Linux users are not a priority for TunneBear as users with other distros like Mint, Slackware, and Gentoo cannot use this free VPN. If you use one of the supported distros, you can download free VPN for Linux and use it today.
The provider imposes a 500 MB/month limit, which is quite less. However, this limit can be increased to 1.5 GB if you tweet about it for promotional purposes.
It offers servers in 49 countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and more.
TunnelBear has dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, but not for Linux. However, it offers limited support through the manual setup on Ubuntu.
The logging policy is privacy-focused, and the provider no longer requires users to provide their full names when signing up. The provider ceased to require a full name during sign-up after users expressed dissatisfaction with this strange anti-privacy requirement.
Overall, TunnelBear is a decent service if you want better online privacy while surfing around the web on Linux. Still, its small bandwidth and limited features in the free version make it unsuitable for anything more.
Furthermore, this VPN offers the best security features like AES 256 encryption, Vigilant Bear (malware blocking feature), and a No-logs policy.
For more information, see this TunnelBear review.
- Great speeds
- Step-by-Step installation for Linux distros
- AES 256-bit encryption
- No logs policy
- Doesn’t work with Netflix US
- 500 MB/month data cap
- Only works with Ubuntu and Fedora
4. Hide.Me – Free CLI VPN Client for Linux with 10 GB/mo Data
Hide.Me is a Malaysian-free Linux VPN. It offers a 10 GB/month limit and 5 servers in the free version: Canada, Singapore, Netherlands, US West and US East. Nonetheless, its strength lies in the fact that it offers OpenVPN protocols and IKEv2 for Linux Ubuntu.
This VPN is worth having if you can overlook the 10 GB bandwidth limit, owing to its reliability and security.
There are handy setup guides available for Linux users. However, the Ubuntu client only supports PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol), which is obsolete and has security issues.
With Hide.Me, there’s no compromise on your security as it offers security features like a kill switch, AES 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and a zero-logs policy.
However, the service comes with a drawback by offering just a single connection on one user account.
You can learn more about this VPN in our Hide.Me review.
- 10GB/month free data
- IP leak protection
- Offers both IKEv2 and OpenVPN for Linux
- No ads
- Servers only in 5 locations
- Allows only 1 device connection
5. VPNBook – Free VPN for Linux Offering OpenVPN for Streaming
VPNBook is a free VPN service for Linux, including Ubuntu, Debian, and Linux Mint. Linux is a great choice because it has a dedicated setup that provides users with a step-by-step guide for installing the OpenVPN profile on Ubuntu. It is a great choice for users who are looking for a free VPN for Linux Mint.
Since it is completely free and every free VPN comes with a certain disadvantage, you will have to put up with regular ads and pop-ups. VPNBook comes with built-in IP and DNS leaks.
VPNBook has around 11 servers in 6 countries including US, Germany, France, Canada, UK, etc. Using these servers, you can access restricted streaming sites like US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video easily.
It lacks security because it comes with 128-bit AES encryption rather than the most secure 256-bit. And it also keeps some user logs, including IP addresses and timestamps.
To know more about this VPN, read our VPNBook review.
- Unlimited data
- Works with Netflix, Hulu, etc
- Unblocks Netflix US
- Only 11 servers in 6 countries
- Regular ads
- uses 128-bit encryption
6. Speedify – Linux VPN with Channel Bonding Technology and 2 GB/mo
Speedify is another best free Linux VPN that comes with excellent security features, including AES 129-CGM encryption and IP address leak protection for maximum security and protection.
This best free VPN for Debian features a small server base with around 433+ servers across 35 locations like the US, Europe, Australia, and others.
Speedify allows 5 simultaneous connections and is compatible with Debian, Ubuntu, and Raspbian. In fact, it is a great choice for Debian users as it can be used on Debian-based distros such as ARM and Intel.
However, this free VPN for Linux comes with a 2GB/ month data cap, offering you only a few hours of streaming. While it could easily unblock US Netflix, it failed to work with Amazon Prime and YouTube TV on our Linux device.
The best thing about this VPN is that it offers a channel bonding technology that combines ethernet, wi-fi, and tethered smartphones into a secure and speedy connection.
To know more about this VPN, read our Speedify review.
- Channel bonding
- No sign up required
- Servers in 35+ locations
- Works with BBC iPlayer, YouTube
- No logs policy
- Based in the US
7. CyberGhost – User-friendly VPN for Linux with 24 Hours of Free Access
CyberGhost is not exactly free, but it does give you a full day to test the service free with Linux. You get 24 hours to test the service and its features. It is the best free VPN for Manjaro and other distros.
What’s best is that there is no restriction on the features and accessibility so that you can use its app to the fullest.
If we talk about features, the CyberGhost app comes packed with the best out there. It has tons of servers,8900+total, located in 91 countries. These servers are optimized for various things like streaming, gaming, torrenting, and NoSpy servers for protection.
These servers are categorized in the app so that you can connect to a server according to your needs. In short, you have plenty of options when it comes to unblocking streaming services and other content online.
Security-wise, CyberGhost is a great choice as it covers all the bases with 256-bit AES encryption, kill switch, split tunneling, and more.
On top of that, the VPN is based in the safe jurisdiction of Romania, and it follows a strict no-logs policy. It also published a Transparency Report annually, making all the information about policies public.
For details, you can read our CyberGhost review.
- Easy-to-use interface for Linux
- 7000+ servers in 90+ countries
- Fast speeds for data-intensive tasks
- Strict no-logs policy
- AES 256-bit encryption
- No free version
- 24-hour free trial
8. Private Tunnel – Unlimited Data and DDoS Shield for Gaming
Private Tunnel is another favorite free VPN of Linux users. It is not free, but there is a 7-day free trial that allows you access to the service and its features free of cost. But, if you are looking for a long-term free VPN, you will have to look elsewhere.
With this best free VPN for Kali Linux and other distros, you do have 7 days to try the service its features. Its Linux setup is easy as there are step-by-step installation guides so you can install it via Terminal. If you are stuck and need assistance with installation, its customer support is available 24/7.
If we talk about features, Private Tunnel provides unlimited data with access to 12 server locations. The provider has not disclosed its number of servers and IP addresses. Unlimited data is a big plus if you are a heavy data consumer.
During testing, the VPN also gave great speeds with minimal lag. However, we were unable to access streaming sites with Private Tunnel like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, or Hulu.
Security is not an issue with this VPN as it uses 128-bit AES-GCM encryption for data protection along with DDoS attack protection. That said, the provider does keep some logs for maintenance. But the problem is that it can fall into the wrong hands and prove disastrous.
You can find more about this VPN in our Private Tunnel review.
- Unlimited data
- Step-by-step installation guide for Linux
- 24/7 customer support
- DDoS attack protection
- No free version
- Servers in 12 countries only
Comparison Table: Best Free VPN for Linux 
|VPN||Free Data||Speeds||Supported Distros|
|ProtonVPN||Unlimited||Good||SUSE, Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Mint|
|Windscribe||10GB/mo||Fast||Debian, Fedora, CentOS 6+, Ubuntu.|
|Hide.Me||10GB/mo||Fast||Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora|
|VPNBook||Unlimited||Good||Unbuntu, Debian, Mint|
|Speedify||2GB/mo||Fast||Debian, Ubuntu, Raspbian|
|CyberGhost||24 Hours||Fast||Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, CentOS 7, POP! OS, Kali|
|Private Tunnel||7-day free trial||Good||Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora|
How Do We Choose the Best Free VPN for Linux?
The free Linux VPNs that have made it into this list were chosen based on a few criteria as follows:
1. Logging policy:
Privacy is not something that Linux users can compromise on. This is why we give the highest priority to all the VPNs’ logging policies that we recommend for Linux users.
Not all VPNs have an ideal logging policy, but all services mentioned in this list only store minimal information about you at worst.
2. Linux compatibility:
No VPN will be any good for Linux users if it supports no Linux distros. However, the VPNs are compatible with some of the most popular Linux distros, including Debian, Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, etc.
It is important to have a Linux VPN that delivers fast speed. This is why we test all VPNs for speed before including them in any list. These VPNs for Linux were all taken into consideration after they passed benchmark speed tests.
Encryption is important to stay safe from breach attacks and interceptions from rogue online entities. At the minimum, 128 bits of encryption length is essential with a modern standard such as AES-128. Most VPNs in this list provide an even higher level of encryption than that, i.e., AES-256.
Why Do You Need a VPN for Linux?
A VPN has multiple uses for Linux users, as discussed below:
Increased Online Security and Privacy
One of the major benefits of using a VPN service is online security and privacy. A VPN encrypts your online traffic that prevents Internet Service Providers (ISP), hackers, and other third parties from tracking your online activities.
Most premium services use 256-bit AES encryption for data protection. Military agencies use it for the protection of sensitive information. This encryption cipher is impenetrable. So, even if someone gets their hands on your data, it would be useless to them, and they won’t be able to decrypt it.
Second, when you connect to a VPN, it masks your IP address. Therefore, no one can see your internet traffic and what websites or apps you use. No one will be able to track your geolocation.
Unlock International Content
With one of the best VPNs for Linux, you can have unrestricted access to the internet and unblock websites that are not available in your region. By connecting to a VPN, you can change your IP address and unblock geo-restricted content and streaming services. These include Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more.
You can also access online banking sites and shopping platforms from anywhere by spoofing your location. Using a VPN, you can even bypass censorship and access websites that are blocked in your country.
VPNs that Linux Users Should Absolutely Avoid
You will find various tutorials online that will show you how to install OpenVPN on Linux. However, OpenVPN is just a protocol; for security, you need servers. Most people don’t realize that and run into privacy issues.
The free VPNs mentioned above are secure services that don’t log personally identifiable user data. However, the same cannot be said about all providers out there. On that note, here are some VPNs that you need to avoid using on Linux:
This VPN is quite popular on Google. However, what most people don’t know is that it stores user logs and IP addresses. If we talk about performance, there is a 300 MB per day data cap.
Another VPN that you must avoid with Linux is USAIP. It is the latest client that you might find on Google that only uses PPTP protocol. It does not offer DNS servers, so your ISP can still see what you’re doing online and monitor your activity. On top of that, the provider has not disclosed his logging policy.
Paid vs. Free Linux VPN Services
Free VPNs are known to harvest your data and sell it to third parties. Advertisers then use your data to bombard you with targeted ads. These VPNs log everything about you. What pages you visit, what services you use, what kind of products you show interest in, time stamps, and so much more.
Free VPNs are nothing more than glorified proxies, and they simply allow you to bypass some but not all geo-restrictions. They also impose countless restrictions. You’ll have to deal with throttled bandwidth, limited data limit, and excruciatingly slow speeds due to overcrowded servers.
Such restrictions make free VPN providers pretty much useless. For complete anonymity and a better online experience for streaming, torrenting, and gaming, free VPNs are not ideal and should be avoided at all costs.
That is why it is always better to opt for a paid VPN that offers better security performance without any restrictions.
It is worth knowing that premium VPN providers are super affordable and offer much better security, privacy, and performance than a free VPN can ever offer.
Some Benefits of Paid Premium VPNs:
Free VPNs can never be better than premium VPNs. Let’s check out why:
- Limitless bandwidth and extensive network with servers in almost all major countries.
- High-speed network speed with server load-balancing.
- No-log policy for complete internet privacy and security.
- Compatible with all major operating systems and devices.
We recommend that you take advantage of a VPNs free trial or money-back guarantees. This way, you can get the most out premium services without having to pay the premium prices.
How to Install a Free VPN on Linux?
No Linux VPN service offers a dedicated GUI client for any distro. However, there are two ways to install a free VPN for Linux, i.e., through Linux Terminal or Ubuntu Gnome.
Installing a free VPN via the Linux Terminal
To install a free VPN for Linux through Linux Terminal, follow the steps below:
And that’s it! To disconnect the VPN, close the Terminal Window in which OpenVPN is running.
Installing a free VPN on Linux through Ubuntu Gnome
To install a free VPN for Linux through Ubuntu Gnome, follow these steps:
To enable VPN, go to NetworkManager > VPN Off > Select your desired server to which you want to connect, and that’s it!
Does Linux OS Distro Matter When Choosing a VPN?
Various Linux distributions like Mint, Kali, and Ubuntu are all Debian-based. Essentially, all these distros work the same. This means that there isn’t much difference between them, and they use the same packages.
However, if you are using a Red hat-based distro, you will use an RPM package. It is slightly different from the Debian version. But, a distro with Debian support also supports Red Hat, so you can use any VPN service you want from our list.
How to Make a VPN Kill Switch on Linux?
In case of an unexpected VPN connection drop, a kill switch protects your actual IP address and data from leaking by killing the internet connection on the device. The good news is that you can also make yourself a kill switch that stops all internet traffic until the VPN connection is restored.
We will show you how you can create a kill switch using iptables and the UFW (Ubuntu Ultimate Firewall) app.
First, you need to create a startvpn.sh script that will put the firewall in place and will only allow internet traffic over VPN’s server. To do that, follow these steps below:
Now, when your VPN connection suddenly drops, it will remove tun0 from the system so no traffic is allowed to pass until the connection restores.
When the VPN session ends, you will need to remove these commands and allow normal traffic. The easiest way to do that is to disable the UFW altogether. You can do that with stopvpn.sh script.
If you are using a different way to connect to the VPN, you can run the same command by eliminating the last two lines. But in that case, you will have to remember to manually enter the script before using the VPN and at the end of the session.
Which Linux Distro is the Best for Privacy and Security?
If you are concerned about your security and privacy, switching from Windows or Mac to Linux (an open-source distro) is a great decision. Microsoft and Apple cooperate with law enforcement agencies and collect the personal data of their users. For example, Microsoft uses data for advertising.
On top of that, both macOS and Windows are closed source, so users cannot take a look at the source and identify backdoors and vulnerabilities. Linux, on the other hand, is an open-source system, so viewers can take a look at its source code.
However, not all Linux distros are the same, and some are more secure than others. If you are looking for a distro for daily use with great privacy, we recommend using Ubuntu Privacy Remix. It’s a Ubuntu-based distro that stores all data on encrypted external media storage devices like removable hard drives. UBR is supposedly immune to viruses and malware infection.
You will still need to use a VPN for encryption of internet traffic. Most VPNs mentioned above work perfectly fine with UBR.
If you want to try something different and want complete anonymity, you can use TAILS. It’s short for The Amnesiac Incognito Live System and is a Linux distro by creators of the Tor network. The OS is installed on a USB that can be plugged into a device. It offers more anonymity as all your traffic is rerouted through the Tor network. Thus, it leaves no footprint even after the USB is removed from the device.
TAILS uses a variety of encryption tools and protocols, including hashing and cryptographic signing. It is also ‘amnesiac,’ so it runs on computers RAM instead of writing on the hard drive.
How to Set Up a Free VPN for Linux Distros
If you have already installed the VPN on your Linux Distro, as shown above, you can follow the steps below to set up the VPN on your device and get started.
In this example, we will be using ExpressVPN with Linux.
Now that you have enabled the app, follow these steps to connect to a VPN server, change server locations, and use ExpressVPN on Linux:
FAQs – Best Free VPN for Linux
Does Linux have a free inbuilt VPN?
No, Linux does not have an inbuilt VPN. But there are plenty of free VPNs that you can use with Linux, for example, ProtonVPN. ProtonVPN is a free, unlimited VPN service for Linux. It was created by the team of ProtonMail, which is the most popular encrypted emailing service.
So, I’m in China and can’t access most sites on the internet on my Linux, what free VPN can I use?
Which free VPN is best for Linux?
ProtonVPN is the best free VPN for Linux. That’s because this VPN offers a CLI tool for Linux and unlimited bandwidth, so you can use it as much as you like. Moreover, it’s compatible with all Linux distros, including Fedora, Debian, and Ubuntu.
Are free VPNs safe for Linux?
There are a few free VPNs for Linux available, but they all have certain limitations. Various free VPNs provide you with limited security features, slow speeds, and fewer servers. Moreover, they usually have limited features on Linux as compared to its Windows and macOS apps.
Linux is an excellent operating system that is safe from many vulnerabilities present in other Operating Systems. But even Linux requires assistance from tools such as VPNs to stay safe from advanced privacy-intrusive techniques applied by cybercriminals, hackers, and government agencies.
The best free VPN for Linux is quite capable of addressing the privacy needs of Linux users and does so admirably well for no cost at all. However, for absolute security, privacy, and unblocking, you should consider getting a premium VPN service like ExpressVPN.
Do you have a favorite VPN that is free for Linux? Mention your experience in the comments below!