Linux provides superior speed, performance, and privacy than other operating systems out there. But Linux users still face online privacy threats, government censorship, and geo-restrictions on their favorite streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.
If your intention for using a VPN involves getting a tiny bit of security and anonymity when using an untrusted Wi-Fi connection, then one of the best free VPN for Linux would suffice.
However, suppose you are searching for something that will protect you against all kinds of cyberattacks and open the doors for unlimited and unrestricted streaming and torrenting. In that case, you may want to think about getting a premium VPN provider for your Linux device.
ExpressVPN surely is our top recommendation for a premium VPN provider that is fully capable of providing you all the premium VPN features that a free VPN can not even dream of. It also comes with an impressive 30-day money-back guarantee and offers a 3-months free subscription on its annual plan. Basically, with ExpressVPN, you will get the taste of all of its premium features risk-free.
Why do we discourage Free VPN for Linux?
Although they cost you nothing, that doesn’t mean they are not making a profit by other means. Free VPNs are known for inversive advertisement and selling your internet activity data to third-party entities. That is why we don’t recommend using a free Linux VPN.
Free VPNs place countless restrictions on their account, mainly including bandwidth, amount of data, and network speed. These restrictions make these providers pretty much useless. For complete anonymity, a better online experience for streaming, torrenting, and gaming-free VPNs are not ideal and should be avoided at all costs.
Before we get into our best free VPN list for Linux, it is worth knowing that there are premium VPN providers out there which can cost you as low as $2.49/mo and offer much better security, privacy, and performance than a free VPN can ever offer.
Some benefits of 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 of the 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.
Below are a few premium VPN providers that outclass any free VPNs regarding security, privacy, speed, unblocking, and optimized internet experience.
6 Best Free VPN for Linux (2021)
The best free VPNs listed below offer satisfactory service for Linux, but they have some serious limitations that make them unsuitable for use in the long term.
If you want complete access to advanced VPN features and rock-solid privacy, you’ll be better off with a paid VPN service, as mentioned in this article on best VPNs for Linux.
For now, let’s dive into VPNs that are free yet reliable for limited use on Linux computers.
1. Windscribe – The Best Free VPN for Linux with 10 GB/ mo data
Windscribe is a powerful free VPN service for Linux. It offers compatible versions for various popular Linux distros, including Debian, Fedora 22+, and CentOS 6+. This VPN is also the best free VPN service for Ubuntu. Users can access 10 servers on the free version, using 256-bit encryption to protect user data.
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.
See this Windscribe VPN review for more details.
2. ProtonVPN – Best Free Linux VPN with unlimited bandwidth
ProtonVPN is a free VPN for Linux 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. Surprisingly, ProtonVPN works well with Netflix without charging anything, which is quite rare to see.
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, the free version does not support torrents.
You can learn more about this service in our ProtonVPN review.
3. TunnelBear – Free VPN for Linux with 23 server locations
TunnelBear is a Linux-free VPN that only supports the Ubuntu distro. The provider imposes a 500 MB/month limit, which is quite small. This limit can be increased to 1.5 GB if you tweet about it for promotional purposes. It has dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, but not for Linux.
Although there is no TunnelBear app for Linux, it offers limited support through the manual setup on Ubuntu. Linux users are not a priority for TunneBear.
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 full name during sign-up after users expressed dissatisfaction with this strange anti-privacy requirement, so that’s a good thing.
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. Tunnelbear is a great UK free VPN and a reliable free VPN for people in Iran. Learn more about it in our blog best VPNs with servers in Iran.
For more information, see this TunnelBear review.
4. Hide.Me – Free Linux VPN 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: Singapore, Canada, Netherlands, US East, and US West. Nonetheless, its strength lies in the fact that it offers IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols for Linux Ubuntu.
As such, Hide.Me is one of the most secure VPNs for Linux, especially because of its IKEv2 support. This VPN is worth having if you can overlook the 10 GB bandwidth limit, owing to its reliability and security.
You can learn more about this VPN in our Hide.Me review.
5. VPNBook – Best Free Linux VPN 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 a step-by-step guide for installing the OpenVPN profile on Ubuntu. It is also great for unblocking US Netflix on Linux.
This free-of-cost VPN service has around 11 servers in 6 countries. It also provides free unlimited data allowance, but you will have to put up with ads and popups.
You can access restricted streaming sites like US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video with VPNBook. 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.
6. Speedify – Fast Free VPN for Linux with 2 GB data per month
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. It features a small server base with around 433+ servers across 50 locations.
Speedify allows 5 simultaneous connections and is compatible with Debian, Ubuntu, and Raspbian. However, this free VPN for Linux comes with a 2GB/ month data cap, offering you only a few hours of streaming. Otherwise, the free version of Speedify offers all the required features that you might find in a premium VPN.
To know more about this VPN, read our Speedify review.
How do I 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:
Privacy is not something that Linux users can compromise on. This is why I give the highest priority to all the VPNs’ logging policies that I 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.
No VPN will be any good for Linux users if it supports no Linux distros. 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 I 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 an interception 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 should I use a free Linux VPN?
There is no doubt that a premium affordable VPN service like ExpressVPN is much more reliable and offers a host of features that free VPN services cannot support. For instance, a reputed and premium VPN can offer servers in the range of thousands, whereas those available at zero cost offer only a few servers that can be counted on one hand.
Some free VPNs operate on an unethical business model to turn consumers into products by selling their information and injecting ads on their systems.
This is why I do not recommend these free providers unless you are confident about their reliability. Therefore, it’s better to stick with premium VPNs like ExpressVPN. You can easily configure ExpressVPN on Linux and use its 30-day refund policy for a free trial.
Free Linux VPN: FAQs
There are two ways to install a free VPN for Linux, i.e., through Linux Terminal or Ubuntu Gnome.
To install a free VPN for Linux through Linux Terminal, follow the steps below:
- Install OpenVPN in the terminal through your packet manager. Enter: sudo apt-get install OpenVPN or sudo rpm install OpenVPN.
- Go to the website of the VPN provider you chose. Select the servers you want to connect to and download the OpenVPN configuration files.
- Now, open Terminal and navigate to the location where you downloaded the OpenVPN configuration files (.ovpn files).
- In the Terminal, enter: sudo openvpn [openvpn file]
And that’s it! Now, to disconnect the VPN, close the Terminal Window in which OpenVPN is running.
To install a free VPN for Linux through Ubuntu Gnome, follow these steps:
- Choose a VPN provider (we recommend Surfshark) and subscribe.
- Choose the servers you want to connect to and download the .open configuration files.
- Download Ubuntu OpenVPN packages for NetworkManager. Now, open Terminal and type the following to install the packages:
sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn-gnome
- In the notification bar, click on the NetworkManager icon to check if the OpenVPN has been installed.
- Navigate to VPN Off > VPN Settings > VPN and click + button. You will now see the OpenVPN option. If you cannot see the option, then restart your computer.
- When you see the OpenVPN option, select Import from file. Navigate to .open files and double click to add it. It will now open the “Add VPN” box with all the server details.
- In the Add VPN box, input your Username and Password > select Add to install the VPN.
To enable VPN, go to NetworkManager > VPN Off > Select your desired server to which you want to connect, and that’s it!
If you are looking for a Linux distro that is most compatible with free VPN, we recommend Ubuntu Privacy Remix. UBR comes with built-in security and privacy features and is compatible with free VPNs. It is also the best option for a free Linux VPN as it is immune to malware and viruses to a great extent. If you don’t want to use Ubunto, you can go for the TAILS Linux distro.
Linux is an excellent operating system that is safe from many vulnerabilities that are present in other OSs. 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 VPNs for Linux are all quite capable of addressing the privacy needs of Linux users and do so admirably well for no cost at all.
However, for the most complete, optimized, and absolute security, privacy, and unblocking, you should consider getting ExpressVPN – The best Linux VPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Also, if you hurry up, you can avail off ExpressVPN’s limited time “12 months + 3 months free” subscription with 5 simultaneous connections and 3000+ servers in 94 countries.
Do you have a favorite VPN that is free for Linux? Mention your recommendations and experience in the comments below!