Linux provides superior speed, performance, and privacy than other operating systems out there. But Linux users still face issues such as online privacy threats, government censorship, and geo-restrictions on their favorite streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc.
The only problem is, most VPNs worth their salt cost money. Wouldn’t it be great if you could consolidate your privacy with a free VPN for Linux?
There good news is there are indeed some legit free VPNs that you can put to use on Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and other Linux distros:
Best Free VPNs for Linux In A Glimpse
- Surfshark – Optimized for Linux with the secure WireGuard, OpenVPN, & IKEv2 protocols, fast speeds, and unblocking strength for Netflix, BBC iPlayer etc. Fully refundable within 30 days.
- Windscribe – 10 server locations for Linux Fedore, Debian, Ubuntu & more with 10 GB/month data limit.
- ProtonVPN – Supports various Linux distros with command-line interface clients, unlimited bandwidth, & Netflix compatibility.
- TunnelBear – Good logging policy and encryption but limited Linux support with only 500MB/month data cap.
- Hide.Me – 10 GB/month limit with 5 server locations and moderate compatibility with Linux.
Best Free VPNs for Linux – Detailed Analysis
The 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 free yet reliable for limited use on Linux computers.
Surfshark is an excellent free Linux VPN. It is one of the few VPNs that offers a native app for Linux. The app is compatible with Ubuntu and Debian distros of Linux. The catch is that Surfshark isn’t exactly free of cost, but it does offer a generous 30-day money-back guarantee that you can use to enjoy the service for a whole month for free if you demand a refund within this time frame.
The provider offers 1,700+ servers in over 63+ countries, which offer strong AES-256 encryption for maximum security of users. In addition, it unblocks popular streaming services like a breeze including US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
The service also works well for p2p file-sharing, with many servers optimized for torrenting. People who download torrents routinely can rely on Surfshark for fast downloading of files through Bit Torrent clients.
This VPN is also known for a privacy-friendly logging policy and guarantees zero-logs for Linux users that want to stay anonymous on the web. Furthermore, it uses Private DNS to ensure that the traffic and online activities of subscribers remain invisible to anyone trying to monitor it.
Surfshark is also working on implementing the upcoming advanced VPN protocol called WireGuard, which particularly promises outstanding speeds, superior performance, and stronger security for Linux. This is available in the Beta version of Surfshark. The addition of WireGuard shows that Surfshark’s service is well-optimized for Linux systems and that the provider, unlike many others, doesn’t ignore Linux users.
If you decide to continue your subscription after 30 days, you won’t be able to claim a refund, but it will only set you back $1.99/mo for the 2-year plan. But if you want to end the subscription, then canceling Surfshark is super-easy to do.
For more information, see this Surfshark review.
- Native VPN app for Ubuntu & Debian
- Works with US Netflix
- Supports torrenting
- Not entirely free
Windscribe is a powerful free VPN service for Linux. It offers compatible versions for various popular Linux distros including Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora 22+, and CentOS 6+. Users can access 10 servers on the free version, all of which use 256-bit encryption to protect user data.
On the speed front, Windscribe is pretty satisfactory for a free service and is actually 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 more than 5 hours at best without the data running out.
See this Windscribe VPN review for more details.
- Supports Fedora, Ubuntu, CentOS, & Debian
- 10 free server locations
- Average speeds
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 which include US, Japan, and 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. In addition, 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.
- CLI-based clients for Ubuntu, Debian, Mint & more
- Built-in kill switch in Linux clients
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Only 3 server locations
TunnelBear is a free VPN that only supports Ubuntu distro of Linux. 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 does offer limited support through manual setup on Ubuntu. Clearly, 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 name 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, but its small bandwidth and limited features in the free version make it unsuitable for anything more.
For more information, see this TunnelBear review.
- Works on Ubuntu
- Stable connectivity
- Limited Linux support
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 as well as OpenVPN protocols for Linux Ubuntu.
As such, Hide.Me is one of the most secure VPNs for Linux, especially because of its IKEv2 support. If you can overlook the 10 GB bandwidth limit, this VPN is worth having owing to its reliability and security.
You can learn more about this VPN in our Hide.Me review.
- Offers IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols for Linux
- Excellent security
- No advertisements
- 2GB bandwidth limit
How I Chose VPNs for this List
The free Linux VPNs that have made it into this list were chosen on the basis of a few criteria as follows:
Privacy is not something that Linux users can compromise on. This is why I give the highest priority to the logging policies of all the VPNs 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.
Obviously, no VPN would be any good for Linux user if it supports no Linux distros. The above 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 deliver fast speed. This is why I test all VPNs for speed before including them in any list. Thes VPNs for Linux were all taken into consideration after they passed benchmark speed tests.
Encryption is important to stay safe from breach attacks and interception from rogue online entities. At the minimum, 128 bit 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 VPN?
There is no doubt that a premium affordable VPN service like Surfshark is much more reliable and offer a host of features that simply cannot be supported by free VPN services. 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.
In addition, some free VPNs simply operate on an unethical business model where they turn consumers into a product 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. If you are living in America, check this blog about free VPNs particularly for USA.
What is OpenVPN for Linux?
OpenVPN is an open-source software that can be manually configured to run most commercially available VPN providers through the OpenVPN protocol. It is available for Linux as well as Windows.
Is it difficult to install a VPN on Linux?
It is not difficult to install a VPN on Linux. All providers offer easy-to-follow instructions that you can follow the easily setup the VPN on Linux.
The 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 VPN providers mentioned above are all quite capable for addressing the privacy needs of Linux users and do so admirably well for no cost at all.
Do you have a favorite VPN that is free for Linux? Mention your recommendations and experience in the comments below!