Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distro. Its open-source nature makes it an appealing OS for developers who are given to experimenting and having control over their systems to a much greater degree than Windows or macOS allows.
Ubuntu is known for its sturdiness in terms of security, but it still a good idea to take definite measures towards the protection of your privacy while connected to the internet on Ubuntu.
This can be attained with a powerful VPN service that is also considered the best free VPN for Ubuntu like ExpressVPN which offers a free trial for 30 days (money-back guarantee). Although there are numerous free VPN services available, a lot of these are unsafe and some can even be dangerous for your security.
In this article, I will mention only those free VPNs for Ubuntu that are safe and legitimate for privacy-focused users.
What is the difference between Linux and Ubuntu?
Ubuntu is an open-source Linux distribution and operating system released in 2004, while Linux is an open-source operating system built solely around the Linux Kernal in 1991.
Ubuntu is a Debian variant, a project by Mark Shuttle. It’s actually a distribution of the Linux OS instead of being a core Operating System itself. By open-source, we mean that the code can easily be used and modified of Linux.
In clearer terms, Ubuntu is simply one of the distributions of Linux. Not all Linux is Ubuntu.
Ubuntu is used in personal computers, servers, IoT, etc., while the usability of Linux is certainly into more things like personal computers, embedded systems, desktops, gaming consoles, etc.
Why do you need a VPN for Ubuntu?
You need to protect your Ubuntu operating system from malware and hacks all the time. You need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to do this.
A VPN encrypts all your data through a tunnel and keeps it secure from the prying eyes of hackers, malware developers, and even your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the government. VPNs also hide your location, IP address, and identity completely from everyone.
VPNs do this through their premium security features. VPNs had acknowledged the need to protect users and systems from these scenarios and introduced their features solely to protect them completely.
Well, with all the best security features, VPNs also let users bypass geo-restrictions to stream any blocked service they like on their device. You can enjoy VPN services on your Ubuntu operating system easily and stay completely protected along the way.
Should I prefer free VPNs over premium ones?
Honestly, an Ubuntu free VPN does look extremely feasible because it cost nothing. But always remember that every free service comes at the cost of something, and a free VPN for Ubuntu actually comes at the cost of your privacy.
Free VPNs are not exactly too safe, to begin with, and they don’t actually offer the features they promise. This way, it becomes easier for hackers to sneak into your Ubuntu operating system and your data can be stolen easily. Free VPNs are also subjected to ads. We mention this all the time. If the VPN isn’t collecting your logs or data itself, well, the ads definitely would.
Our main purpose of using a VPN is to remain secure. If that isn’t fulfilled by a VPN, then why are we even trying?
Best Free VPN for Ubuntu
The following VPNs are capable services that are compatible with Ubuntu releases 14.04 and onwards and many of these are great as free Linux VPNs as well. However, these services have serious limitations that make them feasible for very specific use cases.
If you’re looking for a VPN with all advanced features unlocked, you’ll be much better of with a paid VPN service as recommended in this VPN for Linux article.
For users interested in free options, here’s a list of the best free VPNs for Ubuntu:
1. ExpressVPN – Highly compatible VPN with Ubuntu and Linux.
ExpressVPN is the best free VPN for Ubuntu compatible with all major devices and Linux software. This VPN offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee in the form of a free trial to users.
No, ExpressVPN is not some standard free VPN, it is the best VPN to exist for all users. This VPN for Ubuntu offers military-grade encryption, a zero-logs policy, a kill switch, and over 3000 servers across the world to users.
It also offers multiple P2P optimized servers that enable users to torrent easily any time they like. With an unlimited bandwidth connection and super-fast speeds, ExpressVPN is a must-have.
- Native VPN app for Ubuntu
- Works with US Netflix and other streaming services
- Supports torrenting
- Not entirely free
2. Windscribe – A great free VPN for Ubuntu with P2P-friendly servers.
Windscribe is a free VPN provider that works with Ubuntu. The provider imposes a 10GB/month limit. It is supported by Ubuntu 19.04. This VPN is available for free and offers 10 distinct server locations at no cost. Although not very fast, it provides reasonably strong security using the AES-256 bit encryption standard.
You can upgrade to its premium version if you want unlimited bandwidth. Nonetheless, if you only use the Internet for browsing with some video/audio streaming here and there, the data limit can be sufficient, though it is incompatible with Netflix.
The provider does, however, support p2p filesharing on Ubuntu. even on the free version, which is impressive. You can view Windscribe installation instructions on Ubuntu 19.04 on their official website.
This service is also listed as one of the best XBMC free VPN of 2019.
See this Windscribe VPN review for more details.
- 10 free server locations
- Native VPN client for Ubuntu
- Average speeds
3. ProtonVPN -User-friendly VPN with easy set up for Ubuntu.
ProtonVPN is an impressive free VPN service available for Ubuntu. It also offers unlimited bandwidth. You can install this provider on a Ubuntu OS through either the command-line or the GNOME (GUI Network Manager). The VPN is available for Ubuntu 14.04 and is the best free VPN for Ubuntu 20.04.
The best part about this VPN is that it offers unlimited bandwidth with no additional/hidden costs.
You can learn more about this service in our ProtonVPN review.
- Absolutely free VPN for Ubuntu
- Fast performance for Ubuntu
- Strong security protocols
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Small server network
4. TunnelBear – Fast-speed free VPN for Ubuntu and other Linux distros.
TunnelBear is another free Ubuntu VPN that offers a decent level of security. It offers limited support for Ubuntu 16.04, so users will have to set it up manually using OpenVPN. The service provides a bandwidth limit of 500MB/month, which is exceedingly low. This can, however, be increased to 1.5 GB by tweeting about the service on your personal accounts.
For more information, see this TunnelBear review.
- Military-grade encryption for Ubuntu
- Servers rarely undergo downtime
- Minimal logging
- 500 MB/month limit is too small
5. Hide.Me – A reliable free VPN for Ubuntu and Fedora.
Hide.Me is a free VPN compatible with Ubuntu 14.04 onwards as well as Fedora 24+ distros. It offers IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols for Ubuntu users. Since IKEv2 is believed to be the most secure of the protocols while also being fast, this makes Hide.Me a considerably good VPN out of the free providers.
Users can access 5 different locations with Hide.Me including Singapore, Canada, Netherlands, US East, and US West. The one downside to this VPN is that it has a 2GB/month bandwidth limit, which is quite low. However, it is interesting to note that Hide.Me is quite efficient at unblocking torrenting websites.
Due to this limit, it can only be sparingly used. To get unlimited data, users can subscribe to the paid version for Ubuntu and maximize security.
You can learn more about this VPN in our Hide.Me review.
- Fast and secure VPN protocols for Ubuntu
- Zero advertisements
- Stable connectivity
- 2GB bandwidth limit
6. Private Tunnel – A VPN offering a 7-day free trial for Ubuntu and other devices.
Private Tunnel is one amazing free VPN for Ubuntu and other Linux distros. This VPN offers a 7-day free trial to users so they can test its ultimate security features with the best speed.
This VPN offers effective 24/7 live chat support to users. It also offers unlimited data with no cap for users to enjoy its services without any problem.
With highly encrypted security protocols, this VPN is known to be well-acquainted with Ubuntu. A disadvantage for users is that it keeps some logs and isn’t too effective in unblocking streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.
You can learn more about this VPN through our Private Tunnel review.
- Secure VPN protocols for Ubuntu
- 7-day free trial
- Stable connectivity
- Live chat support
- Keeps logs
- Cannot unblock geo-restricted services
7. VPNBook – A reliable all-rounder VPN for Ubuntu.
This all-rounder VPN is a free one compatible with most Linux distros including Ubuntu. With 11 servers offered to users, this VPN is easy to set up on devices as it comes with its own setup guides.
While it uses OpenVPN as its security protocol, it does not offers 256-bit encryption but actually a lower one. It may offer unlimited bandwidth, but you will see frequent ads popping up on your screen.
VPNBook keeps user logs but can unblock restricted sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.
- Compatible with Linux distros
- One of the best free VPN for Ubuntu
- Can unblock geo-restrictions
- Uses OpenVPN protocols
- Keeps logs
- Frequent ads
8. Speedify – A VPN offering fast speeds for Linux and Ubuntu.
This free VPN offers the ultimate security features with highly encrypted protocols including AES 129-CGM encryption. The best thing about this free VPN for Ubuntu is that it offers 5 simultaneous connections on a single account which is rarely found in free VPNs,
Speedify offers the best speeds as its name suggests but offers a 2GB/mo data cap enabling only a few hours of streaming to users.
This VPN is compatible with many major software and devices including Ubuntu, Debian, and Raspbian.
- Compatible with Linux distros, Raspbian, and more.
- Highly secure encryption protocols
- 5 simultaneous connections
- Limited bandwidth
- Limited servers
How did we rate these VPNs?
We compared the VPNs’ speed, torrenting features, streaming, and security features on Ubuntu and Mint.
After testing multiple security features of the VPNs mentioned above, we came to the conclusion that the recommended protocol of each VPN is ideally 256-bit. While many free VPNs don’t offer that, please do not opt for VPNs with encryption protocols that are lower than 128-bit.
We also went through the privacy policies of the VPNs to check whether they keep logs or not. DNS/IPv6 leak tests and other features were also taken into consideration while mentioning these VPNs.
We ran multiple speed tests of each VPN and different server locations in times of traffic overload and when there wasn’t. The list contains only the VPNs that offer decent speeds at all times.
We checked whether these VPNs could unblock geo-restricted content or not. We tried unblocking the most famous services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, HBO Max, and Kodi Add-ons.
We checked all P2P optimized servers of these VPNs to check whether they support torrenting or not. We also took safety into concern to check if it’s actually safe to torrent using these VPNs or not.
We read and went through the privacy features these VPNs offer and tested how safe they are to be used. Features like kill switches and logs policies were checked to see if these VPNs actually do what they claim.
Unblocking geo-restricted content:
We tested which VPNs can unblock geo-restricted services and content for their users using their server locations.
Why You Should Use VPN for Ubuntu?
There is no doubt that Ubuntu is probably the most secure operating system we have today. This is because it is much easier to get rid of malware owing to the fact that the whole installation process is more transparent on Linux-based OSs.
On top of that, it is simply more difficult for Ubuntu to get infected by hackers or malware since it lacks many of the usability privileges endemic to Windows.
Having said that, there is nothing in Ubuntu to prevent users from introducing infected files on the system. This makes it important for users to apply protective measures to prevent themselves from falling victim to such exploits.
VPNs are commonly known as a software tool that changes your IP address and thus your apparent location on the web. But that is not all a VPN is good for. In fact, a VPN also encrypts user data on the Internet so you are no longer a sitting duck, lying open and vulnerable to the trickeries and malice of hackers and viruses.
How to install and use a VPN on Ubuntu
Well, it all depends on your VPN provider. It’s better that you install the VPN on your device using its app. If not, then you can always get it on Ubuntu from a terminal command line using apt-get or yum.
Visit the website of your desired VPN provider to figure out which you should opt for.
Run the app from the terminal once it’s installed and set up. For example, to run ExpressVPN, open the terminal to enter: ‘expressvpn’ to run the app. Your chosen VPN will have a different command.
You will be required to log in using your VPN credentials once the app starts along with an activation code. You can always change your VPN settings once you log in. All settings you require to alter need a separate command.
For this, you need to list the available functions by prepending the main command with “man” or by inserting a question mark right after the main command, for example, man expressvpn.
Reddit reviews about best free VPN for Ubuntu
Reddit users have also vouched for the VPNs we offer. Following are some of the reviews we found that are worth mentioning:
Well, we’re not the only ones vouching for these amazing VPNs. Reddit users are too.
😃 Is it hard to install any VPN on Linux?
Installing a VPN on your Linux isn’t too hard. You can either use the OpenVPN setups or check out the repositories that the VPN providers offers on their websites. After this, you just need to install the VPN directory through the terminal.
😉 Will a VPN Slow down my internet Connection?
Not really. VPNs don’t tend to do that. Instead, if your connection is being throttled by your internet service [provider (ISP), then your VPN will only help you resolve that and increase your internet speed.
😉 What is OpenVPN for Linux device?
OpenVPN has a special open-source app for Linux. Many VPN providers offer a separate custom package to install on Linux.
😉Why use VPN for Linux instead of Tor?
Tor often makes your connection slow as it uses three different nodes to keep you secure. It often also makes ISPs suspicious that the Tor broswer is being used. Tor browsers are not recommended for streaming either.
VPN services are playing a crucial role in enhancing the security of users while they are using the Internet. ExpressVPN is the best free VPN for Ubuntu for users considering its strong unblocking power, fast speeds, and robust privacy features. Therefore, if you worry about your privacy, the combination of a VPN running on a generally secure OS like Ubuntu is the most effective way to stay safe online.
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