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 is 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 the best VPN services that are also considered the best free VPN for Ubuntu like ExpressVPN that you can use risk-free for 30 days using its 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.
Problems with free VPN for Ubuntu
Honestly, a free VPN for Ubuntu 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 also known to:
- collect user logs and sell information to advertisers.
- offer limited free bandwidth and throttle speed.
- offer a limited number of servers.
- are subjected to ads and malware.
Free VPNs are not exactly 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. 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? Therefore, we recommend using paid, premium VPNs for Ubuntu because of their optimal security, performance, and speed.
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 for 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.
The Best Free VPN for Ubuntu (Updated 2021)
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 best VPN to use for Linux OS article.
1. Windscribe – Best Free VPN for Ubuntu
Windscribe is the best free VPN for Ubuntu. It supports Ubuntu 19.04 along with other popular Linux distros including Fedora, Debian, and CentOS. It offers dedicated setup guides for Ubuntu and supports OpenVPN and IKEv2.
Windscribe offers 10GB of free data per month. It is enough for streaming in HD for 5 hours, hours of browsing, and YouTube videos. You can also get an additional 5 GB of free data by Tweeting about Windscribe.
This VPN offers 10 distinct server locations. We could easily access Netflix US, HBO, and BBC iPlayer on its US and UK servers. It also supports P2P on its free servers so you can also torrent with Windscribe.
Security-wise Windscribe is a great option for Ubuntu offering features such as 256-bit encryption, internet kill switch, and a Stealth Protocol. It obfuscates your VPN traffic to bypass VPN blocks. Plus, a strict no-logs policy and a built-in adblocker further protect your data online.
You can connect as many devices as you want simultaneously, but to get started you need to create an account. There is a chatbot in case you need assistance.
Read our Windscribe VPN review for more details.
2. ProtonVPN – Free Unlimited VPN for Ubuntu
ProtonVPN is the best free unlimited VPN for Ubuntu, offering unlimited data. 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.
There are 3 servers available on its free version: US, Japan, and the Netherlands. Not all free providers offer servers in the Netherlands, making ProtonVPN, one of the best VPNs for Dutch people. If you want a VPN for surfing the web and access YouTube, ProtonVPN is a good choice, because it does not work with geo-restricted streaming sites.
Another con of ProtonVPN is that it offers slow speeds, as during testing we got throttled speeds (34 Mbps on a 100 Mbps base connection) on its US server.
ProtonVPN does not support simultaneous connections on its free version so you can only use it on one device at a time.
There are step-by-step guides that will walk you through installation on Ubuntu. There is also a ticketing support system in case you need assistance. Unfortunately, there is no live chat support, but the customer support team is efficient as they respond to emails within 24 hours.
You can learn more about this service in our ProtonVPN review.
3. TunnelBear – User-friendly Free VPN for Ubuntu
TunnelBear is the most user-friendly VPN for Ubuntu with an animated interface. It offers 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.
However, TunnelBear offers limited support for Ubuntu 16.04, so users will have to set it up manually using OpenVPN. It’s not optimized for Linux, so you can only access basic protocols on Ubuntu, and Fedora’s Workstation.
TunnelBear does offer step-by-step installation guides on its website with all the necessary commands so you can set it up on Ubuntu in no time.
With TunnelBear you get access to 23 server locations including the US, UK, Canada, Japan, and more. It also offers decent speeds so you can browse and stream without lags.
If we talk about security, TunnelBear is a great choice for Ubuntu users with AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch called Vigilant Bear, and a no-logs policy. There is also a GhostBear feature that masks your VPN traffic as regular internet traffic to bypass VPN blocks in countries with restrictions. It also helps with deep packet inspection (DPI).
There is a ticketed customer support along with email support in case you need assistance.
For more information, read our TunnelBear review.
4. Hide.Me – Reliable Free VPN for Ubuntu
Hide.Me is a reliable VPN for Ubuntu that does not compromise security and offers a strict no-logs policy. Hide.Me is a free VPN compatible with Ubuntu 14.04 onwards as well as Fedora 24+ distros.
With Hide.Me you get access to 5 different locations including Singapore, Canada, Netherlands, US East, and US West. There is also a 10 GB per month data limit which is enough for light streaming, and browsing. It also supports P2P so you can also download torrents.
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.
This free VPN offers the best speeds after Windscribe as we got a speed of 56 Mbps on a 100 Mbps. However, Hide.Me does not work with geo-restricted streaming such as Netflix US, Hulu, etc. We could unblock Netflix Canada on our third try, however, it failed at unblocking US Netflix.
Hide.Me also offers top-of-the-line security features such as IP leak protection, split tunneling, kill switch, and 256-bit AES encryption. Also, to use Hide.Me on your Ubuntu you don’t have to register or make an account, thus offering maximum anonymity.
You can learn more about this VPN in our Hide.Me review.
5. VPNBook – A reliable all-rounder VPN for Ubuntu
VPNBook offers unlimited free data for Ubuntu users and what’s best is that you don’t need to create an account to use it. The free version offers servers in 6 countries, including the US, Canada, and the UK.
Unlike most free VPNs, VPNBook works with Netflix, Hulu, and more. You can also connect to its UK server and unblock BBC iPlayer. However, it does not support torrenting on its servers.
It does offer step-by-step installation guides on its website that you can follow to install OpenVPN on your Ubuntu system. Thankfully, there is email support so you can contact them if you have any issues. It also offers 256-bit encryption for online security.
It may offer unlimited bandwidth, but you will see frequent ads popping up on your screen, as its free service is supported by ads. That’s a small price to pay for unlimited free access to content from all around the world.
VPNBook does store some data logs, including your actual IP address. However, they claim to delete these logs weekly. Overall, it is a great choice for Ubuntu users who want greater anonymity.
Learn more about this service in our VPNBook review.
6. Speedify – Fast VPN for Ubuntu
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.
You also get access to servers in 35 countries for unblocking international content. This VPN is compatible with many major software and devices including Ubuntu, Debian, and Raspbian.
It offers a channel bonding feature that combines your Wi-Fi internet with cellular data to increase your connection speeds. However, it sends twice as much traffic, so you might run out of data pretty quickly.
Unfortunately, it does not work with popular streaming sites such as Netflix US, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more. During testing, we could unblock HBO on our second attempt.
Speedify offers the ultimate security features with highly encrypted protocols including AES 256 ChaCha encryption and does not log user data as most free VPNs do. The information collected by Speedify includes timestamps and bandwidth usage.
Speedify is a great option if you want free server access to different countries. Learn more about this VPN service in our latest Speedify review.
Testing Methodology: How to choose the best free VPN for Ubuntu
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.
3. Ability to bypass geo-blocks:
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 the 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.
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
There are two ways to install a VPN on Ubuntu: You can either install the VPN via Terminal or using Ubuntu Gnome. Here are the details:
Installing a VPN on Ubuntu using Terminal
Follow these steps to install a free VPN on Ubuntu using Terminal:
Installing a VPN using Ubuntu Gnome
To install a free VPN for Ubuntu through Ubuntu Gnome, follow these steps below:
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.
FAQs – Best FREE VPNs for Ubuntu
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 offer on their websites. After this, you just need to install the VPN directory through the terminal.
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.
OpenVPN has a special open-source app for Linux. Many VPN providers offer a separate custom package to install on Linux.
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 browser 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. Don’t be fooled by free VPNs, as you have to pay one way or the other through slow speeds, potential data leaks, and limited server access. That is why it’s best to use a premium VPN instead.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Ubuntu for users considering its strong unblocking power, fast speeds, and robust privacy features. It is also the best VPN for Poland. 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.