For any service that sees itself as the best VPN, having a Linux app isn’t optional. Quite a few providers support Linux, providing instructions for manual configuration. However, that’s not the most convenient and secure way to protect your privacy and anonymity.
Here you’ll find VPNs with excellent security credentials and native, easy-to-use Linux VPN apps.
But which one of them is the best Linux VPN in 2020?
Whether your Linux OS is Fedora, Mint, RedHat, or Ubuntu, online security and privacy are important. Otherwise, you’d be using Windows or Mac, right?
So, let’s see which VPN services are the best and why you should use a VPN for Linux in the first place.
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here’s the list of best VPNs for Linux in 2020:
NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2
- Unbeatable in terms of security and privacy
- Malware blocker
- NordLynx protocol for the best speeds without sacrificing security
- No router app
NordVPN is the best VPN for Linux and our safest and fastest service overall. Like most Linux VPNs, it’s command-line based but offers the same package of features that GUI clients have. You can install its .deb and .rpm packages on a number of Debian-based and RHEL-based distributions, including Ubuntu, Elementary OS, Linux Mint, Fedora, QubesOS, CentOS, and openSUSE.
You’ll also find manual configuration tutorials for other Linux distros and Linux Network Manager. NordVPN’s Linux app uses OpenVPN protocol, although IKEv2/IPSec and NordLynx, the proprietary version of WireGuard, are also available.
NordVPN has 5400+ servers in 59 countries, providing excellent speeds for torrenting and unblocked streaming. You can get NordVPN now for $3.49/month only, with a 30-day money-back guarantee. All plans allow for six simultaneous connections.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN
WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
- Ad & malware blocker
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Great for streaming due to Smart DNS feature
- Weak self-help support section
Surfshark VPN is a great Linux VPN with plenty of features. While most of them, such as the kill switch, aren’t included in the app, you can set them up via the terminal. Surfshark VPN is available on Debian and Ubuntu-based Linux distributions, such as Elementary OS, Linspire, or Tails.
Excellent security and privacy is what you get with this VPN. Surfshark VPN’s MultiHop feature will rout your traffic via two servers while NoBorders and Camouflage modes will hide your VPN connection and circumvent even the Great Firewall of China. Most importantly, this service still retains great performance for unlimited simultaneous connections.
Surfshark VPN for Linux doesn’t provide the IKEv2 protocol and split tunneling, but most Linux users won’t fret too much about it. Instead, they will enjoy P2P and unblocked streaming platforms. Download Surfshark VPN for Linux today – it’s absurdly cheap and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. Private Internet Access
WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
- Reliable kill switch Leak protection, HNS, no-logs policy
- Leak protection
- Handshake Naming System (HNS) for extra privacy
- Based in the US
Private Internet Access is a VPN for Linux that’s both cheap and good. At the moment, you can get PIA for Ubuntu 16.04+, Mint 18+, Arch, and Debian 64-bit versions.
You should feel safe while using the Linux version Private Internet Access – it comes with military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection. Besides, PIA’s no-logs policy has been proven in court multiple times, meaning you shouldn’t worry about its US jurisdiction much. There’s also a Handshake Naming System (HNS) that decentralizes the DNS and adds an extra layer of privacy.
Private Internet Access has good speeds, which makes it ideal for torrenting and streaming Netflix US. And with a 10 simultaneous connections limit, you can use it on all of your devices. We recommend getting PIA and trying it out risk-free, thanks to a 7-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Private Internet Access, read our Private Internet Access review.
- SecureCore for bulletproof security
- Strict no-logs policy
- Has a great Free version
- Mediocre speeds
ProtonVPN Linux app is an excellent option for security-first users. You can get it for Arch Linux, Manjaro, openSUSE, Fedora, CentOS, RHEL, Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint. OpenVPN TCP and UDP (default) versions are supported.
The Switzerland-based ProtonVPN is only a few years old but already offers top-notch anonymity with a strict no-logs policy. Its Secure Core servers can create multi-hops for an extra layer of security. The only feature that this Linux app seems to lack is Tor over VPN, which shouldn’t be a big loss to most users.
ProtonVPN is good for torrenting but isn’t the best choice for streaming, though it unblocks Netflix US and Hulu. The good news is, you can try the ProtonVPN Plus plan for 7-days for free. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee for each pricing plan.
For a deeper investigation of ProtonVPN, read our ProtonVPN review.
OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, PPTP
- Excellent security
- Above-average speeds
- 10 simultaneous connections
- No anonymous payment options
IPVanish has a great native Linux VPN client. It can be installed on Ubuntu, Fedora, Kali Linux, Linux Mint, Lubuntu, and Pop! OS distributions.
This service provides excellent security and privacy. With 1500+ servers in 75+ countries, PrivateVPN also has great coverage all over the world and offers good speeds.
IPVanish is a reliable VPN for P2P and streaming – it supports torrenting on all servers and easily unblocks Netflix US. This service could be the best VPN for Linux if it worked in China and offered anonymous payments. You can buy IPVanish for $2.92/month and get as much as 10 simultaneous connections with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.
OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP
- Great security features, including split tunneling
- Advanced port forwarding
- Temptingly low pricing
- Weak kill switch
We found PureVPN to be one of the best VPNs for Linux. It has apps for Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora, Mint Linux, and Debian. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are supported, but OpenVPN protocol can be configured on Ubuntu and Mint only.
PureVPN offers good security and privacy. It comes with a kill switch, leak protection, and an independently audited no-logs policy. The two features unavailable on PureVPN’s Linux app are split tunneling and port forwarding.
The speeds are decent, meaning that you can easily torrent in most countries and watch Netflix. With 10 simultaneous connections allowed, you’ll be able to use PureVPN on all of your devices. You can buy PureVPN for $1.32/month only without any risk – the service comes with a 31-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of PureVPN, read our PureVPN review.
Do you need a VPN for Linux?
Just because Linux is faster and more privacy-friendly than Windows, it doesn’t mean you’re safe using it. When you go online, your activities are visible to your ISP, but your government or cybercriminals might also learn about them. What’s more, Linux has some inherent security and privacy cons you might think about before using it.
To start with, Linux is an open-source project that anyone can access and edit. This way, it’s easier to find and fix vulnerabilities but it also takes less effort to exploit them. If the user doesn’t upgrade its operating system, he is still vulnerable even though the patch is available.
In another scenario, your chosen Linux distribution might be slow to implement the needed fixes. While more than 90% of Windows users have either the 10th or the 7th version, there are dozens of popular Linux distros. So if Manjaro, Mint, and Ubuntu are patched, Debian, Solus, and Fedora might still be vulnerable. What’s more, any distribution might have inherent vulnerabilities, and not all of them have a dedicated base of security patchers.
Therefore, if you prefer to stay anonymous online, you may want to consider using a reliable Linux VPN.
6 reasons to use a VPN on Linux
Here’s the list of the reasons why you should use a VPN for Linux:
- Privacy. Just as you don’t walk around with all your personal details, including your banking credentials, pinned to your back for everyone to see, you may also want to keep your privacy online. Our recommended VPNs for Linux have strict no-logs policies, hide your IP address, and make you much harder to track both online and offline.
- Hiding from your ISP and the government. Not all users know that many ISPs sell user data, meaning that you pay for the internet connection and give away your data for free. The government is also always interested in your search history, which can be shared with other countries (think Fourteen Eyes intelligence alliance) as well.
- Security. Whether it’s unsecured public wifi you’re using or your own internet connection, it’s best to protect your internet traffic from prying eyes by encrypting it. Some of the best VPNs for Linux also have built-in malware blockers, providing extra security.
- Protect wifi connection. When you’re using public wifi in an airport or a cafe, it’s always a good idea to shield yourself from snooping and possible cyberattacks. When your connection is encrypted, the third-parties can’t see what data and where you are sending. This way, your passwords, banking accounts, and other vital info stays protected.
- Bypassing geo-restrictions and censorship. Most Linux VPN users want to spoof their IP addresses to access geo-restricted content, including entertainment platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. Also, millions of users live in heavily censored countries like China or Iran and wish to access information freely.
- Torrenting. P2P is a risky field because torrenting is usually equal to violating copyrights. In some countries, it’s illegal, meaning you’ll need to use a VPN for Linux to unblock torrenting and keep yourself safe.
How to choose the best VPN for Linux
Most users have their own criteria when choosing the best VPN for Linux. However, while they differ in priority, the list is usually the same. So here’s what you should have in mind when picking your Linux VPN:
- Linux app. Even though it’s possible to manually configure many VPNs using the OpenVPN client and instructions on the provider’s website, a Linux app makes things easier. Most of them are command-line based, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re a Linux user. Finally, you should check which features are available on the native Linux app – usually, the list will be shorter when compared to Windows or macOS clients.
- Security features. All of the best Linux VPNs provide military-grade encryption and OpenVPN protocol. Therefore, you should be looking for extra security features, such as a kill switch, leak protection, malware blocking, or Tor over VPN.
- Privacy features. When possible, you should choose a VPN for Linux that’s registered in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction with no data-retention laws. Avoiding the Fourteen Eyes countries is also recommended. Finally, your VPN should have a good reputation and no relation to any scandals.
- Logging policy. The most important thing about any VPN’s privacy is a strict no-logs policy. It should be independently-audited or court-proven. In the best-case scenario, it will be audited and proven in court.
- Performance and server count. All VPNs slow down your connection, but some do a great job providing the best possible speeds. It’s not directly related to the number of servers, but their count helps maintain connection stability and a pool of IPs that aren’t blocked by streaming sites or authoritarian governments.
- Supported devices. No matter how big a Linux fan you are, your smartphone probably runs either Android or iOS. That’s why your VPN should support as many devices as possible so you can have full protection at home, at work, and while traveling.
- Simultaneous connections. Since you have more than one device, you should be able to protect them all with your chosen VPN. That’s why picking a Linux VPN that allows five or more simultaneous connections is a good idea. If you have a chance, get one that allows unlimited devices at the same time.
- Unblocking capabilities. Best VPN for Linux should give you access to geo-restricted streaming services, such as Netflix, Disney+, or BBC iPlayer. What’s more, it should be able to do it consistently. Finally, the speeds should be fast enough for streaming in HD and 4K, provided that your connection without a VPN is good enough to watch in this quality.
- Customer support. If you’re a Linux user, you probably can handle a command-based VPN. However, you may still have questions, and that’s why 24/7 customer support is a big plus. Some services offer phone or email support, but nothing beats a quality live chat.
Let’s see how our best Linux VPNs compare with each other. While the following table doesn’t include all features mentioned above, it should give you an idea about the key differences among these services.
|Provider||Supported distros||Dedicated app||Ease of use||Key features|
|NordVPN||Ubuntu, Elementary OS, Linux Mint, Fedora, QubesOS, CentOS, OpenSUSE, and more||Yes||CLI||NordLynx (WireGuard)|
|Surfshark VPN||Debian and Ubuntu-based||Yes||CLI||Unlimited simultaneous connections|
No split tunneling
|PIA||Ubuntu 16.04+, Mint 18+, Arch, Debian (64-bit)||Yes||GUI||WireGuard preview|
10 simultaneous connections
|ProtonVPN||Arch Linux, Manjaro, OpenSUSE, Fedora, CentOS, RHEL, Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint||Yes||CLI||Great free version|
|IPVanish||Ubuntu, Fedora, Kali Linux, Linux Mint, Manjaro, Lubuntu, Pop! OS||No||CLI||10 simultaneous connections|
No kill switch
No static IP support
|PureVPN||Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora, Linux Mint, Debian||Yes||CLI||10 simultaneous connections|
Poor OpenVPN support
No split tunneling
No port forwarding
As already mentioned, NordVPN is the best VPN for Linux. It brings security, privacy, and breakneck speed thanks to its in-house version of the next-gen WireGuard protocol. NordVPN also has the best command-line interface because it suggests commands as you type.
Surfshark VPN is a close competitor but lacks some features that are available on other devices. We’re talking about CleanWeb, the anti-malware tool, and split tunneling. On the other hand, no other VPN on this list offers unlimited simultaneous connections.
PIA is the only VPN here with a graphic user interface (GUI). What’s more, it has all the features of Windows or macOS clients. PIA’s ten simultaneous connections should be enough for most households, and the WireGuard preview gives a glimpse of what speeds you can expect in the near future.
ProtonVPN is compatible with a number of Linux distros, and its feature set is comparable to those of other desktop apps. One distinct ProtonVPN feature is a free version – not many services have one, and only a few have a good one.
IPVanish offers support for many Linux distros, but it’s about configuring OpenVPN, not the actual app. This means that features like a kill switch or static IP support aren’t there. Despite everything, IPVanish can lure big households with its tempting “10 devices at the same time” limit.
Contrary to IPVanish, PureVPN has poor OpenVPN support, offering it on Mint and Ubuntu only. Some users will also miss split tunneling and port forwarding. That being said, PureVPN is really cheap and generous when it comes to simultaneous connections.
Best VPN for Linux Mint
Linux Mint is a great distribution for desktop users. Started back in 2006, it continues to be among the most popular ones. Our best VPN for Linux Mint is NordVPN. It’s fast, feature-rich, and has the #1 command-line interface.
Furthermore, this Linux Mint VPN is excellent for streaming, so having it on an OS that has full multimedia support is a good idea.
Best VPN for Ubuntu
Arguably the most popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu, is user-friendly and can be used on a range of devices. The best VPN for Ubuntu, or at least its desktop version, is Surfshark VPN. It’s fast, cheap, secure, private, and has no limit for simultaneous connections. When looking for the best VPN, Ubuntu users will be hard-pressed to find anything better.
Best VPN for Kali Linux
Since security specialists made this distribution for security specialists, it doesn’t surprise that the best VPN for Kali Linux is ProtonVPN. Even though it doesn’t have an app for this Linux version, you can manually set up OpenVPN and use this Kali Linux VPN.
Best Arch Linux VPN
PIA is the best Arch Linux VPN. It’s only fitting that we recommend pairing a user-friendly Virtual Private Network with a user-friendly distribution. At the same time, both services have a graphic user interface. When PIA fully embraces the next-gen WireGuard protocol, it will become tough to find a better option for Arch Linux fans.
Setting up a VPN on Linux
Setting up a VPN on Linux is not that hard because most services have detailed tutorials for multiple distributions. If there’s a native Linux app available, you’ll have your VPN ready in no time. Configuring it manually will take more time, but it’s not rocket science either.
There are plenty of configuration options for different tunneling protocols and Linux distros. You can use the OpenVPN client, the NetworkManager daemon, or the Linux Terminal. Configuring IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP is also possible.
In the following article, you can learn more about how to set up VPN on Linux.
What is the best free VPN for Linux?
The best free VPN for Linux is ProtonVPN. It’s extremely secure, values your privacy, and supports a bunch of distributions. This command-based free Linux VPN is good for torrenting and also unblocks Netflix US.
But what about other free VPNs for Linux? Well, you can try those that have a reputation and a premium version. However, the majority come with questionable security and privacy credentials, negating the whole point of using a VPN in the first place. Moreover, their lack of customer support means that you might end up stuck during the installation or configuration with no help.
From the privacy standpoint, it’s challenging to find a free Linux VPN other than ProtonVPN with a real no-logs policy. They collect your data and sell it to make money they’re not getting from you. Some free VPN providers go to incredible lengths to squeeze the most out of their users, installing trackers or even malware.
Another bad thing about free Linux VPNs is their speed and server selection. Most likely, you will choose from a few countries in Europe and North America, and the servers will probably be overcrowded. If you don’t have a fast connection, adding such a VPN on top of it might result in sluggish speeds.
These are the key reasons why we recommend using either ProtonVPN or paid Linux VPN services.
Linux VPN FAQ
How much is a VPN for Linux?
The price mostly depends on your chosen plan. Naturally, long-term plans are cheaper, with discounts exceeding 50%. If we look at the best Linux VPNs, the prices range from $2.21/month to $1.32/month. Of all providers discussed above, only ProtonVPN and IPVanish don’t have a 24-month plan.
What is OpenVPN for Linux?
Even if your Linux distribution doesn’t support your chosen VPN, most likely, you can still use it by configuring OpenVPN for Linux. You can find the configuration files on the VPNs website. And if you have any issues, don’t hesitate to contact customer support.
Is it easy to setup a VPN on Linux?
If you’re not new to Linux, you probably won’t have any trouble with setting up a VPN. Even though most of them are command-line based, you can find detailed instructions on every website. And if you get stuck at some point, contacting customer support should solve the problem.