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:
- 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 5000+ 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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 1400+ servers in 50+ 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 $6.49/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.
- 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 $5.82/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.
Why you should use 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 seen by your ISP, but your government or cybercriminals might also learn about them. If you prefer to stay anonymous online, you may want to consider using a reliable Linux VPN.
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.
- 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.
- 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 of 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. The most important thing is a strict no-logs policy. In the best-case scenario, it should be independently-audited. When possible, you should also choose a VPN for Linux that’s registered in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction with no data-retention laws.
- Performance and server count. All VPNs slow down your connection, but some do a great job of providing the best possible speeds. It’s not directly related to the number of servers, but their count helps to maintain connection stability and a pool of IPs that aren’t blocked by streaming sites or authoritarian governments.
- 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.
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.
Is free VPN for Linux a good option?
Using a free VPN for Linux is possible, but it’s not the best option. The majority have 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 difficult to find a free VPN 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 likely 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 paid VPN services. However, if you still feel inclined to try a free VPN for Linux, check out our list of top free VPN providers in 2020.