When we hear about Linux, we tend to associate this operating system with geeks, coders, and security-conscious pro-level computer users. We may even picture a guy with glasses, probably a goatee, and a checkered shirt. Stereotyping – we are quite good at that in general, right? However, the truth is that Linux has become much more popular than Windows for a growing community of users; and, not necessarily for only IT experts. This is probably why there is finally a native NordVPN Linux app to protect Linux users just like other platforms. You can say goodbye to cumbersome manual configurations.

Linux has a couple of variations like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Debian. But these are all essentially the same when it comes to security, speed, and the lack of data collection about the user. In other words, it is way more private and secure to use a Linux OS than Windows. However, when you add NordVPN Linux to the equation, you can experience the best possible combination for staying anonymous and secure online whatever you may do in the virtual realm.

Before we explain how to install and use NordVPN for Linux, let’s see what it has to offer.

What NordVPN Linux offers

There aren’t too many VPN services that can boast a dedicated Linux app. NordVPN used to offer manual configuration for OpenVPN on Linux, which was a relatively cumbersome process to follow and definitely not as convenient as installing a native NordVPN Linux app in a few steps. As a matter of fact, most other VPNs that offer Linux support at all choose to share setup guides for OpenVPN and IPSec with IKEv2.

Although now it is way easier for Linux users to install the NordVPN Linux app, it is different from its other clients in a major area: It has no GUI (Graphical User Interface). In other words, you will have to use the terminal to command your VPN service instead of using the GUI, i.e., the menu or its map to connect to a server, for instance.

But let’s see what this VPN has for you that makes it one of the best VPNs for Linux:

  • 5,100+ servers in 62 countries, which is the best possible global coverage you can get today;
  • Strict no logs policy;
  • Internet/App kill switch;
  • Top of the trade security and privacy features, including Double VPN, Onion over VPN, and Obfuscated Servers;
  • Configurable internet protocols based on your needs. If it is connection speed you are after, use UDP. If the level of security is more important, go for TCP.
  • CyberSec feature to protect you from malware, phishing, and other threats;
  • 6 simultaneous connections with a single account.

NordVPN Linux for Netflix

One of the best things about NordVPN is that it still holds the fort against the rigorous Netflix VPN detection. While many competitors have given up this battle in the past years as their IP addresses got blocked, this VPN still has dedicated servers that you can use to watch your favorite TV shows without a glitch. Since NordVPN is also quite good on the speed front, users enjoy seamless high-quality streaming not only from Netflix but other media centers, too, such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and so on.

NordVPN Linux for torrenting

Another strength of this VPN service is that it comes with dedicated P2P servers, which are optimized for large file-sharing. This makes your BitTorrent or uTorrent experience all the safer. Some countries like Australia are not fans of torrenting; they even block dozens or over a hundred torrenting websites. So, even if you don’t commit copyright infringement, your torrenting days could be over with stricter and stricter rules about sharing media online. This is when a top-notch VPN like NordVPN comes in handy.

NordVPN Linux for gaming online

Users in some regions are simply not as lucky as others. Your country may censor and block certain websites, game apps as well as access to online games that are not found ethical enough by your government. And, that’s when you are kind of forced to use a VPN to unblock your favorite games. It’s possible that international NordVPN servers may have latencies sometimes over 200ms depending on your location and the server you are connecting to. Nevertheless, the connection speeds are usually more than enough for all your needs, including online gaming. While NordVPN is certainly not the fastest on the market, this service is quite solid and reliable in every sense.

NordVPN Linux for China

At the beginning of 2018, China banned all VPNs and only allows a handful of government approved providers to operate beyond the Great Firewall of China under certain conditions. This obviously decreased the number of VPN services you can safely and anonymously use in the kingdom of censorship.

The good news is that you can use NordVPN for Linux in China and not necessarily because the government approves. This VPN comes with obfuscated servers, which are very useful in China since your encrypted VPN traffic would alert the authorities right away. And, you don’t want to mess with the lords of censorship, right?

Of course, China is only the top of the censorship iceberg and is certainly not alone when it comes to surveillance and content blocking. Iran, Russia, and Turkey are also countries where you need to be extra careful which VPN service you choose to protect your anonymity with.

7 steps to install NordVPN on Linux

NordVPN finally joined the handful of VPN providers that have a dedicated Linux app, in August 2018. This is great news for those who can’t stand manual configurations, which used to be offered as an only choice to use NordVPN with Linux. Although, you can still choose to set up your operating system with Nord manually, downloading and installing the Linux app is definitely much easier and faster.

Follow these 7 steps to install NordVPN on Linux:

  1. Download the Linux app from the official website: simply select the VPN apps menu and click the Linux icon
  2. Open the command line terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run the following command: sudo apt-get install /[your download path goes here]/nordvpn-release_1.0.0_all.deb
  3. Enter your root password when prompted and wait till the installation is finished before proceeding.
  4. Update the apt-get package list by entering: sudo apt-get update
  5. Install the NordVPN Linux app: sudo apt-get install nordvpn
  6. Login to the NordVPN account: nordvpn login
  7. Connect to an optimal NordVPN server: nordvpn connect

If you follow these above steps, you should have your Linux VPN app up and running in a few minutes tops.

How to set up NordVPN Linux manually

Just because you could be a hardcore coder who prefers to do things manually, we decided to share the manual configuration steps as well. So, whenever you’re ready, here’s how to set up NordVPN Linux manually:

  1. Open the terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and install the OpenVPN client by entering: sudo apt-get install openvpn
    You may be prompted to enter a password, so enter the one you used to create your account.
  2. Go to the OpenVPN configuration directory by running this command: cd /etc/openvpn
  3. Download the OpenVPN configuration files with this command: sudo wget https://downloads.nordcdn.com/configs/archives/servers/ovpn.zip
    You might get an “ERROR: The certificate of ‘nordvpn.com’ is not trusted” error message. If that happens, simply install the “ca-certificates” package by entering: sudo apt-get install ca-certificates
  4. It is also possible that you don’t have the unzip package installed. In order to install it, run this command: sudo apt-get install unzip
  5. Now, extract the “config.zip” archive by running: sudo unzip ovpn.zip
  6. Delete the files that you won’t need anymore: sudo rm ovpn.zip
  7. Open the folder where the server configurations are (ovpn_udp or ovpn_tcp): cd /etc/openvpn/ovpn_udp/ or cd /etc/openvpn/ovpn_tcp/
  8. If you want to check the full list of available servers, enter this command: ls -al
  9. Choose a server which you would like to connect to. Since there are 5,100+ servers to select from, you may want to go with a recommended one. Visit the Nord website to check out what this provider recommends for you based on your location preference. For this example, we chose to go with us1049.nordvpn.com.
  10. Launch OpenVPN with a chosen configuration with these commands:
    sudo openvpn [file name]
    sudo openvpn us1049.nordvpn.com
    sudo openvpn /etc/openvpn/ovpn_udp/us1049.nordvpn.com
  11. Now, if you are prompted, enter your NordVPN account credentials.
  12. To disconnect from the OpenVPN connection, simply launch the terminal and press Ctrl+C on your keyboard.

How to set up NordVPN with Linux Network Manager

Yet another option for you to use NordVPN on Linux is via the Network Manager (Ubuntu Unity). Here’s how you can set it up:

  1. Launch the terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and install the Network Manager by running this command: sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn-gnome
    You may be prompted to enter your password.
  2. After the installation, you need to restart the manager by: sudo service network-manager restart
    If that doesn’t work, you may need to restart your computer.
  3. Now, open the internet connection drop-down menu by clicking the double arrow icon in the top right corner of your screen and select the Edit Connections option.
  4. Tap the Add button in the Network Connections window.
  5. Choose the following connection type when prompted: Import a saved VPN configuration…
  6. Press the Create… button.
  7. Now, select a configuration file to import from the folder where you previously saved it. If you haven’t downloaded a configuration file for the server you want to use, you can do so by visiting the Servers page on the official site. After choosing a recommended or desired server, simply click on the Show available protocols link to select and download the wanted configuration file.
  8. Press the Open button to import your chosen configuration file.
  9. In the pop-up window, enter your NordVPN account credentials (username and password) and click Save.
  10. Open the connections menu again by clicking on the double arrow icon and choose the VPN connections option this time.
  11. Select your desired server from the list and you are good to go.

How to use NordVPN on Linux

Well, the lack of a graphical interface makes the use of NordVPN on Linux a bit inconvenient as you have to type all the commands in the terminal. In order to access the NordVPN Linux client settings, type any of the following available commands:

  • Login to your NordVPN Linux app: nordvpn login
  • Connect to a VPN server: nordvpn connect or nordvpn c
  • Disconnect from a server: nordvpn disconnect or nordvpn d
  • Configure your app: nordvpn set or nordvpn s
  • List the current VPN settings: nordvpn settings
  • Check the connection status: nordvpn status
  • Refresh the server list: nordvpn refresh
  • Display the list of countries: nordvpn countries
  • Display the command list or help for a command: nordvpn help or nordvpn h
  • Log out from your VPN: nordvpn logout

All in all, we can say that NordVPN is definitely a solid and reliable choice for Linux. You may find its new pricing plans a bit more to the relatively expensive side, though. Nord changed its pricing policy about a month ago or so, which means that now you have to pay a bit more to get this level of protection and anonymity. But, hey, quality has its price, right? It is up to you whether you want one of the best on the market or you are just fine with a less private and slower service.

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