The use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) is gaining a lot of popularity among internet users. Partly, people use VPNs to remain anonymous while navigating through the internet and in other cases, to protect themselves against attacks.
While Linux is encrypted to protect the user against attacks, the internet poses the most significant challenge. Besides, there’s been a rise in complaints by Linux users due to data leaks and cyber-attacks.
In most cases, the internet leaks the information to third parties, which consequently increases the vulnerability of the user.
Illustratively, when carrying out transactions through the internet, the website retains a history of your online transactions and sensitive details such as passwords. As a result, the user is exposed to the risk of hackers who might steal their data.
To mitigate the dangers of browsing the internet, we strongly recommend that Linux users use the best VPNs in the market. Although there are free VPNs designed for Linux, it’s worth noting that most of them are unreliable.
The right VPN should not leak user data, even when your internet connection drops. The VPN should also load fast enough let you browse the internet seamlessly.
Most importantly, the VPN should be compatible with your Linux device. Speaking of compatibility, the VPN should function without buffering and also support anonymous browsing.
After testing several VPNs that are hyped in the market, we came up with five providers that guarantee quality to Linux users.
Best VPNs for Linux
There are more than 300 VPN providers in the market today, some free, others paid. Due to the somewhat low market penetration of Linux in the market, most VPNs do not pay much attention to this Operating System (OS). However, the following VPNs are designed with Linux users in mind:
- ExpressVPN: Our top pick for the best VPN for Linux. It unlocks numerous sites for streaming, without buffering. Also, the VPN is highly encrypted, lowering the risks of cyber-attacks.
- NordVPN: NordVPN has one of the highest numbers of servers. It’s also one of the most affordable VPNs in the market.
- CyberGhost: An easy-to-use VPN for anyone operating under a small budget. The VPN also unblocks content that is hidden for particular regions.
- IPVanish: The long period in the market and fast connections makes it one of the most reliable VPNs in the market today. A pleasant VPN to use by both new and experienced users.
- PrivateVPN: The VPN provider doesn’t have as many servers as its competitors. However, most users of the VPN admit that they enjoy fast connections and an easy-to-use app.
Criteria Used for Evaluating the Best VPNs for Linux
An ideal VPN should have high connectivity speeds. A VPN that slows down internet load speeds cannot be used for streaming; hence, the user should avoid it.
The VPN should be able to unblock content that can’t be accessed in some areas of the world. Plus, the cost of the VPN should have value for money.
Pricey VPNs don’t always guarantee more security. For that reason, you should compare the VPNs based on cost and benefits attached to them and choose the most affordable service that matches your VPN needs.
Other crucial factors to consider when choosing a VPN for your Linux OS include:
- Reliability of the customer support
- The ability of the VPN to connect several devices
- Compatibility with the device
Now that we have tackled crucial points to note when choosing a VPN, let’s look at their pros and cons.
ExpressVPN tops the list of most reliable and secure Linux VPNs due to various reasons. First, the VPN runs on a command-line interface, which eases the process of downloading configuration files for different servers.
Second, the VPN allows users to interchange between TCP and UDP through the OpenVPN protocol seamlessly.
Third, ExpressVPN can work on Debian, CentOS, Fedora, and Ubuntu, making it one of the most accommodative VPNs.
In one of our tests, the VPN was able to unblock several sites, including Hulu, HBO, and Netflix and allowed streaming without buffering.
ExpressVPN allows connection of up to five devices simultaneously. Besides, you can integrate a router to the VPN and connect unlimited devices.
The VPN service uses IPv6 and DNS, which protects the device from leaking information over the internet. ExpressVPN has a kill switch whose main purpose is to lock all the online activities in case of internet disruptions.
ExpressVPN offers a 24/7 online support system for solving customer complaints. The customer can also browse through the FAQ section instead of contacting the support.
There are three payment plans, $12.95/ month for a month-to-month plan, the $9.99/month six months’ plans, and $8.32/month for the annual plan. ExpressVPN is pricey, but given the many benefits, that’s value for money.
- Provides high speeds for streaming and downloading files
- It unblocks most of the streaming services
- Highly encrypted to protect user information
- Reliable customer support
- Expensive than several other premium VPN services
NordVPN is one of the most user-friendly VPNs in terms of set-up. NordVPN launched a Linux app in 2018 that supports several features, such as the kill switch.
The VPN comes with several tutorials for PPTP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN protocols for users who prefer going the old way. Plus, the VPN provider doesn’t store or share the user logs.
NordVPN allows a person to connect up to six devices simultaneously. You can also use routers to add the number of connections.
The VPN service uses IKEv2 protocol to encrypt data and decrypt any session that might have been hacked. Besides, the VPN’s servers support P2P, which means the user can share files with another person within the same connection.
With more than 5200 servers in over 60 countries, users can stream videos and browse without buffering. NordVPN unblocks several sites such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Hulu.
You can pay monthly, or annually. There are also two-year, and three-year plans. The monthly plan costs $11.95, while the annual plan attracts $6.99/month, billed $83.88.
The VPN’s two-year plan sets you back $4.99/month while the 3 years plan costs a meager $3.49/month billed $125.64 for the three years.
In case of an issue, customers can get 24/7 support using the live chat or email. Alternatively, you can go through NordVPN’s online library for self-help.
- Has a 24/7 live chat support
- The VPN has several servers making it reliable
- Allows up to 6 simultaneous connections
- Double data encryption
- The desktop app might not be friendly to new users
3. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost operates on a command-line, which is more user-friendly than several other premium VPNs.
With more than 5600 servers in over 90 countries, the VPN promises fast downloads and seamless video streaming.
The VPN also supports port forwarding capabilities that help bypass the NAT firewall, thus increasing connection speeds.
The service includes an automatic kill switch. As well, you can configure OpenVPN to use with the service.
It’s equipped with an automated HTTP redirection, ensuring you securely connect to every website. Besides, it can block ads, trackers, and malicious websites.
CyberGhost does not store user logs. The VPN provider stands out for publishing an annual transparency report, fortifying its fame as an honest, and open VPN service provider.
The VPN payments come in three plans, monthly, yearly, and in three years. The 1-month plan costs $12.99. On the other hand, the yearly plan costs $5.99/month, while the 3-year plan costs $2.75/month. One account lets you secure up to seven devices simultaneously.
CyberGhost offers a 24/7 live chat where all the issues about connectivity are solved instantly. Customers can also raise complaints to the support by sending an email. The VPN also offers a web knowledgeable base where users can find answers to common questions.
- Does not keep user logs
- It’s easy to use and can connect to the nearest server
- It unblocks streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.
- Connects up to seven devices
- Testing manual setup for OpenVPN
IPVanish has been operational for many years, which, arguably, gives it an edge over other providers in terms of experience.
Despite the extended stay in the market, IPVanish has over 1300 servers in over 75 locations. The VPN service provider offers fast and reliable connection speeds.
Into the bargain, with a single account, you can secure up to ten devices simultaneously. Moreover, the VPN sets up quickly, which makes it beginner-friendly.
In the case of internet interruptions, the VPN uses the IPv6, DNS, and kill switch to stop any online activities, thus preventing data leakages.
IPVanish also uses military-grade encryption with “Scramble OpenVPN Traffic” for hiding real-location in countries with strict internet policies.
The IPVanish payments are available in three plans. The monthly subscription costs $10.00/month, while the quarterly plan costs $8.99/month, while the annual plan costs $6.49/month.
In case of any issue, customers can seek support via the live chat, which is available 24/7. Alternatively, they can send an email to the support team or through the online library. Interestingly, IPVanish has call support, which is not common in many VPN providers.
- A decent geographic diversity of servers
- Lots of protocol choice
- Offers call-support
- Fast connectivity
- Doesn’t accept Bitcoin
Although the PrivateVPN has few servers (slightly more than 100 in 60 countries), it has a very user-friendly app for Linux users.
PrivateVPN uses the port-forwarding technique to ensure that the users can stream very fast. To protect the user-data from leaking, the VPN uses AES-256 bit-key encryption.
PrivateVPN adheres to a zero-log policy, as such, they don’t store user data in their servers, and neither do they share it with other parties.
The ability to support OpenVPN with PPTP, IKEv2, UDP/TCP, and IPSec ensure your browsing history is kept under wraps.
On the flip side, its kill switch is not compatible with Linux, which might pose a risk of the data leaking in case of internet interruptions.
The VPN offers three payment plans, monthly, quarterly, and a 37-month plan. The monthly plan goes for $5.48, the three-month plan costs $3.75/ month, while the most affordable 37 months plan costs $1.95/month. A single subscription allows you to connect up to six devices at a go.
The VPN also offers a live-chat platform where customers can express different concerns affecting them. However, the support is not provided 24/7, which creates an inconvenience in case of an issue about connectivity.
- Allows up to 6 simultaneous connections
- Accepts Bitcoin
- Easy-to-use interface for both experienced and new users
- The long-term plan is reasonably priced
- Relatively few servers
Why You Need a VPN
VPN is a crucial tool for any Linux user who wants to secure their connections and remain anonymous as they browse the internet.
Most of the VPNs which claim to be free are not entirely free. Some leak information to spies. Others require you to link a credit card during the trial period, which means you automatically start to pay immediately the grace period lapses.
Thus, you should get a transparent VPN that also guarantees security to data. The following are some of the reasons to use a VPN for Linux:
Bypass Internet Censorship
VPNs offer a great way to defeat censorship, no matter it’s on “moral,” political, or copyright grounds. All you need to do is connect to a VPN server located in a censorship-free region.
Some services, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu, are banned in some countries, which inconveniences movie lovers and expats. To unblock such services, use a VPN to hide your real IP address, enabling you to access such geo-restricted sites.
The governments of China and North Korea, for example, are strict on what their citizens search on the internet. As such, if you want to connect to the outside world, then you might want to use a VPN.
Even so, users are warned against purchasing VPNs made in such hard-censored nations, because, in most cases, they are used by the government to spy on the citizens.
Security and Privacy
A VPN inhibits your ISP from seeing what you’re doing on the internet since VPN servers act like specialized servers. As a result, your ISP can only see you’re connected to a VPN, and not what you do online.
Based on the fact that governments’ mass surveillance projects mostly rely on ISPs logging your data. So, if your ISP knows nothing about your online travels, then your government, as well, won’t know.
Using a VPN protects you against unreliable Wi-Fi hosts, and hackers, mainly when using open Wi-Fi hotspots. This is because all the data between your Linux device and the VPN server is strongly encrypted.
Generally speaking, VPNs can slow your connection speeds since their function involves encrypting your data before sending it to another server.
Notwithstanding the said, ISPs are known to limit speeds of torrenting. For a reason, a decent VPN might be your best bid if you want to share large P2P files.
It is not easy to get a reliable VPN for Linux OS. Some VPNs which claim to be the best in the market leak information to third parties, putting the user data at risk. Others come with faulty kill switches, failing to function immediately your internet connection drops, which increases the risk of data loss.
When choosing a VPN for your Linux, ensure it’s compatible with the device for it to work effectively. Although compatibility is a vital consideration when choosing a VPN, other factors such as cost, speed, and log policies shouldn’t be ignored.
The five VPNs discussed above are ideal for keeping your data safe. But ExpressVPN leads the pack. Thanks to its unmatched security, commitment to privacy, and blazing-fast connection speeds.