Linux is definitely not the most popular operating system out there. Many people who use computers and mobile devices have not even heard of Linux, which is a shame. This operating system has a lot to offer and is, in many aspects, far superior to others, especially to Windows. Those who use Linux literally swear by it.
One of the main reasons why users love Linux is the fact it’s open-source and free. Second, it’s resistant to malware. Third, you can install it on cheaper hardware. Finally, contrary to the common misconception, according to which Linux is only for tech wizards and geeks, it is actually quite easy to use. It even comes with its own drivers! And it looks nice.
But we are not here to sing praises to Linux. We are here to talk about VPNs for this operating system and to discuss which VPN providers are the best for Linux users. What you should know is that Linux is generally safer and provides much better privacy than other, more popular operating systems. Because of this, it is particularly popular with users who are concerned about their privacy and who feel they should do everything they can to protect it. One of the ways to protect your online privacy is to use a VPN.
Linux is safe but it is not absolutely safe, especially when it comes to privacy concerns and various forms of intrusion. If you chose this operating system for its safety and privacy benefits, then why not go all the way and protect yourself (and your computer) completely with a VPN subscription?
There are hundreds of VPN providers out there but only the top ones know that Linux users are a big portion of the VPN market. While the main working principles of a VPN are the same regardless of the operating system, there are still some differences and things that need to be adapted in order for a VPN to be compatible with a certain system such as Linux. Here is a list of the best VPN providers that are compatible with Linux and that also have other impressive qualities (speed, reliability, support, features, and price) to offer to potential subscribers.
Linux users looking for a decent, reliable, and fast VPN might want to consider ExpressVPN, a provider that has managed to climb to the very top of the VPN market over the years thanks to reliable service and some interesting features. All ExpressVPN users get unlimited bandwidth, speed, and server switching. Speaking of servers, they really have an excellent network. They have servers in 136 locations in 87 countries and their number keeps growing month after month.
As for security and privacy, you’re covered in that department as well, with a choice of top security protocols (including OpenVPN) and military-grade encryption. ExpressVPN is a log-free provider, meaning they do not keep any records of your traffic, data usage, and other sensitive information. They even accept Bitcoin, which means absolute privacy – if you pay using this currency, you don’t have to give them your name, just your e-mail, which is required for the sign-up.
ExpressVPN has a very good, simple client and it is compatible with all major device types and systems, including Linux. It is very easy to set up but if you get stuck, you can make use of their tutorials or contact their 24/7 live support, which is truly excellent.
Linux users who want to get a VPN should take a look at NordVPN, one of the best VPN providers in the world right now. This provider is famous for its advanced security and privacy features, easy to use software, and a great number of servers all over the world, many of which are specialized for maximum efficiency.
There is no custom software for Ubuntu, but then, which VPN provider has one? Still, it’s very easy to configure and set up your VPN connection on your Linux computer thanks to excellent, easy to understand tutorials and great customer support.
NordVPN, as we mentioned, has some advanced security features, such as Tor-over-VPN, DoubleVPN, DNS Leak Resolver, auto kill switch, and many more. As for the protocols, they use the standard set of PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, and OpenVPN, with the strongest encryption available.
This provider accepts Bitcoin, which is great news for privacy-minded users. What’s more, NordVPN does not monitor or log any of your data. Being based in Panama, they are not subject to laws regarding data retention so you don’t have to worry about that either. The only downside of this service is the price, which is not the cheapest we have seen. On the other hand, keeping in mind what they offer, it really does pay off.
As one of the best VPN providers in the business at the moment, PureVPN makes sure to accommodate all users, regardless of the platform or operating system they are using. Linux users will be thrilled to learn that this popular provider has custom software for Ubuntu, which is definitely a rare thing in the VPN biz. The client is excellent, very intuitive, and easy to set up. You can pick whichever server you want to use and server switching, which is unlimited, is quick and simple.
The same goes for picking the security protocol. You get your choice of PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and, of course, the best protocol in use these days, OpenVPN. There is also an automatic protocol selection feature. PureVPN has servers in over 120 countries and they take great pride in their well-maintained, secure, and fast network. You can use split tunneling and you can connect up to five of your devices simultaneously.
The company guarantees 99.99% uptime and their speeds are very good. Despite excellent security measures and features like NAT firewall, kill switch, Wi-Fi protection, and others, PureVPN is not flawless. Unfortunately, they keep some user logs, which may be a deal-breaker for some users.
IPVanish is your safest bet if you are looking for a great VPN provider for your Linux-based device. This provider does not have a custom client for Ubuntu (such clients are extremely rare among VPN providers anyway) but their service is definitely supported on Linux and there is a detailed setup guide which everyone can follow to start using their VPN. You can opt for a visual guide or for the written version. If you have any difficulties, you can use the company’s excellent FAQ section or you can submit a support ticket.
Linux users can choose between OpenVPN and PPTP, depending on whether they are looking for very strong security or for very fast connections. The encryption is AES-128 and AES-256, which is good as it gives you some flexibility.
IPVanish has an impressive number of locations and they are currently running over 500 servers. Unlimited switching, speed, and data transfer are just some of the perks you can expect if you sign up for this service, along with some handy features like VoIP. P2P is allowed.
VyprVPN is a provider that definitely takes care of all its users, whatever device and operating system they are using. They have an excellent VPN client, simple, intuitive, and easy to configure even on Ubuntu. The original version is for Windows but other versions are basically mirroring it, so there is no loss of functionality or simplicity there. You can use this software not only to turn the VPN on and off, but you can also use it to change the location and the server you want to connect to. You can customize the security features as well, including the protocol you want to use.
Speaking of protocols, VyprVPN offers the standard set of protocols and their own protocol, which is called Chameleon. VyprVPN connections are generally leak-proof and the connectivity is very reliable. The speeds are good to great, whether we are talking about streaming, downloading, or simple browsing.
VyprVPN, which is run by Golden Frog, has over 700 servers and 200,000 IP addresses for their users to choose from. They do keep some user logs, albeit only for 30 days. The prices are reasonable and there is a three-day free trial. Unfortunately, they do not have a money back guarantee.
As you can see from this list of the top VPNs for Linux, all the VPN providers we mentioned in this article are compatible with Linux. It is the minimum requirement but it is certainly not enough. Ideally, the best VPN service providers for Linux should offer custom-made software for Linux. Unfortunately, only a handful of them actually do. However, you don’t really need custom software in order to use a VPN on your Linux-based device. Most providers use an open source generic client for Linux. What makes the difference is the support they provide for it.
The open source OpenVPN client for Linux is the most commonly used software in the industry. It is a high-quality product, quite reliable, fast, and relatively easy to use. However, you either have to have some level of expertise in order to install and configure it by yourself or you need good support from your VPN provider. And that support is precisely what makes a good VPN provider for Linux. We made sure to include only those providers that offer both great setup tutorials for the open source Linux client and excellent live or ticket support. As we mentioned earlier, the time when Linux was reserved for experts and computer wizards is long gone.
Linux is now very user-friendly and intuitive and its user base is constantly growing. VPN providers cannot possibly expect all of them to be able to set up the software by themselves, which is why it is essential to provide good, detailed, and truly helpful tutorials. A great VPN provider for Linux will offer both a video setup guide and a classic written tutorial. If you still don’t manage to configure it by yourself, there has to be 24/7 live support or at least a fast ticket or e-mail system with helpful, friendly staff to guide you through the process.
There is only one downside to the generic open source client – the fact it does not come with all the features you get with a custom client, such as a kill switch. This is bad news for less savvy users but poses no problem to those who are familiar with the Linux firewall.
Of course, in addition to the Linux-specific requirements, the best VPN providers for Linux have to meet other general criteria. One of the most important ones is speed. No one wants lags in their connection but, unfortunately, it’s something that VPN users simply have to live with. A good provider, however, will make sure there are no major speed discrepancies between your normal connection and your VPN. Some of them actually do an excellent job in that regard. Great connectivity and reliable connections are other necessary requirements for a good VPN provider, whether we are talking about a VPN for Linux or any other system.
When it comes to security, if you sign up for a VPN service provider that only offers the generic client, then OpenVPN is the only protocol you will be able to use. This is hardly a problem since it is considered the best, most secure protocol available right now. As for privacy, the key thing to watch out for here is the policy regarding logs. Ideally, your VPN provider should keep no logs at all, but if there are some logs kept, then they should be limited to connection times and duration and not include any records of your actual traffic. Make sure to read Terms and Conditions and carefully research the provider’s logs and records policy.