Best VPN for Linux

3 Best Linux VPN in 2024 (Free & Premium)

Published on: October 14, 2023
Last Updated: October 14, 2023

3 Best Linux VPN in 2024 (Free & Premium)

Published on: October 14, 2023
Last Updated: October 14, 2023

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The best VPN for Linux in 2024, as found in our independent testing, is NordVPN!


In the vast world of the internet, Linux stands tall as a beacon of security and flexibility.

But even the mightiest need a shield, and for Linux users, that shield is a VPN.

Welcome to our exploration of the best VPN for Linux, where we’ll dive deep into the top choices that promise not just protection but also seamless integration with your favorite OS.

Linux, with its open-source heart, deserves a VPN that complements its strengths.

Whether you’re a developer, a privacy enthusiast, or someone who simply loves the penguin, the right VPN can elevate your Linux experience.

Let’s embark on this journey to find the perfect match for your Linux system.

Resource Contents show

Best Linux VPN in 2024

Here are the champions in the Linux VPN arena:

  1. NordVPN – 🏆 Winner!
  2. Surfshark
  3. Atlas VPN

1. NordVPN

NordVPN

Recommended Guide: NordVPN Review

NordVPN, a name synonymous with top-tier online security, has carved a niche for itself in the VPN industry.

For Linux users, it’s not just about the brand but the experience it offers.

Let’s delve deeper into what makes NordVPN a prime choice for Linux enthusiasts.

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  • NordVPN is the industry leader (by a long way)
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Superfast speeds
  • 5,442+ servers in 60+ countries
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Next-generation military-grade encryption
  • DoubleVPN, double privacy
  • 6 simultaneous device connections
  • Great for: Safety, security, anonymity & peace of mind
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad & iOS, Linux, routers, Apple TV, FireFox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and more

👉 Get NordVPN FREE!

A Seamless Linux Experience

One of the first things you’ll notice about NordVPN is its dedicated Linux client.

While many VPNs offer a one-size-fits-all solution, NordVPN understands the nuances of Linux.

The client is tailored to provide a seamless integration with various Linux distributions.

Whether you’re on Ubuntu, Debian, or Fedora, NordVPN has got you covered.

The command-line interface, though seemingly daunting for beginners, is intuitive.

With a few commands, you can connect to a server, change your settings, or even troubleshoot issues.

Global Server Network

Connectivity is the backbone of any VPN, and NordVPN shines brightly in this department.

With over 5000 servers spread across 59 countries, users are spoilt for choice.

Whether you’re looking to bypass geo-restrictions, access content from a specific region, or just want a fast connection, NordVPN’s vast server network caters to all these needs.

The diversity of server locations also ensures that you can find a server close to your physical location, reducing latency and ensuring faster speeds.

Uncompromised Security

In the realm of online security, NordVPN is a fortress.

It employs AES-256 encryption, the gold standard in encryption protocols.

This ensures that any data transmitted through the VPN is virtually impervious to breaches.

But NordVPN doesn’t stop there.

It offers features like Double VPN, where your traffic is routed through two servers, doubling the encryption.

For those who are particularly cautious about their online footprint, NordVPN’s strict no-logs policy is a boon.

This means that none of your online activities are recorded, ensuring complete anonymity.

User-Friendly Features

Beyond the technicalities, NordVPN offers features that enhance the user experience.

The CyberSec feature, for instance, automatically blocks suspicious websites, ensuring that malware and other cyber threats don’t reach your system.

Then there’s the automatic kill switch.

If, for some reason, your VPN connection drops, the kill switch ensures that your internet connection is immediately terminated, preventing any data leakage.

Pricing and Customer Support

Value for money is a significant factor when choosing a VPN.

NordVPN offers various subscription plans, catering to both short-term and long-term users.

The longer the subscription period, the more cost-effective it becomes.

Additionally, NordVPN often rolls out promotional offers, making it even more affordable.

But what truly sets NordVPN apart is its customer support.

With a 24/7 live chat feature, users can get their queries resolved in real-time.

Whether it’s a technical glitch, billing query, or just a general question about VPNs, NordVPN’s support team is always ready to assist.

For Linux users, NordVPN is more than just a VPN; it’s a comprehensive online security solution.

It strikes the perfect balance between advanced features and user-friendliness.

Whether you’re a seasoned Linux veteran or someone who’s just started their Linux journey, NordVPN is a worthy companion, ensuring that your online adventures are both secure and enjoyable.

2. Surfshark

Surfshark

Recommended Guide: Surfshark VPN Review

Surfshark VPN, a relatively newer entrant in the VPN market, has quickly risen to prominence with its innovative features and commitment to user privacy.

For Linux aficionados, Surfshark offers a blend of simplicity and advanced functionalities.

Let’s dive into the depths of what Surfshark brings to the Linux table.

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  • Surfshark is the best budget VPN
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • 3200+ servers in 95 countries
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Great for: private browsing on a budget
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iOS, Linux, FireFox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and more

Tailored for Linux

Surfshark understands the diversity of the Linux community.

With a dedicated Linux client, it ensures that users across various distributions, from Ubuntu to CentOS, have a hassle-free VPN experience.

The client, designed with a command-line interface, is both lightweight and powerful.

Even if you’re not a command-line guru, Surfshark’s well-documented guides make the setup and usage a breeze.

Expansive Server Reach

With over 3200 servers in more than 65 countries, Surfshark offers a vast playground for its users.

This extensive server network means you can virtually be anywhere in the world, bypassing geo-blocks with ease. Whether it’s streaming content from Japan or accessing a website restricted in your region, Surfshark’s servers ensure smooth and speedy access.

Robust Security Framework

Surfshark’s commitment to user security is evident in its features.

Employing the industry-standard AES-256 encryption, it ensures that your data remains locked away from prying eyes.

Unique to Surfshark is the MultiHop feature, allowing users to connect via multiple countries simultaneously, adding an extra layer of security.

And for the privacy-conscious, Surfshark’s no-logs policy guarantees that your online activities remain your own.

Innovative User Features

Surfshark goes beyond just being a VPN.

With its CleanWeb feature, it actively blocks ads, trackers, and malicious websites, ensuring a cleaner browsing experience.

The Whitelister function allows specific apps or websites to bypass the VPN, useful for banking apps or certain streaming services.

And if you ever face a hiccup, Surfshark’s kill switch jumps into action, severing your internet connection to prevent any data leaks.

Affordability and Support

One of Surfshark’s standout features is its pricing.

Offering one of the most competitive rates in the market, it ensures that top-notch online security doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Coupled with regular discounts and promotions, Surfshark is a steal.

And if you ever find yourself in troubled waters, Surfshark’s 24/7 customer support is there to guide you.

Be it a technical query or a general doubt, their responsive team ensures that you’re never left stranded.

Surfshark VPN, with its blend of innovative features and user-centric approach, is a formidable choice for Linux users.

It’s not just a tool but a comprehensive online shield, ensuring that your Linux-powered adventures remain private, secure, and unrestricted.

3. Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN

Recommended Guide: Atlas VPN Review

Atlas VPN, though a newer player, has made significant waves in the VPN industry.

With a focus on simplicity and performance, it’s quickly becoming a favorite among Linux enthusiasts.

Let’s explore the offerings of AtlasVPN for the Linux community.

👉 Get Atlas VPN FREE

  • Atlas VPN is the best free VPN
  • Privacy Pro servers
  • 750 servers in 40+ locations
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Great for: people seeking a freemium VPN
  • Compatible with: Windows, MacOS, Android, iPhone & iOS, Android TV, Fire TV Stick

Linux-Centric Design

AtlasVPN, recognizing the unique requirements of Linux users, has crafted a client that melds seamlessly with the OS.

The command-line-based client is intuitive, ensuring that even those new to Linux can set up and use the VPN with ease.

With support for popular distributions, AtlasVPN ensures broad compatibility.

Server Diversity

With servers spread across 30+ countries, AtlasVPN might not have the vastest network, but it focuses on quality over quantity.

Each server is optimized for speed and reliability, ensuring that users get a consistent and lag-free experience, be it for streaming, gaming, or browsing.

Fortified Security

Security is at the heart of AtlasVPN.

Using AES-256 encryption, it ensures that user data remains encrypted and away from potential hackers.

Its SafeSwap feature is a standout, allowing users to frequently change IP addresses for enhanced anonymity.

And, staying true to the ethos of VPNs, AtlasVPN maintains a strict no-logs policy.

User-Centric Features

AtlasVPN is not just about connecting to a server; it’s about enhancing the overall online experience.

Its SafeBrowse feature, for instance, warns users about potentially harmful websites, adding an extra layer of online safety.

The lightweight nature of the client ensures that it runs smoothly even on older hardware, making it accessible to a wider range of users.

Budget-Friendly and Responsive Support

AtlasVPN offers one of the most budget-friendly plans in the market without compromising on features.

Its transparent pricing ensures that users know exactly what they’re getting.

And if users ever face issues, the AtlasVPN support team, available 24/7, ensures that help is just a message away.

AtlasVPN, with its focus on simplicity, security, and user experience, is a stellar choice for Linux users.

It understands the ethos of the Linux community and offers a product that complements the OS’s strengths.

For those looking for a straightforward, effective, and affordable VPN solution, AtlasVPN is a worthy contender.

Setting Up a VPN on Linux: A Step-by-Step Guide

VPN 412

Setting up a VPN on Linux might seem daunting, especially given the OS’s reputation for requiring technical know-how.

However, with the right guidance, even a Linux novice can secure their online activities with a VPN.

Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

Choosing the Right VPN Client

Before diving into the setup, it’s essential to decide how you want to connect to the VPN:

  • Native Client: Some VPN providers offer dedicated Linux clients, making the setup process straightforward. If your chosen VPN has this option, it’s the easiest route.
  • Manual Setup: For VPNs that don’t offer a dedicated client or for users who prefer a hands-on approach, Linux provides tools to manually configure the VPN connection.

Setting Up Using a Native Client

If your VPN provider offers a Linux client, follow these steps:

  1. Repository Addition: Most VPNs will provide a repository for Linux distributions. Add this repository to your system. For Debian-based systems, this often involves using the add-apt-repository command.
  2. Update and Install: Once the repository is added, update your package list using sudo apt update (for Debian-based systems) and then install the VPN client, typically with sudo apt install [vpn-client-name].
  3. Launch and Login: Post-installation, launch the VPN client from your application menu. Log in using your VPN credentials.
  4. Connect: Most native clients provide a simple interface with a connect button. Click it, and you should be connected to the VPN. Some clients also allow server selection if you have a preference.

Manual VPN Setup Using OpenVPN

For VPNs without a dedicated Linux client or for those preferring manual setup:

  1. Install OpenVPN: OpenVPN is a popular tool for VPN connections. Install it using your package manager, e.g., sudo apt install openvpn for Debian-based systems.
  2. Download Configuration Files: Visit your VPN provider’s website and download the OpenVPN configuration files. These are typically .ovpn files.
  3. Connect to the VPN: Navigate to the directory containing the .ovpn files. Use the command sudo openvpn --config [filename].ovpn to initiate the VPN connection.
  4. Enter Credentials: You’ll be prompted to enter your VPN username and password. Once entered, the connection should be established.

Testing the VPN Connection

After setting up, it’s crucial to ensure everything works as expected:

  1. Verify IP Address: Visit a website like whatismyip.com to check your IP address. It should show the IP of the VPN server, not your actual IP.
  2. Check for DNS Leaks: Visit dnsleaktest.com and run a standard test. Ensure the detected DNS servers belong to your VPN provider or are anonymous.
  3. Speed Test: While a slight reduction in speed is expected due to encryption, it’s good to check the impact. Use speedtest.net to verify your connection speed.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Connection Drops: If your VPN connection drops frequently, try switching servers or changing the VPN protocol (if your client allows it).
  • Slow Speeds: If the VPN significantly reduces your speed, consider switching to a server closer to your location or changing the VPN protocol.
  • Authentication Failures: Ensure you’re using the correct credentials. If using OpenVPN, ensure the .ovpn configuration files are up-to-date.

In conclusion, while Linux requires a bit more hands-on effort for VPN setup compared to other OSs, the flexibility and control it offers are unmatched.

Whether you opt for a native client or a manual setup, the steps above should have you securely connected in no time.

The Importance of Kill Switches and DNS Leak Protection in Linux

Linux, renowned for its security and open-source nature, is a favorite among tech enthusiasts and professionals.

However, when it comes to online privacy, even Linux users aren’t immune to vulnerabilities.

Two critical features in VPNs – Kill Switches and DNS Leak Protection – play pivotal roles in ensuring airtight security for Linux users.

Let’s delve deep into their significance.

Understanding the VPN Kill Switch

A VPN Kill Switch, as the name suggests, “kills” or disconnects your internet if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.

This ensures that your real IP address and online activities aren’t exposed, even for a split second.

Why is a Kill Switch Necessary?

  • Continuous Protection: VPN connections, like any other online connection, can sometimes drop due to various reasons – server overloads, network issues, or even software glitches. A Kill Switch ensures that during these brief disconnections, your data isn’t transmitted over an unsecured network.
  • Avoiding Data Leaks: Especially for users involved in critical tasks or handling sensitive information, a sudden VPN disconnection can lead to data leaks. A Kill Switch acts as a safety net, preventing any data transmission until the VPN connection is restored.
  • Peace of Mind: For Linux users who value privacy, knowing that there’s a mechanism that automatically safeguards their data provides peace of mind.

Implementing a Kill Switch on Linux

While many VPN providers offer Kill Switches in their native clients, Linux users might sometimes need to implement it manually, especially if they’re using a VPN without a dedicated Linux client. Tools like iptables can be configured to block all non-VPN traffic, acting as a manual Kill Switch.

DNS Leak Protection: An Unsung Hero

DNS (Domain Name System) is what translates domain names (like google.com) into IP addresses that computers understand. However, even when connected to a VPN, DNS queries can sometimes bypass the VPN tunnel, a phenomenon known as a DNS leak.

The Risks of DNS Leaks

  • Exposure of Browsing Habits: If your DNS queries aren’t routed through the VPN, they’re likely going through your ISP’s servers. This means your ISP can see every website you visit, even if your traffic to those sites is encrypted by the VPN.
  • Defeating VPN’s Purpose: One primary reason for using a VPN is to keep your online activities private. DNS leaks can undermine this, exposing your browsing habits.
  • Potential Target for Hackers: DNS leaks can also expose your requests to hackers, especially if you’re connected to a compromised network. They can redirect your requests, leading you to malicious websites.

Ensuring DNS Leak Protection on Linux

  • VPN with Built-in Protection: Opt for a VPN that offers built-in DNS Leak Protection. This ensures that all DNS queries are routed through the VPN’s secure servers.
  • Manual Configuration: Linux users can manually configure their systems to use DNS servers provided by the VPN or third-party secure DNS servers. Tools like resolvconf can help in this manual configuration.
  • Regular Testing: Regularly test for DNS leaks using websites like dnsleaktest.com. This ensures that your setup is foolproof and that you’re not inadvertently exposing your DNS queries.

The Synergy of Kill Switches and DNS Leak Protection

While both features are crucial, their combined use offers a holistic protection suite:

  • Comprehensive Security: While the Kill Switch protects against data leaks during VPN disconnections, DNS Leak Protection ensures your browsing habits remain private. Together, they offer a comprehensive security solution.
  • Enhanced Privacy: For users who turn to Linux for its enhanced privacy features, these VPN features align perfectly with their goals, ensuring complete online anonymity.
  • Trust in VPN: These features, especially when they work seamlessly, enhance trust in the VPN provider. Users can be assured that the VPN is doing everything to protect their online presence.

In conclusion, while Linux offers robust security features, the online landscape is riddled with potential pitfalls.

Features like Kill Switches and DNS Leak Protection are not just added benefits but essential tools in the arsenal of every Linux user who values their online privacy.

As the saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry,” and with these features, Linux users can ensure they’re always on the safe side.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a VPN for Linux

Choosing a VPN for Linux isn’t just about picking the most popular option or the one with the most servers.

It requires a deeper understanding of both the VPN’s features and the unique requirements of the Linux ecosystem.

Here are some crucial factors every Linux user should consider:

Compatibility Across Distributions

  • Diverse Linux Landscape: Linux isn’t a one-size-fits-all OS. With distributions ranging from Ubuntu and Debian to Fedora and Arch, the VPN you choose must cater to this diversity.
  • Tailored Clients: While many VPNs offer Linux support, not all provide a dedicated client. A VPN with a Linux-specific client ensures smoother integration and a better overall experience.

Open-Source vs. Proprietary

  • Trust in Transparency: Open-source VPN clients allow users to inspect the code, ensuring there are no hidden backdoors or vulnerabilities. This transparency aligns with the ethos of the Linux community.
  • Community Support: Open-source VPNs often benefit from community contributions, leading to rapid bug fixes, enhancements, and a more secure environment.

Security Protocols and Encryption

  • Encryption Standards: Ensure the VPN uses industry-standard encryption, like AES-256, to safeguard your data from potential breaches.
  • Protocols Matter: From OpenVPN to WireGuard, the VPN protocol used can impact both security and speed. Choose a VPN that offers multiple protocols, allowing you to pick the one best suited for your needs.

Speed and Server Locations

  • Global Reach: A vast server network ensures you can connect from anywhere to anywhere, bypassing geo-restrictions with ease.
  • Optimized Servers: Some VPNs offer servers optimized for specific activities, like streaming or P2P sharing. These can provide enhanced performance for those tasks.

Pricing and Support

  • Value for Money: While free VPNs might be tempting, they often come with limitations. Assess the features offered against the subscription cost to determine if it’s worth the investment.
  • Responsive Support: A VPN with a dedicated support team, especially one familiar with Linux-specific issues, can be invaluable.

The Rise of Linux and Its Future with VPNs

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Linux, once a niche operating system loved by a tight-knit community, has seen exponential growth over the years.

Its rise in popularity, coupled with the increasing importance of online privacy, has made VPNs an essential tool for the Linux community.

Linux’s Growing Dominance

  • Beyond the Desktop: While Linux’s desktop market share might still be modest, its dominance in other areas, like servers, supercomputers, and embedded systems, is unparalleled.
  • Developer’s Choice: With its open-source nature and robust toolset, Linux has become the preferred OS for developers, further driving its adoption.

VPNs: From Luxury to Necessity

  • Privacy Concerns: With increasing data breaches and surveillance, online privacy has taken center stage. VPNs offer a shield, encrypting data and masking the user’s IP.
  • Geo-Restrictions: As Linux grows globally, accessing region-specific resources becomes crucial. VPNs allow users to bypass these restrictions, ensuring unhindered access to software repositories and forums.

Tailored VPN Solutions for Linux

  • Beyond Generic Solutions: Recognizing Linux’s unique requirements, VPN providers are now offering tailored solutions, from dedicated clients to Linux-specific features.
  • Community Collaboration: The synergy between the open-source nature of Linux and VPNs has led to community-driven VPN enhancements, ensuring they cater specifically to Linux users.

Looking Ahead: Linux and VPNs

  • Unified Solutions: As Linux continues to evolve, we can expect VPNs to offer more unified solutions, catering to both desktop and server environments.
  • Enhanced Security: With cyber threats becoming more sophisticated, VPNs will play a pivotal role in safeguarding Linux systems, offering advanced features like multi-hop connections and split tunneling.

As Linux cements its position in the tech world, its relationship with VPNs will only deepen.

The two, working in tandem, promise a future where online freedom, privacy, and security are not just ideals but realities.

FAQs

Why Can’t I Use a Regular VPN for My Linux System?

While many VPNs support Linux, having a dedicated client ensures better integration, performance, and support tailored to the Linux ecosystem.

Are Free VPNs a Good Choice for Linux?

Free VPNs often come with limitations in speed, server locations, and security features.

For robust protection and optimal performance, a premium VPN is recommended.

How Do VPNs Enhance the Security of Linux Servers?

VPNs encrypt the traffic going in and out of the server, making it difficult for hackers to intercept or understand the data.

It also masks the server’s IP, adding an extra layer of anonymity.

Can I Use a VPN to Access Linux-Specific Content from Other Countries?

Yes, VPNs can help bypass geo-restrictions, allowing access to Linux software repositories, forums, and other resources that might be region-specific.

Does Using a VPN Affect My Internet Speed on Linux?

While there might be a slight reduction in speed due to encryption, premium VPNs like NordVPN, Surfshark, and Atlas VPN ensure minimal speed drops, offering fast server connections.

In Summary, the best VPNs in 2024 are;

Conclusion

The digital landscape is ever-evolving, with threats and challenges emerging at every corner.

Linux, with its robust architecture, offers a solid foundation for users.

However, in an age where privacy breaches and cyber threats are rampant, a VPN becomes an essential tool in the arsenal of every Linux user.

Whether you’re a casual user, a developer, or someone managing Linux servers, best VPN for Linux like NordVPN, Surfshark, and Atlas VPN ensure that your online journey remains secure, private, and unrestricted.

👉 Get NordVPN’s FREE Trial

As the Linux community continues to grow, the synergy between Linux and VPNs will only strengthen, paving the way for a safer and more open internet for all.

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Written by Trevor Cooke

Trevor Cooke is an accomplished technology writer with a particular focus on privacy and security. He specializes in topics such as VPNs, encryption, and online anonymity. His articles have been published in a variety of respected technology publications, and he is known for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and accessible manner.

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