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5 Best Linux VPN Services for 2018

A VPN is something of a digital Swiss Army knife for Linux users. The right one can provide you with privacy and freedom online, but a bad one will cause you headaches. Take a look at our top 5 list below to find some VPNs with great Linux clients.


Linux VPN

The best VPN for Linux: Summary

Here's our list of recommended VPNs for Linux:

Editor's Choice 1. From $2.73 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.8 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
2. From $1.22 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.6 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
3. From $5.5 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.4 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
4. From $6.67 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
5. From $3.5 / month
BestVPN.com Score 7.8 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review


Anyone who is serious about their privacy should use Linux as their desktop operating system. Linux is a free and open source Operating System (OS). This means that its code can be inspected to detect tampering. Given that Linux is the OS of choice for the privacy conscious, it comes as little surprise that the platform is much better supported by VPN providers than its user-base might suggest.

It's one thing finding a VPN for Linux, it's a whole other task finding one that works well with Linux. The number of providers that offer custom Linux clients is low, but we've searched high and low to put together a list of the 5 best. Read on to find out who made it...

Top 5 VPNs to use with Linux

1. PrivateVPN

BestVPN.com Score 9.8 out of 10
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Editor's Choice

PrivateVPN is an amazing service from Sweden that users praise regularly. It is a superb service that has a setup guide for Linux users on its website. It is fast, efficient, easy to use, and extremely reliable. It also provides lightning fast speeds for streaming in HD. Encryption is military grade OpenVPN and this VPN keeps zero logs. Amazingly, this fantastic VPN is also super cheap. Why not try the 30-day money-back guarantee to see why this VPN is proving so popular?

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 60
  • Average Speed 58.97 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 6
  • Jurisdiction Sweden

Likes

  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Servers in 56 countries
  • Strong OpenVPN encryption
  • Zero logs
  • 24/7 customer support

Dislikes

  • Not much

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 100
Countries 60
Simultaneous connections 6
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN
Other protocols IPSec, Shadowsocks

Privacy

Jurisdiction Sweden
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Google Analytics

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 327.86
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 58.97
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Proxy
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial Yes - 7 days
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

2. AirVPN

BestVPN.com Score 9.6 out of 10
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Thanks to its tech-heavy focus and lack of customer service skills, AirVPN is not necessarily for everyone. This is a bit of a shame, as not only does AirVPN really care about its customers’ privacy, but it is the clear market leader when it comes to privacy technology. Its open source GUI Linux client (“Eddie”) is identical to the Windows and OSX versions. This means that users benefit from a firewall-based kill switch and DNS leak protection, port selection, and more. In addition, AirVPN uses very strong encryption, permits VPN obfuscation using SSH and SSL tunneling, supports anonymous Linux VPN use via VPN through Tor, and allows port forwarding.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 19
  • Average Speed N/A Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 5
  • Jurisdiction Italy

Likes

  • No logs
  • Strong encryption (including Perfect Forward Secrecy)
  • Port forwarding
  • Accepts Bitcoins (and other crypto-currency)
  • 3-day free trial

Dislikes

  • Not a huge number of server locations
  • Italy is not an ideal location

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 250
Countries 19
Simultaneous connections 5
Bare metal or virtual servers Bare metal
Router Support
Routers Supported Asus AsusWRT based routers
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction Italy
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? No tracking

Performance

Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial Yes - 3 days
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

3. Mullvad

BestVPN.com Score 8.4 out of 10
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Like AirVPN, this small Swedish provider really cares about its users’ privacy. It even accepts anonymous cash payments sent by post! It also provides Linux users with a full version of its GUI desktop client. This protects Linux VPN connections with a firewall based kill switch and DNS leak protection, and allows port forwarding. In fact, the Mullvad client is the only VPN software I am aware of properly route IPv6 DNS requests (even AirVPN only disables IPv6). It hardly needs saying that Mullvad keeps no logs at all, and it now uses strong encryption. The main drawback, however, is that Mullvad runs servers in a relatively limited number locations (mainly in Europe but also North America, Australia, and the UK).

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 32
  • Average Speed N/A Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 5
  • Jurisdiction Sweden

Likes

  • Private: No logs at all
  • Secure: Excellent encryption
  • Family Friendly: Five simultaneous connections
  • Anti-censorship technologies
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting on all servers

Dislikes

  • Limited number of servers
  • Slow support

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 230
Countries 32
Simultaneous connections 5
Bare metal or virtual servers Bare metal
Router Support
Routers Supported OpenWRT, DD-WRT, pfSense, Ipfire , Tomato, Asus Merlin
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN
Other protocols Wireguard

Privacy

Jurisdiction Sweden
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? No tracking

Performance

Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Proxy
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial Yes - 3 hour
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

4. ExpressVPN

BestVPN.com Score 8 out of 10
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ExpressVPN is a popular VPN service thanks to great 24/7 customer service, easy-to-use software, and a 30-day no quibbles money back guarantee that actually does what it promises. Linux users are not as well catered for as users of other Operating Systems, but ExpressVPN does at least provide a basic custom Linux VPN client. It is Terminal command-line only, but works well, and is simple enough to use. The Ubuntu 64-bit version works just fine for my Mint. Update: The ExpressVPN Linux client now features DNS leak protection.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 94
  • Average Speed 77.14 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 3
  • Jurisdiction British Virgin Islands

Likes

  • Super fast - great for streaming!
  • Very secure 256-bit encryption
  • Unlimited downloading
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 5* 24/7 customer support
  • Special Deal: Save 49% Today

Dislikes

  • IPv6 WebRTC leaks (fixed by browser extension)
  • A little pricey
  • BVI jurisdiction is not ideal

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 2000
Countries 94
Simultaneous connections 3
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Routers Supported Asus RT-AC56R, Asus RT-AC56S, Asus RT-AC56U, Asus RT-AC68U, Asus RT-AC87U, Linksys EA6200, Linksys WRT1200AC, Linksys WRT1900AC 13J1, Linksys WRT1900AC 13J2, Linksys WRT1900ACS, Linksys WRT3200ACM, Netgear R6300v2, Netgear Nighthawk R7000
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction British Virgin Islands
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? N/A

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 178.05
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 77.14
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial No
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

5. CyberGhost

BestVPN.com Score 7.8 out of 10
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CyberGhost rounds up our list of the best VPNs for Linux. CyberGhost is a popular Romanian provider known for its stylish provider and intuitive use. Just because it’s easy to use doesn’t mean that it’s any less secure – it boasts excellent security features such as military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and perfect forward secrecy. Other attractive features of CyberGhost include its five simultaneous connections, fast speeds, and allowing P2P. What’s more, you can experience all these and more for yourself by taking advantage of the provider’s 30-day money-back guarantee.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 60
  • Average Speed 61.97 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 7
  • Jurisdiction Romania

Likes

  • Private: Great logs policy
  • Based in Romania so no government spying!
  • Good looking and easy-to-use software: Seven simultaneous connections
  • Friendly Live Chat support
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting allowed

Dislikes

  • Not much

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 2750
Countries 60
Simultaneous connections 7
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Routers Supported Any router with VPN capabilities
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction Romania
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Trackers used

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 132.01
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 61.97
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial No
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

Why do I need a VPN?

A VPN is a way to securely connect your Linux machine to a “VPN server” in order to protect your privacy when browsing online. Your Linux PC then connects to the internet via this VPN server.

All data passing between your PC and the VPN server is encrypted. This is sometimes referred to as an “encrypted tunnel.” The VPN hides your data from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), so that it cannot spy on what you do online.

VPNs are something of a Swiss Army knife and should be part of every serious Linux user’s toolkit. They allow you to:

  • Evade local censorship laws
  • Unblock content
  • Protect yourself on public WiFi
  • Torrent safely
  • Protect yourself from snoopers

Only very few VPN services offer custom VPN clients for Linux. That said, most provide manual Linux setup guides.

Which VPNs to Avoid

If you want a dedicated and fully featured custom VPN client then you have a very limited selection of providers to choose from. If you don’t mind doing manual  VPN setup in Linux, then most of the guides on this site apply as much to Linux users as to anybody else.

PureVPN is the most complained-about VPN service we have reviewed, while Hide My Ass (HMA) is based in the UK and has a history of handing over logs to the authorities. VyprVPN is in many ways an excellent VPN service, but it keeps extensive connection logs and only permits legal torrenting. For more information torrenting, see our best VPN for torrent sites guide.

If you are interested in any particular VPN service, do please check out our reviews of it before handing over your hard-earned cash.


Quick view

Editor's Choice 1. From $2.73 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.8 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
2. From $1.22 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.6 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
3. From $5.5 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.4 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
4. From $6.67 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
5. From $3.5 / month
BestVPN.com Score 7.8 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review

Written by: Douglas Crawford

I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. You can now follow me on Twitter - @douglasjcrawf.

12 Comments

  1. Louis A. Coleman
    on July 3, 2018
    Reply

    Virtual Private Network helps you to secure your connection.By the way thanks for sharing this informative article!.

  2. Richard G
    on May 18, 2018
    Reply

    Mullvad does support UK servers, it has 2 that I know of - one in London and one in Manchester

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Richard G
      on May 21, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Richard, Indeed, and thanks to pointing this out. The provider summary in this article is outdated (although I have just fixed this issue). As I clearly state in my full Mullvad Review, Mulvad does now support UK servers. We are currently working on a way to ensure summary details across our articles stay as up-to-date as possible).

  3. JorkanoFaln
    on February 24, 2018
    Reply

    Hi, You forgot about perfect privacy vpn in your review this vpn has a linux GUI client and complies with privacytools.io criteria. I don't understand why NordVPN is the second best VPN for Linux, if the latter doesn't even have a client for Linux. The VPN services, I know have a Linux client are: Perfect-Privacy (GUI), Mullvad (GUI), AirVPN (GUI), Private Internet Access (GUI) as well as Expressvpn (CLI). Could you also write an article on the best VPNs for hackers (white hat) and tech professionals?

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to JorkanoFaln
      on February 26, 2018
      Reply

      Hi JorkanoFaln, Yeah. I have raised this point with our team before. Our 5 Best lists are a group decision, and the team decided the overall advantages of NordVPN and CyberGhost outweighed the fact that they don't have dedicated Linux clients. Pefect Privacy and PIA are both good VPN services, however, so I will raise the issue again.

  4. malik
    on January 27, 2017
    Reply

    > Perhaps Depending on the brand & the serie & the country where your computer/laptop/subnote is coming from ... some vulnerabilities/feature_malware/backdoor_system management/hijacking_bios/rootkit/gps embedded could be an option and enabled or could be slept as a 'suspend' service.) # the price includes all the improvement. ibm (Thinkpad) & dell (Latitude) are famous for their bizare configuration ... #are there ingeniors working in their team ? A lot of clones are strange (quality/price are good) - (acer/hp/iKit/storex) # who have reviewed it with privacy in mind ? Is coreduo a danger ? # no, it is not but a lot of misinformation & brain washing -propaganda- are confusing the user and it is not fair. The user wants to be independant/autonomous owner of his tool. https://security.stackexchange.com/questions/50907/are-there-gps-tracker-for-laptops https://stackoverflow.com/questions/15702355/what-is-the-difference-between-the-firmware-and-the-operating-system Some laptops and netbooks are GPS-enabled and provide navigational information while on the go. gps-backdoor/remote coontrol : -rtc & gps & WebRTC -firmware & battery -anti-theft/Data Protection -builtin GPS in a mini-pci card + SIM -A full array of wireless communications options come built in: 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, WWAN, and even GPS (2008) -Trusted Platform Module -Internal GPS fitted to Tablets and laptops. Computer peripheral devices : Devices connecting to the computer via USB, Bluetooth or expansion slots (sd card/card reader e.g.) allow the computer to utilize the GPS system. *wake on lan must be turned off , the browser must be tweaked a little , you must also -if you are paranoid- unplug your internet cable from your computer when it is not in use. *sparsky vs ubuntu ? both are built from unstable debian version and both are fun, user friendly, etc. unstable means untrust.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to malik
      on January 30, 2017
      Reply

      Hi malik, Re. GPS. I am not disputing that it exists in some laptops, but (as I understand it) this is an additional hardware module, not part of the Intel processor. I would also think that to work it would require propriety software - something that would be removed if you install a Linux distro instead of the software the laptop ships with.

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