5 Best Free VPNs for Linux in 2024 — Fast & Secure

Raven Wu
Raven Wu Writer
Updated on: May 30, 2024
Fact Checked by Katarina Glamoslija
Raven Wu Raven Wu
Updated on: May 30, 2024 Writer

Short on time? Here’s the best free VPN for Linux in 2024:

  • 🥇 ExpressVPN : It’s not exactly free, but ExpressVPN is the top VPN for Linux in 2024. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free and get a full refund if it doesn’t suit your needs — no questions asked. ExpressVPN has both GUI and CLI options for Linux, supports a wide variety of Linux distros, and offers the fastest speeds on the market.

Free VPNs are generally not the best choice, as they often come with restrictive data caps, have slow connection speeds, and lack essential security features.

And finding a good free VPN for Linux can be even more challenging due to the operating system’s relative lack of popularity — many VPNs don’t have Linux support, and of those that do, few offer a GUI (graphical user interface) for their Linux apps.

However, there are still some decent free VPN options available for Linux users. I tested the top VPNs on the market and compiled a list of the best free VPNs for Linux. These 5 providers offer excellent speeds and great security and support a good number of distros.

My top pick is ExpressVPN. It may not have a free plan, but it’s without a doubt the best VPN for Linux in 2024. Plus, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.

TRY EXPRESSVPN NOW

Quick summary of the best free VPNs for Linux:

  • 1. 🥇ExpressVPN — Best overall VPN for Linux in 2024 with a 30-day money-back guarantee (comes with a GUI).
  • 2. 🥈CyberGhost VPN — Excellent Linux VPN with streaming-optimized servers and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
  • 3. 🥉Proton VPN — Best 100% free VPN for Linux with an intuitive GUI & unlimited data (5 locations only).
  • 4. Windscribe — Good free VPN for streaming on a user-friendly Linux app (but limited data).
  • 5. hide.me — Good free Linux VPN with fast speeds and unlimited data but no streaming support.

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best Overall VPN for Linux in 2024

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best Overall VPN for Linux in 2024

ExpressVPN isn’t free, but it’s undoubtedly the best Linux VPN in 2024, and you can test it out risk-free by taking advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee. ExpressVPN supports a wide range of popular Linux distros, including Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch, and Mint.

I think it’s great you can control the app with GUI and a CLI (command-line Interface). Although most Linux users are familiar with the terminal, having options is always a plus, and ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that have a GUI — which you can use via the Chrome and Firefox extensions.

And ExpressVPN’s privacy and security features are top-notch:

  • No-logs policy. It doesn’t log your IP address, online activities, or downloads. Plus, the no-logs policy has been verified by multiple independent audits.
  • Full leak protection. Keeps your data hidden by preventing IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks.
  • RAM-only servers. Your data is never stored on a hard drive and is erased every time the servers are turned off/reset.
  • Perfect forward secrecy. Frequently changes the encryption key that protects your data. This way, if a single encryption key is compromised, your data from past and future sessions remains safe.
  • ExpressVPN Keys. A pretty good password manager that is included in every ExpressVPN subscription for free. It securely stores passwords, auto-fills login details, and helps you generate strong passwords.
  • Threat Manager. Protects against phishing sites and malicious websites and limits the amount of data third parties (like advertisers) can collect on you.

I like how easy it is to set up and use ExpressVPN on Linux devices. The installation process is simple, and there are detailed step-by-step guides (in both written and video format) on ExpressVPN’s website if you need any help — it only took me about 5 minutes to get it all working.

This provider is at the top of the list of the fastest VPNs, making it the ideal choice for browsing, gaming, streaming, and torrenting. In my tests, websites and videos loaded instantly, and I was able to stream HD content without any buffering.

It’s also excellent for streaming and torrenting — most free VPNs don’t support either one. ExpressVPN can access 100+ streaming services, including different Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ libraries, as well as Hulu and BBC iPlayer, and it allows torrenting on all of its servers across 105 countries.

ExpressVPN’s plans start at $6.67 / month, which is a little pricey, but it’s well worth the cost, as it offers the best value for Linux. Plus, I’ve seen ExpressVPN offer promotional deals that include a couple of extra free months.

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Bottom Line:

ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a free plan, but it’s my top Linux VPN in 2024. Its app can be controlled using a GUI or CLI, it supports all major Linux distros, including Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora, has lightning-fast speeds, and comes with strong security features. All purchases are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full ExpressVPN review

🥈2. CyberGhost VPN — Great VPN for Streaming on Linux

🥈2. CyberGhost VPN — Great VPN for Streaming on Linux

CyberGhost VPN doesn’t offer a free plan but has a generous 45-day money-back guarantee for its long-term plans, which is much longer than most other providers’ refund policies. It’s also compatible with major Linux distros, including Ubuntu, Fedora, and Mint.

Unfortunately, CyberGhost doesn’t have a GUI for its Linux app like ExpressVPN. But the excellent guides available on its website make setting up the VPN on various Linux distros very simple. Additionally, I found the CLI app to be very easy-to-use.

Plus, it’s excellent for streaming. It offers 100+ dedicated streaming servers in 20+ countries that work with 50+ streaming platforms, including popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+.

CyberGhost maintains fast speeds on both local and distant servers. During my speed tests, websites and videos loaded instantly, my streaming sessions were never interrupted by buffering, and I was able to enjoy several rounds of Dota 2 without experiencing any lag or disconnects.

It has great P2P support as well. It works with top torrenting clients like qBitorrent, uTorrent, and Transmission and has a very large network of dedicated P2P servers (8,500+ servers in 70+ countries). This makes it easy to connect to a nearby server for faster download speeds and to avoid overcrowded servers.

You also get very good privacy and security. CyberGhost uses perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers. In addition, CyberGhost’s no-logs policy has been verified by an independent firm, and it releases regular transparency reports, which detail the legal requests for user data that the company received and how it couldn’t comply with the requests.

CyberGhost VPN is a very affordable option, starting at $2.03 / month. In addition to the 45-day money-back guarantee on its long-term plans, it also offers a 14-day money-back guarantee for its shortest plan.

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Bottom Line:

CyberGhost VPN lacks a free plan but is a reasonably-priced VPN for Linux. It only has a CLI app, but it’s very user-friendly and is compatible with most popular Linux distros, including Ubuntu, Fedora, and Mint. Additionally, it provides very fast speeds for browsing, streaming, and torrenting, and it comes with some great privacy and security features. CyberGhost’s long-term plans are backed by a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full CyberGhost VPN review

🥉3. Proton VPN — Best Free VPN for Linux With Unlimited Data

🥉3. Proton VPN — Best Free VPN for Linux With Unlimited Data

Proton VPN is one of the only top VPNs whose free plan provides unlimited data, which makes it a great choice for browsing and one of the best free VPNs on the market. However, its free plan allows only 1 connection, access to servers in 5 countries (the US, the Netherlands, Romania, Poland, and Japan), and doesn’t support streaming or torrenting.

Like ExpressVPN, Proton VPN’s Linux app also has a GUI, but there’s a fully featured CLI app as well if that’s what you prefer. And it’s compatible with a large variety of Linux distros, including Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, and Fedora.

In terms of privacy and security, Proton VPN is very good. It uses perfect forward secrecy and has an independently audited no-logs policy. And although it doesn’t have RAM-only servers, it has full-disk encryption, which makes data on its servers unreadable. I also appreciate that all of Proton VPN’s apps are open-source, so anyone can inspect its code for vulnerabilities.

Proton performed great in my speed tests — websites loaded in 2–3 seconds, HD videos loaded within 3 seconds, and there was only minor buffering at the start of a video. I also really appreciate that the free plan automatically connects you to the fastest available server when you launch the VPN app, which is pretty convenient.

Proton VPN’s paid plans start as low as $4.49 / month and include streaming and torrenting support, servers in 91 countries, and an excellent ad blocker. The VPN backs all purchases with a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Bottom Line:

Proton VPN is a great free Linux VPN for all online activities. It’s fast, secure, offers unlimited data, also has a GUI on its Linux app, and is compatible with popular Linux distros like Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, and Fedora. Its premium plans get you faster speeds and consistent streaming and torrenting support. All paid plans are backed by a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full Proton VPN review

4. Windscribe — Great Free VPN for Streaming on Linux

4. Windscribe — Great Free VPN for Streaming on Linux

Windscribe allows streaming on its free plan and works reliably with top streaming services, so it’s a good option if you need a Linux VPN for streaming content on Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime. Plus, the free plan gives you access to servers in 10+ countries, including the US, the UK, the Netherlands, and Hong Kong — which is more than what you’ll get with most free plans.

I really like that its free plan provides up to 15 GB of data per month (2 GB by default, 10 GB if you verify your email address, and 5 GB more by tweeting), which is enough for about 15 hours of streaming. Plus, it’s the only free VPN on this list that allows unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can install it on all of your devices.

Windscribe has great Linux support. Its Linux app features a GUI, and it’s compatible with major Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and Arch. That said, I still think ExpressVPN’s app is more user-friendly.

I was impressed with Windscribe’s speeds. In my tests on local servers, websites and videos loaded instantly, while on distant servers, they took only about 2–3 seconds.

And Windscribe has good security features. It uses perfect forward secrecy, has RAM-only servers, and includes a pretty good ad blocker called R.O.B.E.R.T (but it’s a limited version on the free plan).

Windscribe’s premium plans start at $3.00 / month. Upgrading gets you unlimited data, more servers, and extra features. However, Windscribe only offers a 3-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Windscribe is a good free VPN for streaming on Linux — it consistently works with popular streaming services and has great speeds. Its free plan also provides access to 10+ server locations, allows unlimited simultaneous connections, and provides up to 15 GB of data per month. All of its plans are backed by a 3-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full Windscribe review

5. hide.me — Fast VPN for Linux With Unlimited Data

5. hide.me — Fast VPN for Linux With Unlimited Data

hide.me offers unlimited data on its free plan and decent speeds on Linux. In my tests, sites loaded immediately, HD videos only took about 2–3 seconds to load, and there was minimal buffering.

Its free plan includes 8 server locations, too, including in the US, UK, Germany, and the Netherlands, so there are good chances that you can find a nearby server and get the best possible speeds for your location on your Linux.

The good news is the Linux app comes with strong security features, including RAM-only servers, perfect forward secrecy, and full leak protection.

hide.me’s affordable plans start at $2.22 / month and provide streaming support, servers in 54 countries, and more. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

hide.me is a decent free VPN with good speeds on Linux. It provides unlimited bandwidth and access to 8 server locations. It also supports all Linux distros that allow manual VPN configuration and has advanced security features. Upgrading to a paid plan gets you unlimited data and access to more servers. hide.me backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full hide.me review

Quick Comparison Table

VPN Starting Price GUI Linux Distros Supported Bandwidth Speed Limits Number of Countries
🥇1. ExpressVPN $6.67 / month
(with a browser extension)
Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch, Raspberry Pi (armhf), Mint Unlimited 105
🥈2. CyberGhost VPN $2.03 / month Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, Kali, CentOS, Pop!_OS Unlimited 100
🥉3. Proton VPN $4.49 / month Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, MX Linux, Kali Linux, Elementary OS, Fedora, Archlinux / Manjaro Unlimited 5
4. Windscribe $3.00 / month Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, Arch Up to 15 GB / month 10+
5. hide.me $2.22 / month Ubuntu Unlimited 5+

How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Linux in 2024

  • Look for a VPN with good Linux support. All the VPNs on this list have user-friendly GUI or CLI Linux apps and support many popular Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Mint, and Arch.
  • Choose a VPN with a high data usage limit. Free VPNs often put a cap on how much data you can use. I chose VPNs with generous data limits, allowing you to browse or stream without worrying too much about how much data you’re using. Proton VPN is the only free VPN on this list that offers unlimited data.
  • Get a VPN with fast speeds. All VPNs will reduce your internet speeds due to the encryption process, and some free VPNs throttle your speeds. The VPNs on this list are all able to maintain very fast speeds — I had the fastest connections with ExpressVPN.
  • Pick a VPN with a large server network. Many VPNs restrict the number of servers free users have access to. Alternatively, look for providers with servers in nearby countries as connecting to a nearby server will get you better speeds.
  • Find a VPN with strong security. I recommend getting a VPN with industry-standard security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and a kill switch (drops your internet connection if you disconnect from the VPN).
  • Pick a VPN that offers affordable premium plans. The VPNs listed here provide reasonably priced premium plans, should you decide to upgrade from their free versions. Moreover, they all offer a money-back guarantee, allowing you to try out their services risk-free before making a long-term commitment.

Risks & Disadvantages of Using a Free VPN

  • No Linux support. Few free VPNs have good Linux support. Some don’t have a Linux app at all, and others might not be compatible with your Linux distro. Additionally, most free Linux VPNs don’t have a GUI, which makes them harder to use.
  • Slow connection speeds. Free VPNs often impose speed limitations, which can lead to long web page and video load times and frequent buffering while streaming. Paid VPNs like ExpressVPN maintain ultra-fast speeds for all online activities, like streaming, torrenting, and gaming.
  • Poor privacy and security. Many free VPNs lack essential privacy and security features, such as full leak protection, a no-logs policy, or a kill switch. This may expose your personal information to third parties like advertisers or your internet service provider (ISP). In fact, some providers monetize their free plans by selling this information, which leaves you vulnerable to cyberattacks.
  • Restrictive data caps. Free VPNs typically impose daily or monthly data limits, and depending on your bandwidth cap, you may not be able to use the VPN for more than a few hours a day. Proton VPN offers unlimited data, so you can browse the internet as much as you want without worry.
  • Limited server network. Free VPNs often have a smaller selection of server locations. This can cause overcrowding or force you to connect to a more distant server, resulting in slower speeds.
  • Lack of streaming support. Most providers don’t support streaming on their free servers or have insufficient data allowances for streaming purposes. Paid VPNs work with streaming platforms more reliably and have no data restrictions. For example, ExpressVPN works with 100+ streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+.

Affordable Alternatives

  • Private Internet Access (PIA). PIA has really cheap plans so it’s a great pick if you’re on a tight budget. It has both a GUI and a CLI and supports Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, and Arch. Additionally, it offers great speeds and security and allows unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can cover every device in your household with a single subscription. PIA’s plans start at just $2.03 / month, and every subscription is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our full Private Internet Access review.
  • Surfshark. Surfshark is a fast and secure VPN for Linux. It has a GUI and supports the Ubuntu, Debian, and Mint distros. It also offers unlimited simultaneous connections and has a unique privacy feature called IP Rotator — this makes you harder to track. Its longest-term plan starts at $2.19 / month, and it backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our full Surfshark review.

Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • NordVPN. NordVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market. It’s speedy, secure, and comes with some very unique features like malware protection and a dark web monitor. NordVPN supports Debian, Ubuntu, Elementary OS, Linux Mint Systems, and RPM-based distros, but it doesn’t have a GUI for Linux, and it doesn’t have a free plan.
  • Hotspot Shield. Hotspot Shield’s free plan allows unlimited data, maintains good speeds, and has strong security, but its Linux app is only available to paid users.
  • TunnelBear. TunnelBear is a cute and user-friendly VPN. Its free plan allows unlimited device connections, and it lets free users access all of its 45+ server locations. That said, it has very limited support for Linux devices, and its free plan has a pretty restrictive data limit of 2 GB per month.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any 100% free VPNs for Linux?

Yes, there are some pretty good free VPNs for Linux. My favorite is Proton VPN. It’s one of the few Linux VPNs with a GUI on top of a CLI app, and it supports a ton of Linux distros, including Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, and Fedora. It also has one of the best free plans on the market — it offers unlimited data, 5 server locations (in the US, the Netherlands, Romania, Poland, and Japan), fast speeds, and high-end privacy and security features.

Does Linux have a built-in VPN?

No, but it’s easy to get a third-party VPN instead. I recommend ExpressVPN because it’s the overall best VPN in 2024 and has excellent Linux support — it has both GUI and CLI apps and is compatible with most popular Linux distros, like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and Arch. Additionally, it’s got the fastest speeds of any VPN on the market and strong privacy and security features.

Does Ubuntu have a free VPN?

No, Ubuntu doesn’t come with a free VPN. However, there are some free VPNs that support the Ubuntu Linux distro. Proton VPN is an especially good one — it has a GUI and a CLI app for Linux, is one of the only free VPNs with no data usage limits, provides 5 server locations (in the US, the Netherlands, Romania, Poland, and Japan), has very fast speeds for browsing, and comes with strong privacy and security features.

How do I install a VPN on Linux?

The easiest way to get a VPN on Linux is to install a VPN client. To do so, just follow these 3 simple steps:

  • Step 1: Find a VPN that works on Linux. Make sure you check that it’s compatible with the specific Linux distro that you’re using. ExpressVPN is my favorite Linux VPN and supports the most popular distros like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and Mint.
  • Step 2: Get the VPN. Purchase a subscription to your chosen provider and download its Linux app.
  • Step 3: Install the VPN on your Linux device. Follow the tutorial on the provider’s website to set up the VPN. The process may be different for different Linux distros.

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About the Author
Raven Wu
Raven Wu
Writer
Updated on: May 30, 2024

About the Author

Raven Wu is a freelance writer, editor, and translator. He is a strong advocate of internet freedom and is very passionate about technology, and he’s honed his craft by researching and writing about a variety of other topics including education, literature, health, pop culture, and games. Outside of work, he's an amateur novelist and history enthusiast who enjoys hard games, spicy food, and thinking way too hard about everything.