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7 Best Linux VPNs (Tested & Reviewed in February 2023)

Raven Wu Raven Wu

Short on time? Here’s the best Linux VPN in 2023:

  • 🥇 ExpressVPN: Easy to install on Linux devices and intuitive to use with both command line and graphical user interfaces. Includes comprehensive security features, has blazing-fast speeds, is great for streaming, allows 5 simultaneous device connections, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

When I switched over to using Linux on my computer recently, I looked into getting a good VPN that was easy to install and use and that would protect my privacy but not reduce my connection speeds by too much. I researched and tested 80 VPNs in my quest to find the very best Linux VPN in 2023.

What quickly became apparent to me was that most VPN providers don’t have a dedicated Linux app at all, don’t support distros (or only a few of them), or offer Linux apps that are buggy and missing key features available on other operating systems.

Fortunately, I found some really good Linux VPNs. The VPNs on this list aren’t just fast and secure, but they’re also compatible with a wide range of distros, from Ubuntu to Fedora, provide fully-featured Linux apps, and have graphical user interfaces (GUI) and/or easy-to-follow setup guides to make using them as simple as possible.

Quick summary of the best VPNs for Linux:

🥇1. ExpressVPN — #1 VPN for Linux in 2023

🥇1. ExpressVPN — #1 VPN for Linux in 2023
ExpressVPN is my favorite Linux VPN in 2023. It’s very secure, has blazing-fast speeds, and its Linux app is super easy to set up — there are detailed step-by-step guides in both written and video format, plus an option to use either a command line interface (CLI) or a GUI (this requires a Chrome or Firefox extension).

With ultra-fast speeds, ExpressVPN is an ideal choice for browsing, streaming, gaming, and torrenting on Linux. While using the VPN, web pages loaded quickly, and I could smoothly stream HD content on Netflix. And with a stable ping and no lag, I played online games like DotA 2 without any interruptions. Also, my download speeds remained fast — I downloaded a 1 GB file in just over a minute.

ExpressVPN’s no-logs policy has been audited by independent third parties to confirm its security and privacy policies. It also has:

  • Perfect forward secrecy — Regularly changes your encryption key, meaning even if your current key is hacked, the threat actor won’t have access to past or future keys.
  • RAM-only servers — No data is stored to the hard drive, and all of the information is erased upon rebooting or turning off the server.
  • Threat Manager — Prevents apps on your device from communicating with malicious sites.
  • Password Manager — A free add-on that helps secure and maintain your passwords.

ExpressVPN reliably works with all of the major streaming sites like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video, and it claims to work with 65+ other streaming sites. Many streaming services limit the content you can access based on the country you’re in due to copyright agreements. But if you connect to an ExpressVPN server in your home country, you’ll always be able to catch your favorite shows and movies, even while abroad.

ExpressVPN is compatible with all of the best torrenting apps on Linux, including qBittorrent, Deluge, and Transmission. Additionally, while some providers restrict P2P file sharing to certain dedicated servers, ExpressVPN allows torrenting on all 3,000+ of its servers in 90+ countries. This makes it easy to always find a nearby server location for the best possible speeds.

However, ExpressVPN doesn’t have split-tunneling on its Linux app — but this feature is available on ExpressVPN’s easy-to-use router app, and by extension, you can use it on your Linux device.

ExpressVPN has monthly and yearly plans, with the latter offering the best value at $6.67 / month. It allows up to 5 device connections with a single plan, and all of its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free.

Bottom Line:

ExpressVPN is without a doubt the best VPN for Linux that I’ve tested — it’s quick to set up, easy to use with both a CLI and GUI interface, extremely fast, P2P-friendly, and excellent for streaming. ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

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🥈2. Proton VPN — Comprehensive Security Features With the Best Free Plan

🥈2. Proton VPN — Comprehensive Security Features With the Best Free Plan
Proton VPN is the top free VPN on Linux. It has a GUI (and it’s simple to install), puts no limitations on your bandwidth or data usage, provides “medium” speeds, and gives you access to 100+ servers in 3 countries (United States, Netherlands, and Japan), but it doesn’t support streaming and torrenting.

The free plan and Proton VPN’s premium plans both utilize its unique VPN Accelerator technologies, which it claims improves VPN speeds by over 400%. Proton VPN’s speeds are not quite as fast as ExpressVPN, but in my tests, web pages loaded almost instantly, and I was able to stream HD content without any buffering.

Proton VPN is one of the most secure VPNs out there. Its no-logs policy has undergone an independent audit, it includes perfect forward secrecy, and it also has:

  • Open source apps — This means anyone can inspect the code for potential security problems (and Proton VPN has had each app tested by an external source and addressed all of the security risks that were found).
  • Full disk encryption — All data on the server is stored as unreadable code.
  • Secure Core servers — This feature routes your traffic through 2 servers (instead of just 1), with one server located in a country with strong privacy laws (like Switzerland), for even greater security.

Proton VPN comes with NetShield, which is an excellent ad, tracker, and malware blocker. I visited some websites notorious for annoying pop-up ads, as well as some known malicious sites, and NetShield was able to block all of them. I wish ExpressVPN would add ad blocking to its Threat Manager tool.

Using Proton VPN, I could consistently access a variety of major streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. It also works with BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more, as well as with lesser-known services like Fubo TV and Sling TV.

Proton VPN provides 300+ dedicated torrenting servers in 16+ countries that are optimized for speed and security — but I prefer to download file with ExpressVPN, which allows torrenting on all servers. I really like how Proton VPN supports port forwarding on Linux, but it doesn’t have a SOCKS5 proxy or split-tunneling on Linux.

Proton VPN’s monthly and yearly Plus plans start at $3.99 / month, which gets you access to the highest speeds, all 1,700+ servers in 60+ countries, streaming and torrenting support, NetShield, Secure Core servers, and 10 device connections. It comes with a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Proton VPN’s Free plan is the best I’ve seen for Linux, its paid Plus plan is both affordable and feature-rich, and its Linux app is intuitive and offers a GUI. Proton VPN has strong security features, maintains really good speeds, and is good for streaming and torrenting. Its paid plan is backed by a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.

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🥉3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Highly Configurable & Great for Torrenting

🥉3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Highly Configurable & Great for Torrenting
Private Internet Access is great for torrenting on Linux. It has an easy-to-navigate GUI, it’s the only VPN on this list that has split-tunneling on its Linux app, it includes a SOCKS5 proxy, and it allows torrenting on every single one of its servers in 80+ countries.

PIA is a pretty fast VPN. While connected to a local server, web page and video load times were quick, and I was able to stream several episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix without any interruptions. It also works with all of the top streaming services.

Security-wise, PIA has robust features. It’s completely open-source (but the apps haven’t been audited by an independent cybersecurity firm like Proton VPN), has perfect forward secrecy, and uses RAM-only servers. In addition, an ad, tracker, and malware blocker (MACE) is included. On top of being confirmed via an independent audit, PIA’s no-logs policy has also been verified in multiple court documents.

Advanced VPN users will be happy with how customizable PIA is. For example, it’s one of the few VPNs on the market that lets you choose between 128 and 256 AES encryption (the latter may slightly increase your speeds). It also has split-tunneling that lets you choose specific IP addresses and apps to exclude from the VPN, as well as DNS split-tunneling, which lets you route specified traffic through your existing DNS instead of the VPN DNS.

Private Internet Access is one of the cheapest VPNs on this list (its yearly plan starts at only $2.19 / month). It allows 10 simultaneous connections, and each plan is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Private Internet Access (PIA) is secure and fast with great configurability and excellent torrenting support. It has rare features for a Linux app like split-tunneling and a SOCKS5 proxy, and it also comes with a really good ad blocker. PIA has a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

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4. NordVPN — Reliable With Great Security Features & Fast Speeds

4. NordVPN — Reliable With Great Security Features & Fast Speeds

NordVPN provides access to multiple security features that keep your data safe online — like Threat Protection, which is one of the best VPN ad blockers on the market and which also gets rid of malicious ads, blocks connections to shady sites, and protects your device from malware-infected downloads. Even better, Threat Protection remains active even if you’re not connected to a VPN server, which is really convenient.

In addition, there’s Dark Web Monitor, which scans the dark web and alerts you if the login associated with your NordVPN account has been leaked. I’m happy to see this, as this is one of the only VPNs on the market that comes with a dark web monitoring feature.

On top of that, NordVPN also comes with other great security features — it has double VPN servers, which add an extra layer of encryption, and it also comes with obfuscation. Plus, the VPN has its own protocol called NordLynx, which is designed to provide strong security and really fast speeds.

NordVPN also has advanced security features, including full leak protection, RAM-only servers, and perfect forward secrecy. Its strict no-logs policy has been independently audited, and it’s also been proven true when one of the data centers that housed one of its servers suffered a data breach and no user data was compromised.

The provider is also great for streaming and torrenting — it works with multiple popular streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and has a whopping 4,500+ P2P servers. It also provides really good speeds for streaming, torrenting, and other online activities on all of its servers.

I also think NordVPN is a good gaming VPN thanks to its Meshnet feature, which lets you link up to 60 devices over encrypted VPN connections — this helps you host virtual LAN parties securely.

What’s more, this VPN has tons of other perks — it has 5,000+ servers in 55+ countries, comes with split-tunneling, and has really intuitive apps for all major platforms.

NordVPN has budget-friendly plans that start at $2.99 / month. All purchases are backed by a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

NordVPN is highly secure, comes with a ton of features, and maintains good speeds for all online activities. In addition to advanced security features like RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy, it also has an ad blocker and dark web monitor. It also works with all streaming services, supports torrenting on more than 4,500 servers, and is also an excellent choice for gaming. NordVPN backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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5. Surfshark — Great VPN for Large Families & Very Affordable

5. Surfshark — Great VPN for Large Families & Very Affordable

Surfshark allows unlimited connections, which means you can use it on as many devices as you want — so it’s a great option if everyone in your family needs a good VPN. I’m also happy to see this because very few VPNs support unlimited connections.

It comes with really good security features, including CleanWeb, which is one of the best VPN ad blockers out there. In addition, it provides obfuscation, double VPN connections for added security, and IP Rotator, which regularly changes your IP address to make it harder for someone to track your location. The provider also has advanced security features like RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy — however, it’s missing full leak protection (but I never experienced any leaks in my tests).

You also get pretty good streaming support, as the VPN can access top sites like Netflix, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer — though it can’t access Disney+. It also supports P2P downloads across all of its servers.

There are 3,200+ servers in 90+ countries, which makes it simple to use nearby servers for fast speeds. Speaking of speeds, the provider has fast connections on most servers, but I did experience significant slowdowns on very distant servers.

Surfshark is also one of the most affordable VPNs on the market, with plans starting at only $2.30 / month — so it’s also a good pick if you’re on a tight budget. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Surfshark is one of the rare VPNs to allow unlimited simultaneous connections, so it’s great for multi-device households and large families. It’s also secure, fast, and works with popular streaming services like Netflix. It has affordable plans and provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for all purchases.

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6. CyberGhost VPN — Cheap & Great for Streaming

6. CyberGhost VPN — Cheap & Great for Streaming
CyberGhost VPN has dedicated servers for specific streaming sites (including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more) for its Linux app. These servers are frequently tested to ensure that they work with and provide the best speeds for their specific service. This makes CyberGhost an easy and reliable VPN for streaming on Linux.

One downside of CyberGhost is that it only has a CLI on its Linux app. This makes it less intuitive to use than ExpressVPN, Proton VPN, and Private Internet Access, whose apps all have GUIs.

CyberGhost has fast connection speeds. I never had to wait for videos to load or buffer and it has fast browsing and download speeds.

For security, CyberGhost uses perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers, it releases a transparency report every three months, and it has extra secure NoSpy servers (servers that are located in CyberGhost’s Romanian HQ and not in a third-party data center). You also get ID Guard (alerts you if your passwords have been compromised in a data breach) and a feature that blocks ads, trackers, and malware, but it’s not as good of an ad blocker as Proton VPN’s NetShield or Private Internet Access’s MACE.

CyberGhost VPN has monthly and yearly plans, with its longest subscription costing only $2.19 / month. It lets you connect up to 7 devices, and its yearly plans are all backed by a generous 45-day money-back guarantee (the monthly plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee).

Bottom Line:

CyberGhost VPN is a cheap and fast VPN with optimized streaming servers for all of the popular streaming apps. But with only a CLI on its Linux app, it’s less intuitive to use than the other VPNs on this list. CyberGhost’s long-term plans are backed by a 45-day money-back guarantee.

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7. IPVanish — Unlimited Device Connections & Good Torrenting Support

7. IPVanish — Unlimited Device Connections & Good Torrenting Support

IPVanish doesn’t have a GUI for its Linux app, but it allows you to connect as many devices as you want on a single plan. This makes it a great VPN for users who have a lot of devices or a large household.

Torrenting is one of IPVanish’s strengths. Like Private Internet Access, it includes a SOCKS5 proxy for Linux, and it also allows P2P file sharing on all of its servers. But I wish it supported port forwarding and split-tunneling on Linux.

On average, IPVanish reduced my connection speeds by more than the other VPNs I recommend, but the speed loss wasn’t that significant. That said, IPVanish doesn’t have RAM-only servers like ExpressVPN, and it’s the only VPN on this list that lacks a kill switch on its Linux app. VIPRE antivirus, which comes with IPVanish’s yearly plan, also doesn’t work on Linux.

I wouldn’t recommend IPVanish for streaming. During my tests, it worked with Netflix but proved unreliable at accessing other popular streaming services (including Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more) — all of the other VPNs on this list are much better for streaming.

IPVanish’s prices start as low as $3.99 / month, but only its yearly plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

IPVanish is an really good torrenting VPN for Linux that allows unlimited device connections. That said, it has no GUI, no split-tunneling for Linux, and doesn’t work with a lot of streaming apps. IPVanish offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for its yearly plan.

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Comparison of the Best Linux VPNs in 2023

(With Starting Price)
Linux Distros Supported Has a GUI? Number of Devices Money-Back Guarantee
🥇1. ExpressVPN ($6.67 / month) Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Mint, Arch, Linux Mint Debian Edition, Raspberry Pi (armhf) 5 30 days
🥈2. Proton VPN ($3.99 / month) Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Mint, MX Linux, Kali Linux, Elementary OS, Archlinux / Manjaro Up to 10 30 days
🥉3. PIA
($2.19 / month)
Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Mint, Arch 10 30 days
4. NordVPN ($2.99 / month) Ubuntu, Debian, Elementary OS, Mint, Fedora, QubesOS, RHEL, CentOS, openSUSE 6 30 days
5. Surfshark ($2.30 / month) Ubuntu, Debian, Mint Unlimited 30 days
6. CyberGhost VPN ($2.19 / month) Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, Kali, PopOS, CentoOS 7 Up to 45 days
7. IPVanish
($3.99 / month)
Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, Kali Linux, PopOS, Lubuntu Unlimited Up to 30 days

How to Choose the Best VPN for Linux in 2023

  • Native Linux app. Not all VPNs are usable on Linux, so a dedicated Linux app is the first thing you should look for. ExpressVPN is my favorite Linux VPN and supports a wide variety of popular distros.
  • Easy-to-Use. Setting up and using Linux on a VPN should be simple and intuitive. I was able to get Linux up and running on my device in less than 5 minutes with each of the VPNs listed here.
  • Fast. All of the VPNs I recommend maintain fast speeds for browsing, gaming, streaming, or torrenting (ExpressVPN has the fastest speeds).
  • Secure. The VPNs on this list have industry-standard VPN security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a zero-logs policy (prevents the VPN from recording you session data), DNS and IP leak protection, and a kill switch (disconnects your internet if your VPN connection drops).
  • Streaming support. Most VPNs I chose work with all major streaming sites (Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more). Using these providers, you can always access the content libraries of your home country, even when you’re abroad.
  • Good value. I only recommend VPNs that allow multiple connections (ExpressVPN allows 5 connections and IPVanish allows unlimited connections), offer competitive pricing plans, and cover your purchase with a money back guarantee.

Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • PureVPN: PureVPN is a cheap and fast VPN that supports a variety of Linux distros, but it’s missing advanced security features like RAM-only servers, and some features like port forwarding and DDoS protection are only available as paid add-ons.
  • TorGuard: TorGuard might be good for an advanced VPN user on Linux since it has tons of tweakable settings and even lets you upload your own scripts, but it’s not very user-friendly. It’s also unreliable for streaming and is very expensive.
  • VyprVPN: VyprVPN has fast speeds, but it’s expensive and supports a very limited number of Linux distros (Ubuntu and Mint).

Frequently Asked Questions

What VPN is best for Ubuntu?

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for most popular Linux distros, including Ubuntu, in 2023. It offers both a command line and graphical user interface that are really simple to use, is the fastest VPN you can get, and works with all major streaming sites such as Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video.

While ExpressVPN is my favorite, all of the VPNs above have great Linux apps. Proton VPN has top-tier security features and its free plan comes with unlimited data, and Private Internet Access is an excellent torrenting VPN. CyberGhost VPN is cheap and good for streaming, and IPVanish lets you connect as many devices as you want.

Which Linux VPNs have a GUI?

My top 3 VPNs, ExpressVPN, Proton VPN, and Private Internet Access, all have well-designed graphical user interfaces (GUI). This makes them especially accessible to Linux users who are less comfortable with text-based interfaces, like a command line interface (CLI), and want something more straightforward to use.

Is there a free VPN on Linux?

Yes, there are, though I generally caution against using free VPNs for Linux — and all operating systems. This is because free VPN services often have weak security, restrictive bandwidth and data usage limits, limit you to a small number of server locations, and lack streaming and torrenting support. Some unscrupulous free VPNs will even collect your personal information to sell to advertisers.

If you’re really tight on a budget, Proton VPN’s free plan is your best bet. It’s a trusted VPN service with a strict zero-logs policy, and it’s one of the only free VPNs that will put no limitations on your data usage.

Instead, I recommend getting an affordable paid VPN, which no doubt offers the best value for Linux users. ExpressVPN is my top recommendation thanks to its strong security features, incredibly fast speeds, and great support for streaming and torrenting. Plus, all of its plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Can Linux be hacked?

Yes, Linux devices can still be vulnerable to cyberattacks and malware. But several of the VPNs on my list, including ExpressVPN, Proton VPN, Private Internet Access, and CyberGhost VPN, come with built-in malware blocker that will prevent you from visiting malicious websites.

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About the Author

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.