Updated on: September 7, 2023
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, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
After switching to Linux recently, I started looking for a good VPN that is easy to install and use and that can protect my privacy but not reduce my connection speeds by too much. I researched and tested 81 VPNs in my quest to find the very best Linux VPN in 2023.
Unfortunately, most VPN providers don’t have a dedicated Linux app, don’t support popular distros (or only work with 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. My #1 pick is ExpressVPN because it provides the best security features and fastest speeds.
Quick summary of the best VPNs for Linux:
🥇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, which requires a Chrome or Firefox extension.
ExpressVPN is the fastest provider on the market. 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 has advanced security and privacy features, including:
- 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 100+ 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. All of its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free.
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.
🥈2. 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 HD videos on Netflix without any interruptions. However, it’s still not as fast as ExpressVPN.
Security-wise, PIA has robust features. It’s completely open-source (anyone can inspect the code for vulnerabilities), 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 allows unlimited connections, 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 specific traffic through your existing DNS instead of the VPN DNS.
Private Internet Access has plans that starts at only $2.19 / month. Plus, each plan is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access is very customizable and has 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.
🥉3. 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.
CyberGhost has fast connection speeds. I never had to wait for videos to load or buffer and it has fast browsing and download speeds.
In terms of security, CyberGhost is a great pick. It 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 Identity Guard, which alerts you if your passwords have been compromised in a data breach.
CyberGhost VPN has plans that start at only $2.19 / month. Its yearly plans are all backed by a generous 45-day money-back guarantee (the monthly plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee).
CyberGhost VPN is good for streaming on Linux since it has streaming servers optimized to access 50+ streaming sites. 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.
4. NordVPN — Very Secure VPN For Linux
NordVPN has top-notch security features for Linux users. In addition to RAM-only servers, full leak protection, and perfect forward secrecy, it has Threat Protection Lite on its Linux app, which blocks ads and malicious sites. Plus, NordVPN has had its no-logs policy audited and confirmed multiple times.
In addition, the provider has double VPN servers, which provide even more security than a regular VPN connection. That’s because these servers provide an extra layer of encryption.
NordVPN is really fast. In my tests, sites and HD videos took 1–2 seconds to load, and I didn’t experience any buffering when watching streams in HD or 4K quality.
What’s more, NordVPN comes with great streaming support. It works with all popular streaming sites, including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, HBO Max and Hulu. NordVPN also allows torrenting on 4,500+ in 45+ countries and it has SOCKS5 proxy support.
NordVPN offers a couple of plans, which start from $3.19 / month. All of its plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN offers great security for Linux users. It comes with advanced security features like perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers, as well as an ad blocker. The VPN is also great for streaming and torrenting, and all of its plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
5. Surfshark — Affordable Linux VPN for Beginners
Surfshark has some of the cheapest plans on the market, making it a good pick for anyone who needs a decent Linux VPN and is also looking to save money.
The VPN has a Linux app with a GUI that’s very easy to navigate. The app lets you mark servers as Favorites, which puts them at the top of the list for 1-click connections. There’s also a search function that allows you to quickly find the server you’re looking for, which is really convenient. Plus, you get unlimited connections so your entire family can protect their devices with just 1 subscription.
I was impressed with Surfshark’s advanced security features. It uses RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy, and it has an audited no-logs policy. Its Linux app also includes CleanWeb, Surfshark’s ad blocker, which blocks malicious sites and ads. But unlike ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access, the provider is missing full leak protection — though it never leaked my data in my tests.
Surfshark had decent speeds in my tests. When I connected to nearby servers, sites and HD videos loaded instantly and there was no buffering. On more distant servers, videos and websites took 2–3 seconds to load and there was some minor buffering.
Surfshark’s plans start at only $2.30 / month. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its plans.
Surfsharkhas is very affordable and easy to use since it has an intuitive GUI app. It also supports unlimited connections, provides access to pretty strong security and privacy features, and comes with decent speeds. It backs all purchases with a 30-day money back guarantee.
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. Private Internet Access
($2.19 / month)
|Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Mint, Arch||✅||Unlimited||30 days|
|🥉3. CyberGhost VPN ($2.19 / month)||Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, Kali, PopOS, CentoOS||❌||7||Up to 45 days|
|4. NordVPN ($3.19 / 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|
How to Choose the Best VPN for Linux in 2023
- Look out for a 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.
- Select a Linux app that’s both user-friendly and easy to install. The VPNs I recommend feature Linux apps that allowed me to complete the setup in under 5 minutes, thanks to a simple installation process.
- Check for fast speeds. All of the VPNs I recommend maintain fast speeds for browsing, gaming, streaming, or torrenting (ExpressVPN has the fastest speeds).
- Choose a VPN emphasizing security. Listed VPNs come with standard security features such as 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy, DNS/IP leak protection, and an emergency disconnect (kill switch).
- Ensure your VPN supports streaming and torrenting. The VPNs I recommend are compatible with major streaming sites like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime, allowing you to access content from your home country even when you’re abroad. Additionally, they also support torrenting.
- Look for a VPN that provides good value. I only recommend VPNs that allow multiple connections (Private Internet Access and Surfshark allow 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.
Which Linux VPNs have a GUI?
Most of my top picks come with a GUI on Linux. 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. My favorite provider is ExpressVPN because it’s very simple to use, fast, and secure.
Is there a free VPN on Linux?
Yes, 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.
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, come with built-in malware blockers that will prevent you from visiting malicious websites.