5 Best VPN for Raspberry Pi: Comprehensive Guide 2022
Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer that plugs into your TV or monitor. It’s a great little device that has many purposes. You can use it as a media center, web server, or even a desktop computer.
But one thing it lacks is security. By default, Raspberry Pi OS is not the most secure when it comes to operating through wireless networks.
No matter if you’re using your Pi to simply browse the web, set up bird-watching websites, or create complicated surveillance systems, securing your traffic and data is in your best interest.
A VPN or virtual private network encrypts your traffic and routes it through a server in another location. This gives you two main benefits.
First, it makes your traffic appear as if it’s coming from the VPN server instead of your Raspberry Pi. Second, it encrypts your traffic so that anyone snooping on your connection (including your ISP) can’t see what you’re doing.
There are many different VPN providers out there, but not all of them are created equal. We have to look at various factors like speed, security, ease of use, compatibility, customer support, and more.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the five best VPNs for Raspberry Pi that provide these features. We’ll also give you a step-by-step procedure on how to install a VPN on Raspberry Pi.
Based on our tests, ExpressVPN is the best provider because of its compatibility and easy setup with Raspberry Pi. However, you should make a decision according to your use case and budget scale.
5 Best VPN for Raspberry Pi: A Quick Overview
- ExpressVPN: The Overall Best VPN for Raspberry Pi.
- NordVPN: Mega-Secure VPN for Raspberry Pi.
- Surfshark: Raspberry Pi VPN with the Best Quality & Price.
- CyberGhost: Simple & User-Friendly VPN for Raspberry Pi.
- PureVPN: Best Value VPN for Raspberry Pi.
Want to know how to set up a VPN on Raspberry Pi? Redirect here!
Best VPN for Raspberry Pi: In-Depth Analysis
After analyzing the top-tier VPNs of the industry, these are the 5 best VPNs for Raspberry Pi that made the list. The below-mentioned providers are chosen considering the factors of best performance and protection for Raspberry Pi devices running Raspbian.
1. ExpressVPN: The Overall Best VPN for Raspberry Pi
- Server Count: 3000+ Servers in 94+ Countries
- Trustpilot Rating: 4.7
- Best Price: $6.67/mo
- Simultaneous Connections: 5
ExpressVPN is the overall best VPN for Raspberry Pi and our top recommendation as it offers a Debian-based Linux app, which is compatible with Raspberry Pi OS. The setup commands and the step-by-step process is available on the ExpressVPN page and you can easily configure it on Raspberry Pi.
The provider also has support for other platforms including Windows, Mac, Apple TV, Android, Fire TV, iOS, routers, and even browser extensions including Firefox and Chrome. And with 5 simultaneous connections, you can cover all your devices.
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands which doesn’t let the 14 Eyes Alliance members to interfere with their operations. And on top of that, their servers run on the RAM infrastructure, which means the data is vaporized after being saved for some time.
Also, it has a strict no-logs policy which has been audited by an independent third-party called PwC, which is one of the members of the Big Four.
ExpressVPN encrypts your traffic with the AES 256-bit method and you can connect with advanced protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2, and Lightway, which is super-fast. Also, there are no data caps or bandwidth limitations.
Other features of ExpressVPN include Network Lock Kill Switch — which terminates your connection when your VPN drops, MediaStreamer — that allows you to bypass geo-restrictions without encrypting your traffic, Split Tunneling — that allows you to access the public and private network simultaneously, DNS/IP/WebRTC Leak Protection, and more.
ExpressVPN has 3 plans including a monthly plan that costs $12.95, a 6-month plan that costs $9.99/mo., and a 1-year plan that costs $6.67/mo. However, you can get your hands on ExpressVPN’s 7-day free trial for iOS and Android. Also, hacking the money-back guarantee will allow you to use ExpressVPN free for 30 days.
All the plans require upfront payments and you can pay with a variety of options including PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Cryptocurrency, and more.
To solve user queries, ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support available on the official website.
For more information, visit our dedicated review guide for ExpressVPN!
2. NordVPN: Mega-Secure VPN for Raspberry Pi
- Server Count: 5600+ Servers in 59+ Countries
- Trustpilot Rating: 4.4
- Best Price: $3.99/mo
- Simultaneous Connections: 6
Headquartered in the Panama region, NordVPN is super-secure. The region does not welcome data retention laws and no government can interfere in their operations. Also, the VPN has a strict no-logs policy which has been audited by PwC.
The provider encrypts your traffic with the military-grade AES 256-bit method and it offers top-tier protocols including OpenVPN, IKEv2, and NordLynx, which is based on the WireGuard methodology.
NordVPN has a dedicated app for Raspberry Pi OS and you can easily set it up on your Raspberry Pi device by entering some commands in the terminal.
With a large network of 5600+ servers in 59+ countries, NordVPN allows you to connect to its obfuscation servers with maximized security and privacy.
The NordVPN speed test resulted in an average speed of 92 Mbps, which is blazing fast. We were able to watch TV shows and movies on popular platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Disney+, and Hulu in 4K quality without witnessing a buffering screen the entire time.
Other than Linux, NordVPN has support for all widely-used operating systems including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and some routers. You can have 6 simultaneous connections to cover your devices with a single plan.
Features of NordVPN include a VPN Kill Switch, Smart DNS, Onion over VPN, Double VPN, Split Tunneling, CyberSec, P2P Support, and DNS/IP/WebRTC Leak Protection.
NordVPN offers 3 plans. A monthly plan that costs $11.99, a 1-year plan that costs $4.99/mo., and a 2-year plan that costs $3.99/mo. All the plans require upfront payment and there covered with the 30-day money-back guarantee. The service also offers a 7-day free trial on Android and iOS.
If you want to talk to a NordVPN representative then it’s easy. Just visit the official website and start a chat using the live chat option. They offer this service 24/7 to make sure every user’s query is dealt with in time.
For more information, visit our dedicated review guide for NordVPN!
3. Surfshark: Raspberry Pi VPN with the Best Quality & Price
- Server Count: 3200+ Servers in 65+ Countries
- Trustpilot Rating: 4.4
- Best Price: $2.49/mo
- Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited
Surfshark offers the best price/quality ratio. Its 2-year plan has a minimal cost of $2.49/mo only and the features you get with Surfshark are uncountable.
The provider offers an easy-to-configure method on Linux systems and it gives you access to 5600+ servers in 59+ countries.
Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands and on top of that, the service has a strict no-logs policy which has been audited by a third-party firm called Cure53.
It uses the market-standard AES 256-bit method to encrypt user traffic and offers protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard to maximize your online security.
Upon testing Surfshark VPN, we achieved an average speed of 88 Mbps and we could unblock and watch high-resolution content on major streaming platforms including Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
The best part of using Surfshark: No limit on simultaneous connections! You can use as many devices with a single plan of Surfshark which makes this service the best VPN for multiple devices.
More features of Surfshark include Camouflage Mode, Bypasser, Kill Switch, Smart DNS, CleanWeb, Split Tunneling, P2P Support, and DNS/IP/WebRTC Leak Protection.
Other than Linux, Surfshark has support for all major platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, browser extensions for Google Chrome/Mozilla Firefox, and Asus routers. You can also set it up on other routers with manual configuration.
Surfshark currently offers 3 plans. A monthly plan that costs $12.95, a 1-year plan that costs $3.99/mo., and a 2-year plan that costs $2.49/mo. However, if you want to test Surfshark, there is a 7-day free trial available for macOS, Android, and iOS devices.
For customer support, Surfshark offers a 24/7 live chat option on the official website. You can contact a representative any time of the day for your queries.
For more information, visit our dedicated review guide for Surfshark!
4. CyberGhost: Simple & User-Friendly VPN for Raspberry Pi
- Server Count: 6000+ Servers in 88 Countries
- Trustpilot Rating: 4.7
- Best Price: $2.29/mo
- Simultaneous Connections: 7
CyberGhost is a simple and user-friendly option for VPN newbies. The provider doesn’t offer an app but you can set up the OpenVPN protocol with manual configuration. The step-by-step process is available on the CyberGhost website.
CyberGhost is based in Romania which makes it out of the reach of 5, 9, and 14 eyes. The provider offers a rich pool of 6000+ servers in 88 countries which are optimized for all activities including streaming, gaming, torrenting, and your day-to-day browsing.
The traffic encryption uses the AES 256-bit method and the protocols available are OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, and WireGuard.
The speed test of CyberGhost resulted in an average connection speed of 81 Mbps and we could stream multiple libraries of streaming platforms like US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
CyberGhost offers dedicated apps for all operating systems including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can cover all your devices as CyberGhost offers 7 simultaneous connections with a single plan.
Other features of CyberGhost include the NoSpy feature, Smart Rules, Kill Switch, Smart DNS, DNS/IP/WebRTC Leak Protection, and more.
There are 4 plans offered by CyberGhost. The monthly plan costs $12.99, the 1-year plan costs $4.29/mo., the 2-year plan costs $3.25/mo., and the 3-year plan costs $2.29/mo.
CyberGhost offers the longest money-back guarantee period of 45 days and you can also test the provider by using the 1-day free trial with no credit card information required.
For queries, CyberGhost offers a 24/7 live chat option on the official website. Do not hesitate to reach them if you want to ask about problems related to your subscription plan.
For more information, visit our dedicated review guide for CyberGhost!
5. PureVPN: Best Value VPN for Raspberry Pi
- Server Count: 6500+ Servers in 78 Countries
- Trustpilot Rating: 4.7
- Best Price: $1.99/mo
- Simultaneous Connections: 10
PureVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands which is a safe jurisdiction and the region falls out of the category of 14 Eyes Alliance countries. Also, there is a strict no-logs policy that has been audited by AltiusIT.
Your traffic is encrypted with the AES 256-bit method and you’ll be able to connect to super-secure protocols like OpenVPN, WireGuard, L2Tp/IPSec, and IKEv2/IPSec.
Upon testing PureVPN, we achieved an average speed of 78 Mbps and we experienced no problems in our streaming, gaming, and browsing activities.
PureVPN offers apps for all operating systems including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are also available. You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously without worrying about data caps or speed caps.
Other features of PureVPN include a VPN kill switch, Smart DNS, DNS/IP/WebRTC leak protection, P2P protection, dedicated streaming servers, and more.
There are currently 3 plans offered by PureVPN. A monthly plan that costs $10.95, a 1-year plan that costs $3.24/mo., and a 2-year plan that costs $1.99/mo. PureVPN offers a 7-day free trial on iOS and Android to test the service. However, if you follow this hack, you can use it free for 30 days.
PureVPN offers a 24/7 live chat to solve your problems and answer your queries. All you need to do is visit the official website and click on the support icon.
For more information, visit our dedicated review guide for PureVPN!
Choosing Best VPN for Raspberry Pi: Points to Consider
There are a few things you should consider before choosing the best VPN for your Raspberry Pi. Below are some factors that can help you make an informed decision:
- Compatibility for Linux or Raspberry Pi: You’ll want to make sure the VPN you select is compatible with the Debian-based Linux distro which is supported by Raspberry Pi. Not all VPN providers offer versions that are compatible with these devices.
- High Speed: A good VPN for Raspberry Pi should offer high speeds so you don’t have to worry about a slow connection. Because a buffering screen while streaming videos is the last thing you want.
- Maximized Security: A top-tier VPN will offer robust security features to keep your data safe and secure while you’re browsing the web. Find the AES 256-bit encryption feature along with advanced protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2. Make sure the VPN is protected with a strict no-logs policy so your data is not logged or tracked.
- Easy-to-Use: Go for a VPN that’s easy to navigate, even for those who are not tech-savvy. The best ones will come with a user-friendly interface and simple instructions to set it up conveniently on a Linux terminal.
- Customer Support: If you face any trouble while using the VPN or installing it on your Raspberry Pi, then you should have access to quality customer support. The best VPN service will offer 24/7 live chat support so you can get help as and when you need it.
- Safe Jurisdiction: Since your data will be routed through the VPN server, it’s important to consider the jurisdiction of the country where the provider is based. A safe jurisdiction means that the government can’t force the VPN company to hand over user data. So, go for a provider that’s based in a country with no data retention laws, like Panama or the British Virgin Islands.
Setting up a VPN on Raspberry Pi
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install a VPN on Raspberry Pi.
Should I Use a Free VPN for Raspberry Pi?
Suppose you find a free VPN provider that offers compatibility for Linux and Raspberry Pi OS. Will it be providing you with the best performance and security that a premium VPN provides?
Because even if it ticks all the boxes on your list, we would still advise against using a free VPN. Here’s why:
- Free VPNs are often slow and unreliable.
- You’ll be stuck to your monthly data cap. As soon as your limit exceeds, your VPN connection will be dropped mid-process.
- They offer very few servers, so you might not be able to find one near you.
- They don’t provide robust security features like AES 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logs policy.
- They might display ads or sell your data to third-party advertisers.
So, it’s better to go for a quality paid VPN service that offers a free trial or money-back guarantee so you can test out the service before making a commitment.
FAQs Related to Best VPN for Raspberry Pi
Is Raspberry Pi powerful enough for VPN server?
Raspberry Pi is a small device but powerful enough to handle multiple connections at the same time which is great for hosting a VPN server for private use. Also, it is a cheap option to stay connected to a virtual private network 24/7.
How do I use my Raspberry Pi 4 as a VPN?
Here’s how to use Raspberry Pi as a VPN server.
- Install PiVPN on your Raspberry Pi device.
- Launch PiVPN.
- Set up a static address.
- Choose a protocol between WireGuard or OpenVPN.
- You need to select a communication protocol now. We recommend UDP for OpenVPN.
- Choose a VPN port. The default VPN port for WireGuard is 51820 and for OpenVPN is 1194.
- Set up your DNS provider.
- For OpenVPN, enable the feature OpenVPN 2.5 if all the apps you’re using are compatible with it.
- Now create a security certificate and then a configuration file.
- Follow the system-specific instructions of your router to forward the port to the Raspberry Pi VPN server internal IP address. The default ports are mentioned in step 6.
The Raspberry Pi VPN server should now be functional.
Which version of Raspberry Pi works best for VPN?
Raspberry Pi 4 B is the newest variant which is the fastest till now. It comes in three versions with different RAM sizes — 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB. It is best to host a VPN server as the device has a 1.5 GHz, 4-core Broadcom BCM2711 (Cortex A-72) CPU and it comes with wireless support.
What Raspberry Pi hardware do you need for VPN?
The only hardware you require for a Raspberry Pi VPN server is an SD card, a power supply, and a Raspberry Pi device.
Wrapping It Up!
We hope this guide has helped you understand the importance of using a VPN with Raspberry Pi. A good VPN will offer you fast speed, strong security features, and easy-to-use software.
It will also be based in a safe jurisdiction with reliable customer support. Don’t risk your data security by using a free VPN service.
In our comprehensive list, ExpressVPN wins as the best VPN for Raspberry Pi because of its blazing fast speeds, high security, and handy features. A second choice for budget-friendly VPN hunters would be Surfshark which offers the best price/quality ratio.