With government agencies around the world imposing mandatory data retention laws, the need for leveraging digital privacy has increased over the past few years. This goes true for users of all devices/platforms, including the famous Linux distribution. Since there are hundreds of different versions available, finding a suitable VPN, particularly one that is FREE becomes incredibly difficult. This is where BestVPN.co comes in, providing readers with an in-depth Free VPN for Linux guide below:
What are Linux Distros?
Many Linux users face trouble in understanding how to troubleshoot different OS issues mainly because they are not aware they are using a Linux distribution (abbreviated as a distro). The OS is made from a software collection, based upon the Linux Kernel (the core of the operating system), the GNU shell utilities, and a desktop environment (created by an X server to provide a graphical desktop). Terminal commands, system services, and graphical services are developed independently from one another.
Now for the most shocking, they are all distributed in open-source code form. Therefore, there are many distros made from Linux, which adopt different independent names. In fact, you will be surprised to hear that almost six hundred Linux distros exist worldwide, with close to five hundred in active development. You have OpenWRT for embedded devices, Linux Mint for personal computers, and Rocks Cluster Distribution for powerful supercomputers.
Then, you have commercially backed distros, like Ubuntu, Kubuntu, openSUSE (SUSE), Fedora (Red Hat), and entirely community-driven distro, like Arch Linux, Gentoo, Slackware, and Debian. You can easily download these distributions from online, as they come ready-to-use and pre-compiled for specific instructions. However, there are distros like Gentoo, which are compiled locally during installation. So, before you go on figuring out a suitable VPN, it is imperative to know which Linux you are using!
Most Popular Linux Distros for 2019!
Linux was initially available on regular desktop PCs only but has now found its way into everything from Google Chromebooks to Android smartphones and if you want free VPN for Android then read our detail guide. If you cannot stand the security blocks in macOS or Windows tends to be difficult after the overhaul, allow us to introduce you to some popular Linux Distros for 2019. Each option is tailored to specific types of users.
- Ubuntu – Designed for newcomers to the distro. Very easy to use and navigate.
- Fedora – An OS for laptops and computers, loaded with tools for novice/expert developers
- Arch Linux – A treat for experienced users familiar with codes. Runs on Terminal commands.
- Kubuntu – Ubuntu inspired OS, which uses the KDE Plasma Desktop instead of the GNOME.
- Deepin – Debian-based distro, designed to deliver an elegant and user-friendly OS experience.
- Elementary – A beautiful inception, smartly designed to be the best-looking distro in the world.
- CentOS 7 – A community offshoot for the famous Red Hat Linux OS and its Enterprise version.
- Tails – HONORY MENTION: Privacy-oriented Linux distro for concealing your location/identity!
Why Should I Go for a Free VPN to Use Linux?
If you follow our guides/blogs, you will learn that BestVPN.co does not recommend using FREE VPNs. We only perform an in-depth analysis of them to understand, which services can be deemed less “riskier”. After all, if a user wants something FREE, there is no way around it, right? Might as well keep you guys safe by giving recommendations that are tested, majorly in terms of privacy/security.
Truth is: there is no reason to go for a free VPN to use on Linux. Bear in mind that regardless of the “free”, these VPNs have to pay for tech support staff, websites, bandwidth, server maintenance, and advertising, all of which cost money. To cover these expenses, Free VPNs may sell your data to marketers or force you into watching silly, irritating adverts. Other pitfalls of free VPNs include:
- 9 times out of 10, you will encounter an inactive customer/tech support team. You are basically on your own, after signing up.
- You cannot really do much with a FREE VPN, other than unblock a few websites, because of the strict bandwidth limitations and data caps.
- There are high chances that the VPN you signed up with logs connection/session information which is sold to third-party services/marketers.
- You will not have much freedom in terms of selecting different servers. Even if you do find a server in a location you want, expect it to be crowded as hell!
- Free VPNs may lack the security/privacy tools and essentials to keep your identity hidden when engaging in P2P/Torrenting activities.
Therefore, if you want to receive the best support, speed, reliability, security, and value for your money, it is recommended to go for a PAID service. Forget about the pricing too, while you are at it. There should be no compromise on your privacy/anonymity, especially in this increasing digitally-dominating world. Paid VPNs have more intuitive apps, larger server listings, multiple VPN protocols, and extra features too.
Free VPN for Linux Mint
Based on Debian and Ubuntu, Linux Mint is the perfect choice for users running x-86 x-64-compatible machines. Designed for a ready-to-roll-out-of-box and intuitive experience, the OS is perfect even offers multimedia support on desktops, while providing access to 30,000 packages and one of the best software managers. Try out these Free VPN for Linux Mint to receive good privacy/anonymity online:
Based in Canada, TunnelBear may chase away people, due to being part of a country with allegiance to Five and Fourteen Eyes. However, it is quite privacy-focused and has never been found leaking any info to government authorities. The VPN offers both: a free and premium model. Their software for Linux is quite amazing, presenting features like the “VigilantBear (Kill Switch), easy configuration options, seamless server selection, and instant protocol shifting.
For encryption and protocols, TunnelBear VPN provides access to IPSec/IKEv2 and OpenVPN, which uses the standard 256-bit AES ciphers. The provider even adds a “Ghostbear” feature. It uses obfuscation technology, which helps to get around firewalls in countries, like China. For connectivity, you have a selection of 1,000+ servers in 23 countries, but if you opt for the free plan, you will only be able to use 4.
Similar to TunnelBear, Windscribe is based in Canada, but have no worries – the VPN is secure from any data leaks to government agencies or copyright hunters. Users have an easy-to-use and intuitive client for Linux that makes configuring and establishing VPN connections incredibly easy. The free plan does limit the servers accessible to three, while imposing a 10 GB data cap.
For protocols and encryption, Windscribe provides support for SOCKS5, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols, which are encrypted using powerful AES-256 ciphers with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA512 authentication (limited to PC clients only). In terms of features, Windscribe manages to do quite well, integrated with Nat Firewall, Automatic Kill Switch, Data Leak Protection, and IPv6 Traffic Limiter.
Other Notable Free VPNs for Linux
- Avira Phantom VPN
- SurfEasy VPN
- Opera VPN
Free VPN for Linux Ubuntu
After its initial release back in October 2004, Ubuntu has grown considerably, available in many different flavors and specialized derivatives. You have special versions for connected devices, developers, OpenStack Clouds, and networking. It also features a beautiful and practical design, which contributes to making it the most widely used Linux distro. Refer to the list below for suggestions on Free VPN for Linux!
Located in Pennsylvania, United States – Speedify is famed for its high performance, which makes streaming/unblocking VoD services incredibly smooth and efficient. It uses its own VPN protocol, labeled “Channel Bonding” to boost speeds by combining multiple networks like your Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and mobile data at a single time.
This means, you keep on downloading/uploading files, without any interruptions – even if one medium loses internet connection. For protocols and encryption, Speedify uses its customized ChaCha 256-bit key, which adds to the security algorithms and ciphers of the military-grade, AES-256 bit encryption. For connectivity, users have access to 1,000+ servers in 28 countries and can even purchase a dedicated IP for unblocking VoDs like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and more.
Located in Malaysia, Hide.Me offers both: free and paid subscription to users. If you opt for the latter, you get 150+ best locations in 34+ countries, an anonymous IP (extra costs), zero ads, 5 different devices simultaneously. On the other hand, if you opt for the former, you get only 2GB data transfer. At the same time, you only have the ability to access 3 server locations (Netherlands, Canada, and Singapore).
Unlike other free providers, Hide.me even offers support for routers, while offering perks like automatic Wi-Fi protection and a SoftEther VPN protocol. It uses both SSL/TLS encryption and TCP port 443, which helps in overcoming geo-restrictions much more smoothly, all the while keeping you anonymous. There were no leaks detected, and users even gain access to a free proxy service for instant unblocking.
Other Notable Free VPNs for Linux
- Hotspot Shield
- VPN Gate
How to Setup a VPN on Linux
The process of setting up a VPN on Linux does not require any rocket science. Users can get the app directly from the website of the provider they signed up with. You can refer to the listing above for Linux-working VPNs that deliver good security, even for a FREE service. Go to the downloads page and get the latest version for Linux. Once done, follow the normal protocol for installing apps on Linux!
How to Configure a VPN on Linux Mint (Manually)?
- Open the “Terminal” by clicking on the left sidebar
- Type: sudo apt-get install network-manager-OpenVPN network-manager-OpenVPN-gnome
- You will not have to add your root password and then press Enter
- Type: “y”, press Enter again, and then launch the OpenVPN client
- Load .ovpn configuration files from the provider you signed up with!
How to Make a VPN Kill Switch on Linux?
If you use a VPN, having a kill switch is essential. That’s because it automatically terminates your Internet connection in the event of VPN failure, keeping your privacy and information from being exposed to prying eyes.
Most VPNs nowadays offer a kill switch, but using iptables to configure one is more reliable. It’s built into the kernel itself, and will not fail if and when your VPN service does. Follow this guide to make a VPN kill switch on Linux using IP tables.
Free VPN for Linux FAQs
When it comes to finding a good Free VPN for Linux, users may have plenty of concerns/questions running through their minds. BestVPN.co lists some of the common ones we get asked a lot:
How Do I Download VPN on Ubuntu?
As mentioned earlier, downloading a VPN is incredibly easy, especially now since every website provides links to their product. Simply visit the provider website you signed up with and head to the download page and find a link for Linux. Get the latest version!
How do I run an OVPN file in Ubuntu?
There is plenty of software available online that help with accessing OVPN files instantly and without any hassle. If you are looking for the best though, consider checking out OpenVPN GUI. The app is available on all platforms, including Linux.
Wrapping Things Up
BestVPN.co strictly advises against signing up with free providers. The ones mentioned above are only a select few, which can be considered less of a threat in comparison to others. We try being as accurate as possible with our reviews, putting in hours and days into our research and analysis. However, if you think there are better solutions, do not hesitate on dropping a comment below!