10 Best Free VPNs for Linux (Tested & Updated 2022)
It’s hard to find the Best free VPN for Linux. Even when you do find one, it’s rare that the VPN will work as it claims.
After rigorously testing 50+ VPNs for Linux, we can say that 100% free VPNs are definitely not worth your time. Free VPNs come packaged with congested servers and incredibly slow connection speeds, all while risking your online security.
Despite the risks associated with free VPNs, we found 10 VPNs that are comparatively safer and faster VPN to use with Linux without breaking your budget. As they are free, they do pose certain limitations. With freemium VPNs, you’ll often be pitched to upgrade to a premium version – nonetheless, they are the best free VPNs available in the market today.
If you want to use a VPN on Linux without any restrictions, then we recommend subscribing to a premium VPN such as ExpressVPN and making the most out of its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Best Free VPNs for Linux: Quick Summary
- ExpressVPN: Overall Best VPN for Linux with a 7-Day Free Trial and 30-Day Refund
- CyberGhost: 24 Hours of Free Access to its Linux App
- Windscribe: 10GB Data Cap with Free VPN
- ProtonVPN: Unlimited Bandwidth and Data
- Hide.Me: 2GB Data Cap on the Free Version
- TunnelBear: 500MB Data Available for Free
- Private Tunnel: Unlimited Data and DDoS Shield for Gaming
- VPNBook: Free VPN for Linux with Unlimited Data Allowance
- Speedify: Linux VPN with 2GB Limit on Free Accounts
- NordVPN: 30-Day Refund and 7-Day Free Trial
The Best Free VPNs for Linux (Detailed Guide)
Regardless of the Linux Distro, the free Linux VPN you choose should offer fast speeds, strong security, and most importantly – easy installation. I tested over 50+ providers to recommend the best free VPN for Linux in 2022:
1. ExpressVPN: Overall Best Linux VPN with a 7-Day Free Trial and 30-Day Refund
ExpressVPN is a premium VPN provider but we’ve ranked it as the best free VPN for Linux because of its 30-day money-back policy and a 7-day free trial (for Android and iOS users). You can test ExpressVPN’s easy installation for Linux and government-grade encryption policies for yourself, and if it doesn’t work out – simply request a refund.
As far as compatibility is concerned, ExpressVPN supports multiple Linux operating systems such as Debian, Raspberry Pi, Mint, Ubuntu, Arch, and Fedora. Unlike other VPNs, the Linux setup for ExpressVPN is extremely easy thanks to its Command-Line Interface app.
The dedicated app lets you switch server connections and even change protocols. You can also control the ExpressVPN Linux app with a Graphical User Interface (GUI) by simply installing the browser extensions for Chrome or Firefox.
The Linux version of ExpressVPN is similar to Windows and macOS versions, so you get access to 3000+ servers in 94+ countries. You can head straight to the server list and search for servers by city or country.
With such an expansive global server network, ExpressVPN can unblock geo-restricted sites across the world. With ExpressVPN, we could easily bypass the Netflix VPN ban and easily unblocked Netflix. Not just this, we instantly accessed Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and Sling TV.
ExpressVPN is compatible with several devices including smartphones, tablets, routers, Apple TV, and other Smart TVs. It has an audited no-logs policy which means that your information isn’t recorded and you stay anonymous over the internet. Despite the ease of installation and smooth navigation, ExpressVPN has responsive customer support that’s available 24/7.
The best part of all: if you opt for their 1-year plan, you only pay a minimal $6.67/mo and get 3-months free along with access to ten simultaneous connections on a single subscription.
For more details, check out our in-depth ExpressVPN review!
- 30-day money-back policy
- 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries
- Streaming-optimized servers
- Strict no-logs policy
- 5 simultaneous device connections
- Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime
- Free trial on iOS and Android devices
- Above-average pricing plans
2. CyberGhost — 24 Hours of Free Access to its Linux App
CyberGhost offers 24-hour free access to its Linux app making it one of the best free VPNs for Linux. Optimized servers improve your streaming and torrenting experience on Linux. Moreover, these servers are regularly updated to guarantee smooth connections so you don’t have to look around for the best server.
With over 6000+ in 88 countries, CyberGhost ensures seamless access to region-locked streaming sites and platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.
In addition to the advanced security features, CyberGhost uses the WireGuard protocol and operates on RAM-based servers which means your internet connections are fast and your data doesn’t get stored.
CyberGhost is also compatible with multiple Linux operating platforms like Kali, Fedora 29, 30, and 31, Ubuntu 19.04, 18.04, and 16.04, Mint 19, CentOS 17, and PoP!_OS. With CyberGhost, you don’t have to restrict yourself to Linux only as it is compatible with Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS.
With a single CyberGhost subscription, you can connect up to 7 devices simultaneously. Furthermore, you can always reach out to their 24/7 customer support team if you ever come across a technical issue.
You can avail the 45-day money-back guarantee that comes with CyberGhost. If you are not satisfied with the service, you can simply request a refund by contacting the customer support agent.
For more details, check out our in-depth CyberGhost review!
- 45-day money-back policy
- Global network coverage
- 7 simultaneous device connections
- Decent connection speeds
- Unblocks major streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime
- Availability of a few payment options
- Stores some user information
3. Windscribe: 10GB Data Cap with Free Version
Windscribe offers a 10GB data allowance on its free plan which makes it a great free Linux VPN. Based in Canada, Windscribe 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. Windscribe provides 600+ servers in 52 countries.
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).
Despite offering one of the largest monthly data, the free Windscribe plan limits the servers accessible to three and doesn’t have a smooth Linux app as compared to Windows and Mac.
In terms of features, Windscribe manages to do quite well, integrated with Nat Firewall, automatic kill switch, data leak protection, and IPv6 traffic limiter. In our tests, we were able to bypass the restrictions on many streaming platforms such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
In addition, Windscribe supports P2P sharing and is equipped with a built-in malware tracker to protect you from hackers online. You can also upgrade your Windscribe plan to get unlimited data access and other additional features.
For more details, check out our in-depth Windscribe review!
- Browser extensions for Opera, Chrome, Firefox
- Built-in ad/tracker blocking and double hop
- 600+ Servers in 52 Countries Worldwide
- Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime
- 10GB data allowance on the free plan
- Inconsistent speeds
- Average customer support
4. ProtonVPN: Unlimited Bandwidth and Data
ProtonVPN made it to our list of the best free VPN for Linux because it offers no data limits on its free plan. Moreover, ProtonVPN is backed by Swiss privacy laws and does not monetize via advertisements.
To set up your connection, you will have to use the OpenVPN package with appropriate configuration files. You can find simple how-to guides on the ProtonVPN’s website – especially for Ubuntu distros. During our tests, we experienced minor speed drops so don’t be surprised when this happens to you on the free plan.
With the Proton VPN Free, you can only protect a single device and access servers in 3 countries. But when you upgrade to the paid plan, you’ll get access to servers in 63 countries, 10 simultaneous device connections, and other advanced features.
It’s important to note that none of the ProtonVPN servers supported torrenting; P2P sharing is only possible with the premium plan. And even though ProtonVPN offers unlimited data transfer, its optimized servers for Netflix are only accessible by Proton Plus customers.
The unlimited data access remains a great feature for Proton Plus as it lets the customer stream geo-blocked platforms and other censored content easily. It would be wiser to sign up for the Premium plan and keep your online activities untraceable for 7 days. Through the paid plan, you’ll stay more secure and enjoy P2P support at incredible connection speeds.
When you sign up for the paid plan, you’re also given access to ProtonVPN’s Secure Core protection that routes your online traffic through an unrestricted country to keep you even more protected.
- No data limits
- Decent connection speeds
- Easily unblocks globally-censored content
- Server locations in three countries (free plan)
- 1 device connection (free plan)
5. hide.me: 10GB Data Cap on Free Version
hide.me imposes a 10GB data cap on its free version along with comprehensive Linux setup guides on the official website – making it one of the best free VPN for Linux.
Located in Malaysia, hide.me offers both: free and paid subscriptions to users. If you opt for the latter, you get 150+ locations in 34+ countries, an anonymous IP (extra costs), zero ads, and 5 different device connections simultaneously.
On the other hand, if you opt for the former, you get 10GB of 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.
After putting hide.me through our expert testing process, we observed that the SSL/TLS encryption and TCP port 443 helped in overcoming geo-restrictions much more smoothly, all the while keeping us anonymous. However, we received multiple warnings while testing the kill switch as it could not be enabled.
The paid version works with Netflix, Hulu, and other prominent streaming platforms while the free version failed to unblock US Netflix. Combined with a 10GB data cap, we don’t recommend hide.me Free for streaming content regularly.
- 150+ locations in 34+ countries
- Exceptional cross-platform support
- Dedicated IPs available for VoDs
- Automatic Wi-Fi protection
- P2P enabled/SOCKS5 proxy
- Unreliable kill switch
- Sudden app crashes
6. TunnelBear: 500MB Data Cap with Free Version
TunnelBear is another free Linux VPN that comes with a 500MB data cap/mo on its free plan. 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 to leak any information 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 but unfortunately, it is only available for Mac, Windows, and Android users.
TunnelBear uses obfuscation technology, which helps to get around firewalls in countries, like China. For connectivity, you have a selection of in . A free TunnelBear account is best to determine whether the VPN will work for you or not.
You can only connect to TunnelBear on the latest version of Ubuntu and Fedora. Furthermore, you can set up TunnelBear by following its simple step-by-step installation guides with all the necessary commands.
As far as the speed is concerned, TunnelBear doesn’t disappoint either but the 500MB data cap is a big turn-off for those who want to stream in high-definition.
- Advanced features like VigilantBear and GhostBear
- 1000+ servers in 23 countries worldwide
- Easy-to-use Windows Client Software
- 50% discount on the yearly-plan
- Smoothly works with Netflix
- 500MB limit (free plan)
7. Private Tunnel: Unlimited Data and DDoS Shield for Gaming
PrivateTunnel offers unlimited data and DDoS shield for gaming which makes it an exceptional free Linux VPN. The 7-day free trial for Private Tunnel lets you test all its features without risking your money.
The Linux setup on Private Tunnel is extremely straightforward. You can also make use of the step-by-step guide for installing Private Tunnel via the terminal.
Moreover, Private Tunnel also offers 24/7 customer support that quickly helps resolve any technical issues. In terms of security, Private Tunnel is a safe bet as it is backed with 128-bit AES-GCM encryption along with DDoS attack protection to keep your browsing activities hidden. However, the VPN does log some of your information to deliver better customer experiences.
For more details, check our in-depth Private Tunnel review!
- No data leaks
- 100 simultaneous connections
- Intrusive logs
- Doesn’t unblock major streaming platforms
8. VPNBook: Free VPN for Linux with Unlimited Data Allowance
VPNBook is an absolutely-free OpenVPN client that efficiently works with Linux. It also offers a detailed step-by-step guide for installing OpenVPN on Ubuntu.
The VPNBook free service doesn’t cost you anything but you have to sit through ads and annoying popups in the app. In our tests, we were able to access restricted streaming platforms like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
However, the download speeds remained a big problem throughout the tests – plus the free service only offers 6 servers in 5 countries so we can’t compare the performance to a premium VPN provider.
In addition, the customer support is highly impressive and you can always rely on it to resolve installation issues.
VPNBook utilizes 128-bit key AES encryption rather than 256-bit key AES, plus it keeps connection logs of your IP addresses and timestamps for a week. Hence, your privacy isn’t as guaranteed with VPNBook.
- Good server connection speed
- Availability of PPTP support
- Not an expansive server network
9. Speedify: Linux VPN with 2GB Limit on Free Accounts
Speedify is another free Linux for VPNs that imposes a 2G data limit on the free accounts. Located in Pennsylvania, United States – Speedify is famed for its high performance, which makes streaming/unblocking VoD services incredibly smooth and efficient.
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.
Moreover, Speedify 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.
- P2P/torrenting enabled on specific servers
- 1,000+ servers in 28 countries worldwide
- Personalized encryption: ChaCha-256 bit
- Uses own VPN protocol: Channel Bonding
- 5GB of free monthly data for testing
- Lacks live chat support
10. NordVPN: 30-Day Refund and 7-Day Free Trial
NordVPN isn’t a free Linux VPN but it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee that gives it an advantage over other free VPNs. Similar to ExpressVPN, it’s simple to download the custom NordVPN app for Linux.
In addition, NordVPN is compatible with all the major NordVPN distros including Ubuntu, Debian, Elementary OS, Linux Mint, Fedora, RHEL, CentOS, Qubes OS, and openSUSE. The NordLynx protocol is extremely fast and lets you use the internet at lightning-fast speed.
NordVPN has a global server presence of 5600+ servers in 59+ countries. Once you install NordVPN, you can simply leverage the quick connect feature and let the VPN recommend you the best server.
You can also rely on the VPN server locator on the official website and land on a particular server for your specific need.
Moreover, NordVPN lets you torrent on almost all the country servers. You can find these optimized servers under Specialty Servers in the app.
With its tough encryption policies, Threat Protection Lite feature, and reliable kill switch, NordVPN is one of the most secure VPNs to use with Linux.
Besides such advanced security features, NordVPN has a proactive customer support team that stays available for resolving all technical issues. Along with the 30-day money-back policy, you can also sign up for the 7-day NordVPN free trial on Android and iOS.
For more details, check our in-depth NordVPN review!
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Global network coverage
- 6 simultaneous device connections
- Unblocks major streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime
- Supports torrenting on a few servers
- Occasional slow server connections
Testing Methodology: How We Ranked the Free VPNs for Linux
We tested each VPN on a laptop running Mint and a desktop running Fedora. After testing the VPNs against the following criteria, we ranked them on the basis of how well they performed.
Here’s what we considered to find the best free VPNs for Linux:
- 100% Free: We ensured that the free VPNs didn’t ask for credit card details during the sign-up procedure. As far as premium VPNs are concerned, we personally tested their money-back policy to ensure their authenticity.
- Compatibility with Linux: Every VPN supports a wide range of Linux distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, and Debian. Some of the VPNs aren’t restricted to Linux – they work with Windows, Android, and iOS.
- Server Speed: We ran multiple speed tests to check the speed of server connections during peak and off-peak time intervals. The list only contains VPNs that offered impressive speeds for streaming and torrenting in high-definition (HD).
- Security Features: A minimum of AES-128 bit encryption, straightforward privacy policies, and an efficient kill switch were kept the standard. During the rigorous tests, we thoroughly went through the privacy policies and ensured that the VPNs don’t store personally identifiable information.
- We also ran several DNS leak tests and recommended the ones that successfully masked our IPs. All the additional security features were also tested – for instance, the automatic kill switch.
- Torrenting: We confirmed if each VPN allowed P2P support on the free version by directly contacting customer support. The findings of our security tests helped determine how safe the VPN was for torrenting.
- Streaming Capabilities: The number of streaming sites a VPN can unblock is extremely important. We rigorously tested each VPN’s compatibility with prominent streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more to check whether they can unblock internationally-restricted sites or not.
Step-By-Step Guide: How to install a free VPN on Linux?
You can install a free VPN on Linux in three different ways. We’ll walk you through the different ways in detail below:
Install OpenVPN in the Linux Terminal
To configure your VPN, it’s safer to use OpenVPN in the Linux terminal. If you’re using the CentOS or Fedora distro, then install the EPEL repository by “sudo yum install epel-release” and “yum install openvpn.”
You can follow this step-by-step guide to install OpenVPN in the Linux terminal:
- Install a Linux VPN (Recommended: ExpressVPN).
- Open the “Terminal” by clicking on the left sidebar.
- Type “sudo apt-get install openvpn” if you use the APT packet manager. In case you use the RPM packet manager, then type “sudo rpm install openvpn.”
- Download the OpenVPN configuration files for the servers you want to connect to.
- Next, open the Terminal and change directory (cd) to the directory where you downloaded the files.
- In Terminal, type “sudo openvpn [openvpn file name].”
- You’re now connected to the VPN through the Linux Terminal.
Install OpenVPN through Ubuntu
This is by far the easiest method to set up a VPN on Linux. To make it even easier for you, here’s a step-by-step guide to install OpenVPN through Ubuntu:
- Download a Linux VPN (Recommended: ExpressVPN).
- From your VPN provider, download the .ovpn configuration files for a server of your choice.
- Download the Ubuntu OpenVPN packages for NetworkManager by entering “sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn-gnome” into the Terminal.
- Ensure that OpenVPN has been properly installed.
- Click “Import from file“, navigate to where you downloaded the .opvn configuration files then select a server.
- Now, add your VPN account details into the Add VPN pop-up.
- You’ve successfully installed a VPN!
Note: To terminate the connection, simply head to NetworkManager then select VPN Off.
Configure a VPN on Linux GUI
Follow these quick steps to configure a VPN on Linux GUI:
- Install a Linux-friendly VPN (Recommended: ExpressVPN).
- Configure OpenVPN with your VPN by installing the .ovpn files.
- Download the Chrome and Firefox browser extensions for ExpressVPN.
- Log in to the browser extension with your login details and connect to a server!
What’s the Catch with Free VPNs for 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”.
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 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 increasingly digitally-dominating world. Paid VPNs have more intuitive apps, larger server listings, multiple VPN protocols, and extra features too.
Are free VPNs safe for Linux?
100% free VPNs might not be the safest for Linux, so opt for freemium VPNs or the 30-day money-back guarantee of premium VPNs to ensure your online safety.
Windscribe, hide.me and a few other free Linux VPNs can keep your data secure via 256-bit encryption, efficient kill switch, audited no-logs policy, and IP leak protection.
Can a free VPN do the same job as a premium VPN for Linux?
Certainly not, as free VPNs won’t let you bypass heavy geo-blocks and might not ensure your online anonymity. Therefore, we recommend leveraging the money-back guarantee of top VPNs like ExpressVPN.
Will a free VPN give me better overall internet speeds in Linux?
Unfortunately, a free VPN is more likely to provide you with slower speeds, congested servers, and poor online security. To attain a better overall internet speed, it’s recommended to subscribe to a premium VPN service such as ExpressVPN as it offers a global server network and military-grade encryption policies.
How do I connect to a VPN automatically on Linux?
To automatically connect to a VPN on Linux, first set up the VPN via Network Manager. Once done – edit the main network and select Automatically connect to VPN when using this connection. From the drop-down menu, select the VPN connection you created earlier.
Wrapping Things Up
As tempting as a free Linux VPN might be, most of them aren’t even worth it half the time. When you choose to use a free VPN for Linux, you are actually signing up for leaked data, slowed connection speeds, and harmful malware.
With an absolutely best free vpn for linux, you put your Linux device at risk and expose it to the prying eyes of hackers and scammers. Usually, VPNs prefer other operating software so finding a solution might be harder in times of a technical crisis. Therefore, it’s best to subscribe to a VPN with dedicated Linux apps.
Several premium VPNs such as ExpressVPN come with a 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you test every feature without risking your money.