5 Best Free VPN Services for Linux That Work in 2021
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 is difficult.
If you are looking for something that is “free”, things further take a turn for the worst, as these services use shady practices to meet the costs of managing a VPN service.
To ease the decision making process, you can read this detailed guide on free VPNs for linux, or simply click on the link below to get the premium and highly-secure, ExpressVPN (starting at $6.67/mo for BestVPN.co visitors exclusively).
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).
Terminal commands, system services, and graphical services are developed independently from one another. You can use the graphical interface or codes to do multiple tasks.
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.
Best Free VPNs for Linux: Quick Summary
- ExpressVPN: 30-Days Risk-Free Trial
- Windscribe: 10GB Data Cap with Free VPN
- Hide.Me: 2GB Data Cap on the Free Version.
- TunnelBear: 500MB Data Available for Free.
- Speedify: 2GB Limit on Free Accounts.
The Best Free VPNs for Linux (Updated 2021)
Regardless of which Linux Distro you have, the VPN you choose should offer fast speeds, strong security, and most importantly, easy installation. I tested over 180+ providers to bring you the best in the market to use on your Linux from anywhere in the world:
1. ExpressVPN: 7-Day Free Trial and 30-Day Refund
Although this is not exactly a Free Trial for a VPN, we would have been making this review incomplete, if we hadn’t feature this amazing trial account offered by Surfshark.
Unlike other providers in the marketplace, ExpressVPN offers its users a generous 7-day free trial on iOS and Android devices. Whereas for users of other platforms, you have a 30-day refund.
You can avail it at any time, if the service does not meet your requirements. However, for the most part, Surfshark will cover all your VPN-related needs.
You can use it for unblocking geo-restricted platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Sling TV directly through the browser extensions.
The best part of all: if you opt for their 1-year plan, you only pay a minimal $6.67/month and get 3-Months free along with access to ten simultaneous connections on a single subscription.
- Located in the British Virgin Islands
- Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
- 3,000+ Servers in 90+ Countries
- Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime
- Free Trial on iOS and Android Devices
- No Cons As Such
2. Windscribe: 10GB Data Cap with Free Version
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.
3. Hide.me: 2GB Data Cap on Free Version
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.
4. TunnelBear: 500MB Data Cap with Free Version
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
5. Speedify: 2GB Data Limit on Free Accounts
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
With all factors taken into consideration, ExpressVPN wins this category by offering a highly-secure and no logged 30-days paid trial, along with a budget-friendly bi-annual plan, starting at a minimal $6.67/mo.
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!