Best VPN Ubuntu

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the easiest ways to stay anonymous online. Now, Ubuntu has a built-in VPN client but it’s quite limited. You’ll gain access to far more features with your VPN’s Linux app. The problem is that few providers support Linux distros like Ubuntu, and even then, they tend to offer less functionality than the same service’s Windows or MacOS apps.

In this article, we’ll discuss the best VPNs for Ubuntu. All of the VPNs we recommend have Ubuntu apps either in command-line or GUI form. They also meet our standards of speed, security, and ability to unblock region-locked content.

We’ll cover the best VPNs for Ubuntu in more detail shortly. For now, here’s a shortlist of the best Ubuntu VPNs:

  1. NordVPN: Our top Ubuntu VPN. Excellent speeds, plenty of advanced security features, and support for most popular distros. Also includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
    TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for Ubuntu.
  2. Surfshark: The best budget VPN for Ubuntu. Works with most streaming platforms, has no connection limit, and follows a strict no-logs policy
  3. ExpressVPN: A reputable service boasting 90+ server locations, a strong set of privacy features, and the ability to beat the world’s strictest online censorship
  4. IPVanish: Speedy, secure, and lightweight VPN with support for several popular Linux distributions. Great streaming ability and no connection or bandwidth limits to speak of.
  5. Private Internet Access: Easy-to-use GUI app. Includes several advanced features and works reliably with popular streaming services
  6. ProtonVPN: A privacy-focused provider with an open-source Ubuntu app. Delivers outstanding connection speeds and uses private DNS servers
  7. AirVPN: One of the only VPN services with a GUI app for Ubuntu.  Allows a lot of customization for power users

Best VPNs for Ubuntu

Not all VPNs work with Linux, and it can take a lot of time to investigate which do.Our team of experts have been doing this kind of research for years and chose to eliminate any contenders that didn’t offer:

  • An app for Ubuntu (and ideally other Linux distros)
  • VPN servers in lots of locations
  • Strong security and privacy protections
  • Fast and reliable download speeds
  • The ability to securely access streaming platforms like Netflix
  • A money-back guarantee

Here is our list of the best Ubuntu VPNs:

1. NordVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our first choice for Ubuntu. It has roughly 5,000 servers in 60 countries and can access a huge range of geo-blocked content. It’s one of the quickest VPN services on the market too, delivering average connection speeds of nearly 200 Mbps in our latest round of testing. We’ve always found its support staff to be friendly and helpful, and you can get in touch 24/7 via live chat.

This provider has a command-line app for Linux users. This keeps your traffic safe using 256-bit encryption, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. We were pleased to find that NordVPN’s more advanced features were included too: for instance, you can securely connect to devices on other networks, use obfuscated servers to bypass country-wide censorship, or turn on automatic tracker and malware blocking. Most important, NordVPN’s strict no-logs policy has been verified by multiple independent audits.

Up to six connections are allowed at once. Apps are available for most major operating systems, though you’ll have to follow manual setup instructions to get this VPN running on your router.

Pros:

  • Dedicated Linux app
  • Quick and reliable connections
  • Strong security and a zero-logs policy
  • Works with most region-locked streaming sites
  • 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Streaming servers aren’t labeled

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR UBUNTU:NordVPN is the highest-quality VPN for Ubuntu. It’s packed with security features and has servers across the world. You can try it risk-free thanks to NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is the best low-cost VPN for Ubuntu. Despite this, its network spans 100 countries, far more than some of its pricier competitors. Better still, its download speeds are outstanding (roughly 190 Mbps on average) and it’s able to reliably access stubborn streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video from anywhere. We’re big fans of the fact that it allows unlimited simultaneous connections and provides 24/7 support over live chat.

This VPN has a robust security offering, with 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and automatic malware-blocking. Additionally, it can swap your IP address periodically, giving you even greater online privacy. Surfshark follows a no-logs policy and has undergone several audits to prove it.

Surfshark has a command-line app for Ubuntu and every other popular operating system. You can even follow manual setup instructions to install it directly on routers.

Pros:

  • Unlimited connections
  • Access geo-blocked content anywhere (even in China)
  • Excellent speeds
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Some advanced tools can’t be used without a Surfshark One subscription

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Connect as many devices as you want and browse safely without breaking the bank. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN does a fantastic job of accessing geo-blocked content. Further, it offers access to servers in 94 countries, meaning you’ll be able to get a speedy connection no matter where you are in the world. This VPN’s customer service team are excellent and highly-responsive, standing by via 24/7 live chat to help with any issues.

One of the great things about this VPN is that it takes care of things for you. For instance, obfuscation kicks in automatically whenever you need it and the Threat Protection system blocks malware and malicious sites in the background. Best of all, your internet connection is secured with AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection as well as an independently-verified no-logs policy.

Apps are available for Ubuntu, five other popular distros, and a slew of different devices, including certain wifi routers and Raspberry Pi. Up to five simultaneous connections are permitted at once.

Pros:

  • Very fast speeds
  • Advanced security features with minimal configuration required
  • Works with most streaming services
  • 24/7 live chat available

Cons:

  • Monthly plans are slightly more expensive than competitors’

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

FAST SPEEDS:ExpressVPN is another great choice. Quick and reliable, with strong encryption and a well-rounded, easy-to-install Ubuntu app. Plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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4. IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is a natural choice for Linux users. It provides all of the setup files needed to configure the native OpenVPN client, meaning it works with several popular distros, including Ubuntu and Fedora. Better still, this service delivers some of the fastest speeds we’ve seen (in our most recent tests, it averaged over 300 Mbps). In other words, you’ll be able to stream your favorite shows and torrent anonymously without any noticeable drop in performance. Setup is fairly straightforward but staff are on-hand 24 hours per day over live chat if you have any issues.

Security is one of the most important aspects of any VPN. Thankfully, IPVanish doesn’t disappoint; it keeps you safe using uncrackable encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. Most importantly, this provider follows a strict no-logs policy and has been independently audited to prove it. Unfortunately, as it doesn’t yet have its own CLI app for Linux, you won’t be able to take advantage of more advanced features like data obfuscation or automatic ad-blocking.

IPVanish also provides apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire Stick. With a little manual configuration, it can even be installed directly on your home router.

Pros:

  • One of the quickest VPNs around
  • Impressive streaming ability
  • Secure servers in 60+ countries
  • No connection limits
  • Zero logs policy – keeps no records of your activities.

Cons:

  • Connections must be manually configured via the OpenVPN manager
  • Based in the US

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

NO-LOGS VPN:IPVanish puts your privacy first and won’t be stopped by most online restrictions. It’s quick, reliable, and security-conscious, plus it provides around-the-clock support. Annual and two-year plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Take a look at our full IPVanish review.

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5. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.PrivateInternetAccess.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Private Internet Access offers access to servers in 84 countries and is one of the few providers with its own graphical Ubuntu app. Its speeds are top-notch, and we’ve seen strong results when using it for streaming, video-calling, and gaming. There are no bandwidth limits and P2P traffic is allowed on any server. If you need help, live chat and email support is available 24/7.

This VPN clearly values your online security. It uses AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection, plus users can choose to connect over a different port, thereby beating some forms of VPN-detection. PIA can even block ads, trackers, and malware automatically, giving you an extra layer of protection when browsing the web. Thanks to its no-logs policy, there’s no need to worry about anyone monitoring your online activities.

Connect up to 10 devices at once via PIA’s apps for Ubuntu, Raspberry Pi, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. Manual setup is required for routers.

Pros:

  • Graphical interface for Ubuntu
  • Speeds are more than fast enough for streaming in high definition
  • High level of security with an ad, tracker, and malware blocker
  • 10 connection limit

Cons:

  • Like many VPNs, it struggles to work in China
  • Quite expensive if you opt for just a single month

Our score:

4 out of 5

BLOCKS MALWARE:Private Internet Access has a GUI app for Linux and lets you secure up to 10 devices simultaneously. An excellent option for almost any task. Also includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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6. ProtonVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.protonvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ProtonVPN is a freemium provider with plenty to offer. For instance, it works with a vast array of streaming services and has servers in almost 70 different countries. Further, it’s one of the quickest VPNs around, making it ideal for P2P traffic, video-calling, or data-intensive tasks. Up to 10 devices can be connected simultaneously, which is roughly twice the industry average.

This provider has a robust security offering, shielding your internet traffic with 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, ad-blocking, and leak protection. There’s also an accelerator feature that claims to boost your speeds by up to 400 percent. ProtonVPN doesn’t log any personally identifiable data and accepts Bitcoin, meaning it’s an excellent option for anyone looking to remain anonymous online.

ProtonVPN has a command-line app for Ubuntu but also works with MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android operating systems. Routers are supported too but must be configured manually.

Pros:

  • Security is a top priority
  • Good for Netflix
  • Zero logs

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work in China
  • Smaller server network

Our score:

4 out of 5

SECURITY FIRST:ProtonVPN emphasizes online privacy above all else, but doesn’t skimp on speed or functionality. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ProtonVPN review.

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7. AirVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.airvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 days

AirVPN offers access to servers in two dozen countries and is one of the only services with a graphical Linux VPN app. It’s quick enough to handle day-to-day tasks like streaming or torrenting, though its speeds are quite a bit slower than some of its higher-ranked rivals. On the plus side, you can connect up to five devices at a time and chat with customer service staff over email.

This service is built for users who like a lot of control and the ability to tweak the VPN to how they want it. This can be a bit intimidating for novice users, but it’s an excellent option if you’d like to create a customized online security system. With a no-logging policy and registration system designed to be as anonymous as possible, it’s clear that AirVPN values its users’ online privacy.

AirVPN has apps for Ubuntu, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can even manually install it on supported routers.

Pros:

  • Plenty of tweaks and customization
  • High level of security
  • No logs

Cons:

  • Not very novice-friendly
  • Smaller server network
  • Speeds could be better

Our score:

4 out of 5

CUSTOMIZE YOUR CONNECTION:AirVPN is targeted at tech-savvy power users who value security and privacy. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full AirVPN review.

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How do I use a VPN with Ubuntu?

New to Virtual Private Networks and not sure where to begin? Here’s how to use a VPN with Ubuntu:

  1. Choose the best VPN for Ubuntu. We highly recommend NordVPN.
  2. Once you’re signed up, head to your VPN provider’s website and look for instructions on how to download the Ubuntu VPN app. This will vary depending on your provider, but you should be able to download the VPN client in your web browser or install it from the command line.
  3. Install the app.
  4. Run the app as per your provider’s instructions and enter your login credentials.
  5. Select a server and connect. This changes your IP address and encrypts your data, rendering it unreadable. The exact steps will vary from one VPN to another but in our experience, you just select a server location and run the connection command
  6. Once you’re connected, the VPN will run in the background until you disconnect it. Be sure to check your specific VPN app’s documentation for instructions on additional online security tools like kill switches, protocols, and stealth modes.

Methodology: Finding the best Ubuntu VPNs

There are hundreds of VPNs out there, but many of them don’t support Linux and some of those that do fail to properly secure your internet connection. With that in mind, we created a list of must-have criteria that the best VPNs for Ubuntu had to meet in order to earn a place in this post:

  • High-quality Linux app: We strongly prefer providers with Linux apps that maintain most of the functionality of the Windows or MacOS apps. Ideally, they’d offer a graphical interface too, but this isn’t strictly necessary
  • Lots of server locations: VPNs change your IP address, so a wider range of locations means you can access heaps more content. Distribution is important too, since the closer your chosen server, the more reliable your connection.
  • Consistent performance: We perform regular speed tests to make sure that we only recommend VPNs capable of handling whatever you throw at them.
  • Versatility: Our team conducts hands-on analysis of each service so that we can say for sure that they’re suitable for streaming, gaming, and torrenting on Ubuntu.
  • Strong privacy focus: We require a high level of security, so private DNS servers, 256-bit AES encryption, no-logs policies, and stealth modes are extremely desirable.
  • User-friendly design: Anything that makes the VPN easier to use is grealy appreciated. This could be 24/7 customer service, unlimited connections, or just task-specific servers.

Interested in learning more? Check out our full VPN testing methodology post.

VPN for Ubuntu FAQs

Are all VPNs compatible with Ubuntu?

No, not every VPN service is compatible with Ubuntu. And while many VPNs state that they support Linux and Ubuntu, you’ll often have to manually configure them with the OpenVPN Manager. Needless to say, this is far from ideal if you’re looking for something beginner-friendly.

However, there are a few VPNs with their own command-line based Linux apps. Some providers go even further, offering graphical interfaces just like you’d get on Windows or MacOS.

Can I use a free VPN with Ubuntu?

You might be considering using a free VPN for Ubuntu. However, we’d advise against it. For starters, they usually have very low bandwidth caps, making them unreliable options for regular use. Additionally, you’ll often find that free providers lack dedicated Ubuntu apps, so setting them up—if possible at all—requires tedious configuration for each server.

The problems don’t stop there, either. Free VPNs often demand more permissions than they need, and we’ve even seen providers that claim to keep no logs inadvertently leak their databases online for anyone to see. The best way to protect yourself is to use a reputable VPN with a proven no-logs policy, and unfortunately, most of these cost money. The good news is that just about every major VPN includes a money-back guarantee so yo ucan try them with no risk whatsoever.

Do Linux users need a VPN?

Really, just about everyone could benefit from using a VPN. These services hide your online activities from public hotspot owners and the government, while preventing your service provider from throttling your speeds.

Of course, that’s not all they’re good for. Maybe you’re looking to switch regions in a game that doesn’t normally allow it, access streaming services abroad, or log into online banking while on vacation without triggering automated fraud prevention systems. In all of these situations, a VPN can help.