Best Ubuntu VPN

A VPN or Virtual Private Network is an important piece of online security software that will protect your identity and anonymity online. Without a VPN, you are being connected through your Internet Service Provider or ISP when you access the web.

Your ISP will assign you a unique IP address that every website you visit can use to identify you. Since your ISP is managing all of your online traffic, it can see everything you do online, including the websites you visit. Your online activities can also be linked to you using your IP address.

When you use a VPN, your web connection will run through the VPN rather than your ISP. The VPN will establish an encrypted connection between your device and the VPN server. Your data traffic will continue to run through your ISP, but your ISP will be unable to view or decipher it. Also, the websites you visit will no longer be able to see your actual IP address.

For many users, switching to Linux software is the first step into taking complete control of your device and minimizing third-party interference. Ubuntu is the most popular Linux OS for any users looking for a simple transition. Experienced VPN users may need to reconsider their current VPN provider, as many premium VPNs lack comprehensive Linux apps to match their Windows and macOS counterparts.

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Best Ubuntu VPNs

A VPN will allow you to create a safe connection between your device and the internet, whether using Windows, macOS, or Linux. VPNs are extremely popular nowadays and are used for a host of online activities such as overcoming geo-restrictions on streaming sites, bypassing censorship, protecting internet activity from prying eyes, and much more.

But, what are some of the things that you should keep in mind when looking for an Ubuntu VPN? Firstly, the VPN service needs to offer a native Linux app; otherwise, you’ll be unable to use it with your Ubuntu distro. It is also a good idea to look for a VPN that offers support for a decent range of devices, including Windows computers, Mac computers, Android, iOS, and more, to ensure you’ll be able to protect all your devices.

Also, look for a VPN that delivers a wide network of servers spread all over the world. This will enable you to connect to a server near your actual geographical location for the fastest connection speeds. It will also mean that you can connect to servers in a host of other countries to access geo-restricted content that is typically unavailable to you.

A safe VPN service will also offer a clear no-logs policy that details exactly what they do and don’t record about their user’s online activities. As with any online service, your VPN connections may drop occasionally. This means that it is a good idea to choose a VPN that comes with an integrated kill-switch to ensure your data is protected even if the VPN fails.

Customer support is another essential feature of any VPN service, especially if you are a beginner user. When you install, configure, and set up the command-line VPN for Ubuntu, it is reassuring to know that help is on hand if you require assistance.

There is a wide array of VPNs for Linux on the market, so we have selected the best ones to help you decide which one you should install.

1. ExpressVPN

Install ExpressVPN to get the most out of Ubuntu. ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN for Linux, and it offers support for Ubuntu and CentOS, Debian, Arch, Raspberry Pi OS, and Fedora. There is a simple, user-friendly command-line interface, a host of advanced security features, as well as a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee for peace of mind.

Ubuntu Installation

On the ExpressVPN setup page, enter your account details and sign in. Enter the verification code that was sent to your email. Select your Linux operating system and click “Download,” then “Save File,” and “OK.” Keep this installer browser open for later.

For command-line installation, open the Terminal. Then enter the following commands into the Terminal window: cd~/Downloads/ and: sudo dpkp -i [installer filename]. Then open a new terminal and enter: ExpressVPN activate, and then paste the activation code from earlier.

ExpressVPN is arguably the best overall VPN service on the market, and it is no different when it comes to Linux. The company is one of the longest-established in the VPN industry, and it is still one of the most popular among users. There is an extensive range of remote servers across 94 countries, powerful security features, an independently audited no-logs policy, and reliable streaming performance.

To set up ExpressVPN on Ubuntu or any other Linux device, sign up for an account with ExpressVPN on the order page. Then download and install the ExpressVPN command-line Linux app and connect to any one of ExpressVPN’s 160 server locations worldwide to enjoy complete online freedom and security. You can also choose to manually install OpenVPN through the Ubuntu Network Manager.

ExpressVPN also offers first-rate apps for Android and iOS and browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox that work on Linux. The Linux VPN will automatically connect you to the best available server in terms of geographical location. You can also manually select any of its servers across more than 94 countries. If you need assistance while setting up the Ubuntu VPN, there is 24/7 live chat and email support.

ExpressVPN comes with a host of advanced features, including a reliable integrated kill-switch for Linux activated by default to alert you if the VPN connection fails for any reason. The kill-switch will also cease the transfer of any unencrypted information until the VPN connection is re-established. There is military-grade AES-256 bit encryption and a 4096-bit RSA certificate and support for a host of powerful protocols.

Users will also have access to Perfect Forward Secrecy technology and use of ExpressVPN’s RAM-only servers, which are built on TrustedServer technology, to ensure no data is ever stored. There is also the option to activate double VPN encryption to re-route your data through two servers rather than just one, or Tor over VPN that will redirect your online traffic through the anonymous Tor network, enabling access to Onion sites. ExpressVPN also offers complete DNS and IP leak protection.

The company is based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, a country that does not impose strict data retention laws, which is a real draw for any user that wants to remain completely anonymous online. ExpressVPN also offers an independently audited no-logs policy for even more peace of mind. The policy states that the VPN will never monitor or save user activity data or any other personal information, which is good to know.

If you need an Ubuntu VPN for accessing geo-restricted content on sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more, ExpressVPN is an excellent and reliable option. Connection speeds are great, too, meaning that you can stream and game in high-definition on your Ubuntu device, without the need to worry about lagging or buffering.

The only real negative is the cost, which is significantly higher than some of its competitors, but it does arguably make up for that with its first-rate service. There is, unfortunately, no free trial, but there is a hassle-free 30-day money-back guarantee for all of ExpressVPN’s long-term plans. Prices start at $6.67 a month, as long as you are happy to commit for 12 months. However, the freedom of a monthly plan comes in at an eye-watering $12.95, which is likely too much for the average user.

2. Surfshark

Surfshark delivers excellent value for money as well as an impressive list of functional features for Linux. There are over 3200 servers across more than 65 locations and a generous unlimited simultaneous connections policy.

Ubuntu Installation

To install the Surfshark app on Ubuntu, first, sign up for an account. Then open the Terminal and install Surfshark by entering the commands: sudo apt-get install {/path/to}surfshark-release_1.0.0.0-1.1_amd64.deb. Then update the apt-get package by entering: sudo-apt-get update.

Surfshark is an excellent choice with its long-term plans starting at just $2.49 a month if you are looking for a more affordable VPN option. Fortunately, the low price does not mean there is a lack of features either. There is a generous 30-day money-back guarantee too, in case you change your mind.

Surfshark delivers a command-line-based OpenVPN product for Linux users. There is an impressive policy that supports an unlimited number of VPN connections too. This means that you can protect your Linux, Windows, macOS, and iOS devices at the same time and even share the product with your friends and family too.

The VPN app delivers all of the basics that we have come to expect from a premium VPN service, including military-standard AES-256 bit encryption and over 3000 secure remote servers across more than 65 countries. There is a MultiHop feature, too, that will allow you to reroute your data through multiple servers simultaneously for additional security.

Linux users will also enjoy some advanced settings, including the protection of Surfshark’s CleanWeb feature that blocks malware and ads while you are browsing the web. There is also the option to use the VPN in obfuscation mode to hide the fact that you are using an encrypted VPN connection. The kill-switch will also protect your files and data if the VPN drops for any reason.

Surfshark offers a transparent no-logs policy that assures the VPN will never store or monitor user activities; however, this has not yet been confirmed by an independent security audit. The company is based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, a real positive for security-conscious users.

The VPN is an excellent choice for streaming fans thanks to its support for all popular services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. There is torrenting support, too, across most, although not all, servers. Connection speeds are impressive, especially if you connect with WireGuard, meaning you can stream and game on Ubuntu without lagging or buffering.

Unfortunately, not all of Surfshark’s features are available on Linux. Split-tunneling is, for example, not available, which is disappointing, although understandable considering the low price.

Customer support is industry-standard, with a 24/7 live chat and comprehensive support articles available. If you need help while manually installing the app on your Linux device, contact the friendly customer service team.

3. NordVPN

NordVPN provides another powerful, audited VPN app for Ubuntu and Linux devices. There are over 5600 servers across 60 worldwide locations for a reliable VPN connection, no matter where you are.

Ubuntu Installation

To install NordVPN on Ubuntu, download the NordVPN repository. Open the terminal then enter the following command line: sudo apt-get install {/nordvpn-release_1.0.0_all.deb. Then, continue to update the sudo-apt-get package list and enter: sudo-apt-get update. Now, you can install NordVPN.

NordVPN boasts an extensive list of high-quality features for Linux users. There is a Double VPN encryption feature that will re-route your data through two different VPN server locations, for an additional layer of security. There is also the option to connect to an obfuscated server location that will mask the fact that you are using a VPN connection to overcome any VPN-bans.

When you install the command-line app for Ubuntu, you’ll also be protected by an integrated kill-switch that you can activate in the VPN settings. The kill-switch will ensure your web access remains protected even if the VPN connection drops for any reason. If the VPN fails, the kill-switch will cease the transfer of any unencrypted file or information so that nothing is ever exposed.

Like all of the best VPNs, once installed, you’ll be protected by military-standard AES-256 bit encryption with secure protocols, including the open-source OpenVPN protocol. There is complete DNS and IP leak protection, too, as well as some additional features like Double VPN that will re-route your data traffic through two different servers simultaneously for an extra layer of protection. There is support for Tor over VPN to send your data through the encrypted anonymous Tor network for access to Onion sites.

NordVPN even comes with a strict no-logging policy that renowned security company PricewaterhouseCoopers have independently audited. This means you can rest assured that your private data will never be misused or shared when using the Ubuntu app.

Nord operates on its own proprietary NordLynx protocol based on WireGuard software and is optimized to provide superfast server connection speeds. This means that you’ll get reliable connection speeds of up to 350Mbps, which is more than enough for most online activities. There is excellent streaming support, too, and the VPN can access the most popular streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more.

When it comes to device support, a NordVPN subscription comes with protection for up to 6 devices simultaneously, slightly more than the industry average.

If you are happy to commit for longer, monthly subscription prices drop significantly. NordVPN comes in at $3.71 a month on the 2-year plan. The VPN offers a decent choice of payment options, including credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, making it an excellent option for any user that wants to create an account while remaining completely anonymous.

There is a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test the product with Ubuntu before committing to a paid plan. Configure and test the VPN on your Ubuntu device, and if you’re not completely happy, request a refund within the first 30 days.

4. IPVanish

IPVanish comes with a generous policy of unlimited connections, although its features cannot compete with its competitors.

Ubuntu Installation

To install IPVanish on your Ubuntu device, install the package: network-manager-openvpn. Download the IPVanish certificate, then go to Connections and Configure VPN. Click “Add” and select OpenVPN from the pop-up window. Then select the Identity tab and change the connection name to something recognizable. Type the name of the VPN server in the Gateway field, choose the Password options from “Type” and enter your IPVanish username and password.

Unlike many other Ubuntu VPN services, IPVanish does not limit the number of devices you can protect at one time. This is a major benefit if you own multiple devices, or you want to protect your partner’s or children’s devices too. The Linux VPN offers support for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices too. There is support for secure VPN protocols and a network of servers spread across more than 50 countries.

Connection speeds are decent and sufficient for streaming in high-definition and even 4K without lag or buffering. There is also unlimited bandwidth, so you don’t need to worry about how much data you are consuming while watching your favorite overseas Netflix shows.

However, unlike some of the best Ubuntu VPNs like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, IPVanish’s Linux app is relatively simple and does not come with many advanced settings. For example, there is no kill-switch to protect your data if the VPN connection drops for any reason or the ability to use VPN obfuscation to mask the fact that you are using a VPN. Linux users cannot access LAN blocking or the OpenVPN Scramble feature that prevents firewalls from preventing VPN connections.

Also, IPVanish claims it doesn’t store any data traffic, but its no-logs policy has not been independently audited, which may be a cause of concern for any security-conscious user.

5. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is another VPN client that delivers support for Ubuntu and other Linux software. It is also one of the best VPNs for streaming thanks to its excellent unblocking performance, wide server network, and super-fast download speeds on its proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol.

Ubuntu Installation

Download the Hotspot Shield app on your Ubuntu device by getting the file for Ubuntu. Then, use the following command line: hotspotshield signin.

With servers across more than 80 countries, Hotspot Shield users have a wide choice when picking a location. The VPN operates on its own proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol, which is one of the fastest available. This means that the VPN is an excellent choice for streaming in high-definition or 4K.

Athough Hotspot Shield does come with an excellent free VPN, there is no support for Linux on the free version. This means that if you wish to test the product, you’ll need to utilize the generous 45-day money-back guarantee, which is one of the longest in the industry.

Unfortunately, many of Hotspot Shield’s settings and features are also not available for Linux or Ubuntu users, such as split tunneling, which is useful for separating VPN connections when engaging in activities such as torrenting and browsing simultaneously.

Also, the VPN claims that it does not monitor or store any user information; however, its privacy policy has not received an independent audit by a third party, which is slightly concerning.

6. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is an excellent choice for users looking for an advanced Linux VPN. Although there is no official client for Linux, the provider offers a range of comprehensive setup guides to download and install OpenVPN on Ubuntu, using the Network Manager.

Ubuntu Installation

Open a Terminal window and change the directory to the CyberGhost folder. Type: sudo bash install.sh. Then, press Enter and type in the sudo password.

CyberGhost is one of the most popular VPNs on the market. It delivers excellent streaming performance, reliable connection speeds, and some powerful security features. Unfortunately, there is no official support for Linux, but users can follow the well-written manual OpenVPN setup guides.

If you don’t want to manually install OpenVPN on your Linux device, you can also utilize CyberGhost’s browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox on your Linux device. This will allow you to alternate between browsers and switch between security protocols with ease. There are apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV, and Chrome.

CyberGhost is an excellent choice if you want to install a secure VPN to protect your online activities. There is a strict no-logging policy, military-standard AES-256 bit encryption, and the choice of IPSec/L2TP, OpenVPN, and PPTP protocols. Although it has not yet completed an independent audit, CyberGhost offers a reassuring privacy policy as well as a transparency report which states that it will never store or share customer web data.

Prices start at just $2.25 a month, as long as you are ready to commit to a longer-term subscription plan. You will get a 45-day money-back guarantee.

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is a Linux operating system that is freely available for individuals and professions. Ubuntu is built on the idea that software should be available free of charge, that it should be available to users in their local location, be usable despite disabilities, and have the right to customize and alter the software in any way.

What Does An Ubuntu VPN Do?

A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a piece of software that offers an additional layer of security between your Ubuntu device and the web. It will also encrypt your online activities and secure your information, hiding it from the prying eyes of third parties and cybercriminals.

When you connect to a secure VPN server, your web traffic will be re-routed through an encrypted tunnel so that no one can view or access it. Without a VPN, when you access a website or service, your connection runs through your ISP. Your ISP assigns you an IP address that can be used to identify you online, and your ISP handles all of your online traffic and can view all of your activities.

A VPN can also help you overcome censorship and geo-restrictions, making your activity appear as if it is originating from a different county. Using a VPN will allow you to change your IP address which is the unique number that identifies your device and your location. By masking your IP location, you can use the web as if you were in a different country.

For example, if you want to stream content on US Netflix, but you live in Europe, connect to a US VPN server to unlock access to a host of television shows and movies that would typically be unavailable to you.

Replacing your IP address with that of the VPN can help to protect your identity from services, apps, and websites that want to track you and your online behavior. Powerful VPNs will even prevent your ISP from viewing your activity.

Also, if you utilize unsecured networks on public Wi-Fi hotspots such as those in cafes or hotels, a VPN will protect you from threats such as identity theft, packet-sniffing, and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Do I Need a VPN for Ubuntu?

A VPN is the only way to secure and anonymize your web activity from interception and prying by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the government, third parties, malicious advertisers, cybercriminals, and hackers. By connecting to a VPN server, you can replace your real IP address with that of the VPN server, protect your activity on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, and access restricted sites and services like Netflix.

If you are concerned about your online anonymity, we recommend using a VPN connection every time you access the web. A VPN will run in the background of your advice, so it will not get in the way of your activity on other apps or websites. A VPN will give you peace of mind that your identity is protected.

How Do I Install OpenVPN on Ubuntu Using The Integrated Network Manager?

The OpenVPN Linux project delivers a new open-source client built on the OpenVPN Core Library, which is used across different OpenVPN Connect clients and OpenVPN for Android. Here’s how to install OpenVPN on Ubuntu.

To set up OpenVPN configuration on Ubuntu, you’ll need to use the integrated Network Manager. Go to your menu bar, click on the network icon, and then click “Settings.” On the VPN section, click “+.” Then, you’ll need to tap “Import from File.” Generate your OpenVPN configuration, leave the configuration as default, select your location, and enter your port/encryption before clicking “Generate” to download the configuration.

The OpenVPN configuration should now be in your download files. Change the configuration name to your desired connection name. Then enter your VPN username and password before clicking “Add” at the top right corner of your screen to finish the configuration and add your connection. Once you have added the connection configuration, click to manually connect to the VPN.

What is The Best Free VPN for Ubuntu?

Although there is a host of free Ubuntu VPNs on the market, we would typically avoid installing one. Using a free VPN service comes with a host of risks that far outweigh the savings you will make.

Firstly, free VPNs are typically much slower than any paid VPN. This means that you will likely be unable to stream your favorite shows without lagging or buffering. Free VPN services usually offer poor unblocking performance, so you might not be able to unlock any overseas services. On top of that, free VPNs almost always come with a meager data bandwidth limit, making them suitable for little more than the simplest of browsing activities.

Another issue with free VPN services is their lack of secure privacy policies and advanced security features. Even free services need to create money somehow, and many do so by storing and selling private user data to third parties.

Author Cliff Durward

Hi, I'm Cliff. I'm based in Cleveland, Ohio, with my wife and two kids. I have a keen interest in cybersecurity and have been writing about it for around a decade now. Due to my background in computer science, I am familiar ...
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PrivacySharks » VPN – Best VPN of 2021 – What is a VPN? » Best Ubuntu VPN
Last updated: May 11, 2021