The Best Free VPNs for Linux 2024

Linux users can secure their internet activities for free with Proton VPN and PrivadoVPN.
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Best for security and unlimited data

5.0
Editorial Rating
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On Proton VPN's website

Proton VPN
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Best for privacy and travelers

4.7
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On PrivadoVPN's website

PrivadoVPN
View More

While premium virtual private networks (VPNs) offer a variety of advanced features, we’ve gathered a list of free VPNs for Linux that can still protect your internet connection and data while you browse the web. The best free VPNs for Linux include Proton VPN and PrivadoVPN.

In this article, we’ll solely focus on the free versions of the top Linux VPNs available, detailing their features for speed, location access, security, and privacy. Starting with our top choice, Proton VPN, we’ll cover compatibility with various Linux distributions (distros), bandwidth limits, strong VPN protocols, and more.

In this article
The best free VPNs for Linux
Proton VPN: Best for security and unlimited data
PrivadoVPN: Best for privacy and travelers
Risks of using a free VPN for Linux
Honorable mentions
How we tested the best free VPNs for Linux
Best free VPNs for Linux FAQs
Bottom line: The best free VPNs for Linux

The best free VPNs for Linux

Top 2 free VPN services for Linux compared

VPN
Free version Yes — Unlimited bandwidth Yes — 10 GB data limit
Paid plan starting price Starts at $4.49/mo Starts at Free
Learn more Get Proton VPN
Read Proton VPN Review
Get PrivadoVPN
Read PrivadoVPN Review

Proton VPN: Best for security and unlimited data

Who it’s best for

Proton VPN is ideal for anyone who prioritizes security. IT professionals, developers, and technology students will appreciate its open-source nature and may contribute to its security.

Its seamless integration with Linux distros like Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora makes it a go-to choice. The free version doesn’t have a bandwidth limit, which is great for anyone who wants to try using a VPN.

What we liked

Proton VPN’s free version offers strong security features, unlimited bandwidth, and great Linux support with easy-to-follow guides. This is great for heavy internet users. Its high-speed free servers are located in the U.S., the Netherlands, Romania, Poland, and Japan.

Here are its privacy and security-centered features:

  • Kill switch: It encrypts your online traffic even when your VPN connection drops.
  • Secure VPN protocols: Proton supports fast and secure protocols like WireGuard, Smart, and Stealth.
  • Five global VPN servers: Locations are in the U.S., the Netherlands, Romania, Poland, and Japan.
  • Open-source software: This boosts security as it allows public auditing, which makes it more trustworthy for VPN users.
  • No-logs policy: Third-party companies have verified its strict no-logs policy, demonstrating its commitment to privacy.
  • Swiss-based: Being based in Switzerland with stringent privacy laws and outside of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes Alliances is a major plus.

Proton VPN dashboard open on the Preferences tab.

What we didn’t like

We had connectivity issues with the IKEv2 protocol while testing Proton’s free VPN service. When the IKEv2 protocol was selected, we couldn’t connect to any VPN servers unless we disabled the kill switch first. This was quite frustrating since a kill switch ensures your data traffic is protected even when you lose your VPN connection.

Other key factors we weren’t too pleased about include:

  • Poor server selection: You can’t choose specific countries for servers; the selection is automatic and can be limiting.
  • Wait time between server changes: There's a wait of 1 minute and 25 seconds to change servers, which is a nuisance when you want to swap servers quickly.
  • Limited advanced features: Features like Netshield, which blocks malware, ads, and trackers, as well as Secure Core servers, Tor access, P2P support, and streaming support, are reserved for paid premium plans.

Proton VPN dashboard app showing a connection to a Netherlands server.

Proton VPN Free specs

Price range $4.99–$9.99/mo
Free version Yes
Bandwidth limit No — unlimited bandwidth
Number of servers 100+ free servers across 5 countries
Number of connected devices 1
VPN protocol IKEv2, WireGuard, Stealth
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? No
Torrenting support No
Learn more Get Proton VPN
Read Proton VPN Review

PrivadoVPN: Best for privacy and travelers

4.7
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On PrivadoVPN's website
VPN
PrivadoVPN
  • Affordable pricing and a free plan option
  • Fast speeds and unblocks Netflix
  • Low server count

Who it’s best for

PrivadoVPN is a great choice for travelers who want to access the internet securely from their Linux-based devices, whether they’re at a coffee shop, airport, or hotel. This VPN prioritizes your privacy because it’s subject to Swiss law, as is clear from its name, "Privado," which is Portuguese for "private."

What we liked

We loved that PrivadoVPN offers the highest number of free server locations of the free VPNs reviewed here. Its VPN servers are located in Mexico, the Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina, the U.K., India, Canada, and France. Globetrotters or business international travelers will appreciate this quality when they need to use a VPN quickly, especially while waiting inside a cafe or hotel lounge for a travel buddy or a business partner.

PrivadoVPN is protected by Swiss laws, which are very tough on maintaining privacy — another privacy bonus. And with its no-logs policy, it’s a no-brainer for anyone who prioritizes privacy.

PrivadoVPN still offers the same protections as its paid plans, including IP masking and end-to-end encryption. Plus, if you want to upgrade to the premium version, private payment options like cryptocurrencies are accepted.

PrivadoVPN app showing a connection to a server in Paris.
PrivadoVPN dashboard

What we didn’t like

PrivadoVPN’s free plan was lacking in the following areas:

  • You can only select IKEv2 as your VPN protocol. You can’t select WireGuard or OpenVPN in PrivadoVPN's free version, based on our testing.
  • Advanced features are available only for premium plans: These unavailable features include ad blockers, unlimited device connections, kill switch, streaming support, unlimited data, and more.

The PrivadoVPN dashboard open on the Preferences page on the VPN protocols.

PrivadoVPN specs

Price range $1.48–$10.99/mo
Free version Yes
Bandwidth limit Yes — 10 GB data limit
Number of servers 12 free servers
Number of connected devices 1
VPN protocol OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? No
Torrenting support No
Learn more Get PrivadoVPN

Read PrivadoVPN Review

Risks of using a free VPN for Linux

While saving money or wanting to simply test one out are often the two primary reasons for using a free VPN, they usually come with limitations that hinder VPN use.

Consider the following disadvantages of using a free VPN for Linux:

  • Limited bandwidth or data caps: Data is often restricted to a limited number of gigabytes of data that can be used monthly. It’s a big con for streaming and gaming.
  • Lower server count or server locations to choose from: Having fewer server options limits you to available servers that are potentially too far from your location and can slow down speeds. Overcrowded servers also slow down VPN speeds.
  • Data harvesting: Free VPN providers may collect user data, usually for monetary reasons, by selling it to third parties.
  • Logging activity: Your online activities may be monitored and logged for reasons such as advertising purposes, maintenance and troubleshooting, or selling data to third parties.
  • Advertising from third-party companies: Ads may display on your free VPN to make up for the VPN’s lack of revenue. After all, anything that’s free is often not free!
  • Less secure: Free VPNs often lack advanced security features that safeguard your activities on the web from malware-infested websites, phishing, or man-in-the-middle attacks.
  • Less private: There are higher chances of logging your user data, which reduces the likelihood of true privacy. It may not have a no-logs policy in effect, but some logs or all.

To avoid these pesky risks, try one of the best premium VPNs for Linux.

Honorable mentions

Even though the listed VPNs below didn’t make it to our top VPNs list, they’re still worth considering as the best VPN services for various Linux distros and offer excellent security and privacy features. Each offers a money-back guarantee as well, so you can test drive each VPN engine on your Linux machine.

  • Surfshark: With compatibility for Debian, Ubuntu, and Mint distros, Linux enthusiasts will appreciate Surfshark. It’s popular due to its unlimited bandwidth, unlimited connections, and high-speed servers in 100 countries — perfect for large households and multiple Linux devices.

    Get Surfshark | Read Our Surfshark Review

  • Private Internet Access: PIA offers full Linux support and works on Linux distros, such as Mint, Ubuntu, Arch, Fedora, and Debian. It’s a fast and secure VPN for torrenting, streaming, and gaming.

    Get Private Internet Access | Read Our Private Internet Access Review

  • NordVPN: Supporting a wide range of Linux clients: AArch64, ARMv5, ARMv7, i386, and x86_64, NordVPN is a noteworthy VPN for Linux and beyond. The Linux app for NordVPN is completely open-source, boosting its security and trustworthiness.

    Get NordVPN | Read Our NordVPN Review

How we tested the best free VPNs for Linux

First and foremost, we curated our list of the top two VPNs for Linux based on their compatibility with various Linux operating systems or Linux distros. In our quest to find the top two VPNs for Linux, we also considered the following features:

  • Server count and server locations: A higher server count usually provides faster VPN speeds due to less overcrowding. Plus, access to various server locations gives it more flexibility.
  • Speeds and stability of connections: It’s important that a free VPN maintains decent or fast speeds and does not have connectivity issues, such as when selecting a particular VPN protocol.
  • Secure VPN protocols: This ensures that online activities remain secure from malicious actors and threats on the web. WireGuard support is great since it’s one of the latest protocols and is fast and secure.
  • Strong encryption: With strong encryption, you can keep your online activities private and secure to prevent ISP throttling and geo-restrictions, cyberthreats, and potentially bypass government censorship. Keep in mind that while VPNs are legal, they’re not allowed in certain totalitarian states like China, North Korea, or Russia.
  • No-logs policy: A no-logs policy means that your data isn’t harvested and logged, so it can’t get sold to third-party companies.
  • Advanced security features: We looked for features like a kill switch that protects your data even when your VPN connection drops.

Best free VPNs for Linux FAQs


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Does Linux have a built-in VPN?

No, Linux doesn’t have a built-in VPN. However, the best VPNs for Linux are available for download. A virtual private network (VPN) keeps your online activities secure, whether for surfing the web, watching shows on Netflix, torrenting, or gaming. It’s especially a wise decision to use a VPN on unsecured networks.


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Is there a 100% free VPN?

As the old saying goes, nothing that’s offered for free is ever truly free. While you may encounter a “100% free” VPN, keep in mind that they often come with limited features and risks, and may sell your user data to third-party advertisers. A free VPN usually comes with a cost—less security and privacy.


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Do I need a VPN for Linux?

Yes, a VPN for Linux is necessary if you want to ensure your online activities are secure. That’s because using a VPN encrypts your internet traffic and data while masking your true location.

Bottom line: The best free VPNs for Linux

The best free VPNs for Linux are Proton VPN due to its excellent security features and unlimited bandwidth and PrivadoVPN due to its privacy-centric features and having the most server locations worldwide.

Although Surfshark, Private Internet Access, and NordVPN don’t offer free plans, they still remain robust VPNs for Linux due to their compatibility with a variety of Linux distros.

2 best free VPNs for Linux 2024

Starting price Best for Learn more
Starts at Free Best for security and unlimited data Get Proton VPN

Read Proton VPN Review 

Starts at $1.48/mo (billed annually) Best for privacy and travelers Get PrivadoVPN

Read PrivadoVPN Review  


4.7
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On PrivadoVPN's website
VPN
PrivadoVPN
  • Affordable pricing and a free plan option
  • Fast speeds and unblocks Netflix
  • Low server count
Author Details
Mars is a California-based cybersecurity professional and writer currently pursuing a B.S. in Cybersecurity. With interests ranging from OSINT to ethical hacking and threat intelligence, Mars leverages his two years of writing experience to produce informative content on topics such as Internet guides and VPNs.