Best Linux VPN of 2024

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With so many Linux distros out there, not just any virtual private network (VPN) will do. If you're looking for the best Linux VPN, you need one that combines world-class privacy and security with robust content unblocking. However, not all VPNs for Linux are created equally, and most of them don't even offer a dedicated graphical user interface (GUI), opting to run on a command-line interface (CLI) instead.

In TechRadar's 15-year history, we've tested hundreds of VPNs, and are always putting the best VPN services through the ringer—and that includes putting them through their paces on Linux.

I've spent the past four years researching, analyzing, and challenging VPN services to improve their practices. I've pulled together this list of the five best Linux VPNs by comparing features, speeds, pricing, ease-of-use, distro support, and whether or not the service has a GUI.

Written by
Andreas Theodorou Editor-in-Chief Tech Software
Written by
Andreas Theodorou (MRes, BA)

Andreas is a digital privacy advocate and expert, he's spent the past four years leveraging his master's degree to research VPNs, cryptography, and other cybersecurity topics.

The three best Linux VPNs at a glance

In a hurry? Check out my top three Linux VPNs below.

1. The best Linux VPN: Private Internet Access

1. <a href="http://privateinternetaccess.com/offer/future_60e7q6mk5?aff_click_id=hawk-custom-tracking&aff_sub2=hawk-article-url" data-link-merchant="privateinternetaccess.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The best Linux VPN: Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is a proven VPN service and veteran of the industry offering highly configurable GUI apps on Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Arch, and Fedora distros. Its excellent value and depth of tools mean it greatly outperforms many premium competitors on Linux devices.

PIA's dedicated streaming servers are a great way to access Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other in-demand services with ease. Combine that with its 30-day money-back guarantee and you can put it to the test and compare it to the next best thing before committing your cash.

2. The fastest Linux VPN with a GUI: Surfshark

2. <a href="http://get.surfshark.net/aff_c?offer_id=61&aff_id=1691&aff_click_id=hawk-custom-tracking&aff_sub2=hawk-article-url" data-link-merchant="get.surfshark.net"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The fastest Linux VPN with a GUI: Surfshark
Surfshark is a lightning-fast VPN that's packed with features and has a slick Linux GUI. It's only marginally more expensive than PIA, but it maxed out my speed testing line at over 950 Mbps.

For less than $2.50 per month, Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPNs on the block—and even offers unlimited simultaneous connections. How's that for value? See for yourself why Surfshark holds the crown as the <a href="https://www.techradar.com/vpn/cheapest-vpn" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"" data-link-merchant="get.surfshark.net"">best cheap VPN on the market with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. The best of the rest: ExpressVPN

3. <a href="https://go.expressvpn.com/c/4550836/1330033/16063?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.expressvpn.com%2Fgo%2Fvpn-software%2Fvpn-linux%3Foffer%3D3monthsfree" data-link-merchant="expressvpn.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The best of the rest: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is my top pick for the <a href="https://www.techradar.com/vpn/best-vpn" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"" data-link-merchant="expressvpn.com"">best VPN overall, and while it can't quite keep up with Surfshark on Linux, it's still a great choice. It has powerful streaming support, plenty of features, and its browser extension offers an intuitive GUI.

ExpressVPN is a pricey pick, but it automates all of the usual manual configurations, running parallel connections to make sure you're always getting the safest, fastest configuration for what you're doing. If that's not enough,  you'll get an extra 3 months free and a 30-day money-back guarantee to take it for a test drive.

Recent updates

PIA recently reclaimed the top spot of the best Linux VPN, pushing Surfshark back into second place. With more distros supported and a more configurable and proven battle-tested app, it was a no-brainer.

The best Linux VPN services in 2024

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Check out my top VPN picks for Linux, and see how each provider compares in terms of features, what I liked best, my test results, and any reasons you might be better off avoiding.

The best Linux VPN overall

Private Internet Access VPN apps running on Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and other platforms.TechRadar Editor's Choice award logo

1. Private Internet Access

Full Linux GUI with tons of features

Linux app: GUI | 'No logging' audit: Yes | Network: 84 countries | Bitcoin support: Yes | Maximum connections: 10 | Trial: 30-day money back guarantee

Open-source GUI app
Advanced features
Port-forwarding support
Dedicated streaming servers
Audited and proven no-logs policy
Average speeds
Might seem intimidating to newbies 
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a VPN that champions privacy: PIA is an open source provider that has proven its no-logs policy in court—on two occasions.

✔️ You like to customize your apps: PIA's apps are jam-packed with opportunities to customize and configure settings, down to the last detail.

✔️ You plan on torrenting: with P2P-friendly servers and port-forwarding support, PIA is a great (and secure) torrenting VPN.

Don't subscribe if:

You're new to the world of VPNs: because PIA has a wealth of technical tools and features, it might be intimidating to absolute beginners.

You want the fastest VPN: PIA's speeds are decent, but can't keep up with the likes of NordVPN and Surfshark.

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Private Internet Access has been a favorite among the Linux community for a long time, and used by techies and VPN veterans around the world. Check out its roster of features, including an ad-blocker, with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to know more?

Visit our detailed Private Internet Access review for a closer look at its security suite.

While some VPN providers pay little attention to their Linux apps, Private Internet Access (PIA) stands out for all the right reasons. It has an easy-to-use GUI app rather than a command-line interface (CLI), with advanced features like ad-blocking and split tunneling. PIA also has wider distro support than most, running on Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, and Arch.

All of PIA's apps are open source, so you can take a peek at the code and confirm that it's just as secure as the service claims it is. PIA took another big transparency step by having its no-logging policy, network, and management systems independently audited by Deloitte. The results were positive, showing that the provider's servers are carefully set up to leave no trace of your activities—which is exactly what I like to see from the industry's top players.

Try Private Internet Access on unlimited devices.

With your PIA plan, you'll also get access to a free email breach scanner and Boxcryptor license, which you can use to keep your cloud storage safe and secure. Most providers would charge you an extra arm and a leg for these add-ons, so it's great to see that PIA offering them at no extra cost.

I was also impressed by PIA's dedicated streaming servers. During my tests, I put them to good use and had no trouble unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. PIA has an absolutely staggering network of servers, too, giving you all the tools you need to check out content from overseas and get around those pesky geo-restrictions.

The service isn't perfect in every area, of course. PIA's peak speeds are fairly average for the industry, but that doesn't mean they're slow. At 360 Mbps, PIA is more than fast enough to handle streaming, torrenting, and gaming with ease. The sheer amount of techy features and tools might also be overwhelming to new users, but if you're looking for total control and in-depth customization, then there's none better than PIA.

I'm pleased to see that PIA introduced unlimited simultaneous connections. It's great value for money and means you'll be able to keep every device in the house secure. See for yourself with w 30-day money-back guarantee.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Private Internet Access test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignPlenty to customize, but apps need a little polish⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useVPN newbies might feel overwhelmed by an array of techy tools⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceAverage speeds, but still capable of HD streaming⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingHandy streaming servers make it easy to unblock content⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyAn audited no-logs service packed with privacy features⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportTons of support articles and expert advice⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceFair prices, and plans come with some handy extras⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The fastest Linux VPN with a GUI

Surfshark VPN working on multiple devices

2. Surfshark

Fast, cheap, and easy to use

Linux app: GUI, CLI | 'No logging' audit: Yes | Network: 3,200+ servers in 100 countries | Bitcoin support:: Yes | Maximum connections: Unlimited | Trial: 30-day money back guarantee

Stylish GUI app
Super-fast speeds
Unlimited simultaneous connections
Budget-friendly prices
Unblocks every streaming site we tried
Linux app doesn’t include some advanced features 
Subscribe if:

✔️ You're on a budget: Surfshark is a low-cost provider that's jam-packed with features, ideal for bargain hunters.

✔️ You have a lot of devices: with unlimited simultaneous connections, you'll be able to secure every device in the house and then some.

✔️ You want a beginner-friendly service: all of Surfshark's apps are easy to use and clutter-free, and awesome live chat support is on hand to help untangle any knots.

Don't subscribe if:

You rely on your kill switch: I found a few issues with Surfshark's Windows kill switch, so stick to NordVPN if you can't afford a data leak.

You want a bigger spread of server locations: 143 locations is pretty impressive, but the likes of ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access have even more.

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 Surfshark is the epitome of value for money; it's quick, super secure, and packs unlimited simultaneous connections—and all for prices that blow the competition out of the water. Try the service for yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to know more?

Visit our in-depth Surfshark review to see why this budget pick continues to impress.

Surfshark is an incredibly popular VPN that ranks well in a lot of my round-ups—and for Linux, it's no different. It's one of the few leading VPN services that offer a GUI, and the only one of my top three overall. That means there's no need to spend all day at the command line—although there's still a CLI option if you prefer it.

In my most recent Surfshark review, I found that the Linux app doesn't have quite as many features as other platforms. There's no Whitelister, for instance, Surfshark's split tunneling feature which allows traffic for selected apps to bypass the VPN. However, essential tools like the kill switch are present—so you won't need to worry about leaking data if your connection happens to drop.

Try Surfshark with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

What's more, Surfshark's Camouflage Mode—obfuscation tech that hides the fact you're using a VPN—is also available. This makes it a particularly great pick if you're looking for a secure VPN to use in locations where internet activity is highly monitored or VPN use is restricted.

Elsewhere, Surfshark delivers more than I'd expect it to. There are servers in more than 100 countries, for instance, which come in handy if you're looking to unblock streaming services and sites from overseas. I had no trouble accessing Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime with Surfshark—and thanks to its awesome speeds, you'll be able to enjoy smooth, HD streams on all of your devices.

On that note, Surfshark's unlimited simultaneous connections let you share your subscription with friends and family, to ensure everyone's favorite gadgets are secure. It's great value for money, and is a huge part of the reason why Surfshark tops my best cheap VPN list. It's also worth noting that the Surfshark apps are incredibly easy to use—even if you're a VPN newbie. If you're thinking of giving it a try, take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Surfshark test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignFresh-feeling apps for all devices⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useAll features are clearly signposted and simple to use⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceOne of the quickest providers in my shortlist⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks all of the most popular streaming platforms⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacySome kill switch issues, but otherwise impressive⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportLive chat and email support is superb⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceA great budget-friendly option that's packed with value⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The best of the rest

ExpressVPN apps running on multiple devices

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

3. ExpressVPN

An industry leader that excels in all areas

Linux app: CLI | 'No logging' audit: Yes | Network: 105 countries | Bitcoin support support: Yes | Maximum connections: 8 | Trial: 30-day money back guarantee

Tons of advanced features
Multiple security and privacy audits
Reliable Netflix unblocking
24/7 live chat support
Severs in over 94 countries
Above average prices 
Not as fast as NordVPN or Surfshark
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want the industry's gold standard: ExpressVPN sets the bar with regular audits and a proven no-logs policy, ensuring your information is secure.

✔️ You need easy-to-use apps: all of ExpressVPN's apps have a fun, fresh design that's a joy to navigate—even if you've never used a VPN before.

✔️ You want access to content around the world: with servers in more than 105 countries, accessing content from overseas is a breeze.

Don't subscribe if:

You're sticking to a budget: ExpressVPN is an undeniably pricey option, which might be a deal breaker in a cost-of-living crisis.

You want a full security suite: unlike NordVPN, you won't get an all-in-one solution with antivirus functionality with ExpressVPN.

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 ExpressVPN is a market leader for a reason—it's quick, easy to use, and packs a ton of features into each subscription. You can take the service for a test drive, too, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to know more?

Check out our in-depth ExpressVPN review to see why it's my number one VPN pick overall.

Every Linux user has their own VPN preferences, but ExpressVPN is a world-famous service that works hard to cater to everyone. During my testing, I found that there's a lightweight command line app with .deb and .rpm packages for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch, Mint, and more.

While ExpressVPN doesn't offer a full GUI, you can install the Chrome or Firefox extension and control the app directly from your browser.  It's not quite as plug-and-play as Surfshark or PIA, but it's very easy to get up and running. You can also set it up manually and use the service from Network Manager or any suitable OpenVPN-compatible app.

► Try ExpressVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

In better news, ExpressVPN's Linux app has plenty of features. You'll get access to the VPN's very own proprietary protocol, Lightway, which strikes an awesome balance between speed and security. The Linux app also received support for the tracker and malware-blocking Threat Manager feature before its Windows counterparts—a nice change of pace from other providers that tend to neglect their Linux user base.

The list of ExpressVPN's security tools goes on and on. I particularly like the combination of the auto-connect and kill switch functions, which will ensure you're always protected. The kill switch cuts your internet connection if the VPN drops out, preventing data leaks, and auto-connect is a must-have if you use your phone to connect to notoriously unsecure public Wi-Fi networks on the go.

When it comes to unblocking, ExpressVPN is one of the best streaming VPNs on the block. Servers in 94 countries give you access to in-demand platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, and their international libraries, and ExpressVPN even unblocks smaller regional services.

As you'd expect from its name, ExpressVPN is no slouch when it comes to speed, either. It's not quite as quick as NordVPN and Surfshark, but it still managed to hit top speeds of 750 Mbps—which is more than 30 times what you'll need for HD streaming and online gaming. Plus, if you run into any trouble, ExpressVPN's excellent support team is available 24/7 via live chat.

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ExpressVPN test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignA clean and clutter-free design looks fantastic on all devices⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useAwesome for VPN newbies with a handy auto-connect feature⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceBlazing speeds that can handle HD streaming and torrenting⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks virtually any service you point it at⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyTough encryption and an audited no-logs policy⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 live chat is always available to troubleshoot issues⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceAn expensive provider, but packed with premium tools⭐⭐⭐

NordVPN apps running on various devices

(Image credit: Future)