Raspberry Pi is a series of single-board computers developed by the United Kingdom-based Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries. These tiny devices’ online capabilities make them a target for hackers and other online perils, making a VPN an important online security and privacy tool.
The Raspberry Pi’s ability to run a Debian-based operating system makes the device easy to protect with apps available from various Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers.
In this article, I’ll focus on 6 reliable VPN providers that offer native app support for Raspbian, the default operating system for the Raspberry Pi mini-computer.
Raspberry Pi and VPNs
These tiny computers have become popular beyond the classroom, as hobbyists have embraced the computer for such projects as running emulators, robotics, home automation and much more.
The Raspberry Pi can run numerous operating systems, including Ubuntu (and other Linux distros), Windows, and various specialized operating systems. However, the default OS – that the Raspberry Pi Foundation provides – is Raspbian, which is a Debian-based Linux distribution.
A VPN encases a user’s internet connection in a tunnel of encryption, keeping online travels out of sight, much like a highway tunnel hides vehicle traffic. This keeps your activities safe from the prying eyes of hackers, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and even your country’s government.
A VPN is also an excellent tool for expanding your entertainment options. A VPN helps users access geographically restricted content (like that found on Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services) by making it appear as if you are located in another part of the world. A VPN does this by spoofing your device’s IP address.
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What Is the Best VPN for Use With Raspberry Pi?
After researching and testing my top VPN providers, the 6 VPNs listed below have proven to provide the best protection and performance for Raspberry Pi devices running Raspbian.
For those in a hurry, here’s a short summary:
- NordVPN: This provider is my #1 pick for Raspberry Pi. Despite its low price, it offers excellent VPN services. Its speeds are phenomenal. While it lacks a graphical user interface (GUI), the app is powerful and easy to use.
- Surfshark: The low-price leader this time around, the provider’s Linux app lacks a GUI, but the app is easy to use. The app uses OpenVPN, which allows users to select between UDP and TCP connections.
- ExpressVPN: While the ExpressVPN Debian app is character-based, it’s easy to use and provides excellent protection and top download speeds.
- CyberGhost: Raspberry Pi users will appreciate this provider’s powerful apps and fast connection speeds. While the CyberGhost Linux app for Raspberry Pi is character-based, it provides access to an impressive global server network.
- Private Internet Access (PIA): PIA’s app is the only one in this top 5 list to offer a GUI, making it easier to use for Raspbian and VPN first-timers. The provider offers a reasonable price, although its server network could stand improvement.
- PrivateVPN: This provider has quickly earned a reputation as a reliable, content-unblocking VPN that provides top-notch VPN protection.
Many users prefer apps that boast a graphical user interface (GUI). A GUI makes it easier to protect your online activities with just a few clicks of the mouse or taps of a finger.
Apps that are character-based require that you recall and type in eclectic commands to enable VPN protection, while GUI-based apps can protect your connection with as little as a single click or tap.
Keep this in mind when you’re deciding which VPN to choose. Only the VPN Private Internet Access offers an app with GUI.
In addition, in order to rank the best 6 VPNs for use with Linux, I considered these other crucial factors:
- Provides a Raspbian-compatible Linux app
- Offers good connection speeds
- Provides strong security and privacy protections
- Offers access to geo-controlled content, like Netflix and gaming sites
- Provides good customer support
- Offers comprehensive native app support
Best VPNs for Raspberry Pi – Summary table
We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for Raspberry Pi.
|No value||NordVPN||Surfshark||ExpressVPN||CyberGhost||Private Internet Access||PrivateVPN|
|Website||NordVPN.com||Surfshark.com||ExpressVPN.com||CyberGhost.com||Private Internet Access.com||PrivateVPN.com||Raspberry Pi reliability||1||2||3||4||5||6||Streaming reliability||Excellent||Excellent||Good||Good||Good||Good||Devices Supported||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers||Windows, MacOS, Linux (command line), iOS, Android, Smart TVs Routers||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TV's, Routers||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Routers||Activity logs||Some||No identifying data||No identifying data|
|Best deal (per month)||$3.19|
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49% off plus 3 months Free!
Save 83% 2 years + 2 months free
Save 82% on a 2 year plan + 2 months FREE
SAVE 85% on the 3 year plan
Here is my list of the top 6 best VPNs for Raspberry Pi:
NordVPN provides the best VPN protection for your Raspberry Pi thanks to comprehensive native app support, excellent customer support, extremely fast speeds, and reliable content-unblocking power.
The value-priced provider offers a command-line-driven app, which auto-suggests commands as the user types. This makes the app easier to use than many command line-driven apps, allowing new Linux users or new VPN users to make use of the apps.
In addition to Raspberry Pi support, NordVPN offers native apps for the iOS, Android, Android TV, Windows, Amazon Fire, and macOS (with native M1 Mac support) device platforms. It also supports other Linux distros. Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browser extensions are also available, as is extensive router compatibility.
The provider allows users to simultaneously connect up to 6 devices on a single account.
NordVPN delivers some of the fastest speeds available from a VPN. No data caps or bandwidth limitations mean your online sessions will never be cut short. Its connections are well protected by government-grade 256-bit AES encryption and a kill switch.
NordVPN keeps no server logs of any kind, ensuring no record of your online antics is available for outside perusing. Bitcoin is an available payment option, keeping your payment info incognito.
With a global server network of over 5,400 servers stationed in 60 countries, NordVPN provides access to geo-blocked content in most regions, including Netflix and other streaming services.
NordVPN’s server network also offers two additional layers of privacy and security that not all VPNs offer.
First of all, the provider is moving to a fully owned-and-operated server network, which keeps third-party operators away from customers’ personal info. Second, all NordVPN servers are operated 100% from volatile RAM, writing no data whatsoever to a physical hard drive. This ensures that all data is completely erased when a server is rebooted.
Around-the-clock support is available through NordVPN’s 24/7 support chat, email support, and searchable support library.
- Native, Raspbian-compatible Linux app
- Around-the-clock support
- Great security and privacy protections
- Wide server network
- Linux app doesn’t offer GUI
BEST VPN FOR RASPBERRY PI:NordVPN’s Raspbian-compatible service offers top-notch security and privacy, as well as above-average global server coverage. The provider offers astonishing download speeds at a very reasonable price. A 30-day money-back guarantee has you covered.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark’s Raspbian offering delivers speedy connections and a somewhat unusual unlimited concurrent connections allowance, and it offers its service for a bargain-basement price.
The provider’s character-driven app could be a bit off-putting for first-time VPN users, but Surfshark makes it a bit easier by providing informative instructions on their website and built-in help functionality in the app. The provider also offers instructions for manually installing its VPN on a Raspberry Pi device.
Other native app support at Surfshark includes offerings for the iOS, Android, other Linux distros, Windows, macOS (with native M1 support), and Fire TV device platforms. Chrome, Edge, and Firefox extensions are available for browser use, and the provider’s router compatibility can be used to protect your entire network.
Raspberry Pi users who own other connected devices, or who own a small business or head a large family, will appreciate the provider’s unlimited simultaneous connections allowance.
The provider’s connection speeds were some of the fastest in my most recent tests, providing more than enough speed for most online activities. No data caps or bandwidth restrictions are to be found.
Security protections from the provider are top-notch, including military-level 256-bit AES encryption and kill switch protection. Privacy is also of high importance at Surfshark, as their no-logs policy and acceptance of Bitcoin for subscription payments show.
Surfshark has a great record of providing access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming providers thanks to its global server network that consists of over 3,200 servers based in 65 countries. That’s way up from the last time I updated this article when their count was a mere 800+ servers in 50+ countries.
Customer support is well-represented at Surfshark with their searchable support library, support contact form, and 24/7 live chat option.
- Native Raspbian app offering
- Unlimited concurrent connections
- Top-notch security and privacy protections
- No GUI in app
BEST FOR BUDGET:Surfshark’s service can be yours at a bargain-basement price. The provider’s unlimited concurrent connections allowance makes the provider an optimal solution for small businesses and large families. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN ranks 3rd place in this roundup thanks to its wide global server coverage, which unlocks international streaming and other content in many places around the world.
The provider’s native app, while character-based, is easy to use and logical in its commands. The app is compatible with the Debian-based Raspbian Linux distro that the Raspberry Pi uses.
Native app support is also available for other popular device platforms, including options for other Linux distros, as well as the Android, Android TV, Chromebook, iOS, Windows, and macOS device platforms. Browser extensions are available for the Chrome, Edge, and Firefox platforms.
The provider allows 5 simultaneous connections on the same account. If you require more, you can take advantage of the provider’s router support.
This provider delivers speedy connections, offering plenty of bandwidth for all of your online activities. ExpressVPN never imposes any monthly data caps or bandwidth limitations on your VPN usage.
Military-level 256-bit AES encryption has those fast connections covered, keeping you secure online. If you lose connection to ExpressVPN’s servers, the provider’s kill switch drops your internet connection, preventing your online antics from being exposed.
The British Islands-based service also protects your privacy well with its policy of keeping no logs of any kind related to your online activities. A Bitcoin payment option keeps your payment information incognito.
ExpressVPN performs well when it comes to unblocking geo-blocked content like streaming services, gaming servers, and other apps and services thanks to their 3,000+ servers in 94 countries around the globe.
All of those servers are operated only from volatile RAM, with no data ever being written to a physical hard drive. Whenever an ExpressVPN server is rebooted, all data is totally wiped from it.
If you require help with installing or operating the ExpressVPN app on your Raspberry Pi, you’ll have around-the-clock support available. The provider offers 24/7 live chat, email support, a searchable support library, and a trouble ticket tracking system.
- Offers Raspbian-compatible Linux app
- Reliably unblocks geo-blocked services
- Top-notch global server coverage
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- Priced higher than many other VPNs
- Only 5 simultaneous connections
GREAT FOR STREAMING:ExpressVPN protects your Raspberry Pi adventures and gives you access to streaming content around the world at the same time. Fast speeds and excellent privacy and security protections are the rule with this provider. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
If you’re a novice Raspberry Pi or VPN user, CyberGhost could prove to be the right VPN provider for you.
The provider’s character-based Linux app, while lacking the GUI that the provider offers on other devices, is intuitive, and help is always at hand. Users comfortable with manual setup can also follow CyberGhost’s manual setup documentation.
CyberGhost’s other native app support options include offerings for the Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, macOS, iOS, other Linux versions, and Windows device platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available, as is router support.
Up to 7 devices can connect at once when using a single account.
CyberGhost provides excellent download speeds and is an excellent choice for online gamers, video streaming fans, and file sharers. No daily or monthly data caps are ever imposed, and your connection is never throttled.
The provider’s global server network is one of the most impressive networks in the industry thanks to having 7,600+ servers in 90+ countries around the globe. The provider offers servers specifically optimized for streaming and downloading.
CyberGhost’s connections are kept quite secure thanks to its use of the OpenVPN protocol, providing banking-grade 256-bit AES encryption, as well as other protections.
Your privacy is never put at risk, as the provider never saves any server logs and offers an ultra-private cryptocurrency subscription payment option..
In addition to their reliable VPN protection, CyberGhost also offers a password manager, alerts you when your personal information is exposed in a data breach. If you also have a Windows device, you can benefit from the provider’s antivirus and anti-malware protection (powered by Intego), and much more.
24/7 customer support includes always-available support chat, a trouble ticket tracking system, and a support library.
- Impressive global server coverage
- No data caps or connection throttling
- Fast connections
- Lacks some advanced options
- Doesn’t work in some overly restrictive countries
EASY-TO-USE RASPBERRY PI VPN:Raspberry Pi users new to the VPN scene, or those who simply want an easy-to-use VPN, should investigate CyberGhost’s service offerings. Fast connections and a large server network with plenty of streaming- and file-sharing-enhanced servers make this an excellent choice. A 45-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a popular, reasonably-priced VPN that is well-established in the VPN industry. The provider is the only VPN in this lineup to offer a GUI-based app for Raspbian/Linux.
The provider allows up to 10 simultaneous connections on a single account.
The app’s graphical interface makes it easy to select a server and connect. The GUI makes the app an excellent option for first-time VPN users who might not be comfortable with the command-line interface found in other providers’ apps. You can also manually set up the provider on your Raspberry Pi by setting up OpenVPN.
Native support is also available for most other popular platforms, including Android, Android TV, iOS, Windows, macOS and other Linux distros. Chrome, Opera, and Firefox browser extensions are also available, and the provider also offers compatibility with multiple router makes and models.
PIA’s connection speeds,, the 2nd-fastest in this lineup, while not the fastest around, easily provide more than enough horsepower for streaming, gaming, and any other online activities.
Those fast connections are also well protected with government-level encryption and a kill switch, protecting your online travels from prying eyes. The app also offers the ability to block domains used for ads, trackers, and malware.
Your privacy is covered thanks to the provider’s no-logs policy and its acceptance of cryptocurrency for subscriptions.
The Private Internet Access global server network consists of 3,300+ servers in 80+ countries.
PIA doesn’t offer live support chat, but it does provide a “contact us” trouble ticket form, a searchable knowledge base, and searchable guides.
- Only GUI-based Linux app in this lineup
- Excellent security and privacy
- Allows up to 10 devices to connect simultaneously
- Some major streaming providers block this service
- Doesn’t work in China and some other restrictive countries
GUI VPN APP FOR RASPBERRY PI:Private Internet Access deserves a close look from Raspberry Pi users, especially those who prefer a GUI-based app. While the provider delivers excellent privacy and online security protections, it doesn’t work well in overly restrictive countries. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Sweden-based provider PrivateVPN may not match the massive global server networks that its competitors offer. However, its protection matches up well against the other VPNs.
The provider does not offer a native Linux app for use on a Raspberry Pi device. However, it can be set up manually using OpenVPN. While the process is not overly complicated, beginners may want to look elsewhere.
PrivateVPN also offers native app support for macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS devices. Router support is also available, but it’s a manual process, so beginners might not be comfortable with the process.
Up to 6 devices can connect to the VPN at once using the same login credentials.
PrivateVPN’s connection speeds are competitive. While they are far from being the fastest connections around, they provide plenty of no-throttle bandwidth for your favorite online activities. No data caps to worry about here.
Those connections are all protected using government-level encryption, protecting your online travels from prying eyes.
Your privacy is well-protected thanks to the provider’s no-server-logs policy and its acceptance of Bitcoin as subscription payment.
PrivateVPN comes up short in the global server network column, as it has a mere 200+ servers spread thinly among 60+ countries around the globe. If you’re looking for optimal access to geo-controlled content around most of the globe, look elsewhere.
PrivateVPN offers live support chat, a trouble ticket form, a searchable knowledge base, and non-searchable FAQ guides.
- Zero server logs
- Quick live support responses
- Good record of unblocking streaming services
- Needs to expand server network
- App support could be much better
SOLID VPN PROTECTION FOR RASPBERRY PI:While Private VPN doesn’t exactly “overperform” in the server network and app support arenas, it delivers reliable online protection and privacy for Raspberry Pi users who are not afraid to do a bit of manual VPN setup. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
My Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Raspberry Pi
Not all VPNs offer support for the Raspberry Pi platform. Luckily, there are some reliable VPN providers that do offer support.
I have listed below the VPN features I considered when determining the best VPN providers for use with Raspberry Pi devices:
- App Support: The more devices that a VPN provider supports, the more flexibility the VPN offers. This is especially true when you’re looking at specific computing platforms, such as I’ve discussed in this article. All of the VPN providers I included in this article offer support for Linux on Raspberry Pi.
- Streaming: Streaming is one of the most popular pastimes for many VPN users. There are plenty of ways to stream video on Raspberry Pi devices. Each VPN on my list offers reliable access to streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and other popular streamers.
- Server Network: The size of a provider’s global server network is an important consideration when considering a VPN. A larger global server network provides expanded access to geo-blocked content in other countries. The more numbers of servers in a country, the lower load that is being placed on VPN servers in that region, providing better performance.
- Connection Speeds: If you’re streaming or gaming (two popular uses for Raspberry Pi devices), you’ll want fast connections. Never consider any provider that throttles your connection or that imposes data caps on your usage, which none of the VPN providers on my list do.
- Value: Any VPN provider’s true value can be calculated by comparing the VPN’s feature set to the price charged for its services. Any VPN that charges a high price but doesn’t offer top-notch services, should not be considered. All of the providers I recommend in my articles offer good value.
- Ease of Use: Ease of use is an important consideration for many users. The VPNs I recommend offer easy-to-use apps.
- Security and Privacy: If a VPN doesn’t provide comprehensive connection protection, such as government-grade encryption, a kill switch, and other online security and privacy protection, look elsewhere. Award bonus points for additional features like malware and virus protection. Don’t even consider any VPN that doesn’t follow a strict “no-server-logs-ever” policy.
Don’t think that my research ends here. Actually, the factors listed above are just a small part of my comprehensive VPN testing methodology. My data-driven approach helps me have a better understanding of the VPN providers and their services.
What Else Can I Do With a VPN?
In addition to protecting your internet activity from prying eyes, a VPN also has other talents that can enhance your online activities.
A VPN can make it appear as if you and your device are located in another part of the world. It does this by assigning your device a new, temporary IP address. This allows you to access online content, services, and websites that might normally be blocked in your area of the world.
A VPN is also an excellent tool to provide security for your internet connection when using an unprotected Wi-Fi hotspot, like those found in coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels. Wi-Fi hotspots usually don’t offer an encrypted connection, making user activity on the hotspot an attractive target for hackers.
A VPN can also prevent your ISP from throttling your connection speeds when they detect a connection to certain services or websites, or when you’re engaging in certain activities (like file sharing).
Can I Use a Free VPN With My Raspberry Pi?
While you can probably find a free VPN provider that offers a Raspbian-compatible app, I’m willing to bet that you won’t be happy with the performance or security that the provider offers.
Many freebie VPNs throttle their users’ connection speeds. They also sometimes impose monthly or daily data caps on usage and impose bandwidth limitations on connections.
One of the best reasons for using a VPN is to avoid having your connection throttled. Why use a VPN that throttles your activities?
It also takes a while to connect when using certain free VPN providers. Some providers will force you to wait in a queue before allowing you to connect to their servers. Then, once you’re given the green light, your server selection is severely limited, or you’re auto-connected to a server at random.
In addition, when it comes to “free” services on the internet, you are usually the product that’s being sold, and “free” VPNs are no exception.
Many “free” VPN services keep the lights on and the servers humming by tracking their users’ online activities, saving that information, and then selling it to the highest bidder. Others inject ads and tracking cookies into their users’ browser sessions.
Sure, “free” is always enticing, but keep in mind that quality VPN service can cost less than what you paid for your Raspberry Pi setup.
How Else Can I Secure My Raspberry Pi Device?
Like any operating system, the Raspbian distro of Linux is not completely secure.
While a VPN does provide protection against hackers and other nosy nellies, it shouldn’t be the lone tool in your security toolkit.
Other security tools include:
- Antivirus software
- A firewall
- Anti-rootkit software
- Security-focused browser extensions
- A secure browser
- A password manager
Raspberry Pi VPN FAQs
How do I use a VPN for Raspberry Pi?
Here's how to use a VPN for Raspberry Pi:
- Subscribe to a Raspberry Pi-compatible provider.
- Download and install the VPN app to your Raspberry Pi device.
- Run the VPN app and log in to the provider's network.
- Select a nearby server to protect your online activities or a server in the country where you'd like to access geo-blocked content.
- Enjoy your newly protected and enhanced online activities.
What is the best free VPN for Raspberry Pi 4?
There is no "best" free VPN for Raspberry Pi 4. Unless you particularly like slow speeds, data caps, and having logs of your online activities being sold to advertisers and other nosy third-parties.
Can I install the best VPN Server for Raspberry Pi?
You can turn your Raspberry Pi into a VPN server that will increase your mobile security and access to your home or office LAN. This can allow you to bypass website restrictions at school or work and easily connect to resources on your home or office LAN, including file servers and printers. However, you cannot use it to access geo-blocked content in other regions of the world.
A VPN can protect your Raspberry Pi-oriented online travels, allowing you to enjoy your online activities with less worry of having your antics monitored by outsiders.
A VPN – like my #1 choice, NordVPN – provides optimal online security, protects your privacy (online and off), and provides access to online content that may normally be unavailable in your area.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the NordVPN website.
- Raspberry Pi and VPNs
- What Is the Best VPN for Use With Raspberry Pi?
- Best VPNs for Raspberry Pi – Summary table
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. Private Internet Access
- 6. PrivateVPN
- My Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Raspberry Pi
- What Else Can I Do With a VPN?
- Can I Use a Free VPN With My Raspberry Pi?
- How Else Can I Secure My Raspberry Pi Device?
- Raspberry Pi VPN FAQs
- How do I use a VPN for Raspberry Pi?
- What is the best free VPN for Raspberry Pi 4?
- Can I install the best VPN Server for Raspberry Pi?