Linux is a Unix-like open-source operating system originally designed to run on personal computers running the Intel x86 architecture. Ubuntu is a popular version of Linux, based on the Debian Linux distribution.
While Unbuntu provides excellent localized security, there are plenty of security and privacy terrors waiting for Ubuntu users on the internet. Any time you’re connected to the web, you run the risk of a third party violating your privacy and stealing your personal and business-related information.
How Can a VPN Benefit Ubuntu Users?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides optimal online privacy and security for Linux users while they’re engaged in online activities.
A VPN provides encrypted protection for your internet connection, protecting your browsing, downloading, streaming and other online activities from being monitored by the government, your Internet Service Provider and other Nosy Nellies.
A VPN also opens access to online content you might normally be restricted from accessing at your location. This includes geo-restricted streaming services (such as Netflix, Hulu and others), online gaming arenas, and other services.
While Ubuntu and other flavors of Linux are popular, their user numbers are nowhere near that of other operating systems, such as macOS and Windows. This means that many VPN providers don’t offer apps for use with the platform.
That means finding a VPN that does offer native Ubuntu app support is a true bonus.
In this article, we’ll be focusing on five VPN providers that offer native app support for Ubuntu.
What Is the Best VPN for Use With Ubuntu?
Extensive testing has shown that the following five VPNs are the best for use with the Ubuntu operating system. Here’s a summary:
- NordVPN: This provider’s native Ubuntu app also lacks a graphical user interface (GUI), but it is powerful and easy to use. The app is lean and doesn’t put a heavy hit on system resources.
- Surfshark: This is the budget-priced option on this list, making it a good choice for Linux users looking to save a few bucks. The app offers no GUI, but the provider offers easy-to-follow usage instructions.
- ExpressVPN: This provider is a reliable choice for protecting your Ubuntu-related online activities. Although the app is character-based, it’s easy to use and offers help with just a few keystrokes.
- CyberGhost: The provider’s character-based application works well on Ubuntu 16.04 and later. While the app lacks a GUI, it is still an excellent option, although perhaps not for all beginners.
- Private Internet Access (PIA): While limited to use with the 64-bit version of Ubuntu, it is also the only app in this top 5 list to offer a GUI, making it an excellent choice for Linux and VPN first-timers.
In order to rank the best five VPNs for use with Ubuntu, I considered these important features:
- Provides an Ubuntu-compatible Linux app
- Fast connection speeds
- Optimal security and privacy protections
- Reliable access to geo-blocked content, like Netflix and other services
- Comprehensive customer support
Here is my list of the top 5 best VPNs for Ubuntu:
NordVPN delivers top-notch VPN protection for your Ubuntu device, with solid app support and global server coverage. it does all of this at a reasonable price.
The low-cost provider’s Linux app lacks a GUI, but the command line-driven app does auto-suggest commands as the user types, making it a bit more intuitive to use than some competitors’ Linux apps. NordVPN also offers native app support for most popular device platforms and many routers.
NordVPN’s connection speeds are some of the fastest around. They’re more than up to streaming HD content, gaming, working online, or performing just about any other online activity. No bandwidth limitations or data caps here.
Connection security is well taken care of here, as NordVPN server connections are protected by banking-grade encryption, kill switch protection and an obfuscation feature with the ability to make your VPN traffic appear as normal internet traffic.
Privacy is another plus when you use NordVPN, as the provider keeps absolutely no logs of their customers’ online travels and offers an incognito payment option via Bitcoin.
NordVPN’s owned-and-operated servers keep outside contractors away from your personal data. Meanwhile, all of the provider’s servers are run only from volatile RAM, with no data ever being written to a physical hard drive. This means all data is securely wiped from any NordVPN server whenever it is shutdown or restarted.
NordVPN’s global server coverage tallies in at 5,400+ servers located in 60 countries. Those servers are known to do a reliable job of unblocking streaming services, websites, and other services that might be blocked in your area.
Customer support is available 24/7 thanks to always available live support chat, a searchable knowledge base, and an email support option.
- Ubuntu-compatible app: CHECK!
- App offers command auto-complete
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- Reasonably priced
- Superfast connections
- No GUI in Ubuntu app
BEST VPN FOR UBUNTU:NordVPN’s Ubuntu service provides top-notch online protection and privacy. The provider offers above-average global server coverage, and its reasonable pricing offers added value. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark offers a character-based Linux app that runs on Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distros. It delivers speedy connections and unlimited simultaneous connections. The provider’s low, low price offers an attractive option for budget-minded Ubuntu users.
The provider offers a – say it with me – character-based Ubuntu app. While this type of app might repulse some users, the provider’s informative instructions on their website and the built-in help functionality in the app might help ease the pain. The provider also offers support for most other popular device platforms and some routers.
Surfshark’s download speeds measure up well, delivering plenty of bandwidth for any popular online activity – even yours.
Online security is well covered here, with military-approved encryption and kill switch protection to keep your online activities from being inadvertently exposed.
This provider also covers privacy well, as they record no server logs of any kind and offer a Bitcoin subscription payment option.
If you have a large business, a small company, or even an island kingdom, everyone in your organization can use Surfshark at once thanks to their unlimited concurrent connections policy.
Customer support at Surfshark is always available and includes a searchable support library, a support contact form, and a 24/7 live chat option.
- Native Ubuntu-compatible Linux app
- Simultaneous connections to infinity and beyond!
- Top-notch security and privacy protections
- Fast connections
- Budget-priced extended subscriptions
- Linux app lacks features of other platforms’ apps
BEST BARGAIN-PRICED VPN:Surfshark’s Ubuntu app delivers fast connections with reliable access to blocked services and sites. An unlimited concurrent connections allowance makes it the best choice for large families and small businesses. Plus, its bargain basement-priced subscription offers keep your money where it belongs, in your pocket. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN is an attractive choice for Ubuntu users who are looking for reliable protection for their online interactions to keep them safe from prying eyes.
The provider’s Ubuntu-compatible Linux app provides a character-driven user interface, driven by logical commands, which only places a small hit on system resources.
The provider’s connection speeds are quite fast, providing more than enough bandwidth for any of your online activities. Plus, there are no monthly data caps or bandwidth throttling.
Military-grade encryption and a kill switch protect your online activities from prying eyes, protecting them even if your computer loses contact with the ExpressVPN servers.
This British Virgin Islands-based provider isn’t required by law to keep any logs of its users’ activities, so it doesn’t. Plus, if you choose to use a disposable email address and pay using Bitcoin, your payment info is completely anonymous.
All ExpressVPN servers are run 100% from RAM, writing no data of any type to a physical hard drive platter. This guarantees that all data is securely erased whenever an ExpressVPN server is rebooted or shutdown.
Streaming video and music fans will appreciate ExpressVPN’s content-unblocking abilities, as its 3,000+ servers in 94 countries around the globe efficiently unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services. It also unblocks other geo-blocked services and websites, including online gaming content.
Customer service is an around-the-clock proposition at ExpressVPN thanks to its 24/7 live support chat, email support, support ticket submission system, and easy-to-search support library.
- Offers Ubuntu-compatible Linux app
- Reliably unblocks geo-blocked content and services
- Comprehensive global server coverage
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- More expensive than many other VPN options
- No GUI-based Ubuntu app
VERSATILE VPN FOR UBUNTU:ExpressVPN is an attractive VPN option for Ubuntu users. Their lightweight app provides super-fast connections and opens users to a world of online content while providing top-notch protection. The provider is admittedly premium priced, but provides premium service. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost offers a reliable, safe way to protect your Ubuntu-based online excursions.
CyberGhost provides an Ubuntu-compatible, character-based Linux app that offers online help to help first-time users when they need it. The app provides secure access to the provider’s impressive global network of VPN servers. The provider also offers native apps for most popular devices, as well as many routers.
CyberGhost’s download speeds are absolutely some of the best around, easily handling all of your popular online activities. No data caps or bandwidth throttling to be found here.
CyberGhost’s global server network boasts over 7,700 servers in 90+ countries around the globe. This network delivers reliable access to geo-controlled content around the globe.
All CyberGhost-provided connections are protected with military-grade, 256-bit encryption and kill switch protection, keeping all of your online antics incognito.
Your privacy is also well-protected by CyberGhost, as it follows a strict no-logs policy and accepts Bitcoin as subscription payment.
Up to seven concurrent connections can connect to CyberGhost’s VPN servers on a single account.
In addition to quality VPN protection, CyberGhost also offers additional services to protect you and your Linux machine. The provider offers a password manager, will warn you whenever your email address is included in a data breach, and also offers other features.
- Reliable protection for Ubuntu users
- Impressive global server network
- Banking-grade encryption for all connections
- Apps includes few advanced options
GREAT VPN OPTION FOR UBUNTU:CyberGhost is an excellent option for Ubuntu users. The provider delivers fast and well-protected connections, along with other protective services. A 45-day risk-free money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a well-known and respected VPN provider. PIA is also the only VPN in this top 5 to offer an app with a Graphical User Interface (GUI).
PIA’s Ubuntu-compatible Linux app boasts a GUI, making it easier to change options, select a server, and connect. The app’s GUI makes it a prime choice for users who aren’t comfortable with remembering and manually entering commands.
Private Internet Access delivers impressive connection speeds, with enough horsepower for just about any online activity you might engage in.
Government-level encryption and a handy kill switch keep your online activities out of the sight of snooping third parties. The app also offers the ability to block domains used for ads, trackers, and malware.
A strict no-server-logs policy and a Bitcoin payment option help keep your online identity incognito.
Private Internet Access has an impressive number of servers (3,300+), scattered among 80+ countries. So, you might want to check the provider’s server coverage before making a subscription decision.
Private Internet Access lacks live support chat. However, it does offer a searchable knowledge base, a trouble ticket tracking system, and a “Guides” section to guide PIA customers through the tasks of installing and using their VPN connection.
- Offers only GUI-based Ubuntu app in this roundup
- Excellent encryption and kill switch protection
- Allows up to 10 simultaneous connections
- Connection speeds could be better
- Has issues wit some streaming services
BEST VPN FOR BEGINNERS:Private Internet Access is an excellent choice for first-time VPN users thanks to its easy-to-use graphical user interface. The provider offers top-notch protection, but its global server coverage needs improvement. A 7-day money-back guarantee is available.
Methodology for Assessing a VPN For Ubuntu
Not all VPN providers work well with Ubuntu and other flavors of Linux. Any VPN that you consider using with your Ubuntu device should offer comprehensive features for Ubuntu users.
The factors listed below include the considerations that I always make when I’m deciding on which VPNs offers the best security and privacy protection for Ubuntu users:
- Global Server Network: The larger a VPN’s global server network, the better access that you should have to geo-blocked content around the globe. A provider should also station a large number of servers in each location, as the larger the number of servers that are available, the less chance of any of the servers being hit with too many users at once, leading to server slowdown.
- Speed: Fast connections are an important factor, no matter what online activity that you’re engaged in. NordVPN delivers some of the fastest connection speeds I’ve ever seen.
- Value: You can determine a provider’s true value simply by comparing its asking price to the services it offers. I only include VPNs on my lists that offer a top-notch return on investment.
- Native App Support and Ease of Use: Ubuntu is an easy-to-use version of Linux, popular with rookie Linux users. While all of the VPNs I recommend offer ease of use, some VPNs are easier to use than others. NordVPN offers an easy-to-use Linux app.
- Security and Privacy: Any VPN provider worth its salt will offer comprehensive security and privacy features. The least online security you should settle for is government-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS/IP leak protection. Any additional features should be considered a bonus. VPNs should also follow a strong no-server-logs policy. NordVPN offers top-notch online security and privacy protections.
- Streaming: Streaming is a popular online pastime for users on most device platforms, including Ubuntu. This makes reliable access to geo-blocked streaming sites an important consideration for any VPN. NordVPN offers reliable access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and other popular streaming sites.
My in-depth research doesn’t end here. In fact, the factors above are just a small part of my comprehensive VPN testing methodology. This approach helps me to better understand the provider’s and their services, allowing me to recommend only VPNs that are a good fit for my reader’s needs.
What Else Can a VPN Do For Me?
While a VPN is an excellent all-around security tool, it can also enhance your online experience in many ways.
A VPN can assign your device a new IP address, making it appear as if you are connecting from another region of the world.
This can open up access to online content from around the world that you might normally be blocked from enjoying. This includes content from streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, gaming servers, and numerous other types of online content.
A VPN can also prevent your Internet Service Provider from throttling your connection speeds simply because it doesn’t “approve” of the content you’re accessing or sharing.
Last but certainly not least, a VPN offers excellent protection when you’re using an unprotected public Wi-Fi hotspot. The lack of encryption on most hotspots makes you an attractive target for hackers looking to steal your personal information or to inject malware onto your device.
A VPN protects your connection, putting a wall of encryption between you and the bad guys.
Can I Use a Free VPN With Linux?
First of all, good luck finding a free VPN provider that offers a native app for any flavor of Linux. Only two of the free VPNs I’ve tested actually offer a Linux app option.
Even if you do find a freebie VPN provider that offers an Ubuntu app, I’m willing to bet you’re not going to be satisfied with the service you receive.
First, many gratis VPNs will make their users wait in a holding queue before allowing them to connect to a server.
Once you’re allowed to connect, the server selection is greatly limited when compared with what a pay-for-play service offers. (Many of the providers automatically connect you to a server, allowing no choice on your part.)
Once you’re connected, you may find that your connection speed is slowed greatly. Many no-cost VPNs throttle their users’ connection speeds and also impose daily or monthly data caps on their usage.
While the word “free” is generally thought to mean “no cost,” freebie VPNs approach the proposition in a different way. Many sans-fee VPNs will log their customers’ online activities, selling that information to the highest bidder.
Plus, other free VPNs have been known to inject unwanted ads and tracking cookies into their users’ browsing sessions. The hidden cost here is that of your privacy.
Quality VPN service can cost as little a month as a combo meal at your favorite fast-food restaurant, and it’s much healthier, at least for your online life.
How Else Can I Secure My Ubuntu PC?
Like any operating system, Ubuntu isn’t absolutely secure.
While most Linux installations do provide an admirable level of security, and a VPN certainly adds to that protection, there are other tools you should keep in your Ubuntu security kit.
Other security tools include:
- Antivirus software
- A firewall
- Anti-rootkit software
- Security-oriented browser extensions
- A secure browser, like Tor
- A password manager
Ubuntu VPN FAQs
What Is the Best Free VPN for Ubuntu?
I know "free" can seem enticing, but free VPNs are terrible for any reason, including for use with Ubuntu. Free VPNs throttle your connection speeds, impose data caps, make you wait in a queue and sell your personal data to third parties. If I were you, I would steer clear of free VPNs and stick to paid options.
What Is the Best VPN for Linux?
The best VPN for Linux is NordVPN, followed by Surfshark, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost and Private Internet Access. These are the same VPNs that are best for Ubuntu. NordVPN is the top VPN for both cases.
Can I Get a VPN Coupon?
Yes, you can get a VPN coupon. Simply go to any VPN review link on this page, and you should see a coupon for that VPN in the review.
Is a GUI-Based VPN Available for Linux?
Yes, Private Internet Access does offer a GUI-based app, making it a good option for beginners. However, it is only available for 64-bit distros.
By protecting your Ubuntu computing session with a VPN, you’ll be able to relax a bit while online, instead of worrying about outsiders monitoring your online activities and getting their hands on your precious personal information.
An Ubuntu-compatible VPN service – like my choice, NordVPN – offers comprehensive online security and privacy, opens up access to content that may normally be unavailable, and allows your online activities to go unnoticed.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the NordVPN website.
- How Can a VPN Benefit Ubuntu Users?
- What Is the Best VPN for Use With Ubuntu?
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. Private Internet Access
- Methodology for Assessing a VPN For Ubuntu
- What Else Can a VPN Do For Me?
- Can I Use a Free VPN With Linux?
- How Else Can I Secure My Ubuntu PC?
- Ubuntu VPN FAQs
- What Is the Best Free VPN for Ubuntu?
- What Is the Best VPN for Linux?
- Can I Get a VPN Coupon?
- Is a GUI-Based VPN Available for Linux?