Linux’s original purpose was to serve as an operating system for PCs, but it turned out to be extremely adaptable, which lead to it being ported to the bigger number of platforms than any other system before, or after it. Some of those platforms are:
- Blackfin. FR-V
It has a largest installed base of the general-purpose systems, and it’s mostly the main OS on servers and systems similar to mainframe computers. Its development is one of the best examples of what can be done with open-source software.
It also has a pretty large user community, which includes individual users, different local associations and groups, and even companies and technology websites with a Linux focus. It’s supported by some of the major corporations, like Nokia, IBM, Oracle, HP, and others.
Its distribution is mostly without any charge, but some of the companies, like the ones previously mentioned, will sell it in order to contribute to its development. Its distributions support a lot of programming languages, which makes it perfect for programming itself.
When it comes to the hardware, Linux is supported on a large number of different devices, from phones all the way to supercomputers. As we mentioned previously, it’s very good when it comes to adapting. Also, several industries have devoted themselves to maintaining and improving hardware under Linux. A good example of one such company is FreedomHEC.
Linux distributions are mostly designed for general purposes, as we’ve mentioned previously. That mostly includes servers and desktops. Still, it does have other applications, like:
- The support of the computer architecture
- Embedded systems
- Targeting specific groups of users
- Localization to a certain language or region
- Support of multiple applications in real time, and more
Linux is also popular on standard personal computers and laptops, and that popularity was earned by a lot of effort over many years. It’s important to notice that Linux doesn’t have a single official desktop, but instead, its desktop environments are mostly created of selected components.
Over the last 26 years, since it was first released, Linux has had many, many different versions. Some of them were an instant success, some of them were not. Several of them have managed to stick around and become pretty popular, even to this day. The most popular of its versions are:
- Linux Mint
- Gentoo Linux
- Slackware Linux
- Kali Linux
- Arch Linux
- Puppy Linux
They all have different purposes and uses.
Dangers Of Using Linux And Its Versions
The trouble with many Linux versions, including the ones mentioned earlier, is that they aren’t very high on the priority list when it comes to protection and security software. Despite Linux being so handy and popular, it has yet to reach the same level of attention in matters of online protection.
Linux is similar to other OSs, but at the same time, it’s also pretty different. The biggest difference is the fact that it’s an open source software. That means that it’s free and available for everyone to view it, study it, edit it, and perhaps even misuse it.
We have mentioned that it’s used by many companies, groups, as well as individual users. It’s used for databases, networking, and also as an OS for many servers. If left unprotected, it could easily be breached by many of the online threats, and to be honest, there are quite many of them out there.
Linux isn’t unfamiliar with all of these threats, and it’s not like it doesn’t have any protection at all. However, the list of threats is long, and it’s getting longer almost as fast as the one for Windows or Mac. This includes multiple viruses, worms, trojans, and many other types of malware.
Despite all of these threats, Linux has never had a malware outbreak like Windows did. The most recent example of that would definitely be WannaCry ransomware attack that has crippled half the world’s computers simply because they were late with updating their systems. Despite this score, Linux is still not immune to such threats, and it can be quite vulnerable.
Many of its users already know all of this, and with that in mind, it’s not strange that they’ve decided to try and find more about different ways of protection. After a little research, they discovered what they had to do, and started searching for the best VPN for Linux.
What Is VPN, And What Does It Offer?
VPN is short for Virtual Private Network. Just as the name suggests, VPNs are private networks that are made of their own, private servers. These servers are located in multiple countries around the world, and their number is different for every VPN provider.
VPNs offer many different features, but their primary purpose, the reason why they even exist, is to help with securing your connection and keeping you safe during your browsing sessions.
VPNs are experts on online protection, and they offer many tools to help keep you safe. One of their primary features and tasks is to keep their user anonymous. To understand how they do this, we first need to talk about IP addresses for a bit.
There are many other features that VPN offer as well, some of them unique to certain providers, others not exactly unique but still pretty rare. And so we come to the biggest question of all:
Which VPN Should You Choose?
Answering this is anything but easy, especially since they have become extremely popular in the last couple of years. Many different countries have brought some ridiculously intrusive legislations and laws, and they’ve decided that they have the right to know their citizens’ every move. On the other hand, online censorship has started growing as well, and more and more content is seen as indecent, or unfit to be allowed access.
Conditions like these have made an ideal breeding ground for VPNs, and they’ve started appearing all over the web. Some are good, some are even great, but many aren’t recommendable at all.
So your biggest issue is how to know which ones can be trusted for, and that’s something that we can help with. We’ve tested many, and only a few have satisfied the criteria. And then the best ones were handpicked from that group as well, and we’ve ended up with the five top VPNs that you can combine with your Linux, and those are:
So let’s check them out.
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs in the industry, so it’s not surprising that it’s popularity keeps on growing, even to this day. ExpressVPN offers many of the features that we’ve mentioned earlier, but for the sake of clarity and precision, we’ll list them again. First of all, we’ll say that its reputation is excellent, which is a guarantee of this VPN’s quality on its own.
When it comes to the features that it offers, first one that we’ve noticed is an unlimited bandwidth, as well as very low prices for each of its several packages. Next, there are several different protocols for you to choose from. Also, there’s a strong and strict no logging policy, which, once again, means that none of your online actions is being recorded.
When it comes to its network, it’s pretty decent, with servers in more than 77 countries. The connection is protected with a 256bit encryption, which is one of the best that you can find. It money return guarantee lasts for thirty days, which is more than enough time to try this VPN out. ExpressVPN works on Mint, Ubuntu, CentOS and Fedora.
When it comes to payment, it accepts many different methods, including:
- Credit and Debit Cards
It’s also worth noting that this VPN has a pretty simple-to-use software and that it’s available on many devices. Of course, in this case, it’s especially important to mention that it’s compatible with Linux, as well as other OSs.
Tutorials: How To Install ExpressVPN For Linux
In our second place, there’s NordVPN. Just like the previous entry, this one offers a lot of different features, and it even stands out due to the fact that it’s very well organized.
Another feature that makes it stand out of the group, and this one might even be unique, is the fact that this VPN doubles your encryption. This is a very rare feature that makes your data encrypted twice, which in turn makes it twice as safe as anything the regular VPNs could offer.
Its connections are fast, and the network is among the largest ones, and it’s made of 980+ servers that are located in over 58 countries. The setup is also extremely simple, and even it’s software is easy to understand and use, whether or not you have any VPN experience. This is good for the new users, as well as for those who aren’t very good with computers. NordVPN supports Ubuntu, Kali, Mint, and Arch.
As we can deduce from the double encryption, this VPN takes security very seriously. That’s why they offer a strict no logging policy, a kill switch, and a DNS leak protection. It also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, and it supports torrenting, which makes it popular with those who enjoy sharing files via BitTorrent.
IPVanish is our third pick, and it’s among the best VPN providers in the world, and definitely among the fastest ones. It’s known for being pretty competitive, and its large network allows it to give you access to pretty much anything on the internet. It has servers in 60+ countries and offers over 25,000 IP addresses for you to take as your own.
This VPNs greatest advantage is also what’s unique about it, and that’s the fact that it owns the network that it uses.
Thanks to that, it has some of the best speeds that VPN provider can offer. Its features don’t stop there, however. IPVanish offers many different protocols, unlimited bandwidth, and free software that even the newest VPN users can understand. IPVanish works with Puppy Linux and Debian or RedHat-based distros.
Also, it offers five simultaneous connections per package, it keeps no logs and uses as strong encryption as the previous two entries. It even has a money back guarantee, but in this case, it only lasts for seven days. It might not be as long as the previous two were, but it can still be very useful as a free trial.
Next entry is provider called LeVPN. It’s one of the most trustworthy providers, thanks to the fact that it was developed by the security specialists back in 2010. Ever since then, this VPN has been climbing up, gaining clients, influence, and quality.
Today, they’re one of the best VPNs, and they offer first class encryption, servers in 114 countries, multiple protocols for you to choose, as well as a no logging policy.
Its speeds are decent, its network is still growing, and it’s also known for supporting torrenting. It also offers unlimited bandwidth, as well as high-speed connections.
It also has a unique feature, and that’s the combination of a SmartDNS and a VPN service. This combination is called HybridVPN, and you’ll hardly find it anywhere else. LeVPN works with Ubuntu. It also has a pretty good customer support, and in general, it’s one of the best VPNs, otherwise, it wouldn’t be on this list.
Lastly, we come to our fifth entry, which is HideMyAss. This is a clever VPN, and it doesn’t hide its sense of humor. It also offers one of the largest networks in the industry, which consists of more than 860 servers that are located in 190+ countries. When everything’s put together, this VPN offers over 110,000 IP addresses, which truly makes it one of the greatest VPNs that you’ll find.
Just like all the VPNs before it, HideMyAss offers many different features. One of the most important things about it is that its prices are extremely affordable, despite the enormous network. HMA supports Kali, Ubuntu and Cent OS.
It also offers a pretty well-organized FAQ, as well as customer support that can be contacted at any time via phone, email, or live chat. They’ll find a way to fix any problem that you might run into, and they’re very reliable.
Other than that, HideMyAss has pretty decent encryptions, unlimited speeds, and bandwidth, it doesn’t keep any logs, has multiple protocols to offer, and it also supports torrenting.
What is the Best VPN for Linux Mint
Linux Mint is used for creating modern and elegant operating systems. However, they must be powerful, easy to use, and comfortable to their users at the same time.
You can protect each of the Linux version with VPNs. We’ll talk more about them later, but for now, we’ll just suggest the best ones for every version. For example, Linux Mint is best protected with ExpressVPN.
What is the Best VPN for Kali Linux
Kali Linux is mostly used for penetration testing and digital forensics. It has more than 300 penetration-testing programs that are all preinstalled, and that includes Wireshark, John the Ripper password cracker, Armitage, and many other.
For Kali Linux, you should use a VPN provider called HideMyAss. With it, you’ll be able to relax while knowing that your device and your connection are safe.
What is the Best VPN for Arch Linux
Arch Linux is developed independently, and it mostly deals with developing the new, more stable versions of the different software. It does so by following a rolling-release model. Its main advantages are simplicity, but also modernity. It’s pragmatic and user-centered.
You can use NordVPN to protect your Arch Linux. It’s among the best choices, and it offers many features and a great network.
What is the Best VPN for Ubuntu
Then, there’s Ubuntu. This is a Debian-based version of Linux, and it often serves as an OS for tablets, PCs, smartphones and alike. It’s known and popular, especially it’s Touch edition. It can often be found running network servers as well. For that, the Server edition is used. It also has a pretty large community and supports sharing.
Just like for Linux Mint, Ubuntu also works best with ExpressVPN. That’s the best one to combine it with, and you should choose it for the top protection.
What is the Best VPN for Puppy Linux
Lastly, there’s also a version called Puppy Linux. This is a pretty unique version of Linux, and its mostly used on home-based computers. It could be even considered a family version of this OS. It comes with all the regularly needed tools, and it’s simple to use. Finding their way around was easy for both the elderly, as well as young children. It’s small in size (200 MB), it’s fast, easily customizable, and has multiple varieties.
For this one, you can use IPVanish. It’s fast and good for streaming, online games, and similar family-friendly activities. Basically, you’ll protect your connection, and you won’t even feel it with IPVanish.
They Can Make You Anonymous
IP addresses are something that every internet user has. They come to you from servers provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider), which means that they’re assigned to you by your router. When you use the internet, your IP address acts as your device’s ID.
It’s made of seemingly random strings of numbers. However, these numbers aren’t random at all, quite the opposite, in fact, These numbers carry a lot of information about the user that the IP address belongs to. For example, one group of numbers represents your exact location.
Whenever you visit a website or use an online service, said website or service will scan your IP address. It’ll then extract the necessary information, and record it for its own purposes (mostly traffic calculations). On the other hand, if some content is geo-restricted (only allowed in certain areas), then your IP address will tell that website that you’re not allowed to view that content.
Now, we’ve mentioned that you get your IP from your ISP’s server. VPN has servers of their own, and when you use them, they’ll connect you to one of those servers, which will then give you a new IP address.
This new IP will belong to the region where the server is located, so those who use it would look like they’re from that region as well. This means that, through the use of VPN, there’s nothing on the Internet that you won’t be able to access, as long as you use a VPN with big enough network.
Despite the fact that accessing restricted content is really handy and useful, the main reason for masking your IP address is your protection. Websites aren’t the only ones who can scan and read IPs, but instead hackers, ISPs, and even your government would very much like to know what you’re doing. By masking your address, you make sure that none of your internet actions will get connected to you.
They Can Encrypt Your Data
This is good, but it’s also only the first step when it comes to your protection, and VPNs can offer so much more. The second of the most important features that VPNs offer is data encryption.
Whenever you browse the internet, you’re creating data that ISPs can see. This includes info about where you go, what you do, how long you’re doing what you do, and alike. Masking your address can help with assigning those actions to another address, but that’s only one level of protection, and skilled hacker or ISP technician could be able to bypass the fake ID.
That’s where encryption comes in handy. VPNs will encrypt your entire connection, and make your data completely unreadable to anyone and everyone who might be spying on you. You now have anonymity, as well as online privacy, which is important, since we’re sure that nobody appreciates their security being breached by nosy companies or cyber criminals.
But that’s still not all, and VPNs will add even another level of protection. This time, it’ll use one of the multiple protocols that they offer to create a secure tunnel around your data flow. The data will now be left alone, encrypted, as well as assigned to another IP address, which all makes an ultimate online protection.
What Else Do VPNs Offer?
These different levels of protection are still only the main features of an average VPN, and every decent one will offer them. However, after that’s been taken care of, VPNs go even further.
Depending on which VPN you choose, they are offering tons of different features. Most of the good ones have no logging policy, which is something that you should definitely look for in a VPN. That means that they themselves won’t record your data, and therefore they won’t be able to sell it to interested parties (like advertisers, for example).
Another useful feature offered by many VPNs is a money back guarantee. This means that you can get your money back if you decide that you don’t like the VPN that you’ve already paid for. All you need to do is pay attention to the time period during which the money-back offer stands.
Next, they offer tools like kill switches and DNS leak protection. These are important parts of your connection’s protection, but not every VPN offers them, so it really does matter which one will you choose.
Next, VPNs are known for being one of the most effective ways of protecting your devices from downloading malware. They also keep hackers away, as well as those annoying ads.
Most of them will have a very positive impact on your very connection by making it stable and secure. They’ll also offer unlimited bandwidth, as well as unlimited traffic, and some even support P2P file sharing, which means that torrenting is also included in their package.
Are There Free VPNs?
Yes, free VPNs are an option, but not a very good one. Free VPNs aren’t getting their money from their users, which is obvious since they’re free. Still, money has to come from somewhere, otherwise, the providers wouldn’t be able to pay for the equipment, renting servers and so on.
Most of the money that free VPNs are using for keeping themselves afloat comes from advertising companies. They are paying the providers to bombard their users with random ads, or even worse option, the VPN might be recording your data and selling it to the advertisers. This would help them with targeting people with ads that are somehow related to them, which increases their chances of a sale, or so they believe.
Search for free ones will often lead you to some of the names like USAIP, Itshidden, and SecurityKiss. These are all free VPNs, and should probably be avoided. Their service simply isn’t as good as the one you pay for.
Bottom line is, free VPNs won’t respect your privacy, which is why they can’t be trusted. Their limited funds also affect the amount of protection that they can offer, which is mostly cheap and faulty. So, you’re not even decently protected, your speeds will likely drop a lot, and your privacy isn’t respected, but instead they’re making money out of it.
How to use OpenVPN for Linux
If a VPN isn’t an option for you, you can always find configuration files for OpenVPN. However, you’ll need to download these files for every server you’d like to connect to. It might be a longer process for those who want multiple options on their hands.
Despite the fact that OpenVPN is pretty good, it doesn’t offer many features that almost any VPN has. You could get them yourself if you wanted to. However, it’s much more convenient to just pay for a VPN that has these things as a part of a package.
Still, if you insist on installing OpenVPN by yourself on your Linux, feel free to. We’ll even provide instructions on how to do it properly.
- Start by opening a terminal. Then type “sudo apt-get install -y openvpn”, and press Enter. You’ll now need to enter your admin password, and after pressing enter, simply type ‘y’, and hit enter again.
- Those who are using Ubuntu version 14.04, or any of the previous ones should type “sudo apt-get install network-manager network-manager-openvpn network-manager-openvpn-gnome” before hitting enter.
- The next step is file configuration for the OpenVPN. Your VPN provider most likely offers config files on their website, so download them from there.
- All of these files are connected to a certain server in some location, and few of them for all of your desired locations should come in handy.
Then do the following:
- After installing an OpenVPN, type sudo openvpn – config in your terminal. Press enter, and then drag and drop the configuration files for your chosen server. The system will remember the path to them.
- Afterward, you hit enter again and wait for the process to finish. When it’s done, you’ll be done too, and you’ll be connected to the VPN. Still, don’t close the terminal window, because it’ll disconnect you. Minimizing it is fine.
Alternatively, you can read our guide on how to install a VPN on Ubuntu.
Using a VPN is an excellent method of protection, no matter which device or system you use. Linux might not have that much trouble with serious malware as other systems, but it still doesn’t mean that you should relax.
Remember, malware evolve first, and only after that does protection follow. So stay one step ahead of online dangers, and don’t even allow them the opportunity to harm you or your system. Get a VPN, and enjoy your browsing, knowing that you’re properly protected.