Do you want Windows 10 to use your personal information and share it with the third parties? The answer is too obvious to discuss it in this article. Linux is a safe and secure system, but what if you need something more than just a stable operating system. How about using a VPN? We will tell you what a VPN is, how you can configure it and which provider to choose.
When it comes to configuring a virtual private network on Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Gentoo or any other distributive, users may need a guide from start to finish. Especially if they’re used to Windows OS. Don’t worry, you will get all the information for configuring on this page. Let’s get started with best VPN for Linux.
Best VPN For Linux
OpenVPN, OpenConnect and Network Manager are often used when configuring a virtual network on Linux. If you don’t like manual configuration or you just don’t have time for this, let’s take a look at the providers that let you use their apps on your OS, their pros, cons and the price.
Even if a provider does not give you an official client for Linux, almost all of them can be configured using OpenVPN. In this article, we consider the best VPN for Linux both free of charge and the paid ones, therefore you will be able to choose what you need.
A closer look at VPN
The way your connection is secured depends on its configuration. Hopefully, you can fully control this process on Linux. You can set up the connection manually or use a ready-made software, or develop it on your own. No matter which variant you choose, the aim is to stay anonymous in any case.
Let’s talk a little about the structure of the VPN. It consists of two levels. The first level is called the internal network. There can be a few of such networks The second level is the external network. It is possible to connect a remote user to a virtual network. It uses a special server that is connected to the internal network as well as to the external one. To connect to a virtual network, the computer goes through several processes. Only after a successful completion of the identification and authentication, the user can go through the authorization process.
That’s what a VPN is. It allows us to create a virtual network. The term virtual network requires special attention. In fact, computers that are connected to one of these virtual networks are not connected to each other as in a local connection. VPN is different from the local connection. However, all the properties of the LAN can be seen in the technology of VPN. You can create your “local” virtual network of several computers that can be in different parts of the world.
PIA – Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is one of the best and most widespread VPNs today. It’s user-friendly, you can connect several devices, use it at high and stable speed, and with 100% safety. This provider uses OpenVPN technology encrypting the connection with a 256 bit AES key. You can use this software for both RedHat and Debian distributions. The price is low, it’s just $3.33/month if you purchase a one-year subscription.
What could be better than developing and giving you a client for the Linux OS by ExpressVPN in May 2017? It’s not as user-friendly as PIA, but it deserves your attention. This software doesn’t have a graphic interface, so you will work with it using a command line. Don’t worry, the use of it is much easier than setting up a VPN from scratch.
What are the pros? You will see the actual state of servers, you will be switched between UDP and TCP protocols when connected to OpenVPN. You can use it on Debian, CentOS, Fedora and Ubuntu. You can connect up to three devices. It’s price starts from $8.32/month if you pay for the whole year. It’s more expensive than PIA, but the connection speed here is higher.
This is one of the best VPN for Linux I have used. You can use the client for such distributives as Fedora, OpenSUSE Ubuntu and Debian. There are two ways you can use it for configuring a connection: via the command line or the graphic interface. You can pick up the type of the connection on your own between OpenVPN, SSL or SSH or use different ports. The price for this service starts from $4.76/month if you pay for the whole year.
This service was developed in Hungary. You can connect up to three devices to the network at once and there are no limits on traffic. You can use it on most of the Linux distributions. The speed of connection if high as the servers are in 16 countries. This software can look for open ports on protected servers that can be handy in hotels or airports. Buffered offers you the price from $8.25 if you pay for the whole year. This provider gives you a 30-day money back guarantee.
If you need a provider with an open source code for Ubuntu and Debian, you should choose Mullvad. It supports network disconnection, the protection from DNS loss and IPv6 routing. This service records logs, but not the logs of connections, so it’s reliable. You can connect up to three computers to one network, you can redirect the ports. The choice of the servers is limited, but it’ll be enough for most users.
It’s another best free VPN for Linux, that has an official client for this operating system. Different protocols are supported including SSH, FTP, RDP, Telnet and so on. The provider keeps logs and IP addresses of the users, so it’s not safe to use it all the time. The free service gives you up to 300MB of traffic a day. However, if you don’t have money at all, this provider will suit you.
How to configure VPN Manually On Linux?
Let’s take a look at the configuration on one of the most popular distributive called Ubuntu. You can do this with the help of Network Manager or manually.
Using Network Manager
You can use this way of configuring VPN if you get your IP automatically using DHCP. The first step to take is installing two packages by typing the following in the command line:
These packages are not installed on the disk together with the system, so after entering this command, it will automatically install to your computer. Then go to the Network Manager and find Connections menu. If you don’t see this item, just reboot the system.
Click on Connections, then choose Configure VPN. Add a new connection here and type in all the options. This new connection should appear in the connections menu. If you don’t see it, you should reboot the system. Once you see this connection, you can connect to the VPN network whenever you want, as well as disconnect from it.
We will give you a basic guide to configuring a VPN on Ubuntu. Your configuration may be slightly different, but it’s ok. At first, we should install the pptp-linux package with the following command:
The next step is changing options.pptp file:
Insert the following lines there:
After this, it’s time to create /etc/ppp/peers/vpn file:
Insert the following lines there:
Enter the address of the VPN server instead of vpn.com and your username instead of your name. Let’s try to find out what each line means and why we need them.
- maxfail 0 means that you will always get connected again after the disconnection.
- lcp-echo-interval means the period of time between the inquiries of the remote side.
- Lcp-echo-failure means the number of ignored inquiries, when the system considers you’re disconnected.
- Default route helps to configure the default route (we know that it seems too obvious).
- +chap is the type of authentication. File lets you see additional configurations from the given file.
The next step is editing the /etc/ppp/chap-secrets file (#nano /etc/ppp/chap-secrets) by adding the following line: your name PPTP password *. Don’t forget to use your username and your password in the corresponding fields. Now it’s time to reboot the network connections:
You can turn on the VPN connection by typing #pon vpn and turn it off by typing #poff vpn.
If you want to start VPN each time you boot the system, you should edit the /etc/network/interfaces file: #nano /etc/network/interfaces. And just insert the following lines into the file:
The bottom line
You can always take advantage of the services of the VPN providers. However, these services may be too expensive in case you want to connect many users, we mean more than five. Also, these providers can get your personal or corporate data (if you’re using them for business). If you’re ok with it, you can relax and get the most out of it. In case you’re not happy with such a situation, you can develop an independent virtual private network on virtual or real servers (VPS/VDS).
You can choose the server from any country or you can even choose the city you want. We don’t advise to use free servers as there’s no guarantee of data leakage. The price depends on the country and additional services that come with the server maintenance, so it can be $30 and $300 for a month. After you pay for it, you take the same steps for configuring VPN as you use on your own computer. And nothing more.