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Best VPNs for Raspberry Pi in 2023

Raspberry Pi is a small, single-board computer that operates on a Debian based operating system. However, Raspberry Pi OS is not the most secure when it comes to operating through wireless networks. No matter if you’re using your Pi to simply browse the web, set up bird watching websites, or create complicated surveillance systems, securing your traffic and data is in your best interest.

Any data that’s being transferred through a Raspberry Pi that’s set up as a web gateway for IoT or a web server is vulnerable to attacks. This is especially concerning if the aforementioned data is related to surveillance and security systems, or anything that’s not meant for an outsider’s eyes.

However, a way to secure your Raspberry Pi is to use a VPN. A lot of VPN providers on the market have apps for Linux and therefore Raspberry Pi, but choosing the best one is not always easy. To help you in this quest, we made a list of the best VPNs for Raspberry Pi. Let’s take a look.

5 best VPNs for Raspberry Pi:

  1. NordVPN – the best VPN for Raspberry Pi
  2. Surfshark – the best price/quality ratio
  3. IPVanish – an extra secure option for Raspberry Pi
  4. ExpressVPN – a functional VPN for Raspberry Pi
  5. CyberGhost – very safe VPN

The best VPNs for Raspberry Pi - our detailed list

If you want to be sure about what you'll be getting with each VPN we recommend, we've got you. This list goes into the most important features that each provider has - all to help you decide. Give it a read.

1. NordVPN – overall the best VPN

NordVPN banner
Servers/Countries:5500+ servers in 60 countries
Raspberry Pi or Linux app:Yes
Current deal:🔥Get NordVPN with 63% OFF🔥

NordVPN, a staple of the VPN market, is also the best option for Raspberry Pi. It has a dedicated app for Raspberry Pi OS, and setting it up takes only a couple commands in the terminal. To add to this, all of the commands are very easy to remember, and the settings are simple to apply.

Another great thing about NordVPN is the speed. The WireGuard and the custom Nordlynx protocols allow for unmatched speeds and the lowest ping possible, which is great for watching live data feed with as little delay as possible.

NordVPN also uses military-grade, new generation AES-256 encryption protocols, which ensure the complete safety of any incoming and outgoing traffic.

Other awesome NordVPN features include a kill switch for the internet in case the VPN connection is lost, CyberSec for blocking ads and malware, and obfuscated servers for maximum anonymity.

NordVPN also offers 24/7 live support which is truly helpful in case you run into any issues at any time.

Read our NordVPN review to learn more.

2. Surfshark – the most budget friendly option

Surfshark banner
Servers/Countries:3200+ servers in 60 countries
Price:From $2.30/month
Raspberry Pi or Linux app:Yes
Current Deal🔥Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE🔥

Surfshark is the most budget-friendly option for Raspberry Pi, but the low cost doesn’t mean less features. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Apart from having a Linux client that’s easy to install and use, Surfshark also offers a variety of great features and great speeds.

This provider will not disappoint you if you’re looking for something cheaper but no less speedy. Surfshark appears on numerous lists as one of the fastest VPNs out there.

In terms of encryption, Surfshark uses the military grade AES-256 cipher, and for extra security, it also has leak protection, a kill switch, and an ad blocker. You, your traffic, and your data will be protected from all sides.

And there are additional features for no extra cost that make Surfshark even more attractive. To name some of them, the split tunneling lets you exclude selected apps and domains from the VPN traffic, and Camouflage Mode hides the fact that you’re using a VPN.

Read our Surfshark review to learn more.

3. IPVanish – security taken to the next level

IPVanish banner
Servers/Countries2000+ servers in 50countries
Price:from $3.33/month
Raspberry Pi or Linux appNo
Current deal:🔥Get 72% OFF IPVanish!🔥

As the name says, IPVanish truly makes your IP vanish, but that’s not all. This provider offers a variety of features fit for any respectable VPN, and all for a truly great price.

IPVanish uses 256-bit AES encryption to encrypt traffic and hide your IP address. On top of that, all your login information is processed using the SHA-512 hash functions, which adds an additional layer of security.

As for speeds, IPVanish does not disappoint. The OpenVPN protocol allows for quite good download and upload speeds in nearer locations. Lower speeds in locations a bit further away are understandable.

Additional features of IPVanish include the WireGuard tunneling protocol, which allows for even greater speeds, and SugarSync, an encrypted file storage space for all IPVanish users.

One downside of this provider is that it doesn't have an app for Linux, and instead manual OpenVPN configuration is needed. You won’t need to struggle with that alone though, because there are guides to help you through setting it up.

Read our IPVanish review to learn more.

4. ExpressVPN – ultimately secure VPN

ExpressVPN banner
Servers/Countries:3000+ servers in 94 countries
Price:From $6.67/month
Raspberry Pi or Linux appYes
Current deal:🔥Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF the 1-year plan!🔥

ExpressVPN is one of the most trustworthy VPNs for Raspberry Pi due to its compatibility, top-notch security features, and excellent speeds.

ExpressVPN masks your IP address and ciphers your traffic with 256-AES encryption, the most robust encryption standard currently available. Additionally, this VPN processes all your login information with SHA-512 hash functions.

With ExpressVPN’s proprietary Lightway protocol, connection speeds are almost instant. ExpressVPN demonstrates excellent download speeds and keeps pace with the fastest VPN providers on the market (such as NordVPN’s NordLynx protocol). This VPN also includes more common protocols, such as IKEv2, and OpenVPN (TCD/UDP), that also perform at equally high speeds.

ExpressVPN runs on different Raspberry Pi generations. ExpressVPN is compatible with Raspberry Pi using ARMv7 CPUs and running Raspberry Pi OS versions supported by Debian's Long Term Support Window. However, the downside is that the Linux version is more complex to navigate than iOS, for example. However, you can troubleshoot with the help of ExpressVPN’s comprehensive guides and articles.

Read more in an extensive ExpressVPN review.

5. CyberGhost – one of the safest VPNs

CyberGhost VPN banner
Servers/Countries:9700+ servers in 91 countries
Price:From $2.19/month
Raspberry Pi or Linux app:Yes
Current deal:🔥Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% OFF + 2 months FREE🔥

CyberGhost is also one of the industry VPN leaders you should consider for Raspberry Pi. It’s fast, secure, and offers a package of features that’ll get you the most bang for the buck.

CyberGhost is not an exception when it comes to 100% encryption of your traffic. With the 265-AES cipher, CyberGhost conceals your online traffic and masks your IP, a perfect combo against brute-force attacks.

With high-level encryption, CyberGhost also supports WireGuard – a next-gen tunneling protocol, which is fast and exceptionally secure. It is available on all CyberGhost’s apps, together with IKEv2 and OpenVPN (UDP/TCP) protocols.

For extra security, the provider has a kill switch function, which always saves you from accidental exposure (for example, when your connection with the VPN drops, it automatically disconnects you from the Internet).

CyberGhost lacks intuitiveness on Linux, but it doesn’t stand in the way of compatibility. In addition, CyberGhost OpenVPN is supported on Raspberry Pi with an ARM processor. It’s running on Raspbian and RaspBMC. Keep in mind that CyberGhost offers extensive guides on setting up and using CyberGhost on Raspberry Pi if you need assistance.

Learn more about this VPN in the CyberGhost review.

How we selected and tested these VPNs

While there are some universal features that our team looks into when testing VPNs, there are also specific ones that need to function without hiccups in particular cases. The VPNs on our list were tested on Raspberry Pi 3 B+ model with the latest updates, using the Debian-based Raspberry Pi OS. Here are the features that we looked into when testing:

  • Raspberry Pi or Linux app. The best VPN for Raspberry Pi, of course, has to have a compatible app. As Raspberry Pi OS is a Debian-based Linux distributor, a VPN should have a Pi or Linux client.
  • Security. Security is the most important factor to take into consideration. Top tier encryption protocols, split tunneling options, a kill switch, and ad-blocks are just some of the features that a respectable VPN needs to have in order to be the best for Raspberry Pi.
  • Speed. Because a lot of data from various sensors travels through the internet, as minimal a delay as possible is preferred, allowing recipients to act accordingly to this data without hiccups. Thus, a VPN should have sufficient speeds for information to travel quickly.
  • Ease of use. The VPN providers on our list don’t have a Linux interface. In turn, the installation and using process happens through the terminal. Despite that, the experience should be as smooth as possible.
  • Support. The best VPN should have the best support. 24/7 live chat, email, or phone support is the ideal, and detailed guides definitely add points.
  • Jurisdiction. Last but not least, the best VPN should be under the jurisdiction of a country that doesn’t require the provider to log users’ data.

Why do I need a VPN for Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi OS doesn’t add much security to your Pi device, especially regarding internet traffic encryption. And unless you’re using your Pi device for purposes that don’t require internet connectivity, securing it might be something you’ll want to do.

But why is encryption of the data travelling through your Pi device so important?

Consider this: Raspberry Pi is commonly used in surveillance and security systems. The way it works is that the Raspberry Pi is used as a web gateway for transferring surveillance data from devices like cameras and automated locks to, for example, your phone. If this data is travelling through unencrypted tunnels, it takes nothing for Mr. Evil Hacker to access it and, in turn, compromise the security of your home.

And while this is just one example of the dangers of unencrypted traffic roaming freely around the world, we’d say it’s pretty illustrative of the fact that you need a VPN for your Raspberry Pi.

What is Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is a single board computer, a bit bigger than a credit card, capable of performing most of the tasks as a regular computing device. It’s operating system is a Linux distributor and is called Raspberry Pi OS (formerly known as Raspbian).

raspberry pi desktop screenshot
Raspberry Pi desktop view

Being so small, you wouldn’t think that it can do much, right? But while Raspberry Pi probably won’t allow you to use editing or animation software, it can do plenty of other things that regular computers can. You can easily code, play games, or just simply browse the internet.

Raspberry Pi is also widely used as a web gateway for the Internet of Things. Because of its small size and easy portability, RasPi is especially convenient for, let’s say, setting up your wildlife watching website or home surveillance systems.

Is Raspberry Pi secure?

The answer depends on the context in which the Raspberry Pi is used.

Raspberry Pi is generally very secure as long as it is not connected to any kind of outside network. Hardware hacking is, by definition, only possible if a hacker gets their physical hands on your device. I suspect you won’t be leaving your Pi out in the open, so the chances of it getting hacked are pretty low.

But if your Raspberry Pi is connected to outside networks, namely the internet, the security question changes completely. A hacker has very easy means of hacking into your network and doing all kinds of stuff there, be it collecting the IoT data, your personal info, or anything else.

You may ask, “How do I protect myself from such wireless hacking attacks?” The answer is, you need a VPN. The good news is that the best VPNs have apps for Raspberry Pi, and installing it is pretty simple.

How to install a VPN on Raspberry Pi

Installing your chosen VPN on Raspberry Pi isn’t extremely difficult, but it may differ slightly from provider to provider. To help you out, we made this guide on how to install a VPN on your Raspberry Pi.

  1. Choose your VPN service. We recommend NordVPN.
  2. Purchase a subscription and create an account. Skip this step if you already have an account.
  3. Download your VPN Linux Client. It can be downloaded using the terminal, or from the browser. Some providers have only OpenVPN configurations and no apps.
  4. Install the client using the terminal and update it to the latest version. You might need to reboot your device after this.
  5. Login to the VPN using the terminal or the app interface (if your provider has one).
  6. Depending on your provider, enable/disable any features and configure any settings if there’s a need for that before you connect.
  7. Connect to a VPN server by using terminal commands for your provider.
  8. Explore the additional features your provider offers.
  9. You’re set and ready to use your Raspberry Pi safely!

If you need any help with setting up a VPN on your Raspberry Pi, you can always visit your provider’s help center or contact the support through live chat.

Can I use a free VPN with my Raspberry Pi?

There’s this saying about free services - if it’s free, the user is the product. Free VPN providers usually make their profit by selling user data to third parties, which is as far from good VPN service practice as it gets. With free VPN services, online anonymity and security go out through the window.

So, to answer the question - we wouldn’t recommend using a free VPN with your Raspberry Pi. But, if you still want to try an unpaid option, ProtonVPN has a free version, and an option to upgrade it for a very agreeable price.

Final thoughts

Raspberry Pi OS is not the most secure operating system. The lack of solid security is especially true if any outside networks, including any internet networks, have access to your device.

And the internet is not the most secure place on the planet. Whether you’re using your Pi as a web server for the IoT (Internet of Things) or doing any other work that requires internet access, your data is at risk.

Using a VPN is a great way to get rid of this risk and encrypt any incoming or outgoing traffic. Our list of the best VPNs for Raspberry Pi is designed to help you choose the best possible protection for your Pi.

More VPN guides from CyberNews:

Best VPNs for Linux: improve your online security
Best VPNs for Kodi: enjoy stable and safe connection
Best VPNs for Windows 11: encrypt all your internet traffic on Windows 11


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