16 Aug 2018

Learn how to install several VPN protocols on your Linux device

Operating systems appear as all-around tools that facilitate our interactions with our devices and even the Internet itself. They manage and organize all of our apps, files, documents, programs, and other vital elements.

Among them, Windows and macOS are the most popular for desktop computers, while iOS and Android take the crown for smartphones and tablets. The order may vary year to year, but these are the market leaders.

However, there are other operating systems with a serious market share. One of them is Linux, which is quickly gaining traction as one of the most reliable and secure alternatives for those that want to explore other options.

Linux: security and privacy at your service

Linux takes the edge with its focus on privacy and security. There are several variations of the OS such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Debian. Each has a reputation for being significantly safer than their peers (macOS or Windows in this case).

Linux is best defined as an open source operating systems. It's based on the Linux kernel. Originally it rose to prominence as a system made for computers based on Intel x86 architecture; however, it has expanded its applications and now covers more ground.

Linux's rise to stardom is the perfect example of the open source power: the advantage is that its code can be used, audited, changed, or even distributed by anyone with a suitable license.

Among Linux's most famous and efficient products are Arch Linux, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo Linux, Linux Mint, Mageia, openSUSE, and Ubuntu.

VPN for Linux: a good idea

The best idea is to couple an efficient operating system with the encryption action of a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. However, Linux is so secure that doing that doesn’t represent much of a necessity, but instead, an added layer of virtual security.

VPN apps or clients are compatible with most, if not all, devices, platforms, and operating systems on the market, Linux being one of them. In this guide, you will learn how to set up a VPN on your Linux-powered computer or mobile device.

How to power up your Linux Ubuntu with a VPN

  • Sign up with a Virtual Private Network of your choice (compatible with Linux).
  • Acquire the Debian software and get it onto your device.
  • After you have downloaded the Debian folder, tap it. The Ubuntu Software Center will open.
  • Now click ‘Install.’
  • You will now proceed to authenticate your identity as the owner of the VPN account.
  • Access the Folder entitled "Show Applications" and open the app.
  • Write down your account information.

Getting OpenVPN by using the NetworkManager

OpenVPN is widely considered to be the best and most embraced VPN protocol these days. It is the fastest and one of the safest, so it comes recommended for all platforms, devices, and operating systems, including Linux. If you want to set up OpenVPN, then follow these steps:

  • Sign up with a VPN of your choice. It has to be Linux compatible.
  • Next, you have to download your VPN's .ovpn configuration folders for each server you desire to connect. You can gain access to them in the form of .zip files.
  • Obtain the required Ubuntu OpenVPN files for NetworkManager. To do that, you have to open the Terminal and write the following command:
sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn-gnome.
  • Next step is making sure the OpenVPN client has been installed correctly. To do that, click on the NetworkManager icon.
  • Access VPN Off
  • Then, VPN Settings.
  • Then, VPN.
  • After that, click the + symbol. An OpenVPN option will appear in the "Add VPN" command.
  • The system will show an OpenVPN option. However, don’t click it. Instead, you need to select "Import from file…"
  • Search for the downloaded .ovpn files.
  • When you find them, double-click.
  • You will see the Add VPN part with the VPN settings of the server.
  • Type the configured username and passphrase.
  • Click Add.
  • You are now done. If you want to launch, access the NetworkManager, then VPN off, and choose your wanted server.

Manually configure a Virtual Private Network in Linux using IKEv2

The Internet Key Exchange (IKE), version 2, is another encryption protocol with robust security features. It is a contemporary protocol that works like a charm with Linux. To install it:
For Ubuntu users, as well as Debian's:

  • Open the Terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install network-manager-strongswan

  • Done!

Manually configure VPN for Linux via PPTP via NetworkManager

The Peer to Peer Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), once the gold standard for online encryption is now considered old, outdated, not secure, and unreliable. However, if you desire to install it on your Linux device:

  • Access Network Manager.
  • Go to VPN Settings.
  • Select the + symbol adjacent to the VPN box.
  • Choose the PPTP protocol.
  • Write the PPTP settings that your VPN brand provides.
  • Done!

To wrap things up; Linux is one of the most used operating systems, and it is highly regarded for its top-notch security and privacy features. However, it is never a bad idea to mix in a VPN with powerful encryption just to add that extra layer of security.

While it is true that setting up a VPN on Linux is somewhat complicated when compared to other operating systems, it can be done without a lot of hassle as. The following instructions apply to Debian and Ubuntu users too.

This is a guest post by Harold Kilpatrick


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