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How To Set Up a VPN on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 5

In the modern era of digital technology, privacy and security are paramount. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a vital tool that helps safeguard your online activities. This article will guide you through the process of setting up a VPN on Ubuntu.

Quick Answer

Setting up a VPN on Ubuntu is a straightforward process. Ubuntu has a built-in VPN client that supports PPTP and OpenVPN protocols. You can also use the OpenVPN client if your VPN service provider supports it. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions in this article to configure and connect to a VPN on Ubuntu.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a service that protects your internet connection and privacy online. It creates an encrypted tunnel for your data, protects your online identity by hiding your IP address, and allows you to use public Wi-Fi hotspots safely.

Why Use a VPN on Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is one of the most secure operating systems available. However, using a VPN can add an extra layer of security and allow you to access geographically restricted content.

Setting Up a VPN on Ubuntu

Ubuntu has a built-in VPN client that supports PPTP and OpenVPN protocols. Here’s how you can set it up:

Step 1: Open Network Settings

Click on the network icon in the top right corner of your screen. From the dropdown menu, select the ‘VPN Off’ option and then ‘VPN Settings’.

Step 2: Add a VPN Connection

In the VPN section, click on the ‘+’ button to add a new VPN connection.

Step 3: Configure VPN Settings

In the ‘Add VPN’ window, you’ll need to fill in the necessary details:

  • VPN Type: Choose the type of VPN connection you want to set up (e.g., OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec).
  • Name: This is the name of the connection, and it can be anything you like.
  • Gateway: This is the server address provided by your VPN service.
  • Username and Password: Enter the username and password provided by your VPN service.

Step 4: Advanced Configuration

Click on the ‘Advanced’ button to configure additional settings if needed. This is where you can set up things like DNS settings, IPv6 settings, and other advanced options.

Step 5: Save and Connect

Click on the ‘Add’ button to save the VPN connection. To connect, go back to the network icon in the top right corner, select ‘VPN Connections’, and choose the connection you just created.

Using OpenVPN on Ubuntu

If your VPN service provider supports OpenVPN (which many do), you can use the OpenVPN client to set up a VPN connection instead. Here’s how:

Step 1: Install OpenVPN

First, you’ll need to install the OpenVPN package. Open a terminal window and enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install openvpn

Step 2: Download VPN Configuration File

Next, download the OpenVPN configuration file (.ovpn file) from your VPN service provider’s website.

Step 3: Connect to VPN

In the terminal, navigate to the directory where you downloaded the .ovpn file and enter the following command:

sudo openvpn --config file_name.ovpn

Replace ‘file_name.ovpn’ with the actual name of your .ovpn file.


Setting up a VPN on Ubuntu is a straightforward process, whether you’re using the built-in VPN client or a third-party client like OpenVPN. With a VPN, you can enhance your online security, protect your privacy, and access content that might be restricted in your region. Remember to choose a reputable VPN service provider that respects your privacy and offers strong encryption.

What is the difference between PPTP and OpenVPN?

PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) is an older VPN protocol that offers basic encryption but may have security vulnerabilities. OpenVPN, on the other hand, is a modern and highly secure VPN protocol that uses SSL/TLS encryption and is recommended for most users.

Can I use any VPN service with Ubuntu?

Yes, you can use any VPN service that supports the PPTP or OpenVPN protocols. Most reputable VPN providers offer support for Ubuntu, but it’s always a good idea to check their website or contact their customer support to confirm compatibility.

Can I use a free VPN on Ubuntu?

Yes, there are free VPN services available for Ubuntu. However, it’s important to note that free VPNs often have limitations, such as data caps, slower speeds, and fewer server options. Additionally, some free VPNs may collect and sell your data, so it’s crucial to choose a reputable and trustworthy VPN service.

How can I verify if my VPN connection is working?

To verify if your VPN connection is working, you can visit websites like before and after connecting to the VPN. If the IP address changes after connecting, it indicates that your VPN connection is active and working correctly.

Can I use a VPN on Ubuntu for torrenting?

Yes, you can use a VPN on Ubuntu for torrenting. In fact, using a VPN is recommended for torrenting as it adds an extra layer of privacy and security. However, make sure to choose a VPN provider that allows P2P file sharing and has fast speeds for a smooth torrenting experience.

Can I use multiple VPN connections simultaneously on Ubuntu?

By default, Ubuntu’s built-in VPN client does not support multiple VPN connections simultaneously. However, you can use third-party VPN clients like OpenVPN to establish multiple VPN connections if your VPN service provider allows it.

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