How to Select and Deploy the Right VPN for You


Virtual private networks (VPNs) help secure a device’s connections to the public internet. You can also use a VPN to encrypt access and authorization for an isolated environment. They are versatile, and any developer can benefit from incorporating VPN to reinforce the security of your project.

It’s easier than ever to deploy a VPN, and there are many options. Narrowing down the options may take some research into the strengths, weaknesses, and potential limitations of each. The number of VPN apps available in the Linode Marketplace are growing, and want to make it as easy to choose the right one.

Why Use a VPN

A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between network traffic, like local devices and the public internet, or to access devices behind a firewall limited to a single IP or IP range. This helps protect your privacy online and adds an extra layer of safety for your personal or app information.

The VPN protocol is a set of rules that determines how your traffic is routed and the encryption measures. Some protocols are optimized for speed, and others might sacrifice performance for additional encryption. Some VPNs support multiple protocol clients so you can choose what works best for your use case depending on whether you require increased performance or additional encryption.

Choosing A VPN

We recommend adding a VPN option to your app whenever you need to access sensitive data collected by your app, or your own personal information,  when using public WiFi. Here are a few options to consider that are available in just a few clicks from the Marketplace:

OpenVPN is free, open source, and extremely popular. OpenVPN’s custom security protocol encrypts traffic through OpenSSL.

Pritunl is powerful, highly scalable, and ideal for business or team use. Choose between multiple protocols and advanced management features.

Shadowsocks has flexible encryption between the proxy client on your device and the proxy server, which makes the traffic more difficult to interpret by firewalls.

UTunnel focuses on usability and accessibility with minimal management and the ability to choose between multiple protocols.

WarpSpeed is best used for real-time performance or bandwidth-intensive uses like gaming or streaming and has built-in tools to monitor performance and latency.

WireGuard® is designed to run faster and leaner than other VPNs. WireGuard is optimized to run on Linux and is known for its state-of-the-art cryptography.

Here’s a quick comparison of the main factors to help you choose the right VPN for you. For the sake of simplicity, we’ve focused on free or lower paid license options.

VPN comparison grid.
Columns: Protocol, Cost, Users, Devices, Additional Features

OpenVPN: Protocols = OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, Cost = Free, Users = 500, Devices = 100 Connections, No additional features

Pritunl: Protocols = OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPsec, Cost = Free Tier, Users = Unlimited, Devices = Unlimited, No additional features

Shadowsocks: Encryption = Custom Encryption Based on SOCKS5, Cost = free, Users = 1, Devices = 1, Speed is dependent on your VM

UTunnel: Protocols = OpenVPN, IPSEC IKEV2, Cost = $5 per month (USD), Users = 1, Devices = Unlimited - Max 5 simultaneous VPN connections, Features = Role-based access control, SSO, 2-factor authentication

WarpSpeed: Protocol = WireGuard, Cost = FreeTier, Users = 1, Devices = 2, Additional features include 3 Day Connection History, Popular SSO Support, QR Code Configs

WireGuard: Protocol = WireGuard, Cost = Free, User = 1, Devices = Unlimited, No additional features

Deploy a VPN from the Marketplace

  1. Log in to Cloud Manager and select “Marketplace” from the navigation
  2. Choose your VPN under “Select App”
  3. Configure your VPN, and supporting compute plan
  4. Select Create Linode
Screenshot of Linode Marketplace with Pritunl VPN app selected.

Looking for other ways to secure your cloud infrastructure? Browse all of the security apps available in Linode Marketplace or browse our security documentation.

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