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ExpressVPN for Linux

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Introduction

ExpressVPN is one of the most popular and highly-rated virtual private network (VPN) services available today. VPNs like ExpressVPN encrypt all internet traffic between your device and the website or service you’re accessing. This prevents third parties like your internet service provider (ISP) or governments from tracking and collecting data on which sites you visit and what content you access or share online.

Using a VPN is important for both privacy and security in today’s digital landscape. ExpressVPN stands out with ultra-fast connection speeds, watertight encryption standards, and a large global server network spanning 94 countries. This makes it an appealing option for Linux users looking to enhance their privacy across devices.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about setup, configuration, usage, and recent updates when harnessing the power of ExpressVPN for Linux distributions. Follow along for pro tips on maximizing both security and internet speeds.

Setting up ExpressVPN on Linux

The ExpressVPN Linux client supports all major distributions including Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Arch, and more. Here are a few methods for installing and authenticating ExpressVPN on Linux machines:

Manual Terminal Install

Linux experts can setup ExpressVPN fastest using the command line terminal. Follow these steps:

  1. Add the ExpressVPN repo keys:

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wget https://www.expressvpn.works/repo/keys/expressvpn-repo-gpg-key.pub
apt-key add expressvpn-repo-gpg-key.pub
  1. Add the ExpressVPN repository:

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echo "deb http://www.expressvpn.works/repo/deb/ stable main" | tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/expressvpn.list
  1. Update repositories and install ExpressVPN:

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apt-get update
apt-get install expressvpn

That’s it! The ExpressVPN app is now installed and ready to connect.

Manual Set Up via Ubuntu Network Manager

For GUI users, ExpressVPN also offers .deb packages for easy install across Debian/Ubuntu systems:

  1. Download the installer .deb file from their site
  2. Double click to run the installer via Ubuntu Software App
  3. Click “Install” in popup dialog
  4. Enter admin password when prompted

This installs and launches the ExpressVPN app.

Verifying the Downloaded Installer Package

Security-conscious users can optionally verify the signature of ExpressVPN installation files before running them on Linux machines:

  1. Grab the ExpressVPN public key from their site
  2. Import the key using GPG command line tool
  3. Use imported key to validate checksum signature on downloaded installer

Verifying cryptographic signatures ensures no tampering or MITM attacks occurred downloading packages over the internet.

Using ExpressVPN on Linux

Once installed and running, the ExpressVPN Linux app operates much like desktop clients – offering a clean interface, server selection, and connect/disconnect features:

Connecting

Simply launch ExpressVPN and click the Power button to connect to the nearest high-speed VPN server. Connected status appears highlighted green.

Selecting Server Locations

Clicking the location dropdown allows browsing countries or cities to manually select an endpoint server location.

Checking Connection Status

The app displays real-time status including the assigned IP address, location, current encryption cipher, and length of session duration.

Additional menu options provide account management, app diagnostics, configuration, and contact options. Using and configuring the Linux client mirrors functionality across other platforms for a seamless experience.

Now all internet traffic is securely routed through the encrypted ExpressVPN tunnel. Traffic is unreadable to outsiders, preventing censorship, spying, and location tracking attempts.

Auto-Update Feature for ExpressVPN on Linux

ExpressVPN recently rolled out automatic app updates for added security and convenience across platforms including Linux.

Availability of auto-updates vastly improves the user experience by:

  • Streamlining critical security patches
  • Maintaining optimal performance
  • Fixing bugs quickly
  • Adding new features automatically

Without auto-updates, fixing vulnerabilities requires more complex, error-prone manual updates. Auto-updates run seamlessly in background for Linux users to focus on privacy – not application maintenance.

However, Linux restricts background execution of processes unlike Windows and Mac. So currently, ExpressVPN releases updates requiring occasional user approval to install.

When an update becomes available, users simply:

  1. Launch ExpressVPN
  2. Review update changelog
  3. Click “Update” to confirm

So manual intervention is still required – but updates require only a single approve-and-install click when notified inside the app. This simplifies keeping current with the latest features and security enhancements.

Challenges Faced by ExpressVPN in Russia

ExpressVPN made headlines in 2022 given massive acceleration in censorship and online repression in Russia following geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe.

In December, Russia moved to outright block and blacklist both ExpressVPN and NordVPN citing vague “threats to the public”. This attempt to wipe out VPN access represents an escalation by Russia’s state internet regulator Roskomnadzor in information control efforts.

As expected, Russian ISPs quickly acted to technically enforce this mass VPN ban – disrupting connectivity and speed for ExpressVPN users located in Russia. Their ability to bypass state censorship has proven a threat to authoritarian narratives and information manipulation.

In response, ExpressVPN maintains they are:

  • Constantly adapting infrastructure and encryption to stay accessible despite expanding blocks
  • Offering Russian users free VPN service for 6 months during conflicts
  • Providing manual configuration workarounds to restore connectivity
  • Launching obfuscated “Stealth” servers to hide VPN traffic signatures

Russia’s VPN ban has impacted performance – but ExpressVPN continues evolving anti-censorship defenses rapidly. They remain defiant in opposing totalitarian internet policies worldwide.

It’s an ongoing cat-and-mouse game as ExpressVPN attempts to preserve digital liberties while Russia expands technical blocks against VPN traffic flows. Ultimately Russian citizens’ access to open internet hangs in the balance.

Conclusion

In closing, ExpressVPN provides a fast, secure, and user-friendly VPN solution for Linux privacy seekers. Configuration is straightforward across all popular distros with intuitive apps for managing encrypted connections. Unique auto-update functionality streamlines staying up-to-date to enhance reliability and fix bugs.

However, ongoing events around intensifying VPN crackdowns in authoritarian states highlights the critical role services like ExpressVPN play in the greater battle for internet freedom happening globally. As censorship expands, providers like ExpressVPN remain committed to evolving technology and infrastructure necessary to protect access and connect citizens to open information despite expanding state-level blocks.

Their ability to stay one step ahead of authoritarian internet policies will define the fate of digital liberties for millions of users worldwide. Linux fans seeking privacy can rely on ExpressVPN’s continued innovation and dedication in these pivotal times.

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