Originally, VPN technology was meant to be used through a VPN app, developed and offered for various devices by each provider.
However, you may be one of those who doesn’t need to use a VPN service to protect your entire connection, and you can do what you need to do with only a VPN browser extension.
Browser extensions for Chrome are lightweight but there are some pitfalls when trying to find a reliable one.
- Does the VPN service offer a browser extension?
- Will it protect you from leaks?
- Can you unblock streaming services?
- Will it slow down your browsing?
These are all legitimate questions, but thankfully you don’t need to ask these as we’ve researched for you.
So, today, we will show you precisely the best VPN Chrome extensions and which to choose, plus see what makes them the best.
We’ll also explain later what makes these Chrome VPNs our top choices, how we chose these extensions specifically, and more.
Ready to up the security of your browsing and unlock more content? Keep scrolling down.
Top VPNs for Chrome
The first and without question, the #1 Chrome VPN extension is ExpressVPN.
Naturally, that implies that ExpressVPN does offer a VPN extension for the Google Chrome browser. Of course, other than the extension itself, ExpressVPN offers apps for various other devices that support Chrome, such as smartphones, desktops, laptops, tablets, and more.
One thing to note is that browser extensions are not quite the same as your standard VPNs. However, ExpressVPN’s extension is as it controls their full app.
Usually, they’re more of a proxy extension, but it can still help you hide your location, reach data and content that you were previously unable to access. This includes streaming sites, social media, and alike.
They still come with all the benefits of ExpressVPN, like quality customer support, a 30-day money-back guarantee, access to a vast range of servers, the ability to switch between different IP addresses at will, and more.
ExpressVPN also has a strict no-logs policy that extends to its browser extension, so that you can count on it for data security.
Lastly, since browser extensions only cover the portion of the traffic going in and out of your browser, the ExpressVPN app is beneficial as it covers all of your connection.
Our #1 Recommended VPN for Chrome
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NordVPN is among the best VPNs in the world, and that remains true for its extension, as well.
The service offers a fast internet connection, it helps you reach any service even if it is geo-restricted or censored, like foreign Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, plus more. It is generally one of the best Chrome extensions and VPN services in the industry.
It offers access to over 5,400 servers in nearly 60 countries. It also provides apps for a variety of gadgets, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, and most reviews about the service are highly positive.
Max Eddy of PCMag said, “NordVPN packs top-notch protection and other privacy features into a slick client” (Source).
NordVPN is also safe to use, it protects your IP address, has no data leaks, and it offers a fast VPN connection, which is excellent for streaming.
You can contact its customer service for any issue that you may have. Like ExpressVPN, it doesn’t only support Google Chrome, but also other browsers, as well as plenty of devices that you can use Chrome on, such as Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and many other systems.
Next on our list of the best Chrome VPN extensions is CyberGhost.
This is a Romanian VPN that is often among the top-ranking providers, and it is easy to understand why. It offers unlimited, safe internet access, has excellent speed, no data limit, it can unblock most websites and streaming services, and best of all, it has a money-back guarantee that lasts for 45 days.
CyberGhost is rich with servers and server locations alike. It can unblock Netflix and many other streaming services, it offers live chat support for anyone who might have questions or issues, and reviews have not found any red flags regarding it or its service.
Like the previous entries on our list, CyberGhost also has a VPN for Chrome, meaning VPN Chrome extension, which allows you to unblock geo-restricted and censored online content from your browser without the need to protect your entire device.
As far as server locations go, there are around 90 supported countries, with a total of 6,800 servers at the time of writing.
Plus, CyberGhost allows you to protect up to 7 devices simultaneously with a single license, as opposed to NordVPN which protects 6, or ExpressVPN that protects only 5 of them.
Then, there is IPVanish, another popular Chrome VPN, meaning that it does have a Chrome extension that you can use to access the internet from your browser directly.
Unlike others, IPVanish doesn’t seem to support other browsers, but it still has a large variety of great features, such as a kill switch, many server locations (over 75 of them), and plenty of servers, around 1,600.
It also provides 40,000 IP addresses for users to switch between, covering all of the most popular locations around the world.
It deserves to be on the list of the best VPNs for Chrome due to a variety of reasons, such as the ability to cover multiple devices simultaneously, fast speed, live chat support, many positive reviews, and more.
Unfortunately, like some VPN extensions out there, it doesn’t encrypt traffic, meaning that encryptions like AES 256-bit encryption are only reserved for the full app.
But still, its extension can hide your IP address, and while your browser traffic won’t have that extra layer of security, it also won’t be traced back to you and your location, which is a decent way to protect your data, even though it does make it more of a proxy extension than a full VPN.
But, that’s the common issue with VPN extensions for Chrome, and it doesn’t make it any less capable as a VPN service.
Another excellent choice of a VPN that offers Chrome extension is Surfshark. This VPN, like ExpressVPN, comes from the British Virgin Islands, an extremely privacy-friendly nation that allows them to claim not to keep any logs, and make true on those claims.
Surfshark is a good Google Chrome VPN extension for a variety of reasons.
For example, it has a massive server network, with 3,200 servers in numerous server locations across 65 countries. It is simple to install from the Chrome Web Store, and it is straightforward to use, with an understandable user interface.
Like other VPNs, it only protects the Google Chrome traffic, but the same can be achieved through its full VPN app, which offers split tunneling, a kill switch, AES 256-bit encryption, and more.
Surfshark is also fast, and it can unblock streaming services like Netflix, so it pays to use its app or VPN Chrome extension if that is what the user wishes.
It has a 30-day money-back guarantee, just in case you change your mind about using it after paying for it, and its biggest strength is the fact that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections.
In other words, you can install it on as many devices as you wish with a single license. This makes it perfect for protecting your entire family with a single VPN.
VyprVPN is a good choice for a Chrome VPN extension as well, as it offers great deals.
At the time of writing, the company has a sale where users can get a special offer that will grant them the use of its service for free for up to 12 months. However, to get it, users have to subscribe for the next 3 years.
Other than that, the VPN offers lightning-fast speed, a 30-day money-back guarantee, unlimited data transfer, and it is excellent for combating censorship or accessing geo-restricted services.
Whether streaming services like Netflix, or social media, news websites, online games, and more.
VyprVPN has over 70 server locations, with more than 700 servers in total. It also offers 300,000 IP addresses, which is great for users who wish to change their location to access different online content.
Like most Chrome VPN extensions, it doesn’t apply encryption to protect user data, which means that the data can still be intercepted. But, thanks to the ability to mask your location, nobody will know that this data belongs to you.
The company is old and reputable, it offers 30 simultaneous connections, it keeps no logs, and it provides plenty of VPN apps, including a Chrome VPN extension which can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store.
But, if users opted to use its full app, they would also get access to additional features, such as the kill switch, DNS leak protection, the ability to protect their entire connection per device, and more.
7. Private Internet Access
Nearing the end of our list, we have Private Internet Access also known as PIA.
PIA is another popular VPN service from the US, which might be an immediate red flag for some users, but the company claims that it doesn’t keep logs, and it has audits to prove it.
Like others, it offers a Chrome VPN extension, meaning that you can simply install it into your Chrome browser on any device and browse the web without revealing your location.
This, of course, allows bypassing geo-restrictions and censorship, hiding your IP address and location, protecting your browser data, and more.
Private Internet Access offers very affordable plans, it lets you connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, it is very quick and easy to set up and use, and it has what is probably the largest server network in the VPN industry.
Server locations themselves are relatively average for a top-ranking VPN since it covers around 77 countries.
However, the number of servers is higher than what any other provider has to offer, going up to 35,080, and you can access them all with your PIA Chrome extension. You still cannot encrypt your data, so the Chrome VPN doesn’t act entirely like a VPN, but you can hide your identity and protect yourself that way.
Our last suggestion for a Chrome extension VPN is ProtonVPN.
This VPN comes from Switzerland, and as such, it is subject to some of the most privacy-friendly laws in the world, which means that you can be confident that the privacy part of the deal is completely secured and covered.
One big thing to note about ProtonVPN is that it offers a free plan for anyone, in addition to the premium one.
The reason for this is that it believes that everyone has the right to privacy, and not everyone has the privilege to pay for it. Of course, the free plan only ensures that you get a bare minimum, only around 3 servers to connect to, and it doesn’t work with Netflix.
However, it will help you maintain the privacy of data on the internet.
Now, its Chrome extension is like the others, more of a proxy than a full VPN. But, even so, it can protect your privacy by hiding your location and IP address, as well as other data that can be used against you.
With a premium version, you will be able to reach Netflix with the extension or the full app. You can use it on up to 10 devices and access over 1200 servers in more than 55 countries.
How we selected our choices
We spent a lot of time reviewing various VPNs, their features, advantages over others, as well as disadvantages in order to come up with the list of the best suggestions for Chrome.
Here are some of the top conditions that a VPN had to fulfill to qualify:
1. Chrome Extension
Naturally, having a VPN Chrome extension was the biggest and most important requirement for obvious reasons.
Interestingly enough, we encountered plenty of VPN services that did not have an app in the Chrome Web Store.
But, the biggest and most popular providers did, so we were able to find a nice variety of services that fulfill this most important criteria.
Combined with other great features and products, these VPN providers actually made quite good offerings.
While this is the list of VPN companies that offer Chrome extensions, we don’t expect users to pay for a VPN that they will only ever use on Chrome.
In other words, we looked for companies that offer support for a variety of different platforms and devices as well. Hence, a variety of VPN apps was our second significant requirement when choosing the best companies.
Of course, the apps themselves needed to be user-friendly, they had to offer customer support and be easy to navigate, and the more of them you can use simultaneously, the better.
3. Log policy
Another big thing to look out for when choosing a VPN that we constantly had in mind is the no-logs policy.
The main reason why VPN was even invented is to offer users products that can protect their privacy and information.
In other words, a VPN needs to be able to protect your information from outside sources, websites, hackers, the government, your own ISP, and any other entity that might be seeking information about internet users for its own gain.
With such entities constantly hungry for data, representing a constant threat online, users absolutely needed VPNs that can protect their info and the content they access. So, a VPN extension that doesn’t store that information certainly won’t be able to pass it on.
Lastly, we looked for the jurisdiction of the Chrome extension VPNs, seeking those services that are located in privacy-friendly nations and away from entities like 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.
- Learn more about the what the 5 Eyes Alliance is.
Any member of the alliance might try to get the user data one way or the other, even making up reasons to force the VPNs operating on their territories to start recording some user’s data, despite claiming that it has a no-logs policy.
However, something like that cannot happen if a VPN is in another country, where the alliance has no power and cannot dictate the terms.
So, when you start looking into Chrome VPNs, definitely make sure to use one located in a privacy-friendly nation before you start using your extension for accessing censored or geo-restricted content.
Which is the best free VPN for Chrome?
Of course, having a Chrome extension is great, but having a free Chrome extension would be even better, right?
Well, not necessarily.
Most free VPNs, whether we are talking about free Chrome VPN or just a regular free version of a VPN app, are not that good.
They typically lack advanced features that keep users safe, such as the kill switch, DNS leak protection, and alike. They also mostly only have a few servers, which are very slow, as the VPNs are overcrowded, and all that makes them practically useless.
Even the best free VPNs are no match for their premium counterparts.
Some VPNs offer a free trial, but this free trial tends to be short, and it often doesn’t grant you the whole experience of what the premium app can offer, whether we are talking about speed, features, or some other aspect.
In the end, free VPNs are always best avoided.
Is there a free VPN for Chrome?
Yes, you can find a free Chrome VPN with ease if you only go to Google and type it into the search bar.
But, a free VPN is not reliable, as we just established. More than that, it can be quite dangerous.
A free version of a premium VPN is a much safer option than a standalone free VPN. The reason is that the free version of a premium service is secure, only not very useful in most cases.
A standalone free VPN might be malicious, or it could be storing your data and selling it to the highest bidder, be that advertisers, the government, or maybe even hackers.
A recent study in Australia found that many free VPN apps contained malware or other hidden nasties.
In the end, it is worth remembering that there is no such thing as the best free VPN. The best you can hope to find is a free version of a premium VPN that is not dangerous or a security liability.
Are Chrome VPNs safe?
The answer is yes and no at the same time. As we mentioned several times throughout this guide, the Chrome version of a VPN does not have all the same features as a complete VPN app.
It can still let you become anonymous, but it typically doesn’t encrypt your data, which means that it can still be intercepted and collected, and websites will still be able to track you, only they won’t know who you are.
In terms of speed, Chrome extensions can still be as good as regular VPNs or likely even have better because many don’t use encryption.
So, if you need a VPN for streaming, then Chrome extensions will provide the necessary speed to do it and unblock the websites you wish to access. Just don’t expect them to provide advanced data protection.
For that, you will have to employ a full VPN app.
Does Chrome use VPN?
No, unfortunately, Chrome doesn’t have an integrated VPN. Most other browsers do offer VPNs as part of their software, albeit not great ones.
However, Chrome itself doesn’t have a VPN integrated into its browser, meaning that you will have to go to a third-party service and pay for a subscription.
Or, as mentioned, you can use a free Chrome VPN, only don’t expect it to do much. It will likely bring more harm than good, so our advice is not to do it.
So, to summarize, there are plenty of good VPN services for Chrome, although they are all premium VPNs, and the extensions will not be real VPNs, but rather proxies that can hide your location and identity, but they don’t usually encrypt data.
Free Chrome VPNs exist, as well, but it is best to stay away from them, as they are more likely to collect your data and sell it than protect it in any way, and they are also so slow and limited to the point where they are pretty much useless.
Our recommendation after multiple tests is to use ExpressVPN. However, we’ve rounded up 7 other options if you want to shop around. The final choice is yours to make.
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