Google Chrome is the world’s most popular web browser, boasting over 1 billion users.
While Chrome is considered a secure application, no browser is perfect, and it always pays to take extra care with your security and privacy online.
In this article, we look at the best VPNs for Google Chrome in 2019.
No matter if you have a Chromebook or just use the Google Chrome browser, a VPN that works well with Google Chrome can provide a number of benefits to users, including access to geo-blocked content, secure encryption of data, hiding real IP locations and preventing any recording of online activity.
Best VPNs for Google Chrome
If you don’t want to read the full article and the review of each VPN, here’s a summary of the best VPNs for Google Chrome.
- ExpressVPN: The best-performing VPN for Chrome based on our tests. Simple but fast Chrome extension that allows for 256-bit encryption.
- NordVPN: Good budget choice VPN for Chrome. Lightweight Chrome extension; unblocks Netflix and Amazon Prime.
- Surfshark: Chrome extension, support for unlimited devices. Streams Netflix and allows torrenting.
- CyberGhost: Great value VPN for Chrome, with free browser extension and over 3,500 servers.
- SaferVPN: Chrome extension, simple to set up and use.
In order to rank the best VPNs for Chrome, I used the following criteria:
- Works well with Chrome
- Strong security/encryption
- Unblocks streaming sites like Netflix
- Good range of servers
Here’s our list of the best VPNs for Google Chrome:
ExpressVPN makes it as my top choice VPN for Chrome thanks to its excellent security and privacy, great browser extension and user-friendly apps.
Security features include military-grade encryption and no logs recording online activity. There’s also a kill switch, which disconnects you from the internet should the VPN connection unexpectedly drop. This ensures that your privacy will be kept intact at all times.
Connection speeds with ExpressVPN are stable and fast, and the service is able to unblock and handle streaming from all the major online video sites, including Amazon Prime TV, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Hulu.
ExpressVPN gives users a quality Chrome browser extension, although it only works alongside the full Windows or iOS versions of the app.
For Chromebook users who don’t have Windows and the ability to install the VPN software, ExpressVPN needs to be configured via the Chromebook’s internet settings first.
The extension has the ability to randomize the location reported by Google’s geo-location API and stop websites from acquiring your location.
ExpressVPN has over 3,000 VPN servers in 160 VPN server locations in 94 countries, giving users a huge amount of choice.
There’s no free trial with ExpressVPN, but there is a 30-day “no-hassle” money-back guarantee.
- Excellent Chrome extension
- Very fast speeds
- Military-grade encryption
- Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime
- No logs policy
- Slightly more expensive than other VPNs
BEST FOR CHROME:ExpressVPN is my top selection for Chrome thanks to its fast and secure connections, great content-unblocking ability and excellent Chrome browser extension. Try it risk-free with their 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN offers the best possible 256-bit encryption, which is equivalent to military-grade security.
The Windows and iOS apps do a great job of protecting security and privacy. With a NordVPN subscription, you’ll also get access to a versatile, standalone Chrome extension that’s lightweight and won’t slow things down.
The extension only protects Chrome traffic, but on the plus side, it automatically connects you via your Chrome browser once you’ve signed into a NordVPN account.
For extra security when using the Chrome extension, there’s also the option to permanently disable WebRTC from your browser. WebRTC runs on most browsers and can undermine the privacy that your VPN supplies by leaking your IP address.
There’s also NordVPN’s CyberSec feature, which can block malware and ads.
NordVPN does well with streaming sites and can unblock all the most popular services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime.
With 5,200+ servers in 61 countries across the globe, users have a great deal of choice when selecting server territory and location.
A NordVPN subscription allows for 6 simultaneous device connections.
- Chrome extension
- Unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Strong security
- Excellent server choice
- Extension only protects Chrome traffic
BEST BUDGET VPN:NordVPN is a great budget VPN option for the Chrome browser and Chromebook users. Military-grade encryption, good desktop apps and a standalone Chrome extension make NordVPN a good recommendation.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark is one of the newest VPN providers on my list, but it’s quickly established itself as a quality VPN choice thanks to great security, privacy and streaming capabilities.
The Surfshark VPN offers a Chrome browser extension alongside full VPN apps for a wide range of platforms, including Windows and iOS. The apps are user-friendly and have an easy-to-use interface.
A large number of the Surfshark servers support P2P and torrenting, and users can also unblock Netflix U.S. and U.K., BBC iPlayer and Hulu by choosing a server in the respective country.
The Windows and Mac versions have a kill switch that disconnects your internet connection if you lose the protection of the VPN unexpectedly.
CleanWeb is built into the VPN client and can be turned on in both the app and Chrome browser extension to block ads and trackers, as well as prevent malware infections. There’s also a no-logging policy to keep your privacy secure.
At the time of writing, Surfshark has over 800 servers in 50 countries, which offers a reasonable amount of choice, although other providers on this list offer a greater number of options.
A standout feature of Surfshark is that users can make an unlimited number of simultaneous connections to the VPN from a single plan, and there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try Surfshark without risk.
- Unlimited connections
- Chrome browser extension
- Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu
- Less server choice than other VPNs
EASY TO USE:Surfshark gives users a Chrome extension and apps for all the major platforms, and also unblocks restricted sites, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer. With unlimited connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee, Surfshark is a good option for most use cases.
Read our full review of SurfShark.
CyberGhost offers a free Chrome extension that you can use alongside the full VPN app for greater security and privacy.
The Chrome extension provides a simple plug-and-play setup that takes just a few minutes, and the provider has a no-logs policy to keep your privacy intact.
The extension automatically connects and chooses the fastest available server location to connect to. If you prefer, it also lets you select from a list of over 3,500 servers in more than 55 countries.
When it comes to the full app, CyberGhost does a good job of protecting your privacy with secure 256-bit encryption and DNS leak protection to mask your IP at all times.
Secure torrenting with no bandwidth limit is also supported, and a kill switch keeps you secure by disconnecting you from the internet should your VPN unexpectedly drop.
For users looking to stream geo-blocked content, sites like U.S. Netflix and Amazon Prime are available when you connect to a server in the corresponding country.
- Free-to-use Chrome extension
- Strong security with desktop apps
- Access to U.S. Netflix and Amazon Prime
- Good choice of server locations
- Free extension should be used with full VPN for greater security
GREAT VALUE:CyberGhost offers desktop apps and a free Chrome extension. A large number of servers and top privacy features make it a good choice for Chrome browser and Chromebook users. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
SaferVPN makes my list of top VPNs for Chrome thanks to a dedicated browser extension that is simple to set up and use.
The Chrome extension lets you bypass censorship and access geo-restricted content directly in your browser, and at rapid speeds.
SaferVPN offers a network of 88 servers in 59 countries, and while this is not as many servers as other VPN providers on this list, the number of locations covered does allow for the unblocking of several streaming services.
The Chrome VPN extension uses an HTTPS proxy for encryption of your data, protecting your data from prying eyes. As with all VPN browser extensions, there are limitations to the protection they can provide, so it’s always recommended to use the Chrome browser extension alongside the full VPN app.
The main SaferVPN app provides good security features, with military-grade 256-bit encryption. The app also has a built-in internet kill switch, which turns off your internet access if you lose your VPN connection unexpectedly, ensuring privacy at all times.
DNS leak protection is also available to ensure that your IP address is always hidden, and even your ISP can’t see your online activity when you’re using SaferVPN.
The basic plan allows for up to 5 simultaneous connections to the VPN, and users on all platforms are covered with apps for Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS.
SaferVPN provides 24/7 customer support via live chat, so help is always on hand if you need it.
- Chrome extension
- Fast speeds
- Chrome add-on does not offer full security of desktop app
- Covers fewer countries than many rivals
GOOD FOR CHROME:SaferVPN provides users with a Chrome extension and a full app that’s available for every major platform. The browser extension offers fast speeds, and users can have up to 5 simultaneous connections.
Read our full review of SaferVPN.
Browser Extensions vs. a Full VPN
Typically, browser extensions do not offer anywhere near the same level of protection as a full VPN. Most good VPN providers offer a Chrome browser extension as part of a full VPN range to provide flexibility for users.
Extensions work via encrypted HTTPS or SSL proxies, where traffic is sent through an intermediary server. In simple terms, this means that another computer sits between your web browser and the internet, and websites you visit will not see your real IP location but instead see the proxy server’s location.
The advantages here are that the proxy can help you get past local censorship, unblock geo-restricted websites and protect your privacy by encrypting traffic in your Chrome browser.
A full VPN will encrypt the traffic in your browser and all traffic to and from your computer, phone or tablet, making it much more secure than an extension.
Browsers are also vulnerable to WebRTC leaks, which expose your IP address. Browser extensions don’t protect against WebRTC leaks, unlike a full VPN.
Limitations of Free Extensions
Most free VPN services, including those provided as a browser extension or native app, are severely limited and do not provide the security or privacy that most users require.
Other downsides include bandwidth restrictions and the use of tracking cookies, queues and ads, which can all spoil your browsing experience and undermine your privacy.
A real VPN is installed or configured onto your operating system, such as Windows or Mac, and is well worth paying for thanks to the number of security, privacy and other benefits they can provide.
How to Install VPNs on Chromebook
Many VPNs will work on your Chromebook without the need to configure it manually.
However, for some VPN providers, such as ExpressVPN, that can only work with the full VPN installed. Users can find the server configurations on their chosen VPN provider’s website.
After you sign up for a VPN, you can set up the VPN on your Chromebook with your account details.
It’s a simple step-by-step process.
Step 1: Simply sign into your Chromebook, locate the “internet connection” section and click “Add connection.” Next, click “add OpenVPN / L2TP…”
Step 2: Enter your VPN account information. Click “connect,” and you are now ready to use your VPN.