What Is The Best VPN for
Chromebook in 2018?

Chromebook Logo

VyprVPN is, in my opinion, the best VPN to protect your internet connection when using your Chromebook. The provider’s high-speed connections, Chromebook support and top-rated customer support make it a great way for security-minded users to protect their internet connection on their Chromebook-based computer.

VyprVPN
  • Chrome OS Support
  • 700+ Servers in 65 Countries
  • Fast Connections
  • Great Customer Service

Chromebook users will particularly appreciate VyprVPN’s ability to protect their internet connection when using open Wi-Fi hotspots. In addition, the provider’s server coverage will allow them to access websites and other online content that might not normally be available in the parts of the world they visit.

About Chromebook

A Chromebook is a laptop that runs Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS as its operating system. The device uses the Google Chrome browser to perform laptop-like tasks, including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, web browsing and much more, with most of the applications and data residing in the cloud instead of the device itself. 

Chromebook

Chromebook devices don’t usually include much local storage space, with many devices having storage limited to 16GB of solid state drive (SSD) storage space. While the lightweight laptops are designed to work best with an internet connection, Google applications such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Keep and Google Drive can still be used in offline mode.

The Google-powered laptops have become popular with educational institutions, as they are usually priced much cheaper than Windows or macOS-based laptops, offer low-priced or free apps, and are easy to maintain, reducing training and maintenance costs.

In 2016, Chromebook devices accounted for 58% of the 2.6 million mobile devices purchased for use by schools in the United States. They captured around 64% of the educational market outside the U.S. The devices appear to have grabbed much of its market share from Apple, who saw sales of its MacBook and iPad lineups fall to a 19% share of the market in 2016, down from 52% in 2012.

While most Chromebooks are priced quite reasonably, some Chromebooks can be had for under $150. Google, Samsung, Asus and others also offer high-end Chromebook models, targeting business users who might require more robust hardware specs for their needs. These high-end models can go for $450 and up.

Top 5 VPNs for Chromebook


Provider

Price

Link

1

Vypr VPN

$5.00

per month

2

NordVPN Logo

$6.99

per month

3

HideMyAss VPN

$6.99

per month

4

PrivateInternetAccess Logo

$3.33

per month

5

PureVPN Logo

$4.95

per month

Why Do You Need a VPN for Chromebook?

While the Google Chrome Operating System is considered a reasonably secure OS, it is by no means completely safe from the prying eyes of hackers, ISPs and government agencies.

Chromebook users are susceptible to the same online perils as users of other devices. Perhaps more so, as many activities performed on a Chromebook either require or offer an enhanced experience when connected to the internet. This means these users could be subject to online phishing attempts, man-in-the-middle attacks, online monitoring and more.

Any time you’re talking about an internet connection, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection should be an important part of the discussion. A VPN protects your internet connection from the prying eyes of hackers, ISPs and government agencies by encasing your connection in a layer of encryption, preventing anyone from monitoring your online activities.

Using an encrypted VPN connection keeps your personal information safe, including login credentials, credit card and banking information, online shopping information and much more. Hackers look for easy targets, and your encrypted connection will encourage them to move on down the information highway, in search of lower-hanging fruit.

How Does a VPN Work

Other benefits VPNs provide include the ability to appear to be connected to the internet from another location almost anywhere around the globe. This offers users the ability to access online content and services that might normally be blocked by restrictive governments, content providers or others.

Choosing the Best VPN for Chromebook

Users searching for the right VPN provider to protect their Chromebook internet connection should keep a number of important considerations in mind. I’ll go over each feature, explaining why each is an important consideration for any potential VPN provider.

1

Chromebook Support

While all of the VPN providers I have reviewed offer support for Chromebooks, many of them require users to manually create a protected connection by going onto their Chromebook’s network settings to make changes. Many users purchase Chromebooks for their ease of use. This means that much of the device’s target audience may not be comfortable making these changes.

Luckily, some VPN services supply Chrome browser extensions, allowing VPN protection to be easily installed and used for the browser. Since Chromebook apps run inside the Chrome browser, this makes Chrome browser extensions an easy way to enable VPN protection on a Chromebook.

Since Chromebook and Chrome browser extension support is a binary “yes/no” factor, I’ve listed the VPN providers in the table below in alphabetical order. You’ll see that I have noted if the provider features Chromebook support, and also whether they offer a Chrome browser extension.

Provider

Chromebook Support?*

Chrome Browser Extension?*

Link

CyberGhost
check-circle-o
times-circle-o
ExpressVPN Logo
check-circle-o
check-circle-o
HideMyAss VPN
check-circle-o
times-circle-o
IPVanish
check-circle-o
times-circle-o
NordVPN Logo
check-circle-o
check-circle-o
PrivateInternetAccess Logo
check-circle-o
check-circle-o
PureVPN Logo
check-circle-o
check-circle-o
Tunnelbear VPN Logo
check-circle-o
check-circle-o
VPN Unlimited
check-circle-o
check-circle-o
Vypr VPN
check-circle-o
times-circle-o

 = “Yes” Offers Support, x = “No,” No Support Offered.

2

Global Server Coverage

Since a Chromebook can be used to access almost any type of content, including Netflix and Hulu video content as well as streaming music services, global server coverage can be an important factor.

When researching VPN providers, always check a service’s global server coverage. Consider how many servers the company has in operation, and where those servers are located. If possible, you’ll want to see server coverage similar to that shown below in the Hide My Ass! server map.

VPN Global Server Coverage

3

Connection Speed

Connection speed is always an important factor to consider when researching a VPN provider for any purpose. However, it should be an even more important consideration when deciding on a provider for use with a Chromebook.

Chromebooks rely heavily on a fast internet connection, as most apps and data used by the device are hosted “in the cloud” (i.e., on remote servers). The faster the connection, the better the user experience will be.

The VPN providers listed in the table below are ranked according to the speed of their connections, fastest to slowest. All connection speeds were tested using the Speedtest website.

4

Other Factors to Consider

Price

While there may be fortunate individuals who need not worry about a trivial thing like VPN subscription costs, I’m willing to bet that isn’t the case for most of us.

However, you should never select a VPN provider merely because they offer a low price. A bargain-basement provider may not prove to be much of a bargain. Also, keep in mind what value the provider brings to the table.

When considering price, make sure a low price isn’t due to a provider’s cutting corners in important service categories. Consider their connection speeds, customer support and privacy protections. Do they provide adequate global server coverage? If it looks like the company is cutting corners in these categories, you may want to look elsewhere. 

Note: VPN providers occasionally offer special deals, and such deals can greatly reduce the cost of a subscription. If you’re willing to agree to a longer commitment, you can sometimes reap even larger savings. Visit the website of any provider you’re seriously considering to confirm their current pricing and offers.

Also, month-to-month subscription options are usually available, which can be an attractive option for users on a tight budget, who are unable to afford the larger sum required for an annual subscription. Be warned, such an option will almost always cost more over time. 

*The prices in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)

Customer Support

Although we all hope for a problem-free experience while using our computers and their associated services, it’s a sad fact of life that sometimes things don’t work properly. This can definitely be true of your VPN connection. When things don’t work, you’re going to want to know your VPN provider has your back.

Always look for good, all-around customer service, which will include online chat support, a trouble ticket system and an easy-to-search support knowledge base.

The providers listed below are ranked according to which types of support they offer, how quickly they responded to support inquiries and the accuracy of the information they provided.

Note: Phone support is not provided by any of the VPN providers listed below.

Privacy

Any VPN provider worth your consideration should offer comprehensive privacy protection to their customers.

By privacy, I don’t mean an encrypted connection to protect your data - that’s supplied by any VPN provider. I mean how well the company protects information related to your online activities and the subscription payment methods the service accepts.

Always keep the following in mind when researching a provider’s privacy protections: does the provider base their operations in a privacy-minded country? Do they keep usage logs? What type of information do they save in their logs? (Ideally, they won’t keep ANY logs.) Do they accept privacy-friendly payment methods, such as Bitcoin or merchant gift cards?

The VPN providers in the table below are ranked according to the privacy protections offered, best protection, down to the worst.

The Best VPNs for Use With Chromebook

#1 - VyprVPN

VyprVPN Site

PROS

  • check
    Great Connection Speeds
  • check
    Second-Lowest-Priced Provider in the Top 5
  • check
    Good Global Server Coverage

CONS

  • No Chrome Browser Extension
  • Needs to Improve Privacy Protection

1

Chromebook Support

VyprVPN provides instructions for setting up their service on a Chromebook but does not feature a Chrome browser extension. Luckily, the setup instructions are easy to follow and only require 6 steps on the part of the user. Most users should be able to follow along easilys to get their Chromebook online with VyprVPN.

2

Global Server Coverage

While this provider’s global server coverage doesn’t rank quite as high as other providers on my top 5 list, they still provide acceptable global coverage. Offering over 700 servers located in 65 countries, VyprVPN has strategically located the servers where they’ll do the best job of providing access to usually-blocked content.

3

Connection Speed

Due to the Chromebook’s reliance on internet storage, a fast connection is a welcome sight for users of the lightweight notebook. VyprVPN’s high-speed connections come within 5% of my unfettered ISP connection speeds, meaning your online experience with your Chromebook should be more than satisfactory.

4

Price

VyprVPN’s $5.00-per-month (payable as $60.00 per year) fee makes the service the second most reasonably priced provider in my top 5 list. $5.00 per month is a small price to pay for the high level of service supplied by the provider.

VyprVPN offers a 3-day money-back guarantee.

5

Customer Support

VyprVPN offers industry-standard customer support. The provider features live support chat, a trouble ticket submission form and an easy-to-use support library.

The company’s support staff provided prompt, courteous and knowledgeable service for every issue I asked about. The online support library provided comprehensive information about using the service.

6

Privacy

While VyprVPN performs well in almost every category, they come up a bit short when it comes to protecting the privacy of their users. Despite their base of operations being located in privacy-friendly Switzerland, the provider still feels the need to retain some logs related to a customer’s online sessions.

The information is retained for up to 30 days, and includes the user's actual IP address, the VyprVPN IP address applied to the user’s connection, connection start and stop times, and the total number of bytes used. Happily, they do not keep any logs related to what sites were visited, or any other activities the user engaged in while online.

Another strike against VyprVPN privacy-wise is the service’s lack of any privacy-friendly payment option, such as Bitcoin. 

7

Verdict

VyprVPN grabbed the top spot on this list, thanks to its speedy connections, excellent customer support and reasonable pricing. While the service could do better when it comes to customer privacy, VyprVPN offers enough excellence in the other categories I considered to squeak its way into the #1 spot on the list.


#2 - NordVPN

NordVPN Site Features

PROS

  • check
    Chrome Browser Extension
  • check
    Great Customer Service
  • check
    Excellent Privacy Protection

CONS

  • Priced Higher Than Faster Providers in the Top 5

1

Chromebook Support

NordVPN boasts total VPN support for the Chromebook, providing instructions on how to manually configure your device for use with their VPN, plus offering a Chrome browser extension that does a great job of protecting your Chromebook.

2

Global Server Coverage

NordVPN has set up 1,079 servers that are spread around nicely in 61 countries. While that may not be the best global server coverage in the industry, it still provides an excellent chance that you’ll be able to access blocked content, no matter where it might be located.

3

Connection Speed

NordVPN’s protected connections provide speeds that come within 10% of my usual, unprotected ISP-supplied connections. That means you shouldn’t experience any long waits for apps to load or files to be saved to the cloud.

4

Price

NordVPN’s $5.75-per-month (payable annually at $69.00) subscription rate puts the provider smack dab in the middle of the price rankings in the top 5 list. The service provided by NordVPN makes the price a great value.

NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

5

Customer Support

NordVPN is second to no one when it comes to customer support. The service provides online support chat, a trouble ticket submission form and a searchable knowledge base.

I received prompt and knowledgeable replies to my inquiries via both live chat and the trouble ticket submission form. I also found the knowledge base easy to search, and it proved to be an excellent resource for when I felt like digging for an answer on my own. 

6

Privacy

The provider is based in the privacy-friendly country of Panama, which means they are not required to keep activity logs, and the company takes full advantage of that perk, following a strict “no logs” policy.

NordVPN also keeps your privacy in mind when it comes to subscription payment options, as they accept the anonymous Bitcoin cryptocurrency as payment.

7

Verdict

NordVPN is a solid option to provide VPN services for your Chromebook. They offer comprehensive Chromebook support, with both manual configuration and Chrome browser extension options. The company provides passable connection speeds, excellent customer support and total privacy protection.


#3 - Hide My Ass!

HideMyAss! VPN

PROS

  • check
    Chromebook-Compatible
  • check
    Fastest Connections in the Top 5
  • check
    Excellent Customer Service
  • check
    Top Global Server Coverage in the Top 5

CONS

  • Highest-Priced Option in the Top 5 List
  • No Chrome Browser Extension

1

Chromebook Support

While Hide My Ass! (HMA!) does not feature a Chrome browser extension, they do offer easy-to-follow instructions for setting up either an L2TP or OpenVPN-based VPN connection on your Chromebook. Setup consists of 5 steps, and most users should be able to handle setting up the VPN if they follow the instructions closely.

2

Global Server Coverage

HMA! has 830+ VPN servers located in over 210 countries, all ready to protect your Chromebook and unlock blocked content. The provider’s global server coverage almost guarantees you’ll be able to access content anywhere in the free world. (EPA estimates. Your mileage may vary.)

3

Connection Speed

This provider consistently delivers 95% or better of my usual, unprotected ISP connection speeds. Chromebook users should experience excellent responsiveness when loading apps and data to and from the cloud, with little lag.

4

Price

Hide My Ass!’s $6.56 monthly subscription fees (payable as an annual $78.66 hit on your credit card) are the highest in the top 5. However, customers get a premium level of service for that premium price.

A 30-day money-back guarantee ensures you have plenty of time to decide if HMA! is the provider for you.

5

Customer Support

Hide My Ass! customer support is tops among the VPN providers on my top 5 list. Both online chat support and trouble ticket submission form inquiries offered speedy and knowledgeable replies. Their comprehensive online support library was always available when I was in a do-it-myself mood.

6

Privacy

Sadly, the U.K.-based provider’s privacy protections are fairly close to nil. HMA! holds onto customer activity logs for 2 to 3 months, and it’s known that the company has shared those logs in the past when pressed to do so. Additionally, the provider does not offer any anonymous payment options.

7

Verdict

Hide My Ass! provides excellent global server coverage, good Chromebook support, top-notch connection speeds and great customer service. The provider’s high prices and sad privacy protection kept it from ranking higher on my top 5 list.


#4 - Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access Site

PROS

  • check
    Second-Cheapest VPN in the Top 5 List
  • check
    Surprisingly Fast Connection Speeds
  • check
    Chrome Browser Extension

CONS

  • Worst Global Server Coverage in the Top 5
  • Customer Service Could Use Improvement

1

Chromebook Support

Private Internet Access (PIA) provides comprehensive Chromebook support, offering both step-by-step instructions for manually setting up their VPN service on your device, as well as providing an easy-to-use Chrome browser extension.

2

Global Server Coverage

Private Internet Access has 3,250 VPN servers ready to...well, serve you. While that’s an impressive-sounding number, unfortunately, they haven’t spread them in a wide swath.

The provider has concentrated all of its servers in just 25 countries. Before you opt for PIA to protect your connection, you might want to check their global server coverage first.

3

Connection Speed

PIA provides connection speeds that are, surprisingly, in the top third of all of the VPN providers I’ve reviewed - they come within 6% of my unfettered ISP speeds! This is a bit unexpected, as those speeds are coming from a budget-priced provider. (More about that in the next section.)

4

Price

Private Internet Access is the second-lowest-priced VPN provider on my top 5 list. With a monthly subscription rate of $3.33 per month (payable at $39.95 per year), you’d be hard-pressed to find another provider that offers the level of service Private Internet Access does for the same price.

PIA’s 7-day money-back guarantee should give you a time to decide if this low-priced provider is the one for you.