Choosing the best virtual private network (VPN) is a tough and often an all too confusing process. It’s tough especially because there is no such thing as an absolute “best VPN for Chrome” – there is only the VPN that is right for you considering all the tradeoffs.
Here’s the thing about VPNs for Chrome – a standalone browser-based VPN extension provides very limited functionality.
I tried a bunch of VPNs – including popular Chrome extension VPNs – and they simply were not worth the “free” price. This is because your Internet connection throws off more data than just your Browser connection.
Running a VPN for only Chrome is a bit like putting up a gate with no fence.
You can (and should) run browse the Internet with a VPN…but it should be a VPN that protects your Chrome connection AND the rest of your connection.
Additionally – many standalone Chrome VPNs are “free ” – ie, they make money some other way…like collecting and selling your data.
So – the rest of this page is about finding & using a VPN that has an amazing Chrome VPN app as pat of a whole package.
Based on my experience exploring different VPN providers, there are a few that are a good fit for most people*.
* And by “most people” – I mean people who are looking for a modicum of extra security and versatility due to business, travel, and frequenting of public WiFi areas. I do a lot of work at coffee shops, libraries, and airports. I also like to check in on CBC, the BBC, and remove geolocation from several apps. I’m not doing anything illegal or visiting Silk Road or the Dark Web. I’m not sending super-sensitive highly classified information. I just don’t want rando’s snooping on my Internet traffic when I’m away from my home network.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from companies mentioned on this site, including the ones mentioned in this quiz. My recommendations are based on my experiences as an independent paying customer.
Best VPN Choices for Chrome**
|Name||Best if you want…||Plans!|
|ExpressVPN||…a well-known brand w/ great usability, performance & privacy.||Get Discount.|
|PureVPN||…full-featured, user-friendly w/ excellent pricing.||Get Discount.|
|NordVPN||…fast-growing brand w/ zero logging & user-friendly interface.||Get Discount.|
|AirVPN||…complex VPN offering total control & total privacy focus.||See Plans.|
Other VPN Choices
There are a ton of paid VPNs on the market. Here’s a few other popular VPNs that I have personally used / reviewed.
VyprVPN – A highly usable VPN with excellent performance. Maintains 90-day logs for network performance though – VyprVPN review.
Windscribe VPN – A clean, new & fast-growing VPN. Varying performance – Windscribe VPN review.
IPVanish VPN – A fast, solid VPN that falls down a bit on support & transparency – IPVanish review.
CyberGhost VPN – Good pricing options, usability, security and complementary features. Limited range of server locations w/ limited support – CyberGhost review.
What Does a VPN for Chrome Do?
A VPN will serve to increase your security and anonymity while using an internet connection. Your VPN provider acts like a middleman between you and the Internet. Every Internet request routes from your computer to the VPN before routing to the Internet. If anyone snoops or tracks your connection – all they can see is your VPN connection.
You can use a VPN with many types of devices, including Android, iPhone, Mac, and PCcomputers in addition to any device running Chrome.
A VPN will anonymize you and help to protect you against hackers on public wifi connections as well as any surveillance from internet service providers and governments**.
**Caveat – Note that no VPN is 100% secure. Your traffic is still routing through a company. Any company can go out of business or go rogue. If you are trying to avoid your American ISP – then you are simply replacing distrust of Comcast/Charter with the trust of your VPN. If you are a political activist where trust is a life or death situation, you need to be using something like Tor in addition to your VPN. This highlights this section of paid VPN’s unique features, but the point remains using a VPN does not instantly create security/privacy. That is something you do via aligning company incentives (ie, paying for companies who maintain security) & being proactive about your browsing habits.
Surveillance and the collection of personal data are getting much more common – even at the ISP level. Identity theft is also a big concern.
If you want to protect yourself and your privacy better, a VPN may be just what you need. A VPN can anonymize your connection and even make it seem as you are using your device in a different location.
In addition to the increased security and privacy that you can achieve through using a premium VPN, a VPN service can also allow you to access content that has been blocked in your geographic location.
A premium VPN will typically have a lot of advantages over a free VPN. While this won’t be true of all premium VPNs, you should only consider paying for a VPN if they have most of the qualities and features listed below. All VPNs will have differences, but when paying for a service, there are some things that a good premium VPN should have.
Why Use a VPN For Chrome?
There are a ton of misconceptions about VPNs. They do not provide absolute security online. They do provide additional security for the “last connection” between your computer and your immediate connection (ie, WiFi or Ethernet port). It makes it harder for people or computers to observe your Internet traffic since it will appear that all traffic is going to your VPN.
Using a VPN for Chrome is important not because Google won’t see your data (they will if you haven’t disabled data sharing) but because Chrome is like a “honey pot” for connection observers. See if you are looking for passwords or personal data – it’s hard to filter the signal for all the noise passing over even a small network. Filtering via requests coming via a browser like Chrome makes snooping a bit easier.
What to Look for in a VPN for Chrome
If you want to get a VPN, there are certain features you need to pay attention to when deciding if the VPN is right for you.
While there are some good free VPNs out there, a premium VPN will offer more features and likely be more trustworthy as well.
Whether you choose a premium or a free VPN though, you should be sure to consider each of the points below carefully.
Does the VPN Keep Activity Logs?
You’ll want to be sure to know to what extent the VPN will take logs of your activity. Be especially cautious of free VPNs, as some of them have been known to sell user data and activity to third parties.
There are many reasons that VPNs may keep activity logs. In some countries, they may be required by the government to take records.
Where is the VPN Service Based?
A VPN will be subject to laws in the country where it is officially located. Some countries may be nosy and try to squeeze information out of VPN services.
Some countries will have different laws than others and require that logs be taken while some will allow more freedom for a VPN service.
Be sure to consider the location of the service when choosing a VPN as this can affect the type of service you receive and the security and anonymity that they can truly offer you.
What Regions Does the VPN Have Servers?
If you want to access blocked content, you’ll want to have a VPN for Chrome that has servers in the areas where you want to access content. If you want to access a service that requires you to be in the United States, you’ll need to find a VPN that has a server in the country.
Extra servers can also mean better connection speeds for you. If you have the option to choose a server that is near you geographically, you will often have better speeds than if you were using servers that are located on the other side of the world.
How is the Speed of the VPN?
A VPN for Chrome can slow down your connection down since it requires the use of an additional server. Make sure that the speed is optimized with the VPN that you choose so that you can be sure to have as quick of a connection as possible.
In general, premium VPNs will have faster abilities than free VPNs. Speed is a common drawback of the many free VPNs available.
It’s also a very good idea to do a free trial for a VPN service. This way, you can see if you like the speed that the VPN offers before spending money.
What Protocols Are Used?
Most good VPNs for Chrome will have the ability to use OpenVPN. OpenVPN is an open-source VPN protocol. It is also one of the most secure protocols you can use.
There are other protocols too including PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, and IKEv2. Some VPNs will have their own special protocols they use and may require additional downloads to start using.
PPTP is outdated and insecure, so look for other protocols to use instead. OpenVPN is an excellent choice, but L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, and IKEv2 are also great options that are much more secure.
How is the Customer Support?
In most cases, a premium VPN for Chrome will offer better support than a free alternative.
Look for 24/7 support and a variety of contact methods including phone, email and chat and you will be sure to be satisfied. Be careful of VPNs that seem hard to reach and get in touch with.
Support can be useful if you are new to VPNs. Some services will also have extensive resources such as FAQ’s and guides you can access.
Make sure that the VPN you choose has what you need when it comes to customer service and you’ll be much more likely of being satisfied in the long run.
Is There a Free Trial or Money Back Guarantee Available?
For a premium or paid VPN, a free trial or money back guarantee can be useful and help you to experience the VPN first hand while deciding.
A free trial will give you a chance to test the VPNs speed and make sure that you like the features that are offered. A 7-day free trial is a common length of a free trial offered by VPNs.
A money back guarantee is also offered with some services, and will allow you to get your money back if you aren’t completely satisfied with the service.
Hopefully, you now have a much better idea of how to choose the best VPN for Chrome. The above things are the main features you should look for in Chrome VPNs to make sure you’re satisfied and happy with what you’re getting.
A VPN can be a great solution if you want to increase your privacy and security when using your internet connection with the Chrome Browser and Chrome OS. Our world is changing a lot, and the collection of personal information, security threats, and surveillance seem to be increasing rapidly.