If you’re a fan of the Google Chrome web browser - who can blame you?
I just love the convenience of always having the best search engine ever right at your fingertips every time you open a new tab. No having to type www.Google.com every time you want to search for some keywords, or for the answers to a question that’s been playing on your mind.
Other browsers try to fob you off by giving you Yahoo results when you enter your search words in the URL bar, and let’s face it, it doesn’t always give you exactly what you’re looking for the way Google does.
Anyhow, although the World Wide Web is littered with millions of different websites to browse and utilize, not all of them are available to access at all locations, which is why you might be interested in getting a VPN extension for your Chrome web browser. Although there could be many other reasons.
For example, what if you wanted to use a torrent site to download some media files, and then it turns out that the file was copyrighted? Without a VPN in place, you could get caught, prosecuted, and face some really high penalties.
The good news is that there are plenty of VPN extensions out there for the Chrome web user. The bad news, however, is that there are so many out there that it can be tricky to pick one.
But, there’s no need to worry, if you’re looking for a VPN extension for Chrome, you’ve certainly come to the right place. We’ve been checking out some of the best VPN extensions for Chrome on the market, and we eventually came up with a shortlist of our top ten favorites, which we’re going to review for you here today.
But, as we have said, choosing one can be tricky, so we’ve also put together a buying guide for you, complete with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.
So, without further ado…
OUR TOP PICK
ExpressVPN is hands down one of the most powerful VPNs available on the market. And as you might imagine, they also offer an amazing VPN extension for Chrome too.
Whereas some VPNs on the markets are just proxies, the ExpressVPN is the real deal, a full VPN extension.
You will have to download the ExpressVPN app for the extension to work, but trust me - it’s worth it. It offers great security and protection not just for what you do on the browser, but over the whole of your device, which means it covers you for seeding torrents too.
ExpressVPN gives you WebRTC blocking, and location spoofing, to keep your browsing perfectly private, and it also offers swift connection speeds. You can use the VPN on up to 5 different devices, and manage it all through just one account.
Express VPN has a whopping 3,000 servers, and they are based across 94 different countries.
But what we love the most about ExpressVPN has to be the way it unblocks all the major streaming sites, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. And that’s despite these sites constantly trying to block VPNs from gaining access.
And that’s not all that impressed us about it - it also features top-notch customer support that’s available 25/7.
It has a Chrome web store rating of an impressive 4.5 stars out of 5, which is pretty good going.
It’s also very reasonably priced, and when this article was written, if you go for the 15-month contract, you get 3 months worth of service for free! But whichever payment plan you decide to go for, you’re covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if it doesn’t live up to your expectations you can claim your money back.
- Location spoofing across 94 countries
- Swift connection speed for streaming etc
- Risk-free 30-day money back guarantee
- Wide international server coverage
- Unblocks Netflix & Amazon Prime
- You need to use an app for the extension to work
Now, this VPN really has a lot going for it. In addition to all its great features, the VPN extension is very easy to use (which is great for Newbies) and is available at an excellent price, very affordable - a bargain if you ask us. Especially if you pay in advance for one year or two years.
And the Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN for Chrome comes jam-packed with features. These include Flash blocking (or disabling), a third-party cookie blocker, hyperlink auditing, WebRTC leak protection, credit card auto-filling and more.
The PIA VPN has a whopping 11,000 servers spread over 74 countries. That may not be quite as much as ExpressVPN, but it’s still pretty good if you ask us. Especially for this prince point.
And not only can PIA block your geographical location from websites, it can also block camera and microphone access, which could appeal to many people. It can also improve your download speeds and give you access to Netflix and Hulu. Although it does tend to struggle with accessing BBC iPlayer.
And there’s no live chat support, which might prove to be a drawback for newbies.
- Bargain affordable price
- Third-party cookie blocker
- Blocks camera & microphone
- Credit card auto-filling
- Access to Netflix & Hulu
- No live chat customer support
If you want to use a VPN on a work laptop, you may not be allowed to download an actual VPN client to the laptop. In which case, what you need to do instead is to use a proxy, such as Windscribe.
Windscribe has over 400 servers, which isn’t quite as impressive as some of the other VPNs which have thousands of servers. But on the plus side, these servers are spread over a whopping 60 different countries. But to take full advantage of such powerful virtual relocation, you would need to subscribe to their premium plan.
It has a Chrome web store rating of an impressive 4.7 stars out of 5, which is really good going. We feel that much of its popularity comes from its free 10 GB monthly subscription option. You just can’t get better value than that! And somehow they manage to pull that off without bombarding you with ads.
In fact one of the features it offers is ad blocking. Along with blocking spyware, social media trackers, and malware. You also get timezone and user agent spoofing, and some really advanced cookie controls that can allow you to delete all cookies as soon as you leave a page. And you get access to Netflix compatible Windflix servers.
The other area where Winscribe really stands out is how you can use it on an unlimited number of devices on your home network.
As a standalone VPN extension for Chrome without a desktop client to oversee it, it’s certainly one of the best in its class.
- Free 10 GB monthly option
- Unlimited number of devices
- Works without desktop client
- Blocks spyware & malware
- Advanced cookie controls
- The user interface is kind of cramped
CyberGhost has long been known as one of the top VPNs on the market, and now they have brought out their VPN extension for Chrome. And it’s one that’ll work without installing a desktop client, which is great if you want to use it on a work laptop. And you can use it on up to 7 devices.
There is a free version of CyberGhost, but it's nowhere near as good as the paid version. The free version only has 8 servers spread over 4 countries, whereas the paid version has a whopping 6,200 servers spread over 90 different countries.
And although the paid version costs money, this is still at a very low subscription fee, especially if you decide to pay annually rather than monthly.
That said, it is possible to stream both Netflix and BBC iPlayer on the free version.
With the paid version on the other hand, you get access to the desktop app which has an excellent streaming and torrenting streaming system. Plus you get secure Flash access, a kill switch, and decent customer support.
For more information on the Cyberghost VPN, why not check out our other article titled “Cyberghost VPN Review: Ultimate Guide” which is available on this link.
- Bargain affordable price
- Access to Netflix & BBC iPlayer
- Works with/without desktop client
- Customer support available
- Works across 7 devices
- No customer support or kill switch on free version
The stand out feature of the Hotspot Shield has to be its speed. The reason for this is that when you fire it up, it will automatically pick the fastest server for you based on your location.
The Hotspot Shield VPN has a whopping 3,200 servers spread over 80 countries. And the encryption you get is phenomenal, coming in at 256-bit.
Admittedly, Hotspot Shield is a little bit pricier than some of the other options available, but it’s way faster than a lot of the other VPNs out there - superfast, in fact. And that might just be enough to persuade you to try it out. It’s just what you need for streaming or downloading.
Speaking of trying it out, the paid version of the VPN is covered by a lengthy 45-day money-back guarantee, so you’ve got nothing to lose by trying the paid version.
For more information on the Hotspot Shield VPN, why not check out our other article titled “Hotspot Shield VPN Review: Ultimate Guide” which is available on this link.
- Superfast connection speed
- Phenomenal 256-bit encryption
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Free version also available
- Simple to us
- Hotspot Shield logs your bandwidth used and connection times
Surfshark is also a really great VPN, and again one that’s available at a very reasonable price point. You can use it on an unlimited number of devices, and you get a great customer support service that’s accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It has a whopping 3,200 servers, spread over 65 different countries.
It comes packed with features too, including industry leading encryption, being able to enjoy 30 different Netflix libraries, prevention of ads, trackers, phishing and malware, a strict no-logs policy, and a kill switch.
For more information on the Surfshark VPN, why not check out our other article titled “Surfshark VPN Review: Ultimate Guide” which is available on this link.
- Very reasonable price point
- Unlimited number of devices
- 24/7 customer support service
- Industry leading encryption
- Enjoy up to 30 Netflix libraries
- Server connection times are sometimes slow
NordVPN is a very speedy and reliable service. They have a whopping 5288 servers in their charge, spread across 59 different countries. And they have a verified no-logs policy. And you get unlimited speed and bandwidth, which is perfect for downloading and streaming.
You can use it on up to 6 different devices at a time, and if you ever need their customer support, that’s no problem, there’s live customer chat support available 24/7.
There’s also a handy page on their website which helps you to decide which server you should use in different scenarios.
But, for us, what stands out about NordVPN is how they’re geared in terms of social responsibility. They aim to see the internet the way it was first envisioned – free from crime, censorship, and surveillance. As such, they support various related non-profit organizations around the world.
You can use it with or without a desktop client, and simply use it as an encrypted proxy on your Chrome browser.
The 1-year and 2-year plans are available at a very reasonable price, but the monthly plan is somewhat pricey.
- Verified no-logs policy
- Unlimited speed and bandwidth
- Use on up to 6 different devices
- 24/7 live customer support available
- Supports various non-profit organizations
- Their Smart DNS tool needs a little work
Best VPN Extension For Chrome Buying Guide
As promised, here’s your buying guide. It lays out some of the key things to think about when choosing which one to get.
Should I get a VPN extension for Chrome?
VPNs are not just for shady dark web shenanigans. Sure, a VPN is primarily designed to keep your online data private, but it can offer more than that besides. Let’s go through some of the main benefits...
Online Shopping Security
One of the main reasons that many people use VPNs is for protecting their bank account details from being seen by third parties when they are shopping online. No one but you needs to see that.
Access to Banned Websites
Using a VPN for your online activities can give you access to websites that are banned in your particular corner of the world. Sometimes these sites are banned for really trivial reasons.
Torrenting of Media Files
By joining a P2P network you can get access to all sorts of media files that you can download to your PC, including movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, and software. But if you get caught torrenting copyrighted material, you could face some hefty penalties, in which case you should cover your tracks with a VPN.
Speeding Up Your Internet Connection
Sometimes when you’re streaming a movie online, the picture can start to freeze and will keep freezing. This is because your internet service provider (ISP) can see how much bandwidth you are using and deliberately slow things down. This is called throttling. But with a VPN in place, your ISP sees nothing, and there will be no throttling of your bandwidth.
What to look for in a VPN extension for Chrome?
How strong is the encryption?
VPNs use encryption in order to keep your online activity hidden from your internet service provider. But the strength of this encryption can vary somewhat between different VPNs, with some VPNs able to offer military grade encryption.
Does the VPN provider collect logs of your online activity?
If you need to keep your online activities under wraps, then you’re not going to want the VPN provider keeping logs. But thankfully, most VPN providers don’t do that, and they only track how much data you use.
Is the VPN provider based in a country where the legal system can access customer records?
When it comes to legal matters, you can legally use a VPN when you go online, and using a VPN in and of itself is not illegal. In many countries however, the legal system is allowed access to customer records for their investigations into any criminal activities. But if your VPN provider does not keep logs of your internet activity then this won’t be a problem.
How does the VPN affect internet speed?
Although using a VPN encrypts your online data, which can slow things down a little, by and large, using a VPN can increase your internet connection speed by preventing your internet service provider from throttling your bandwidth, as we discussed earlier.
So, the more effective the VPN is in this regard, the better, especially if you are downloading or streaming movies and such.
Is it good value for money?
Unfortunately, the best VPNs and VPN extensions for Chrome do tend to cost money. This is usually a subscription fee that’s paid on a monthly or yearly basis. And it’s safe to say that some paid for VPNs are better value for money than others.
So, as you look through our reviews, it may be worth clicking the links to check out the price, and see if there happens to be a deal on the ones that catch your attention.
However, it’s also possible to get free VPN extensions for Chrome, which leads us nicely onto our next section.
Free VS Paid VPN extensions for Chrome
We can certainly see why many people would be tempted to use a free VPN rather than a paid one. However, as you might already imagine, the free versions simply aren’t as good as their paid-for counterparts.
Paid-for VPN extension subscription services offer significantly superior security and privacy, and at the same time also give you a faster connection speed. So they are generally a better option all around. Moreover, some of the paid-for VPN extensions offer other features and benefits besides.
For a more in depth review on paid versus free VPNS, please head over to our other article, titled “Should I Pay For A VPN? (Free Vs Paid)” which is available on this link.
Best VPNn Extension For Chrome - FAQ's
Do VPN extensions work in Chrome?
We are pleased to confirm that all of the VPN extensions that made our shortlist all work in Chrome. They each have their advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to scan through all the pros and cons to decide which one would be the best one for your particular needs.
What is the best all-round VPN extension for Chrome?
We would argue that the best all-round VPN extension for Chrome is ExpressVPN. And we’re not the only ones who think so - it’s the VPN extension that everyone’s raving about across the net. And there are several reasons why it’s so popular…
ExpressVPN is hands down one of the most powerful VPNs available on the market. It gives you WebRTC blocking, and location spoofing, to keep your browsing perfectly private - and it also offers swift connection speeds, too.
You can use the VPN on up to 5 different devices, and manage it all through just one account. It unblocks all the major streaming sites, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and that’s despite these sites constantly trying to block VPNs from gaining access!
What is the best free VPN extension for Chrome?
We would argue that the best free VPN extension for Chrome is SetupVPN…
SetupVPN allows you to unblock almost any website all around the globe, without exception, and SetupVPN constantly works to improve their technology and service. And they don’t push their premium service onto their customers either, which means no annoying pop-ups as you browse the net…
And there are several features included for free:
- Native encryption
- Premium support
- WiFi protection
- Multiple locations
- No bandwidth restrictions
- No configuration required
But as we discussed earlier, we favor paid-for VPNs over free ones.