Chrome is one of the most popular web-browsers in existence so it makes sense to use a VPN service with it.
With that said, what VPN should you choose for use with Chrome? and more importantly, which is the Best VPN for Chrome?
In this article we aim to answer all those questions and more. So if you're looking for a Chrome VPN this year, your search is over.
We've tried and tested a whole host of VPN services to find out which works best with Chrome. We'll be concentrating on Chrome-browser extensions which work seamlessly with the Chrome browser without affecting the rest of your internet traffic.
Below we've rounded up the leading 5 VPNs for Chrome and below that some of the features you should be looking out for.
Top VPNs for Chrome
No #1 VPN for Chrome
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ExpressVPN is one of the number 1 VPN providers in the world and recently made our top VPNs for 2020 guide. So it makes sense their Chrome VPN extension is no exception.
The VPN Chrome app is accessible from the corner menu and within just one click it opens and lets you connect. You can choose to connect to more than 140 cities across the world in more than 90 countries.
All it takes is just 1 or 2 clicks without even needing to leave the Chrome browser.
We really liked the fact it blocks WebRTC, has DNS Leak Protection built in and has a Kill Switch should the connection drop.
For simplicity and ease of use within your browser you really can't go wrong. If you find it isn't for you then there's also a 30-day money back guarantee which they do honour, unlike some other providers.
Our #1 Recommended Choice for Chrome
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Best VPN for overall quality
NordVPN is another VPN service that is highly-rated, in fact, they scored one of our highest ever review scores this year.
The Chrome VPN browser extension sits neatly in the corner of your browser and can be activated and deactivated easily. If you want to secure your browser viewing habits or change your online location easily then NordVPN works well.
One aspect we really liked was the CyberSec feature which has been rolled over from the main desktop software and protects you against malware and blocks annoying adverts.
It's like having an additional ad-blocking extension and security suite all rolled into one.
NordVPN offers a huge 30-day money back guarantee so you've got plenty of time to test it with Chrome and they're registered off-shore in Panama for extra security.
Best VPN for speeds
VPN.ac's SecureProxy for Google Chrome is one of the best browser “VPN” services we've seen.
Using the app is simple and connection can be achieved with just a few clicks. While VPN.ac have fewer servers than other providers they do offer more connection locations on their Chrome extension than on their main VPN network.
One of our favourite features is the ability to exclude certain websites from being tunnelled via the browser extension. This means you can allow sites such as your bank or other geo-sensitive sites to use your normal connection while others use the SecureProxy.
This also includes the ability to use wildcards, such as *.co.uk which would exclude all .co.uk sites from using the proxy service.
VPN.ac offers one of the fastest services we've used and they're happy to point out the benefits and limitations of using a Chrome browser extension.
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4. Cyberghost VPN
Best VPN for newcomers
Good selection of servers
If you're new to Chrome VPN extensions then using CyberGhost VPN would be a good place to start.
Their Chrome browser extension is one of the easiest to use. Simply open the app and click the large connection button. Your browser access is now being tunnelled through CyberGhost VPN's servers.
You now have a new IP Address for visiting websites that will disguise your geo-location. The app is completely free to use even if you're not a CyberGhost VPN customer and while it doesn't offer the protection of the full service it is a nice addition.
CyberGhost VPN offers a massive 45-day money back guarantee so if you're unhappy with the service you can simply get a refund. They're located in Romania which has no data-retention laws meaning there is nothing requiring them to retain information about your usage.
Best VPN for price
A lot of added features
Private Internet Access is one of the largest VPN services in the world so it makes sense they have a pretty neat Chrome Extension too.
Like the other providers it's simple to use which allows you to get connected quickly and without fuss.
We really like the fact it has some additional features that not all the extensions do.
You're able to Block WebRTC and Block Flash which are two critical features for maintaining your privacy, especially as your real IP Address can leak because of these issues when using a Chrome VPN extension.
On top of that you can block camera, microphone and location access further protecting your privacy. The extension also lets you use PIA's MACE feature which stops malicious advertising.
How to choose a VPN for Chrome
Choosing a VPN Chrome extension isn't all that hard. Most are lightweight editions of the more extensive desktop software so there is a lot less installation and set-up involved.
Saying that, it's important to consult up to date guides such as this one because Chrome extensions have only recently become popular and more providers are now offering them.
The five above are our favourite and worked well when used with Chrome. It really doesn't matter which one you end up choosing. We recommend ExpressVPN, but the other 4 are just as good.
All you need to do is select one and sign-up.
When is a Chrome VPN not a VPN
It is critical to remember that Chrome VPN extensions are not VPN services at all.
Even though they're often referred to as “VPN” and is the reason we've named this article this way, they don't provide anywhere near the level of protection that a fully-fledged VPN app does.
Chrome “VPN” Extensions are essentially a proxy that pass some of your data through a third-party server. Encryption is used but it is not at the standard of OpenVPN and is one of the reasons why using a Chrome VPN extension may give the impression of being faster.
None of the traffic outside your Chrome web browser will be being passed through this tunnel and as such it is not encrypted or private.
Using a Chrome VPN extension is suitable for certain circumstances such as changing your IP Address to access certain services but it is no replacement for a full VPN service.
If you're looking for the full protection of a VPN service then it's worth checking out our VPN comparison guide.
Chrome VPN security issues
Just as a Chrome VPN browser extension isn't a VPN in the true sense of the word it comes with some additional security issues.
When using interactive sites such as video or games that use Flash or Java it's possible that your real IP Address can leak outside the browser extension. Even though you're connected, your real IP Address can be exposed and this is a serious security threat.
A more serious issue known as a WebRTC leak which affects Windows users also allows your real IP Address to be exposed. Although ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access have options to protect against this, most Chrome VPN extensions don't. You can read more about the risk of WebRTC Leaks here.
Full VPN vs. Chrome extension
Most VPN services require you to subscribe to their main VPN service to make use of their Chrome VPN Extension.
For that reason it makes sense to install the full desktop VPN client which can protect your privacy across your whole internet connection rather than using a Chrome extension that only offers limited protection in a browser.
If you need to make use of a Chrome extension or have a specific purpose for doing so then they are not inherently bad as such.
It is our recommendation though that if you have access to the full desktop client of your VPN service provider then it makes better sense to use it.
Not only do most VPN desktop apps protect your privacy but they are also increasingly including added value features that protect your overall system as a whole.
If you're looking for a VPN service that offers a VPN extension for Chrome then it can be incredibly difficult.
There are so many outdated guides that it can be confusing knowing where to turn but with Chrome enjoying over a 60% share of the browser market it's important to protect yourself.
We've tried and tested a range of Chrome VPN extensions this year to bring you this updated guide. Above are our five recommendations.
ExpressVPN's Chrome Extension is our recommended choice because it contains additional features that many others don't. However, all five are suitable for use with Chrome.
It's worth remembering the limitations of a Google Chrome VPN Extension and if you're looking for greater protection then take a look at our more extensive guide on fully-fledged VPN apps.
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