More and more, VPNs are becoming essential pieces of kit for the modern internet user. Virtual Private Networks encrypt your web traffic and then route it through secure servers dotted all around the world. In this way they can keep all your most private details secret and also give you the ability to mask your geographic location. VPNs keep you safe when surfing the web via public Wi-Fi and can keep you in touch with what is going on at home, even when you’re abroad. VPNs can even help you access restricted parts of the internet when you’re in oppressive countries that censor the web.
You don’t need to install a full VPN program, however, to protect your web usage. You can get decent VPN coverage with a simple browser extension. If you’re using the Google Chrome browser to surf the internet, you can download and install a Chrome VPN that will protect everything you do on your web browser. These are the best VPN extensions for Chrome.
Chrome VPN extensions
NordVPN is based out of Panama and offers users very strong privacy-protecting credentials. Nord doesn’t log user behavior meaning no personal information is kept from the sites you visit when you’re securely surfing the web via a NordVPN server. Furthermore, NordVPN has almost 5,000 VPN server locations all over the world, meaning you can easily mask your IP address to access content that is limited to the US, UK and Ireland, Australia and more with fast speeds. All this comes at a premium, however, with NordVPN having a number of different payment options with the cheapest requiring a three-year subscription paying for upfront.
The Hola VPN extension for Chrome is an effective and free Chrome VPN to help anonymize your internet usage. The Hola VPN service is used primarily to unblock geo-restricted content without having to pay for an option like NordVPN. Being free, however, means that Hola logs some of your data and then sells it to third parties. Also, Hola isn’t as reliable as NordVPN so there is a good chance that that movie you wanted to watch on the US Netflix or that TV show on BBC iPlayer might still be out of reach if you’re using this extension.
ExpressVPN is another premium option like NordVPN. Again though, the premium option offers solid reliability just like the Nord offering does. In fact, ExpressVPN is regularly voted as the best VPN available today, which makes this one of the best VPN extensions available on the Chrome Web Store. The ExpressVPN Chrome extension is built with simplicity in mind too. One click is all that is needed to start browsing the internet safely and securely through one of over 3,000 servers in 160 locations spread across 94 countries around the world.
The Browsec VPN Chrome plugin is also available on Android. It offers free and unlimited secure browsing, which means there won’t be a data cap when using the VPN like there often is on free VPN proxy programs. The extension is easy to use and offers fast browsing speeds. This could be why Browsec has accumulated over 8,000,000 users with almost 25,000 of them leaving positive reviews on the Chrome store. It isn’t the most private VPN, however, with its Russian HQ creating several privacy-related issues should the Russian government decides to request information. Browsec also logs user data too.
CyberGhost is another free VPN Chrome extension that offers free one-click access to its secure servers. It does, however, have a paid version too. Like with the other free VPN extensions on this list, CyberGhost doesn’t offer reliable connections as you’d get with NordVPN or ExpressVPN. It also falls short on privacy matters too. Also, the free version could see you having to queue for servers, which are only available in 15 countries. It does offer fast speeds when you do connect, but you can also expect to see plenty of ads for CyberGhost premium and you’ll disconnect every three hours meaning you’ll have to manually reconnect.
PureVPN will offer you reliable connections via its secure servers, which is why we’ve included it in our list. Another good point attached to PureVPN is that the service comes with Live Chat customer support service that should help you deal with any problems you come up against. If you’re in the least bit bothered about privacy, however, it might not be the best VPN plugin for you. There have been quite a few reported data leaks from the PureVPN servers. Another con to consider is that although PureVPN connections may be reliable, they won’t be as fast as the speeds you’ll find on some of the other extensions in our list.
DotVPN offers unlimited bandwidth through over 1,00 servers located in different countries around the world. It offers robust encryption to protect what you’re doing online from prying eyes and is available across a variety of platforms including Windows and Mac, Firefox, Android, and iOS devices like iPhone and iPad. DotVPN offers limited service for free users, which still has unlimited data usage but unfortunately doesn’t support video or audio streaming. If, for example, you want to access Netflix using DotVPN, you’re going to have to pay for a premium subscription, which costs $4.99 a month or $2.99 a month, if you pay for a full year’s subscription at once.
We’ve walked you through some of the best VPN extensions available for Google Chrome. Some offer free services while others ask for a paid subscription. It obviously depends on what you want to use your VPN for, but in our experience, we recommend the paid VPN extensions like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Whereas free VPNs can work sometimes, they’re not as reliable as the two options we’ve just mentioned and can prove to be quite frustrating. If you add to that the privacy issues that are attached to all the free VPNs we’ve mentioned, we believe the case is there to pay for a strong, reliable, and secure VPN.