If you’re one of the millions of people who access the internet using a Wi-Fi connection, then your data might be at risk. If you’re not using a VPN, or virtual private network, to protect your information, someone could be spying on your activity or stealing your data, and you won’t know it.
If you’re not yet using the best VPN for Chrome, you’re not alone. Although most of us are aware that internet security is important, the majority don’t understand the ins and outs of how it works.
For example, if you log on to an unsure Wi-Fi network, like a public access option at your local coffee shop, you run the risk of using a service that could have been created by someone with the intention of luring you into sharing your personal information for their own gain.
In fact, security researchers often use the technique of setting up false networks under similar names to popular, free, services like “Panera_WiFi_Real” to see how many devices will connect automatically because users believe that it’s safe.
Now is the time to start using a VPN to protect your personal information. They are a simple software download that gives you a deeper level of security, and also helps you control how you appear and what people can find out about you online.
Whether you’re a PC or Mac user, they are necessary. In this article, we’ll round up the best VPN choices for Chrome and give you the pros and cons of each. We’ll also tell you how they stack up and provide you with insider tips on how to choose the right one for you.
Comparing the Best VPNs for Chrome
All of the following VPN providers offer a Chrome extension. Here are a few of the top comparison points to get you started.
Private Access VPN
Best VPNs for Chrome Reviews
Here we dive deeper into each of the individual services and break down their pros and cons to help you decide which option fits your needs and your budget.
At the top of our list, NordVPN ranks as the best VPN for Chrome thanks to its fast browsing speeds and money-back guarantee.
NordVPN supports nine different platforms and provides a Chrome extension that offers the same features and security as the apps. Users appreciate that it’s reliable both in the U.S. and on global servers and it offers consistent speeds when you browse.
At the moment, you can access Netflix reliably through the extension too. For more information on how VPNs and Netflix interact, check out our section below the reviews.
Like all of our top-ranked VPNs, NordVPN doesn’t log or track your activity.
They accept a variety of payment options, including Bitcoin, which helps protect your anonymity. They also offer you a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is unique to only a handful of these types of products.
The most notable drawback to NordVPN is that despite its robust capabilities, they have limited customer support options. There is no live chat or 24/7 access. If you’re having trouble with the Chrome extension, you can either contact them via email and wait for a response or search through their support library to try to find an answer to your question.
Express VPN is another customer favorite because of its reliable apps and stand-out customer service. Here are the pros and cons that set it apart.
Express VPN offers a suite of user-friendly apps with a Google Chrome extension that doesn’t take up a ton of space on your device. It’s a product that performs at consistently high speeds and offers reliable service to most of the popular streaming sites like YouTube and Netflix.
The global network has 160 servers spread over 94 countries, and the app and extension don’t track any of your activity or keep any logs on what you’re doing online.
Notably, Express VPN also spoofs your geolocation data in Chrome so that it matches the IPN address of the VPN location where you’re logging on. That means that it’s virtually impossible to detect that you’re using VPN software making you completely anonymous online.
The service supports up to three devices on each license and gives you up to 3 months for free if you commit to a contract. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee like our other top choice.
Not only is Express VPN extremely user-friendly, but they also, notably, offer 24/7 customer service via a live chat feature. This means you can get near instant answers to any of your questions or problems with the Chrome extension without having to wait or browse through a library.
The most significant drawback of Express VPN is the price. It’s nearly double most of the other competition, and it doesn’t offer any free trial options. You will get a discount if you commit to a 12-month package, but the pricing is still notably higher than the competition.
Private Internet Access VPN
The Chrome extension on Private Internet Access VPN is one of the most robust available, and its reliability makes it one of our top picks.
Private Internet Access VPN is a robust service that has over 3300 servers spread across 33 countries to give you a private browsing experience. The connections are reliable and fast. Regardless of whether you’re routed in the country or abroad, you’ll experience fast browsing speeds.
The service offers several different affordable subscription options including monthly, yearly, and two-year commitments. They accept numerous forms of payment, including cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin.
You can have up to five devices on the same license, and they will never track any of your user activity.
This budget-friendly option gets the job done, but there are a few drawbacks. In order to get the lowest price, you need to commit to a two-year contract and pay the amount in full, upfront.
They also don’t offer any live support. If you have any issues with the Chrome extension, you’ll need to file a trouble ticket and wait for a response.
One final consideration is that this service isn’t reliably compatible with streaming services like Netflix. We dive deeper into why that’s the case below, but if you’re an avid user, you’ll want to take that into account when considering this option.
IPVanish is a unique VPN for Chrome in that it doesn’t use an extension, but rather operates through a Chromebook app. Here’s what you need to know.
IPVanish has apps for six different platforms, including Chromebook. Their “Zero Logs” policy guarantees that they won’t record any of your activity or connection data while you’re logged in, which is standard with most VPN services.
The speed of their service is slower than our top contenders, but still fast enough that you won’t notice any lag with streaming services like YouTube or while you’re online gaming.
You can host up to five devices on one license, and they offer multiple subscription options to help you find something that fits with your needs and budget.
IPVanish has a 24/7 customer service platform that you can access via email or trouble tickets, and they also give you a 7-day money-back guarantee that lets you try their product risk-free.
There are a few drawbacks to IPVanish. Notably, because they don’t have a plug-in, you need to use Chromebook to browse through Chrome. In addition, they don’t offer any live customer support options, which means there may be a delay in troubleshooting any issues.
They also have fewer global servers than other services provide, and many of their servers don’t work with Netflix. If having a wide variety of servers in multiple countries is important to you, then this might not be the strongest choice.
CyberGhost VPN offers a plethora of features to its supported platforms, but the Chrome extension is limited. Here are some highlights of what you get with your subscription.
They have several different subscription options. CyberGhost VPN accepts all standard forms of payment as well as both Bitcoin and PayPal if you want to remain anonymous.
You can operate up to seven devices per license, and the Chrome extension is a free additional download that comes with your purchase.
They offer superb customer service through their 24/7 live chat feature, and also give you the option to send a request form or browse their FAQ’s section to find answers to your questions.
CyberGhost VPN also gives you a 24-hour free trial to let you experience the software and the Chrome extension before committing to a contract.
This is one of the pricier options on our list, and the Chrome extension only offers a limited number of features. If you install it, you miss out on some of the biggest benefits of the platform, like their 24/7 chat support and killswitch technology.
In addition, you can only access the American version of Netflix and have fewer global servers that some of the other competitors provide.
Although BetterNet has some limitations, it makes our list because it’s completely free and reliable. Let’s dive into some of the features.
There are many free VPNs for Chrome out there, but many of them require you to register and login when you use them. They may also hold your credit card information despite not charging you to use their service. You could also find that you’re served an endless stream of ads that slow down your browsing experience.
BetterNet does none of these things. You don’t need to create an account, they never ask for payment information, and there are no ads in the Chrome extension. They offer a “free” 7-day trial after which they will offer you the opportunity to upgrade to their premium product, but beyond that, there isn’t any advertising as part of the platform.
As a free option, it gets the job done, but the features are limited. You can only use one device per license, and they have a limited number of servers and locations as part of the service.
It’s not compatible with Netflix, and the network is sometimes slow depending on the volume of traffic.
Choosing the Right VPN Service for You
With so many choices, it might seem overwhelming to narrow it down to the one that’s best for you. There are a few important factors that can help you narrow down your search and differentiate between your choices. They are:
If you take all of these factors into account, then you’ll feel confident that you’re choosing a good match for your needs.
It’s also smart to take advantage of the option to do a free trial if it’s available. This will let you test drive some of your top choices without needing to commit financially.
If that isn’t an option, you may still want to start with a short-term subscription to make sure that you’re happy with the speed and capabilities before committing to a long-term contract. Yes, it might be a little pricer to start out month to month, but you can always upgrade once you’re sure you’re satisfied with the VPN.
VPNs and Netflix
One of the trickier aspects of using a VPN is its compatibility with Netflix. If you’re someone who is devoted to the streaming video service, you’ll need to understand how they interact so that you can choose an option that doesn’t block it on your system.
Although the web is a seemingly open market, borders still exist. Many streaming services impose geographic restorations on who can access their content. For example, if you live in the UK, you can watch as much content on a BBC iPlayer as you want. But outside the country, your access is blocked.
If you’re using a VPN service that replaces your IP address with one from a server based in the UK, then you would get access to that content.
Netflix follows a similar process. Even as a paying customer, Netflix works to protect their content deals and is stringent about only allowing the information available in the region from which you’re logging in appear on your system. That means that they will attempt to verify your location to provide the content based on their terms and conditions, and if they can’t, they will block you entirely.
What’s more, they are continually evolving and updating their processes. That means that, even if you’re able to access the streaming service from your device using a VPN today, you may not be able to log on tomorrow.
For some, it’s a dealbreaker. But for others, it’s a price they’re willing to pay to secure private information on the internet. It’s entirely up to you if it’s worth the risk of compromising your security.
If you access the internet via an open Wi-Fi network, then you should protect your information with a VPN. Chrome users have different options than those who use other browsers, but there are still many robust extensions that will enhance your security and guarantee a private browsing experience.
Even the “expensive” plans are affordable, and they are a small price to pay to ensure that your identity and personal information doesn’t end up out in the open where someone could abuse that data.