There was once a time went Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was the ruling champion of the browser world. However, since its release in 2008, Google Chrome has been fast closing the gap. As of 2016, it was unanimously agreed that Google’s browser is officially the most popular.
Many reasons have been suggested for this shift in allegiance. The undeniable truth is that Chrome is quicker, sleeker and more intuitive than its competitors. This user-friendly experience was tailored specifically to match with customer needs. Instead of starting with software development, Google invested time into understanding what web-surfers want – and the best way to give it to them. Today, the browser boasts over 1 billion users.
However, this level of customer understanding comes with a price. Google has repeatedly been accused of invading privacy. By installing the browser, you open up the window for their indefinite access to your data.
Google Knows What You Are Doing
Google has long been a pioneer of ad-funded online business. Their efforts to continually tailor user experience has one worrying caveat – they track and store all of your data. If you’re using the Chrome browser, then information is automatically saved and sent to headquarters.
Details recorded by Chrome include:
- Searches (including voice searches)
- Auto-fill search suggestions
- Synced Data – e,g. Docs, Gmail, Maps, etc.
- Usage Statistics
Many workarounds have been suggested for each of these privacy breaches. Unfortunately, applying them all is time-consuming and inefficient. Even if you implicate them successfully, regular reviews are necessary to ensure the blocks or in place – and that Google hasn’t updated their tracking methods.
If you want to use a Chrome browser, there’s no foolproof way to keep your data private from the Google overlords. However, it is possible to scramble your web traffic and browse anonymously, with one additional download.
You Need a VPN for Chrome
Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) has numerous benefits. Not only can it protect from snooping, but it also grants access to media all over the world. The software works by diverting your internet traffic via an alternate server before it hits the web. This process assigns a new IP address. These numerical codes are allocated by servers and used to track your identity and location. By falsifying your address, you restore your privacy.
Using a VPN client with Chrome will prevent Google from knowing who you are. Even if it does record searches and web traffic, it can’t associate them with you as a user.
VPNs also use a high-level of encryption, which scrambles data in the initial connection so, by the time it hits the web, it’s impossible to read. Using this feature on a Chrome browser helps to hide your data from prying eyes.
Warning: If you are logged into your Google accounts on your Chrome browser, no amount of encryption will anonymize your activity. Always log out when not actively in use.
How We Selected the Best VPNs for Chrome
To determine the best VPN for Chrome, we took the most popular industry providers and set them a series of rigorous tests. By inspecting every critical element and giving them a score, we were able to aggregate the results to find the overall leader.
The first examinations looked at the core service – specifically how well the VPN functioned when re-routing traffic. To establish the front-runners, we looked at:
- Unlimited bandwidth services that showed a minimal slowing of the system, to guarantee a streamlined experience.
- Downtime puts your sensitive data in the public eye. We looked for providers who didn’t suffer connection drops.
- Ease-of-Use A straightforward and intuitive VPN client is essential.
However, as cyberspace continually develops, it’s no longer enough to excel in the above areas. VPN providers must be able to stay up-to-date and relevant. To confirm this aspect, we also looked for:
- Additional Security. Many VPNs offer extra features to further your online safety.
- For the tech experts, highly customizable services guarantee bespoke protection.
- Data-Logging Policy. Hiding your data online while your VPN provider records it in their HQ is nonsensical. Companies based in countries with no data retention laws are infinitely preferential.
- Customer Service. As all software is liable to a fault, having fast and responsive customer support is essential to provide quick patches and solutions.
By exploring all of these elements, we were able to conclude which VPN providers boast a top-quality service and real value for money.
#1 ExpressVPN – Our Top Pick For Chrome Browser
ExpressVPN scored as the best VPN for chrome. It was unmatched in all the essential elements, proving the fastest and most reliable option on the market. The company has had years of experience fine-tuning their product, and the ease-of-use is noted as soon as the client opens.
Additional features: A few additional security features, such as the kill switch and auto-connect, help ensure guaranteed protection. They also offer instant chat support that responds in minutes. ExpressVPN provides a convenient browser extension, but this should only be used for bypassing geoblocks.
- 99% Uptime Guarantee
- Responsive Customer Support
- Chrome Browser Extension
- $12.95 per month
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Save 49% with an annual subscription – plus, enjoy three free months and an extended money-back period of 45 days.
For more information on ExpressVPN features, read our extensive ExpressVPN review.
#2 NordVPN – Optimal Speed and Security Mix
NordVPN is another great VPN client for Chrome. They scored well in both speed and reliability. However, their additional features are what sets them apart. With security at the forefront, they offer optimized servers for specific activities – such as streaming or torrenting.
Additional features: The Double VPN option routes your traffic via two servers to protect from connection drops, and the client also offers a kill switch and auto-connect. NordVPN is based in Panama, so boast a true zero-logging policy.
- Double VPN
- Dedicated Servers
- Strict Zero-Logging Policy
- $11.95 per month
- Save 52% with an annual subscription
- 30-day money-back guarantee
For more information on NordVPN features, read our extensive NordVPN review.
#3 HotSpot Shield – US Based Service
HotSpot Shield falls middle of the pack when it comes to the top Google Chrome VPN client choices. Their network size is smaller than others, but they still promise consistently high speeds. While there is some issue with data logs, their excess security is impressive.
Additional features: They offer protection for malware, ad-blocks, and IPv6/WebRTC leaks. If you enjoy the service, their one-off lifetime payment of $119.99 is an affordable choice.
- Malware & Ad-blocking Protection
- Affordable Lifetime Payment Option
- IPv6 / WebRTC Leak Protection
- $12.99 per month
- $5.99 with an annual subscription
- 45-day money-back guarantee
For more information on HotSpot Shield features, read our extensive HotSpot Shield review.
#4 VyprVPN – Value for Money
VyprVPN is a good alternate VPN for Google Chrome. They promise a vast server network, all of which are owned by the company – so no third-parties handle your data. While their speeds are generally consistent, you might have to switch servers a few times to find optimum capacity.
Additional Features:If you upgrade to the premium version, you enjoy access to their chameleon technology. This feature disguises VPN traffic as other encrypted data, to avoid VPN bans put in place by governments and multi-national organizations, such as Netflix.
- Proprietary servers
- Chameleon Protocol
- $5.00 per month
- $6.67pm for Premium package
- 3-day free trial
For more information on VyprVPN features, read our extensive VyprVPN review.
#5 Windscribe – The Best Free VPN
Windscribe is a good backup choice if you’re looking for a browser VPN for Chrome. Its far from the fastest VPN available, but offers a reliable connection to keep your data safe. With a paid subscription you are granted unlimited bandwidth, and P2P file-sharing is supported. If you’re on a budget, Windscribe offers a free client.
Please note: The paid counterpart supports unlimited device connections, so you can split the bill with friends or family!
If you choose to upgrade, this is the pricing:
One Month: $9.00
12 months: $4.08
Return Policy:“In case you are not satisfied with the commercial Service, once you have subscribed you have the right to obtain a full reimbursement, given that your request is sent within 3 commercial days from the subscription payment.”
For more information on Windscribe features, read our extensive Windscribe review.
How to Set Up a Chrome VPN
Even if you’re a technophobe, it’s easy to setup a VPN on Chrome. Follow these instructions for a quick and straightforward installation.
- Select the best Chrome VPN for your needs from our reviews.
- Click the link and visit the website of your chosen VPN provider.
- Set-up an account and select the price plan to which you wish to subscribe.
- Follow the website instructions to download and install your VPN.
- Log-in to the software using your account details.
- Configure the VPN as needed, or select the auto-configuration option.
- Choose your server.
- Hit connect!
If you have any problems during to set-up, then contact the customer support team of your chosen provider.
Is it Okay to Use a Free Chrome VPN?
Instead of opting for a paid plan, you may be wondering whether it’s better to download a free VPN for Chrome. While the price tag may be alluring, these no-cost options have several drawbacks. Without ongoing investment, free VPNs only offer minimal features. No additional security is implicated, and the customer support is often limited.
Using a no-charge service also jeopardizes your privacy. Slow speeds are ongoing and the connection often drops in-and-out – leaving your data unprotected. If you are streaming geo-blocked content, these cuts in service mean your video will continuously cut off.
Perhaps even more worryingly, free VPN providers have been discovered selling customer details to ad agencies.
In short, it is possible to use a free VPN on Chrome, but they won’t guarantee your privacy.
Can I Use a Chome VPN Extension?
VPN Chrome extension options are great if you want convenient protection, with no download and installation hassle. However, what you gain in ease-of-use is lost in security.
Browser extensions aren’t actually VPNs at all – they’re proxy services. In some ways, they work similarly; both falsify your IP address for anonymous browsing. Unfortunately, this is where the similarity ends. Proxy services don’t use the VPN protocol to encrypt your traffic, leaving it open to surveillance and data mining.
While Google won’t know where your information is coming from, they’ll retain access to a vast profile of your online activity.
Should I Get a VPN for Chromebook?
The Chromebook is Google’s first attempt at computer hardware. It’s unique Chrome operating system is Linux-based and operates almost exclusively online. You access your apps through the Chrome browser and your data is stored in the cloud. While this brilliantly streamlines your experience, it heightens your security risk.
Especially when out-and-about, all of your information is extremely vulnerable. Because of this, it’s even more important to encrypt your data. Any VPN for Google Chrome will work on the Chromebook and will afford you crucial protection.
Get the Best VPN for Chrome
Chrome has soared in popularity thanks to its usability and sleek design. We all know about the threat of Google surveillance, yet far too few take action to stay safe. Plus, as cybercrime continues to rise, playing an active role in your online security is more important than ever.
Using a VPN will protect from numerous threats, including:
- Government Snooping
- Google Data Tracking
- Insecure Public WiFi
- Prosecution When Torrenting
Plus, you enjoy the added benefit of access to TV, movie and music catalogs worldwide.
We recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for Chrome, due to its superior service and trusted reputation within the online community.