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Best VPN for Chrome: Which browser extension performed the best?

Verified by Molly Dyson

In combination with other tools, such as antivirus security and firewalls, a virtual private network (VPN) is a great help when it comes to online privacy, and this is something that many of us are having to consider more often with the rise in cyber security threats. With that being said, choosing to install a VPN directly onto your Chrome browser is one of the most efficient ways to protect your internet traffic and mask your IP address. 

Not all providers have a VPN for Chrome extension and some providers’ extensions are certainly better than others. With VPN for Chrome, not all privacy features that a VPN offers are included. More often than not, there’s no split tunnelling feature, which would allow users to choose which apps are routed through the secure connection or not, for Chrome.

We’ve spent hundreds of hours researching and testing VPNs to establish what’s the best VPN for Chrome.  

Our top three VPNs for Chrome

If you’re looking for basic Chrome browser privacy, it can be difficult to find a VPN with a dedicated extension. Luckily, all three of our top-rated VPNs offer extensions through the Chrome Web Store, meaning you can surf the web in private without downloading a full VPN app.

How we research and rate VPNs for Chrome

Our reviewers are dedicated to bringing you the most accurate and up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision when it comes to buying a VPN with a Google Chrome browser extension. We will only endorse a service after hours of testing, head-to-head feature comparisons, and after taking into account verified customer feedback and reviews and the opinions of industry experts.

Our best VPN for Chrome review scores are determined the following categories:

  • Privacy and performance (30%)
  • Features and functionality (30%)
  • Reputation and credibility (25%)
  • Plans and pricing/value (10%)
  • Customer experience (5%)

We research and test a total of 25 elements within these categories including:

  • Number and location of servers
  • Streaming service accessibility
  • Security features such as AES-256
  • Performance (upload, download, latency)
  • Value for money, guarantees, and customer service
  • Independent server-site security audits

All of our VPN articles are verified by our in-house team of fact-checkers, so you can be assured our content is as accurate and up-to-date as possible. To find out more, read our article on how we review VPNs.

The best VPNs for Chrome compared

There were several factors we took into consideration to find the best VPN for Chrome. 

The service needed to be encrypted by AES-256 (the highest level of encryption used by the military) and have a no-logs policy. As well as this, the no-logs policy should be independently audited. 

VPNs for Chrome should also have ad, malware and Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC, an open source technology) blockers available, all of which add an extra layer of privacy for web browsers. Ideally, the VPN won’t affect download and upload speeds more than an average amount too. 

Lastly, the subscription price is just as important as all of the above. It’s advantageous to have access to a wide range of privacy features, providing it is good value for money.

Price From £2.49/m From £6.77/m From £1.79/m From £1.78/m From £4.27/m
Free version No No No No Yes
Max number of connected devices 6 5 Unlimited 7 10
Number of servers 5500+ 3000+ 3200+ 9000+ 2700+
AES-256 encryption Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Audited no-log policy Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Where to buy

ExpressVPN

  • Free version: No
  • Maximum number of connected devices: 5
  • Number of servers: 3,000+
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • VPN protocols: Lightway, OpenVPN
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: British Virgin Islands
  • Pricing:
  • ExpressVPN 12 month
    £6.77
    /month
    ExpressVPN 6 month
    £8.12
    /month
    ExpressVPN 1 month
    £10.53
    /month

Pros

WebRTC blocking Easy to use Fast connection speeds

Cons

Expensive subscription

ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension protects your web browser as well as your entire device, blocks WebRTC and includes HTTPS – a secure way to send data between a web server and a web browser. It’s a full browser extension, not just a proxy like some of the other providers we’ve reviewed. 

Cost 

ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. The provider’s subscription payments are taken in US dollars.

Subscription Term Price
Monthly £10.53 ($13.36) / month
6 months £8.12 ($10.30) / month (£48.75/$61.84 up front)
12 months £6.77 ($8.59) / month (£81.29/$103.11 up front)

Security 

With ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension, its privacy and security features are just as good as its desktop and mobile VPN apps. The location spoofing feature gives users a different IP address each time they connect to one of the provider’s servers. 

The Chrome extension blocks WebRTC, which prevents websites from discovering your real IP address. 

User experience 

Setting up ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension was very simple and there’s also a section on the provider’s website demonstrating how to do this. Once the extension has been downloaded, you’ll be able to connect to a server straight from your web browser. 

The app’s interface follows the same clean and colourful appearance as ExpressVPN’s mobile and desktop apps. The Chrome extension is currently available in 17 different languages, with more still to be added, according to the company.  

Performance

In our speed tests, ExpressVPN demonstrated satisfactory performance within the UK and distance-based speed degradation across international connections. When connected to a UK server, the service maintained 65 per cent of the base download speeds and 73 per cent of the upload benchmark, which should support most online activities comfortably. 

Transatlantic connections to the US showed a further modest drop in download speeds, accompanied by a significant slowdown in uploads to as low as 6 per cent of the reference upload speed, likely affecting large data transfers. The downward trend continued when connecting to Australia, imposing considerable challenges to online activities. With download and upload speeds reduced to 40 and 14 per cent of the no-VPN figures, combined with high latency, users may experience impeded streaming and browsing. 

The test results suggest that while ExpressVPN performs decently over short distances, its long-distance connections may struggle with high-demand tasks on Chrome.

Download speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)Latency (ping)Percentage of base download speedPercentage of base upload speed
No VPN330.16195.095
UK to UK213.28141.921265%73%
UK to US186.1811.4813556%6%
UK to Aus132.4127.629340%14%
Date of testing: 13/11/2023

Customer service

On the Google Chrome Store, ExpressVPN’s extension receives 4.6 out of five stars from more than 2,500 customer reviews. The Chrome extension is applauded for being easy to use and successfully hiding users’ IP addresses.  

“[I’m] very happy with ExpressVPN. It was recommended by my tech support professional at the office, and I have found it to be easy to use. [I] love how easy it is to turn on and off or select locations. [I] highly recommend [it].”

Verdict 

ExpressVPN is one of the top providers on the market, and its Chrome extension came with similar privacy and security features to its desktop and mobile app. 

Its Chrome extension offers a good level of privacy and security in terms of available features, all of which are user-friendly. Our researchers feel ExpressVPN would suit both beginners and advanced VPN users, the only downside being the higher-than-average subscription price.

Score: ★★★★½

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Today’s best ExpressVPN deals
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.77 /Month
£6.77 /Month
ExpressVPN 6 month £8.12 /Month
£8.12 /Month
ExpressVPN 1 month £10.53 /Month
£10.53 /Month

NordVPN

  • Free version: No
  • Maximum number of connected devices: 6
  • Number of servers: 5,500+ in 60 countries
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • VPN protocols: OpenVPN, and NordLynx (WireGuard protocol)
  • No-log policy: Yes 
  • Audited: Yes, by PwC and Deloitte
  • Headquarters: Panama
  • Pricing:
  • NordVPN 2 year
    £2.49
    /month
    NordVPN 1 year
    £3.59
    /month
    NordVPN 1 month
    £10.39
    /month

Pros

Split tunnelling available for Chrome extension Blocks WebRTC

Cons

Only four server locations available

NordVPN’s Chrome browser extension is a VPN proxy that changes your IP address and keeps your internet traffic safe and secure. Its extension is user-friendly and receives excellent customer reviews. The level of privacy offered is top-notch and it also includes some features that other providers do not.  

Cost 

NordVPN offers three payment tiers – standard, plus and complete – with each offering monthly, 12-month and 24-month options. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on longer subscription terms. 

You’ll be able to take advantage of significant savings if you opt for a longer subscription. NordVPN’s two-year plan lowers the asking price to £2.49 per month. The addition of three extra months for free on both one- and two-year plans is a decent added incentive for anyone who needs a VPN in the long-term.

Subscription Term Standard plan Plus plan Complete plan
Monthly £10.39 ($13.26) / month £11.19 ($14.28) / month £13.09 ($16.71) / month
12 months (+3 months free) £3.59 ($4.58) / month (£53.85/$68.74 up front for 15 months) £4.39 ($5.60) / month (£65.85/$84.06 up front for 15 months) £6.39 ($8.16) / month (£95.85/$122.36 up front for 15 months)
24 months (+3 months free) £2.49 ($3.18) / month (£67.23/$85.82 up front for 27 months) £3.19 ($4.07) / month (£86.13/$109.95 up front for 27 months) £5.19 ($6.63) / month (£140.13/$178.89 up front for 27 months)

Security 

NordVPN’s Chrome extension comes with a good level of privacy and includes similar features to its mobile and desktop apps. The extension works in the same way, hiding your IP address while you’re browsing and encrypting all of your internet traffic. 

Its Chrome extension’s Threat Protection Lite feature blocks ads and prevents you from accessing malware-hosting sites. Unlike other VPN providers, NordVPN’s Chrome extension has its own split tunnelling feature – allowing you to disable the VPN for selected websites. 

User experience 

Setting up NordVPN’s Chrome extension was unproblematic and our researchers liked the layout of the user interface. 

Changing your server location can be actioned from the extension’s interface, however there are only four locations to choose from – the UK, the US, Germany and Canada. Considering the provider has a network of more than 5,500 servers across the world, it’s disappointing to see such a limited selection available on the Chrome extension. NordVPN offers various privacy features in its extension, including split tunnelling, WebRTC leak protection and Threat Protection Lite. 

Performance

NordVPN’s test results showcase an impressive consistency in download speeds, particularly within the UK, but reveal a notable decline in upload performance, which is especially noticeable on international connections. Connecting to a UK server saw exceptional download speeds, slightly exceeding the baseline, although the upload speeds were halved, which could potentially impact high-demand upload activities. 

Switching to a US server, we registered a strong download speed, retaining 89 per cent of the baseline. However, upload speeds decreased dramatically to 15 per cent of the no-VPN level, indicating some limitations for intensive upload activities. The Australian connection showed a remarkable retention of 72 per cent of the base download speed, ensuring smooth streaming and browsing. The considerable slowdown in uploads and the increase in latency may affect real-time communications. 

Therefore, NordVPN is an ideal option, delivering fast, secure, and reliable performance nationwide and internationally, thus catering to the needs of most users.

Download speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)Latency (ping)Percentage of base download speedPercentage of base upload speed
No VPN453.38355.436
UK to UK455.72127.8833101%50%
UK to US403.2637.0411989%15%
UK to Aus32434.7123572%14%
Date of testing: 13/11/2023

Customer service

NordVPN’s browser extension received 4.1 out of five stars from over 5,000 customer reviews on the Chrome Web Store. In general, customers are pleased with its speedy performance and stable VPN connection. 

“So in the past, I have purchased many VPNs. Most of them start out great and end with cancelling my subscription. They get slow, they lag in performance, and most of all there are no open connections available. To say the least, [that is not the case] with Nord! It worked flawlessly with the application and only a few times have I lost connection using the extension! Overall, I give it a five-star review and think it’s worth every penny.”

Verdict 

NordVPN’s Chrome extension receives excellent customer reviews and its extension was easy to use and non-intrusive on our researcher’s web browser. 

The privacy features offered are better than some other providers, and when our researchers tested them, they all worked as expected. However, we believe the limited number of servers available through the extension is a downside worth considering if you’re looking for a VPN with lots of locations.   

Score: ★★★★½

Read our full NordVPN review.

Today’s best NordVPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
NordVPN 1 year £3.59 /Month
£3.59 /Month
NordVPN 1 month £10.39 /Month
£10.39 /Month

Proton VPN

  • Free version: Yes
  • Maximum number of connected devices: 10
  • Number of servers: 2,700+
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • VPN protocols: IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: Switzerland
  • Pricing:
  • Proton VPN 2 years
    £4.27
    /month
    Proton VPN 12 months
    £5.13
    /month
    Proton VPN 1 month
    £8.55
    /month

Pros

WebRTC blocker Split tunnelling for Chrome extension

Cons

No ad or malware blocker

Proton VPN offers both a free VPN and a paid subscription, but for the Chrome extension, you’ll need a paid subscription. The browser extension has lots of privacy features and it offers Secure Core servers as well as its regular servers, allowing for an added layer of security. 

Cost 

Proton VPN offers monthly, 12-month and 24-month subscription options. It also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Subscription Term Price
Monthly €9.99 (£8.55) / month
12 months €5.99 (£5.13) / month (€71.88/£61.51 up front)
24 months €4.99 (£4.27) / month (€119.76/£102.48 up front)

Security 

Proton VPN’s Chrome extension offers a long list of privacy features. Its split tunnelling feature allows users to disable the VPN on specific websites, while the WebRTC leak protection feature conceals your real IP address. 

User experience 

Proton VPN’s Chrome extension comes with the option to auto-connect each time you open your web browser. It follows Proton VPN’s signature black-and-purple colour scheme, with a sleek, user-friendly design. 

Changing your server location is simple, and there’s also an option to connect to one of Proton VPN’s Secure Core servers, which adds an extra layer of security. 

Performance

As our tests indicated, Proton VPN performed exceptionally on local connections, maintaining speeds that rival an unprotected connection, though it exhibited a notable decline in performance over long distances. When connecting within the UK, both download and upload speeds were robust, retaining most of the no-VPN benchmark. 

The UK-to-US connection still maintained an outstanding percentage of the download speed baseline and an acceptable 18 per cent of the uploads, catering to most online activities. However, the service showed a substantial drop when connecting to Australia, with download speeds plummeting to only 4 per cent of the baseline. Upload speeds followed a similar trend, retaining 10 per cent of the reference level. Overall, while Proton VPN impresses nationwide, its long-distance performance could be a concern for users looking for global reach without compromising the speed.

Download speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)Latency (ping)Percentage of base download speedPercentage of base upload speed
No VPN366.21205.694
UK to UK362.25190.91599%93%
UK to US330.6137.2212990%18%
UK to Aus15.5220.492394%10%
Date of testing: 13/11/2023

Customer service

Proton VPN receives 2.4 out of five stars on the Chrome Store, where there were just 64 customer reviews available. It should be noted that almost all negative reviews mention the extension is not available to free subscription users despite the service’s description clearly stating it requires a paid subscription to use it. 

“I originally gave this three stars, but since the 1.0 release, I would say this has become completely unusable. I cannot get websites to load at all when connected, [and] I get spammed with a pop-up to log in that doesn’t work when I enter my credentials. On every level, this extension is a failure. I know it will get better, but at present this is not worth your time and effort to use. [I] still love Proton, but this extension is highly disappointing.”

Verdict 

Proton VPN’s Chrome extension offers a decent number of privacy features, and our researchers found it easy to use. As well as this, the provider is based in Switzerland, which is a data-secure country, and has a no-logs policy that has been independently audited. 

Its Chrome extension, despite the bad reviews, works well, offers great privacy features and the provider doesn’t store user data.   

Score: ★★★★½

Read our full Proton VPN review.

Today’s best Proton VPN deals
Proton 2 year £4.27 /Month
£4.27 /Month
Proton 1 year £5.13 /Month
£5.13 /Month
Proton 1 month £8.55 /Month
£8.55 /Month

Surfshark

  • Free version: No
  • Maximum number of connected devices: Unlimited
  • Number of servers: 3,200+
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • VPN protocols: WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: Netherlands
  • Pricing:
  • Surfshark 24 month
    £1.79
    /month
    Surfshark 12 month
    £2.29
    /month
    Surfshark 1 month
    £10.29
    /month

Pros

Unlimited devices per subscription Split tunnelling for Chrome feature Ad, malware and WebRTC blockers

Cons

Larger, more intrusive interface than other providers

Surfshark is one of the best cheap VPNs available, and its Chrome extension did not disappoint. Users can connect an unlimited number of devices and choose to access one of its 3,200 servers. As well as this, its dedicated Chrome proxy offers a long list of privacy features.  

Cost

Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and monthly, 12-month and 24-month subscriptions.

Subscription Term Price
Monthly £12.23 ($15.45) / month
12 months £2.29 ($2.90) / month (£32.06/$40.66 up front)
24 months (+2 months free) £1.79 ($2.27) / month (£46.54/$59.03 up front for 26 months)

Security 

The privacy and security features for Surfshark’s Chrome extension go above and beyond expectations. Users can block ads, malware and pop-ups and there’s an option to choose which websites this runs on. 

As well as this, the Chrome extension has a WebRTC blocker, and through its bypass feature you’re able to choose which websites pass through the VPN, much like a split tunnelling feature. 

User experience 

Surfshark’s Chrome extension has a slightly bigger user interface than other extensions we’ve reviewed. However, our researcher didn’t find this to be intrusive. 

Along the side of the extension, you’ll find various options to customise Surfshark, including a WebRTC blocker and a bypass list for websites you choose not to run through the VPN. 

Performance

Our Surfshark speed test results pointed at geographical distance as a major factor for speed degradation. The service exhibited consistent speed retention for local connections, with a noticeable decline in international connections, particularly affecting upload speeds and latency. Surfshark demonstrated robust performance when connecting to VPN servers within the UK, maintaining download speeds at 90 per cent of the base. 

Transatlantic connections to the US showed strong download speeds, but upload speeds saw a significant drop, raising some considerations for users prioritising online activities requiring fast connections. When switching to a VPN server in Australia, we experienced a drop in the download speed to 25 per cent of the reference levels, while upload speeds suffered an even greater decrease, signalling challenges for intensive and real-time data transfers. 

Overall, Surfshark is a solid choice for nearby connections, but it introduces potential slowdowns over long distances.

Download speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)Latency (ping)Percentage of base download speedPercentage of base upload speed
No VPN501.36378.94
UK to UK453.63311.241190%82%
UK to US420.640.8513184%11%
UK to Aus123.0625.1423625%7%
Date of testing: 13/11/2023

Customer service

Surfshark receives 2.5 out of five stars on the Google Chrome Store from 505 customer reviews. Notably, customers complained about connection issues. 

“Since the new… update, the extension won’t connect. It keeps showing network issues. I have opened three cases with support and all [of them have been] closed by suggesting I use the native app, which I really hate. If your… extension doesn’t work, and you are not smart enough to fix it, at least provide a way to tunnel selective traffic through your native app. [I] can’t wait until my subscription expires. I’m definitely moving back to NordVPN.”

Verdict 

Surfshark is one of the top VPNs in the industry, so it came as no surprise that its Chrome extension was also of a high standard. 

The VPN works well with Chrome, and our connection was stable during testing. There are also a lot of privacy features available too. The bypass feature, which acts as a split tunnel, is one of the best Chrome features we’ve seen. 

Surfshark’s Chrome extension is excellent for beginners and the tech-savvy – there isn’t much to dislike here.  

Score: ★★★★½

Read our full Surfshark VPN review.

Today’s best Surfshark deals
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
Surfshark 12 month £2.29 /Month
£2.29 /Month
Surfshark 1 month £10.29 /Month
£10.29 /Month

CyberGhost

  • Free version: No
  • Maximum number of connected devices: 7
  • Number of servers: 9,000+
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • VPN protocols: OpenVPN and WireGuard
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: Bucharest, Romania
  • Pricing:
  • CyberGhost 2 year
    £1.78
    /month
    CyberGhost 6 month
    £6.19
    /month
    CyberGhost 1 month
    £10.89
    /month

Pros

Cost-effective Headquartered in a data-secure country No-logs policy has been audited

Cons

No split tunnelling Not customisable Only four servers available

CyberGhost is an affordable VPN provider and offers more than 9,000 servers, which is more than most of its competitors – these servers are located in 90 countries. CyberGhost is usually considered one of the top VPNs thanks to its fast servers and range of privacy features. Unfortunately, its Chrome extension was nowhere near as good as its desktop and mobile apps, in our researcher’s opinion. 

Cost

CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is more than most other providers.

Subscription Term Price
Monthly £10.89 ($13.81) / month
6 months £6.19 ($7.85) / month (£37.14/$47.11 up front)
24 months (+2 months free) £1.78 ($2.26) / month (£49.92/$63.32 up front for 28 months)

Security 

With CyberGhost’s Chrome extension, all web browser traffic is encrypted by AES-256 – which is the highest level of encryption and is used by governments. The provider is also headquartered in Romania – which is not part of any intelligence-sharing alliance such as Five Eyes and is beholden to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Unlike its competitors, CyberGhost does not have privacy and security features such as split tunnelling or ad and malware blockers built into its browser extension – this is disappointing since its desktop and mobile versions do.  

User experience 

CyberGhost’s Chrome extension is as basic as they come. There are just four different countries to connect to – the US, Romania, Netherlands and Germany. 

Beyond connecting to any of these servers, there is no option to customise the Chrome extension with privacy features. 

Performance

In our tests, CyberGhost exhibited moderate retention of download speeds combined with a dramatic drop in upload speeds when connecting internationally, with latency increasing significantly. When connecting within the UK, the performance remained acceptable, with 61 and 35 per cent download and upload speed retention, respectively. These figures position CyberGhost as an excellent combination of affordability and performance, catering to online browsing, streaming, and gaming nationwide.

Transatlantic connections to the US showed an additional speed degradation, which was marginal for downloads but substantial for uploads, potentially impairing real-time communications and streaming. The longest-distance connection to Australia delivered acceptable download speeds at 47 per cent of the baseline. However, the upload speed plummeted to 4 per cent of the reference no-VPN levels, accompanied by a latency increase, which could impact time-sensitive activities. 

To sum up, CyberGhost offers a stable local service catering to various user needs but imposes challenges for high-speed international VPN needs.

Download speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)Latency (ping)Percentage of base download speedPercentage of base upload speed
No VPN400.99187.297
UK to UK242.6365.611261%35%
UK to US224.2113.2312856%7%
UK to Aus189.057.6630847%4%
Date of testing: 13/11/2023

Customer service

On the Google Chrome Store, CyberGhost receives four out of five stars from 760 customer reviews. This outstanding score is somewhat surprising considering the provider offers limited servers and privacy features. Many customers state the extension has recently suffered connection problems.  

“I like the extension and use it to connect to my home country Germany. But for about two weeks now, it won’t connect to Germany anymore, it just says ‘connectPage.error’. [I] tried to re-install the extension, but no luck.”

Verdict 

CyberGhost’s Chrome extension has many downsides, especially when compared to other providers. There are only four server locations available and there is no option to customise privacy features. 

While the extension was easy to use, it started from a low baseline since the only action it allows for is connecting to one of four servers. If you require a VPN for Chrome that gives you a larger server base and privacy features, give CyberGhost a miss. 

Score: ★★★★½

Read our full CyberGhost VPN review.

Today’s best CyberGhost deals
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
CyberGhost 1 year £6.19 /Month
£6.19 /Month
CyberGhost 1 month £10.89 /Month
£10.89 /Month

How do VPN Chrome extensions work?

Using a VPN through a Chrome extension is a fast and easy way to protect your internet traffic directly from your web browser. A VPN for Chrome works by masking your IP address and true location, much like it would when using a native mobile or desktop app; all of your data is protected and passes through a secure an encrypted VPN tunnel. However, you should be aware that using a VPN Chrome extension may not protect your IP address or data if you use any apps or a different web browser – this is where you should consider using the VPN’s desktop or mobile app.

Why do you need a VPN for Chrome?

If you mostly use Chrome as your web browser, then installing a VPN extension makes sense. It can be quicker to switch on protection through an extension since this means you won’t have to minimise your browser screen to access the VPN app. Using a VPN as a Chrome extension masks your IP address, encrypts your web browser’s traffic and allows you to bypass geo-restrictions.

How to set up a VPN for Chrome

To set up a VPN for Chrome, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a VPN provider: Research thoroughly before choosing a trustworthy VPN provider. Make sure it has the features you need, and it’s good value for money.
  2. Download the VPN from the Google Chrome Store: Go to the Google Chrome Store and search for the VPN provider you have an account with and click download.
  3. Install the Chrome extension and log in: Open the Chrome extension in your web browser. Even if you’re logged into your VPN’s desktop app, you most likely will need to log in again but through your Chrome extension. 
  4. Configure Chrome extension VPN settings: You’ll be prompted to configure your web browser to run the extension. Follow the instructions and click ‘allow’ when asked to give the extension permission to run on Chrome. 
  5. Connect to the Chrome VPN extension: Once the Chrome extension is set up, connect to a VPN server.

What to look for when buying a VPN for Chrome

Consider the following when purchasing a VPN for Chrome: 

  • Compatibility: Make sure the provider has a Chrome extension; you can check this on their websites or go directly to the Google Chrome Store and search for the provider from there.  
  • Security and privacy: Adding a VPN for Chrome should encrypt your web browser traffic with AES-256. We recommend choosing a provider that has an audited no-logs policy stating that none of your data is stored. 
  • Speed: Choose a VPN for Chrome with fast servers – ideally a provider with a larger server base and a good selection of countries. 
  • Accessibility: Make sure the Chrome extension’s interface is non-intrusive and minimally disrupts your web browser. Check the extension can be used on multiple devices, much like you would expect from your provider for desktop and mobile apps

Why you shouldn’t get a free VPN from the Google Chrome Store

There are lots of free VPNs available on the Google Chrome Store, but you should consider whether they are safe and secure. Free VPNs usually come with limited monthly data allowance, very few security and privacy features, and limited simultaneous device connections. Some free VPNs are also known to collect and sell user data to third parties as a source of income. 

Frequently asked questions

A VPN for Chrome works by encrypting all of your web browser’s internet traffic through a secure VPN tunnel. VPN Chrome extensions also usually include features such as ad, malware and WedRTC blockers, all of which add another layer of privacy.

If you’re looking to mask your IP address and would like to browse the web using a secure and encrypted connection, then yes. Installing a VPN for Chrome protects all of your browser’s traffic, as well as allowing for ad, malware and WebRTC blocking. 

In our researcher’s opinion, one of the best VPNs for Chrome is Surfshark. It has a plethora of privacy features, including ad, malware and WebRTC blockers. Its Chrome extension version is also user-friendly, and considering the privacy features available, its subscription is reasonably priced. 

Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.77 /Month
£6.77 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.27 /Month
£4.27 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.53 /Month
£4.53 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £3.58 /Month
£3.58 /Month

The data in this review is reported from a neutral stance and should be used for informational purposes only. We review VPN services from the perspective of:

  • The quality of the product based on the security it affords the user
  • User experience of the application(s)
  • Level and quality of customer service

Independent Advisor does not endorse the streaming of content from regions other than where the subscription is held, nor does it endorse the downloading or consumption of illegally pirated content.

Overall Score: 4.5/5
Overall Score: 4.5/5

NordVPN’s Chrome extension is more like a proxy, allowing you to change your IP address to one of four locations. It also offers Threat Protection Lite, blocking both ads and access to websites containing malware. At less than the cost of a cup of coffee per month , it’s worth the price.

Surfshark: Best value
Overall Score: 4.5/5
Surfshark: Best value
Overall Score: 4.5/5

Surfshark’s Chrome extension offers a wealth of added features that go beyond what you typically find from its competitors, including ad and malware blockers, WebRTC blocking, and even a pared-down version of its split tunnelling feature, all for less than £2 a month.

ExpressVPN: All-rounder
Overall Score: 4.5/5
ExpressVPN: All-rounder
Overall Score: 4.5/5

ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension features automatic HTTPS upgrades, making all the websites you visit more secure by default. It offers full VPN protection rather than just a proxy like some of the other providers on our list. The downside? It’s one of the most expensive VPNs on the market.

rachel

Rachel Sadler

Home Tech Writer

Rachel is a seasoned writer who has been producing online and print content for seven years. 

As a home tech expert for Independent Advisor, Rachel researches and writes buying guides and reviews, helping consumers navigate the realms of broadband and home security gadgets. She also covers home tech for The Federation of Master Builders, where she reviews and tests home security devices. 

She started as a news and lifestyle journalist in Hong Kong reporting on island-wide news stories, food and drink and the city’s events. She’s written for editorial platforms Sassy Hong Kong, Localiiz and Bay Media. While in Hong Kong she attended PR events, interviewed local talent and project-managed photoshoots. 

Rachel holds a BA in English Language and Creative Writing and is committed to simplifying tech jargon and producing unbiased reviews.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.