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How to add the ExpressVPN extension to Chrome

Verified by Amy Reeves

The importance of online privacy and security cannot be overstated. Every click, every search, and every site we visit leaves a digital footprint, making us vulnerable to cyberthreats and unwanted surveillance. It’s a reality that underscores the need for reliable tools to safeguard our online activities.

One such tool that has earned a sterling reputation in the realm of online security is ExpressVPN. Known for its robust encryption and commitment to user privacy, ExpressVPN has become a trusted name in the virtual private network (VPN) industry. But it’s not just industry experts who vouch for ExpressVPN‘s capabilities. Users around the world have echoed this sentiment, as reflected in ExpressVPN’s impressive score on Trustpilot, a renowned consumer review website.

In this article, we will delve into the ExpressVPN Chrome extension, a tool designed to enhance your browsing experience. From installation to optimisation, we’ll guide you through every step, ensuring you can browse the web with peace of mind.

What is ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension?

Before we delve into the specifics of the ExpressVPN Chrome extension, let’s first understand what a VPN is and why it’s beneficial. A VPN is a service that creates a secure connection over the internet. It does this by routing your online traffic through a server, effectively masking your IP address and encrypting all data that is sent or received. This encryption shields your online activities from prying eyes, be it cybercriminals, internet service providers, or even government agencies.

As one of the leading VPN providers globally, ExpressVPN is renowned for its robust security features and user-friendly interface and is rated the Independent Advisor’s best VPN for Chrome. It offers high-speed servers across the globe, a strict no-logs policy, and advanced encryption techniques. These features ensure that your online activities remain private and secure, while also allowing you to bypass geo-restrictions and censorship.

ExpressVPN’s dedicated extension for Chrome acts as a remote control for your ExpressVPN app, allowing you to connect, disconnect, change servers, and modify settings directly from your browser toolbar.

The extension offers additional security features not available in the standalone VPN app. For instance, it includes a WebRTC blocker to prevent websites from discovering your real IP address and location, and a location spoofing feature to make it appear as if you’re browsing from a different location.

In essence, the ExpressVPN Chrome extension combines the robust security features of a VPN with the convenience of a browser extension, providing an enhanced layer of security while you browse the web. Whether you’re streaming content, shopping online, or just browsing, the ExpressVPN Chrome extension helps ensure your online activities remain private and secure.

Installation and set-up guide

Step 1: Visit the ExpressVPN website and start by navigating to the official ExpressVPN website. If you don’t have an account yet, you’ll need to create one. If you already have an account, simply sign in.

Step 2: Once you’ve signed in, click on the “Download VPN” button on the ExpressVPN website. This will take you to a page where you can download ExpressVPN for your specific device.

Step 3: After downloading the VPN, go back to the ExpressVPN website and click on “Download VPN” again, but this time select “Chrome Extension”. This will redirect you to the Chrome Web Store.

Step 4: In the Chrome Web Store, you’ll find the ExpressVPN extension. Click on the “Add to Chrome” button. A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation. Click on “Add extension” to confirm the installation.

Step 5: Once the ExpressVPN Chrome extension is installed, you’ll see its icon in your browser’s toolbar. Click on it to access the extension’s settings and connect to a VPN server. Remember, you’ll need to sign in to your ExpressVPN account within the extension to start using it.

Step 6: The setup process is straightforward. You can choose to connect to the VPN server that offers the best speed, or you can manually select a server from a specific country or city. The extension also offers additional settings, such as WebRTC blocker, to prevent websites from discovering your real IP address and location, and a location spoofing feature, to make it appear as if you’re browsing from a different location.

By following these steps, you’ll have the ExpressVPN Chrome extension up and running in no time, ready to provide an enhanced layer of security for your online browsing activities.

Using ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension

The extension icon, located in your browser’s toolbar, acts as a gateway to a secure browsing experience. Clicking on this icon opens the extension, revealing its various features and settings.

The main screen of the extension presents a large power button at the centre. Clicking this button allows you to quickly connect to a VPN server, automatically selecting the optimal location for you. However, if you wish to connect to a server in a specific location, you can do so by clicking on the three-dot menu next to the power button and selecting from the list of server locations. Different server locations can be beneficial for various reasons, such as bypassing geo-restrictions or improving connection speeds.

ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension also offers additional privacy and security features. These include WebRTC blocking, which prevents websites from discovering your real IP address and location, and location spoofing, which makes it appear as if you’re browsing from a different location. These features add an extra layer of privacy to your browsing, securing your Chrome browser beyond what any VPN can offer alone.

It’s important to note that, while the ExpressVPN Chrome extension acts as a remote control for the ExpressVPN app, some features are exclusive to the app itself. For instance, the Network Lock feature, ExpressVPN’s version of a kill switch, is available on the ExpressVPN app for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android, but not for the extension. This feature stops all internet traffic if the VPN connection is interrupted, protecting your sensitive data from being transmitted over an unsecured connection.

Another feature exclusive to the ExpressVPN app is split tunnelling. This feature allows you to decide which apps use the VPN and which apps don’t when your device is connected to ExpressVPN. For example, you can configure ExpressVPN to “split tunnel” the traffic so that only specific apps won’t go through the encrypted VPN tunnel. This can be useful if you want certain apps to bypass the VPN for reasons, such as accessing local network devices.

The ExpressVPN Chrome extension offers a convenient way to control your VPN connection directly from your browser, while the ExpressVPN app provides additional features for a comprehensive online security solution.

Benefits of expressVPN chrome extension

The ExpressVPN Chrome extension offers a multitude of benefits, particularly for those who frequently use Google Chrome for their browsing activities. Here are some of the key advantages:

Ease of use

The ExpressVPN Chrome extension is designed to be user-friendly. It works like a remote control for your ExpressVPN app, allowing you to connect, disconnect, change locations, and modify other settings right from your toolbar. This means you can easily manage your VPN connection without having to leave your browser.

Enhanced privacy and security 

The extension offers additional privacy and security features, such as WebRTC blocking and location spoofing. These features secure your Chrome browser beyond what any VPN can offer alone.

Encryption

Like the ExpressVPN app, the Chrome extension uses robust encryption to secure your online traffic. This means that all data sent and received through your browser is encrypted, protecting it from hackers and snoopers.

Anonymous browsing

By masking your IP address, the ExpressVPN Chrome extension allows you to browse the web anonymously. This can help protect your privacy, as websites and online services will not be able to track your online activities back to your IP address.

Overcoming restrictions 

The ExpressVPN Chrome extension can help you bypass geo-restrictions and censorship. This means you can access content that is blocked in your region, such as certain Netflix libraries or news websites.

The ExpressVPN Chrome extension offers a convenient and powerful way to enhance your online security and privacy. Whether you’re streaming content, shopping online, or just browsing, the ExpressVPN Chrome extension can help ensure your online activities remain private and secure.

Tips for optimising ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension

To get the most out of the ExpressVPN Chrome extension, consider the following tips and best practices:

  1. Keep the extension updated: Regularly updating the extension ensures you’re benefiting from the latest security enhancements and features. Updates often include bug fixes and improvements that can enhance the extension’s performance.
  2. Choose the right server: If speed is a concern, try connecting to servers that are geographically close to you. The further away a server is, the slower your connection might be due to the increased latency.
  3. Use the WebRTC blocking feature: Enable the WebRTC blocking feature to prevent websites from discovering your real IP address and location. This can enhance your privacy while browsing.
  4. Take advantage of location spoofing: Use the location spoofing feature to access content that is blocked in your region. This can be particularly useful for accessing geo-restricted content on streaming platforms like Netflix.
  5. Manage your VPN connection from the toolbar: The ExpressVPN Chrome extension allows you to manage your VPN connection directly from your browser toolbar. Use this to quickly connect, disconnect, or change servers as needed.
  6. Secure your browser traffic: Remember, the ExpressVPN Chrome extension secures your browser traffic, not your entire device’s traffic. For comprehensive protection, consider using the ExpressVPN app alongside the extension.

By following these tips, you can optimise the performance of the ExpressVPN Chrome extension and maintain a high level of privacy and security while browsing the web.

Conclusion

The ExpressVPN Chrome extension offers a robust solution to protect your online activities right from your browser. With its user-friendly interface, you can easily manage your VPN connection, select from a wide range of server locations, and enjoy additional privacy features like WebRTC blocking and location spoofing.

ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension works in tandem with the ExpressVPN app, providing a comprehensive online security solution. Whether you’re looking to secure your online data, browse anonymously, or access geo-restricted content, the ExpressVPN Chrome extension can cater to your needs. With its high Trustpilot rating (4.7 out of five stars), ExpressVPN has proven to be a reliable choice for many users worldwide.

Frequently asked questions about ExpressVPN’s Chrome browser

The ExpressVPN Chrome extension is not standalone; it works in conjunction with the ExpressVPN app. Therefore, you need an ExpressVPN subscription to use the extension. The subscription comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You cannot use the ExpressVPN Chrome extension without a subscription. The extension works as a control panel for the ExpressVPN app, which requires a subscription.

To connect to a specific server, click on the ExpressVPN icon in your browser toolbar to open the extension. Then, click on the three-dot menu next to the power button and select a server from the list of locations.

Yes, you can use the ExpressVPN Chrome extension to access geo-restricted content. The extension allows you to connect to servers in different locations, helping you bypass geo-restrictions.

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

Writer

Mark is the IT Manager and a governor at Sir John Thursby College, in Burnley, having joined the college as an IT Technician more than 10 years ago. He also writes about IT, education, and cyber security topics, and has written a book, a guide to Windows 11.

For the Independent Advisor, Mark writes about the benefits of VPNs as well as cyber security and helping people stay safe online.

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.

Amy’s work covers topics ranging from home, interior and garden design to DIY step-by-steps, planning permission and build costs, and has been published in Period Living, Real Homes, and 25 Beautiful Homes, Homes and Gardens.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Amy manages homes-related content for the site, including solar panels, combi boilers, and windows.

Her passion for saving tired and inefficient homes also extends to her own life; Amy completed a renovation of a mid-century house in 2022 and is about to embark on an energy-efficient overhaul of a 1800s cottage in Somerset.