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Best VPN for Chrome

The Best VPN for Chrome 2024: Free Browser Extensions

The top VPNs offer a Chrome extension that helps secure browser traffic and access geoblocked content on top streaming websites. In this guide, we help you find the best VPN for Chrome based on our tests and the feature sets of these services.

Arjun RupareliaSapphire FoxJasna Mishevska

Written by Arjun Ruparelia (Writer)

Reviewed by Sapphire Fox (Editor)

Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska (Lead Fact-Checking Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-02-20T13:46:27+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: The Best VPN Chrome Extension

  1. ExpressVPN — A fast and secure VPN that’s best for Chrome.
  2. NordVPN — A fast VPN with affordable long-term plans.
  3. Surfshark — A solid VPN that offers unlimited simultaneous connections.
  4. Proton VPN — The best free VPN for Chrome.
  5. Windscribe — A feature-rich free Chrome extension.

While Google Chrome offers built-in security features like passphrases, you can still benefit from using a VPN (virtual private network). VPNs encrypt your data so no one — including your ISP and the government — can read your data. In this guide, we help you find the best VPN for Chrome based on our tests.

Google Chrome is one of the fastest browsers, but it collects user data for advertising. If you want to keep your data private, the top VPN extensions can help protect your privacy and mask your IP address, allowing you to access geoblocked content on websites like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

However, not all VPNs are equally capable of securing your connection and unlocking geoblocked content. Read about the top VPNs in our best VPNs guide. In this article, we focus on the best VPNs for Chrome.

  • 10/08/2023

     We rewrote the article to reflect the changes in the VPN extensions, their feature sets and our recommendations based on our latest tests.

  • 11/30/2023

    Updated the article to reflect ExpressVPN’s expansion of server presence from 94 to 105 countries.

How to Choose the Best VPN for Chrome

All VPNs we recommend in this guide offer a dedicated browser extension for Chrome. We looked at four key factors when selecting these VPNs: the Chrome extension’s feature set, security and privacy, connection speed and the VPN’s ability to bypass geoblocks.

The best VPNs offer security protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard along with encryption ciphers like AES and ChaCha20. All VPNs on the list commit to zero logging, so you never have to worry about these services logging or sharing your data.

Connection speeds are also critical for a smooth browsing and streaming experience. In addition to fast connection speeds, top VPNs can effectively access geoblocked content on websites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer.

Free VPNs vs Paid VPNs vs Proxy Browser Extensions

Both proxies and VPNs can mask your IP address. However, proxies don’t encrypt your connection like VPNs. Moreover, many public proxies are slower than VPNs and not as effective in unblocking geoblocked content.

A Google search will reveal tons of free VPNs, but most are insecure and slow. Steer clear of these services, especially the ones in our worst VPNs list. There are a few exceptions. If you’re looking for a free service, we list those in our best free VPNs list. However, all reliable VPNs with a free plan lock away useful features behind a paywall.

We recommend using a premium VPN service if you’re looking for top-notch performance and access to the entire feature set. ExpressVPN is the best VPN on the market, but if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, we have options for you in our guide.

The 5 Best Chrome VPN Extensions

Below, we discuss the top five VPNs for Chrome based on the criteria mentioned earlier. If you don’t want to read through the entire guide, we recommend going with our top pick, ExpressVPN.

1. ExpressVPN

expressvpn us chicago
ExpressVPN offers an excellent combination of speed and security.

More details about ExpressVPN:

  • Pricing: $6.66 per month (15-months plan)
  • Free plan: None; 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Provider website: expressvpn.com

Pros:

  • Fast & secure servers
  • Unlocks big streaming apps
  • MediaStreamer feature

Cons:

  • Expensive

ExpressVPN offers the best Chrome VPN extension. The extension is essentially a remote control for the ExpressVPN app and doesn’t work unless you also install the desktop app. You can connect to any of ExpressVPN’s servers across 105 countries. You can also change select VPN settings using the Chrome extension.

The extension includes various features, such as HTTPS Everywhere, a feature that ensures you’re only using a website’s encrypted HTTPS version whenever it’s possible. The extension can also stop HTML5 geolocation on most sites, so you can mask your physical location when connected to the VPN.

ExpressVPN Hands-On Testing

The extension covers all the basics. It hides your location, ensures security and blocks WebRTC leaks. We like that the extension’s interface is pretty much the same as the desktop app. You can use the quick connect button to connect to the best server location.

expressvpn quick connect
The ExpressVPN Chrome extension has an easy-to-use quick connect
button like the desktop app.

The extension allows you to enable “connect on browser launch,” a feature that connects the VPN automatically whenever you launch the browser. Other settings include a toggle button to enable or disable desktop notifications and sharing performance data with ExpressVPN (this doesn’t include any personally identifiable information).

extension settings
ExpressVPN lets you configure the extension to auto-connect
to a server whenever you launch the browser.

If you want to use more ExpressVPN settings like split tunneling, you’ll need to use the desktop app. Despite lacking a couple of features, the browser extension is still useful when you want to quickly connect to a VPN server.

Notes From the Lab: ExpressVPN Speed Test Results

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 01/24/24 to 02/21/24

Pricing & Value: Is the ExpressVPN Chrome VPN Extension Worth It?

expressvpn get started
ExpressVPN unblocks all major streaming services.

ExpressVPN is a premium VPN, and its pricing reflects that. The best deal (the annual plan) costs $6.66 per month. Shorter-term plans include the six-month plan, which costs $9.99 per month, and the monthly plan, which costs $12.95 per month. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free using its 30-day money-back guarantee, or check out our ExpressVPN review for more information.

2. NordVPN

nordvpn us
NordVPN is the fastest VPN on average according to our speed tests.

More details about NordVPN:

  • Pricing: $3.39 per month (two-year plan)
  • Free plan: None; 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Provider website: nordvpn.com

Pros:

  • Fastest VPN
  • Lightweight extension
  • Specialty servers

Cons:

  • Specialty servers not available on NordLynx

NordVPN’s extension functions independently of the desktop app. Since it doesn’t work like a remote control, you don’t necessarily need to install the desktop app to use the Chrome extension. You can encrypt the browser’s web traffic using the extension, but you’ll need to use the desktop app to use the VPN connection on other apps.

The extension is lightweight and has a clean, intuitive interface. It has various built-in options, including URL-based split tunneling. If your net banking portal is geoblocked outside your country, you can add it as an exclusion, so you can access the bank’s website without turning off the VPN connection. Read our NordVPN review to learn more about the service.

NordVPN Hands-On Testing

The VPN includes the essentials you’d expect from a VPN extension, including protection from WebRTC leaks. If you’re already using the NordVPN desktop app or would like to start using it, the extension gives you the option to import or export the list of websites you’ve excluded from using the VPN tunnel. This helps prevent the hassle of recreating the entire list manually.

nordvpn import urls
NordVPN allows you to import and export the list of URLs excluded
from using the VPN connection.

The extension also has a feature called Threat Protection Lite, an ad and malware blocker. It’s disabled by default, so if you want to use it, you’ll need to enable it from the “settings and privacy” menu. Further, there’s a kill switch built into the extension and the option to auto-connect the VPN whenever you launch the browser.

nordvpn kill switch
The NordVPN Chrome extension has a built-in kill switch.

Notes From the Lab: NordVPN Speed Test Results

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 01/24/24 to 02/21/24

Pricing & Value: Is the NordVPN Chrome VPN Extension Worth It?

Nordvpn multiple devices
NordVPN offers performance similar to ExpressVPN at about half the cost.

NordVPN offers excellent value for money. The best deal (the two-year plan) costs $3.39 per month. Shorter-term plans include the annual plan, which costs $4.49 per month, and the monthly plan, which costs $12.99 per month. You can try NordVPN yourself using the 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. Surfshark

surfshark us new york
Surfshark is one of the few VPNs that offer unlimited simultaneous connections.

More details about Surfshark:

  • Pricing: $2.29 per month (two-year plan + two months)
  • Free plan: None; 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Provider website: surfshark.com

Pros:

  • Unlimited connections
  • Fast servers
  • Feature-rich

Cons:

  • High latency

Surfshark offers a feature-rich Chrome extension that encrypts your browser traffic but not the traffic from other apps. You can connect to any of Surfshark’s more than 3,200 servers across 100 countries using the VPN extension.

Surfshark unblocks all popular streaming sites and offers fast connection speeds, so you can use the extension to binge-watch your favorite shows in high quality without buffering. The extension includes essential features like a kill switch and DNS leak protection. Learn more about Surfshark’s features in our Surfshark review.

Surfshark Hands-On Testing

The Chrome extension includes almost all the features you get in the desktop app. Even the interface is pretty much the same as the desktop interface. The extensive feature set includes CleanWeb (a powerful ad blocker), MultiHop (Surfshark’s double VPN feature) and built-in split tunneling (called a bypass list).

surfshark bypass
The Surfshark Chrome extension has built-in split tunneling called the “bypass list.”

The extension includes a “dashboard” section where you can enable or disable all the CleanWeb functions, which include an ad blocker, pop-up blocker, data breach alerts and malware alerts. You can quickly toggle these features on and off here without navigating to settings.

surfshark dashboard
The “dashboard” section allows quickly enabling or disabling CleanWeb features.

Notes From the Lab: Surfshark Speed Test Results

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 01/24/24 to 02/21/24

Pricing & Value: Is the Surfshark Chrome VPN Extension Worth It?

Surfshark homepage 2023
Surfshark offers fast connection speeds and gets into all popular streaming services.

Surfshark is a pocket-friendly VPN service. However, you can reduce the per-user cost further by sharing your account. Since you get unlimited simultaneous connections and unlimited bandwidth, sharing your account won’t impact performance.

The best deal (the two-year plan) costs $2.29 per month. If you’re looking for something more short-term, there’s an annual plan that costs $3.49 per month and a monthly plan that costs $10.99 per month. You can try the VPN yourself without any risks before committing to a long-term plan using Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark Starter
  • Unlimited GB bandwidth, Unlimited devices, Secure VPN, Ad blocker, Cookie pop-up blocker.
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited
  • Yes
Surfshark One
  • Everything in Starter, plus Antivirus protection, Identity protection, Email Breach and Credit Card Alerts, Online Alias
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited
Surfshark One+
  • Everything in One, plus Data removal
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited

4. Proton VPN

protonvpn us new york
Proton VPN offers a generous free plan.

More details about Proton VPN:

  • Pricing: $4.99 per month (two-year plan)
  • Free plan: Yes; limited to three locations
  • Provider website: protonvpn.com

Pros:

  • Fast & secure
  • Stealth VPN obfuscation
  • Unlimited free plan

Cons:

  • Free version doesn’t include the Chrome extension

Proton VPN offers a generous free plan and an excellent Chrome extension. Unfortunately, the free plan doesn’t include the Chrome extension. You’ll need to pay for one of the paid plans to use it.

Proton VPN offers a well-designed Chrome extension. The extension’s home screen lets you access any of Proton VPN’s more than 3,000 servers. It also offers features like split tunneling and WebRTC leak protection. The desktop offers a lot more features, as we explain in our extensive Proton VPN review.

Proton VPN Hands-On Testing

If you like a clean, no-fuss interface, the Proton VPN Chrome extension is an excellent choice. It’s not overwhelmingly loaded with features, but does include the essentials. If you want to access more features, you can always install the desktop app.

protonvpn extension
Proton VPN offers a clean, no-fuss interface.

The extension offers Proton VPN’s Secure Core feature. Enabling the feature routes your traffic via two VPN servers. One of these servers is a hardened server in a privacy-friendly country. The app also has built-in URL-based split tunneling (available only on Windows and Android).

protonvpn settings
Proton VPN offers built-in features like Secure Core and split tunneling.
LocationPing
ms
Download
Mbps
Upload
Mbps
Unprotected1919.965.94
🇺🇸 United States
26
19.43
5.55
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
299
18.46
5.45
🇧🇷 Brazil
392
15.77
4.82
🇸🇬 Singapore
540
14.47
3.40
🇿🇦 South Africa
604
13.27
5.40
🇦🇺 Australia
523
17.53
5.09
Average
397
16.49
4.95

Pricing & Value: Is the Proton VPN Chrome VPN Extension Worth It?

ProtonVPN for security
Proton VPN offers a clean and intuitive user interface.

Besides the free plan, Proton VPN’s best deal (the two-year plan) costs $4.99 per month. Alternatively, you can opt for the annual plan (costing $5.99 per month) or the monthly plan (costing $9.99 per month). Proton VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can always try it out before you commit for the long term.

5. Windscribe

windscribe us chicago
Windscribe offers a free Chrome extension.

More details about Windscribe:

  • Pricing: $5.75 per month (one-year plan)
  • Free plan: Yes; limited to 15GB
  • Provider website: windscribe.com

Pros:

  • Free Chrome extension
  • Quick & secure servers
  • Build-a-plan option

Cons:

  • Limited data on the free plan

Windscribe is your best bet if you’re looking for a free Chrome extension. Most free VPN services on the market are slow, insecure and unreliable. Some can even infect your device with malware. Windscribe is one of the few VPNs that’s fast, secure and offers a free plan. As a free user, you get up to 10GB of free data once you confirm your email address, which you can up to 15GB by just tweeting at Windscribe.

Windscribe offers fast connection speeds, excellent security and a Chrome extension with an extensive feature set even on the free plan. However, the free plan doesn’t include access to all server locations. Since you only get 15GB of free data per month, you might run out of data while binge-watching your favorite TV show.

Windscribe Hands-On Testing

Windscribe’s Chrome extension is loaded with plenty of features. The extension can be set to automatically delete cookies when you close a tab in Chrome or block site notifications. It can also protect you against malicious websites with malware and phishing risks.

windscribe malicious sites
Windscribe has a built-in feature that protects you against malware and phishing attacks.

Windscribe helps set your browser’s time, location and language according to the proxy you’re connected to — the features are called Time Warp, Location Warp and Language Warp, respectively. This can help hide your real location. For example, suppose you’re in the Netherlands and you connect to a U.S. server.

Without language warp, your browser will signal to the website that your OS language is Dutch. This can be used to determine that you’re not in the U.S.

windscribe languagewarp
Windscribe offers the option to automatically match your browser’s
language, time and location to that of the connected proxy.

Notes From the Lab: Windscribe Speed Test Results

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 01/24/24 to 02/21/24

Pricing & Value: Is the Windscribe Chrome VPN Extension Worth It?

windscribe homepage uk
The Windscribe Chrome extension has a detailed and intuitive user interface.

Windscribe also offers paid plans. The best deal (the annual plan) costs $5.75 per month, while the monthly plan costs $9 per month.

Windscribe offers a build-a-plan option. This lets you select specific server locations for $1 per month and unlimited data plus access to the R.O.B.E.R.T. add-on for $1 per month. You need a minimum $3 checkout value to use this option. Learn more about the pricing structure in our Windscribe review.

Free
  • Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
  • 15GB
  • Unlimited

How to Install & Use a VPN Service for the Chrome Browser

Installing a VPN extension for Chrome is the same as installing any other extension. Here’s how you can install a VPN Chrome extension:

  1. Search for the Extension

    Search for the Chrome extension in the Google Chrome web store. Use the search bar in the left sidebar in the Chrome web store to search for the VPN extension. Alternatively, you can find the Chrome extension’s download link on the VPN provider’s website.

    expressvpn chrome web store
  2. Install the Extension

    Click “add to Chrome” to install the extension. Confirm the installation when you see the prompt. The installation should only take a few seconds.

    expressvpn install
  3. Sign In and Use the VPN

    Once the VPN extension is installed, launch the extension. You can do this by selecting the extension from the list of browser extensions in Chrome. The first time you use the extension, you’ll be asked to sign in. Enter your login credentials to sign in, and you should be ready to use the VPN.

    expressvpn installed

Can You Use a Free VPN for Chrome?

Yes, you can use a free VPN like Proton VPN for Chrome. Proton VPN is fast, secure and offers a generous free plan. Note that Proton VPN is one of the free VPNs that are reliable. Most free VPNs on the internet are slow and insecure. These VPNs are also ineffective at unblocking geoblocked content on websites like Netflix. Other examples of quality free VPNs are TunnelBear and Windscribe.

If you’re on a budget but want top-notch performance, consider a low-cost VPN like Surfshark. While it’s already inexpensive, you can share your account with friends or colleagues to further reduce the cost. Since Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections and unlimited bandwidth, there are no downsides to sharing your account.

The Best Free VPN Chrome Extension: Proton VPN

Because it’s the only quality VPN out there without any limits on data, Proton VPN would be the best VPN Chrome extension you can install. However, the extension is only available on paid plans, meaning that honor goes to Windscribe instead, which offers a fully-featured Chrome extension on all its plans.

Final Thoughts

Chrome is a secure browser, but you can further improve its security and privacy with a Chrome VPN. Top VPN apps that have a Chrome extension can help secure your internet connection and offer an excellent streaming experience. Our top pick, ExpressVPN, is your best bet.

However, if you’re on a budget, VPN Chrome extensions from NordVPN and Surfshark are great choices, too. Proton VPN and Windscribe are two of the best free VPN extensions on the market if you’re looking for a free option.

Have you used a VPN Chrome extension? Which one and what did you like and dislike the most about your experience with that extension? Let us know in the comments below, and as always, thank you for reading.

FAQ: Chrome VPNs

  • ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Chrome. It’s fast, secure and helps access geoblocked content on websites like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. If you’re on a budget, consider NordVPN or Surfshark.

  • Proton VPN is the best free VPN for Chrome as you get unlimited free data in three server locations. Moreover, Proton VPN offers excellent speeds and unblocks all the popular streaming services. However, you’ll have to use the desktop app as the extension is only available on the paid plan. For the best free VPN Chrome extension, check out Windscribe instead.

  • Google Chrome doesn’t have a built-in VPN extension. You’ll need to install a third-party VPN extension. We recommend using ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension.

  • A proxy extension for Chrome is safe provided it’s from a reliable VPN service. All the services we recommend in this guide are top VPN providers, so they’re all safe.

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