Are you looking for a VPN (virtual private network) that works with Google Chrome? You’re in luck: Because of Chrome’s versatility and global popularity as the most popular internet browser, practically every major VPN provider ensures that their service is fully compatible with Chrome. You can exhale a sigh of relief if Chrome is your preferred browser. All of the top VPN services on our main list have been thoroughly tested for compatibility with Chrome.
We put the three most popular VPN providers to the test, looking for performance, browser compatibility, and any potential security issues. Not only did they pass with flying colors, but each of these VPN services also has a Chrome VPN extension that you can install right in your web browser if you want to try a lighter version of the VPN client to save time.
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What is a VPN?
A commercial virtual private network (VPN) is software that allows you to establish a secure connection over a public network by establishing an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the internet. On your smartphone or computer, you may install a VPN just like any other app or program. A VPN can let you bypass censorship in your home country or access georestricted media material from another nation, as well as protect your privacy by preventing your internet service provider from snooping on your web browsing. VPNs accomplish this by making it appear as if you’re connecting from another location or country.
Anyone who uses public, unprotected Wi-Fi, such as that found in airports, pubs, or coffee shops, will benefit from a VPN. Your VPN secures your sensitive data, such as work projects and bank account login details, from criminal actors who scour public Wi-Fi networks. In our guide to all the VPN phrases you need to know, we’ve demystified some of the jargon for more beginner-friendly VPN help.
Best VPNs for Google Chrome
Here are our top recommendations for the best VPN for Chrome, sorted on overall security strength, speed tests, and overall value for money. You can also take a look at our picks for the best affordable VPN, fastest VPN, and best mobile VPN. And this is why we advise you to avoid using a free VPN in favor of a tried-and-true commercial VPN.
Blazing speeds, proven privacy
- Number of IP addresses: 30,000
- Number of servers: 3,000-plus in 160 locations
- Number of simultaneous connections: 5
- Country/jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
- 94-plus countries
- 3 months free with a 1-year plan, plus a free year of Backblaze cloud backup (limited-time offer)
ExpressVPN claims that its network is powered by TrustedServer technology, which the company developed to assure that no logs of users’ online actions are kept. ExpressVPN has a great track record in terms of privacy, having had a VPN server seized by authorities, proving its zero-log promise to be accurate at the time. We also enjoy how well-written the VPN’s setup tutorials are, as well as how thorough the FAQ is. It also comes with a full-featured Chrome plugin.
While ExpressVPN’s speeds routinely compete with the industry’s best, our 2020 speed tests revealed a 52 percent total loss of our typical internet speeds, a considerable decrease compared to its 2019 score of 2% speed loss.
ExpressVPN, like the other top five VPN services we’ve reviewed, has a valuable kill-switch mechanism that stops network data from leaking outside of the secure VPN tunnel if the VPN connection goes down. Unlike the others, though, ExpressVPN earned points for accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, something not all of our faves do but which gives an extra degree of security to the checkout process.
ExpressVPN boasts a large network of fast VPN servers located throughout 94 countries, and it has been in operation since 2009. Its most affordable option is less than $7 per month for a yearly subscription that includes three months free.
A speed leader, packed with features
- Number of servers: 3,200-plus
- Number of server locations: 65
- Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
- $2.30 a month (82% discount) for a 2-year plan
While Surfshark’s network isn’t as large as others, the VPN service makes up for it with features and speed. Let’s start with the greatest plus: it supports an unlimited number of devices. You don’t have to worry about how many devices are on or connected if you want to use Surfshark’s VPN to run your complete home or workplace. Its software also includes anti-malware, ad-blocking, and tracker-blocking features.
It’s also quick. During our most recent speed testing, we lost less than 17% of average internet speed throughout our network of more than 3,200 servers in 65 countries. This is faster than the 27% speed loss we experienced in earlier tests, and it puts it ahead of ExpressVPN in our performance comparisons.
When the German security firm Cure 53 inspected Surfshark’s Chrome extension for privacy, it gave it good ratings (PDF link to complete report), despite the fact that the audit was commissioned by Surfshark.
Apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Fire TV, and routers are all supported by the VPN provider. Surfshark can be customized for additional devices, such as game consoles, using DNS settings. We especially enjoy the option that allows you to whitelist specific apps and websites to bypass the VPN automatically. This can be significant for some business applications.
Surfshark also has three additional modes for people who want to get around restrictions and hide their internet footprints more carefully. Camouflage Mode hides your VPN activities from your ISP, so they have no idea you’re using one. Multihop hides your trail by routing your connection through multiple countries. Finally, NoBorders Mode “allows [you] to use Surfshark in restricted locations successfully.” Just keep an eye out. Any of these three actions may be unlawful in your country and subject you to harsh consequences. We didn’t see any IP address or DNS leaks during our testing, and we had no trouble accessing Netflix.
Surfshark, unlike many other VPN companies, does not offer a one-year package. Right now, the best deal is $2.30 per month for a two-year contract (you pay around $60 upfront). A six-month contract costs $6.49 per month (about $39 upfront), while month-to-month options cost $13. Take advantage of their generous 30-day trial to determine if this service and Chrome VPN addon are right for you (and if you choose the two-year plan, maybe set a reminder in 23 months to see if you can talk the company into a continued discount rate).
Read More: Best cheap VPNs for Android Phones 2021
Best VPN for reliability and security
- Number of IP addresses: 5,000
- Number of servers: 5,200-plus servers
- Number of server locations: 62
- Country/jurisdiction: Panama
- 62 countries
- $3.29 a month (72% discount) for a 2-year plan
- NordVPN in-depth review and hands-on testing (ZDNet)
In the VPN industry, NordVPN is one of the most well-known businesses. It has a large number of simultaneous connections, with six available on its network, compared to practically all other providers’ five or fewer. NordVPN also includes a dedicated IP address, a kill switch, and the ability to connect to Tor via VPN. During our tests, we found no evidence of privacy breaches.
NordVPN’s performance in our most recent speed testing was on par with many of its competitors, decreasing our speeds by 53% on average (which is slower than the 32 percent loss measured in previous speed tests). NordVPN’s speeds were consistently fast. There were no unexpected drops in performance or service outages, and the VPN performed admirably in areas where we anticipated it to fall short.
A two-year VPN membership from the provider costs $3.29 a month ($79 billed all at once). The monthly subscription ($11.99 per month) is less expensive than most competitors, but the one-year plan ($4.99 per month or $60 total) is more expensive. It does, however, feature a 30-day money-back guarantee.
While NordVPN has been on this list for a long time, we relegated it to the punishment box in October 2019 after learning that one of its rented servers had been accessed without authorisation in 2018. Following the finding, Nord conducted additional security audits, launched a bug bounty program, and increased its efforts in VPN server security.
While we’d prefer NordVPN to have self-disclosed the problem sooner, the fact that the breach was minor and involved no personally identifiable information served to confirm that NordVPN retains no logs of user behavior. As a result, Nord continues to be a recommended VPN provider on this list.
Chrome VPN FAQS
What’s the best VPN for Chrome right now?
- Overall, ExpressVPN is the best VPN. We rank VPNs according to their overall performance in three categories: speed, security, and cost. Express isn’t the cheapest option, but it is one of the fastest and, thus far, the safest.
- Thanks to its amazing performance and unlimited devices, Surfshark is a close second among our recommendations, despite its lower price.
- Our third option, NordVPN, is a stalwart big hitter. It costs more than Surfshark but less than Express and has the largest network we’ve tested, which is always increasing faster and more secure.