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Best VPN for Chrome

Rebecca Duff
Rebecca DuffUpdated

Google Chrome is the most widely-used desktop and mobile browser in the world, but it comes with some pre-enabled settings that, if left unchanged, can send very detailed information about your browsing activity directly to Google. This can even include the URLs you visit and any links you interact with. The only way to prevent this from happening and keep your personal information private is to use a VPN, but there are so many different providers on the current market it can be hard to know if you’re making the right choice. That’s where we come in.

Our recommendations for Chrome will allow you to access your favorite sites and apps (including those such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer) through a secure, encrypted connection, preventing any potential snoopers from seeing what you’re doing online and stealing your confidential data. Even better, thanks to our proprietary speed testing tool, we can give you the most accurate VPN speed data currently available anywhere, and our thorough testing of VPN apps for Chrome means you can be sure you won’t be disappointed if you choose one of our picks.

The 5 Best VPN Services for Chrome
  1. ExpressVPN
  2. NordVPN
  3. Private Internet Access
  4. SaferVPN
  5. CyberGhost
Read on for our detailed analysis of each VPN.
Our pick for Chrome
ExpressVPN

Incredibly fast and ultra secure. Full-featured Chrome extension. 24/7 live chat support.

Best price
$6.67 per month
Special deal
49% off 15-month plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
94 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
3
Pros
  1. Very fast speeds - 65Mbps global average
  2. Peak speeds of 224Mbps on local servers
  3. Works with Netflix, iPlayer and more
  4. Full-featured Chrome extension
  5. DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection
  6. Connect securely to 94 countries
Cons
  1. Limited to three simultaneous connections
  2. Shorter plans on the expensive side
Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for all-round performance on the current market. Performance on both local and international connections is very quick and more importantly incredibly consistent, peaking at 224Mbps. These kinds of speeds are perfect for streaming in HD across multiple devices, which works out very well as ExpressVPN is currently working with Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming sites.

The Chrome extension stands out from those offered by other providers as it’s actually a full-featured VPN extension rather than a proxy. This means that it encrypts all your browser traffic and therefore offers pretty much the same level of privacy as the desktop apps. It also packs in loads of advanced privacy features such protection against WebRTC leaks, which is a browser issue that can expose your true IP address.

Customer support is top class featuring 24/7 live chat with friendly, helpful agents and a ton of helpful online resources. The limit of three simultaneous connections is a bit stingy but probably won’t be too much of a problem for the everyday user. It’s not the cheapest option on the current market but you can bring the monthly price right down to $6.67 on the annual plan, which is very good value for money.


Read our full ExpressVPN review

2
NordVPN

Very fast zero-logs VPN. HD streaming & sleek Chrome extension.

Best price
$2.99 per month
Special deal
75% off with 3-year plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
62 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
6
Pros
  1. Brilliant speeds - 71Mbps global average
  2. Peak speeds of up to 296Mbps on local connections
  3. Works reliably with Netflix and iPlayer
  4. Chrome extension is a great bonus feature
  5. Connect securely to 62 countries
  6. Strict zero-logs policy
Cons
  1. Extra VPN protocols require manual config
  2. Slow responses to email
Bottom Line

NordVPN is a solid choice for Chrome if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the full package offered by ExpressVPN. Performance on local servers is some of the best we’ve ever seen, peaking at 296Mbps in some locations, and it doesn’t drop off too much on international connections either. It’s also one of the few providers that still works consistently with both Netflix and BBC iPlayer, which is great news for streaming fans.

Nord missed out on the top spot due to the fact that the Chrome extension they offer is a proxy rather than a full VPN extension. It’s still a useful bonus feature for heavy browser users and while it does encrypt your web traffic, it doesn’t provide the same level of security as a true VPN connection. We really like the strict zero-logs policy as well as all of the advanced privacy features on offer, such as servers optimized for Double VPN and Tor over VPN.

Customer support on the website is brilliant but unfortunately responses to email and live chat can be on the slow side at times. Unlike ExpressVPN, you can’t change the VPN protocol without manual configuration but, at the bargain price of just $2.99 per month on the three-year plan, this is a pretty minor downside and very easy to overlook.


Read our full NordVPN review

3
Private Internet Access

Super fast, private VPN. Sleek extension for Chrome. Easy access to streaming sites.

Best price
$2.91 per month
Special deal
58% off with 2-year plan
Money-back guarantee
7 Days
Customer Support
24/7 Email Support
No. of Server Locations
33 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
5
Pros
  1. Excellent speeds - 89Mbps global average
  2. Access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  3. Sleek proxy extension for Chrome
  4. Unrestricted P2P and torrent use
  5. Connect securely to 33 countries
  6. Strict zero-logs policy
Cons
  1. Server network could be bigger
  2. Based in the privacy-unfriendly US
  3. Old-fashioned, clunky desktop app
  4. Responses to email can be slow
Bottom Line

Private Internet Access is an excellent choice for experienced VPN users looking for sheer power and loads of advanced privacy options. Both uploads and downloads on local connections are seriously quick and unbeaten by most other providers, peaking at a phenomenal 427Mbps, and performance is consistently good across its global network too. Access to major streaming services isn’t as easy as it could be but does the job well enough.

PIA offers a proxy extension for Chrome which is great for if you want to spoof your IP address but aren’t bothered about encrypting your browser traffic. It does protect you against WebRTC leaks though, which is pretty important, although it lacks a VPN kill switch (you can use this on the desktop app). A strict zero-logs policy goes a long way to making up for the fact that PIA is based in the privacy-unfriendly USA.

Customer support on the site is decent but lacks a live chat feature – combine this with the old-fashioned, clunky desktop software and VPN newbies will probably want to look elsewhere. The incredibly low price of $2.91 per month means experienced users will probably be willing to overlook the unpolished layout and focus on the excellent speeds and raw power on offer.


Read our full Private Internet Access review

4
SaferVPN

Speedy, reliable VPN. Easy access to HD streaming. Useful Chrome extension.

Best price
$2.29 per month
Special deal
80% off with 3-year plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
34 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
5
Pros
  1. Reliable speeds - 48Mbps global average
  2. Easy access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  3. Low latency makes it ideal for gamers
  4. Useful proxy extension for Chrome
  5. Connect securely to 34 countries
  6. Advanced privacy features such as Tor over VPN
Cons
  1. Server network is pretty small
  2. Falls under US jurisdiction
  3. Limited customer service
  4. Torrenting only permitted on the Netherlands server
Bottom Line

SaferVPN is a great choice if you need a budget VPN to cover your basic privacy needs. Performance is pretty good in most popular locations, peaking at around 236Mbps, however speeds are a lot less consistent internationally. Access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer is made incredibly easy through servers optimized for HD video.

The Chrome extension is a proxy rather than a full VPN extension but it’ll do the job if you’re just looking to hide your real IP address and access blocked content. We’d advise running it alongside the main app as this offers features such as a VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection, which you won’t find on the extension. A minimal logging policy goes some way to mitigating SaferVPN’s jurisdiction in the USA.

Customer support is decent enough with speedy responses to email and live chat, however we sometimes felt like the support agents weren’t really listening to our problems, which was pretty frustrating. The limited server network means SaferVPN probably isn’t the best choice if you want to connect internationally on a daily basis, however at just $2.29 per month on the three-year plan it’s a great option for everyday browsers and privacy-conscious streamers.


Read our full SaferVPN review

5
CyberGhost

Fast zero-logs VPN. Great for streaming. Proxy browser extension.

Best price
$2.75 per month
Special deal
77% off with 18-month plan
Money-back guarantee
45 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
60 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
7
Pros
  1. Fantastic local downloads of up to 238Mbps
  2. Easy access to Netflix and other popular services
  3. Servers optimized for P2P and torrenting
  4. Handy proxy extension for Chrome
  5. Strict zero-logs policy
Cons
  1. Extension limited to just four countries
  2. No leak protection for proxy extension
  3. Some restrictions on torrenting
Bottom Line

CyberGhost is a super secure and fast zero-logs VPN that is great for streaming fans and torrenters alike. With peak local download speeds of up to 238Mbps, you can watch all your favorite shows in buffer-free HD on multiple devices. Easy access to Netflix and other streaming sites is also a massive bonus for fans of the services.

CyberGhost’s Chrome extension is super easy to download and add to your browser, but again it’s a proxy, so won’t encrypt your traffic. Unlike Private Internet Access, it doesn’t provide any protection against WebRTC leaks, which could temporarily expose your true IP address and since it’s a free service, you are limited to just four server locations. Nevertheless, it’s a useful added bonus to a great overall service.

For just $2.75 per month on the 18-month plan, CyberVPN is great value for money and boasts a range of user-friendly apps and fantastic 24/7 live chat and online support. It’s just a shame that the extension itself isn’t as sophisticated as others.


Read our full CyberGhost review

How we picked the best VPN for Chrome

Our top picks for Chrome all deliver a smooth, user-friendly experience on both desktop and mobile, making them accessible to experienced VPN users and beginners alike. They offer excellent performance on both local and international connections and work with popular streaming sites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. They have a robust set of privacy extras (the best include protection against WebRTC leaks) and minimal logging policies to protect your online activity.

We test all the VPNs featured on our site on a regular basis to ensure our reviews and recommendations are as fresh as possible. Our proprietary speed test tool is running 24/7 across loads of countries worldwide, providing us with real-time info about each provider’s performance in a range of locations. We even make sure customer support is top notch in case you encounter any problems.

How to use a VPN for Chrome

Before you start using a VPN on Chrome, you need to decide whether or not you’re going to sign up to a paid VPN subscription or use a free alternative. Free Chrome extensions are always proxies, meaning they won’t encrypt your browser traffic but will simply spoof your IP address and allow you to access blocked content. They’re also (in most cases) subject to very stingy data caps that won’t allow you to do much more than stream a single half-hour show on Netflix, which isn’t very useful. If you sign up to a paid subscription you’ll get access to custom apps for other devices as well as the Chrome extension, meaning you can protect all of the internet-connected devices in your home.

Once you’ve made this decision, installing the Chrome extension onto your browser is simple and takes just minutes to setup- you can check out our setup guide for Chrome here. After that, using a VPN on Chrome is much the same as using it on any other device. Simply choose a location and you’ll appear to be connecting out from that location, so potential snoopers and hackers won’t be able to see where you really are. For the best possible performance you should choose a server as close as you can to your true physical location. Most providers will have a feature that does this for you, but if the one you choose doesn’t offer this, be sure to choose one that’s at least in the same country.

Once you’re connected to your chosen VPN server, you can continue to use your Chrome browser as normal. Most of our top picks offer DNS/IPv6/WebRTC leak protection, so be sure to toggle these on in case of any unexpected connection drops. Be aware that if you’re just using the Chrome extension and no other form of VPN app, you’re only masking the IP of your browser, so anything you do outside of this (apps such as Spotify or Steam) is visible to your ISP and other third parties. In most cases we advise using the extension as well as the custom app offered by your chosen provider for the highest level of privacy.

How to choose a VPN for Chrome: 8 Tips

  • Does it offer a Chrome extension?

    All top-tier VPN providers offer custom desktop and mobile apps, however only a handful offer decent extensions for the Chrome browser. Our top picks all boast sleek, full-featured Chrome extensions, but look out for the difference between full VPN and proxy extensions proxies will mask your IP address but wont encrypt your web traffic.

  • Does it offer fast, consistent speeds?

    Theres no point choosing a VPN with a super-sleek Chrome extension if bad performance is going to limit what you’re able to do online. As a general rule, the faster speeds, the better, and you should also look for low latency on local servers for a seamless browsing experience.

  • Does it have servers in the locations you need?

    The nearer the VPN server to your physical location, the better the performance. A higher number of servers tends to mean less congestion and improved speeds but unfortunately this isn’t always the case. Take a look at our speed test results to get the best idea, especially if you’re looking to connect to a specific country.

  • Will it work with your favorite websites and apps?

    Do you enjoy using streaming sites such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer? Not all VPNs will work with these websites. We are continuously testing whether each VPN is working with Netflix and other popular sites, and share these results in our VPN reviews.

  • What is their logging policy?

    Most VPNs will tell you that they’re completely “zero logs” but in reality this is almost never the case. In order to deliver reliable performance across a global network, the majority of providers will need to monitor at least some connection details of their users. The logging policy section of our reviews summarizes providers’ privacy policies and terms of service in plain English, meaning you don’t have to read through them all. Ideally you want to look for a provider that doesn’t log any personally identifying details, or even better, one that doesn’t collect any logs at all!

  • Are their client apps and software easy to use?

    Most of you aren’t only going to be using a VPN with Chrome, so you need to choose a provider that offers a good range of custom apps designed for desktop and mobile. Look for a VPN with software that’s well-designed, user-friendly and powerful and you will be much more likely to use it all the time. We share the results of our hands-on testing of each VPN app in the the Ease of Use part of its review. We spend all day testing VPN apps, so hopefully we know a thing or two!

  • Check connection, encryption and security features

    The sheer amount of VPN jargon can be overwhelming, even if you consider yourself to be pretty tech-savvy. Be sure to look out for OpenVPN, as this protocol offers the best balance of speed and privacy. Don’t get lost in talk of military or bank-grade encryption and just look for AES-256, as that’s the best you can get. Unless you know your DNS from your IPv6, a VPN killswitch is the main thing to look out for among security features as it will protect you from exposing your real IP address should your connection drop unexpectedly.

  • Finally, check the price and money-back guarantee

    Even the most expensive VPN plans are very affordable but you will likely have a budget in mind. 12-month plans typically offer the best value and you can reduce the risk of buyer’s remorse by choosing a VPN with a long refund period, preferably 30 days and with no questions asked. These guarantees are much more common than traditional free trials but are essentially the same thing.