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Best VPN Extensions for Chrome

Illustration of laptop computer with Google Chrome logo in the center
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

Google Chrome is not a private web browser. Without consent, it automatically saves your browsing history, bookmarks, and saved passwords to Google’s servers. The best VPNs for Chrome will hide your IP address and, as long as you’re not logged into a Google account (e.g. Gmail), your web browsing activity can’t be linked back to you.

The best VPN Chrome extensions will also secure your web connections, especially when you visit websites that don’t use HTTPS. What’s more, a good Chrome VPN will unblock geo-restricted websites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and plenty more from anywhere in the world.

In this guide we’ve reviewed the best VPN Chrome extensions, so you can make a more informed decision about which Chrome VPN to use.

Currently, the best VPNs for Chrome in 2020 are

  1. ExpressVPN: Very fast, very private and will unblock all websites from your Chrome browser Read summary
  2. NordVPN: A safe and secure extension, available for an affordable price. Read summary
  3. Private Internet Access: The fastest VPN extension on the market. Read summary
  4. Surfshark: A very user-friendly VPN that unblocks 15+ Netflix regions. Read summary
  5. Windscribe: The best free VPN for Chrome; very secure and includes an ad-blocker. Read summary

Read on for a detailed look at each of these VPN Chrome extensions.

Chrome VPN Testing Criteria

  1. Includes Google Chrome browser extension
  2. Unblocks Netflix & other streaming sites
  3. Fast web browsing speeds
  4. Advanced security features like WebRTC leak prevention
  5. No user activity logs and no IP address leaks

Wondering why you should trust our reviews?
See How We Review VPNs.

5 Best VPN Chrome Extensions of 2020

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the #1 all-round VPN Chrome extension.

  1. Fully-featured Chrome extension
  2. Very fast speeds around the world
  3. Works with Netflix, Hulu & BBC iPlayer
  4. Independently audited extension
  5. Large server park in over 90 countries
  6. No personally-identifiable user logs
  1. Fairly expensive
  2. No ad-blocker
  • Best Price

    $6.67/mo over 15 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    85Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    94 countries, 3,000+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #1 VPN for Chrome

ExpressVPN has the very best VPN extension for Google Chrome.

Unlike all other VPNs, ExpressVPN offers a fully-featured browser extension that sits above and beyond the rest. While many VPN services offer a proxy browser extension, ExpressVPN’s add-on works like a full VPN, encrypting all your web data. The main ExpressVPN client will have to be running on your device, though.

ExpressVPN is headquartered in the very privacy-focused British Virgin Islands, and the Chrome extension was independently audited in 2019 to prove just how effective it is as a privacy tool. Not to mention that ExpressVPN doesn’t collect any personally-identifiable logs.

The great thing about ExpressVPN is that works with all major streaming websites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and BBC iPlayer. It’s also one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested, although PIA VPN is currently the fastest.

All in all, the ExpressVPN Chrome extension is fast, secure and your privacy and security will be safeguarded.

For a more in-depth look, read our full ExpressVPN review.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN's chrome extension is fast, secure and blocks unwanted ads.

  1. User-friendly Chrome extension
  2. Excellent speeds
  3. Unlocks Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  4. Built-in ad-blocker
  5. Strict no-logs policy
  6. Over 5,000 servers worldwide
  1. Some advanced features missing
  2. Works inconsistently in China
  • Best Price

    $3.71/mo over 24 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    93Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    59 countries, 5,394 servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #2 VPN for Chrome

NordVPN also offers a very good Chrome extension as part of its subscription. The main difference is that, unlike ExpressVPN’s add-on, it doesn’t encrypt your traffic as it’s just a proxy.

On the plus side, NordVPN’s extension comes with a built-in ad-blocker. If you don’t like seeing ads while you browse the web, this extension is for you.

Another useful built-in feature is its WebRTC leak blocker, which is designed to prevent any potential WebRTC leaks. You can enable this feature from the settings menu.

Just like ExpressVPN, NordVPN is also an excellent VPN for streaming. It unlocks seven different Netflix libraries, as well as Hulu, BBC iPlayer and many more streaming websites.

Despite a security incident involving a Finnish server in October 2019, we still think NordVPN is a very secure VPN. It has a strict no-logs policy and it’s protected by the safe jurisdiction of Panama.

While it comes a close second to ExpressVPN, NordVPN is considerably cheaper if you sign up for the three-year plan, which comes in at only $3.49 per month.

For a more in-depth look, read our full NordVPN review.

3. Private Internet Access

PIA VPN is the fastest Chrome VPN we've tested.

  1. User-friendly proxy Chrome add-on
  2. Excellent speeds worldwide
  3. Advanced privacy features
  4. Access to Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  5. Strict no-logs policy
  1. Fairly small server network
  2. Won't work in China
  • Best Price

    $2.19/mo over 3 years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    89Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    74 countries, 12,204 servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #3 VPN for Chrome

Private Internet Access (PIA) is improving day by day and when it comes to Chrome it’s certainly giving NordVPN a run for its money.

In fact, the PIA Chrome extension has a lot of good things going on for it. Most impressive of all is PIA’s fantastic speeds. For a while now, it’s been the fastest VPN of 2020, even faster than ExpressVPN.

Like NordVPN, it also features WebRTC leak protection. It also allows you to block websites from accessing your location, camera, or microphone. Additionally, you can block Flash and block third-party cookies, website referrers, and trackers. 

Recently, it also started working with Netflix USA and BBC iPlayer, and we’ve been told PIA VPN will soon work with many more streaming services.

Finally, if you’re worried about your security with this extension, don’t be. PIA VPN secures your traffic using Squid HTTPS and none of your web activity is logged, in accordance with its logging policy.

For a more in-depth look, read our full Private Internet Access review.

4. Surfshark

Surfshark's VPN for Chrome unlocks 15 Netflix libraries.

  1. Secure Chrome proxy extension
  2. Good speeds locally & internationally
  3. Blocks ads, trackers & malware
  4. Unlocks 15 Netflix libraries
  5. Connect securely to 50 countries
  6. No-logs policy & safe jurisdiction
  1. Slower speeds than other top VPNs
  2. Browser extension doesn't block WebRTC
  • Best Price

    $2.21/mo over 27 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    85Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    66 countries

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #4 VPN for Chrome

Surfshark’s proxy Chrome extension spoofs your IP address, and it is particularly formidable at unlocking Netflix libraries. In fact, Surfshark works with 15 Netflix catalogues including US, France, South Korea and Japan.

While it’s not the fastest of VPN extensions, Surfshark is certainly secure and it won’t log your web activity. Surfshark also has a built-in feature called CleanWeb, which blocks ads, trackers and malware. It’s a shame that it doesn’t include WebRTC leak protection.

Unsurprisingly, Surfshark’s Chrome extension passed a recent independent audit, just like ExpressVPN. The report stated that Surfshark’s browser add-ons are “not exposed to any issues, neither in the privacy nor in the more general security realms.”

Overall, Surfshark has the most user-friendly Chrome extension that is aimed at Netflix super fans. While it’s not as fast and versatile as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, it does do the job and at a very low price: $1.99 per month over 36 months.

For a more in-depth look, read our full Surfshark review.

5. Windscribe

Windscribe is the best free VPN Chrome extension of 2020.

  1. Fully-featured Chrome extension
  2. Good levels of security
  3. Ad-blocker included
  4. Unlocks US Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  5. Free version has 10gb data cap
  1. Inconsistent speeds
  2. Some logging
  3. No human live chat support
  • Best Price

    $4.08/mo over 12 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    95Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    63 countries

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #5 VPN for Chrome

Windscribe’s Chrome extension is very popular, with over 1,000,000 downloads from the Google Web Store.

Importantly, there are versions of Windscribe: a free limited add-on, and full-featured paid version.

The free version of Windscribe has a 10gb monthly data cap, and it won’t work with popular streaming websites. However, the paid version unlocks US Netflix, and it’s slightly faster than the free add-on. You’re also limited to 10 countries if you use the free VPN extension, but this increases to 63 countries if you upgrade to the paid version.

Like with ExpressVPN and NordVPN, Windscribe’s extension doesn’t just spoof your IP, but it encrypts all your web browser traffic. It’s a full-on VPN extension unlike many extensions out there, which are just proxies.

We like the fact it comes with an ad blocker and tools to stop advertisers tracking you. Also, its Split Personality feature randomly rotates your user agent, making it harder for your browser to determine what OS and device you’re using.

Clearly, the Windscribe Chrome extension needs some improvement to compete with ExpressVPN and NordVPN, but it’s undoubtedly the best free VPN extension we’ve seen.

For a more in-depth look, read our full Windscribe VPN review.

Chrome VPN FAQs

What's the Best Free Chrome VPN?

Screenshots of the Windscribe browser extension

Windscribe – #5 on our list of paid Chrome extensions – also has a free version of its VPN app, which is our #1 free VPN for Chrome.

The free VPN app requires no payment information on signup, however there are limited in terms of they can do.

Other good free VPN extensions to consider are TunnelBear and Hide.me. You can read more about these free VPN plug-ins in our guide of the best free VPNs.

Remember that free Chrome VPN extensions are mostly proxies that won’t encrypt your web browser traffic. Proxies simply spoof your IP address to unlock blocked content.

How Do I Add a VPN Extension to Chrome?

Once you decide which VPN is right for you and signed up to the service, you can add its extension to Chrome in no time at all.  

The best way to install the VPN Chrome extension is to log into your account on your VPN service’s website.

Using ExpressVPN as example, once you’ve logged in you’ll see the option to ‘Set Up on More Devices’.

'Set Up More Devices' Option on ExpressVPN Website for Browser Extension Guide

Select this option and you’ll be presented with a series of device options.

Select the ‘Google Chrome’ option and then ‘Get Extension’.

Extension for Chrome Button

This will automatically take you to the Google Play store where you can add the browser extension to your browser with a click of the button, ‘Add to Chrome’.

ExpressVPN 'Add to Chrome' Option for Browser Extension

Alternatively, perhaps more simply, you can head straight to the Google Play store via Google and add the extension to Chrome this way. 

You’ll be asked to sign in once its added to your browser via the indicator at the top and you can start using it from there. 

For a more detailed explanation, read our dedicated Chrome VPN setup guide.

How Do I Add a VPN Extension to Incognito Mode?

To be private and safe while browsing on Chrome, it’s best to go in incognito mode and have a VPN browser extension running simultaneously. 

The problem is: Chrome blocks extensions while in incognito mode. This is because it doesn’t know whether the extension can be trusted and aren’t tracking your information. 

However, if you have a VPN that you can trust, you can still add the extension to incognito Chrome. 

To do this, go to the Chrome menu (the three dots in the top right) > More Tools > Extensions.

In a list you’ll find the option to ‘Allow in incognito’. Click the swipe and you can now use a VPN extension while in private mode. With this, you’ll be extra safe.

Is Google Chrome Incognito Mode Really Private?

No, Google Chrome incognito mode is not private. Incognito mode is a way to browse the web without it storing browsing data. That means it doesn’t remember logins or searches or store cookies. It’s useful at stopping people tracking your online activities. 

However, it does not keep your activity private from your ISP, or the government, or any network admin you are a part of (say, an employer or university).

Google even say as much: “Your activity isn’t hidden from websites you visit, your employer or school, or your internet service provider.”

If you’ve ever taken the time to read the text when you go incognito, it reiterates the point there too.

Incognito Mode Screenshot-min

More than that, remember that if you are logged into an account (Google, Amazon, and so on), incognito mode will make no difference. 

Will a Chrome VPN Keep My Data Private?

Chrome comes with some pre-enabled settings that, if left unchanged, can send detailed information about your browsing activity directly to Google, which is at the mercy of any and all government requests for information.

And, as you can see in Google’s transparency report, it surrenders information to government requests the majority of times. For example: in a period of six months, governments from around the world requested information on 135,302 Google accounts. 

Using a VPN won’t keep this information from Google, and Google knows what you’re doing as long as you’re signed into your account. 

Only when signing out of your account and using a VPN is your browsing made private.

Is Using a VPN on Chrome Safe?

Using a trustworthy VPN on Chrome is safe. The real question you need to ask yourself is: how safe is Google Chrome without a VPN?

Google Chrome is a safe browser, but it’s not very private. As we discussed above, Google collects a lot of data on its users, including personal information stored in your Google account.

In terms of which Chrome VPNs are the safest, all the VPNs we recommend in this guide are very secure. But remember, VPN browser extensions for Chrome simply spoof your IP address so we strongly recommend that you use a VPN extension with the full VPN software running on your device.

Watch out for free VPNs, though. There are many free VPN addons that are dangerous and you should avoid, especially Hola VPN (see below).

VPN Extensions to Avoid

Much to our dismay, Hola VPN is a very popular free VPN extension for Chrome users, with millions of installs.

Unfortunately, Hola VPN is actually an extremely insecure peer-to-peer proxy network, that’s being incorrectly marketed as a full VPN.

Hola VPN doesn’t actually provide any encryption, and it forces its users to share their idle device bandwidth with other users. That means that your internet connection can be used by other people, and your IP address will be associated with those activities.

To make matters worse, Hola VPN also monitors your online activity, including the websites you visit, and has been known to sell user bandwidth without consent. 

Other free VPN extensions to avoid are: Hoxx VPN Proxy, Super VPN, Touch VPN and VPN Proxy Master.

On the whole, we suggest staying clear of most free VPN add-ons available in the Google Web Store due to alarming security risks. Instead, play it safe and opt for our top recommendation Windscribe.

Can I Install a VPN on Chromecast?

Chromecast allows you to stream video content online, however the content accessible is determined by your geographical region. 

While you can’t install a VPN on a Chromecast, you can launch a VPN on your computer or smartphone and then cast your browser window or screen to your Chromecast. More tech savvy users may also want to setup the VPN on their home router.

You can also read this helpful Chromecast setup guide on ExpressVPN’s website

Do I Need a VPN for Chromebook?

Chromebooks are designed for fast, lightweight browsing of the internet. With this speed and efficiency, however, come security risks, including hacking, malware and even spying. 

With that in mind, you should use a VPN on your Chromebook. You can do this easily by adding a VPN browser extension to a Chromebook just like you would do on a computer. Google has created a helpful guide on how to set up a VPN on Chromebook.

About the Author

  • Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio