For many, a VPN is now essential every time you go online. Whether you're using a desktop, laptop, or phone, you should use a VPN to hide what you're doing. You have nothing to hide, but with ISPs now legally allowed to collect data about your browsing habits and sell it for profit, your privacy has never been more valuable.
Chrome being one of the most popular browsers in the world, it's no wonder that major VPN providers create extensions just for it. Some services work better than others, and some VPNs are also better than others. In fact, depending on your internet service provider, your internet speed may be subject to slowdown when using a VPN, so make sure you've done all you can to speed up your Chrome experience.
As a website very concerned about online privacy, we've put together this list of the best VPN extensions for Chrome. Each works well in the browser and offers both a desktop app and a specific Chrome extension for localized protection. Follow this article for our overview of Chrome VPN extensions.
VPN and privacy
The common response from authorities when discussing VPNs or internet privacy is "if you have nothing to hide, why worry?" This is an incredibly myopic and willfully ignorant view for three very good reasons.
ISPs make money from your data
Since the rules were relaxed that allow ISPs to monetize your browsing data, most of them have. Your information is anonymized and not identifiable to our knowledge, but your data is still used to generate profits at your ISP.
VPNs protect you online
VPNs aren't just about privacy. They are also about security. Use Wi-Fi hotspots? Connecting to wireless networks at an airport or at work? If so, doing so without a VPN exposes you to data harvesting or attacks from hackers, fake hotspots, or malware. Do even a very basic internet search on any of them and you will see plenty of evidence showing that these threats are real.
The best way to protect against this is to encrypt your connection with a VPN. You can be seen but your traffic cannot be identified or reached. That's reason enough to use one.
Your data belongs to you
Finally, it doesn't matter whether you have something to hide or not. Your data is exactly that, yours. No one else has a right to it unless you give them that right, so it's also within your right to protect it.
With our reasons for using a VPN out of the way, let's dive into our five choices for VPN extensions in Chrome.
ExpressVPN is a very competent VPN provider overall, including its Chrome extension. It's one of the biggest names in VPNs, but it's also one of the more expensive options. An annual plan costs $8,32 per month, $12,95 if paid monthly, or you can get a 6 month plan for $9,99 per month. You do, however, get unlimited bandwidth, excellent performance and reliability, 256-bit AES encryption, and plenty of features. ExpressVPN is a no-log VPN if you use the app, but there is some logging if you use the Chrome extension. Be aware of what you are doing when using Chrome!
Ours-tunnel is a premium VPN provider that offers a basic free plan with 500MB per month of data, $3,33 per month for unlimited plan for 3-year plan, and $4,99 per month for one. 1 year plan. It offers a standalone VPN app and a Chrome extension for added convenience. Tunnelbear is known for its reliability and speed and uses 256-bit AES encryption by default. With very little logging and independent security audits performed on a regular basis, Tunnelbear devotes a great deal of its resources to keeping you secure.
All the others
Hotspot Shield is another very established name in VPNs that also offers a Chrome extension as well as its own app. This VPN didn't have the best reputation for speed and reliability, but is now a great option for security, speed, and reliability. The app and extension work well and quickly encrypt your connection on almost any device. Pricing is also reasonable, starting at $7,99 per month for unlimited traffic.
ZenMate VPN is another trusted provider that offers a standalone app and a Chrome extension. It has been around for a while and has proven itself. The app works well and maintains a connection regardless of what you're doing and on what device. The service does not guarantee any logs, which is a plus for many users. The downside is that the service only offers 128-bit encryption, which isn't the strongest. For just privacy, that's more than enough. For more serious security, this is not the case. There is a free version and a paid version of the app with limited speed and data while the premium is $10,99 per month, $4,49 per month for an annual plan or $1,65 per month for a 3-year plan, according to the discounts offered. .
NordVPN is another big name in VPNs that offers a standalone app and a Chrome extension. NordVPN is highly rated for the size of its network, the speed of its services, and the quality of its app. It's also usually one of the more expensive VPN options out there, but there's a special offer right now that brings the price down to a much more justifiable amount. The application is very stable, as is the extension. There are hundreds of servers available and this is a no-log VPN.
VPN Extensions for Chrome
There are a plethora of Chrome VPN extensions to choose from, hopefully our list has helped you understand what to look for and some options to choose from. Whichever provider you choose for your VPN, make sure they don't log activity or sell your data, as is the case with most free VPNs.
Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on VPNs below.