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Chromebooks have a lot to offer. They're cheap, well-specified for their intended use, generally lightweight, full-featured, and have pretty good battery life. They are perfect for school and work. However, many users may have privacy concerns regarding Google-based laptops.
Google isn't mean, but it apparently intends to make as much money as possible from your data. A VPN won't be able to prevent the company from collecting data while you're using the Chromebook, but it can prevent them from seeing what you're doing online. A VPN on any device can prevent anyone from seeing what you are doing online.
As our browsing data is now considered fair game by ISPs, merchants and large corporations, it is our responsibility to protect it. A VPN is one of the most effective ways to do this.
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Chromebook VPN support
Although Chromebooks aren't like your Windows or Mac computers, they support VPNs. Chrome OS supports the three main VPN connection types, L2TP over IPSec with PSK, L2TP over IPSec with certificate authentication, and OpenVPN.
While we're discussing the Chromebook, your options for setting up a VPN are to use a Chrome extension, app, or VPN client. While all three will work, a VPN app or client is the best option because they'll protect all your device traffic, not just Chrome traffic. Most VPN services come with their own client that will work on Chrome OS, among other things.
You can configure Chrome OS manually to use an L2TP connection if you prefer. Otherwise, installing a VPN client or app is very easy to do the hard work for you.
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VPN for Chromebooks
We know why we need to install a VPN, to securely encrypt all your internet traffic. Now let's move on to the VPN services you should consider. Each of the following will offer 256-bit encryption, a client or app to install on your Chromebook, and have a reputation for reliability. They will also all be no-log VPNs, which is vital if you're doing something online that you don't want to be identified.
You won't go wrong with any of these options:
ExpressVPN is our go-to VPN. It's fast, reliable, has a range of VPN servers in 160 locations in 94 countries. It also works to allow Netflix and other geo-locked services which is an added bonus. ExpressVPN doesn't have a Chrome OS client but does offer a stable Android version and a Chrome extension that you can install from the Google Play Store.
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ExpressVPN is compatible with most Chromebooks and you can easily install it by visiting this site. If your Chromebook is limited in storage, you can even use the Chrome Extension available here.
Unlike some of the other VPNs on our list, the service offers a free trial and a money-back guarantee, so even if you sign up and don't like it, you can get your money back. If you decide to keep the service, it's only $12,95/month. for five devices.
With its easy setup, great value, and versatility, you can't go wrong with ExpressVPN on any device, especially a Chromebook.
NordVPN is another regular on our VPN lists, for the same reasons ExpressVPN shows up so often too. It's reliable, secure with 256-bit encryption, fast, and works on almost any device. It's not the cheapest option. Not by far, but it has an enviable number of VPN servers and can double VPN when you really need to be secure.
You can use an Android app or a Chrome extension if you don't want to configure L2TP manually.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is another VPN compatible with ChromeOS. It's fast, secure and uses 256-bit encryption. It has an Android app and a Chrome extension for easy installation and offers over 3 servers in 300 countries around the world. It is compatible with PPTP, OpenVPN and L32TP/IPSec and allows you to connect up to ten devices at once, which none of these others do.
PIA is also more competitive than some of these other services, making it a good option for price-conscious consumers. There is also a free trial.
IPVanish is another great VPN option for Chromebooks because it works like an Android app or a Chrome extension. IPVanish differs from these other services in that it owns its own server farms rather than renting them. This offers a bit more control over speeds and traffic, but no added security benefits. It is, however, secure, with 256-bit encryption and no logs.
IPVanish offers a free trial and a money back guarantee, but you shouldn't need it. Like the others on this list, the service is fast and reliable and does everything you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may still be learning about your Chromebook or still have questions about VPNs. In any case, we have included this section to answer the most frequently asked questions.
Will a VPN slow down my Chromebook?
A good VPN shouldn't slow down your internet connection too much. But, as the old saying goes “you get what you pay for”. Apart from the VPN provider you choose, you will also need to consider the distance of the server you connect to from your device. For example, if you're in the US and connecting to a server in Australia, you might experience a bit more latency than if you connect to a server in the UK.
Choosing a strong and reliable VPN like ExpressVPN will serve you better than some other providers that offer free connections, because they simply don't have the support to maximize your internet speeds.
How do I set up a VPN on my Chromebook?
Setting up a VPN on a Chromebook is very easy. If you decide to use an extension, just open the Google Chrome browser on your Chromebook and visit the Chrome Web Store. From there, you can search the Web Store for the VPN you want to use.
If you want to use one of the VPN apps on your Chromebook, first go to the provider's website and register if you haven't already. Next, you'll need to open network settings on your Chromebook by clicking on the time in the lower right corner and clicking on the Settings cog. Click on the option to Add next to VPN. Then you can follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup. Depending on the VPN you use, the instructions may vary slightly.
Securing your Chromebook is as important as securing any device. You would be amazed at the amount of data you give away with just one browsing session. A VPN can help secure that and secure your devices at the same time. Try one today and enjoy true peace of mind!