Contributor, Benzinga
November 16, 2022

With over 2.65 billion users globally and more than 63.5% shares of the global web browser market, Google Chrome remains the most popular and dominant browser worldwide. Its popularity is unsurprising considering that the app is packed with powerful features ranging from tabs to support for extensions. It is the sixth most essential app among Americans. However, censorship, privacy violations and data breaches have almost become a norm among established authorities and malicious cyber actors in the rapidly changing world. 

And as such, the virtual private network (VPN) has become a popular means by which individuals and businesses protect themselves while browsing. Thanks to Chrome's customizable plugins and extensions, you can seamlessly set up and use a VPN on your browser. However, you must understand that most Chrome VPNs lack the requisite features to deliver optimally and are untrustworthy.

The best VPN for Chrome offers excellent IP switching capabilities, fast location changes and access to websites blocked by your internet service provider (ISP). Benzinga reviews some of the industry's best VPNs for Chrome to help you make an informed choice when shopping for Chrome VPN.

Quick Look at the Best VPNs for Chrome:

  • Best Overall: ExpressVPN
  • Best for Simplicity and User-Friendliness: NordVPN
  • Best for Value or Affordable Pricing: Surfshark
  • Best Feature-Rich Chrome VPN Extension: Private Internet Access (PIA)
  • Best for Freemium Services: Windscribe

Best VPN for Chrome

The best VPNs for Chrome are packed with powerful features that guarantee your privacy and enhance your browsing experience without costing an arm and a leg. Here’s a look into some of the best Chrome VPNs.

Best Overall: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is Benzinga's pick for the best VPN for Chrome, thanks to its robust encryption and security architecture, numerous well-distributed servers and commendable customer support. Unlike most other Chrome VPNs, it is a full VPN extension, not a proxy, and integrates seamlessly with the full desktop app. ExpressVPN protects your entire device and not just your browser once activated. The VPN extension functions like a remote control for the main app but with add-ons favoring web browsing. 

Security is the cornerstone of excellent Chrome VPN, and ExpressVPN delivers optimally in this regard. Besides the popular WebRTC blocking that prevents your IP and DNS from leaking, ExpressVPN offers "HTTPS Everywhere." With this feature, you get redirected automatically to a more HTTPS-secured site anytime you mistakenly get directed to the insecure HTTP version of such websites. Its no-log policy means that your IP address, browsing history, billing data or DNS queries never get logged. 

Furthermore, ExpressVPN offers "HTML5 geo-spoofing." This technology prevents your browser from using HTML5 to determine your physical location. It is the core reason you can easily access geo-blocked content from streaming sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. And since the extension is directly connected to your desktop app, you can access Express's 3,000+ servers across 160 locations in over 90 countries, so you can also access international gaming servers and torrenting sites.

However, these great features come at expensive pricing, with the cheapest deal available at $6.67 per month if you're willing to pay 12 months upfront. Subscription plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee for all packages.

Best for Simplicity and User-Friendliness: NordVPN

If you're looking for a user-friendly Chrome VPN that offers excellent ease of use, the NordVPN Chrome extension is your best bet. In contrast to the feature-rich and customizable full NordVPN desktop app, the Chrome extension is highly simplified and lightweight. You can seamlessly change your IP or encrypt your traffic with a single click. Furthermore, it delivers top speed, thanks to the WireGuard protocols (NordLynx). NordVPN Chrome extension also gives you access to its 5,500+ P2P-sharing optimized servers in 59 countries. 

If you use Chrome to access streaming sites, the NordVPN Chrome extension covers you as it can unblock top sites like Netflix and Hulu. Besides the default-enabled WebRTC blocker, it features a "Bypass List" (which functions as a browser-level split-tunneling, allowing you to select which sites get ignored by the VPN) and CyberSec toggle. The CyberSec toggle (also available in the desktop client) blocks ads and malware and protects you from phishing sites. It filters out websites before loading and notifies you if the website is unsafe.

For added security, NordVPN owns and operates all its DNS servers. Its strict no-log policy has been independently audited. NordVPN offers various subscription packages. However, the best deal is the $2.99 per month (+ 3 months free) two-year plan (paid in full). Each subscription package comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can connect to six devices with one account. 

Best for Value or Affordable Pricing: Surfshark

Surfshark is incredibly cheap or budget-friendly without compromising security and privacy. It supports diverse operating systems and devices, including web browser add-ons, specifically an extension for the Chrome browser. Surfshark has 3,200+ servers scattered across over 60 countries, and you can connect to any of these servers using Surfshark's Chrome extensions. This high-speed global network of secured servers allows multi-hop connections. 

A multi-hop connection reinforces security and privacy by allowing you to connect via two VPN servers. For instance, you can connect to a server in Germany and another in the U.S. You can block ads, trackers and malware by leveraging the CleanWeb feature. This feature protects you from phishing websites. The extension also features "Bypasser," so you can choose websites or IP addresses you don't want to connect via your VPN proxy extension. 

Furthermore, the extension can unblock Netflix and other streaming websites to keep you well-entertained. Surfshark maintains a strict no-log policy and has been audited by independent cybersecurity security firm Cure53. Pricing starts at $12.95 per month, and one account can connect unlimited devices. The best deal is the 24-month plan (at $2.05 per month), paid in full. Each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Best Feature-Rich Chrome VPN Extension: Private Internet Access (PIA)

Private Internet Access (PIA) packs some of the best features in its Chrome VPN extension, which is surprising considering its affordable subscription pricing, especially the three-year plan. It is relatively easy to use and so perfect for newbies looking for cheap, user-friendly VPN extensions with excellent privacy and security tools. Some of the robust security features that make PIA Chrome extensions an excellent choice include WebRTC leak protection, third-party cookies blocker, hyperlink auditing, Flash blocking or disabling and credit card auto-filling. 

Additionally, it offers bonus privacy tools that can prevent websites from accessing your location, camera or microphone. These features make it a genuinely practical option especially considering that most VPN extensions are merely stripped-back versions of the full VPN and, as such, offer limited features. You must, however, understand that these features apply strictly to Chrome extensions, and PIA isn't as grounded as industry leaders like ExpressVPN outside Chrome. Nevertheless, its verifiable open-source code, kill switch, advanced split tunneling and email breach scanner make the full VPN a great choice.

Although not among the fastest, PIA delivers decent connection speed. And if your priority is streaming, the PIA Chrome extension unblocks many popular streaming websites, including Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, YouTube and Prime Video. Its thousands of RAM-only servers scattered across 80+ countries means you won't run out of choices. The monthly subscription is $11.95. However, the three-year plan is the best deal at $2.03 per month (paid fully). Each package comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and one account can connect up to 10 devices.

Best for Freemium Services: Windscribe

Ordinarily, Benzinga advises against no-fee VPNs as they offer limited features and lack robust privacy and security tools, unlike their premium counterpart. However, Windscribe is an exception, thanks to its excellent freemium features. Windscribe's VPN Chrome extension is outstanding for various reasons. Despite being a proxy, you don't need a full VPN desktop client to get this extension operational. It is an excellent choice for work laptops or any device you don't want to install software on. On the flip side, you miss out on full device encryption.

The extension's suites of features include:

  • Numerous ads and malware blockers
  • WebRTC leak protection
  • Location warp that spoofs your location to that of the connected proxy
  • Double hop, which proxies your connection via any two servers on the network

It offers advanced cookies control, time zone and user agent spoofing referred to as time warp and split personality. Windscribe lacks an impressive number of servers — the paid plan gets you about 500 servers across 110 locations in 63 countries (10 for the freemium). 

Nevertheless, as a freemium user, you have a decent selection of geo-restricted content to access in the 10 countries, including the Netflix-compatible Windflix server. Besides the limited server, another critical drawback of the freemium service is the limited monthly data — 2 GB or 10 GB if you provide emails during signup. 

Why Do You Need a VPN for Chrome?

Chrome VPN extensions are typically helpful for their security and privacy protections via WebRTC leak blocking, Web tracker blocking and HTML5 geo-spoofing. Nevertheless, it serves many other purposes — here’s a look at some of them.

Maintain or Improve Online Privacy 

Whether for good or bad reasons, a lot of people might be interested in knowing what you do online. These entities may include the government, advertisers and underworld cyber actors. Even your Internet Service Providers (ISPs) might be snooping. VPN Chrome extensions make it difficult for observers to identify you and track your online activities by encrypting your traffic and rerouting it through its numerous server networks. 

Bypass Censorship 

With the VPN Chrome extension, you can seamlessly connect to a VPN server network in another country and browse the web as if you were physically where that VPN server is. This feature can help users get around various forms of media content censorship in highly-censored nation states like China, Cuba, Myanmar, Iran and Saudi Arabia. 

Unblock Streaming Contents

Streaming services often offer different content to different countries. Until recently, U.S. residents could only watch Star Trek: Discovery via Paramount+, while U.K. residents enjoyed it on Netflix. Suppose you use Google Chrome to access streaming sites. In that case, Chrome VPN extensions can help you to access content unavailable in your country from the comfort of your home, thanks to its network of servers.

Malware Protection, Ad-Blocks and Cookies Control

Malware is an intrusive piece of code or computer software (e.g., virus, trojan and ransomware) deployed by hackers to steal data. Clicking on a phishing link or files can install malware on your device. Several VPNs offer protection against established malware sites and files. 

Some incorporate dedicated antivirus tools as well. Furthermore, VPN Chrome extensions feature ad-blockers to stop incessant pop-ups that may impact your overall user experience when browsing. Others offer advanced cookies control, allowing you to automatically delete any or all cookies on leaving a webpage.

Considerations With VPNs

There are a lot of factors you should consider when shopping for the best VPN Chrome for extensions. Let's face it; you're handing over your browser connection (which may involve transmitting sensitive information) to a third party. Here are the essential things you need to think about.

Privacy and Security 

How the VPN extension provider guarantees the protection and security of your data is vital. Excellent Chrome VPNs leverage modern encryption technology like WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols to encrypt and reroute your internet traffic.

Some VPNs offer multi-layer encryption to enhance data privacy and security. Either way, a VPN that lets your traffic go through unsecured channels betrays the core purpose. So ensure your providers deliver optimally on privacy and security.

Google Chrome Compatibility 

Despite Chrome being the most popular browser, you must understand that not all providers have extensions for Chrome browsers. Some may have extensions strictly made for Firefox browsers that won't be compatible with Chrome. Ask questions regarding the compatibility of chosen VPN. 

Excellent Speed

Besides security and privacy, you should prioritize speed when shopping for a VPN Chrome extension. The reason is that most average internet usage patterns involve videos, music and photos. All these types of media require significant bandwidth. So ensure your choice of VPN Chrome extensions delivers optimally in connection or upload and download speed. A VPN that slows you down won't be of use.

Abundant Network of Servers and Features 

Service stability is linked to the number of server networks in all VPNs. In essence, the stronger the network of servers, the more stable service you'll get. Furthermore, having an extensive network of servers means you can easily connect to the nearest networks, which may impact your speed. 

Consider a Chrome VPN extension with abundant servers covering diverse countries. It would help to consider extra features like malware blockers, ad-blockers, split tunneling and a dedicated IP. Overall, having additional features makes for an excellent user experience.

Pricing and Customer Support 

An excellent VPN for Chrome delivers outstanding speed and robust data security and privacy while remaining affordable. Such services also offer incredible extra features and 24/7 customer support. This is the case with most of the Chrome VPN extensions in this Benzinga list and is therefore worth considering.

Frequently Asked Questions


Does Chrome offer a VPN?


Chrome does not offer a built-in VPN protocol. However, you can choose from numerous third-party VPN apps and extensions for Chrome.


How do I add a VPN to Chrome?


You can add VPN to Chrome as an extension through the Chrome store. Once you open the Chrome store on the Chrome browser, you can search out any VPN of your choice and click the button next to it to add it as an extension.