10 Best VPN Extensions for Chrome (Free & Paid)

best vpn extensions for chrome

Whenever you use the internet, your browser is always collecting and sending information about you to every single website you visit.

Some of this information includes data such as:

  • Your IP address
  • Your location
  • Your operating system
  • Your computer hardware
  • Whether any other devices are connected to the same network

While you may not care whether Google knows this information about you, what about other websites that are malicious in nature? When you browse the internet with an unprotected browser, your personal information is ripe for the picking.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though—there are plenty of brilliant extensions for Google Chrome, the world’s most popular internet browser, that you can use to protect your information when you’re online.

These extensions are all offered by leading VPN companies you may have already heard of.

As general consumer awareness surrounding privacy has grown, so has the use of VPNs. There are now several high-quality VPN services out there that you can use to cover your tracks online, hide your information, and unblock regional restrictions through streaming sites such as Netflix.

With just a few clicks on your browser, you can protect yourself from Google tracking your every move.

The 10 Best VPN Extensions for Google Chrome

These are the 10 VPN Chrome extensions that we have come across during our VPN review process and think are the best. Ease-of-use, superior features, and solid privacy protection all factored into our decision.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is by far the best all-around VPN service that delivers fast, secure, and consistently reliable service with its thousands of servers located in over 150 different countries.

With a valid ExpressVPN subscription, you can add their extension to Chrome in a matter of seconds and benefit from comprehensive protection of your Chrome-based internet activity. It’s worth noting, though, that ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension will not work unless you have their desktop app installed.

The Chrome extension itself performs very well, just as you would expect with any ExpressVPN product.

At the time of this review, ExpressVPN boasts having over 501,000 active installs.

Although they do not offer a free trial, their entire VPN product comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked. This means you can take ExpressVPN for a spin risk-free and get a refund if you’re not impressed—unlikely!

If you do decide to subscribe, their cheapest plan comes to $8.32 per month for a one-year subscription billed annually at $99.84.

Try ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is almost exactly the same as ExpressVPN, the only difference being that NordVPN is just slightly less expensive.

Just like ExpressVPN, you need a valid subscription to NordVPN in order to use their Google Chrome extension. It can be installed as a standalone extension though—you do not need to have NordVPN installed on your desktop to use it.

Service-wise, there are thousands of servers located across a smaller selection of countries. Performance is consistently great—you don’t lose much speed up or down—and they operate a proven anti-logging policy.

At the time of writing this review, NordVPN has over 236,000 active installs.

You can try out NordVPN with a 7-day free trial. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but go ahead and use their free trial before making a purchase. 7 days is enough time to decide whether you want to buy a subscription or not.

Their lowest price starts at just $2.99 per month on their 3-year plan for a grand total of $107.64.

Try NordVPN

3. Windscribe

Windscribe offers the full and unrestricted version of its service on the Google Chrome store for free. There is a catch, however—you can only use 10GB worth of data per month unless you pay for a subscription.

We aren’t going to pretend that 10GB of data isn’t a lot though, it is a respectable amount of data that you can easily get a lot of use out of. That said, if you’re someone who wants to remain connected all the time and/or stream a lot of content, it won’t be enough.

So far as their service goes, Windscribe offers strong encryption and a decent number of servers while performing at a level that’s good enough for most activities.

Windscribe VPN is quite popular as a freemium VPN – the Chrome web store shows there are nearly 900,000 users.

Windscribe Pro is available from $9.00 per month or $4.08 per month when billed annually at $49.

Try Windscribe

4. TunnelBear

TunnelBear offers a free version of their premium VPN service that offers access to their Google Chrome extension.

The service itself is very good. It has all the features you would expect–it doesn’t log anything, and it doesn’t slow down your speeds.

The Chrome extension is very easy to use… it certainly passes the newbie test so far as we’re concerned! One drawback, however, is that you only get 500MB of free data per month. This may sound like a lot, but it wouldn’t take a regular internet user long to burn through, even if you abstain from streaming content.

Although there’s a cap, it seems over 843,000 users still enjoy this VPN extension on Chrome.

If you like TunnelBear after trying it out, you can buy unlimited data on a month-to-month basis for $9.99, or $59.99 when billed annually.

Try TunnelBear

5. Ivacy

It only takes a matter of minutes, if not seconds, to install Ivacy on Chrome. You don’t need to install their desktop app for it to work either.

Ivacy is renowned for providing fast and consistently reliable service with over 1,000 servers located across 100+ locations. The breadth of locations is nearly as vast as those offered by ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

When you connect via the Chrome app, you are automatically assigned to an optimum server, but you can easily switch to a different one. The app itself is nifty, fast, and simple to use.

The pricing for their premium service starts at $9.95 monthly. But if you usign up for 2 years, you get a crazy 77% discount. The price drops to a mere $2.25 per month if you get it now.

Try Ivacy

6. ibVPN

Don’t let the missing icon fool you, it’s a great VPN!

To install and use Betternet, you need to create an account. Once you’re logged in, you can manage the VPN quite easily; one click connect and even a nice server picker.

You can sign up for ibVPN for $4.95 per month. And you can even try it for free for 24 hours to get a feel for this VPN Chrome extension.

If you want to sign up for a yearly payment plan, it averages to $3.08 per month. Cheap!

Try ibVPN

7. CyberGhost

CyberGhost offers a free proxy for Google Chrome that installs very quickly and is easy to use—there’s only an on/off button and a menu you can use to switch locations.

While it’s free, fast, and easy to use, you’re very limited in server choice—at the time of writing, there are only four locations available—and the performance isn’t as good as their flagship desktop app. When connected, all your traffic is encrypted, and your information is safe.

CyberGhost says it cannot guarantee that their Chrome extension will protect against leaking when using the free version… this seems like a strange way of persuading people to subscribe to their premium service, but they are quite reputable.

Almost 100,000 users!

Try CyberGhost

8. Private Internet Access (PIA)

PIA is one of the cheapest VPNs available at a budget-friendly price of $6.95 per month on a rolling monthly basis. This comes down to a tiny $2.91 per month when you purchase a two-year subscription at $69.95.

Their pricing doesn’t mean they compromise on performance either.

We’re big fans of PIA—although they’re based in the U.S., they came out on top of two court cases where authorities failed to force them to disclose information about their users. Given that PIA has an anti-logging policy, the information they did have probably wasn’t very interesting or substantial.

Their Chrome extension is just as fast and simple to use as their flagship desktop VPN, and they use the latest standards in encryption and tunneling to protect your data.

Try PIA

9. Hide.me

For some reason, hide.me doesn’t have their Chrome extension on Google’s Chrome web store. And don’t be fooled by the one being offered by hideme.io – it’s not reliable and is not the same as the one being offered by hide.me.

The nice thing is, hide.me also has a freemium model – you can use hide.me for free. It comes with a 2GB data transfer cap.

You will definitely want to upgrade, in which case, you should remember their monthly subscription cost – $4.99.

If you pay for the most expensive subscription, it’s $9.99 per month.
Try hide.me

10. GoBestVPN Search Extension

To help you in your search for the best VPN products online, we created a simple extension that lets you search for reviews on your Chrome browser.

If you want quick access to unbiased reviews on over 100+ VPNs, simply install the tool and you’re good to go!

Get GoBestVPN Search Extension


DO NOT GET THESE FREE CHROME EXTENSIONS

DotVPN

Nearly 1 million vulnerable users.

DotVPN’s free Chrome extension is very basic and limited. It can still be used as a quick and simple solution when you need to temporarily cover yourself online. It’s by no means restricted to the point where it’s rendered useless, that’s for sure.

You do need to sign up if you want to use DotVPN for free and this means you’ll receive marketing emails with DotVPN trying to get you to sign up for their premium service.

DotVPN’s Chrome extension is slow. Don’t even try to stream anything. Also, it’s worth noting that DotVPN is based in Hong Kong and is subject to China’s questionable privacy laws.

The premium version costs too much  for a slow, non-working VPN – $4.99 monthly.

Read Our DotVPN Review

Hola

8 million+ users who are vulnerable

Hola is a popular Chrome-only VPN that’s free, easy to install, and comes with unlimited usage. The catch is that you need to connect to Hola each time you visit a site you want to be protected on.

It’s easy to use the Hola app to select and connect to a country and the service works well enough. It’s slow but you can’t really complain when you’re using something that’s completely free.

Each time you navigate to a new site, though, your connection to Hola drops. It’s important to keep this in mind as you could accidentally expose yourself.

The VPN is a P2P network, meaning you’re leaving yourself extremely vulnerable as well.

We do not recommend using the free version let alone pay for this VPN.

Read Our Hola VPN Review

DotVPN Review

Like many we’ve reviewed, DotVPN is a browser add-on as opposed to a downloadable piece of software. DotVPN claims to be releasing their desktop app in “mid-2017” and given that it’s now late 2018 (and still no desktop app), make of that what you will.

“The better way to VPN” sounds a little odd – the question we have to ask ourselves is whether DotVPN is as good as it claims it is, or if it’s going to join the ranks of those that promise lots and deliver little.

Let’s find out!

DotVPN Specs & Offers

VPN Name DotVPN
Leak Test Leaks Detected
Logging Policy Some Logs
Speed Slow
Torrenting Torrenting & P2P Forbidden
Netflix No Netflix
Jurisdiction Outside of Eyes
Servers / Countries 700 / 12
Max Connections 3
Kill Switch Does Not Have Kill Switch
Anonymous Payment Methods Crypto
Free Trial Available
Refunds 30 Days
Customer Support Contact Form
Price Starting From $2.99

DotVPN Pros

Note: Well…this is awkward. Our two Pros on DotVPN center around pricing and signing up. Everything else is average at best. Strap yourself in for a rough review, because it gets messy quickly as you scroll down. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Payment Methods: It’s all there, count it if you must

DotVPN offers a solid choice of payment methods, including cryptocurrency and lesser-used methods such as Alipay.

While cryptocurrencies offer some level of anonymity, it would still be nice to see this area expand – by offering cash or gift card payments.

Sign-Up Process: Easy enough

It’s very easy to install and begin using.

It took all of ten seconds for us to add it to Google Chrome, input an email address and connect to a server. Switching between servers when installed is done through a simple interface that works in seconds.

If you are looking for a very simple VPN then DotVPN is plenty suitable.

DotVPN Neutral Points

Servers and Locations: Plenty of server choice, but only across 12 countries

Jumping right into the great thing about DotVPN: there are well over 700 different servers available across 12 different countries. At the time of writing this, their help section provided this information:

When you combine the number of servers with the fact that you can seamlessly switch between them and use DotVPN on up to five devices, this is solid offering—there’s a lot of choices available. On both their free and premium plans, you can use unlimited bandwidth, however, the free plan’s speeds are throttled.

Whilst there are a lot of servers, 12 countries are nothing amazing and it would be nice to see more.

Pricing & Plans: Free and Premium

DotVPN have two plans: free, and premium.

As you can see, their free plan is very restricted. The free plan is slow, can’t be used for streaming video or audio, has restricted content and no encryption. While the premium plan says it offers peer-to-peer downloads, this is not true.

The pricing isn’t bad though at $4.99 per month, or $2.99 per month when billed annually, but for that price, you can get so much more for your money from other providers.

This is why shoppers shouldn’t look at the price alone. It’s the value that matters.

Encryption and Protocols: Great… on mobile

It’s important to remember that DotVPN is two different products: their extension for browsers such as Chrome and their app for iOS and Android devices.

The browser add-on, like Hola VPN, is not a true VPN—it is a proxy that protects your browser only. In contrast, a VPN will protect your entire internet usage both within and outside your browser. The only difference between DotVPN and Hola VPN in this regard is that DotVPN doesn’t route traffic through its non-paying users.

Their browser add-on uses the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) tunneling protocol together with 4096-bit encryption. While this level of protection is not bad, it’s not great either and it doesn’t even come close to offering the level of protection that a real VPN does. This method is very reminiscent of how a proxy would operate…

On the other hand, the DotVPN iOS and Android applications are true VPNs that offer complete protection of all your activity.

On iOS they use IPSec and on Android they use OpenVPN. OpenVPN is popularized as the most secure VPN protocol that currently exists—it is an open-source tunneling protocol maintained by the security community. OpenVPN tends to be slow on iOS and so they are using IPsec instead. Still, it is just as secure.

In terms of encryption, DotVPN uses AES-128 encryption for their iOS and Android apps. AES-128 is secure, however, it is not as strong as AES-256.

Still, AES-128 is considered “safe” by numerous cybersecurity experts and it will certainly benefit your speeds.

DotVPN Cons

VPN Speed and Performance: Speeds are not good, not good at all

Remember we just mentioned that AES-128 is faster than AES-256? Well, this little fact doesn’t matter for DotVPN since it’s uber slow.

There’s no VPN available that won’t slow your internet speeds to some extent, that is impossible; the cost of being secure on the internet is slightly slower speeds when connected to a VPN. After all, your traffic is being routed through multiple places.

When we tested DotVPN’s speeds, however, we were met with nothing but disappointment. The speeds were atrocious, and we don’t use that term lightly. As usual, we tested this VPN with our 100Mbps internet connection that averages at around 97Mbps.

This was the result when connected to a server in the US:

This was the result when connected to a server in Europe:

Abysmal.

Netflix Test: Netflix can’t be used

Once upon a time, it was easy to get around Netflix’s geo-blocked content restrictions. If you wanted to watch a US TV show on Netflix but you were based in the UK, you simply had to connect to a VPN and off you go.

Today, though, Netflix has wised up to this and now go to great lengths to block VPN servers from accessing their service. Despite this, there are many VPNs that have servers which work with Netflix…

DotVPN isn’t one of them.

None of their servers work to get around Netflix’s restrictions. But with download speeds like that, why even bother?

Torrenting: No torrenting either

Aside from Netflix, people use VPNs for peer-to-peer torrenting, however, DotVPN doesn’t allow it.

Having a VPN to shield your personal information whilst peer-to-peer torrenting keeps you safe and prevents you from falling victim to threats.

While DotVPN doesn’t offer it yet, it’s promising they haven’t ruled it out (however, they may just be saying this to appease users.)

Still, very disappointing to see it not supported.

(You can find some that do support torrenting right here.)

Device Compatibility: No desktop support? This is a joke, right?

When it comes to devices, DotVPN falls far below the mark. As an add-on primarily, DotVPN supports the likes of Chrome, Firefox and Opera browsers in addition to Android and iOS devices.

As we mentioned earlier, they promised a desktop app by late 2017 and this was never delivered. The website mentions this launch date but it’s already late 2018!

DotVPN also does not support routers so you can’t use it with consoles and other smart devices such as TVs.

Customer Support: Where is it?

The only sort of customer support offered is through their “Contact Us” form on their website, that’s it. No social media support. No live chat. No expansive knowledgebase or forum. This is far from ideal.

Unfortunately, we never received a response, and it’s been almost one week since sending our initial email.

Although DotVPN is easy to use, not everyone will understand how, especially newbies, and the lack of customer support is inexcusable.

Product Documentation: Missing, reward if found

There is a very basic repository of questions.

These articles go over the most frequently asked questions and basic setup guides.

To be honest, the contents are a bit thin as well. There’s nothing in-depth about these articles.

Logging Policy: Some information collected

If a VPN logs your information then its security is called into question and even though many VPNs claim not to do this, they aren’t always telling the whole truth. So, what about DotVPN?

DotVPN claims to not do this. This is great, but to ensure they are telling the truth then we need to check out their privacy policy. After all, they legally cannot lie here.

As you can see, they store a handful of your information. None of it seems to pertain to what you’re accessing or downloading, but it’s down to you to determine how much information is too much.

Frankly, seeing your IP logged is enough for us to throw this in the Cons pile.

IP and DNS Leak Test: Sir! We have bogies, incoming!

Even for the best VPN, a leak can be fatal. Whether it’s a DNS leak or WebRTC leak, the end result is the same—your privacy and anonymity are put at great risk and this is something that should be a deal breaker if you are looking for complete privacy.

An IP and DNS leak puts your personal information at risk from people who are watching, be that ISPs, the government, or hackers.

This is especially bad if are politically involved or are doing something illegal.

We run tests on every VPN we review to uncover leaks. DotVPN failed quite hard.

  1. dnsleak.com – failed
  2. ipleak.net – failed

It failed the tests on two of the most popular test sites. This isn’t good.

Kill Switch: 404 not found

A kill switch is something that you should always check for when looking for a new VPN service. To put it simply, a kill switch will protect you if your connection to a VPN drops.

When this happens and there is no kill switch in a VPN, your IP is at risk of being exposed to your ISP or whoever else is watching. However, a kill switch completely kills your connection to a site and stops anything from leaking.

Unfortunately, DotVPN does not have a kill switch.

DotVPN as a Business

There’s not much information about DotVPN other than its address registered in Hong Kong.

The Chrome extension has about 950,000+ downloads and there are 3,300+ reviews in the Google Play Store. So it looks like it serves a decent amount of users.

Jurisdiction

DotVPN is owned by Smart Security Limited, a company that operates out of Hong Kong.

This means they are officially outside of any Five, Nine and Fourteen Eyes jurisdiction.

We’ve seen this kind of freemium model before, and DotVPN is nothing special. In fact, it falls behind in actually implementing the features that they promise on their website.

DotVPN Conclusion: Not recommended

So, do we recommend using DotVPN?

Not really is the short answer.

DotVPN completely failed in our internet speed tests, has a lack of security (through the browser, at least), no customer support and no kill switch among other problems.

They say that their iOS and Android applications are secure, but there’s no excuse not to have a desktop application by the announced date…

And the number of leaks is simply terrible. These leaks in addition to the lack of kill switch lead us to believe that DotVPN will completely fail to protect you.

They also log your IP.

What a bummer! But we won’t leave you out here to dry. We highly recommend these top 10 picks instead.

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