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

Hola VPN Review

Hola VPN is not your “typical” VPN, and this isn’t going to be your typical review – in fact, we’re going to be honest right now – this isn’t going to be a good one. So… prepare yourself, okay?

Launching in the latter-half of 2012, Hola VPN was launched by Hola Networks Ltd, a company based in Israel.

They claim to have served over 195 million people around the world (up from 160 since we first wrote this review), and while this may be the case, quantity does not indicate quality as you’ll quickly come to discover in this review.

We say that Hola VPN is not a “typical” one because they are a peer-to-peer VPN; instead of using fixed servers dotted around the world, Hola VPN tunnels people through other users’ connections.

The theory of a peer-to-peer network on paper is good – everyone is connected so you cannot have everyone liable for anything. This is odd, particularly for a VPN company, but is it a good one?

(Spoilers: No.)

Hola VPN Specs & Offers

VPN Name Hola
Leak Test Leaks Detected
Logging Policy Logs
Speed Average
Torrenting Torrenting & P2P Forbidden
Netflix No Netflix
Jurisdiction Five Eyes Partner
Servers / Countries P2P (Depends on Peers)
Max Connections 1
Kill Switch Does Not Have Kill Switch
Anonymous Payment Methods Not Available
Free Trial Available
Refunds 30 Days
Customer Support Email (Slow Response Time)
Price Starting From $2.99

Hola VPN Pros

VPN Speed and Performance: It’s one good thing at least.

We tested two of Hola VPN’s connections, one in the U.S. and one in Europe. Normally, we would connect to a server and perform a test, but because of the way Hola works we could not do this.

At the time of writing this review, our download speeds were averaging at around 200Mbps when not connected to a VPN.

When we connected to their US network, our download and upload speeds were virtually unaffected and were as follows:

And it was the same story when connected to their European network from a computer in the EU.

In terms of speed, Hola VPN performs very well and there is virtually no negative impact. That’s very rare to see and we are pleased to report this.

Plans & Pricing: A freemium service

Hola VPN talks highly about being a free service, but there’s a huge catch—free users form part of the peer-to-peer network while “PLUS” users don’t. This means that as a free user, other users of the Hola network, even Plus users, will be connecting through your hardware.

The Hola VPN Plus plan can look cheap, though.

VPNs nowadays have varying offers like this – from monthly subscription to extended plans. Hola VPN’s cheapest and longest plan costs $107.55 for 3 years, or $2.99 per month on average.

This price is on par with the best VPN, NordVPN — to be honest, there’s no way that Hola VPN is on par with NordVPN on anything.

Hola VPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee, which is nice to see.

Sign-Up Process: Super easy to install and use

Another positive was that Hola installed seamlessly in seconds and was immediately available for use. It was added to Google Chrome as an extension and it took around one minute for it to download, install and work.

We like speedy service, so nice job here, Hola!

Hola opens up as a drop-down app that shows you the most popular sites on the network that you are connected to.

You can also sign up with your social accounts (which we don’t recommend) when you sign up for a PLUS subscription.

Hola VPN Neutral Points

Product Documentation: Just an FAQ page

The only thing Hola has in terms of help is a FAQs page. It offers a solid content list and manages to cover most issues or questions the general user might have. If it doesn’t? Well, good luck getting a response from their support!

Hola VPN Cons

Servers and Locations: You’re kind of weird, Hola…

Hola VPN, as mentioned above, is not your typical VPN service and you cannot connect to specific servers or locations like you can on others. Instead, Hola VPN routes your connection through other people using the free Hola VPN service.

So yeah – your connection and server availability depend on other people using Hola, and their connection quality.

Netflix Test: Can’t be used

One of the main reasons for VPN usage is to access geo-restricted Netflix content, and while Netflix and VPNs don’t tend to work well together, some VPN providers do have servers that work with Netflix.

That’s not the case for Hola VPN.

We tested several of their connections and all of them were blocked by Netflix despite them having a special “Netflix button.” Disappointing to say the least.

Not even close to these others VPNs that unblock Netflix with no problem!

Torrenting Policy: Wait, WHAT!?

Hola VPN does not state that torrenting isn’t allowed, but we tried it out and it didn’t work. Although Hola VPN is a peer-to-peer service, torrenting over a peer-to-peer service like Hola would be dangerous even if it did work, so if that’s what you’re seeking – find a “proper” VPN to use.

These VPNs are all vouched for and support P2P activities.

Payment Methods: A severe lack

Your options are to pay via credit card or PayPal, that’s it. No Bitcoin. No cheque. No cash. C’mon Hola, throw us a bone here!

They’ve added other options like Alipay but still no anonymous payment methods. (Look into Monero, Hola!)

Device Compatibility: It can only be used on limited devices

Although Hola VPN’s site claims that you can use their service on multiple devices, whenever you want and wherever you are, this is not 100% true.

While this looks good, each button is a link. Look what happens when we click on the PlayStation link:

That’s pretty deceptive, Hola VPN. Their service doesn’t work on the majority of the services they list. This is disappointing given that many people are now using VPNs across many, if not all of their devices.

Customer Support: Virtually no support

If you want help with Hola VPN then you’ll be hard-pressed to find any through their customer support service. To contact them, you first need to navigate to their customer support page, the link for which is hidden in their footer – a bit of work to find, but that’s not even the best (read: worst) part.

To get assistance, you must send them an email from your mail client. There’s no live chat, no social media support and no contact us form.

At the time of writing this, an email sent four days ago has still not gotten a response.

As you might have guessed, this sucks. This is going deep, deep into our cons list.

Logging Policy: Hola logs everything

Hola VPN doesn’t state anywhere on their website that they don’t log your information and although they don’t say that they do either, the only way you can be sure is to take a look at their privacy policy. We had a look at Hola VPN’s privacy policy and the results were alarming:

Wow. From the above information, we can see that they are logging everything about your activity on the internet: the browser you’re using, the web pages you’re looking at and the amount of time spent on them. What’s the point of this VPN at this point?

They also log all your personal information including your IP address and they are at liberty to share it with their so-called “subsidiaries and affiliated companies.”

Not good at all. In fact, scrap that. It’s less than bad – it’s awful. In fact, we won’t blame you if you stop reading right here; at this point, the purpose of this VPN is questionable, and it gets worse as we go further in.

Just take a look at what the Hola app has access to. This is the full list of permissions required by the Hola Free VPN Proxy app:

Just ridiculous. Why does a VPN require all this information? Why do they need to read or modify the contents of your USB storage? Why does it need to read your contacts?

Still here? Strap in.

IP and DNS Leak Test: You’re gonna have to mend those holes…

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 risk. They uncover your original IP address and the game is over.

We run tests on every VPN we review to uncover leaks. We’ve detected leaks. This, again, is not good at all – shockingly bad, in fact.

    Our IP was not leaked, at least from https://ipleak.net/. However, https://www.dnsleaktest.com/ detected a whole lot of DNS leaks.

    Premium VPNs like ExpressVPN have complete leak protection. No one will know what you’re doing. With Hola, it seems you will be an open target.

    Encryption and Protocols: None

    The industry standard when it comes to VPNs is OpenVPN and AES-256 as they provide a safe and secure experience. Hola VPN is not a typical VPN, though, and is a peer-to-peer VPN network.

    While Hola VPN claims that this peer-to-peer connection is secure and anonymous, it’s not. You are connecting to some else’s computer.

    This doesn’t even come close to secure.

    Kill Switch: You wish!

    Another aspect that makes us feel uneasy about Hola VPN is its lack of kill switch.

    So, that’s no kill switch to add to the list of problems Hola has.

    Hola VPN as a Business

    Hola was founded in 2007 by Ofer Vilenski and Derry Shribman. They have 150+ employees and their investors include DFJ, Trilogy, Horizon Ventures, and Orange.

    Jurisdiction

    Hola is based out of Israel, which is an unofficial member of the Five Eyes global surveillance Alliance.

    This means there’s a risk your personal data will be collected by governments. Judging from their logging policy, nothing you do with Hola is safe from prying eyes.

    Hola VPN Conclusion: We don’t even know where to start

    It’s not good news… where do we even begin?

    Let’s start with the few positives; it’s fast, really really fast (at least in our tests). And that’s where it ends.

    Negatives? No actual servers, logging all over the place, no encryption, no torrenting support, no Netflix bypass, few payment methods, lack of device support, and so on. There’s not even a kill-switch. Oh, and don’t forget we’ve been waiting for 4 days for a support response.

    Sure it’s easy to use. But it practically doesn’t do anything you want it to do!

    If you are looking for a VPN that provides anything close to privacy or for entertainment, avoid HolaVPN. Just avoid it. Look elsewhere!

    Here are some suggestions on our top 10 list.

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