Regardless of the browser you’re using, the right extensions can greatly improve your browsing experience. However, there is no doubt that there are far too many mediocre and outright bad extensions and plugins when it comes to ensuring privacy and security.
There’s no reason why you should be content with a poor-quality VPN extension. Our experts and users have tested a number of VPN extensions and we’ve used the results to come up with a list of five VPN Chrome extensions that will not disappoint, whether you are looking for speed, reliability, or just an extension that offers all the basics at the right price.
In addition to the above features, we also considered how easy it is to navigate the user interface of the VPN Chrome extensions which we tested. Here are our five best picks.
Among the top five VPN extensions for Chrome, NordVPN offers the best VPN proxy connection. This provider’s Chrome extension is powerful, despite being more compact and lightweight compared to the extensions offered by its closest competitors.
Some of the features that you get with NordVPN include a highly intuitive user interface, a formidable network of 2800 servers, and CyberSec, a nifty feature which eliminates malware and ads.
Additionally, this Chrome extension gives you the ability to circumvent location-based restrictions and censorship without compromising speed. It now ranks among the VPN extensions with the highest speeds thanks to server upgrades which it recently introduced. So, you can be confident that you can unblock any content, be it on Netflix or within China’s Great Firewall.
The functionality that sets NordVPN apart from other Chrome extensions is its inbuilt WebRTC blocker. Admittedly, Google offers its own WebRTC blocking tool. However, the blocker offered by NordVPN is well integrated into the highly intuitive user interface of the extension, making its use hassle-free.
A 30-day money-back guarantee is part of the NordVPN Chrome extension package, meaning you have an entire month to test all the features of the app, and if you’re unsatisfied, you can get a full refund.
It is, however, important to note that the NordVPN Chrome extension is a proxy. This means that its functionality is limited to traffic on the Chrome browser. As a result, you’ll need to get a desktop client for other applications, such as Skype and BitTorrent.
Lastly, NordVPN is also available on mobile apps, in case you want to bolster your privacy as you browse the Internet using your iOS or Android devices.
Just like its desktop client counterpart, the ExpressVPN extension for Chrome comes packed with a wide variety of features. It is among the most popular VPN Chrome extensions, and rightly so because, to begin with, it performs exceptionally well when it comes to the basics: connection speed and privacy.
Unlike the NordVPN extension—which offers only proxy functionality—the ExpressVPN Chrome extension offers the full array of VPN features. However, in order to enjoy the features, you must have installed the full ExpressVPN desktop client in the background.
In case you’re not interested in having all the Internet traffic on your device encrypted, then ExpressVPN is the best option for you because it offers split tunneling. This feature allows you to decide with apps will be covered by the VPN and which ones will directly access the Internet.
Pitted against the top VPN Chrome extensions in the industry, the ExpressVPN extension emerges as one of the fastest. For that reason, you don’t have to worry about any page lag or buffering whenever you’re accessing Geo-blocked content from popular content streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, among others. All this is made possible as a result of the provider’s vast network of more than 1500 servers.
The ExpressVPN Chrome extension includes DNS leak protection and a kill switch, all packed inside a sleek and intuitive user interface. Add to that the fact that the provider offers its users a 30-day money-back guarantee and it’s easy to see why many novice and savvy VPN users rank the ExpressVPN Chrome extension as number one.
PIA takes the prize for offering quality at the most affordable price compared to other VPN Chrome extensions. As far as reliability goes, PIA has built a stellar reputation for itself. In fact, the provider has at one time received an award for being the most dependable VPN.
The top-tier dependability of its full desktop client VPN carries over to the extension despite the extension being a proxy. Don’t let that fool you, though, because privacy is one of the top priorities of the company. Fortunately, you don’t have to run the full PIA desktop VPN client in order to use the Chrome extension since it was built to operate independently.
In addition to competitive pricing and dependability, PIA provides its users with a surprisingly impressive number of features. These include 320 servers, latency-centered gateway sorting, a tried-and-true no-log policy, and WebRTC blocking among others. All these features are nested inside a user interface that is minimalistic and clean.
That said, PIA doesn’t perform as well as NordVPN’s and ExpressVPN’s Chrome extensions when it comes to viewing Geo-blocked content on all the major streaming websites. The speed of the connection is fine; however, you may run into a few issues if you attempt to access content on Netflix.
So, according to our experts, you may need to look for an alternative VPN Chrome extension if this kind of accessibility is a top priority for you. On the other hand, if what you’re interested in most is a highly dependable, hassle-free VPN Chrome extension that offers privacy and security at budget-friendly prices, the PIA is a solid choice that comes with a 7-day money-back guarantee.
If you’re new to VPN desktop clients and VPN Chrome extensions, SaferVPN is likely the best option for you because it allows you to test the experience of using a VPN without having to commit to a subscription.
The provider does offer a premium version, which includes a wide variety of features, but signing up for the free version of the service gets you 500MB of covered traffic every month. Granted, you won’t be able to binge on the TV series of your choice on Netflix. Still, you can unblock content and check out the previews of some shows with a service that is reliable, versatile and speedy.
The SaferVPN Chrome extension is more of a proxy so your traffic will not be encrypted, meaning that security for this extension is not at the ideal level. You’ll have to get the provider’s full desktop client in order to enjoy the maximal protection of your privacy.
In short, first-time VPN users stand to benefit greatly from this extension, not least because its interface is not difficult to navigate. If you’re a savvy, experienced VPN user, then there are certainly better options on the market that are ranked higher in terms of security and privacy.
In case you’re interested in the full SaferVPN desktop client, the provider has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can go ahead and give it a test run.
As far as free VPN Chrome extensions go, ZenMate takes the cake. It is, however, important to note that while this provider does offer a full version for free, it is not without a few limitations.
Even so, ZenMate is an effective browser addon. To use the extension, you need to have the full desktop client working in the background. You get all the features of a VPN, although they are stripped down, as might be expected. This tool doesn’t offer split tunneling so all your traffic will go through its servers.
The premium version of the tool offers its users access to servers in 30 locations, a number that reduces drastically when you opt for the free version. Although it may not unblock Netflix, you will still get basic Geo-unblocking capabilities.
It also has a feature called SmartPrice, which elicits mixed reactions from users. The feature helps you make savings as you shop online, something that a few users see as bloatware. Such a feature is a bit out of place among the usual VPN features.
Finally, ZenMate gives you an easy-to-use interface. Our advice? The free version is worth a try. The 14-day money-back guarantee is another alternative for testing the features of this VPN Chrome extension.
A Final Word from VPNBase on VPN Extensions
Needless to say, to get the best results from a VPN, you’re much better off getting a full VPN desktop client. However, the VPN extensions mentioned in this article will suffice if you’re not yet interested in committing to a full package. They offer all the basics you want from a VPN: speed, Geo-unblocking, privacy, etc.
Do you have any experiences with these VPN Chrome extensions and do you have any recommendation for other extensions and plugins? Please share them in the content section below.