The best VPNs for staying secure and streaming with Chrome

Make Google Chrome even more secure.
By Mashable Team  on 
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Our Top 5 Picks

ExpressVPN (opens in a new tab)

Best For Streaming

Consistenty performing well, ExpressVPN also offers a great Chrome extension for added convenience.

The Good

  • Fast performance
  • Simple but effective extension
  • Minimal information kept by VPN
  • Easy to use

The Bad

  • Not the cheapest service
  • Need to install ExpressVPN app to use extension

The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is consistently one of the best VPNs out there, and its simple-to-use Chrome extension makes it ideal for Google Chrome users.
Pros & Cons

CyberGhost VPN (opens in a new tab)

Best For Beginners

CyberGhost offers a strong Chrome extension to get you started, along with a bevy of additional features.

The Good

  • Thousands of servers
  • Good performance

The Bad

  • No webRTC leak protection with extension
  • Bit expensive for full service

The Bottom Line

CyberGhost offers a free VPN extension proxy and some great performance, but it comes at a price if you want the full VPN.
Pros & Cons

NordVPN (opens in a new tab)

Best For Security

NordVPN offers a wide range of advanced security features to protect your data when navigating Chrome.

The Good

  • Large and diverse server network
  • Easy to use
  • Premium security tools

The Bad

  • Interface can feel cramped

The Bottom Line

If security is your priority, NordVPN should be at the top of your list.
Pros & Cons

Surfshark (opens in a new tab)

Best For Multiple Connections

With plenty of extra features, Surfshark isn't just a smart VPN Chrome extension but an all-around good option.

The Good

  • Unlimited devices
  • Ad blocker
  • Easy-to-use extension

The Bad

  • Only cheap if you commit to long term subscription

The Bottom Line

If you want a features-rich VPN client with a strong Chrome extension, Surfshark is a great option.
Pros & Cons

TunnelBear (opens in a new tab)

Best For Free

TunnelBear offers a free extension and all you need to give it is your email address.

The Good

  • Simple to use
  • Cute interface
  • Free extension
  • Only requires an email address

The Bad

  • Limited bandwidth
  • Can be slow

The Bottom Line

Cute and simple to use, TunnelBear is great if you just need a short term solution to your VPN proxy needs.
Pros & Cons

Google Chrome is the most popular web browser in the world, and it's already highly secure, making it the best choice for those worried about their privacy and safety online.

One of the great things about the browser is that you can easily customise it and add extensions to personalise your experience. One such option is to add a VPN extension so that you're further protected from threats and the risks associated with your ISP potentially spying on what you're doing.

VPN extensions work a little differently from full VPN services, as they simply route browser traffic through a proxy server rather than encrypt data like a true VPN connection. This is still useful if you want to view content without restrictions, like watching American Netflix content from the UK.

What is a VPN?

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) offer protection for your data and identity when you're online by creating a private network that hides your real IP address. This means that all of your activity is untraceable and secure. Try thinking about VPNs like encrypted tunnels through which all of your online traffic passes through. Nobody can see into the tunnel, and everything inside the tunnel is protected against online threats like viruses, hackers, and malware.

Do you need a VPN for Chrome?

We all know that Chrome OS is a secure service, but you still need to protect your web traffic from online threats. For this task, you need a VPN. You'll also need to use a VPN if you want to unblock extra content from top streaming sites. These cybersecurity services can hide your real IP address and connect you to a server in another country, meaning you get access to all the movies and shows from that location.

What is the best VPN for Chrome?

Many VPN services and extensions are available, so how do you know what's best for you? You will need a service that is highly secure and offers a fairly strong level of encryption, but you'll also want a service that's easy to set up and use, with a no-logs policy. Whatever your reason for using a VPN service, it's important to pick out the right VPN for your needs, and we're here to help you find it.

We have tracked down all your best options for making Google Chrome even more secure, including popular services like TunnelBear(opens in a new tab) and ExpressVPN(opens in a new tab).

These are the best VPNs for Google Chrome in 2022.

Best For Streaming
Credit: ExpressVPN
  • Monthly: £10.18/month
  • Six-month plan: £7.85/month
  • 15-month plan: £5.24/month

ExpressVPN(opens in a new tab) ticks many of the boxes that you need from a VPN, which is why it's so highly regarded. Privacy wise, it's based in the British Virgin Islands, so there's no need to worry about data retention laws. It has maintained a great record for refusing to hand over information and —even better — it doesn't actually store any data on its customers.

The Chrome extension takes seconds to install, although you do need to also install the full ExpressVPN app to use it. That's a small price to pay for an extension that allows you to randomise the location reported by Google's geo-location API, thereby stopping websites from acquiring your location. Like all VPN extensions, it works more as a proxy than a true VPN, but it does what's needed to keep you secure. It also typically allows for the use of Netflix and other streaming services, all at a good speed.

With the standard VPN you get AES-256 encryption and features like split tunneling, which allows you to route some traffic through a VPN while the rest of it goes through your regular internet connection, thereby adding an extra level of security. Plus, there's a kill-switch feature built into the app (rather than the extension) so all traffic is blocked if your connection unexpectedly drops.

There's no free trial for ExpressVPN, but there is a 30-day money back guarantee if you're not entirely happy. You can also use five devices simultaneously with unlimited bandwidth. 

Best For Beginners
Credit: cyberghost vpn
  • Monthly: £10.29/month
  • One-year plan: £4.59/month
  • Two-year plan: £3.09/month
  • Three-year plan: £2.10/month

CyberGhost VPN(opens in a new tab) offers a free Chrome extension that takes seconds to set up without any need to log-in or create an account. As a pure proxy, its main aim is to allow you to gain access to geo-restricted content, such as Netflix. It also enables you to circumvent limitations that may have been placed by your government or workplace with the option of hiding your IP address from suspicious eyes.

It's a simple extension which only provides four locations — the US, Romania, Netherlands, and Germany — but it's a great start for a VPN service that also offers many useful features.

Upgrade to the full app, and you get AES-256 encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch feature. Simply as a way to bypass geolocks however, the extension works more than well enough with good performance reported across the board.

Best For Security
Credit: NordVPN
  • Monthly: £9.20/month
  • One-year plan: £3.79/month
  • Two-year plan: £2.86/month

NordVPN(opens in a new tab) is a super secure service that should suit anyone looking for powerful protection for their data and identity, with a large and diverse collection of servers and a strong set of premium tools like WireGuard technology. 

Users get access to over 5,500 servers located all over the world, with the option of connecting six devices at the same time. NordVPN also lets you route your traffic between its own secure VPN servers and the Tor network, which creates an extra secure connection when you're navigating Chrome.

NordVPN doesn't offer the fastest speeds, but it's still a solid option for unblocking streaming sites from around the world.

Best For Multiple Connections
Credit: Surfshark
  • Monthly: £9.49/month
  • One-year plan: £4.79/month
  • Two-year plan: £1.59/month

The Surfshark(opens in a new tab) Chrome Extension isn't free, but once you sign up for a subscription, you'll realise it was worth the money. 

Besides providing you with a proxy to hide behind and potentially fool Netflix into thinking you're elsewhere, the Surfshark Chrome Extension also provides ad-blocking with its CleanWeb feature. It also blocks trackers, malware, and phishing attempts along the way. 

Switch over to the full VPN app, and Surfshark continues to be useful. It has standard kill-switch and DNS leak protection along with a camouflage mode that promises to make it impossible for your ISP to see that you're even using a VPN. MultiHop also means you can connect via multiple countries at once, further hiding your presence.

Easy to use and with support for torrenting and streaming services, there's a lot to like about Surfshark.

Best For Free
Credit: TunnelBear
  • Monthly: £7.94/month
  • One-year plan: £3.96/month

TunnelBear(opens in a new tab) has always stood out from other VPNs thanks to its cute, almost childlike interface that makes it welcoming to people not used to VPNs. That continues to be reflected in its free Chrome extension.

In exchange for an email address (you can always use a throwaway one), you get 500MB of data a month. That's not much, but it's good for brief browsing sessions. Taking seconds to install, the TunnelBear Chrome VPN extension encrypts your browsing activity and allows you to choose what country you wish to appear you're from.

You'll burn through that data if you do anything like streaming via Netflix, so it's not recommended for that. However, you can upgrade your service to the full subscription plan, which gives you unlimited bandwidth.

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