Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) application helps protect your privacy. The app encrypts all traffic going through your computer or device. The downside is that some VPN applications demand a lot of resources, slowing down the speed of your computer.
VPN extensions for Chrome provide another option. They are easy to use and provide many of the same features that you get with a standalone VPN desktop app.
Before adding one of these options to your browser, you should know more about VPN extensions and which ones come most recommended.
Why Use a VPN Extension for Your Browser?
Without a VPN, you can assume that everything you do online is available to the public. VPNs can encrypt traffic and mask your IP address, essentially providing online anonymity.
With a VPN extension for Chrome, you get most of the features provided with a desktop VPN app. You can safely Browse the Internet without any snooping from your ISP or anyone else tracking your activity. You may even access geo-blocked content, depending on the VPN you choose.
By choosing the right Chrome extension, you can enjoy secure online browsing through your favorite browser. Extensions also provide a simpler option compared to VPN desktop software. They tend to use fewer resources and work directly in the browser.
A VPN Extention Only Protects Your Browser
The disadvantage of a VPN browser extension is the fact that it only protects your browsing activity. Remember that a browser doesn't download torrents. You need an external application to do so, such as a BitTorrent Client. In this case, the extension wouldn't protect the download.
What Features Should You Look for in a Chrome VPN Extension?
To find the right extension, pay attention to the following features:
- Ease of use
- Server coverage
- Internet speeds
- Security features
Due to the cost of reliable VPN services, many users try free VPNs, some of which come as Chrome extensions. These free services bring additional security concerns. To make money, free VPNs may sell your data. Some of these services even sell your bandwidth. The best VPN extensions are rarely free. What usually happens is that some VPN services include extensions when you purchase a paid monthly plan.
The extension should also be easy to use and offer wide server coverage to ensure that you get reliable speeds and performance. Also, If you want to view content not available in your country, you should also look for a Chrome extension that offers access to geo-blocked sites.
While there are hundreds of options, the following three Chrome VPN extensions offer the best of the features discussed.
NordVPN is a trusted VPN provider, offering a quality VPN service that comes with its own Chrome extension. However, the extension is not free. You need to choose one of the paid plans.
With one of the plans, you get a lightweight extension that only takes a few clicks to use. It makes your browsing activity anonymous within seconds of launching Chrome.
The prices for the plans are also reasonable, considering the performance of the VPN service. NordVPN has over 5000 servers in more than 60 locations. You should get good speeds.
NordVPN also has a no logging policy, ensuring that your activity remains anonymous.
ExpressVPN offers a paid VPN service with dependable server coverage and fast speeds. The one drawback is that you need to leave the VPN app running in the background, which may eat more of your computer’s resources.
Despite this one drawback, ExpressVPN still offers one of the better Chrome extensions. It includes useful features, such as a kill switch. With that tool, ExpressVPN immediately terminates your session if you lose connection to the VPN.
The server coverage also stands out, with over 160 locations and 3000 servers. Overall, ExpressVPN is one of the top recommendations for maintaining faster Internet speeds.
While the two previous options require a paid plan, CyberGhost offers a free VPN Chrome extension. The extension acts as a proxy and encrypts your data using 256-bit AES encryption.
Using the CyberGhost extension is also easy. It just has an on/off button and a choice of four server locations.
Keep in mind that this free extension does not offer full protection. You do not get protection against DNS leaks or webRTC leaks. Luckily, CyberGhost also offers affordable paid plans with extra security features and more servers.
Which Chrome VPN Extension Should You Use?
NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost are the three top recommendations for secure VPNs with reliable Chrome extensions. ExpressVPN offers the fastest speeds of the three, while NordVPN is the best all-around option.
If cost is an issue, CyberGhost provides a free Chrome VPN extension and several affordable paid plans. While there are other free VPN extensions, other options may put your security at risk.