Regardless of whether you use a VPN on a full-time basis or every so often, combining it with your Chrome browser can massively streamline your online experience. Chrome is the most popular browser there is, and works nicely alongside some of the industry's best VPNs so you can access secure servers from the comfort of your Chrome tabs.
However, there are tons of VPNs out there to choose from, and nobody has the time to sift through them all. I've got 3 years of experience putting VPNs to the test, and I've rounded up the best free and premium options in this here article.
To help you find your perfect match, I took into consideration each provider's security tools, speeds, unblocking capabilities, and how their Chrome app differs in comparison to their desktop variants. With that said, let's dig into the top 5 Chrome VPN extensions.
The three best Chrome VPN extensions in 2024
Want a quick answer? Check out the best Chrome VPN extensions in 2024 below:
1. ExpressVPN: the best Chrome VPN
ExpressVPN is the industry's top dog, and its Chrome extension is way more than a diet version of its desktop counterpart. It's incredibly easy to use, even if you're new to VPNs, and unblocks virtually any streaming service you throw at it.
It's more pricey than the competition, admittedly, but you're getting a premium product in exchange for a premium price tag. Try it for yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and get 3 extra months of coverage for free with a 1-year plan.
2. Private Internet Access: a budget-friendly privacy powerhouse
If security is your main concern, you'll want to check out Private Internet Access (PIA). Its Chrome extension has several handy tools that keep snoopers at bay and prevent third-party tracking, and it's impressively speedy, too.
All of PIA's plans are modestly priced, but you'll bag the best savings when you go for its 2-year plan. Put it to the test in your own time with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. Windscribe: a reliable free option
If you'd rather not part with your hard-earned cash, Windscribe's Chrome VPN is one of my favorite free services on the block. You'll get a monthly allowance of 10 GB, which is pretty generous, and access to handy ad and malware-blocking tools.
Windscribe also supports unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can secure all of the gadgets in your house, in addition to your Chrome browser.
My rankings have stayed the same since my last update—but my latest VPN tests are well underway, so things could change once the results are in. For now, I've made sure that each VPN's stats are up-to-date and accurate.
The best Chrome VPN extensions of 2024
Why you can trust TechRadar
See how my top picks compare in my detailed analysis. I'll cover what I like (and dislike) about each service, my most recent test results, and any reasons you might be better off avoiding a particular VPN.
The best Chrome VPN extension overall
The best Chrome VPN extension in 2024 - jam-packed with tools
Dedicated chrome extension: Yes | Chrome Web Store rating: 4.7 | 24/7 live chat: Yes | Free trial length: 30-day money back guarantee | Simultaneous connections: 8 | Server locations: 160 | Countries: 94
✔️ You want the best of the best: ExpressVPN ticks every box; it's quick, super-secure, and has all the tools you need to keep hackers and nosy third parties at bay.
✔️ You want to unblock international content: there are ExpressVPN servers in 94 countries, making it incredibly easy to access popular streaming platforms.
✔️ You need a VPN you can trust: ExpressVPN undergoes regular audits and adheres to a strict no-logs policy, so you can rest assured your sensitive info remains secure.
❌ You're working with a budget: there's no getting around the fact that ExpressVPN is more expensive than its closest competitors. Stick to PIA if you want a bargain.
❌ You want an all-in-one security solution: unlike NordVPN, ExpressVPN doesn't come with built-in antivirus capabilities.
🔒 ExpressVPN's Chrome extension is the real deal—it's more than just a proxy and works hard to ensure your browsing habits remain secure. Check out its roster of tools with a handy 30-day money-back guarantee.
Head on over to my in-depth ExpressVPN review to see why it's my #1 pick overall, for everything.
ExpressVPN apps are all a delight to use. They look great, features are exactly where you'd expect them to be, and you don't have to be a VPN veteran to get set up. The Chrome VPN extension is no exception. In fact, it's a full-blown extension and not just a mere proxy—which sets it apart from most of the competition.
Right from the get-go, you can tell that the Chrome extension has all the usability and smarts you'd expect from ExpressVPN's full-blown Windows and Mac clients. So, you can immediately connect to a server, change your location, and alter settings in the extension itself. That's a nice quality-of-life feature that makes navigating around the app much easier.
In terms of security, ExpressVPN is hard to beat. The service sticks to a strict no-logs policy and isn't interested in keeping tabs on what you get up to online—which is exactly what I like to see. Your data will also be covered by robust encryption, and you can even prevent HTML5 geolocation from revealing your real location while using HTTPS Everywhere to automatically force connections to the HTTPS versions of websites whenever they're available.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you're planning on investing in an ExpressVPN subscription—and price is one of them. An ExpressVPN plan doesn't come cheap, although I think you're getting a wealth of tools and battle-tested security in return. Still, ExpressVPN's subscriptions might be out of your price range, and it's worth checking out PIA for a more budget-friendly alternative. Also, you can't use the ExpressVPN browser extension without having the appropriate ExpressVPN desktop app installed as well. If this is a red flag, then there are standalone Chrome extensions that can be used instead.
ExpressVPN is virtually unbeaten when it comes to unblocking international streaming content, however. So, if the main reason for kitting your Chrome browser out with a VPN is to see what's on Netflix elsewhere, then you're in luck. ExpressVPN works like a charm with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and smaller regional services.
ExpressVPN is the full package—and it's not hard to see why it claims the top spot in so many of my rankings. It manages to combine superfast speeds with easy-to-use security tools, and a real Chrome extension that's more than a proxy. So, if you're intrigued, you'll want to check out its 30-day money-back guarantee today.
|A unique and stylish interface across all apps
|Ease of use
|Great for newbies thanks to straightforward features
|One of the quickest VPNs around
|Unblocks all of the most popular streaming services
|Security and privacy
|Tough encryption and a no-logs policy
|24/7 live chat support is always on-hand to help
|A pricey provider, but packed with features
The best cheap Chrome VPN extension
The best budget-friendly option for Chrome browsers
Dedicated chrome extension: Yes | Chrome Web Store rating: 3.4 | 24/7 live chat: Yes | Free trial length: 30-day money back guarantee | Simultaneous connections: Unlimited | Server locations: Over 100 | Countries: 84
✔️ You're an avid torrenter: with PIA, you'll have access to torrent-friendly servers and port-forwarding, which are must-haves for P2P file sharing.
✔️ You want proven privacy: PIA walks the walk, and has proven its no-logs policy in court on two separate occasions.
✔️ Security is your main concern: PIA's Chrome extension is stuffed with advanced safety features, like leak protection, that'll keep your browsing sessions private.
❌ You want a speed demon: PIA is no slouch, but for outright speed, NordVPN has it beat.
❌ You need a password manager: although PIA has an impressive array of tools, it's missing a dedicated password tracker. Go with ExpressVPN if it's a necessity.
🔒 Private Internet Access lives up to its name, providing a privacy-focused (and audited) Chrome app that includes some handy security tools.
Check out my Private Internet Access review to see how this budget-friendly service stacks up against the competition.
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a veteran of the industry and one of the most secure VPNs I've put to the test. Something that jumped out at me immediately was the quality of its Chrome extension. They genuinely add value—which is saying something, considering how affordable PIA is as well, especially when opting for its 2-year plan.
The Chrome app has some awesome security tools, including a feature that prevents the sites you visit from accessing your location, camera, and microphone. The VPN can also put a stop to WebRTC leaks that would otherwise cause you to leave an identifiable trail across the net. That's strong stuff, especially when you consider that most extensions are merely stripped-back versions of their full-fat counterparts.
Trustworthy VPNs aren't always easy to find—not when the market is flooded with duds that don't value your privacy. PIA is different, however, and packs rock-solid encryption that'll keep prying eyes at bay. I also like that PIA's apps are all open-source. That means you can check out the code yourself if you're in the mood to spot vulnerabilities and see whether the provider is sticking to its security claims.
However, you'll need to keep in mind that the PIA extension only covers Chrome browser traffic. Outside of Chrome, it just isn't as fleshed out as ExpressVPN in terms of versatile tools—but the fact that PIA is an audited no-logs provider shouldn't be understated.
There's better news when it comes to streaming—especially if you're looking for a reliable Netflix VPN that can all access BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime. PIA is one of just a handful of services that unblocked everything I tested in every region. Essentially, you'll never run out of shows and movies to watch (or old favorites to revisit).
PIA can't quite keep up with the likes of NordVPN and Surfshark when it comes to performance, but that doesn't mean it moves at a snail's pace. I recorded WireGuard speeds of 360 Mbps in my testing—which should be enough for most things you get up to in your browser.
|Newbies might be a little intimidated by the amount of customization
|Ease of use
|The Chrome app is pretty simple, with advanced features for those who want them
|Not as quick as the industry's top dogs, but solid
|Unblocks everything, everywhere
|Security and privacy
|Open-source apps and a proven no-logs policy
|Awesome customer support is available 24/7 via live chat
|Prices that won't break the bank
The best free Chrome VPN extension
An easy-to-use extension with a handy free version
Dedicated chrome extension: Yes | Chrome Web Store rating: 4.7 | 24/7 live chat: No | Free trial length: 30 days | Simultaneous connections: Unlimited | Server locations: 112 | Countries: 69
✔️ You need a wider choice of locations: Windscribe's free VPN gives users 11 locations to choose from, which is pretty generous.
✔️ A 10 GB monthly cap sounds good: though you'll have to hand over your email address first, you'll get 10 GB of data to use as you please.
❌ An audit is a must-have: despite being open source, Windscribe is yet to commit to a third-party audit to verify its logging claims.
❌ You want to pay for a plan: Windscribe is, undeniably, an awesome free service, but its paid plan can't compete with the likes of ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
🔒 Windscribe is one of the best free VPNs around with a handy Chrome app, but you'll get more bang for your buck (and better paid plans) elsewhere.
Visit our Windscribe review to see how the provider compares to other free options.
Some VPN providers are a little shaky when it comes to browser extensions—but not Windscribe. It's in its element. The service takes the 'freemium model' to its Chrome extension, which is great news, as it means there's a solid free VPN on offer that you can install in just a few seconds (literally).
I'm also impressed by how many server locations Windscribe offers up to its free users. You'll get 11 choices (including the US, UK, Canada, and Germany), making it an awesome streaming VPN that can also unblock social media platforms and news outlets.
Free users get a 2 GB monthly data cap, but you can increase this to 10 GB if you're happy to hand over your email address. That's pretty generous, and becomes even more impressive when you pair it with Windscribe's blistering speeds. The VPN managed to max out my testing line—and it's a proactive service that's keen to keep improving its performance, too.
There are some pretty nifty security tools included in the Windscribe offering. One of my favorites is the ad and malware-blocking. These are must-have features for any browser VPN, seeing as the internet is stuffed with threats, and Windscribe's tools go the extra mile by keeping trackers, fake news, and adult content at bay.
Unfortunately, Windscribe's customer support lets it down a little. There's no 24/7 live chat—meaning you're not guaranteed a quick answer. You can ping the team via email or by using the dedicated subreddit, which is a decent substitute, but it'd still be nice to connect to an agent as issues crop up.
Of course, in an ideal world, Windscribe wants you to be so impressed that you'll go on to sign up for its Pro plan. It's a little pricier than the competition, but you'll get unlimited simultaneous connections to play with and access to more than 100 server locations spread out over 69 countries.
|On the cluttered side