If you own a Chromebook, you’ll know that you can do a lot more with it than you can with a regular laptop.
This includes having many more apps at your disposal, but this also means you need to ensure you protect your device from online threats.
What, exactly, are Chromebooks? In case you don’t know, Chromebooks are a new type of computer that runs Chrome OS, which offers many layers of security as well as cloud storage and other Google features.
But, if you want to start using a VPN on your Chromebook, you might not know which one is the best one for you.
Here’s our guide to the best VPN for Chromebooks: boost your online privacy and take advantage of many other features to enhance your online experience.
Best VPN For Chromebooks – Reviews & Buying guide for 2021
Best Overall: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is one of the most popular and highly-rated VPNs, which is why it makes the number-one spot on our list.
Here’s what you should know about it and why it’s one of the best VPNs for Chromebook.
- The last thing you want is a VPN that secures your privacy when you use Chromebook but slows down your internet usage. ExpressVPN allows you to get the best of both worlds: it protects you while being very fast, which makes it ideal for streaming Netflix and other services. You won’t have to deal with annoying issues such as buffering.
- If you need to unblock content, such as from BBC iPlayer or Netflix, you’ll find that ExpressVPN does this easily – even though other VPNs battle with some geoblocks. This is also useful if you’re in a country like China where many websites and streaming services are prohibited.
- You’ll be able to use up to five devices at the same time with ExpressVPN, and on Chromebook specifically, ExpressVPN offers a Chrome extension as well as a dedicated Android app for the ultimate convenience when getting set up.
- ExpressVPN has 256-bit encryption that hides your online traffic effectively. Should it happen that you lose your connection to the VPN, a Kill Switch feature will be activated. This closes your web pages to ensure that your information remains private until your secure connection is reinstalled.
- You don’t have to worry about the VPN itself logging your information because it makes use of a zero-logging policy. This is an important feature to look for in VPNs.
- ExpressVPN ensures that all its servers use RAM instead of hard drive storage. This is useful to you because it means that all your data will be wiped away after your browsing session. This prevents you from being tracked online.
- ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive than other VPNs on the market.
- It doesn’t come with a free trial. But, it does have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Runner Up: NordVPN
This best VPN for Chrome OS has many excellent features. Let’s check out why it’s worth it.
- This is one of the best VPNs for privacy and speed as a result of how it makes use of double encryption. It also protects against security flaws such as DNS leaks and has two kill switches for even extra protection of your valuable data.
- This VPN offers an Android VPN app and Chrome extension so that you can set up your device quickly.
- You can load NordVPN on up to six devices.
- NordVPN offers a seven-day free trial so you can give it a good run before deciding if you want to commit to the service or not.
- This VPN has a no-logs policy so you don’t have to worry about NordVPN storing your data.
- The VPN makes use of 5,400 servers that are located in almost 60 countries. This coverage enables users to connect to their favorite online content without any restrictions.
- You can pay for NordVPN with Bitcoin, which is another step to ensure your privacy when using it on Chromebook or other devices.
- NordVPN does not offer a Kill Switch feature in the Android app.
- Some people have reported that sometimes NordVPN has a cramped interface, which can make it less user-friendly than you’d like.
If you’re looking for a VPN that’s easy to use, you’ll love CyberGhosts’s user-friendly app. This VPN will protect all your internet activity, so let’s see what it has to offer.
- CyberGhost offers its users an Android app and Chrome browser extension.
- You can also gain instructions for manually setting up your L2TP connection if this is required, which makes it great for beginners and advanced users alike.
- This VPN makes use of 7,000 servers in 90 countries, so it has some of the best coverage when compared to other VPNs.
- You’ll easily be able to get your hands on geo-blocked online content, such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Netflix.
- CyberGhost is fast- you don’t have to worry about bandwidth restrictions when using it.
- Just like with some other great VPNs for Chromebooks, CyberGhost has excellent encryption, a no-logs policy, and it enables Bitcoin payment.
- You can access this VPN on up to seven devices with CyberGhost, so you’ll never be left without online access.
- The problem with CyberGhost is that there’s no Kill Switch feature on the Android app. So, if your connection to the VPN fails, your information on web pages that you were using could be exposed.
Alternative: Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield ticks all the right boxes when it comes to securing your Chromebook against online threats. Here’s what you need to know about it.
- Hotspot Shield protects your online privacy with an encrypted connection and it doesn’t store any of your data. This means your identity will be hidden and people won’t be able to track your online activity.
- It’s really fast, as Hotspot Shield has been found to be up to 2.2 times faster than its competition. This makes it perfect for when you want to stream your favorite TV shows and movies on Disney+, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Netflix.
- This VPN has servers in 80 countries and 35 cities. It also makes use of its own protocol called Catapult Hydra that optimizes your VPN’s performance so that you get secure, fast connections for a variety of online activities, such as gaming, downloading content, and P2P.
- This VPN for Chrome extension can be used on your desktop or mobile browser, and it will work just as well on your Chromebook. You’ll be able to make use of all the same excellent features, such as fast download speeds, encrypted connections, and the same global network of VPN server locations.
- Hotspot Shield guarantees that it doesn’t store your VPN browsing data so that it can’t be traced back to you, therefore ensuring that you stay as anonymous as possible whenever you browse the internet.
- By signing up to Hotspot Shield, you can make use of a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is quite a bit longer than what you’ll get with other VPNs.
- On Hotspot Shield, you can only connect up to five devices. This is the average number that you can connect to on VPNs, but it might be enough for your needs.
- Although Hotspot Shield says it doesn’t log any data about you, this isn’t strictly true. Some details of your online activity will be recorded, such as your connection times as well as the bandwidth you use.
- While you can connect gaming devices to other VPNs on the market, Hotspot Shield doesn’t accommodate gaming consoles such as Playstation, Nintendo, and Xbox.
If you want a VPN that’s versatile and offers unlimited access, you’ll love Surfshark. Let’s see how it fares for Chromebook.
- Surfshark is a good VPN for Chromebook because it offers users 256-bit AES encryption, which is the gold standard of online protection.
- Unlike some other VPNs for Chromebook, Surfshark does offer a Kill Switch feature in its Android app.
- This VPN for Chromebook scores top marks for versatility. If you want, you can use it via the Chrome browser by making use of the Surfshark extension on your device. This will only cover the browser itself if you don’t want to have to install the app.
- This VPN offers more than 3,000 servers in over 60 countries, so you’re guaranteed of having excellent coverage.
- Surfshark has good connection speeds that will be able to meet your demands, whether you’re using your Chromebook for school or gaming.
- Surfshark can be accessed via an unlimited number of devices. This makes it perfect for households.
- It also has a “No Borders” feature. This enables you to use it in restrictive areas, such as China, with ease.
- It has a “Whitelister” feature that lets you connect to some websites and apps that are outside of the VPN’s tunnel. This means you can easily gain access to local network resources.
- One of the things you might not like about Surfshark is that it doesn’t give users any manual configuration options, which can be a drawback if you’re an advanced user.
VPN For Chromebooks FAQ
After reading our review of five of the best VPNs for Chromebooks, you should read our questions below to get a better understanding about how VPNs work on Chromebooks and what you need to know before you install one.
Can You Put a VPN On a Chromebook?
By this point in our buying guide you know that you certainly can make use of the best VPN for a Chromebook. However, you might have to install certificates to connect to the VPN.
If this is the case, you’ll have to contact your administrator who will direct you to a website where you can download and install the certificates.
This will probably be something you have to deal with if you’re trying to download a VPN to your Chromebook at work.
Generally, though, there are three main ways of connecting your Chromebook to a VPN:
- You could use a Chrome browser extension,
- You could use an Android app,
- You could manually configure the client in Chrome OS so that you can choose whatever VPN you wish to use.
Here’s more information about these three methods.
How to use a Chrome browser extension:
This is an easy and safe way to make your online traffic much safer. You can find a variety of VPNs that offer these extensions, such as NordVPN and Private Internet.
However, it’s important to note that VPN extensions for Chrome will only safeguard your web browser traffic. If you want to use web traffic from all your apps on Chromebook, they won’t have VPN protection.
How to use an Android app:
Many Chromebooks are supporting Android apps these days so you’ll get to download a VPN app and start using it immediately without a hassle.
If your Chromebook was made in or after 2019, then it will support Android apps by default. As a bonus, Android VPN apps will protect all your Chromebook online activities, even though there has been a big question mark over this in the past.
How to use manual configuration:
You can set up a VPN connection for your Chromebook via OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec. These protocols enable a VPN connection, but OpenVPN is recommended as being the better one because it’s open-source and fast.
The problem is that it’s not always easy to configure, which makes it a bit tricky unless you’re an advanced user who has experience with it on other platforms.
How Do You Bypass The Administrator On a Chromebook?
When trying to add an app to chrome via the “Add To Chrome” button in the Chrome web store, you might get an error message stating that the app is blocked by the administrator.
The reason for this is that your Google Domain has been configured to block apps except for those that are allowed by the Google Admin.
You will have to get in touch with Google Admin to be able to add the apps, or you can also go about unblocking it yourself.
To do this, you will have to go to “Device management,” then choose “Chrome management” and “User settings.” Choose the domain and browse the list to choose “Allow or block all apps and extensions.”
However, it’s worth noting that if your Chromebook is managed by a school then you won’t be able to bypass the administrator. If you still go ahead and try to hack the device, it could result in legal or disciplinary action from the school.
There are many scams online that promise to offer you ways to hack your Chromebook, such as by opening up the device and removing its battery before pressing certain buttons, but these are a waste of your time!
Which Browsers Have Built-In VPN?
There are quite a few internet browsers that have built-in VPNs. Here’s what to know about some of the best ones.
If you’ve downloaded the latest version of the Opera browser, you’ll be able to make use of its built-in VPN and ad-blocker.
While this VPN doesn’t encourage fast speeds, it does give you unlimited bandwidth and you can choose to use or disable the VPN, which is useful.
What’s great about this VPN is that it can be used for as long as you like and you don’t need a subscription, which makes it really convenient.
Some great privacy features that Opera’s VPN has included security badges that notify you of any online threats, malware protection, an ad blocker, and cryptocurrency mining protection.
UR browser is one of the latest browsers but it has a built-in VPN and many privacy features, so it’s worth checking out.
It comes with an ad-blocker built into its design and the browser doesn’t take a toll on your system’s performance, unlike some others out there.
UR has a built-in virus scanner so you can feel safer when downloading files onto your device, and it sends you notifications if there are sites that seem suspicious.
It makes use of 204-bit RSA encryption, so that you can feel safer when browsing the internet.
Globus provides an encrypted proxy that hides your IP address. It’s completely free to use and install. The interface is easy to use, so it’s great for beginners and advanced users alike.
You can also stream with the Globus browser. Globus offers good coverage as it has a variety of servers available, such as in the U.S., Germany, France, Canada, and other locations.
When you access the internet via this browser VPN, all your data, passwords, instant messages, and financial information will be secured.
Epic browser offers a no-logs service so you don’t have to worry about your information being stored. It’s also an open source browser that enables anyone to audit its code and report on bugs or privacy issues. This is part of Epic’s transparency.
When it comes to privacy, Epic makes use of a TLS-level encrypted HTTPS proxy across most of its platforms.
It provides Perfect Forward Secrecy, which changes keys to encrypt and decrypt information regularly, and HTTPS Everywhere, which encrypts your communication with major websites to keep you safer online.
One of the biggest benefits of using Epic is that it offers much faster speeds than other browsers, so having more privacy online won’t cost you speed.
While using browsers with built-in VPNs, as the ones we’ve mentioned, can be useful, it’s good to remember that they won’t offer you all the features you’ll be able to access with a VPN.
For example, you might not always be able to unblock websites or online content, such as on Netflix.
Does Google Offer VPN?
Google Chrome doesn’t offer users a built-in VPN, but the latest Chromebooks do have free access to Google One and the bundled VPN that’s part of it, for the time period of one year.
It’s important to note that this Google VPN isn’t built-in but the browser is configured so that it will be able to support VPN usage via extensions.
This VPN for Google Chromebook is said to work well and uses a proprietary security protocol instead of OpenVPN.
However, there is the concern that since Google is known for mining the data of its users this can put your information at risk if you use Google’s own VPN, so it’s probably best avoided.
Having a VPN on your device will make you feel so much safer when browsing the internet because it prevents you from being tracked or having your sensitive information exposed to third parties and hackers.
If you own a Chromebook, you can protect it with a VPN. In this guide, we’ve featured five of the best VPNs for Chromebook, looking at their best features and drawbacks to help you make the best choice.