Best VPN for Chromebook
You need a VPN for privacy and security on your Chromebook. Here is a guide of the six best VPNs for your Chromebook.
When describing the difference between a Chromebook and a Windows or Mac laptop, you can say that Chromebook is a laptop run by a web browser. And while Chrome OS does more than that, a Chromebook laptop is built to run while connected to the internet. It’s pretty apparent when you look at the inbuilt storage of most Chromebooks; data on Chromebooks are stored mostly in the cloud.
That is not to say that you cannot run your Chromebook offline. You can, and this is what makes Chromebooks a rival for Windows and Mac. The average person on the go needs a functioning laptop, but they also require it to be as lightweight as possible for smooth movement. Apart from iPads and other Notebook devices, not many brands can compete with a Google Chromebook in this category. Some Chromebooks can go as low as 2.4 pounds on the scale and are built for not-so-delicate handling — ideal for lugging about in a backpack.
Chromebooks do well in pricing, too, with some models dipping below $200. Chromebooks work well for users who need to do research or check their email or do any other work that requires the internet most of the time. But, being on the internet for hours throughout the day could pose some security challenges.
Although Google does an excellent job with Chrome OS by making it extremely tricky to install malware on Chromebook, it’s still elementary to steal information while browsing. How? Online hackers can steal information such as your passwords, usernames, and account information while you’re browsing. They can do this through a “Man in the Middle” when you’re browsing. It’s also possible for data thieves to hide behind public Wi-Fi’s and steal information from people who connect unsuspectingly.
If you’re online on your Chromebook all day, it’s a good idea to install a VPN to protect your information by encrypting your data. With a VPN, no one can spy on you, not even your ISP or government agencies. Plus, there is the added benefit of changing your IP address to enable you to watch shows that would ordinarily not be allowed in your locale.
We’ve tested many VPNs and culled the best six VPNs from them, along with why we think they’ll make a perfect fit for your Chromebook.
- Number of servers: More than 3,000
- Speeds: Unlimited
- Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
- Maximum devices supported: 5
- 24 live chat: Yes
- 30 day money back guarantee: Yes
- Fastest VPN out there
- Strict no logs policy
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Few discounts
ExpressVPN is a VPN provider that’s consistently rated #1 in all our tests. It provides a premium service for Chromebook users with multiple ways of installing it. You can install this VPN on more recent models of Chromebooks with the ExpressVPN Android app. There’s also a Chrome extension supported, which is easily downloadable. And users with more technical knowledge can set up an L2TP connection to ExpressVPN’s servers with the help of instructions from the ExpressVPN support site.
When it comes down to security, this VPN provider doesn’t joke around. When you send your data through ExpressVPN’s servers, it’s wholly encrypted with AES-256 encryption backed by OpenVPN protocol. A kill switch is also provided in the unlikely event that your VPN connection breaks suddenly. You’re allowed to choose which programs you’d like to run through ExpressVPN’s servers and which you’d prefer to load through your regular ISP.
You can stream and torrent as much as you desire with breakneck network speeds and 3000+ servers in 94 countries to choose from. You don’t have to choose which server to connect to by yourself. ExpressVPN’s smart user interface does that for you by connecting you to the server where you’ll have the fastest and most stable connection.
With the feature, MediaStreamer, you can unblock any geo-restricted content you want. To make doing this even more comfortable, you can ask ExpressVPN’s friendly and professional customer service to provide you with a list of servers that are best for streaming whatever content you’d like.
ExpressVPN’s premium service comes with a cost of $6.67 per month for the yearly plan, with three months extra offered for free as a bonus right now. A fee of $9.99 is required for the six months plan, and the monthly plan is $12.95. What’s more, a 30-day money-back guarantee allows you to test this VPN for a month. If you decide you don’t want to continue with ExpressVPN within that time frame, you’ll get your money back, no questions asked.
- Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 6
- Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
- Servers: 5342 in 58 countries
- Lots of pricing options
- Netflix support kept up to date
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Slow app
NordVPN’s robust, take-no-prisoners security features grant it the #2 spot on this list. NordVPN’s double encryption allows you to take your web traffic through two different servers, encrypting it twice and guaranteeing your information’s safety from data thieves. Still not enough? With Onion over VPN, your data is taken through Tor servers, where multiple layers of encryption are written onto it. Even if your data were stolen, it’d take the thieves decades to decrypt it. An automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection provide the finishing touches to entirely private and protected data.
NordVPN is available on the Android app, and it does have a Chrome Extension. It does not, however, have a manual configuration for Chromebook but that can be quickly resolved by configuring a Wi-Fi router to NordVPN and using it to protect your Chromebook.
NordVPN also has a broad range of servers, with over 5200 of them spread out over 59 countries. NordVPN’s SmartPlay makes it easy to stream your favorite content, and its many servers ensure you won’t be frustrated by buffering. Torrenting is also welcome. You can feel secure while streaming geo-blocked content and torrenting because NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy. A top auditing company also verified this policy so you can rest assured.
NordVPN offers all these services at the wallet-friendly prices of $3.49 per month for a three-year plan, with three months extra as an exclusive deal. The 2-year plan is $4.99 per month. The yearly subscription is charged at $6.99 per month, while the monthly plan is $11.95 per month. You don’t have to commit to any plan immediately. A 30-day refund policy is in effect for all plans so you can take your time to survey NordVPN.
- One click connect? Yes
- Platforms: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android
- Bandwidth cap? No
- Servers: 100+ superfast servers
- Apps for all devices
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Not as many servers as others
This new VPN is already making waves in the online security world. UltraVPN began operations around August of 2018. In the space of just over a year, it’s built a reputation for speed and an extensive server network of 100+, cleverly spread out over more than 55 locations.
UltraVPN has rock-solid connections and encryption with AES-256 and OpenVPN protocol. A valid zero-logging policy ensures that your data will never be stored except for what is needed to run your account. No identifying information will be saved. A kill switch known as a Firewall in UltraVPN lingo allows you to connect to any public Wi-Fi without fear of hacking, phishing, or “Man in the Middle” attacks.
If you live or are traveling to a place where your favorite content is not available or where your favorite social media apps aren’t allowed in, UltraVPN unblocks them with ease and speed. You can stream “Grown-ish” in China and torrent in Japan with UltraVPN. You can even watch your favorite sports channels. And you can do all this without any buffering or lag.
UltraVPN has an Android app, so it’s available for Chromebook users who can access Google Playstore. UltraVPN’s best plan is for 12 months at $3.75. You can also pay for six months at 5.99 per month. Monthly payments are set at $7.99 per month. During the first 30 days of your subscription, if you decide UltraVPN isn’t for you, you’ll be refunded.
- P2P support? Yes
- 30-day money-back guarantee? Yes
- Country of origin? Switzerland
- Servers: 600+ in over 40 countries
- Simultaneous devices: 5
- Professional support
- Modern interface and apps
- AES-256 encryption
- Lesser known provider
ProtonVPN is a VPN that disperses its features in a very peculiar way. This VPN has payment plans that determine the characteristics users get to have. But before we get into that, what features make ProtonVPN special?
ProtonVPN is primarily focused on security, with its unique features geared towards ensuring that data theft or de-anonymization while using their services is near impossible. Perfect Forward Secrecy is a feature that changes your encryption key each time new data is sent. This feature is a precaution against the unlikely event that your data will be stolen. Secure Core allows your data to be routed multiple times through ProtonVPN’s servers in stable, privacy-friendly countries like Switzerland and Iceland. The provider even had the physical servers placed in underground data centers to make sure they’re not susceptible to tampering.
All these unique security features are a bonus to the normal ones we’ve come to expect in a VPN like the DNS leak prevention, the no-logs policy, and the automatic kill switch. But even with the normal ones, there’s a bit of extra. ProtonVPN’s automatic kill switch comes with a feature called “Always On VPN.” It automatically restores the connection to the VPN if it breaks, while the kill switch closes the network to avoid data loss.
ProtonVPN has one of the smaller network ranges, with only 560+ servers in 43 countries. But this doesn’t determine its speed because each of ProtonVPN’s servers is optimized for high speed. Add this to unblocking streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc., and you’ve got HD and 4K content streaming into your Chromebook. ProtonVPN has an Android app available for download for those with Google Playstore on their Chromebooks.
ProtonVPN has an unusual way of pricing. Not all the features listed above are available on one plan. This provider has divided its servers between four payment plans: Free, Basic, Plus, and Visionary.
ProtonVPN’s Free plan allows three countries, one device connection, and medium network speed.
The Basic package costs $5 per month and includes the use of servers in all countries, two connected devices, high speed, and torrenting.
The Plus plan is the most popular, and it’s set at $8 per month with the use of servers in all countries, five connected devices, high speed, P2P, Plus Servers, Secure Core, Tor Servers, and secure streaming.
The Visionary plan is $24 per month and includes all that the Plus plan has with the addition of a subscription to ProtonMail, a secure email service, and ProtonVPN’s sister service. All plans come with a 20% discount if paid yearly and a 30-day money-back guarantee for first-time users.
- Connected devices at once: 7
- One click connect: Yes
- Automatic kill switch? Yes
- Servers: 5900 worldwide
- No logs policy
- 24/7 live chat
- Apps for mobile devices and routers
- No free option
CyberGhost has enough features and scope to dazzle a Chromebook user. With over 5700 servers in 90 countries, users of this VPN should come expecting their web traffic to move at a brisk pace. And CyberGhost has made it easy for Chromebook users to enjoy this speed, providing an Android version, a Chrome browser extension, and instructions on manually setting up a connection through an L2TP connection.
For security, CyberGhost hides your IP address and provides DNS and IP leak protection. It encrypts your data with AES-256 bit encryption and takes precautions to avoid data loss if the connection suddenly drops. And with the NoSpy Servers built much like Secure Core of ProtonVPN, you get more significant bandwidth, faster speeds, dedicated torrenting servers, and a dedicated uplink. CyberGhost has a strict no-logs policy, too. They delete all your information and activity, except the ones needed, like payment information.
CyberGhost is vehemently against internet censorship, which is right for you, Chromebook users. With its massive range, CyberGhost lets you bypass censorship and unblock geo-restricted content and games. And with up to 7 simultaneous connections allowed, you’re now allowed to stream and torrent anonymously wherever you and your devices go.
CyberGhost is having a Black Friday promo at the moment and giving their 1-year plan away at $2.75 per month. The 6-month plan costs $4.99 per month, and the monthly plan $12.99 per month. CyberGhost is confident in the service it provides. They’re so confident that they offer a 45-day money-back guarantee in case you don’t like their VPN.
- Speeds: 20 Gbps
- Money-back guarantee: Yes
- Activity logs? No
- Locations: 190+ countries
- 5 connections at once
- Privacy in mind
- Military grade 256-bit AES encryption
- Expensive one month option
The name of this VPN is like a promise. A promise to hide this VPN’s users’ “asses” from malware, phishing, hacking, and data theft.
HideMyAss security features boast of military-grade encryption for your web traffic, military-grade encryption for the servers, DNS leak protection, and a smart kill switch that lets you choose apps that’ll automatically launch HMA when they’re opened. There’s also an option to choose which apps will go through HMA’s servers and which will go through standard servers with split tunneling. A normal kill switch is still a feature along with IP shuffling across HMA’s 290+ locations in over 190 countries.
HideMyAss has an Android app and manual configuration instructions for Chromebook users if you’re a bit tech-savvy. The Android app runs simply with a smart and friendly user interface. Customer service is available 24/7 on live chat to answer your questions.
HMA’s pricing is quite affordable. At the moment, its three-year plan is set at $2.99 per month. For the yearly plan, it’s $4.99/month. And the 1-month plan is $7.99. All these plans come with a 30-day refund policy and HMA doesn’t delay. If you decide you aren’t impressed within a month, HMA will refund you, no questions asked.
Ways of setting up a VPN on a Chromebook
There are only three ways of setting up a VPN on a Chromebook, and each one has specific requirements.
- By downloading the VPN’s Android app. This is for newer models of Chromebook that are fitted with Google Play Store already.
- By downloading the VPN’s Chrome extension. This option feels a bit iffy for some people because they think that VPN Chrome extensions only protect your browsing and not the apps on your Chromebook. We couldn’t find any evidence that VPN Chrome extensions don’t also protect your browsing.
- By manually configuring your Chrome OS. Please, if you don’t know what you’re doing and you’ve never configured a laptop before, we cannot advise you to configure your Chromebook manually. If done improperly, it can destroy your Chromebook.
But, if you do have some knowledge of configuring laptops, it’s advisable that you take a look at your chosen VPN’s instructions on how to configure Chrome OS. When it comes to doing things like this, no information is too much.
You need a VPN for privacy, security, and anonymity on your Chromebook, and we’ve provided you with six of the best, specifically for Chromebook users and their needs. Now that you know what’s needed in a VPN, why you need one, and how you can install one, you can choose one and start browsing privately and securely. With the bonus of streaming and torrenting whenever and wherever you want, of course.