If you have a Chromebook or don’t want yet another plan on your Windows desktop at that place is an culling to a total VPN: a Chrome extension. Many people are looking for a VPN solely to utilise with their spider web browser anyway. So why carp with the full program? With an extension y’all can have your browser announced as if it’south somewhere else, while the rest of your desktop programs utilize the local IP address.
Fifty-fifty meliorate, depending on your needs, you lot tin can become this service for free. At that place are a number of free “VPN” extensions in the Chrome Web Shop. The problem is the same with all other types of costless services, however. Namely, which ones exercise you trust? All of the extension recommendations we have hither take been tested by us and the services have been reviewed on Windows.
VPNs vs. proxies
The services recommended here also come as full VPNs when you download their respective desktop apps. Only every bit Chrome extensions, these services are most e’er proxies.
What’due south the difference? A VPN connects
of your figurer’south traffic to its servers. When that happens, no thing whether you’re connecting with Chrome or the Epic Games Launcher, your computer programs believe they are in whatever location you selected in the VPN app.
A proxy via a Chrome extension, meanwhile, but tunnels the traffic for the browser information technology’southward running in. The only exception to this is on Chrome Os where Google provides an API that allows Chrome extensions to role as a VPN. That API is not available on other operating systems such every bit Windows or macOS. In this article, however, nosotros won’t worry near that stardom. Most all of the extensions identify themselves every bit proxies with the exception of ZenMate. We’ve asked ZenMate to clarify their condition on Chrome Os, but have nonetheless to hear back.
To learn more about VPNs, come across our recommendations for best full-featured VPN services. It can assist you make up one’s mind which VPN is all-time for employ exterior of a browser-based VPN proxy.
1. Windscribe – Your all-time selection, with limits
Tons of free privacy features built-in
Free service has monthly bandwidth limits
We really like Windscribe, especially every bit a costless service. Plus, an informal expect at Windscribe’south speeds since our last review suggests vast improvements.
Usage is express to 2GB per month at first, which is pretty good for everyday web browsing. It wouldn’t exist as expert for streaming at 1080p or college—you’d max out your bandwidth in less than an hour. However, you lot can get upwardly to 10GB of bandwidth per calendar month by adding an electronic mail address to your gratis account.
Windscribe has fourteen virtual locations to choose from, but not whatever of the Netflix-streaming specialty servers. Gratis users can as well use Windscribe’s advertising-blocking features that includes several helpful additions that are all off by default. You can delete cookies automatically when a tab closes, at that place’s a Do Not Disturb characteristic for blocking site notifications, WebRTC protection, location spoofing, user agent rotation, GDPR-required cookie notice blocking, and more than.
If you don’t desire the extra bandwidth yous don’t take to requite Windscribe your email address, but you do need to create an account with a username and password. The downside of not adding an electronic mail address—other than the 2GB bandwidth limit—is you’ll demand to remember your login credentials as there will be no hope of account recovery without an email address.
Read our full Windscribe Pro review
2. CyberGhost – Farthermost simplicity
Very good speeds
Piece of cake-to-apply interface
Strict no-logging policy
Lacks some power user features such as a double VPN
Weak speeds in Asia during our tests
CyberGhost offers good speeds on the desktop and some of the speeds on the Chrome extension are great; notwithstanding, the free U.S. services are express by blueprint.
As with some others on this listing CyberGhost doesn’t crave an business relationship to apply its gratuitous service on Chrome. The free proxy offers four locations, and that’south near all there is to information technology. In that location are no settings or extra features. What makes this extension a meridian choice is that it has no bandwidth limits or usage caps.
There are no settings to speak of, but it does show a pocket-sized advertisement for upgrading to its paid service at the bottom of the extension window.
Read our full CyberGhost review
3. ZenMate – Nuts with a nuance of security
Very piece of cake to use
State list is skilful just not extensive
App’s simplicity sometimes works against it
Another worthy choice is ZenMate. Nosotros haven’t looked at ZenMate in quite some time, but we hope to rectify that soon. ZenMate on Chrome is adequately simple. Information technology offers four locations for free including the U.S. As with Windscribe, the free servers don’t include whatever of the specialty streaming servers.
ZenMate also has a number of security features you tin can activate, including tracker-, cookie-, and malware-blocking. There’s as well a protection feature for when you enter credit cards.
ZenMate’s gratis service doesn’t crave a login, but it does have ads encouraging you to upgrade to its paid service. Information technology also doesn’t take usage limitations, only speeds are capped at ii megabytes per second.
Read our total ZenMate review
4. Hide.me – Just the nuts
Good download speeds
Easy-to-use Windows app
Speeds were inconsistent in our tests
Expensive single year subscription
Hide.me is another proficient choice for a free proxy Chrome extension. Information technology doesn’t state that it has any bandwidth limits—though the free service for Windows maxes out at 10GB—and information technology doesn’t require an e-mail accost. Hide.me offers three server choices besides as protection from WebRTC IP leaks in this costless offering.
Read our full Hide.me review
What to look for in a gratuitous Chrome VPN/proxy extension
The outset thing we’d strongly suggest is downloading an extension from a well-known service. Even with proxies, little-known services may exist up to no good, and at that place’s less chance of that from known quantities. Also, watch out for unofficial apps from known VPNs. These are easy to identify if y’all look carefully at the “Offered past” line underneath the extension championship in the Chrome Web Store. Y’all can as well verify whether it’south the real deal past checking out the downloads page on the website of your VPN of selection.
If yous just want to use something curt term we’d also recommend going for a service that doesn’t require a login. That said, don’t let the account requirement hold you dorsum from using Windscribe’s extension if yous like the actress features.
Speeds may also be a consideration, just all the VPNs mentioned here are fast enough for uses like web browsing and video streaming then that shouldn’t be an issue—even with ZenMate’s limits.
How we tested
We didn’t consider speeds every bit strongly every bit we take in other manufactures. That’s considering the uses for the browser are more limited. That said, speeds were still a gene and nosotros relied on the results from our Windows app testing as a guide. For Windows testing, we test each service over the course of three divide days. During each test day we select v land locations spread throughout the world and test each location iii times. We also accept the base speed—i.e., the speed without a VPN—on each testing solar day.
We then average the testing speeds and the base speeds to come up upward with a global average. Nosotros and then express that average as a percentage of the base speed. The idea is to show nearly how much of a reduction in speed you can expect from a VPN as opposed to showing hard megabytes-per-2nd numbers that can vary based on Internet service provider, devices, and other factors.
During our look at the Chrome extensions we also considered the number of locations, extension design, and extra features.
There are a number of other free VPN Chrome extensions available, but if you lot ask us, these four are your best bets.
Volition a VPN brand me anonymous online?
Unfortunately, it’s not as elementary as just turning on your VPN and disappearing in a poof of smoke. While VPNs certainly offer ameliorate privacy, they don’t make you entirely bearding. There are myriad means that companies track you across the internet and a VPN is not capable of blocking all of them. For example, when you sign into a website, y’all reveal your identity to that website. Or when you lot log into your Gmail business relationship while using a VPN, Google tin now collect cookies based on your browsing.
Do VPNs protect against malware and computer viruses?
Unfortunately, no, a VPN will not protect yous from malware or viruses. If you utilize a VPN and happen to click on a malicious link or download a file containing a hidden virus, in that location isn’t anything a VPN on its own tin do to help. Information technology is recommended that y’all utilize an antivirus program or find a VPN provider that offers additional threat protection features to aid proceed you safety.
Looking for a VPN that works with more than than just Chrome? Check out some of our other VPN roundups to learn more:
- All-time VPN for gaming
- All-time gratuitous VPN
- Best free VPN for Windows
- Best VPN for streaming Netflix