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Best VPNs for Chromebook in 2021 (+ Pros & Cons)

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

June 16, 2021

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It’s no secret that using a VPN for Chromebook like NordVPN is indispensable for ensuring a secure, reliable, and seamless online experience without the risk of opening yourself up to browsing dangers. 

As indispensable as it may be, though, it’s not always easy to find one that suits your needs, devices, and budget, which is why I’ve gone ahead and done the work for you!

On this page, you’ll find all the background knowledge you need to understand the technical nitty-gritty of VPNs, Chromebooks, the best VPNs out there, as well as some other helpful information and tips. 

Think of this as your ultimate, hassle-free roadmap to finding the VPN that’s right for you and won’t let you down!

recommended

Best Overall VPN for Chromebook

express VPN

Second Best Choice for Chromebook

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Top Chromebook Choice for Global Coverage

Best VPN for Multiple Devices for Chromebook

Best Free VPN For Chromebook

What is a VPN? And, more importantly, what does it do?

A VPN is an application used to give individuals anonymity and privacy when browsing online. So, how does it do this? 

Through the means of creating a private network via a public internet connection, a VPN enables you to browse online privately and anonymously by masking your IP (internet protocol) address. 

How does a VPN work?

The way a VPN ‘masks’ your IP address is by virtually creating a data tunnel between your network at your location and another network at another site, making it seem as though you are browsing from the latter. This makes your browsing essentially untraceable and provides you with increased online freedom.

What is a VPN?

Not only is your browsing untraceable to you, but so is your browsing history. This is because, when you browse from your usual IP address, your internet service provider and the search engines you use, have access to your search history (including most websites!). Even ‘private’ browsers could be tracking your data. 

However, when you browse while using a VPN, your browsing history can only be linked to the IP address of the servers the VPN application is running from. This could be from anywhere across the globe, meaning that your online browsing will stay private.

Enjoy a secure connection

Moreover, the benefits of using a VPN extend beyond privacy and anonymity in that it also establishes a secure, encrypted connection that protects your privacy beyond, for example, using a secured Wi-Fi network. This is because the encryption process operates to ‘scramble’ data, making it indecipherable and preventing others from accessing or tracking your internet activity.

Why do you need a VPN?

With the ever-growing rise in technology and our dependency on the web, it comes as no surprise that there’s also an ever-growing rise in online threats from tech companies, cybercriminals, advertisers, etc. 

What makes VPNs so special? Here are just a few of the reasons why using a VPN is extremely important for browsing nowadays:

Encryption

Because your data is encrypted, your online speed can’t be controlled by your internet service provider, given that your activity is untraceable.

Cybercriminals or hackers cannot access sensitive information, such as personal information or passwords, as your data cannot be decrypted. This could prove helpful, for example, against crimes such as identity theft and phishing, especially when you browse on a public Wi-Fi network.

Masked IP address

Keep in mind that your IP address is linked to all your web activity, leading back to your device whenever you’re browsing without a VPN. 

However, with a VPN, because your IP address is masked, no one can access your location. This enables you to access any content with complete freedom.

For the same reason, websites that restrict content depending on your location (such as Netflix) will be unable to limit the content you can access.

Inbuilt protection against malicious or unwanted content

Being targeted by malware could be as easy as downloading an image from a webpage. These could be stored on your device without your knowledge, and your sensitive personal information could be jeopardized.

Reliable VPNs will often have in-built protection against malicious content and cyberattacks. This will help you steer clear of online threats such as malicious websites and malware/trackers. 

Furthermore, you will also be protected against unwanted content such as annoying advertisements and/or pop-ups, helping you enjoy your online experience more. After all, is there anything more annoying than watching a video online and having it interrupted by an irritating advert?

Keeping your devices safe

Applications available for use across devices under the same user’s information mean that a chain of sensitive information is created between those devices. So, if you use the same info for your phone and your PC, they become linked, right? This makes devices an easy target for cybercriminals, especially when using public networks. 

Because a VPN protects, masks, and anonymizes your data, your devices will be protected from cybercriminals, and your sensitive data will remain private. 

Do you really need a VPN for Chromebook?

Chromebooks are personal devices that use a Linux-based operating system created by Google. This is called Chrome OS. As the operating system’s name suggests, the Chromebook uses Google Chrome as its default browser to perform any tasks requiring internet access.

Like any other laptop, be it Apple, Windows, or Linux, the Google Chromebook is highly dependent on internet connectivity for most of its activities and applications. Because of this, the same risks you’re exposed to when browsing from a phone/tablet/any other laptop also extend to Chromebook. Google itself collects browser data!

As such, using a Chromebook leaves you equally prone to danger as any other device would. This suggests that the device you use makes no difference when it comes to the need to keep yourself protected, which is why a VPN remains as indispensable as ever for secure private browsing. No matter what device I use, I will always have a VPN like NordVPN switched on. 

With that being said, it’s not a given that all popular VPNs will be an equally good choice for a Chromebook user. 

What makes an excellent VPN for Chromebook?

Choosing the right VPN for Chromebook may not be as straightforward as it sounds, given that many variables could influence your browsing experience with a VPN. 

You want to make sure that any VPN you’re considering is private and secure from the get-go. Remember, what you’re seeking is for your browsing and sensitive personal information to be protected. The privacy and security of a VPN should, therefore, be at the forefront of your mind when you’re considering which VPN to go for, and it’s ideal if it operates on a no-log policy (refraining from tracking/logging your valuable online activity!).

Next, you should ensure that a VPN is reliable. Is it a widely used VPN? Does it have good reviews/is it highly rated? Of course, I will give you the low-down on my thoughts regarding the best VPNs for Chromebook, but you can do further research if you wish. 

Make sure performance levels are high

Another must for any potential user of a particular VPN is connection speed. You don’t want to start using a VPN application that constantly keeps you waiting to get on with your online browsing

This goes hand in hand with the VPN’s geographical coverage. The more servers across geographical areas a VPN application enjoys, the better its coverage will be, and the faster and more secure your connection will be.

After this, you want to ensure your VPN offers is a great data allowance. If you use a lot of data while browsing, you should check the VPN’s per customer bandwidth to see whether it matches your usage needs.

How easy is it to use the VPN?

Also, you should aim for an easy-to-use VPN. You don’t want to end up signing up for a VPN application that you just can’t seem to figure out how to use. So, make sure your chosen VPN is user-friendly and allows you to navigate quickly. It’s a bonus if your chosen VPN will enable you to use it across multiple devices. 

Lastly, and something particularly relevant for Chromebook users is to make sure that any VPN you’re considering is compatible with your device. If you want a VPN that runs as smoothly as possible, it’s essential to ensure it is compatible with Chrome OS, provides a Chromebook or Android app, and offers a Chrome browser extension.

Some minor factors you may also choose to consider are: whether the VPN for Chromebook offers a free trial or money-back guarantee, whether it offers customer support, and whether it comes with streaming service features

THE BEST VPNS FOR chromebook

So, what sort of VPNs do I recommend for Chromebook? Let’s take a look…

NordVPN Pros:

NordVPN Cons:

#1 | NordVPN

NordVPN is incredibly fast on Chromebook, if not the fastest, allowing for high-definition streaming and browsing without lagging. What’s more to it, you don’t have to worry about bandwidth or data restrictions when you’re online, given this VPN’s unlimited bandwidth!

With 5,400+ servers across 59 countries, NordVPN has excellent geographical coverage and impressive server availability, helping you connect quickly to a wide variety of servers whether you’re at home or on the go. 

Security features

Having military-grade encryption, double VPN, and CyberSec protection against malware and advertisements, NordVPN offers pristine protection across all fronts, efficiently hiding you and your online activity. Beyond this, its no-logging policy prevents any trail from being left behind once you’ve ended a session. 

Device compatibility

Providing compatibility across multiple operating systems, added extensions for Google Chrome, as well as Firefox, and an Android app, NordVPN is highly compatible with your Chromebook, making this a top-choice for seamless browsing. In addition, the six-device allowance is a bonus for quickly switching between your Chromebook and phone/tablet.

NordVPN is extremely easy to use, enjoying one-click functionality to shorten your journey to safe and private browsing. Nonetheless, thanks to its extensive customer support, you can rest easy if you do run into complications, as its 24/7 live chat, knowledge base, and email support will have you covered in any event! I have always found the customer support agents to be incredibly helpful.

Features

  • Price: $3.05/mo, 30-day money back guarantee
  • Current value deal: 65% off 2-year plan
  • Geographical coverage: 5400+ servers in 59 countries
  • Devices: Up to 6 devices
  • Speed: incredibly fast
  • Protection: military-grade 256-bit encryption; own DNS servers and leak protection; IP data-leak protection; offers CyberSec for malware and ad blocking
  • Data logging: zero-logging policy
  • Compatibility: MacOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux; lightweight extensions for Google Chrome and Firefox, Android app
  • Easy-to-use: yes, one-click functionality; automatic kill switch
  • Streaming: worldwide support
  • Customer support: 24/7 live chat, searchable knowledge base, email support

Does NordVPN sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

ExpressVPN Pros:

ExpressVPN Cons:

#2 | ExpressVPN

As my second top recommendation, ExpressVPN offers lightning-fast speed thanks to its 3,000+ servers across 160 locations. With such a wide server availability and extensive geographical coverage, you can expect a speedy connection from wherever it is you’re trying to get online from. And with an allowance of up to five devices, you can browse safely from any of your preferred devices.

Thanks to innovative safeguards such as 256-bit encryption, split tunneling, and DNS and IP leak protection, your browsing experience and online activity will be safe from prying eyes. Beyond that, ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology makes sure to erase any browsing history you leave behind after a browsing session for added privacy, extending beyond their zero-logging policy. 

Device compatibility

Providing compatibility across numerous operating systems, an Android app, and a Google Chrome extension, ExpressVPN satisfies all the compatibility requirements of a Chromebook user. Beyond this, thanks to their five-device allowance, you can enjoy the same level of privacy and security on several other devices. What’s even better, your browsing can extend for as long as you want, thanks to their unlimited bandwidth. 

Ease of use

ExpressVPN is very easy to use and offers manual setup options so you can oversee the setup mechanism, as well as an automatic kill switch. If you’ve read any of my other guides, you will know how highly I rate kill switches – they protect you even when your connection drops out! Additionally, if you ever run into issues, you can safely rely on their 24/7 live customer support chat to find quick solutions. 

Unfortunately, ExpressVPN does suffer some faults. At a slightly higher price than its top competitor, this VPN enjoys a lower device availability. Nonetheless, despite these limitations, it still stands as one of the best VPNs for Chromebook in 2021.

Features

  • Price: $12.95/mo; no free version/trial, 30-day money back guarantee
  • Servers and Geographical coverage: 3,000+ servers in 160 locations
  • Devices: up to 5 devices
  • Speed: lightning-fast
  • Protection: military grade 256-bit encryption, DNS and IP leak protection; TrustedServer technology; split tunneling feature; no ad blocking
  • Data logging: zero-logging policy
  • Compatibility: MacOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux; Google Chrome extension and Android App
  • Easy-to-use: yes; manual setup available; automatic kill switch
  • Streaming: worldwide support
  • Customer support: yes, 24/7 live chat

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

CyberGhost Pros:

CyberGhost Cons:

#3 | CyberGhost

As my third best VPN for Chromebooks in 2021, CyberGhost is a strong contender. Thanks to its 7,100+ servers across 111 locations, this VPN has excellent geographical coverage and server availability, pointing towards super-fast and reliable connectivity. This VPN also supports streaming worldwide and enjoys Smart DNS settings to make streaming easier than ever.

Staying safe

By virtue of its military-grade encryption, multiple security protocols, DNS and IP leak protection, and NoSpy servers, your data and browsing will be kept safe from unwanted attention, making your online activity as private as it can be. This is reinforced without a doubt by its zero-logging policy, meaning that none of your data will be logged.

CyberGhost is another VPN that is highly compatible with Chromebook. It also has an Android App and Google Chrome extension. 

Kill switch and more

Beyond its impressive features, CyberGhost is easy-to-use with a user-friendly interface, and comes with an in-built kill switch, preventing your identity or data from leaking whenever your connection falls through. And if there’s ever an issue with your customer experience, CyberGhost operates a successful customer support service through 24/7 live chat, support ticket system, and searchable library. 

Nonetheless, this VPN does come at a steeper price, which might be a disincentive if you’ve got budget concerns. Additionally, poor connectivity may arise at times. Despite these disadvantages, CyberGhost remains one of the best VPNs in 2021.

Features

  • Price: $12.99/mo; free trial available, 45-day money back guarantee
  • Servers and Geographical coverage: 7,100+ servers in 111 locations
  • Devices: up to 7 devices
  • Speed: super-fast
  • Protection: military-grade 256-bit encryption; NoSpy servers; multiple security protocols; ad blocking; DNS and IP leak protection
  • Data logging: zero-logging policy
  • Compatibility: MacOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux; Google Chrome extension and Android App
  • Easy-to-use: yes; automatic kill switch
  • Streaming: yes, worldwide support; Smart DNS settings
  • Customer support: 24/7 live support, support library, support ticket system

Does CyberGhost sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

Surfshark Pros:

Surfshark Cons:

#4 | Surfshark

Surfshark offers excellent privacy and protection thanks to its military-grade 256-bit encryption, double VPN through its MultiHop technology, as well as ad blocking to keep frustration at bay. Moreover, you can rest easy knowing your data won’t be tracked or logged thanks to their zero-logging policy.

Thanks to its 1,700+ servers across 63 countries, as well as its growing server network, Surfshark enjoys great geographical coverage and server availability to ensure a fast and reliable connection. Not only does this VPN allow for an online experience that’s great, but it also offers an unlimited device allowance, so you’ll be able to connect on all of yours!

Great compatibility 

Providing extensive compatibility with the most popular operating systems and an Android app and browser extensions for Firefox and Google Chrome, Surfshark is a VPN that is highly compatible with Chromebook.

Thanks to its clever user interface, Surfshark is easy to use and benefits from an automatic kill switch. If you run into trouble using this VPN, its customer support services via a 24/7 live chat, support library, and support contact form are sure to help resolve the matter. 

However, Surfshark does suffer from a lack of manual setup options, so do keep this in mind.

Features

  • Price: $12.95/mo; no free version/trial, 30-day money back guarantee
  • Servers and Geographical coverage: 1,700+ servers in 63 countries
  • Devices: unlimited
  • Speed: very fast
  • Protection: 256-bit encryption; MultiHop double VPN; ad blocking
  • Data logging: zero-logging policy
  • Compatibility: MacOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux; Google Chrome and Firefox extension, Android app
  • Easy-to-use: yes; kill switch; no manual configuration
  • Streaming: worldwide support
  • Customer support: 24/7 live chat, support contact form, support library

Does Surfshark sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

TunnelBear Pros:

TunnelBear Cons:

#5 | TunnelBear

As my top low-budget VPN choice, TunnelBear is a great option for those of you who aren’t yet ready or able to go for a paid/higher-tier VPN. This is because, unlike most VPNs, TunnelBear offers a free version (capped at 500MB/month), as well as a lower subscription cost than others.

TunnelBear enjoys 1,800+ servers across 23 countries, making its geographical coverage great and server availability wide. This allows for fast connectivity and reliable browsing, which you can enjoy on up to five devices thanks to its device allowance.

Security

Like all VPNs in this review, TunnelBear provides military-grade encryption, operates multiple protocols, and offers ad blocking, making your online activity very private and secure. In addition, because of its zero-logging policy, you can also rest assured that no data will be logged while you are using this VPN.

Beyond this, it provides split tunneling on Android devices and dynamic IP addresses, giving you more control and variety when using this application. Additionally, Tunnelbear is easy-to-use thanks to its playful and simplistic user interface and provides an in-built kill switch so that your identity and private information stay private if your connection is faulty. 

In terms of compatibility, Chromebook users should be able to enjoy TunnelBear hassle-free given that it supports various operating systems and offers browser extensions, as well as an Android app. 

Limitations

Nonetheless, TunnelBear does come with some significant limitations. It is based in Canada, which means that the company could be forced to give up your personal data. Its features are more limited than most other VPNs, its customer support is limited and, often, poor, and streaming on Netflix is not supported. 

Even so, as a free VPN, its benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. For the paid version, however, NordVPN remains the best option due to its value pricing. 

Features

  • Price: $9.99/mo; free version with 500MB secure browsing allowance
  • Servers and Geographical coverage: 1,800+ servers in over 23 countries
  • Devices: up to 5 devices
  • Speed: fast
  • Protection: military grade 256-bit encryption; dynamic IP address; limited split tunneling (Android only); multiple protocols; ad blocking
  • Data logging: zero-logging policy.
  • Compatibility: MacOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux (limited); Google Chrome extension, Android app
  • Easy-to-use: yes; in-built kill switch
  • Streaming: limited
  • Customer support: limited

Does TunnelBear sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

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Free vs Paid: Worth the money?

With some of the VPNs considered being free, and some being paid, you’re probably wondering: “why spend money on a top-rated paid VPN when I can enjoy the same benefits by using a top-rated free VPN?” Great question!

Truthfully, I do not suggest using a free VPN for Chromebook, and this for some fundamental reasons. 

The most crucial danger to consider when using a free VPN service is that you, and your data, may be monitored. No service can ever run cost-free, so there is a possibility that your information may end up being sold to third parties to allow the service to continue running. 

Then, there’s the likelihood that your service usage will be limited by bandwidth limitations, which constrict the amount of data you can use irrespective of your needs. 

On top of that, there’s a good chance that the features your free access grants you are much more limited than those offered by paid access. There’s also a good chance that your internet connection will be frustratingly slow, which may affect the quality of the content you are accessing as well as your patience! 

Because of the risk of you running into these complications if you end up opting for a free VPN application, it’s best to opt for a paid VPN that caters to all your needs.

Best VPN for Chromebooks in 2021: NordVPN

NordVPN comfortably sits at the top of my Chromebook VPN list for good reasons. Its features, functions, speed, and protection are second to none. Plus, its current value deal gives its competition a run for their money, so if NordVPN has you sold, make sure to take advantage of the offer running at the moment!

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