Browser surfing is the most common practice among the internet users. However, most people don’t realize that when you are surfing online, your browser constantly collects information about the sites you visit. Thus, your personal information like IP address, connected devices and hardware are out in the open. And we are not talking just about malicious sites. No! Your most trusted sites like Google, YouTube, etc. can also access this information.
This is where a VPN extension comes into the picture. A reliable VPN extension will encrypt your browser traffic so no one can use your personal information.
You have to admit, browser extensions are truly awesome. You can get pretty much anything done without installing resource-heavy desktop applications. Instead of downloading standalone VPN apps, you can just install a lightweight VPN extension and quickly secure your online browsing.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at 5 of the best browser VPN extensions offered by the best VPN providers that you can use for a seamless and secure browsing experience.
5 Best VPN for Browsers in 2021
A browser VPN extension needs to be quick and should deliver ultimate privacy without having to separately download the standalone app.
After playing around with a bunch of different VPNs, here are my recommended best browser VPN extensions for 2021
1. PureVPN – Best VPN for Browsers
First up on this list, we have PureVPN. Just like their other apps, PureVPN’s browser extensions are pretty awesome. You can either use it on Google Chrome or with your Firefox browser.
Performance-wise, both Google Chrome and Firefox extensions of PureVPN are very quick. Connecting to a VPN server literally takes no time at all. In fact, PureVPN offers the best VPN extension for chrome in the industry. It grants access to 6500+ servers in across 140 countries.
As far as interface and features are concerned, PureVPN has managed to do a pretty decent job.
Now granted there are no customizable features available within their browser extensions, but you still get quite a bit of feature to play around with.
Here’s how PureVPN’s browser extensions look like:
Feature-wise you get an option to select the VPN location of your choice. There’s an option called “Popular websites”, which lets you unblock a wide range of popular geo-locked websites like Netflix US, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and many more.
One last thing which I find quite impressive about PureVPN’s browser extension is the built-in option to toggle on and off the WebRTC leak protection feature.
Since web browser can never be trusted, using the WebRTC leak protection can come a long way. It also has the best Kill switch feature in the VPN industry. All these features make it one of the best VPN extension for chrome.
Overall, PureVPN browser extensions work great, but a bit more customization could come in handy. It is the least expensive VPN service of 2021.
2. NordVPN – Secure Browser VPN
Next up, we have NordVPN. Now unlike PureVPN, NordVPN’s browser extensions are bit more feature rich. By that, I’m talking about its CyberSec feature, which is available for both Chrome and Firefox.
If you don’t know, CyberSec is a pretty clever feature that prevents you from accessing malware-hosting sites. Pretty cool if you ask me.
Similar to PureVPN, NordVPN also offers WebRTC leak protection within their browser extension, which is always nice to have. Nord also offers Tor Browser Support which is a huge plus for user security. It also boasts around 5500+ servers in 59 countries. Meaning, you can access all popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, etc.
As far as interface and ease of use are concerned, NordVPN pretty much nails it. By simply clicking the “Auto Connect” button, you can automatically connect to one of their many optimized VPN servers. It’s also one of the best VPNs for Chrome.
If you’re nitpicky like me, click the “Choose location” button and pick a country of your choice. Again, just like PureVPN, you can’t pick a specific server location of your choice.
Here’s how NordVPN’s browser extensions look like:
3. ExpressVPN – Fastest Browser Extension
If you’re looking a VPN browser extension that can deliver desktop-like specs, ExpressVPN might just be perfect for you.
Right from the get-go, you’re going to find support for Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera and even Safari browser. You can choose from 3200+ servers across 65 countries.
Aside from compatibility, ExpressVPN’s browser extension offers a lot more security features and a lot more customization than other VPN providers in this list. It has top notch security features with strong encryption for maximum privacy.
Let’s first check out the interface and then we’ll talk about features, shall we?
Here’s how ExpressVPN’s browser extensions look like:
If we talk about features, customization, and interface, there’s no other VPN extension that even comes close to ExpressVPN.
Even if we just talk about connecting to a server, ExpressVPN’s browser extension not only lets you pick a country, but also the specific server of your choice from its 3200+ servers. These features also make it one of the best VPN for movie streaming without any restrictions.
Pretty cool right?
As far as features are concerned, ExpressVPN helps you block HTML5 geolocation from revealing your real location, the WebRTC block feature prevent your browser from leaking your private information, and the HTTPS Everywhere feature automatically connects you to secure HTTPS version of a website.
Although I highly like their browser extension, however, you cannot use it on its own, unless you download their standalone desktop app.
4. Surfshark – Best Affordable VPN
Surshark is another great browser VPN that has around 3200+ servers in across 65 countries. Thus, making it an excellent choice for browsing geo-restricted sites and unblocking popular streaming platforms including Netflix US, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer. etc. Also, Surfshark offers high speed connection servers that are optimal for bufferless streaming.
This budget-friendly VPN is compatible with Google Chrome, and Firefox. Although it doesn’t have a dedicated VPN web browser extension for Opera, but you can use Google Chrome extension on Opera browsers.
Here’s how Surfshark’s browser extensions look like:
Surfshark extension offers an amazing feature known as CleanWeb. It blocks ads, malware and also phishing attempts. Its automatic functionality makes it super easy to use for beginners.
This web browser VPN provides an additional layer of protection by automatically turning on Camouflage obfuscation in case your online traffic has to go through deep packet inspection. As if that wasn’t enough, Surshark also protects against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks.
With an inbuilt ad blocker, and anti-malware, Surshark VPN browser extension is a clear winner when it comes to safe browsing and online protection.
5. PIA – Easy to Use Extension
Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most popular VPN for web browsers. This VPN features around 20,000+ servers in different countries. Its VPN browser extension has a user-friendly interface with all the required security features. Its browser extension comes in Light and Dark theme.
With PIA VPNs browser extension you can unblock Netflix US, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and much more. And what’s best is that you get all these features at a low price tag, as PIA VPN is cheap.
PIA VPNs browser extension looks like this:
PIA offers extensions for Chrome and Firefox. You can simply turn the VPN extension on and it will hide your IP address and browser activity by securing it with Squid HTTPS. It also features an automatic kill switch, port forwarding and DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection.
But, keep in mind that the extension alone will not mask your online activity apart from the browser activity. So, for maximum protection I recommend that you use the extension with the VPN app.
How to use a VPN Browser Extension
In order to set up a VPN browser extension, follow the steps below:
- Choose a VPN provider from the list above and subscribe to a VPN plan (we recommend PureVPN).
- Download the VPN extension from the online official store of your browser. Or you can visit the official page of the VPN provider and download the browser extension from there.
- Open the extension on your browser and log in.
- Select your desired server and connect.
Best Free Browser VPN Extensions
If you’re not a fan of paid browser VPN extensions, you can opt for slightly less secure, but completely free VPN browser extensions.
With free VPN browser extensions, you might not get the most secure experience, but it’ll hopefully help you bypass geo-restrictions at the most.
Here is a list of few free browser VPN extensions you can use:
Browser VPN Extensions VS Standalone VPN Apps
Let clear the air for a second, a browser extension cannot deliver the same level of protection as the standalone VPN app.
Well, a lot of the full-fledged features are just not available in the browser extensions which might end up compromising your privacy and security.
For instance, if you like tinkering with protocols, cherry-picking servers, or using security features like Kill switch and split tunneling, you’ll have to use the dedicated VPN app.
While a browser extension only secures your proprietary web browser, a dedicated VPN app secure your entire system.
Simply put, a VPN browser extension is just a quick way to secure your web browser. Since pretty much all browser VPN extension are just HTTPS proxies, you’re obviously going to compromise on privacy.
To take full benefit from powerful encryption and protocols, you’ll have to download the proper VPN app for any of the best VPNs we’ve discussed above.
How do I set up a VPN extension on Google Chrome?
Follow the steps below to set up a VPN extension on Google Chrome:
- Choose a VPN service and subscribe.
- Go to the official website of the VPN and download the VPN browser extension. You can also go to the Chrome Web Store, find the VPN app that you want and click Add to Chrome button.
- Once the extension is downloaded, Sign in to the VPN using your credentials and you are good to go!
Why is a VPN for Browser necessary?
A VPN extension for Browser encrypts your online traffic, just like a VPN app, so no one can see what you are browsing. It also masks your IP address, so no one can track your real location, that is why a VPN for browser is necessary to ensure online privacy and security. Other reasons why a VPN is necessary for Browser include:
- Data encryption for online privacy
- Bypass censorship and access geo-restricted sites.
- Mask your IP address so no one can track your location.
Wrapping Things Up
Browsers are common targets for hackers. But with browser VPN extensions, you can make the job of a would-be hacker, that much more difficult. Whether you are a student. or an employee in a tech firm, a browser VPN is an essential tool for you to maintain online privacy and protect yourself against cyber attacks.
I hope this article proved to be of some use to you. Let me know which best browser VPN you’re currently using in the comments below.
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