If you haven’t heard of Google’s fastest computer ‘Chromebook’, you’ve definitely been living under a rock. Chromebooks run a Linus-based Chrome OS as an operating system and has built-in virus protection among other security features. But to ensure security, the best VPN for Chromebook is necessary.
Despite Google making claims about the inherent security of Chromebooks with built-in virus protection, it is to keep in mind that Chromebook relies heavily on the internet. Because it uses cloud storage service, it could put your data at risk.
This is where a Chromebook VPN service comes in. A VPN app for Chromebook provides a protection layer any time you use free Wi-Fi to deter unwanted snoopers. We have tested dozens of VPN services, and our top recommendation is ExpressVPN, because of its compatibility with ChromeOS, and fast speed servers.
- 3,000+ Servers in 94 Countries
- Hard disk free infrastructure (RAM only)
- 256-bit Military-Grade Encryption
- Excellent unblocking capability for Netflix, Hulu & more
- 5 Multi Logins
- Zero-knowledge DNS
Quick Overview – Best VPN for Chromebook
5 Best VPN for Chromebook in 2021
Since Chromebooks run on a browser-based OS, not many VPN providers offer dedicated apps for it. Don’t worry though, I’ve compiled a list some of the best VPN services for Chromebooks below
So without further ado, here are some of the best VPN for Chromebook in 2021
1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN for Chromebook
ExpressVPN is another powerful VPN service for Chromebook. It is among the most premium VPNs in the market and comes packed with features like Kill switch, Split tunneling, Zero-knowledge DNS and more.
Not only that, ExpressVPN offers over 3000+ servers that are not only fast, but also free from data retention laws. Best of all, ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands and offers a 30-days money-back guarantee.
Due to it’s massive server base spread across a wide range of countries, it holds great unblocking potential which makes it one of the best VPN for streaming movies.
However, ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension is not an standalone app. It integrates with the desktop client in order to work. Since Chromebook only supports Chrome extensions of VPNs, you can’t use ExpressVPN this way.
Instead, you’ll have to perform a manual L2TP setup (instructions given below). Or if your Chromebook supports Android, you can get use the app available in the Play Store.
Read our exclusive ExpressVPN review for more details.
- Offers more than 3,000 servers located in over 94 countries
- Works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney and more.
- Excellent customer support available over live chat 24/7
- Compatible with Chrome OS
- Offer 30-day money-back guarantee
- Slightly more expensive than other VPNs
2. Surfshark – Affordable Chromebook VPN
Next VPN in this list is Surfshark. It is one of the fastest VPNs in the industry offering features like no logs policy, kill switch, 3200+ server and more.
In addition, Surfshark offers a legitimate no logs policy for ultimate privacy of your Chromebooks. Since Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, your data will never be logged no matter what.
Even more impressively, Surfshark offers a 30-day no questions asked refund policy and powerful protocols for ultimate privacy and peace of mind. You can get Surfshark as a standalone Chrome extension, making it the perfect fit for users who need more privacy and unblocking while surfing the web on Chromebook.
Read our exclusive Surfshark review for more details.
- More than 3,200+ servers in over 65 countries
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Efficient 24/7 customer support
- Built-in adblocker, anti-malware, and double VPN feature
- Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video
- Fast servers with stable connectivity
- Limited P2P servers for torrenting
3. NordVPN – Chromebook VPN with Great Coverage
NordVPN is based in Panama based VPN service that offers servers 5500 servers all over the globe. That’s not all, NordVPN even uses double data encryption to offer next-level security.
In terms of performance, NordVPN for Chromebook, offers lightning speeds, various payment modes including Bitcoin, and obfuscation technology to help you bypass even the harshest Geo-restrictions.
This best VPN for Chromebook is excellent for streaming purposes as well, with the ability to unblock US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
The Chrome extension of NordVPN is neatly designed and offers smooth performance much like its complete clients for desktop systems. Overall, NordVPN is one of the most powerful and best VPN for Chromebook you can get in 2021.
To learn more about how NordVPN works, view our detailed NordVPN review.
- More than 5,500+ servers in over 59 countries
- Supports advanced VPN protocols such as OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and IKEv2
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Easy compatibility with Smart TVs and other devices
- Unblocks Sky TV, HBO, Disney+ and more
- Enabling the double VPN feature can affect server speeds
- Windows app is sluggish
4. PureVPN – Powerful VPN for Chromebook
PureVPN services offer the strongest cyber-security features at affordable prices. It protects your device from viruses and malicious websites, thus making it the world’s powerful VPN.
When it comes to security features, PureVPN for Chromebook comes with some of the most powerful features under the hood. Features like military-grade encryption, secure protocols and kill switch all come standard with PureVPN.
Not only that, since PureVPN offers browser extension for Chrome, compatibility is not an issue. Best of all, PureVPN supports 10 simultaneous connections and offers an extensive 31-day refund policy.
- 6,500+ servers in 140+ countries
- 31-day money-back guarantee
- Use up to 10 devices simultaneously
- 256-bit military-grade encryption
- Unblocks Netflix US, UK, and BBC iPlayer
- No ad-blocker
- Some servers are slow
5. CyberGhost – Secure VPN for Chromebook
CyberGhost is a Romanian VPN service which is one of the most widely used Chromebook VPNs in the industry. Not only that, CyberGhost comes packed with very powerful protocols like OpenVPN, L2T, IPsec, SSTP and secure encryption.
There are more than 6500 servers in the network of CyberGhost, having presence in 90 countries. A huge variety of these servers are optimized for streaming and unblocking various online streaming channels around the world. You can access US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other popular streaming platforms with CyberGhost.
It also offers a neat Chrome extension that Chromebook users can conveniently install to get stronger protection on the web and access blocked websites/services across the world.
You can learn about the salient attributes of the service through our CyberGhost review.
- Provides 6,600+ servers in over 90 countries
- Uses AES-256 encryption
- Allows 7 simultaneous connections
- Live chat feature available 24/7
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Doesn’t work in China
- Occasionally slow server speeds
How to Manual Setup VPN on Chromebook
Not all VPNs have Chrome extensions or direct app support for Chromebook. Knowing how to manually setup your VPN on a Chromebook is an important skill to have if you want configure it on your device in the absence of other options.
You can setup a VPN using L2TP protocols on the Chromebook and indeed, even with OpenVPN. Both methods are explained below:
1: First you need to do is to Sign-in to your Chromebook
2: Now click on the ‘Network’ icon that will appear on the bottom of your screen
3: Click on Settings
4: Now go to Internet Connection > Click on Add Connection > and Add Private Network
5: In this section, you need to provide details of your preferred Chrome VPN service provider
6: Click Connect and ready to enjoy!
In order to check on your VPN status, or to either connect and disconnect your VPN, go to Settings > Internet Connection > Private Network
As mentioned earlier, Chrome OS supports OpenVPN but does not recognize SSL certificate that are used by most VPN services. However, there is a way to get around this problem and that is because Chromebook is based on Linux.
By using Terminal, we can setup OpenVPN through using Linux commands and therefore surpass Chrome OS.
1: Open Terminal by pressing on CTRL+ALT+T or CTRL+ALT+RIGHTARROW all at one time.
2: This will open Crosh > Now prompt type shell
3: In this step, you will be logged in with restricted user privileges. Now type sudo su and enter a password, and hit enter
4: Ever VPN provider offers .ovpn and OpenVPN configuration files on their website. Download it.
5: Now navigate the files that you just download from Terminal.
6: Then, you can connect to a VPN by typing OpenVPN (Downloaded ovpnfile.ovpn)
7: You may now enter your Username and Password
8: If you have got everything right, you will see something like Initialization Sequence Completed message. This means that you are now connected to a VPN.
9: Now type Exit so as to remove the Sudo su privileges.
10: You can leave the Terminal mode by tapping ALT+TAB.
11: If you need to disconnect Chromebook VPN, you can go back to Terminal mode (ALT+TAB) and hit CTRL+C.
Chrome VPN Apps
You can also obtain a VPN through Chrome OS apps. The Chromebook supports web applications compatible with Google Chrome. You can install these apps through the Google web store.
Since Chromebook is basically the Chrome browser working on a system-level, any VPN with Chrome extension or add-on can be used on your Chromebook.
However, newer models of Chromebooks support Android apps as well. This increases your range options since you’re not only limited to Chrome extensions, but the dedicated Android apps of VPNs can also be installed on your device.
All you have to do is visit the Play Store, download it, and launch it on your Chromebook.
The Chromebook conveniently displays your downloaded VPN in your network settings menu. Therefore, to launch the VPN, you will simply have to choose it as the connection option from the network settings. A VPN android app can secure and encrypt all traffic from your Chromebook.
Thus, the easiest way to protect your Chromebook with a VPN is through an Android app. Unfortunately, not all Chromebooks can run Android apps. You will just have to try it out on your Chrome OS device to see if it supports Android.
If you are looking for the best Android VPN app for Chromebook, consult the list of VPN providers above.
Why You Need a VPN for Chromebook?
Chromebook uses cloud technology when connected to the internet. This technology offers many benefits, but it also poses a greater threat to your private data as it can hackers and cybercriminals with the ability to breach cloud servers by finding an exploit can lead to loss of your data and privacy.
A VPN enhances your security, in general, by masking your IP address so that it’s much more difficult for any hacker to trace your identity and activities on the web. While a VPN won’t protect you from attacks on the systems of the cloud service you’re using, it can keep you safe from targeted attacks on your device, such as when you’re connected to unprotected public Wi-Fi.
Furthermore, the problem of geo-restrictions on streaming channels and websites can also be conveniently averted with a VPN service. Most of the VPNs mentioned above are strong unblockers that can allow you to access content libraries of popular streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer etc. on your Chromebook.
Thus, a VPN enhances your online accessibility and privacy during your Chromebook sessions and these software are these becoming more important to have in modern times.
Criteria for Selecting the Best Chromebook VPN
We have tested 50+ VPN services with Chromebooks to bring you the best of the best providers with great performance. I have tested the above mentioned VPNs using both Android apps and manual set up, and on the following performance criteria:
- Compatibility: All of the above mentioned VPNs are compatible with Chrome OS and offer Android app and Chrome browser extension that are easy to set up and install.
- Encryption: The best VPN for Chromebook should offer 256-bit encryption and secure VPN protocols to protect your data.
- Leak protection: DNS and IPv6 leak protection is a necessity to keep your location and online activity hidden at all times. All these VPNs offer leak protection and kill switch feature.
- Servers & Speed: We have included the VPNs for Chromebook that offer high speed servers with worldwide coverage so you can unblock content from anywhere in the world without issues.
- Money-back guarantee: All the VPNs mentioned above offer a minimum of 30 days refund policy so you can test the service with Chromebook risk free and get your money back if you don’t like the service.
Avoid VPNs that don’t work with Chromebook
Not all VPNs work with Chromebook. We have tested 50+ VPNs to bring you the list of best providers that are compatible with Chromebooks. During testing we discovered that the following popular VPNs don’t work with Chromebook and you should avoid these too:
Although PrivateVPN is a famous name in the industry and is compatible with Chromebook, but its set up is manual and super lengthy. It has a easy setup and installation process for laptops and desktops, but is not the best choice for Chromebooks. You can read our PrivateVPN review for more details.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access has one of the largest server network in the industry with 35,000 servers, but is not a great choice for Chromebook users because it is not compatible with the platform. Users on PIA forums claim that the installation process is very technical and even after that it doesn’t work on Chromebook.
Similarly, users have also claimed that PIA’s Android app also doesn’t work with Chromebooks, although it works perfect on Windows 10 laptops. Read our PIA review for more information and compatibility.
Norton Secure VPN
Norton Secure VPN is not compatible with Chromebooks. I tried both manual set up and Android app on my Chromebook, but it wasn’t working and got stuck so I had to close the app and restart my device. Read our full Norton Secure VPN review for more information on this provider.
Free VPNs for Chromebook
Free VPNs are generally not recommended owing to poor logging policies and systems in place. Many providers sell your information to third parties for a profit, while others use poor encryption and hardly protect you from threats on the web.
The catch is that even the reliable and legitimate ones aren’t that good to have for your device. This is because these contain inherent limitations such as data caps, small server support, and weak unblocking capability.
So, if you have serious usage needs such as streaming and stronger privacy requirements, you’d be much better off with a paid premium VPN solution.
FAQs – Best VPN for Chromebook
To download the VPN on your Chromebook, you need to access Google Play Store. You can either download Android app or Chrome extension on your device. You can also manually configure VPN with OpenVPN on your Chromebook. The detailed step-by-step process is discussed above.
Chrome extension is an easy and quick way to protect your Chromebook with a VPN. But, with a VPN extension, you don’t have a system-wide protection as it only encrypts your browser traffic.
Therefore, if you want maximum protection and encrypts traffic of browser, and other apps alike, consider downloading the Android app from Google Play instead.
The best security protocol for Chromebook depends upon your needs. For example, some protocols offer the best security and encryption, but it may cause a drop in connection speeds. Similarly, some protocols offer speed, but compromise slightly on security.
OpenVPN and WireGuard are leading protocols in the VPN industry that offer a great balance between security and speed, making it best for gaming and streaming alike. You can learn more about this in our best VPN protocols guide.
Chromebook is one of the most efficient computing devices available today. Nonetheless, it is not free of security vulnerabilities.
This is why you need to use the best VPN for Chromebook to protect your Internet connection and private data.
If you’re interested in other VPN services suitable for all purposes, make sure you check out our list of best VPNs.