Chrome is one of the most popular browsers, with over 3 billion people utilizing it for everyday web surfing. While certain security measures are put in place, there are still issues with user tracking and inadequate threat protection. Many try to mitigate these drawbacks with Chrome extensions, but they are simply not enough – you need a VPN.
Free Chrome VPNs are an option if you don’t want to spend a dime, but you can’t just pick the first one you see. Most come with certain dangers: data logging, weak encryption, and malicious software. The solution? Go for services with transparent policies and trustworthy providers. Luckily, the best free VPNs on this list fulfill these criteria and more.
Best free VPNs for Chrome: shortlist
- The best free VPN for Chrome9.6
- Free Chrome VPN with top-notch privacy9.4
- A free VPN for Chrome with cheap plans9.1
How to download a free VPN for Chrome
- Subscribe to a trustworthy free VPN. We recommend NordVPN, now 68% off!
- Download the VPN app from the provider’s website and install it on your device
- Connect to a server that works the best for you
- Enjoy secure & anonymous Chrome browsing!
Why do you need a free VPN for Chrome?
Keeping yourself protected online is paramount. After all, the number of data breaches is ever-increasing, so you’ll need to do whatever it takes to keep the would-be thieves at bay. And one of the key things is securing your Google Chrome browser, which isn’t invulnerable to such attacks.
Here’s why you should use a free or premium Chrome VPN – just keep in mind that costless services aren’t as good at fulfilling these as their paid counterparts:
- Encryption & anonymity. Without a Chrome VPN, your data is visible to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and other third parties, like the government. If you’re doing something they disapprove of, consequences range from bandwidth throttling to potential fines for accessing illegal content. You’re not immune to hackers either.
- Geo-block circumvention. A free VPN for Chrome will hide your IP address and location, meaning the websites and platforms you’re trying to access only see the VPN server you’re using. This way, you can visit pages not available in your region due to restrictions.
- Malware protection. You can never be too trusting of the websites you visit or files you download from the interwebs. Anti-malware measures prevent you from accidentally installing harmful apps and limit tracking and browser fingerprinting. Some even go as far as to remove intrusive ads, improving your general Chrome experience.
The best free VPN for Chrome: overview
- NordVPN – the best free VPN for Chrome with an extensive server list, the fastest speeds in the industry, and excellent geo-block bypassing tools
- Surfshark VPN – a free Chrome VPN with extra security features, unlimited simultaneous connections, and Software Defined Networking (SDN) for better speeds
- Atlas VPN – a great free VPN for Chrome with cheap premium plans, SafeBrowse for secure browsing, and P2P file-sharing on all servers
- Proton VPN – a free Chrome VPN with VPN Acceletaror, unlimited bandwidth, and broad device compatibility
- Hide Me VPN – a free VPN for Chrome with browser extensions, a generous monthly bandwidth limit, and split tunneling
The free Chrome VPN must adhere to a strict no-logs policy to ensure there’s no spying on the provider’s side. It’s also critical for the provider to include the necessary security tools that keep you safe and hidden under wraps – AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and IP & DNS leak protection.
Besides the above, consider the limitations regarding bandwidth, simultaneous connections, and server access. Will you get enough for comfortable browsing? Additional tools, like a free VPN extension for Chrome, can also boost your anonymity on an application level.
1. NordVPN – the best free VPN for Chrome
24/7 live chat, Email
- Robust security features
- NordLynx for best speeds
- Independently-audited and secure
- No router app
While not technically free, NordVPN is the best VPN you can get for the Chrome browser. Combining the NordVPN 7-day free trial with the 30-day money-back guarantee nets you over a month of free VPN usage. After that, the subscription costs just $3.09/month – incredibly cheap for the excellent performance you get.
No funny business is happening behind the scenes with NordVPN – PwC can attest to that. Moreover, you can utilize the sizable network of 5500+ servers in 59+ countries for all your Chrome needs. What about speed, you ask? The proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol ensures low latency and incredibly fast loading times.
6 simultaneous connections aren’t exactly optimal, but you can quickly secure everything you want by manually configuring the VPN on your router. In addition to dedicated apps, NordVPN subscribers can also download a handy Chrome VPN extension. It has 4 server locations (CA, DE, US, UK), Threat Protection Lite, split tunneling, and WebRTC blocking.
Apart from browsing, NordVPN will also boost your torrenting and streaming efforts. Try the dedicated P2P servers for the best downloading and uploading speeds, or easily access any foreign streaming service or library you want. This provider can do it all.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN – free Chrome VPN with top-notch privacy
24/7 live chat, FAQ
- Infinite connections
- Great for streaming and torrenting
- Software Defined Networking
- Unaudited no-logs policy
Another VPN for Chrome worth your consideration is Surfshark VPN. Again, it’s not entirely free, but you don’t have to pay for it for quite a long time if you play it right. Just take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee and the free Surfshark 7-day trial. If you end up liking the service, you can get a plan for as little as $2.21/month.
Surfshark offers additional features (Camouflage and NoBorders modes) to combat online censorship. Then there’s CleanWeb which takes care of web threats. The server fleet won’t leave you disappointed either – utilize the next-gen WireGuard protocol on any of the 3200+ servers in 95+ countries for the best performance.
No connection limit means you can use Surfshark VPN on as many devices as you wish. Boosting your Chrome browser is a possibility as well with the appropriate extension. It includes the exact server locations as the full-fledged app, CleanWeb, and WebRTC blocking.
The service has no issues unblocking foreign streaming libraries on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Video, Disney+, etc. P2P enthusiasts aren’t left out either, with torrenting available on the whole network.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. Atlas VPN – a free VPN for Chrome with cheap plans
Email, tickets, FAQ
- Provides a kill switch
- WireGuard tunneling protocol
- P2P enabled on all servers
- No router configuration
Next is Atlas VPN, a free VPN for Chrome with robust security tools useful for all online activities. It comes with a generous 5 GB/month data cap and the assurance that none of your data is being collected (thanks to the strict no-logs policy). The best thing about it is that you don’t have to register with the provider to use it.
Regarding limitations, there’s enough room to do what you have to. You can connect to three server locations: New York, Los Angeles, and Amsterdam. Speeds are also somewhat reduced for free users so that they wouldn’t negatively affect paying customers.
Naturally, the free Atlas VPN version isn’t optimized for unlocking foreign content. But you can still use it to download or upload files via P2P. Furthermore, SafeBrowse is here to prevent malware injections, block shady websites, and disable user trackers.
Sadly, this provider doesn’t include a VPN extension for Chrome, and you’ll have to make do with 2 simultaneous connections. You get more freedom with premium plans, though, which start at $1.83/month. They’re definitely worth a shot, especially when you can get a refund if you end up disliking it with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
4. Proton VPN – free Chrome VPN with great connectivity
Email, knowledge base
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- No bandwidth caps
- Independently-audited no-logs policy
- No streaming and P2P
Known as one of the very few Chrome VPNs with open-source software, Proton VPN delivers outstanding performance no matter where you are. The service is based in privacy-friendly Switzerland, and all apps are audited by an independent party. You can throw user surveillance out the window with this provider.
Thanks to unlimited monthly bandwidth, your online activities won’t be hindered. Nonetheless, as befits a free Chrome VPN, you can utilize only a single device with Proton VPN. Furthermore, the available server locations are limited to the US, the Netherlands, and Japan.
The free client isn’t optimized either for streaming or torrenting, so don’t expect much if you try them. But at least your browsing should be as smooth as butter with the VPN Accelerator feature. It ensures low latency and great connection stability even when connecting to a VPN server from far away.
Proton VPN doesn’t have a Chrome VPN extension but offers dedicated apps for major operating systems and even Chromebook. Yet, if you want any premium features, like streaming, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan, starting from $4.99/month. At least there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee for those unhappy with the service.
For a deeper investigation of Proton VPN, read our Proton VPN review.
5. Hide Me VPN – free VPN for Chrome with an extension
- Great Chrome extension
- Don’t need to have an account to use
- Torrenting is allowed
- No streaming
Operating from a country with no data retention laws – Malaysia – Hide Me VPN is a truly free VPN that offers an extension for Chrome to boot. There’s no need to create an account to use the costless version, and you get 10 GB/month to do what you want online. Plus, it’s nice the app comes with a kill switch and Stealth Guard.
As usual, the free Hide Me VPN version has its drawbacks. For starters, you can only use 1 device at a time. Another is that your country options are limited to 5 locations – the US (East & West), Canada, the Netherlands, and Germany. Plus, it lacks the coveted WireGuard tunneling protocol.
While streaming services prove to be an issue, P2P doesn’t. Torrenting is allowed on all locations, and you even get split tunneling for securing the torrent client only. Now, the Chrome VPN extension – it comes with 3 location choices (CA, DE, NL) and WebRTC leak protection.
Of course, Hide Me VPN offers more useful features and server options, but you only get them with premium subscriptions. If you’re interested, get the lowest-priced plan ($2.49/month) and take advantage of everything this service has. Besides, refunds are possible with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Hide Me VPN, read our Hide Me VPN review.
How we picked free VPNs for Chrome
Finding a good free VPN for Google Chrome is a lengthy process but doable as long as you know what you’re looking for. Plus, it pays off in the end as well. The providers that ended up on the list have most, if not all, these features:
- Ensured privacy. Never settle for a service that doesn’t adhere to a strict zero-logs policy as it indicates the VPN doesn’t participate in user monitoring. Better yet if it was audited and verified by an independent and trusted third party.
- Security essentials. A kill switch, military-grade encryption, plus IP and DNS leak protection – these three tools ensure third parties cannot trace your online presence and activities back to the actual you. They are mandatory if you don’t want unnecessary headaches down the line.
- Reasonable limits. You can’t have your cake and eat it too – free Chrome VPNs have to restrict something to balance the service. These usually end up being bandwidth caps, server access, geo-block bypassing capabilities, etc. Preferably, the service has at least a 10GB/month data limit and just enough servers to get you to virtual places.
- Nice extras. Building upon the last point, streaming and torrenting aren’t possible most of the time either. So, it’s a nice touch when the provider has enabled one, the other, or if you’re lucky, both. Things like Chrome extensions, malware and adware blockers, split tunneling, and so on are also neat.
- Customer support. It’s great when you have people who can help you instantly, but the reality of these VPNs is that free-tier users aren’t prioritized. Most only have the option to contact customer support via email, so if the service offers more than that, it gets extra points.
How to set up a free VPN for Chrome
Setting up a free Chrome VPN is quick and easy, regardless of your PC’s operating system. If you’re more interested in adding VPN extensions, instructions for that are also provided below.
How to install the free Chrome VPN app
- Purchase a Chrome VPN subscription. Those wanting an intuitive interface and functionality will find NordVPN especially neat.
- Download the application from the provider’s website. Remember to pick the appropriate OS – Windows, Mac, or Linux (if available).
- Open the VPN client once the installation is finished. Log in to the account you created during the purchase.
- Select and connect to a server in your desired country. Depending on the service, the ones you can’t use will either be greyed out or check-marked.
- Perform an IP and DNS leak test. You can do them on such websites as ipleak.net or dnsleaktest.com – if one, the other, or both show your actual IP and DNS, you’re not hidden. Check whether all security features of the Chrome VPN are turned on.
- That’s it! Now you can safely browse on the vast interwebs.
How to install the free VPN extension for Chrome
- Find the proper VPN extension link on the provider’s website. Looking for it directly in the Chrome Store is a bit risky as you could accidentally download a fake extension.
- Go to the Google Chrome Web Store and select your desired VPN extension for Chrome. NordVPN offers a Chrome extension with the option to block WebRTC and Threat Protection against malware and ads.
- Click on Add to Chrome, and a window will pop up asking for confirmation to proceed. Select Add extension to continue – the system will automatically install the VPN extension.
- Press on the Extension menu at the top right corner and select the freshly-installed extension. You’ll have to log into your VPN account.
- Select and connect to a country of your choice. The extension masks your IP address, making it appear like you’re browsing the web from your chosen region.
- And you’re good to go! Just remember that VPN extensions only protect what’s happening on the browser. If you want to secure your whole internet traffic, you’re better off getting a proper VPN app instead.
What about Chrome extensions?
Since we provided instructions on how to add one to Chrome, it’s only fair to discuss VPN extensions further. These add-ons will aid you in your efforts to secure your browser, but only to a certain extent.
At their core, they are simply proxies, with limited functionality at that (compared to a client app). Only your IP address gets hidden, and it’s very rare for a VPN extension to have the ability to encrypt browser traffic. While your browsing history and online movements are anonymous, everything else happening on your device is visible and, in turn, vulnerable.
And speaking of security tools, you don’t get much either. Extensions are supposed to be lightweight, so your actions are limited to just picking a server and enabling WebRTC leak protection at best. It’s possible for the extension to have more features, but it really depends on the provider.
The ideal scenario would be using a Chrome VPN extension and the client app together. You cover all bases this way, ensuring none of your data can fall into the wrong hands.
Are free Chrome VPNs safe to use?
We can already see you asking, “But why can’t I just use any free VPN for Chrome?” Well, dear readers, they would be a viable option if most costless services weren’t dabbling in shady practices. As it stands, you’re likely to put yourself in danger, thanks to:
- Data logging. The information being collected includes VPN connection dates and duration, device identifying info, hardware specs, browsing history, and much more. What’s worse, this data gets sold off down the line – anyone with the right amount of money can get their hands on it.
- Intrusive ads. It would be somewhat alright if it were simple advertisements or pop-ups – the provider has to get funding from somewhere. But it crosses the line when they contain malware and can easily be used to pass on viruses. And free VPNs tend to cross it alarmingly frequently.
- Malicious software. Another nasty surprise is that some providers go as far as injecting their clients with all kinds of malware, adware, keyloggers, and such. These wreck your device’s integrity and collect info about you even when you’re not connected to the VPN.
- User trackers. Other surveillance tools include trackers that are also conveniently placed in VPN software. Everything you do is collected and neatly logged under your profile.
Of course, not every free VPN is out to get you. Those who do right by their users tend to come from reliable providers that offer premium and free tiers. Subscribers that pay for the service cover the operating costs, so the VPN doesn’t have to monitor you and sell that data. Still, you can never be too careful – always do additional research.
Free Chrome VPNs to avoid
Naturally, there are costless services you shouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. The VPNs listed below were found to be especially egregious.
If you’d rather avoid free VPNs after everything we discussed, you could also try free VPN trials to secure yourself. Although for a short while, you get a complete tool package and server list to use any way you want. And no one’s stopping you from switching to a different service once the trial period ends.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of options for free VPNs to use with Chrome. By setting up and using one of the providers listed above, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying safe and anonymous browsing.
However, remember that each free Chrome VPN has its drawbacks, the main one being data limits. It is understandable, though, as each company is interested in pushing free tier users towards purchasing a premium subscription.
But, if you’re just getting started with a Chrome VPN or rarely use one, each of the previously mentioned services will most definitely fit the bill. Seeing as they’re free, it’s also worth experimenting with them to discover which one suits your needs best. Either way, you can’t go wrong if you’re serious about protecting your online privacy.
Which do you prefer – free Chrome VPN extensions or VPN client apps? Do you think an extension is enough to keep Chrome secure? Let us know in the comments below!
Which is the best free VPN for Chrome?
The best free VPN for Chrome is NordVPN. If you combine the 7-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee, you get over a month of free VPN usage. It has an extensive server list, robust security features, and a user-friendly Chrome extension.
Is a free VPN for Chrome safe?
Not all free Chrome VPNs are safe to use. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of trusted free providers that won’t put you in danger, log user data, or inject your device with malicious software.
What free Chrome VPN has the most servers?
Proton VPN is a free Chrome VPN with the most servers – 147. Keep in mind that they are scattered across only three countries, namely the US, the Netherlands, and Japan.
Will a free VPN for Chrome slow down my browsing speed?
Yes, a free VPN for Chrome will slow down your browsing speed somewhat. All internet traffic gets sent through an encrypted tunnel, and this additional routing hop naturally increases latency. Thankfully, it’s hard to notice most of the time unless the free server you’re connected to is overcrowded.
Is there a VPN in Chrome?
No, Chrome doesn’t have a built-in VPN. The closest thing to it is VPN extensions, but even then, they are only proxy services with limited functionality. Utilizing a separate VPN app is recommended, as it protects your whole device instead of just the browser.