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Thanks to the popularity of the Chrome browser, getting free VPN Chrome extensions in 2021 will be an absolute breeze. So, if you’d like to discover more about which VPN extension for Chrome to opt for, simply continue reading – the following article will cover exactly that!
The introduction of the Chrome browser back in 2008 seemed like a breath of fresh air. Excellent speeds, extensions, and a much lighter piece of software when compared to Internet Explorer – Chrome delivered on all of these fronts and more. So, it’s easy to see why it eventually became the world’s most widely used web browser.
However, times have changed since the initial release date of Chrome over a decade ago. In that time, online privacy has increasingly become a hot topic. People from all across the globe are now wearier than ever about staying safe and anonymous online. This is hardly surprising considering the ever-increasing number of data breaches to occur throughout the world.
With that in mind, you might just be wondering how you can keep yourself safe while using Google Chrome. The answer? Well, you’ll find that the perfect solution comes in the form of a VPN. There are a whole host of options that won’t cost you a penny too – with several free options available on the market.
FAQ knowledge base, support tickets
- Free Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browser extensions
- Easy to install and use
- Great variety of supported platforms
- Works with Netflix US
- No live chat support
- Below-average speeds
- May not work in China
Available as a browser extension on Chrome, ZenMate offers 4 locations via its free service. A 100% no-logging policy ensures that your personal information and internet activity will remain well away from any prying eyes, so it’s well worth trying out.
However, their free version is limited to just 2 Mbps speed when connected to the service. In order to get around this, you have no option but to upgrade to the ultimate version priced from $1.64 a month if you take out a 3-year subscription.
For a deeper investigation of ZenMate, read our ZenMate review.
2. Hotspot Shield
24/7 live chat
- Free version
- Fast speeds
- Great for Netflix
- Supports all major platforms
- Super-fast connection times
- 24/7 live chat
- Questionable privacy, invasive data practices
- WireGuard protocol not supported
- Costs a bit too much
Reliable and easy to install, Hotspot Shield is a perfect choice for Google Chrome thanks to its dedicated extension which is available via the Chrome Web Store. Instantly securing all of your personal information such as passwords and addresses, this particular service makes use of military-grade 256-bit encryption.
It also benefits from a faster and stronger connection all thanks to the proprietary protocol called Catapult Hydra. So, it’s clear to see that enhanced online security is possible with Hotspot Shield’s free version.
Of course, you could always upgrade to the premium version risk-free if you’d like to make the most out of this particular VPN. There is a 45-day money-back guarantee which offers great peace of mind.
For a deeper investigation of Hotspot Shield, read our Hotspot Shield review.
- Free version (500 MB/month)
- Kill switch
- Genuine and easy-to-use interface
- Accepts Bitcoin
- Founded in Canada (Five Eyes)
- Only 20+ countries
- No money-back guarantee
- No support for gaming consoles, Fire TV Stick, or routers
- No live chat
- No support for P2P
- No Netflix
Well-established for many years, TunnelBear is often the first port of call for those who are in search of a reliable and free Chrome VPN. Having undergone two independent security audits by respectable security firm Cure53, you can rest assured that TunnelBear takes your privacy seriously.
Like the other VPNs we’ve mentioned in this list, you can easily download and install a dedicated Chrome extension. However, just bear in mind that you only get 1.5 GB of data each month, which you’ll probably find yourself using up in no time. This might well be sufficient enough for the occasional user, though.
For a deeper investigation of TunnelBear, read our TunnelBear review.
4. Windscribe VPN
- No identifying logs
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Very fast speeds
- Great free version
- Works with Netflix & P2P
- Ad and malware blocking
- No live chat support
- Complicated refund policy
Windscribe Free is an excellent choice for a Chrome VPN due to its ease of use, generous 10 GB monthly allowance, and the fact it comes with a built-in malware and ad blocker. All of Windscribe’s features are available via the free service. This includes the ability to access the US or UK versions of Netflix from wherever you are in the world.
A strict no-logs policy is also in place, which means that your internet activity won’t be tracked by the service. The only information that is kept by Windscribe VPN is the total amount of bandwidth you have used in a 30-day period and when you last used the service. You can upgrade to Windscribe Pro for as little as $1.00/month.
For a deeper investigation of Windscribe VPN, read our Windscribe VPN review.
5 reasons why you need a Google Chrome VPN
As we touched upon earlier in the article, keeping yourself protected online is of paramount importance. After all, the amount of data breaches occurring 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.
Here’s why you should use a VPN Chrome extension in 2021:
- Traffic encryption. Without a Chrome VPN, your data is visible to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and sometimes even the government. If that wasn’t enough, hackers could attack unencrypted traffic much more easily.
- Hiding your IP and location. A VPN for Chrome will hide your IP address and location, meaning that third parties will only see the VPN server that you’re using. This way, you can visit websites like you were in a VPN server’s country.
- IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection. Protection from all three types of leaks is essential. While you can turn off WebRTC on most browsers, it’s much more convenient to have a Chrome VPN extension do that for you.
- Kill switch. Ideally, your free VPN Chrome extension should have a kill switch. This feature turns off your internet connection in case your VPN goes down. This way, you avoid leaking your IP and location.
- Anti-malware. Only some free VPN Chrome extensions have this feature. Anti-malware prevents you from accidentally installing harmful apps, limits tracking and browser fingerprinting, and might even remove ads.
What to look for in a good free VPN extension for Chrome
A good free VPN extension for Chrome browser should have most, if not all features listed below:
- Business model. If a Chrome VPN is free and has no ads, you can be almost sure it collects and sells your data. If it has ads, then your browsing will become even more irritating. Therefore the best bet is to choose a free VPN for Chrome that comes from a reputable provider.
- No-logs. Any company behind a free VPN Chrome extension should have a strict no-logs policy. In the best-case scenario, the policy will be audited independently or proven in court.
- Security and privacy. Military-grade encryption is a must, just like modern tunneling protocols. Anything that’s not WireGuard, OpenVPN, or IKEv2 is inferior. Finally, a free VPN extension for Chrome should have leak protection and, hopefully, a kill switch.
- Speed. The encryption itself hampers down the speed significantly. So it would be best to find a free Chrome VPN that doesn’t put a cap on top of that.
- Server locations. The more, the better. However, most free VPN Chrome extensions will limit you to several servers in a few countries.
- Malware blocking. A rare feature among free VPNs for Chrome, malware blocking keeps Trojans and malign scripts at bay. Furthermore, it reduces tracking and browser fingerprinting. And if you’re lucky, this feature will block ads as well.
Free VPN alternatives
As you can see, the list of available extensions for the Chrome browser is rather short. This is why I would also recommend considering a free VPN app instead. Although an app lacks the convenience of an extension, it’s also slightly more secure and doesn’t gain direct access to your browser. So here are some alternative providers for your consideration.
My first recommendation is Atlas VPN. It’s a terrific choice because of the lack of any data caps. It’s secured with AES-256 encryption, utilizes the IKEv2 tunneling protocol, has a kill switch feature, and has three server locations to choose from. Plus, the mobile version has Data Breach Monitoring, which notifies you if your email information gets leaked. Plus, the team is already working on a Chrome extension.
ProtonVPN is another great alternative thanks to its unlimited browsing data. In addition, it’s open-source, comes with IP and DNS leak protection, a kill switch, three server locations, and uses the OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec tunneling protocols. Furthermore, it’s based in Switzerland and its privacy practices have been audited by a third party.
Finally, there’s Hide Me VPN. Although it has a monthly data cap, 10GB is quite a lot and should be enough for general security. Additionally, it comes packed with 5 server locations, a no-logs policy, military-grade encryption, and a kill switch. Plus, it comes with split tunneling, meaning you can enable the VPN to only work with your browser,
Should you get a free VPN Chrome extension?
As you can see, you’re most definitely not short of options when it comes to choosing a free VPN to use with Google Chrome in 2021. By setting up and using one of the VPNs above on the Chrome browser, 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 is that you will get a limited amount of data to use each month. This is understandable given each company will be pushing its free users towards purchasing a subscription to their respective premium service.
But, if you’re just getting started with a Chrome VPN or rarely use one, each of the previously mentioned four VPNs will most definitely fit the bill. Seeing as they’re free, it might be worth experimenting with each of 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.
What is the best free VPN for Chrome?
The best free VPN for Chrome is ZenMate. It comes with 70+ locations and a true no-logs policy. The downside is that it’s for seven days only.
Does Chrome have a free VPN?
Yes, it does. Simply go to Chrome Web Store and enter “free VPN” into the search bar.
How do I add a free VPN to Chrome?
After you find a free VPN on Chrome Web Store, click the “Add to Chrome” button. When a pop-up appears, press “Add extension” and start using your free VPN for Chrome.
Is free VPN safe?
Free VPNs can be safe if it’s developed by a reputable company that has a strict no-logs policy. Another vital feature is the kill switch. Also, robust IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection is needed. Finally, modern tunneling protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2 should be available.
Are Chrome extensions secure?
Not all Chrome extensions are secure. There are simply too many of them for Google to check every new add-on or its updated version. While sometimes you can find information about vulnerabilities in the comments section, that’s not always the case. Therefore, you should do some research of your own, especially if the ratings of that particular Chrome extension are few and low.
Can Chrome extensions steal passwords?
Yes, they can and some do steal passwords. Even if you’ve been using some Chrome extension for years, its creators may sell it to some company, which turns it into malware after the next update. And since extensions update automatically, which is convenient, you have to be aware of the add-ons that you use and audit them regularly.
Mikaela is an investigative journalist that likes to cover the ever-changing world of technology. She tries to keep her finger on the pulse of digital trends and share her insights on the most relevant topics, including big tech, security, privacy, and data breaches.