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Best Chrome VPN extensions 2019: Secure your browsing and access geoblocked content

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Use one of these five Chrome VPN browser extensions to always be safe when browsing from your PC

Your Chrome browser may look like an innocuous portal to a world of online content, but the reality is that it leaks all sorts of personal information to websites you visit without you even realising it. This includes your IP address, operating system and hardware configuration, and can even include a list of all the devices connected to your network. If that’s not enough, it lets your internet service provider know all the websites you’re visiting.

One of the best ways to combat this is to use a virtual private network (VPN). Doing this not only protects your browsing, but also encrypts your traffic so your personal data is safeguarded. The other benefit of VPNs is that they also let you access geoblocked content so, for example, you can access websites when you’re travelling in another country, as if you were browsing at home. The Chrome VPN extensions in our list also enable WebRTC to add an added layer of security to your online browsing.

READ NEXT: Best VPN services 2019

I use a VPN on my PC. Do I still need a Chrome VPN extension?

Short answer: No! Using a VPN program on your PC protects all your browsing traffic, including that within your browser, which basically means that the VPN PC client will secure your browsing regardless of whether you use the Mail app to send and receive messages or whether you use Google Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer.

Installing a Chrome VPN extension is better if you don't want to install another program. If you're someone who uses Chrome for all your browsing, email, social media, shopping and streaming, for example, it’s a good idea to install the Chrome VPN as opposed to a PC program because the latter can slow down your PC slightly.

Some VPNs also have a limit on the maximum devices you can use them on simultaneously, so you can use the PC client on your main PC and install the Chrome extension on another PC. It's also a great option if you use a Google Chromebook because most VPNs don't have separate apps for Chromebooks.

How to install a Chrome VPN extension?

If you know how to install a Chrome extension, you know how to install a Chrome VPN extension because the process is exactly the same. Simply run a Google search for the relevant VPN service you use, check whether it's the right one from the reviews and ratings, click the 'Add to Chrome' button, then click Add extension. Now simply click the extension button in your browser toolbar and login to the VPN service. 

Alternatively, many free VPN services have links to their browser extensions somewhere within the PC program's settings or on its website. To uninstall an extension you don't need, simply right-click it in your browser toolbar, click 'Remove from Chrome', then Remove to confirm your action.

READ NEXT: Best Netflix VPN

Best Chrome VPN extensions

While some VPNs log user data, the first three VPNs on this list – NordVPN, Surfshark VPN and ExpressVPN – have all passed independent audits stating that their Chrome extensions don't log any user data, meaning you can trust the said VPN services with your data. 

ExpressVPN: Best Chrome VPN extension overall

Read our ExpressVPN review

ExpressVPN was recently voted our best VPN of 2019, knocking NordVPN off the coveted perch for the first time ever. It's the fastest VPN we've tested, especially if you're connecting to US, European and Australian servers. We like that HTTPS is enabled by default as soon as you install the extension (even if it's not turned on). This means that you’re automatically connected to safer HTTPS versions of thousands of websites as you browse the web.

You can install ExpressVPN on multiple devices, but can only use it on three at the same time. ExpressVPN resurrects itself with over 100 setup guides; 24/7 customer support; a 30-day no-questions-asked money back guarantee; and access to a wide range of content from Netflix to BBC iPlayer, Hulu and HBO Go. The Panama-based service is among the most premium VPN offerings but you get what you pay for because its features and services are a cut above the rest.

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NordVPN: Best Chrome VPN extension for simplicity

Read our NordVPN review

NordVPN set the gold standard of VPNs in our tests. Even though its Chrome browser extension doesn't have as many features as the PC client, download speeds using the browser extension were much faster than what we got when using the Windows PC client. You'll see the option to "Quick connect" to a server nearest to you, or you can choose from one of 50-plus locations listed alphabetically. If you're ever confused or stuck, there's 24/7 customer support at hand to help you out.

Nord’s entire VPN service was independently audited by one of the "big four" auditing firms to prove that they don't log any user data. While you can install NordVPN on multiple devices, you can only use it on six devices simultaneously, which is still enough for a family or a group of friends. NordVPN works out expensive if you pay monthly, but costs just £2.29 per month if you choose its three-year plan. You can cancel anytime within 30 days if you feel the service isn't right for you, although we don't think you will.

Buy NordVPN now


Surfshark VPN: Best Chrome VPN extension on a budget

Read our Surfshark VPN review

Surfshark VPN is like one of the kids on Child Genius. The service is only a year old, but they’re already an excellent VPN with features and prices that compete with and outclass their more established rivals. The service first launched as a browser extension, after which it released its PC clients and mobile apps. Apart from a simple extension and fast speeds across the world, it also has a built-in ad blocker that lets you block ads on websites you visit.

Unlike some of the other VPNs on this list, Surfshark doesn't limit how many devices you can use its VPN simultaneously on. Among all the VPNs we’ve tested Surfshark has the cheapest long-term plan. You only pay £53.64 for three years, which amounts to just £1.59 per month. Again, you can cancel within 30 days and there’s 24/7 customer support in case you need help with anything in the meantime. The service has recently added seven Netflix libraries, including UK, US and Canada.

Buy Surfshark VPN now


PureVPN: Best Chrome VPN extension to access geoblocked content quickly

Read our PureVPN review

PureVPN works slightly differently to other VPN services we've tried. For example, other services connect you to the nearest server or present you with a list of countries you can connect to. While PureVPN has this option, it also assumes you're using a VPN to access popular websites that are geoblocked in your country, so you see a useful “Popular Websites” option with a list of websites you can access quickly. Apart from this, you can also favourite countries you connect to often.

Even better, you can try the PureVPN Chrome extension free for seven days without paying anything upfront, which is a great way to test and check whether the service is right for you. PureVPN’s cheapest plan is its two-year option. This costs £52.47, amounting to about £2.19 per month. That's great because you can use it on five devices at the same time. The service has many tutorials and guides, including 24/7 customer support in case you need help with setting up or connecting anything.

Buy PureVPN now


Windscribe VPN: Best Chrome VPN extension to block ads and trackers

Read our Windscribe VPN review

Apart from Surfshark, Windscribe is the only other VPN on this list that doesn't limit how many device you can use it on simultaneously. The VPN has four Windflix locations that are specifically tailored to let you access Netflix libraries in the US, UK, Canada and Japan. Even though the service is based in Canada, which is a member of one of the Five Eyes Surveillance countries, they stress that they don't log any user data. Windscribe VPN has useful buttons that let you turn off ad blockers, ad trackers and social media buttons with one click.

Windscribe doesn't have 24/7 customer support, hasn't completed a no-logs audit and doesn't let you access BBC iPlayer. Still, it costs only £37 per year, so it's worth a shot. Even better, you can try Windscribe completely free. This gives you 2GB of free data, which you can extend to 10GB if you provide your email address. If you tend to only set your VPN to specific locations, Windscribe lets you add locations for 79p ($1) per location per month instead of paying monthly for the entire service.

Buy Windscribe VPN now


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