Published on: March 29, 2023
Short on time? Here’s the best free VPN for Google Chrome in 2023:
- 🥇ExpressVPN: It’s not free, but ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Google Chrome in 2023, and it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free. ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on the market, has industry-leading security features, and comes with an excellent Google Chrome extension.
I don’t generally recommend using a free VPN. Many of them have restrictive data caps, limit your connection speeds, or are missing important security features to keep you safe online. Furthermore, a lot of free VPNs don’t support streaming and only allow 1 connection. Getting an affordable premium VPN (like ExpressVPN) instead is much better.
But if a paid VPN isn’t an option, the VPNs on this list are among the best on the market. I did some extensive research and testing and can confirm that all of them provide decent speeds, strong security, and easy-to-use apps.
TRY EXPRESSVPN FOR GOOGLE CHROME NOW
Quick summary of the best free VPNs for Google Chrome:
- 1. 🥇ExpressVPN — Best overall VPN for Google Chrome in 2023.
- 2. 🥈CyberGhost VPN — Best free VPN extension for Google Chrome.
- 3. 🥉hide.me — Best free VPN for Google Chrome.
- 4. Proton VPN — Fast and secure free VPN + unlimited data.
- 5. Hotspot Shield — Great Chrome extension with cool extra features.
- Comparison of the Best Free VPNs for Google Chrome in 2023.
🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best Overall VPN for Google Chrome in 2023
ExpressVPN is without a doubt the best overall VPN for Google Chrome in 2023. While it doesn’t have a free plan, it offers affordable long-term plans and backs all subscriptions with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Its Google Chrome extension has all of the core features of the client app, as it’s basically a remote control for the VPN app on your device. This means you’ll need to have the VPN app installed on your device to use the browser extension — still, unlike most extensions that only secure the browser’s traffic, ExpressVPN’s extension secures all of the internet traffic on your device. What’s more, the Chrome extension also stops HTML5 geolocation from revealing your physical location, blocks WebRTC to prevent IP leaks, and automatically connects you to the more secure HTTPS version of websites.
ExpressVPN comes with cutting-edge security features:
- Full leak protection. Keeps your data hidden by preventing IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks.
- RAM-only servers. Your data is never stored on a hard drive and is erased whenever the servers are turned on/off.
- Perfect forward secrecy. The key used to encrypt your data is changed frequently. This means that even if someone somehow obtains your encryption key, they still wouldn’t have access to past or future keys to compromise your traffic.
- ExpressVPN Keys. A free password manager that stores your passwords in a secure digital vault, auto-fills login details when you sign into your online accounts, and also generates strong passwords.
This is also the fastest VPN out there. In my tests, web pages always loaded instantly, I never had to wait for YouTube or Netflix videos to load, and I didn’t experience any buffering, even when watching content in 4K.
ExpressVPN accesses 10+ Netflix libraries and 100+ other streaming services, including major streaming sites like Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer.
And I like how user-friendly the provider’s apps are. Its Smart Location tool lets you connect to the fastest server with just a single click. I’m also a fan of the Recent Location feature, which shows your two most recently used locations on the home screen so you can connect to them again quickly.
ExpressVPN has paid plans that start at $6.67 / month. This is a bit more expensive than some other VPNs, but in my opinion, it’s worth it because this is the best VPN on the market.
ExpressVPN is my top VPN for Google Chrome. Its speeds are unmatched for browsing and streaming, it provides high-end security, and it works with 100+ streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and more. It’s not free, but it does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free.
Read the full ExpressVPN review
🥈2. CyberGhost VPN — Best Free VPN Extension for Google Chrome
CyberGhost VPN’s app isn’t free, but its Google Chrome extension is — and it’s really good. It has no speed limits, provides unlimited data for browsing, and gives you access to servers in the US, Romania, the Netherlands, and Germany.
The VPN performed really well in my speed tests. Web pages loaded immediately, and I encountered no buffering while watching YouTube videos in HD.
When it comes to security, CyberGhost VPN’s extension is also excellent. It encrypts your data, protects you from IP leaks, and its no-logs policy has been independently audited. Furthermore, the provider has advanced security features like perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers. Plus, it releases regular transparency reports detailing all legal requests for information it received and how it was unable to comply as it doesn’t retain user data.
Unfortunately, CyberGhost VPN’s Chrome extension doesn’t support streaming. If this is important to you, consider getting its VPN app, which is one of the best VPNs for streaming in 2023 — it provides dedicated streaming servers and can access Netflix and 50+ other streaming sites (ExpressVPN provides better variety, though, since it works with 100+ streaming apps).
Adding CyberGhost VPN’s extension to your browser is really easy — it shouldn’t take more than 1–2 minutes to do it. You don’t even need to sign up for an account. And the extension is dead simple to use since it only has a server selection menu and a power button.
CyberGhost VPN’s plans start at a very affordable $2.11 / month. Upgrading to its premium plans gets you access to 9,400+ servers in 90+ countries, as well as its dedicated streaming, torrenting, and gaming servers, and much more. It backs its long-term plans with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost VPN has the best free Google Chrome extension out there. Its fast, secure, and very easy to use. If you like the extension, consider purchasing a subscription for its VPN app, which will get you access to more servers, streaming, torrenting, and gaming support, and more. Its long-term plans are backed by a lengthy 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read the full CyberGhost VPN review
🥉3. hide.me — Best Free VPN App for Google Chrome
hide.me has both a pretty good free VPN app and a free Google Chrome extension. Its free app is one of my favorites — it offers 10 GB of data per month, provides access to servers in 5+ locations, and is one of the few free plans that support P2P file sharing. Its Chrome extension, however, only provides access to 3 servers in Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands, but it offers unlimited data.
I got pretty fast speeds using hide.me’s extension. While I was browsing, most websites loaded instantly, and HD videos loaded in just 2–3 seconds. However, it’s not as fast as ExpressVPN.
hide.me’s app is pretty intuitive to use. But I dislike how none of the settings in the extension have explanations, which can be confusing for people new to VPNs.
hide.me also provides decent security and privacy — it offers full leak protection and uses RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy. That said, its Chrome extension doesn’t encrypt your data — unlike CyberGhost VPN’s extension.
This provider’s free plan doesn’t support streaming, so you’ll have to upgrade to a premium plan to access streaming platforms.
Hide.me’s paid plans start at $3.84 / month. By upgrading to a premium plan, you get access to2,100+ servers in 50+ countries, streaming support, and more. All of its subscriptions are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
hide.me is a pretty good free VPN for Google Chrome. You can use either its free app or its free Chrome extension. Its app provides more server locations and supports P2P file sharing, but it has a 10 GB per month data cap. Its extension only provides 3 server locations but offers unlimited data. Its paid version gets you access to all of its servers and streaming support. All subscriptions are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
4. Proton VPN — Fast and Secure Free VPN App With Unlimited Data
Proton VPN’s free VPN app is great for browsing on Google Chrome. It’s one of the only free VPN apps that offers unlimited data. It also provides access to 3 server locations in the Netherlands, Japan, and the US. This is pretty good, though hide.me’s free VPN app is slightly better, offering 5+ server locations.
This provider’s connection speeds are quite fast. I rarely had to wait for websites to load, and HD videos generally finished loading in 2–3 seconds. Its VPN Accelerator feature, which increases your speeds on distant servers, is also very useful.
It also has high-end security features, such as full leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and full-disk encryption, which keeps all data on a server safe even if it’s compromised. I like that the VPN has open-source apps as well, so anyone can check the code for vulnerabilities. Additionally, the provider’s no-logs policy has been independently audited.
I’m a fan of how Proton VPN’s apps are very user-friendly. Every feature comes with a short description, and its server menu includes the load percentage with a basic color-coded system — so it’s easy to avoid overcrowded servers.
Proton VPN’s has premium plans that start at $3.99 / month. These plans provide access to its Google Chrome extension, more servers, streaming support, and additional security features. There’s also a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
Proton VPN has fast, secure, and easy-to-use free apps with unlimited data. Upgrading to a premium plan provides access to its Google Chrome VPN extension, more servers, streaming support, and more. All paid plans are backed by a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read the full Proton VPN review
5. Hotspot Shield — Great Google Chrome Extension With Cool Extras
Hotspot Shield’s Google Chrome extension comes with some great features, such as an ad and malware blocker, and Sword, which keeps your web activity private by feeding trackers fake information. It also comes with a decent free VPN app. However, both its extension and free app limit you to 500 MB of data per day, access only to US servers, and the free plan doesn’t support streaming.
This VPN caps your speeds but is still pretty fast — in my tests, sites took 3 seconds to load, and HD videos loaded in 4–5 seconds. That said, CyberGhost VPN and hide.me don’t cap speeds at all on their free plans.
Hotspot Shield provides decent security. It encrypts your data, has DNS leak protection, and uses perfect forward secrecy. However, it doesn’t use RAM-only servers. Also, I don’t like how its free plan might allow advertisers to access your data.
Hotspot Shield’s best value plan starts at $2.99 / month. Upgrading gets you access to 1800+ servers in 80+ countries, optimized servers for streaming and gaming, and more. All of its plans are backed by a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Hotspot Shield has a free, feature-rich Chrome extension. It protects you from ads and malware and also prevents trackers from spying on you. It also has a decent free VPN app. Its premium plans give you access to more servers and streaming support. It backs all purchases with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read the full Hotspot Shield review
Comparison of the Best Free VPNs for Google Chrome in 2023
|VPN||Starting Price||Google Chrome Extension||Data Usage Limit||Connection Speed Limits||WebRTC Leak Protection||Available Countries|
|🥇1. ExpressVPN||$6.67 / month||✅||Unlimited||No speed limits||✅||90+ countries|
|🥈2. CyberGhost VPN||$2.11 / month||✅||Unlimited||No speed limits||✅||the US, Romania, Germany, the Netherlands|
|🥉3. hide.me||$3.84 / month||✅||10 GB per month (app)
|No speed limits||✅||The US, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the UK (app)
Canada, Germany, the Netherlands (extension)
|4. Proton VPN||$3.99 / month||✅
(paid users only)
|Unlimited||No speed limits||✅||The US, the Netherlands, Japan|
|5. Hotspot Shield||$2.99 / month||✅||500 MB per day||✅||✅||The US|
TRY EXPRESSVPN FOR GOOGLE CHROME NOW
How to Choose the Best Free VPNs for Google Chrome in 2023
- Choose a VPN with a Google Chrome extension. VPN extensions are lightweight and user-friendly, but they may offer less security and fewer features compared to full VPN apps, as they only protect browser activity instead of your entire internet traffic. ExpressVPN stands out by offering both outstanding apps and a highly secure Google Chrome extension, providing a comprehensive and secure browsing experience.
- Go for strong security features. All the VPNs on this list include essential security features like military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy (the VPN doesn’t log your online activity), or a kill switch, which disconnects you from the internet if your VPN connection drops.
- Get a VPN with a good server network. Most free plans limit how many server locations you can access. This may cause overcrowding or force you to connect to more distant servers, which reduces your connection speeds. hide.me’s free app lets you use servers in 5+ countries.
- Pick a VPN with fast speeds. Using a VPN will always reduce your speeds to some extent, as it takes time to encrypt your data. Many free VPNs also restrict your speeds. ExpressVPN had the fastest speeds in my tests and also doesn’t impose speed limits.
- Choose a VPN with a high data cap. Many free VPNs limit how much data you can use per day or per month. CyberGhost VPN and hide.me both allow unlimited data on their free Chrome extensions.
- Pick a VPN with affordable premium plans. In case you ever want to upgrade to a paid plan, the VPNs on my list have reasonably priced premium plans and back all purchases with a money-back guarantee.
TRY EXPRESSVPN FOR GOOGLE CHROME NOW
Risks & Disadvantages of Using a Free VPN
- Slow connection speeds. Many free VPNs limit your connection speeds. ExpressVPN doesn’t and is the fastest VPN on the market.
- Weak security. Free VPNs often lack essential security features, such as full leak protection or a kill switch, which could compromise your online anonymity. And some free Google Chrome extensions hide your IP address but don’t provide encryption.
- Poor privacy. Some free VPNs keep logs of your online activity, such as what websites you visit and what files you download. Then, they sell this information to advertisers, who use it to serve you targeted ads.
- Data caps. VPNs usually limit how much data free users can use per month or per day. CyberGhost VPN and hide.me, however, both allow unlimited data on their free Chrome extensions.
- Small server network. Most free VPNs offer a very limited selection of server locations. This means you could face overcrowded servers or be forced to connect to a distant server, both of which reduces your speeds.
- No streaming support. Few VPNs allow you to stream on their free plans. Those that do often provide too little data, have very slow speeds, or can’t reliably access popular streaming services.
TRY EXPRESSVPN FOR GOOGLE CHROME NOW
- Private Internet Access. PIA has a Chrome extension, fast speeds, strong security, and the best VPN ad and malware blocker. It also offers unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can cover all the devices in your household. Its plans start at $2.19 / month, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee for all purchases. Read our full Private Internet Access review.
- Surfshark. Surfshark also comes with a good Chrome extension, an advanced privacy feature called IP Rotator, which changes your IP address periodically without disconnecting you from the VPN, and unlimited connections. Its best-value plans start at $2.30 / month, and all purchases are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our full Surfshark review.
TRY EXPRESSVPN FOR GOOGLE CHROME NOW
Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut
- NordVPN. NordVPN is one of the top VPNs out there. It has a great Chrome extension, feature-rich VPN apps, and fast speeds. However, NordVPN doesn’t have a free plan, and its premium plans are a little pricey.
- TunnelBear. TunnelBear is an easy-to-use VPN that offers a free plan with unlimited connections and access to servers in 45+ countries. Unfortunately, the free plan has a restrictive data cap of 2 GB per month.
- DroidVPN. DroidVPN is free to use, but it lacks a Chrome extension. Also, the free plan limits you to a measly 300 MB per day. What’s more, the VPN is missing a kill switch and leaks your DNS data.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a free VPN for Google Chrome?
Yes, there are some good free VPNs for Google Chrome. My top pick is CyberGhost VPN — its Chrome extension is 100% free, has no speed restrictions, offers unlimited data, and gives you access to 4 server locations (in the US, Romania, the Netherlands, and Germany). It also maintains fast speeds on both local and distant servers and has strong security features like leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and RAM-only servers.
Does Google Chrome have a built-in VPN?
No, but you can install a great third-party VPN. I recommend getting ExpressVPN, which is the best overall VPN for Google Chrome in 2023. It has a really good Google Chrome extension, lightning-fast speeds, and some of the best security features in the industry. All of its plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it out risk-free.
Are free VPNs safe?
Many free VPNs are pretty bad at protecting your privacy and security. This is because they’re often missing important security features. Additionally, some free VPNs keep logs of your online activity or IP address and sell this information to third parties, which may defeat the purpose of using a VPN in the first place.
I recommend getting an affordable premium VPN instead, like ExpressVPN. It has servers in 90+ countries, blazing-fast speeds, top-of-the-line security features, and an excellent Google Chrome extension, which works with the provider’s VPN app to secure not only your browser’s traffic but all of the internet traffic on your device.
How do I use a VPN for Google Chrome?
Using a VPN on your Google Chrome browser is easy. First, sign up for a VPN with a good Google Chrome extension — I recommend ExpressVPN. Then, go to the Chrome Web Store and download its extension. Finally, open the extension and connect to a VPN server. You’re all set! Now, the VPN will protect all of your browser activity.