Best VPNs for Chromebook in 2021
Chromebooks are easy to use, affordable, and ideal for everyday computing. Yet Chrome OS users need a good VPN as much as anyone else.
If you want to unblock streaming sites or access games that might be blocked at school on your Chromebook, all while staying secure and anonymous, getting a VPN is the way to go.
But which is the best VPN for Chromebook? We've taken a look, and here are our 7 favorite ones.
Best Chromebook VPN apps:
- NordVPN - Best VPN for Chromebook
- Surfshark - Unlimited VPN connections
- Atlas VPN - Great VPN for Chrome OS
- VyprVPN - Cheapest Chrome OS VP
- IPVanish - Includes encrypted storage
How to use a VPN on Chromebook – quick guide
Setting up a VPN on your Chromebook is so easy that you can do it in a matter of minutes by following these simple steps:
- Pick a VPN from our selected list - NordVPN comes highly recommended
- Go into the Google Play Store on your Chromebook and download the NordVPN app
- Install the NordVPN app onto your Chromebook
- Launch NordVPN and log in
- Connect to a server, and you’re all set up!
VPNs for Chromebook - our detailed list:
So, you’ve seen the shortlist, now it’s time to find out more about the best VPNs for Chromebook. The features, the security, the cost - here’s everything you need to know.
- Baseline testing speed: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
Editor's disclosure: We are aware of and concerned about the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) recently released by the US Department of Justice. It names Express VPN’s CIO Daniel Gericke among the persons who received monetary penalties and agreed to “full cooperation with the relevant Department and FBI components” due to their past misuse of covert surveillance tools, targeting US citizens, as well as journalists and political parties.
At the moment, there are no direct connections established between the misuse of such tools and ExpressVPN. However, in order to offer our readers only the most reliable and safest VPN solutions available, we are temporarily removing ExpressVPN from our lists until further privacy, data security, and ethical evaluations are completed. You can read our full story about the agreement here.
1. NordVPN - Best VPN for Chromebook
|Servers/countries:||5,500+ servers in 59 countries|
|Current deal:||Get NordVPN, now 72% OFF + 3 Months FREE!|
NordVPN claims the top spot for best VPN for Chromebook. Why? Because NordVPN offers an unmatched mix of excellent features, cutting-edge tech, and value for money.
NordVPN has an app that’s optimized for Chromebook. You can connect to over 5,500 servers in 59 countries, and it’s ideal for unblocking geo-restricted content. We’ve tried it out on all the big streaming sites and never had a problem - Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max - you can unlock all these and more.
The service is fast: the NordLynx tunneling protocol is based on WireGuard, so it’s one of the most efficient options available.
NordVPN has an excellent array of features, including SmartDNS (called SmartPlay), split tunneling, CyberSec (which blocks malicious websites and pop-ups), and a dark web monitor feature. This last feature is a great anti-fraud measure - it scans dark web marketplaces for your data, so if your email address ever ends up in the hands of hackers, you’ll get a notification right away.
Based in Panama with a strict no-logs policy, NordVPN is dedicated to privacy and security. Whether you want to hide your activity from your ISP, set up a kill switch to keep your network protected, or just get around geo-blocks on content - NordVPN has you covered.
Best of all, NordVPN is very affordable. Sign up from just $3.30 a month with a 30-day money-back guarantee included.
- Dedicated app for Chromebook
- Unblocks most streaming sites
- Fast and reliable
- Range of features like Smart DNS, split tunneling
- Secure and private
- 24/7 live chat
- No port forwarding (could be better for torrenting)
2. Surfshark - Unlimited VPN connections
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,200+ servers in 65 countries|
|Current deal:||Get Surfshark, now 81% OFF!|
There are few better ways to enter the VPN world than picking Surfshark, another superb choice for Chromebook.
This service has a dedicated app that’s optimized for Chromebook. Beyond ease of use, one of Surfshark’s standout features is that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections. That means you can use it on as many devices as you want!
Streaming service blocks are no match for Surfshark’s servers. There are over 3,000 servers to connect to in 65 different countries, and during tests, we managed to unblock every platform that came to mind. That includes Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Netflix US, and so on.
Surfshark’s connections are fast. Connecting with the WireGuard protocol we reached average speeds of 263Mbps across many different locations. So if you’re getting in a quick gaming session at school between classes, not only will Surfshark get around any blocks, it will also deliver smooth, lag-free gaming.
All the must-have VPN features are included on Surfshark, such as SmartDNS for simple streaming, CleanWeb for blocking malware and ads, and split tunneling for selecting which apps connect to the VPN.
Surfshark’s prices are very attractive. Starting at just $2.49 a month, it’s one of the cheapest premium VPNs you can find, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee included.
- Fast, reliable servers
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Optimized app for Chromebook
- Consistently unblocks streaming sites
- Support includes 24/7 live chat
- Very affordable prices
- No dedicated IP
3. Atlas VPN - Great VPN for ChromeOS
|Servers/Countries:||700 servers in 28 countries|
|Current deal:||Get Atlas VPN, now 86% OFF!|
Atlas VPN is the VPN to choose if you’re a tech newbie. While it doesn’t have a specific Chrome OS app, its Android app is very user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Whether you’re unblocking Netflix US or trying to access Minecraft at school, the 700 servers across 28 countries will get you connected.
Keep in mind that the only tunneling protocol offered by Atlas VPN is IPSec/IKEv2. However, its stability is just perfect for ChromeOS devices, so the lack of choice is not a big problem.
Atlas VPN also supports torrenting, has a kill switch, blocks malicious websites, and offers IP address rotation.
You can get it for as cheap as $1.39/month when getting a 3-year subscription. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee for those who change their mind.
- Unblocks streaming sites
- Useful features
- Really inexpensive
- Malicious site blocker
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Based in a Five-Eyes country
- Small server fleet
4. VyprVPN - Cheapest Chrome OS VPN
|Servers/countries:||700 servers in 70 countries|
|Current deal:||Get up to 12 months FREE!|
If you thought Surfshark is cheap - wait till you see how much VyprVPN costs. Thankfully, it is also a great VPN.
While VyprVPN does not have a specific Chrome OS app, user reports suggest its regular Android app works great on Chromebooks.
VyprVPN’s server list contains around 700 in over 70 countries, and while that might seem low compared to other options, don’t be put off - they are very reliable and fast.
Unblocking streaming sites is something VyprVPN does exceptionally well. We had no problems accessing all the major sites, including American Netflix, ESPN, Hulu, SkyGO, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max.
VyprVPN also delivers fast connections. With the efficient WireGuard protocol in place, we got average speeds of 242Mbps - so it’s good for getting a stable gaming connection (and accessing blocked sites in the first place).
You can also use the Chameleon 2.0 tunneling protocol - a gamechanger if you’re located somewhere that restricts VPNs, such as a school, workplace, or countries like China. Chameleon disguises VPN traffic, so it looks like standard internet traffic so that the VPN can evade blocks.
VyprVPN offers decent security features to keep your Chromebook digitally safe, like malware blocking. And now, for that low price - you can sign up to VyprVPN for as little as $1.66 a month!
- Android app works well on Chromebooks
- Efficient at unblocking streamers
- Chameleon tunneling protocol gets around VPN restrictions
- Great security features such as malware block
- Cheapest VPN option
- Tech help with 24/7 live chat
- No Smart DNS
5. IPVanish - Includes encrypted storage
|Servers/countries:||1,600+ servers in 75 locations|
|Current deal:||Save 70% OFF the IPVanish 1-year plan!|
IPVanish is another solid VPN choice for Chromebook users. It offers unlimited simultaneous connections, so it’s great if you want to share the VPN with friends and family.
The server count is decent - you have the choice of 1,600+ servers in ~75 locations. In addition, you can rely on IPVanish to unblock certain streaming sites like Netflix and YouTube.
The Chrome OS application of IPVanish supports OpenVPN and L2TP, allows you to choose the encryption between AES-256 and AES-128, and lets you easily bypass regional restrictions.
Just keep in mind that the app will work for you only if your Chromebook supports Android apps from Google Play.
As for the price, IPVanish is neither incredibly cheap nor outrageously expensive. You will pay $3.20 a month if you get a two-year or a one-year plan. However, if you only want to try IPVanish for a single month, you’ll pay $10.99. You can also get a bundle that contains 500 GB of encrypted storage.
- Customizable kill switch
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- DNS leak protection
- Automatization options
- Good customer support portal
- Price increases after a year
- Doesn’t work in China
6. Private Internet Access - Largest VPN server network
|Locations:||35,550+ servers in 70+ countries|
|Current deal:||Get PIA, now 83% OFF + 2 Month FREE!|
Private Internet Access (PIA) has an unrivaled fleet of servers - 35,550+ servers in over 70 countries! With this many possible new connections, you should easily be able to get around content blocks at school or work.
While PIA can unblock streaming sites, it's not as consistent as some of the other options on this list. If torrenting is more your thing, we’re happy to report that PIA has some great features that suit P2P, such as port forwarding and a free SOCKS5 proxy.
Private Internet Access does not have an app optimized from Chrome OS, but its Android app does the job, allowing you to use it on your Chromebook easily. PIA’s apps offer a lot of customization options, too, so you can change it around to suit your preferences.
Private Internet Access offers the cutting-edge WireGuard protocol, but it’s not as fast as some of the other VPNs we’ve selected for this list. Privacy wise, PIA has a no-logs policy, and security features include 256-bit encryption.
PIA is easy on the wallet, with subscriptions starting at just $2.69 a month. Give it a try, and if you’re not convinced, you have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- More servers than any VPN
- Good for torrenting
- App has lots of customization options
- Solid privacy and security
- Very affordable
- Not great for streaming unblocking
How we tested and selected these VPNs
We had several vital features in mind when putting together this list. From important features to basics that need to be ticked off, here’s what’s to look out for when selecting the best VPN for Chromebook.
- Does it have an Android app, and is it optimized for Chrome OS? Ideally, your chosen VPN will have an app that’s optimized specifically for Chrome OS. Failing that, a strong Android app that works well on Chromebook will still do the job.
- Speed. Fast connections make your online life more convenient. The best VPNs deliver speedy connections, so you can get the best out of streaming, gaming, torrenting, and everything else you do online.
- Good for streaming? Unblocking streaming sites is one of the most popular uses of a VPN, but not all do the job well. Our top VPNs for Chromebook are proven to get around the geo-restrictions of all major streaming platforms.
- Customer support. Need a bit of tech support? We only recommend VPNs that give you easy access to help in the shape of a 24/7 live chat, tutorials, and guides.
- Price. Nobody wants to feel ripped off. This list offers VPNs that we feel are fairly priced in relation to their service and quality.
- Security and privacy. With all sorts of online threats and snoopers looking for your data, security and privacy are key. These VPNs offer robust security to keep you safe and anonymous.
Do I really need a VPN on my Chromebook?
If you’re using a Chromebook, you’ll want to get a VPN for a few reasons. Chromebooks are very popular in schools, so if you’re a student, you might have access to a Chromebook. Schools can also be quite strict with regard to the types of websites you can access on their network. It’s highly likely that entertainment websites will be blocked. With a VPN set up on your Chromebook, you can connect through a VPN server and get around any blocks that might be in place.
Chromebooks aren’t the most powerful computers, so many people use them solely for things like streaming. With a VPN set up, you can get around geo-blocking and access the different global content libraries of streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
A VPN is also useful for privacy and security. It makes sure nobody can monitor your online activity, so you’re free to do whatever you want. This is great for security: if your IP address is hidden and your data is encrypted, you get greater protection from hackers and spies.
How to set up a VPN on a Chromebook
Setting up a VPN on your Chromebook is pretty easy, and there are three main methods of doing so. You can simply download it from the Google Play app store, use the sideloading method, or install the VPN as a browser extension.
Here are simple step-by-step instructions for the installation methods.
Installing a VPN on your Chromebook from Google Play
- Open the Google Play Store
- Search for your chosen VPN’s app, we recommend NordVPN.
- Install the VPN
- Open the VPN’s app
- Log in
- Connect to your preferred server
Sideloading the app on Chromebook using Linux mode:
- Go to settings > Linux(Beta) > Develop Android Apps
- Enable ADB debugging
- Restart your Chromebook
- Confirm that you want to enable ADB debugging
- Download the APK file that you want to install
- Go to Files > My Files > Linux files and place the APK you've downloaded there
- Open the terminal, type in sudo apt install adb, and press Enter
- Type in adb connect arc and hit Enter, confirm that you want to use USB debugging
- Depending on if your Chromebook uses an ARM, or Intel/AMD processor, you will need to input a different command here. If your Chromebook has an arm processor, input: adb install [name of your apk].apk. If your Chromebook uses an Intel, or AMD processor, type in: adb -s emulator-5554 install [name of your apk].apk
- Find the installed app in your app launcher, and open it
- Log in
- Connect to your preferred server
Using a VPN on Chromebook via a browser extension:
- Go to your chosen VPN’s website, and find the link for the browser extension of your choice
- Install the extension
- Click on the extension icon, and log in
- Connect to your preferred proxy server
VPNs that do not work on Chromebook
Since most VPNs have at least an Android app, you’ll find that the majority of VPNs will work on your Chromebook. However, some VPNs are known to offer substandard service as well as bad security practices and may even infect your Chromebook with malware.
For these reasons, here are some VPNs you need to avoid:
- TurboVPN. This VPN is well known and popular, but it‘s also known to log your data. That can include your location, the devices you’re using the VPN on, and your IP address.
- CrossVPN. Many reports suggest CrossVPN carries malware that will infect your Chromebook. Avoid.
- HolaVPN. HolaVPN should be avoided, as it shares your idle bandwidth with other people. If they’re up to no good online, you could catch the blame.
- Betternet. This is a free VPN, but what you don’t pay in money, you pay in privacy. Betternet stores all sorts of your data, which is a big red flag.
- SuperVPN. Another VPN that’s been reported as hiding malware. Also, while most trusted VPNs have strict no-logs policies, SuperVPN stores your data. Not so super at all.
Interestingly, a common denominator of the above VPNs is that they are all free, which brings us to our next point.
Is there a free VPN for Chromebook?
There are many free VPNs available, but a money-saving bargain they certainly are not.
With a completely free VPN, it's vital to remember that the supplier will still need to generate an income. This is often done via apps riddled with ads and selling user data to third parties. As we've highlighted in the above section, many also hide malware that can infect your Chromebook and cause all sorts of problems. Not only do they pose a security risk, but they’ll also offer poor service. Barely any reliable servers, limited features, slow connections - these are things you can look forward to if you pick a free VPN.
Another option is to find a reputable VPN that also offers a free version, AKA a freemium VPN. These will be secure, but unfortunately, they will probably have limits on your usage and scaled-back features. For example, Windscribe offers a decent free version. You get a good range of features, and your monthly data cap is set at 10GB. It’s not perfect, but it’s worth a try.
So, do you need a VPN for Chromebook? As we’ve explained, if you’re interested in ramping up your online privacy, maximizing your content options no matter where you are, and staying secure online, getting a VPN is a no-brainer.
If you’re using a Chromebook at work, a VPN will help you get around content blocks to stream shows and play games when you’ve got some spare time between classes. If you’re at home downloading torrents, it will make sure your ISP and content owners won’t be able to see your activity.
With prices ranging from around $2-$8 a month depending on the VPN, you have plenty of affordable options. With so much to gain and so little to spend, getting a VPN for your Chromebook is pretty much a must-do.
What VPN is compatible with Chromebook?
Most VPNs are compatible with Chromebooks, but you need to choose wisely to get the best features and security. Tried and tested VPNs that deliver a great service include NordVPN and Surfshark.
Do I need a Chromebook VPN extension?
There’s no such thing as a Chromebook VPN extension, but many VPNs do offer extensions for the Chrome browser. However, you’re better off using your chosen VPN’s Chromebook or Android app, as you’ll get better security, features, and ease of use.
Does Chromebook have a built-in VPN?
Chromebooks have VPN capabilities you can use to connect to a VPN server, but you’ll still need a server to connect to. Signing up for any of the tools on our list solves this issue.
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