We often face a situation where websites are blocked at school, college or even workplaces. Sometimes, websites are geo-restricted or face ISP restrictions, due to which we are unable to access them in our respective regions. For example, the Chinese government blocks every Google domain, including Gmail. So, if you’re travelling to China and want to use Gmail, it’s nearly impossible to do your work while travelling.
Another example is that of Netflix, where the website content is geo-restricted. The OTT platform serves completely different content depending on your location. Therefore, you will not be able to access content available to users in other countries.
So how do we get around these restrictions?
Well, the simple answer is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
In all these situations VPN comes as a saviour for many of us to unblock a particular website that is blocked or geo-restricted. A VPN is also quite helpful in bypassing ISP restrictions and browsing content anonymously.
What is Chrome VPN?
Honestly, there is no such thing as a “Chrome VPN”, but almost every VPN has a Chrome extension that lets you control it through your browser. They are great options if you want easy access to the sites you want, no matter where you are. Many of them are free to use as well.
However, a word of caution. There are some drawbacks to a free VPN service. Some service providers sell your data, some show you ads and some are freemium versions of paid VPNs. If you’re not worried about your private data and just want to get around site blocks without paying anything, consider one of the free alternatives.
5 Best Free Chrome VPNs
- HotSpot Shield
1. CyberGhost – Best Chrome VPNs for Regular Unblocking
A trusted VPNs used by over 15 million users worldwide, CyberGhost is a free to use software that is reliable privacy and security solution. You can install it from the Chrome store and use it from the extension bar. It is built on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning it’s one of the most private options out there. You can choose your server location by clicking on the one that’s currently active.
CyberGhost is not good at unblocking streaming sites like Amazon or Netflix. They do warn you upfront that “this browser plugin is not secure when accessing Flash content and does not protect you from webRTC leaks.”
- Free Server Locations: United States, Germany, Netherlands and Romania
- Paid Server Locations: There are over 4,800 servers across 58 countries
- Encryption standards: It uses 256-bit AES
- Privacy: Logs connection attempts but anonymizes them. Doesn’t log traffic or IP addresses
- Connection Speed: You would hardly notice any slow down in connection speed.
- Pricing: Chrome extension is free. Subscriptions start at $12.99 a month or $5.99 a month billed annually.
2. Browsec – Most Convenient Chrome VPNs
Browsec is faster than most free VPNs and it is secure and easy to use. You can straightforward use it as it doesn’t require any signin/signup to use the chrome extension. All you need to do is just install the browser extension and then click on it. You get to choose multiple locations as there are plenty of servers to choose from, and the interface is simple and intuitive as well.
However, we strongly recommend not using this service for anything sensitive. Since it’s located in Russia, I would assume anything you’re doing is being tracked.
- Free Server Locations: United Kingdom, Singapore, Netherlands and United States
- Paid Server Locations: You get 12 locations
- Encryption standards: It uses 256-bit AES
- Privacy: It collects meta-data however, it does collect personally identifying information. Their server is in Russia so be warned.
- Connection Speed: You can get up to 100MB/s but you’re more likely to get speeds of 10-15MB/s
- Pricing: It has a freemium plan. The premium subscriptions can be purchased at $4.99 per month or $3.33 per month billed annually
3. TunnelBear – Best Chrome VPNs for Infrequent Usage
TunnelBear is another popular VPN that has a Chrome browser extension. Unlike most premium VPN services, it offers a free account that comes with a data limit instead of a time limit. If you want a real VPN’s power and control, but only occasionally, TunnelBear will work for you.
You can install the browser extension, and once you click on it, you’ll be asked to create an account. But fret not. All you need is your email address, and when you confirm your free account you’ll get access to the 500MB a month that comes with a free account.
- Free Server Locations: You get access to all paid servers
- Paid Server Locations: It has servers located across 20 countries
- Encryption standards: It uses 256 bit symmetric encryption
- Privacy: It logs connections but not the traffic details or your IP addresses.
- Connection Speed: It is blazing fast connections as 50MB/s even on free plans
- Pricing: You get lifetime free accounts, paid accounts start at $9.99 per month or $4.99 per month billed annually
4. HotSpot Shield – Easiest and Most Reliable Chrome VPNs
Hotspot Shield is a freemium tool built around its Chrome extension. It has no data or time caps. You can install the extension and you will be guided through a five-screen onboarding flow within the extension itself before connecting. You can choose your server by clicking on the server you are connected to.
With this tool, you can see the options for a cookie blocker, malware blocker, RTC protection, and a tool called Sword that creates spoof traffic while you browse to confuse trackers trying to identify you.
- Free Server Locations: It has free server locations in Canada, Germany, Russia and Netherlands
- Paid Server Locations: Singapore, UK, India, France, and the US are available
- Encryption standards: It uses 256 bit AES encryption
- Privacy: Collects aggregate activity logs but not traffic or IP addresses
- Connection Speed: Usually fast enough but it will slow noticeably for more distant servers
- Pricing: You get lifetime free accounts, paid subscriptions start at $12.99 per month or $9.99 per month billed annually
5: Windscribe – Chrome VPNs for Flexible Server Locations
You will need to sign up after installing the Chrome extension. Once you set up your free account, you will automatically be connected to the free server location. With Windscribe VPN, you get 2GB of free data, but they do their best to help you make the most of it.
The default setting is “Cruise Control,” which doesn’t use any of your data allowances unless you encounter a blocked website. When this happens, Windscribe automatically flicks you to access, selecting the appropriate server location for you to access.
Custom-tailored servers for Netflix are great too. If your primary goal is to gain access to different Netflix regions, then definitely consider this VPN, it makes that process super easy.
- Free Server Locations: It has server locations in US, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and the UK
- Paid Server Locations: For paid users, it has wide range of global servers. It also has a dedicated “Windflix” servers to unblock Netflix
- Encryption standards: It uses 256-bit AES encryption
- Privacy: It does collect the connection logs but not the traffic or IP addresses
- Connection Speed: It struggles with uptime and distant servers do display a noticeable lag
- Pricing: It comes with freemium plans. The paid subscriptions start at $9 per month or $4.08 per month billed annually
VPNs do let you unblock websites at your convenience, however streaming sites like YouTube and Netflix are engaged in a kind of arms race with VPN users, many VPNs are blocked by these sites. If you’re doing a lot of unblocking, or you want to unblock sites that are particularly VPN-proof, go with a paid VPN. In this case, you can use a Paid VPN that can easily bypass the restriction. You can check out our other articles on VPNs by going through below the links.
See More: Best Free VPN for Windows and Mac PC
FAQs – Chrome VPNs
1. How do I use VPN on Chrome?
It is simple and straightforward to use. Through the steps below you will be able to download and connect to VPN using the Google Chrome browser.
- Launch the Google Chrome browser
- Click on the Apps icon in the bookmark bar
- Click on the Web Store
- Search for VPN in the Web Store
- Click on the VPN you want to download and click on add to chrome
- Click on add extension when prompted
- Click on the VPN on the extension bar and start the VPN
2. Are Chrome VPNs any good?
Yes, almost every VPN service providers have a chrome browser extension that can be used to unblock sites.
3. Is Chrome VPN secure?
Yes, Chrome VPN extensions are safe to use. In addition, it gives you the freedom to manage from your browser itself.
4. Does Chrome have a built-in VPN?
To be honest, there is no such thing as a “Chrome VPN”, but there are many VPNs that have a Chrome browser extension. You can control the VPN from your browser. Many of them are absolutely free to use. If you want easy access to the sites you want, no matter where you are, they are great options.
5. Which VPN is best for Chrome?
There are plenty of VPNs available on the Chrome Store. However, ExpressVPN, Hotspot Shield, Windscribe and NordVPN are great options to unblock websites.
6. How do I set up a VPN extension on Google Chrome?
Setting up a VPN is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is go to the Chrome Web Store and search for a VPN. Click on the Add button to Chrome and it will automatically be added as your browser extension. Once it’s done, you just have to start it from there, some of them may require you to sign in to your account. If you don’t have it you can set up a free account to use their services.