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5 Best Chromebook VPNs in 2018

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Chromebooks are great, but a Chromebook with a VPN is even better. In this article, we take a look at which VPNs support the Chrome OS and rate their services, so all you have to do is pick the one that's right for you.

VPN for Chromebook

Summary: The best VPN for Chromebook

Here's a sneak-peek list of the best VPNs that support Chromebook:

  1. NordVPN - A VPN for Chromebook that offers great security.
  2. ExpressVPN - A fast VPN with easy setup instructions for Chrome OS.
  3. CyberGhost - Easy to use VPN software for Chromebook.
  4. VyprVPN - Owns their own servers and is easy to setup on Chromebook.
  5. PrivateInternetAccess - A no logs VPN that works well on Chromebook.

Just like with every other computing platform, you can greatly improve your online privacy and security by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with your Chromebook. It’s not just boring stuff that VPNs are good for! VPN services are great for bypassing censorship, unblocking content, and using a VPN whilst torrenting can be made safer.

I was highly skeptical when I first heard about Chromebooks and Chrome OS. An entire operating system that is basically just a browser? Really? Well, it turns out the idea really does have legs. A lightweight, cloud-based operating system (OS) does everything that many people ever need. This functionality has, in fact, recently been massively expanded. With a VPN you can make your Chromebook even more secure.

Top VPNs for Chromebook users

1. NordVPN

BestVPN.com Score 9.8 out of 10
Visit Site  
Editor's Choice

Based in Panama (a non-Fourteen Eyes spying alliance country), NordVPN is an excellent choice for the more NSA-phobic out there. It keeps no logs at all, uses strong encryption, and accepts anonymous payment via Bitcoin. NordVPN is let down a little by many of its servers being somewhat slow, but with a little trial and effort it isn’t too hard to find a fast one. Additionally, P2P is allowed, and many users appreciate NordVPN’s “double-hop” service, which routes your VPN connection through two different servers in order to make tracking more difficult. Chromebook VPN support comes in the form of setup instructions for L2TP, a Chrome add-on, and an Android app.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 62
  • Average Speed 56.06 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 6
  • Jurisdiction Panama

Likes

  • Based in Panama (great for privacy)
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Dedicated IPs (cost extra)

Dislikes

  • IPv6 leak in macOS IKEv2 app

Features

Total servers 4568
Countries 62
Simultaneous connections 6
Bare metal or virtual servers Combination
Router Support
Routers Supported Raspberry Pi Tomato Synology DD-WRT AsusTOR AsusWRT AsusWRT-Merlin pfsense D-Link Linksys TP-Link OpenWRT belkin DrayTek Qnap Arris TOTOLink Mikrotik Huawei Tenda WD MikroTik IPFire TRENDnet EdgeRouter GLiNet NetDuma Fortinet Sabai ubee
Allows torrenting
Port forwarding
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction Panama
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Google Analytics

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 206.23
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 56.06
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial Yes - 3 Days
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

2. ExpressVPN

BestVPN.com Score 9.7 out of 10
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Our reviews of ExpressVPN have always found they excel at providing a great customer experience. At the forefront of this is 24/7 live chat support, and a genuine no-quibble 30-day money-back guarantee. ExpressVPN serves Chromebook users well. Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) setup instructions are available for Chromebook, as are Chromebook-specific instructions for its Android VPN app. The other desktop and mobile software from ExpressVPN is very easy to use, and is fully featured. Those wishing to evade censorship (such as users in China) will appreciate ExpressVPN’s Hong Kong-based “stealth” servers and dark web (.onion) address. Although ExpressVPN is a little pricey, the fact that it throws in a free Smart Domain Name System (DNS) service for all users makes it good value for money.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 94
  • Average Speed 69.4 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 3
  • Jurisdiction British Virgin Islands

Likes

  • Super fast - great for streaming!
  • Very secure 256-bit encryption
  • Unlimited downloading
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 5* 24/7 customer support
  • Special Deal: Save 49% Today

Dislikes

  • IPv6 WebRTC leaks (fixed by browser extension)
  • A little pricey
  • BVI jurisdiction is not ideal

Features

Total servers 2000
Countries 94
Simultaneous connections 3
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Routers Supported Asus RT-AC56R, Asus RT-AC56S, Asus RT-AC56U, Asus RT-AC68U, Asus RT-AC87U, Linksys EA6200, Linksys WRT1200AC, Linksys WRT1900AC 13J1, Linksys WRT1900AC 13J2, Linksys WRT1900ACS, Linksys WRT3200ACM, Netgear R6300v2, Netgear Nighthawk R7000
Allows torrenting
Port forwarding
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction British Virgin Islands
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? N/A

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 141.39
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 69.4
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial No
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

3. CyberGhost

BestVPN.com Score 9.5 out of 10
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CyberGhost‘s software is easy-to-use while also being very fully featured. It uses very strong encryption, and 5 simultaneous connections is generous. Being based in Romania and keeping no meaningful logs is also a big draw. Like ExpressVPN, some minimal statistics are kept, but with no time stamp or IPs recorded, these present no threat to users' privacy. In additin to fully supporting L2TP, Cyberghost now offers a Chrome extension. CyberGhost’s great logging policy, decent local (burst) speeds, and fully featured software are a winning combination. And with a 7-day free premium trial plus 30-day no-quibble money back guarantee there is zero reason not to give it a whirl.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 60
  • Average Speed 61.67 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 7
  • Jurisdiction Romania

Likes

  • Private: Great logs policy
  • Based in Romania so no government spying!
  • Good looking and easy-to-use software: Seven simultaneous connections
  • Friendly Live Chat support
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting allowed

Dislikes

  • Not much

Features

Total servers 2750
Countries 60
Simultaneous connections 7
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Routers Supported Any router with VPN capabilities
Allows torrenting
Port forwarding
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction Romania
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Trackers used

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 139.14
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 61.67
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial No
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

4. VyprVPN

BestVPN.com Score 9.4 out of 10
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VyprVPN is notable for being one of the rare VPN services to own and control its entire network infrastructure. The result is fantastically fast connection speeds around the world. Chromebook support come is the form of a dedicated L2TP setup guide for Chrome OS. We strongly recommend avoiding its PPTP-only basic plan (which won’t on a Chromebook anyway), but VyprVPN otherwise offers a great selection of features, such as a SmartDNS service, robust customer support, and port selection. Although not necessary for the UK, VyprVPNs “Chameleon” stealth technology is great for Brits who visit places such as China or Iran. Like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 70
  • Average Speed 47.99 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 5
  • Jurisdiction Switzerland

Likes

  • Strong encryption protocols and policies
  • Worldwide server network
  • 24/7 customer support
  • PayPal now a payment method
  • Proprietary Technology & exclusive features

Dislikes

  • Connection logs stored for 30 days
  • No P2P

Features

Total servers 700
Countries 70
Simultaneous connections 5
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Allows torrenting
Port forwarding
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN
Other protocols Chameleon

Privacy

Jurisdiction Switzerland
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Google Analytics

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 74.82
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 47.99
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial Yes - 3 days
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer
Amazon Prime
Hulu

5. PrivateInternetAccess

BestVPN.com Score 8.9 out of 10
Visit Site  

PIA is based in the US, so is not a provider for the more NSA-phobic out there. However, it keeps no logs, which is a claim that it has proven in court. It is not common to have such definite proof that the VPN does what it says it does when it comes to logs, so well done PIA! And although optional, the Android app's security can be first rate. PIA provides Chromebook/Chrome OS setup guides using both L2TP and its Android app. Up to 5 simultaneous connections are permitted and PIA boasts excellent connection speeds.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 32
  • Average Speed 48.41 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 5
  • Jurisdiction USA

Likes

  • Cheaper than most similar VPNs
  • Great for privacy and security
  • Lots of encryption options (including OpenVPN, our recommended protocol)
  • Fast connection speeds for streaming
  • Servers all over the world

Dislikes

  • Not the best VPN for beginners who need hands-on support
  • Doesn’t unblock some popular websites (Netflix US and BBC iPlayer for instance)

Features

Total servers 3500
Countries 32
Simultaneous connections 5
Bare metal or virtual servers Bare metal
Router Support
Routers Supported DD-WRT, Tomato, PfSense, LEDE, Merlin, AsusWRT
Allows torrenting
Port forwarding
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN
Other protocols Cisco iPsec

Privacy

Jurisdiction USA
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Google Analytics

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 189.59
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 48.41
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Proxy
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial No
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 7

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

Why do I need a VPN?

A VPN is a way to securely connect your Chromebook to a “VPN server” run by a commercial VPN provider. Your Chromebook then connects to the internet via this VPN server.

  • Using a VPN is arguably the single most effective measure you can take to improve your online privacy and security.
  • All data passing between your computer and the VPN server is encrypted. This is sometimes referred to as an “encrypted tunnel.” The VPN hides your data from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), so that it cannot spy on what you do online.
  • VPN providers usually run servers in different locations around the world. This is great for avoiding censorship, as you can simply connect to a server located in a country where there is no such censorship.
  • When you connect to the internet via a VPN server, anyone on the internet will see the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the VPN server, not your real IP.

It probably comes as no surprise to any Chromebook owner that when it comes to Chromebooks, there are a couple of extra kinks to consider with VPNs…

How Does a VPN for Chromebook Work?

On other platforms, you usually sign up for a VPN service, then use the VPN's app to connect to it. The core idea behind the Chromebook, however, is that everything happens inside the browser, so no additional apps are needed (or possible).

Except for the fact that it's now possible to run Android apps on many newer Chromebooks.

There are now two basic ways to run a VPN connection in Chrome OS. You can use the built-in L2TP/IPSec VPN client or an Android VPN app. In addition to this, you can use a VPN add-on for the Chrome browser. These are not really VPNs, but proxy connections.

Browser Add-on VPNs for Chromebook

The whole thing about Chrome OS is that it's basically just the Chrome browser. This means that most of the Chrome browser VPN add-ons offered by an increasingly large number of VPN services will work just fine on your Chromebook.

Technically speaking, these “VPN” add-ons aren't actually VPNs. This is because they don’t protect all internet connections going into and out of your computer. They are instead proxy connections that only protect the browser.

Windscribe Chrome

However, since with Chrome OS the browser is the operating system they can, in effect, act as true VPN clients.

That is, apart from the fact that newer versions of Chrome OS support Android apps. These run on their own separate Android subsystem, and won't benefit from a Chrome VPN browser add-on.

Most such browser add-ons securely encrypt the connection using HTTPS. It is always worth checking that this is the case with your VPN provider, however, as some have no encryption at all. These may still be useful for spoofing your location, but provide no security or privacy benefits.

Quick View

Editor's Choice 1. From $3.99 / month
BestVPN.com Score 10 out of 10
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2. From $6.67 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.6 out of 10
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3. From $2.75 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8 out of 10
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4. From $2.91 / month
BestVPN.com Score 6.8 out of 10
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BestVPN.com Score 6 out of 10
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Written by: Douglas Crawford

I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. You can now follow me on Twitter - @douglasjcrawf.

13 Comments

  1. Ian
    Verified User on May 2, 2018
    Reply

    Hi Douglas This is a very helpful article - thank you. Unfortunately I have had bad experiences trying to install a VPN on my chromebooks from two of the five best buys you list above. I'm wary of trying any others until I work out what's going on. Essentially, the appear to install correctly and they allow me to connect to overseas servers using L2TP/IPsec, even confirming "connected" on the settings screen. But when I then check my IP address, I find it has not changed at all. I have spent several hours online to support reps from the two suppliers who have both been very helpful. They have confirmed there is a problem and have tried to solve it, but both have finally admitted defeat, and I have had to seek a refund in both cases. Any idea what might be happening here? I know that connecting to VPN on chromebooks is not straightforward, which was why I looked for specific recommendations before starting. Unfortunately, that hasn't guaranteed success. I'd be most grateful for any thoughts.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Ian
      on May 2, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Ian, Hmm. Connecting on a Chromebook should be straightforward enough using L2TP/IPsec. I must admit that I have no idea, off hand, why you are having problems. I am very busy at the moment, but when I have a little time I will try to investigate a little further.

  2. Kharma
    Verified User on March 6, 2018
    Reply

    Why is being based in Canada considered as a con here in your reviews? I only ask because while I was researching for good web hosts and about web hosting in general, I found that a host with data centers in Canada was a good thing and something most people sought out to find. Also, I Am Canadian, so.. I'm a little biased lol

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Kharma
      on March 6, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Kharma, Canada is listed as a con because it is a core member of the NSA-led Five Eyes spying alliance. Bills C-11 and c-51 are also deeply concerning for privacy. As Wikipedia notes: "The Edward Snowden revelation that the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), without a warrant, used free airport Wi-Fi service to gather the communications of all travellers using the service and to track them after they had left the airport sparked an ongoing concern about mass surveillance in Canada. The number of Canadians affected by this surveillance is unknown apparently even to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service."

  3. Heather
    Verified User on January 5, 2018
    Reply

    I need a pc perfect a laptop mac for tech. School and I have a brand new PlayStation 4 limited but not to sure if I can make that work til I get a laptop.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Heather
      on January 5, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Heather, Sorry, but you will need to explain your problem a little more clearly if am to help you :).

  4. Douglas Crawford
    Verified User on October 4, 2017
    Reply

    Hi bobs uncle, As I clearly state in the article above: "Unusually, the ExpressVPN Chrome browser add-on is not a browser proxy, but an interface for the full desktop app (which must be installed). This means that the Chrome browser add-on does not work on Chromebooks." L2TP/IPsec setup instructions are available for Chromebook, however, as are Chromebook-specific instructions for its Android VPN app.

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