Free VPNs Vs Paid VPNs: Which Should You Choose
Who doesnt love to get free stuff? We do, but we also recognize that theres usually a catch. In the case of free VPN services, its normal that youll be sacrificing data allowances, connection speeds, and even personal security.
Thats right: some free VPN services willingly keep logs of your browsing activity and may sell this data to marketing companies. The limitations on speed and data can also stop you from streaming or downloading effectively.
If youre going to use the VPN for data- or traffic-heavy activity, its often better to use a paid VPN than a free VPN. Some VPNs even offer a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try them out with no commitment.
Still, you might want to check out a free service if youre not quite ready to subscribe. In this case, we recommend that you check out our article on the top 6 truly free VPN providers that should help you choose a winner.
How To Install Private Internet Access VPN On A Chromebook
I recently signed up for Private Internet Access a well regarded VPN service for just $7 a month and $3 a month if you pay for a year in advance. Its easy to set up, gives me access to a large number of servers across the world, has excellent bandwidth, and the provider keeps no logs of user activity. Perfect for privacy conscious people especially in todays world where snooping seems to be the norm.
But I had some trouble getting it to work on Chrome OS with my new Chromebook mainly because Im new to the whole VPN scene and didnt know how to go about it. I finally got it to work in the end and it was pretty easy. You just need to know how.
How We Selected And Tested 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, heres whats 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 thats 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.
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How To Install A VPN As A Chrome Extension
The VPN Chrome browser extension is best for old Chromebook versions that dont support Android apps. Keep in mind that a VPN browser extension only encrypts network traffic and data routed via Chrome browser.
In this step, well be installing the NordVPN Chrome browser extension, which is the best for Chrome browser on Chromebook. Go to Chrome Web Store and search for NordVPN. Select the app and click add to Chrome.
Its easy to find the NordVPN extension on Chrome web store.
Next, if youre OK with the permissions required by the NordVPN extension, click add extension.
Adding NordVPN extension to Chrome is a cinch.
The extension will be added to the Chrome browser, and a NordVPN icon will appear in the top-right corner of your browser. Click the NordVPN icon to open the extension.
The NordVPN extension icon is easily accessible on the Chrome browser.
Lastly, select log in with Nord account. Enter your account credentials, select a server location from the browsers UI and click connect to start the app.
Its easy to log in to the NordVPN Chrome extension.
How To Setup VPN On Chrome Os
To set up a VPN on Chrome OS, the first step is to import a CA certificate on the Chromebook if your VPN uses it. First, procure the certificate form your provider and store it on your computer, then head to chrome://settings/certificates by entering it in the address bar of the Chrome Browser. Then click on the Authorities tab to the top of the page and press on Import, then choose the CA certificate and follow the instructions on the screen.
- Procure the CA certificate from your VPN provider, store it on your computer
- Then head to the Chrome browser and type chrome://settings/certificates into the address bar
- Now click on the Import option and choose the CA certificate downloaded, then follow the instructions displayed on-screen to complete the set up.
After the above process, click on the account photo to the bottom right corner and open Settings, now select Add connection option under the Network section. Here select the Add OpenVPN/L2TP option and type in the required details given by your VPN provider and select Connect.
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Best VPNs For Chromebook In 2022
Chromebooks are ideal for everyday computing and often provided by schools or workplaces. Unfortunately, these institutions put certain restrictions that prevent you from getting the full Google Chromebook experience.
Luckily, you can circumvent them all with a good VPN let it be unblocking streaming sites or accessing games that might be blocked at school on your Chromebook.
In fact, you can also use it for online security and the protection of your sensitive information. But how to choose which ones right for you? For that reason, weve tested a dozen of products and created a list of the best VPNs for Chromebook for you to choose from.
How Do I Enable A VPN In Google Chrome
ByJames Lairdlast updated 28 May 20
A step-by-step guide to setting up a VPN in Chrome in seconds
There are a number of reasons why you might want to use a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, when surfing the internet. And being the worlds favorite browser, its no surprise that getting a VPN for Chrome is on the to-do list for many.
Not only do they generally keep your private data safe from hackers and government surveillance agencies, they can also stop your ISP from throttling your connection speeds and bandwidth.
Additionally, they offer a useful and perfectly legal workaround for accessing geo-restricted content. For instance, use one for Netflix and you can stream content from any version of the service, such as watching Netflix US in the UK . In other cases, you may live in a country that blocks certain sites and services entirely , in which case a VPN can help you stay connected to friends via Facebook or simply help you catch-up on your favourite TV shows.
Despite a certain mystique surrounding VPNs, theyre actually remarkably easy to install and convenient to use. This is especially true when it comes to Googles popular Chrome browser, where all you need to do is install an extension.
Our pick for best Chrome VPN extension is currently ExpressVPN, so well show you how to enable that as its the easiest and most reliable to use based on our testing.
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How Do I Know If My Chromebook Supports Android Apps
As previously mentioned, installing the ExpressVPN app is only possible if your Chromebook supports Android apps. Although many do support them, there are exceptions.
The general rule is that all Chromebooks manufactured in 2019 or later support Android apps unless specified otherwise. However, some Chromebooks made before 2019 support Android apps, too. If youre interested in checking the Chromebooks manufactured before 2019 that support the Android apps, visit this page.
Will Your VPN Work On A Chromebook
If you decide not to use an Android VPN app on your Chromebook, you might be wondering if you can manually configure your Chromebook to work with the VPN of your choice. Fear not, gentle reader, as I have already trod the ground ahead of you and am here to share the fruits of my labor.
There are many VPNs that may work on Chrome OS I researched the Chrome compatibility of 10 of my favorites. For each, I sought out documentation on how the company recommends Chromebook owners get online. I then tried to get online using that information.
NordVPN provides instructions, as well as warnings, on using L2TP. I was able to use these to successfully get online. Notably, NordVPN has an excellent tool on its website for finding a server that will meet your needs. NordVPN also offers a Chrome extension and an Android app.
Private Internet Access places a special emphasis on security, and using L2TP on a Chromebook requires you to generate a special username and password. Thankfully, the company provides a guide on this process, which I was able to use to get online. Private Internet Access also offers an Android app and a Chrome extension.
Unsurprisingly, the privacy-focused CyberGhost provides extensive documentation on how to use L2TP to get your Chromebook online. However, I wasn’t able to get it to work. A CyberGhost representative told me the issue is under investigation, and recommends users look to its Android app or its Chrome browser extension.
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How A VPN Can Spoof Your Location
A Virtual Private Network spoofs your location by routing your internet connection through a VPN server located in another part of your country, or in another country completely.
A VPN provides two major benefits:
- Location Spoofing: By routing your internet connection through a VPN server in another location, it appears as if your online activity is originating from the same location as the VPN server.
- Encryption: A VPN also encrypts your internet connection, preventing third parties like your Internet Service Provider, the government or a hacker from monitoring your online travels.
It should be noted that while a VPN can spoof your location by assigning it an IP address located in another part of the world, your browser might still be able to detect and expose your real location.
Thats when youll need to either manually spoof your location inside the browser, or use Location Guard or another browser extension. Well discuss that below.
Also worthy of mentioning is that many VPN providers now offer VPN extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers. While these VPN extensions can all spoof your location, not all of them will encrypt your connection.
NordVPN which Ill be using in this articles examples offers browser extensions that both spoof your location and encrypt your internet connection.
How To Set Up VPN On Windows 10
To set up VPN on Windows you will need to use PPTP protocol, go to the Network Settings then choose VPN, not click on Add a VPN connection. When the new windows pop up, choose the Windows option from the VPN Provider drop-down menu and Point to Point Tunnelling Protocol from the VPN type menu. Then fill out all the fields including username, password, server name, and others, you can easily get these details by contacting your VPN provider.
You can select Remember my sign-in info option so that you do not have to log in each time, and you will be able to use VPN, now select Save. The last step is to choose your VPN connection from the list and click on the Connect button and then go ahead with your browsing.
- Go to the Network Settings > VPN > Add a VPN connection
- Enter all the required info in the window
- Select Windows from the VPN Provider drop-down menu
- Select PPTP from the VPN type menu
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Using Chromebook VPN Extension
Another way you can connect to a VPN on your Chromebook is through a Chrome Extension. These are little programs that run the Chrome browser and add additional functionality to the browsers capabilities. Chrome Extensions are downloaded from the Chrome web store website.
Now Chrome VPN extensions dont give system-wide VPN protection. The VPN connection only works for Apps and websites you visit through the Chrome browser. This is very important to note.
To install Chrome VPN extension, your VPN provider of choice has to have a Chrome extension. You can find out from their website or search from the Chrome web store. For my case, Windscribe has a Chrome extension which I downloaded from the Chrome web store. Start the Chrome extension by clicking on the Chrome extension icon from your Chrome browser.
Itll show a list of recently installed extensions. Click on your providers extension and click connect. The connection will be initiated and hopefully you should be connected in no time.
What Is A VPN
A Virtual Private Network is a service that creates an encrypted software tunnel through which all data are protected from any snooping software or other tracking measures used by your ISP, hackers, authorities and websites themselves.
While you can get free VPNs, they tend to be quite limited, so we recommend paying for a VPN service if you want the best experience.
To see our pick of the current crop, take a look at our roundup of the best VPNs.
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What’s The Best Way To Set Up A VPN On A Chromebook
Broadly speaking, there are three ways to get your Chromebook protected by a VPN: You can use a Chrome browser extension, use an Android app, or manually configure the client in Chrome OS to use the VPN of your choice. Surprisingly, going the Android route is probably your best option. Each method, however, has potential drawbacks, ranging from a lack of support to a lack of documentation, as I’ll explain.
Chrome VPN Extensions
Using a Chrome browser extension is probably the easiest way to secure your web traffic. Many VPN services offer browser extensions for Chrome. Just install one from the Chrome Extensions Webstore and it will appear alongside your omnibox wherever you’re logged into Chrome.
The downside is that Chrome VPN extensions secure only your web browser traffic. Web traffic from all apps on your Chromebook won’t enjoy the security provided by VPNs. Sometimes, that’s a good thing. If you want to secure your web traffic but don’t want your VPN to screw up your video streaming, you can protect the browser and use, say, an Android app for viewing Netflix that won’t be piped through the VPN. But this can also create confusion about what is and what isn’t secure on your device. In general, we advise people to use a VPN as often, and as broadly as possible.
Android VPN Apps
For a step-by-step guide to the procedure, see the “Manually Configuring Your Chromebook’s VPN” section below.
Using A VPN On A Chromebook
You can certainly use a VPN a Chromebook just like using a VPN on almost any other computer. Using a VPN on a Chromebook will allow for private internet browsing. There are many benefits to using a VPN on a Chromebook and a VPN offers an enhanced level of security online. For example, using a VPN on a Chromebook will keep your IP address private and protect the data that is transmitted between your computer and internet servers.
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Using Chromecast With A VPN
The content you can access and stream with Chromecast is dependent on your location settings. Many services are only available in certain regions, so you wont be able to access them on Chromecast unless your location is set to the right country.
For example, you might want to access BBC iPlayer from outside the UK, or stream Hulu from outside of the United States. Fortunately, you can use a VPN to change your location and get around these restrictions. You simply need a VPN that works with your router and is appropriate for streaming.
Alongside enabling streaming, VPN can offer lots of other important features, like privacy and protection. A VPN protects your anonymity while you visit websites, stream shows or download films. When you use a VPN, no one can track what you do.
It can also help to protect your data as it creates an encrypted tunnel for the data you send and receive thats out of reach of cyberthieves and hackers.
How To Set Up A VPN Android App On Chrome Os
This method works best for all Chromebook versions that support Android apps. To be precise, all Chromebooks launched in or after 2019 support Android Apps by default. However, not all Chromebooks launched before 2019 support Android apps. Here is a list of all Chrome OS systems that are compatible with Android apps.
First things first, though: ensure that Chrome OS is up to date. Google offers a neat little outline on how to update Chrome OS. Be sure to restart your device once everything is done.
All new versions of Chromebook come with Android apps enabled by default. However, if you are using an older Chromebook version, you have to enable Android apps. To do so, open settings and go to apps.
Android apps are enabled by default on new Chromebook versions.
In the Google Play Store section, turn on the option install apps and games from Google Play on your Chromebook. Note that if this option isnt available, your Chromebook doesnt support Android apps and the best option is to install a VPN Chrome browser extension .
Its easy to enable Android apps on Chromebook.
Click the Play Store icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen. If you dont see the Play Store icon, select the launcher in the other corner of the screen.
Play Store is easily accessible from the Chromebook screen.
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