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.
Using Nordvpn On Chromebook
Note: these connection methods may NOT work on some older Chromebook models.
There are two main connection methods you can use to secure your Chromebook with NordVPN:
Tip: Your VPN connection safety depends on your account password too. Don’t forget to use a strong password on your account, as it will help you to avoid credential stuffing attacks and will keep your connections safe and uninterrupted.As generating and remembering strong and secure passwords is not an easy task, we recommend downloading our free password manager NordPass. It generates secure passwords for you and stores them safely, letting you avoid time-wasting password resets in the future.
Surfshark: The Best VPN For Multiple Devices
Surfshark is another excellent VPN for Chromebook. Like NordVPN, Surfshark offers an app that has been optimized for Googles device. Whats more, with just one subscription, you can connect your other devices, too. This includes Windows, macOS, and iOS devices, which means you can protect the whole family thanks to Surfsharks support for unlimited devices on one account.
- Allows unlimited device connections on a single subscription
- 24/7 customer support over live chat
- One of the cheapest premium VPNs around
Unlimited devices and fast streaming
With Surfshark, you can use a VPN on an unlimited number of devices with just one subscription. This means you can use Surfshark on your home computer, your mobile phone, and your travel laptop at no extra cost. Compare this to other VPNs device limits CyberGhost lets you use only seven devices at a time, and ExpressVPN is only available for five devices in one subscription.
Surfshark is also an excellent choice for streaming. Typically, you can unblock the major streaming services like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more. And with a choice of more than 3,200 servers in 65 different countries, you wont be limited by data or slow connection speeds.
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Are Free VPNs Safe For Chromebook
Yes, but make sure you choose a free VPN thats proven to be safe for Chromebook. Not all free VPNs are safe many shady free VPNs will secretly log your private data to sell to third parties as a way to generate revenue, which is a huge invasion of your privacy. Other free VPNs have been found to contain malware that finds and steals your personal data, putting you at risk of identity theft and fraud.
Unfortunately, even the best free VPNs have limitations. You might find yourself restricted to 1-2 server locations or faced with small data allowances each month. While it isnt free, a premium VPN like ExpressVPN has a wide range of advanced VPN features for Chromebook so you dont have to suffer through any restrictions. Its backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can simply get a refund if you dont like it.
Manually Installing A VPN On Chrome
You can manually configure your Chromebook VPN by adjusting certain settings, and you dont even need a VPN software client.
However, theres a caveat. The super-secure OpenVPN protocol frequently has issues with Chrome OS due to software conflicts. This means you can only really reliably use L2TP, which many VPN providers consider as less secure some dont even recognize it as a secure protocol. You can learn more about VPN protocols here.
If you choose to go ahead, youll need to get a hold of your VPN providers installation documentation. If its not available on the providers website, you could try contacting the customer support team.
From here, youll need to find out what VPN servers, protocols, and server names are being used by the provider. Youll need to find servers that support your chosen protocol, too. Youll also need a specific passkey known as a shared secret, in addition to the username and password associated with your VPN subscription.
Bear in mind that some VPN providers may not support manual installation. Others, like NordVPN, dont provide detailed installation methods on their website.
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Use Chrome Browser VPN Extensions
The simplest way to secure web traffic is to use a Chrome browser extension. Several VPN services have Chrome browser extensions. Simply select one from the Chrome Extensions Webstore and install it.
It should be noted that a Chrome VPN extension will only secure traffic from your web browser and not network traffic from other apps. Make sure you understand the differences between VPN apps and VPN extensions.
Did you know that you may use Chrome VPN extensions on Microsoft Edge as well? Thus, if you have the Edge browser installed on your Chromebook you may install and use your preferred Chrome VPN browser extension with the Microsoft browser.
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How To Install A VPN On Chromebook
Much like many other applications on Chromebook, the best VPN providers offer a desktop client or mobile application via the Google Play Store. However, you can also , which essentially means getting the app directly from the provider on their website if they offer one.
Bear in mind that this additional route for installing apps on Android operating systems leaves you open to some additional risks as we outlined above. If you do choose this route, just be sure that youre only downloading official APKs from trusted sources.
How I Tested And Ranked Free Chromebook VPNs
I tested and ranked the best free VPN services to find the best free VPNs for Chromebook in 2022.
- 100% free I made sure each VPN is offered by a trustworthy company with no shady track records or hidden costs.
- Strong security and privacy features Even a free VPN should have high-level encryption, leak protection, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy.
- Free data I suggest getting a service that offers at least 10GB of data if you enjoy activities like torrenting, streaming, and gaming online. If you want a free VPN for casual browsing, checking emails or online banking, then 500MB can be enough.
- Most free VPNs throttle speed and bandwidth, making it nearly impossible to browse, stream or even download files.
- Works on Chromebook The VPNs need to be compatible with Chrome OS and offer either an Android app or Chrome browser extension. The best VPNs even work on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and other devices.
Of all the VPNs I tested, ExpressVPN emerged as the top choice for Chromebook. Its easy to configure with Chrome OS, plus ExpressVPNs huge server network and fast speeds make it ideal for streaming, gaming, torrenting, and more. While its not free, you can try ExpressVPN on Chrome risk-free as its backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. I believe youll find ExpressVPN or your Chromebook, but if you dont agree, you can easily get a full refund.
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Do I Really Need A VPN On My Chromebook
Yes, if youre using a Chromebook there are a few reasons why you might need a VPN. Here are the most common ones:
- Remove restrictions on a school Chromebook. Schools can be quite strict regarding the types of websites you can access on their network. Its 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.
- Unblock streaming sites. Chromebooks arent 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.
- Increase privacy and security. A VPN makes sure nobody can monitor your online activity, so youre 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 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.
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Secure Your Chromebook With A Free VPN Today
So many free VPNs come with unreasonable limits and restrictions or worse, leave your Chromebook exposed and vulnerable to trackers, hackers, and spies. After testing more than 50 free VPNs, I shortlisted the best for Chromebook in 2022 that wont compromise your security or privacy.
ExpressVPN is the #1 VPN for Chromebook with its military-grade security, huge server network, and blazing-fast connection speeds. While you do need to pay upfront, ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can get a refund if you decide its not for you. Ive even tested the refund policy myself to make sure it works just speak to a customer support representative over 24/7 live chat and the refund will be approved within minutes.
The 5 Best VPNs For Chromebook
With all of that in mind, we combed through the top VPN providers to find the five best VPNs for Chromebook. Here they are, starting with our top choice, ExpressVPN.
More details about ExpressVPN:
ExpressVPN is our favorite VPN, so finding out it has a dedicated Chromebook app puts the cherry on top of the already-iced cake. Plus, the VPN also has an Android app, Chrome browser extension and supports L2TP connections. It has the whole package. Its also one of the easiest VPNs to use, making it a perfect fit for Chromebooks.
On top of that, ExpressVPN has strong security and privacy, giving you the best shot at online protection. It also has servers in 94 countries, the fastest speeds around and comes with unlimited bandwidth.
However, ExpressVPNs price tag brings all the hype to a halt. Its expensive, especially if you opt for the monthly plan. You can bring the high price down a few notches, though, by opting for the 12-month plan. Theres a 30-day money-back guarantee, too.
- Inconsistent speeds across the network
- Doesnt support L2TP
NordVPN offers a more affordable price than ExpressVPN, with its 12-month plan costing almost 50 percent less. Theres also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- No Chromebook app or Chrome browser extension
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Android App For Chromebook
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to this kind of setup, which include:
- Easy to download and install
- Encrypts your entire Chromebook internet connection
- Advanced settings available
- Not available on older Chromebooks
- Larger download file than a Chrome extension
To install the VPN app, follow these instructions:
- Open the Google Play Store: For newer Chromebooks, this app is installed by default. For older laptops, you may need to .
- Search for Your VPN: If you already have a subscription to a virtual private network, search for that and install it. If you dont have a subscription, see below for my recommendations.
- Install & Open: The Android app should download in less than a minute and automatically open up. Youll be required to input your account name and password as well as allow the app to create a VPN configuration .
- Connect to the server!
Its really that simple. Now your entire Chromebook internet connection is encrypted and routed through whichever server youve chosen.
Best VPN Android Apps for Chrome
While youre at it, make sure you spend some time changing the security settings for your Android device, be it your Chromebook or mobile phone.
A Using Chromecast With A VPN: Physical Router
For this approach, youll need a VPN client-compatible router and a VPN app.
Note: Some VPN routers arent VPN-compatible. However, with a bit of effort, they can be made to be VPN-compatible. The process is a bit involved check out our instructions for making a router VPN-ready.
Whats a VPN client-compatible router? you ask? Well, its a router that is ready for a VPN app to be installed on it. You can check the routers manual or do a quick Google search to find it out. Once you do, you can follow these straightforward steps.
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Advantages Of Using A VPN Browser Extension
There are numerous VPN browser extensionsout there for Chrome, including ones from some of the most well-known VirtualNetwork Providers out there that require a subscription.
There are also many free ones out there,which mean you do not have to pay a subscription each month.
Browser extensions are easy to install anduse, just download the extension directly in the browser and it resides in thebar of the browser.
Why Use A VPN With Chromebook
One of the reasons you chose to use Android over Apples iOS is probably down to the vast amount of flexibility that you get. Instead of being locked down to a single app store like with Macs or iPhones, you can .
However, this means that Chromebooks, like other Android-based devices, are exposed to greater risks. Any one of those APK files you download could be infected with malware. And since theres no vetting process for many of these websites, its not hard for an APK to be compromised.
People tend to use VPNs for the same reasons, which youll find below.
- Using a VPN gives you and your data better online security. With a VPN connection, all of your internet data is encrypted. As a result, anyone who snoops on your network wont be able to steal your personal information.
- Youll also have greater online privacy when you use a VPN. Connecting to a VPN changes your IP address, which means that your browsing history cant be traced back to your identity. Itll even help you to hide your browsing history from your Internet Service Provider , though this doesnt mean that you should go breaking any laws.
- With a VPN, you can bypass online restrictions and access blocked websites in other countries. All you need to do is connect to a VPN server in the country whose streaming service you want to unblock. For example, get a US IP address if you want to watch American Netflix with a huge library of titles.
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