Not all VPNs work on Chromebooks, and what’s more, installing a VPN on your Chromebook can be difficult and confusing. Fortunately, we’re here to show you how it’s done.
The best VPNs for Chromebook give you advanced security online, greater anonymity, and the ability to unblock websites in other countries. Here are our top picks:
- NordVPN: The best all-round VPN for Chromebook
- CyberGhost: The best VPN for streaming on Chromebook
- Surfshark: The best VPN for multiple devices
- ExpressVPN: The best VPN for server choice on Chromebook
- VyprVPN: The best VPN for privacy and online safety
- IPVanish: The best VPN for torrenting on Chromebook
- PureVPN: The best VPN for low subscription fees
Looking for a VPN for your Chromebook? Before you dive in, you should know that some VPNs don’t work on Chromebooks. What’s more, installing a VPN on this device can be trickier than installing the software on Windows or Apple devices.
With a VPN, you can gain access to TV shows, movies, and sporting events around the world — and all with increased online security and anonymity. Due to geographical restrictions, you typically can’t stream foreign TV or access overseas streaming services. However, since a VPN changes your IP address, you can now watch whatever you want, wherever you are.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through the best VPNs for Chromebooks that can unlock streaming sites and let you surf the internet safely.
The Best VPNs for Chromebook
If you’re shopping for the best VPNs, then you’ve probably realized that not all VPNs work with ChromeOS. So, picking out a winner from the numerous VPNs on the market can be tricky. That’s why we’ve rounded up our top VPNs for Chrome OS that offer speed, simplicity, and security. Here’s our breakdown of the best VPNs for Chromebook.
1. NordVPN: The best all-round VPN for Chromebook
NordVPN is one of our favorite VPN providers and one of the best VPNs for Chromebook. In addition to offering some of the fastest VPN speeds in the industry, you’ve got a range of advanced security options to choose from. This includes split-tunneling, which lets you choose exactly what data is fed through the VPN and what data is not. You’ll also benefit from a range of over 5,100 VPN servers in 60 countries, so you can watch American Netflix or get a UK IP address for BBC iPlayer, for example.
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Split-tunneling offers greater flexibility and control over your data
- One of few truly no-log VPNs
- An Android mobile app that’s optimized for Chromebook
- Unblocks Netflix, Prime, Disney+, HBO Max, and more
Premium security and speed
Security is where NordVPN really shines. Using a WireGuard-based, custom protocol called NordLynx, you get strong encryption for all of your data. There’s also a double data encryption feature, additional protection against malware, and a verified no-logs policy.
Of course, you’ll also benefit from the features that we’ve come to expect from a premium VPN service, including a kill switch, sleek mobile app, and 24/7 customer support.
Like any great VPN provider, you can download a mobile application for your Android smartphone in addition to your Chromebook. The desktop app has even been optimized for Chromebooks. It’s this great combination of value-for-money, advanced security features, and unique tech that makes NordVPN our best VPN for Chromebook and an excellent all-around provider.
|$59.88 for the first year (or $4.99/month)
|$95.76 first billing (or $3.99 month)
2. CyberGhost: The best VPN for streaming on Chromebook
CyberGhost has a huge range of VPN servers, with around 6,000+ available to choose from around the world. This includes dedicated VPN servers for streaming and gaming, which should help you to unblock popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, HBO Max, NBC, and more.
- Dedicated streaming and gaming servers
- Military-grade 256-bit encryption protects your data
- IP addresses routinely reviewed and replaced to avoid blocks
- Automatically finds the fastest VPN server in your chosen country
Secure VPN with dedicated servers
If you’re looking for dedicated gaming or streaming servers, CyberGhost has you covered. In fact, CyberGhost constantly reviews the IP addresses of these servers, replacing any IPs that may get banned as a result of streaming companies’ continued war against VPN usage.
Regardless of the server you use, connection speeds are typically blazing-fast, and this VPN service can automatically find you the fastest VPN server in your chosen country.
When it comes to security, you needn’t worry about CyberGhost’s policies or features, either. In addition to having a no-logs policy, CyberGhost offers the same military-grade, 256-bit AES encryption as NordVPN, plus a built-in kill switch for additional IP leak protection.
|$47.40/year (or $3.95/month)
|$75.60 every 2 years (or $3.15 month)
|$83.85 every 3 years (or $2.15 month)
3. 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 Google’s device. What’s 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 Surfshark’s support for unlimited devices on one account.
- Fast and reliable connections
- 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 won’t be limited by data or slow connection speeds.
|$38.94 every 6 months (or $6.49/month)
|$59.76 first billing (or $2.49 month)
4. ExpressVPN: The best VPN for server choice on Chromebook
Like NordVPN, ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs you’ll find. It also offers the widest choice of server locations; in total, ExpressVPN offers VPN servers in 94 countries! ExpressVPN unblocks Netflix, works with torrenting, and offers a dedicated Android app, in addition to 24/7 customer support via live chat. You can even control your Chromebook VPN from your browser using the Chrome extension.
- A verified no-logs VPN provider
- The greatest choice of VPN server locations, supporting 94 countries
- Works with major streaming services, like Netflix, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer
- Security features include a kill switch, split-tunneling, and private DNS
Popular VPN with top-notch security
In terms of security, when you’re connected to an ExpressVPN server, your data is protected by 256-bit AES encryption. This provider is also one of a few verified no-logs VPN services, which means that they won’t keep logs of your browsing activity.
In addition to a kill switch, ExpressVPN also offers advanced options that include VPN split-tunneling and private DNS. Private DNS servers can offer you greater protection against hijacking, phishing, and snooping attacks.
ExpressVPN isn’t the cheapest provider; in fact, it’s one of the most expensive VPN services. That said, as a new user, you can get a 30-day money-back guarantee. Besides, a Chromebook is an expensive piece of kit, and you can’t really put a price on online security when there are so many scams and shady characters lurking around the internet.
|$59.95 every 6 months (or $9.99/month)
|$99.95/year (or $8.32/month)
5. VyprVPN: The best VPN for privacy and online safety
VyprVPN isn’t the fastest VPN we’ve tried, which is why it has come in a little lower on our list. However, this is balanced out by excellent privacy and security features that make it our best Chromebook VPN for privacy and online safety.
- No logging policy, guaranteed by independent audit
- Highly secure, privately owned server network
- 256-bit SSL encryption
Fast VPN with all the security features
With Vypr, you’ll benefit from a kill switch and 256-bit SSL encryption. VyprVPN offers four protocols, which include OpenVPN and Chameleon. With Chameleon’s additional encryption of metadata, you can avoid deep packet inspections (DPIs) that can lead to some streaming services blocking VPN servers.
VyprVPN is also a verified zero-logs VPN service, which has been independently verified through an audit. You’ll also be connecting to servers that are privately owned by VyprVPN, which includes dedicated DNS servers. This guarantees completely private browsing that isn’t exposed to any third parties, which means greater security for you and your data.
|$100/year (or $8.33/month)
6. IPVanish: The best VPN for torrenting on Chromebook
IPVanish is a well-known VPN provider that’s been around for about a decade, and it’s backed by a team with experience in network management, IP services, and other IT functions. This VPN offers a broad range of fast, secure VPN servers. In total, their network includes 40,000+ IP addresses from 2,000+ VPN servers in 75+ countries.
- Built-in kill switch
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- IPv6 and DNS leak protection
- LAN blocking functionality
Safe, fast VPN for torrenting
Similar to VyprVPN, IPVanish utilizes OpenVPN to help protect against deep packet inspection (DPI), which reduces the likelihood of your VPN IP address being blocked by websites.
IPVanish’s software is also compatible with a range of devices, supporting Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. However, it’s worth noting that IPVanish keeps some limited traffic-related logs, and this provider’s IP addresses are usually blocked by Netflix.
VyprVPN is flexible on torrenting, with features like IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and LAN blocking that can help you stay safe when torrenting.
|$44.99 first billing (or $3.75/month)
7. PureVPN: The best VPN for low subscription fees
When it comes to subscription fees, PureVPN offers some of the lowest in the industry. That’s why it made our list of the three best cheap VPNs recently, following closely behind Surfshark and CyberGhost. If it’s important to you to keep costs low, PureVPN is a solid choice. However, you should know that while this provider offers specialized streaming servers, Netflix doesn’t always work.
- 6,500 VPN servers in 96 locations
- Very low subscription fees
- Specialized streaming servers
- No longer stores logs according to an independent audit
Affordable VPN that’s constantly improving
If cost efficiency is what you’re after, PureVPN is your best bet. However, in the interest of transparency, we have to mention that PureVPN provided user logs to the FBI in 2017 following a request from the bureau.
Things have looked up since then, though. In 2019, the provider passed an independent audit proving that they no longer store any logs. Additionally, in 2021, PureVPN put even more effort into redesigning its image and VPN service. WireGuard was rolled out across its apps, and the company relocated from Hong Kong to the British Virgin Islands, which has far less stringent data retention and internet usage regulations.
The company has also upgraded a number of UK IP address servers from 10 GB to 20 GB connections, and more are said to be coming. Despite their previous blunder, we still thin PureVPN is worth a shot, especially since it costs only $1.99 per month.
|$35.88/year (or $2.99/month)
|$47.76 first billing (or $1.99/month)
VPNs for Chromebook: What to Look For
Choosing a VPN is fairly straightforward when it comes down to the essentials you should look for. However, depending on what you’re trying to do online, some VPNs will be better than others. Here’s what Chromebook users need to look for in a VPN:
- Support for your device. Of course, you’re going to need to find a VPN that works with Chromebook. The best premium VPNs, including those we’ve listed above, all work with ChromeOS for Chromebook.
- Speed. If streaming is important to you, then your VPN’s connection speed should be, too. A slow VPN could leave you staring at a buffering wheel!
- Security. Choose a no-logs VPN that offers advanced security options if you want top security. All of the top VPNs greatly enhance your online security, but NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for security.
- Data allowances. The best VPNs don’t have data caps; instead, you’ll enjoy unlimited bandwidth. However, most free VPNs don’t give you very much data at all.
- Ease of use. If you’re new to VPNs, you’re definitely going to want something that’s user-friendly and approachable. Most premium VPNs offer an easy-to-navigate user interface and a slick mobile app.
- Available server locations. If you’re using a VPN to unblock websites in another country, you’ll need to check that the provider does indeed offer VPN servers in that country.
- Cost. You might be tempted to use a free VPN, but bear in mind that some free VPNs aren’t suited to data-heavy activities. With data caps and speed limitations, which are common in most free VPNs, you’ll struggle to stream content from abroad.
Which VPNs Don’t Work with Chromebook?
While we’ve talked about some of the best VPNs for Chromebook above, bear in mind that some VPNs just don’t work on ChromeOS and others might be glitchy or unsupported:
- Private Internet Access (PIA): One of the great things about PIA is that this VPN provider walks you through the installation process for pretty much every device you might own. All except for Chromebook, that is. There’s a lot of community feedback that PIA just doesn’t work well on Chromebook – neither the desktop nor the mobile application.
- PrivateVPN: Technically, ChromeOS does support PrivateVPN, but it’s not exactly user-friendly as we’ve discussed above. You’ll have to follow a complex manual installation to get PrivateVPN up and running, so it’s better to choose an out-of-the-box VPN to get up and running quickly.
- Norton Secure VPN: You can absolutely check out Norton’s VPN and antivirus service, but you’ll have to do it on another device. Norton Secure VPN doesn’t work with Chromebook, and while the Android app for Chromebook does work, it isn’t optimized for ChromeOS and has its teething issues.
Why are Certain VPNs Not Available on Chromebook?
According to the Android developer website, Chromebooks don’t support all the hardware and software features available on other Android devices. While it’s hard to find an iron-clad reason why, it’s likely due to the number of differences in hardware and software that can exist across the huge range of devices that support Android. Compare this to iOS, for example, where Apple only needs to cater to a small range of devices that are developed in-house.
As a result, some VPN applications don’t work well with Chromebooks, such as Private Internet Access and PrivateVPN. What’s more, some Chromebooks don’t have access to the Play Store, which leaves you with two options: manually configuring a VPN yourself or installing a Chrome extension.
VPNs for Chromebook without Play Store access
If you can’t access the Play Store, the good news is that your Chromebook can connect to a virtual private network in other ways, including:
- Via built-in support for VPNs using L2TP over IPsec
- Using OpenVPN servers
- Using a Chrome browser extension (though note the drawback mentioned above)
Below, we detailed how to get a VPN for Chromebook, including both Chrome extensions and manual configuration.
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 download Android APKs, 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 you’re only downloading official APKs from trusted sources.
Installing a VPN Play Store app
Below, you’ll find a quick step-by-step guide to installing a VPN from the Google Play Store:
- Using the Launcher, open the Play Store app.
- Now you’re in the Play Store, you can browse categories or search for specific apps. For example, search for the NordVPN app, and you’ll be able to download it onto your Chromebook.
- When you’ve chosen a VPN for your Chromebook, click the green Install button on the application page.
- Once you’ve finished downloading the app, you should find it in the Launcher. Run the app, and you’ll be able to create a VPN account.
- Sign in to your VPN account in the software client.
- Find a VPN server in the country whose IP address you want to mirror.
- Finally, connect to the VPN server to change your IP address.
Now, you’ll benefit from having increased security and anonymity online. However, you’ll also be able to unblock websites abroad, which means you can save money on subscriptions, watch American Netflix, and even watch major sporting events in other countries.
Installing a Chrome VPN extension
Chrome browser extensions make it easy to secure your web traffic. However, the drawback is that Chrome VPN extensions only secure your web traffic and nothing else. That means that traffic from your other Android apps won’t be secured with the VPN connection. If you’re happy with this setup, simply follow the brief steps below:
- Go to the Chrome Extensions Webstore.
- Search for VPN applications.
- Select the app page for the VPN you’re interested in trying.
- Click the blue Install button to add the extension to Chrome.
Manually installing a VPN on Chrome
You can manually configure your Chromebook VPN by adjusting certain settings, and you don’t even need a VPN software client.
However, there’s 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 don’t even recognize it as a secure protocol. You can learn more about VPN protocols here.
If you choose to go ahead, you’ll need to get a hold of your VPN provider’s installation documentation. If it’s not available on the provider’s website, you could try contacting the customer support team.
From here, you’ll need to find out what VPN servers, protocols, and server names are being used by the provider. You’ll need to find servers that support your chosen protocol, too. You’ll 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, don’t provide detailed installation methods on their website.
Why Use a VPN with Chromebook?
One of the reasons you chose to use Android over Apple’s 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 download custom APK files from the internet.
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 there’s no vetting process for many of these websites, it’s not hard for an APK to be compromised.
People tend to use VPNs for the same reasons, which you’ll 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 won’t be able to steal your personal information.
- You’ll also have greater online privacy when you use a VPN. Connecting to a VPN changes your IP address, which means that your browsing history can’t be traced back to your identity. It’ll even help you to hide your browsing history from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), though this doesn’t 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.
For a more detailed breakdown, check out our article on the advantages of a VPN.
Free VPNs vs Paid VPNs: Which Should You Choose?
Who doesn’t love to get free stuff? We do, but we also recognize that there’s usually a catch. In the case of free VPN services, it’s normal that you’ll be sacrificing data allowances, connection speeds, and even personal security.
That’s 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 you’re going to use the VPN for data- or traffic-heavy activity, it’s 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 you’re 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.
Protect Your Chromebook Today
Using protective software like antivirus and VPN apps for Chromebook can help you stay secure and anonymous online while giving you access to websites in other countries that are usually blocked. There are a few VPN services that don’t work or don’t function very well on Chromebook, but you still have plenty of options.
|Number of servers
|Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
|Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
|Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
|Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
|Number of devices
|Works with Netflix
If you have questions about installing a VPN for Chromebook, check out our frequently asked questions below. Just click on a question to view our response.
Yes, you can — and should — use a VPN for Chromebook to ensure that you’re protected against online dangers. Here’s a quick guide for Chromebook with Play Store access:
- Go to Launcher and open the Play Store application.
- Search for a VPN for Chromebook. We recommend ExpressVPN for the fastest speeds and great security.
- When you’ve made up your mind, click the green Install button.
- Run the application and create an account, then sign in.
- Find a VPN server in a country of your choice.
- Connect to the VPN server, and you’ll change your IP address and enjoy greater security.
Find more information on the best VPNs for Chromebook here.
Your Chromebook doesn’t come with a built-in VPN by default, but you do have some options. For example, you can check out our list of the best free VPNs. Note that some free VPN providers may log your data or impose speed or data limitations that give you a poor overall experience. What’s more, some VPNs just don’t work with Chromebook. For best results, we recommend checking out this list of VPNs that work with Chromebook.
To get a free VPN on Chromebook, you can simply download a free VPN client from the Google Play Store. Since some VPNs don’t work with Chromebook, we recommend checking out ProtonVPN. It’s one of the better free VPN services out there, and it’ll work just fine on your Chromebook device.