Chromebook

Best VPN for Chromebook
Use These VPNs first if you Own a Chromebook

Although Google has been online since 1998, its Chrome OS is very young when compared to other operating systems. However, this doesn’t mean that the brand is rudimentary at all. Computers that run Chrome OS, known as Chromebooks, are some of the fastest around. But like all pieces of hardware that connect to the internet, it’s not without its risks. Surfing the web on a Chromebook is much more secure with a reputable VPN, and there are plenty compatible with the software. Below are ten such VPNs that are highly suggested for the OS, to which most can be expanded to use on other brands such as Windows, Mac OS-X, and smartphones.

Are Chromebook VPNs any Different?

The short answer is not really. VPNs typically perform the same on any hardware they run on, and that includes smartphones as well. You will most often be taken to a window with basic menu options, and from there you log into an account, choosing a server based on the country you prefer. The long answer is two key differences that set Chromebook VPNs apart from other operating systems. The only protocols that are allowed on Chrome OS are OpenVPN and L2TP, or IPSec. PPTP is available to any Chromebooks that have the Google Play Store. Other than that, no other protocols can be run from the system.

Some VPNs may also require that you download where TLS (Transport Layer Security) must be authenticated. This is to allow the web servers you visit to show up, allowing you to access websites that could otherwise potentially be blocked. Also, remember that Chrome OS is based on the Linux kernel and performs/appears very similar to what you would find when running application on Ubuntu. In fact, Chromebook users will soon have the opportunity to use exclusive Linux-based apps within the auxiliary software.

VPNs, as described earlier, are great for improving the security of your Chromebook. If you like to share files over peer-to-peer networks or live in a place where streaming sites are restricted, they’re strongly advised. Some websites, YouTube and Reddit in particular, may block certain videos based on the location you reside when attempting to play it. Just change to a server that would allow you to see the restricted material, and it will appear as if you were accessing the content from your regular IP address.

How to find a VPN for Google Chromebook

First, you’ll want to make sure that the app is available on Chrome. Most popular VPN brands are. Yet you might be able to run Google Play Store VPNs directly from your OS. But because Android (the most popular hardware for the store) has recently been shown to have many free VPNs that could be described as malware. This isn’t indicative of all VPNs on the platform, but you will have to use caution if you’re going to take this route. Try to find an app that installs on the Chrome OS via the provider’s website, and think about how you would like to pay for the service. For those that are more privacy-inclined, there are crypto options given with most brands. It’s a good way to pay if you want to stay hidden from the VPN’s web servers. For those that are paid, this is typically the place where privacy is the weakest due to many using analytics to track visitors and user location data. Disabling javascript on your browser could help to prevent this, but some features on the website might not be missing.

Comparing the Products

  • NordVPN: L2TP/IPSec Protocol: Yes; Open VPN Protocol: Yes; Number of Servers: 5200; Number of Devices: 6
  • PureVPN: L2TP/IPSec Protocol: Yes; Open VPN Protocol: Yes; Number of Servers: 2000; Number of Devices: 5
  • CyberGhost: L2TP/IPSec Protocol: Yes; Open VPN Protocol: Yes; Number of Servers: 3550; Number of Devices: 7
  • Private Internet Access: L2TP/IPSec Protocol: Yes; Open VPN Protocol: Yes; Number of Servers: 3300; Number of Devices: 10
  • ExpressVPN: L2TP/IPSec Protocol: Yes; Open VPN Protocol: Yes; Number of Servers: 160; Number of Devices: 3
  • VyprVPN: L2TP/IPSec Protocol: Yes; Open VPN Protocol: Yes; Number of Servers: 700; Number of Devices: 5
  • IPVanish: L2TP/IPSec Protocol: Yes; Open VPN Protocol: Yes; Number of Servers: 1300; Number of Devices: 10
  • TorGuard: L2TP/IPSec Protocol: Yes; Open VPN Protocol: Yes; Number of Servers: 3000; Number of Devices: 5
  • SurfShark: L2TP/IPSec Protocol: Yes; Open VPN Protocol: Yes; Number of Servers: 800; Number of Devices: 5
  • TunnelBear: L2TP/IPSec Protocol: Yes; Open VPN Protocol: Yes; Number of Servers: 2000; Number of Devices: 5

Top 10 Best VPNs for Google Chromebook

1. NordVPN

If you want to do as little shopping around for a VPN as possible, then look no further than NordVPN. It has everything that you’ll need to get started with surfing on private servers, with speed staying pretty high on most of the primary ones from the list. Some VPNs have connectivity issues that result in them taking too long to reach the server, but none of this exists with Nord. But in case something does go wrong, you can always reach customer service quick. They’s always someone in their live chat, so calling won’t be necessary for most problems.

Pros:

  • The interface for Chromebook is streamlined to work the same as it does on any other operating system
  • Connection times for reaching servers is relatively fast, particularly for their primary servers
  • Has live customer support that can be reached throughout the day and night, no matter the region

Cons:

  • Plans are expensive and may increase in the future

2. PureVPN

PureVPN has both protocols that you’ll need to get ready on Chrome OS. You could switch between them but remember to it up before you download and install the app. Doing this is painless and should only take about five minutes. When the install is complete, head over to the Change Country tab and look for the remote server country that you wish to access. There’s a lot to pick from and little chance that you’ll get annoyed from going through the list to see which will work for streaming websites. On the same main screen, you’ll also notice a Popular Websites tab. It will allow you to go directly to websites that you’ll likely visit when the VPN is turned on. Try out PureVPN for its fast server switching and fast download time.

Pros:

  • Support all the protocols for the application to run smoothly on a Chromebook
  • Installation is much quicker on Chromebook than it is when compared to other devices (for the VPN)
  • Server switching can be done with little effort, no lengthy configuration time to change settings

Cons:

  • The application may slow down when used on computers with less than 2 gigabytes of RAM

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is among the fastest of all VPNs on the list. Go to any review site and their speeds are a common accolade. But the real beauty in the Chrome OS version is how other apps will never be affected when the VPN is running. You could have numerous programs opens and never worry about your computer slowing down with the VPN alone. And in the off chance that your connection gives out, a kill switch will back you up, keeping your real address hidden by switching off all apps that have access to the VPN tunnel. But installation time could vary; be sure that you don’t run any programs when you have everything downloaded.

Pros:

  • When used for video streaming, server perform well and remain some of the highest rated for paid VPNs
  • Doesn’t cause other programs to slow down when the VPN is turned on
  • The kill switch attribute is useful for preventing leaks to user’s primary ISP, or public connections

Cons:

  • Difficult to install quickly

4. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access has been recommended for casual VPN users and for people who download from file sharing clients. Speeds are good, and servers number in the thousands. But one big advantage is the servers that run outside of the US and EU. They’re equally fast and great for streaming movies that can only be found in alternative places form the usually remote country locations. Additionally, you can get on torrent clients with the service, and never wait impatiently for such apps to load metadata. Payment options tend to come and go with PIA at times, so don’t be surprised if the last purchase you used is no longer a choice when your period is up.

Pros:

  • All around good servers and server quantity, lots of regions to pick
  • Some of the lesser-used regions are just as fast as those from Europe and the US
  • Favorited torrent clients are accessible through the VPN

Cons:

  • Certain payment options may come and go at any moment

5. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is sort of a hallmark among VPNs, and while some services come and go, they remain well recommended. Everything with the app on Chrome is built to make using it as easy as possible for beginners. And if you’re in a location that restricts downloading VPN applications, this will stay accessible. There are few reports of dropped connections, and you can be certain that logging never reaches past the level of genetic information. The service is better for people that don’t plan on sharing the account (just three devices max), unless you will run it over a router to connect.

Pros:

  • Scores high ratings across the board for server quality and reliability
  • Contains many useful widgets (apps) inside of the program for increased performance and security
  • Connections to the servers will never drop or go out with a stable ISP

Cons:

  • Very limited device count per account (only 3)

6. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is another good service that has powerful DNS and IP shields. If you’ve experienced problems with another VPN before regarding your IP, definitely check it out. Torrenting will no longer risk you getting your service shut off, so download to your heart’s content. You also have complete access to Hulu and Netflix websites. You may run into the occasional server that doesn’t work with one of them, but most should work for foreign accounts. Using the application is easy enough for anyone to do for figure out alone, and requires hardly any learned to figure things out. Your browsing sessions on the website are logged, but they won’t retain enough information to find out what you do with the VPN.

Pros:

  • Shuts down all incoming and outgoing connections when the VPN detects a shutdown
  • When used over video streaming, Netflix and Hulu are accessible by multiple servers, having few that block the sites
  • Very innovative design; easy to navigate through the menu options

Cons:

  • Some minor logging may occur, but not enough to blow user’s anonymity

7. IPVanish

If you run a speed test with IPVanish, you’ll quickly discover how fast their servers are. If you have a decent IP, uploads and downloads might even perform at a metric that’s identical to the speed you have without a VPN or proxy activated. Because of this, streaming movies and music can be done without ever worry of skipping and lag. You’ll have to visit the Google Play Store in order to download the app. Instructions are given on their website that tells you how to set it up with L2TP and OpenVPN. You’ll need to download additional certificates to use each, but it shouldn’t take too long to finish. Suggested for users that don’t like to run heavy apps on their Chromebook that take up too much space.

Pros:

  • Protocols are fast and won’t slow down the connection
  • Speed is quick enough to have the same Mbps and pings as getting on the internet through a non-VPN source
  • Doesn’t take up too much space on Chromebooks

Cons:

  • Poor ISP connections may result in the VPN going offline at random

8. TorGuard

TorGuard is a VPN app that functions the same as any other with a good reputation But has a few things that even some of the best aren’t known for. Customer service is fast and knowledgeable on complicated problems. It’s unlikely that you’ll need them for anything, but they’re pleasant to deal with in the rare circumstance where something comes up. Popular torrent clients perform at expected speeds, and there are few reports of leaks from most users on Chrome OS. Depending on your internet connection it might take a few seconds to a minute or two to reach the server, but they do a good job at everything else once you’re on the network.

Pros:

  • Performs no different on Chromebook than it does on Windows and Mac-based computers
  • Good communication in between tech support and their customer base
  • Reliable speeds when downloading and streaming over torrents and video sites

Cons:

  • The application takes a long time to connect to servers on the first attempt

9. SurfShark

SurfShark is more than just a VPN. Although you can do all the things that you expect to see on a VPN platform, there are a few additional features embedded in the program. It acts as its own firewall, blocking web traffic to any apps where you don’t want an internet connection to go through. For example, if you don’t want Google Documents to connect (or any other program), you can adjust the settings to allow only what you want to have access online. Things might get a little annoying when you’re ready to watch movies on the VPN. Primary servers might not work at all for such websites, and this could also be a problem for music services like Spotify. But unless you’re in a place where you don’t have access to good streaming content, SurfShark is a great VPN to begin your trial “surfing” on.

Pros:

  • The VPN can be connected through a router for additional device support (including Chromebook PCs)
  • Has a firewall built inside of the VPN that can control the entirety of a user’s computer, and what applications are granted internet access
  • No caps on bandwidth or the number of megabytes downloaded per month, a good buy for torrent lovers

Cons:

  • It could take time to find servers that work for video streaming sites such as Netflix

10. TunnelBear

TunnelBear is a well-known VPN for users that like both freeware and paid VPN services. While the free version of their program is decent, you would be much better off looking into their subscription content. They have a very good trial period that lasts seven days. But if you would prefer to get your period up and running, you won’t be disappointed. There are loads of servers here, with a good amount located in the United States. Logging is also kept to a minimum and nothing outside the range that would put your privacy into question with the VPN. Speeds drops may happen at times, including on servers that are heavily used. Unless you’re a huge torrent junkie that must have a consistent speed at all times on a server, this would rarely turn into an annoyance with TunnelBear.

Pros:

  • Has a generous trial period, along with a free application
  • Lots of servers and server locations; a large amount in the US
  • No hard to understand terms of its user agreement, doesn’t collect the personal info of customers (on both the free and paid versions)

Cons:

  • Their primary servers may drop in speed at any given time

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Chrome have any Vulnerabilities when using VPN services?

The vulnerabilities that exist on Chrome for using VPNs are the same as any other operating system. The biggest is probably the fact that many VPNs, most of them being free, may log information to the point where they could be considered malware. Paid services will take personal information from users, and might even know the browsing habits of users that install such applications. This info could then be sold to third-party developers. You should never want a company to do such a thing, so be very wary of VPNs that have no fees. Not all of them are like this, but you’ll definitely have to do your homework before installing such a program. And unfortunately, many VPNs on the Play Store could be described as one that you should stay away from.

What are some Precautions that I can take to Ensure that I’m Getting a Trusted VPN?

The first is the know the company itself. Read up on any recent news headlines they have made, and the context of what’s being reported. Another good place to check on updates are from users in Reddit’s VPN section, which has lots of useful information that is sometimes difficult to find about VPN companies. As you research, find out what you want to do with your VPN before you pick. Do you like to play games, download torrents, or look at movies more? These are important, as some services have specialized servers for specific internet activities. If you can’t decide easily, then go with one that has a little bit of everything, which is the majority of the VPNs reviewed in the previous section.

When should I Prioritize Torrenting over Streaming?

The best way to know this is by making a note of your online activity. If you spend more than six hours a week downloading torrents, then it’s safe to say that you would be better off with a VPN that has zero restrictions with doing so. This can sometimes be a difficult thing to know. Some services may change their policy regarding file sharing at any moment, especially those located in the US and Europe. Streaming, on the other hand, is something that most paid VPN services do well. It’s likely that you will find at least one server to look at movies on an account with reputable brands, but there is a slight risk of getting blacklisted. The chances are higher with free services, and subscription-based VPN typically hold up longer without creating problems between users and streaming providers.

Does OpenVPN and L2TP work the same on Chromebook VPNs?

The major difference between the two protocols centers around software development. OpenVPN is an open source platform, as the name implies. LT2P handles encryption differently than OpenVPN, which secures the connection within the tunnel itself. Depending on your IP, both protocols could either run faster or slower when handling internet traffic. For many, OpenVPN is preferred first since the setup is a lot easier than other protocols. But since the Chromebook only relies on two, this shouldn’t be difficult to do regardless of which you choose.

Where do I find out the Logging Policy of a VPN?

You must go on the VPN’s website to know what their logging policy is. But in some cases, it might be a good idea to get a second opinion. The Reddit link provided earlier is a good place to obtain such information. As you read through the logging policy, you should also look at the fine print of their user agreement, as some of the details there could be very telling. Of course, all of this won’t be necessary for most consumers. Don’t get too paranoid if you’re just going to use a VPN for common activities. However, do make the tips given a part of your criteria for deciding on what you want if anonymity is of the utmost importance. Think of your online presence as a boxer, whereby you must protect yourself at all times when you’re in and out of the ring (online and offline).

Is Throttling a common occurrence with Chromebook VPNs?

Throttling isn’t something that would affect most paid VPN servers, at least during common internet activities. Your provider might attempt to slow your connection down if they are aware of your VPN usage. But again, this is something that isn’t unique to Chrome OS alone and could happen regardless of the system being run. VPNs that do throttle are usually free or have strict policies regarding the use of file-sharing applications. Out of the VPNs reviewed here, they will all work over p2p, and won’t slow down to an unusable level when downloading (in most circumstances). If you do happen to use a paid VPN and notice your speed slowing down at times, you could check to see if it’s coming from your provider or contact someone within customer service of the VPN you’re subscribed to.

Are Dedicated IPs Available on Chrome OS?

Yes, you could get one if you prefer to have your very own remote IP address. But for the casual VPN user, this won’t be needed and is often sold separately as a standalone service that exists outside of ordinary subscriptions. Still, it’s a good thing to have around if you need to visit websites that are restricted due to out of the ordinary circumstances. But for the privacy-minded, it’s best that you avoid dedicated IPs if you can. They are more unique, which makes it easier to be traced to the user. The more unique you are in the online world, the higher the chances become of your identity being easy to spot by hackers, state-sponsored surveillance operations, etc. They have their purpose, but you should be fine with a VPN alone.

Summary/Conclusion

Still not sure about which VPN to choose? Don’t fret over it too much; you’ll be okay with them all if you were to draw straws out of the ten. And this isn’t being overly generous, you’re getting the very best that provided on Chromebooks. And when you’re going about your affairs over the net, all services will stand up to most common uses. This goes for business or entertainment purposes. There is no singular best VPN from the list. You’re encouraged to look further into each company to see how they run, and whether or not they will perform well for things like torrent clients and streaming content. Once you have picked, all that’s left is for you to hook up your other devices (or your family/friends) to let them all be protected.