VPN extension secures you when surfing with the Google Chrome browser. How Chrome VPN hides your IP address and what is the best free extension for Chrome? Answer below!
Browse the web safely and incognito mode with Chrome VPN? We will explain you what a VPN does in the Google browser. There are many reasons to use a VPN (virtual private network)
Employees and freelancers use it to access company networks and data from home or on the go. While private users usually use VPNs to protect their privacy and unlock content online.
VPN: What is it? Do I need one?
It is a common assumption that the web is an anonymous space. That is wrong!
When browsing, you leave traces of (data) in every step. These traces include the so-called internet protocol address, in short: IP address. This reveals your approximate location and the Internet provider – the name, address & Co. of the user.
If you browse over public Wi-Fi, hackers can easily record all of your data. But you are protected with a VPN service. To hide your true identity, the technology opens an encrypted connection to a server of the VPN provider, so-called VPN tunnel.
As a result, only the provider knows your real IP address; the rest of the world only sees the address of the VPN server. Most services advertise not to log connection data so that your surfing track is lost on the net.
Since the tunnel encrypts your web traffic, even Internet providers and potential attackers see only cryptic data snippets in public Wi-Fis. And because of the tunnel, you can be anywhere in the world. A few clicks are enough – and you can surf with an IP address from either the USA, Great Britain or India.
If you want to access blocked, foreign websites, VPN brings the solution. Which countries are available depends on the server locations of the provider. Free VPNs generally offer a limited selection, and paid VPN services use thousands of servers.
Chrome VPN Extension or full Windows application?
A secure VPN tunnel from your PC is usually set up using special VPN software. It makes a difference whether you install a VPN service, such as the NordVPN, on Windows or a VPN extension for Chrome. The PC app directs all of the computer’s traffic through the VPN tunnel.
And only the browser traffic ends up there with the Chrome VPN. Your needs determine which option is more suitable for you: If you only want to access a website that is blocked in the United States without, you can do better with the VPN extension in your browser.
If you are more interested in the complete anonymity of the network – the entire data traffic of the PC has to go through the VPN tunnel. This can only be achieved with a VPN app for the PC.
A Chrome VPN extension is, therefore, an interesting solution for those who only periodically need a VPN service to disguise the true origin of your location.
VPN for Chrome set-up guide
Setting up a VPN in Chrome sounds complicated – but don’t worry: Thanks to the VPN extensions for Google’s browser, this can be done with just a few clicks.
Simply install the chosen VPN extension in Chrome and done! Another good thing: VPN add-ons for the browser don’t kill casual VPN users with infinite menus and options.
It is more difficult to choose the right Chrome VPN for anonymous browsing from a wide range of offers. Here are
Hotspot Shield Free VPN for Chrome
The VPN extension for Chrome shows all relevant information, such as the current connection speed, with one click. The Chrome add-on “Hotspot Shield Free VPN” comes from California – owned by AnchorFree.
The company specializes in data protection applications and secure, free access to the internet. With Hotspot Shield, it is one of the best-known VPN services (October 2019). To finance free access VPN, AnchorFree shares your surfing data with advertising networks, which is likely to disturb privacy-sensitive people.
Hotspot Shield: Install VPN Extension
The number of server locations with Hotspot Shield is more manageable than with the competition.
Install the Chrome extension and then click – in order to use the free version – first on the Hotspot-Shield logo in the top right of the Google browser, then on No thanks, continue as free.
Registration to use the VPN service is not required. To start, Hotspot Shield automatically connects you to the best available VPN server.
To choose the server location yourself, click the Auto server in the extension choose the desired country. In the free version, you have the choice of VPN servers in Germany, Russia, Canada, and the Netherlands.
In addition to the server selection, the maximum download speed is limited. In the practice check, the impact when browsing was noticeable, it was slower but did not annoy. Also, there is a WebRTC blocker in Hotspot Shield Free VPN. You have to activate it in the add-on settings.
Windscribe VPN for Chrome
The Canada-based VPN service Windscribe is also a pro in secure browsing via a VPN. Because of the company headquarters (founding member of 5 Eyes), the service is not an option for users who are particularly sensitive to data protection. The VPN extension for Chrome offers many server locations.
Windscribe: Install VPN add-on
The add-on manipulates the “User Agent” of the browser. This makes it even harder for websites to recognize you the next time you visit.
Install the Chrome extension and then click Sign Up to create a free user account. If you enter an e-mail address, you will have 10 gigabytes (GB) of data per month available via VPN; otherwise, it is only 2 GB.
This is enough as long as you are not streaming videos or downloading a lot of files. If you click on Autopilot in the add-on, Chrome obtains an IP address either from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, Great Britain or Hongkong.
The browsing speeds in the practice check were impressive, even video streams ran without much delay. In the data protection options of the add-on, you will also find settings to protect your privacy, such as protection against WebRTC leaks.
By default, the option is not active, but you must first set it with clicks on Privacy, Other and WebRTC Settings
AnonymoX for Chrome
Compared to the competition, the AnonymoX VPN extension is very straightforward.
The name already suggests: “AnonymoX” is an anonymization service with which you change your internet identity. The free Chrome extension comes from Germany and advertises that users are immersed in the anonymous network of 0.2 million AnonymoX customers.
AnonymoX: Install VPN add-on
The selection of server locations is very modest with this VPN service.
AnonymoX can be used without entering data or creating an account. Simply install the VPN extension and surf protected.
The add-on connects you to a VPN server right after Chrome starts up; in practice check this was mostly a server in the Netherlands.
To change the location, click on All, select one of the offered servers from Great Britain, the USA or the Netherlands and click on Change identity .
To deactivate surf protection, click on the button next to On in the AnonymoX add-on for Chrome so that Off appears there. AnonymoX does not offer any other options as usual from the competition on Chrome. Websites loaded quite quickly in the practice check, but the service is too slow for videos.
Hoxx VPN Proxy for Chrome
The Hoxx VPN add-on is not an eye-catcher.
The VPN service convinces with 18 server locations worldwide and high browsing speed!
VPN has been active on the VPN market with its “Hoxx.com” service since 2014. The company headquarters in the United States. But if you only need a foreign IP address, you don’t have to look further.
In addition to the paid premium version, Hoxx offers a limited free VPN for Chrome. According to user reports, the provider is particularly popular in China to Internet censorship there.
Hoxx VPN Proxy: Install VPN add-on
In the browser bar, the VPN add-on shows the country whose IP address you are currently browsing.
After installing the Chrome extension, select the desired language. Then register using your email address and password to use the service.
But it’s worth it – even in the free version, it offers numerous VPN locations – France, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, United Kingdom, USA, Czech Republic, Japan, India, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, and Hong Kong. Impressive!
But not only that: The browsing speed was usually more than okay. Even video streams ran without major delays. However, the provider does not offer any other setting options: Select more than server location, query IP address and disconnect VPN connection.
WebRTC blocker: activate extra protection
With “WebRTC” Chrome has a practical interface that enables direct data exchange between two or more web browsers.
This allows users to exchange large files directly from the browser or start video conferences without an additional program.
The technology is very useful in some situations, but is not compatible with VPN connections: Under certain circumstances, the “correct” IP address of the user can be read out via the interface, while the user believes himself to be completely anonymous.
In the meantime, many VPN providers have responded and integrated a WebRTC blocker against WebRTC leaks, but far from all. If you want to be sure, take a look at the Chrome add-on WebRTC Control for Chrome. It consists of a button that deactivates the WebRTC interface in the browser with one click.
VPN: is this legal?
Many wonder whether VPN services are allowed at all. The answer is simple: yes!
In most countries, the use is completely legal and even legally secured. Because the protection of privacy is very important.
However, some misunderstand anonymity via VPN as a free ticket for criminal acts. That is wrong!
With an activated VPN connection, you are bound by applicable laws and regulations – as with normal browsing, streaming and downloading.
At this point, the terms and conditions of the VPN providers are mostly clear: they do not tolerate criminal acts.
VPN for Chrome: Free or Paid
As everywhere in life, you get nothing for free in the VPN world.
Acquisition and maintenance of servers worldwide, data traffic and customer service cost (a lot) of money.
It is therefore not surprising that you only receive the full-service package with additional protection functions with the paid VPN subscriptions.
The restrictions vary depending on the provider. This is problematic if the service limits the monthly data volume: Because to bill your data consumption, it has to log your data traffic. That bites the promise of anonymity.
Users who want to explore the network regularly and intensively via VPN are better off using a paid VPN service. Anyone who only occasionally wants to access websites under the “new” identity is well served with a free Chrome VPN add-on.
Free Chrome VPN: Who’s the Best?
Which of the presented Chrome VPNs suits you best depends on your requirements. This is how Hoxx VPN Proxy leaves a good impression if you trick geoblocking , i.e. want to access content blocked in your country.
With free access to VPN servers in 18 countries, Hoxx VPN Proxy stands out from the entire range. The provider also promises not to reduce data traffic. However, it is less suitable if you value security and data protection.
When it comes to absolute anonymity, you shouldn’t fully trust any of the free VPNs. The decentrally organized Tor network with the Tor browser promises a more effective approach. But the same applies here: 100 percent anonymity cannot be achieved in practice.
By combining different protection technologies, such as Tor and VPN, you drive up the effort and therefore the costs to identify you – which discourages potential pursuers.