5 Best VPNs for Chromebook in 2019 & how to set up a VPN on Chromebook

Chromebook OS is a lightweight, cloud-based operating system (OS) that does everything you need it to, however, Chromebooks do come with privacy concerns. In this article, we list the five best Chromebook VPN services as well as telling you how to get and how to set up a Chromebook VPN.


With a VPN for Chromebook, you can ensure that your data is kept secure on public WiFi as well as stopping hackers from stealing your data. As well as improving your privacy VPNs are great for bypassing censorship, unblocking content, and keeping you safe when torrenting. 

It is important to mention that if you are looking for a VPN for streaming, not every VPN will be fast enough or able to unblock the services you need. This also applies to torrenting as not every VPN allows P2P downloading. You will be delighted to know that all the services listed in our best Chromebook VPN list both unblock streaming sites from around the world and allow torrenting. 

If you're new to VPNs, get up to speed with our handy guides:

The best VPNs for Chromebook?

Take a look at the best Chromebook VPN services listed below. If you want more information about these VPN services, take a look at the summaries below or click through to each VPN provider's website for more details.

  1. NordVPN - Large brand with very good value, and a budget price
  2. ExpressVPN - The fastest VPN we test, unblocks everything, with amazing service all round
  3. CyberGhost - Longtime top ranked VPN, with great price and speeds
  4. VyprVPN
  5. PrivateInternetAccess

How to set up a VPN on Chromebook

Setting up a VPN for Chromebook is not difficult and the best VPNs also have their own guides. Here are the basic steps for using an Android VPN app on Chromebook:

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Search for your VPN provider and download the software
  3. Run the software and log in using your credentials
  4. Open the VPN app
  5. Connect to a VPN server

If you want more information about how to install and set up a VPN for Chromebook you can refer to our handy guide. In it, you will find explanations for all three ways there are to use a VPN on Chromebook:

  1. Use the L2TP/IPsec client built into Chrome OS. 
  2. Use a Chrome browser VPN extension. You can download browser extensions from the Chrome store. 
  3. Use an Android app (only available on Chromebooks that support this feature).

5 best VPNs for Chromebook users

If you want more information, our in-depth list below allows you to compare our favorite VPNs to use on Chromebook:

1. NordVPN

  • Pricing

    From $3.49 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Android
    • iOS
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

NordVPN is based in Panama (a non-Fourteen Eyes spying alliance country), making it an excellent choice for the more NSA-phobic out there. It keeps no logs at all, uses strong encryption, and accepts anonymous payment via Bitcoin. NordVPN is let down a little by many of its servers being somewhat slow, but with a little trial and effort it isn’t too hard to find a fast one.

Additionally, P2P is allowed, and many users appreciate NordVPN’s “double-hop” service, which routes your VPN connection through two different servers in order to make tracking more difficult.

Chromebook VPN support comes in the form of setup instructions for L2TP, a Chrome add-on, and an Android app.

2. ExpressVPN

  • Pricing

    From $6.67 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Android
    • Linux
    • iOS
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

ExpressVPN has always exceled at providing a great customer experience. At the forefront of this is 24/7 live chat support, and a genuine no-quibble 30-day money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN serves Chromebook users well. Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) setup instructions are available for Chromebook, as are Chromebook-specific instructions for its Android VPN app.

The other desktop and mobile software from ExpressVPN is very easy to use, and is fully featured. Those wishing to evade censorship (such as users in China) will appreciate ExpressVPN’s Hong Kong-based “stealth” servers and dark web (.onion) address. Although ExpressVPN is a little pricey, the fact that it throws in a free Smart Domain Name System (DNS) service for all users makes it good value for money.

3. CyberGhost

  • Pricing

    From $2.75 / month
  • Available on

    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Linux
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

CyberGhost‘s software is easy-to-use while also being very fully featured. It uses very strong encryption, and 5 simultaneous connections is generous. Being based in Romania and keeping no meaningful logs is also a big draw. Like ExpressVPN, some minimal statistics are kept, but with no time stamp or IPs recorded, these present no threat to users' privacy.

In addition to fully supporting L2TP, Cyberghost now offers a Chrome extension.

CyberGhost’s great logging policy, decent local (burst) speeds, and fully featured software are a winning combination. And with a 7-day free premium trial plus 30-day no-quibble money back guarantee there is zero reason not to give it a whirl.

4. VyprVPN

  • Pricing

    From $5.00 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • Android
    • Linux
    • iOS
    • MacOS
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

VyprVPN is notable for being one of the rare VPN services to own and control its entire network infrastructure. The result is fantastically fast connection speeds around the world.

Chromebook support come is the form of a dedicated L2TP setup guide for Chrome OS. And VyprVPN offers a great selection of features, such as a SmartDNS service, robust customer support, and port selection.

Although not necessary for the UK, VyprVPNs “Chameleon” stealth technology is great for Brits who visit places such as China or Iran. Like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. PrivateInternetAccess

  • Pricing

    From $3.49 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Android
    • Linux
    • iOS
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

PIA is based in the US, so is not a provider for the more NSA-phobic out there. However, it keeps no logs, which is a claim that it has proven in court. It is not common to have such definite proof that the VPN does what it says it does when it comes to logs, so well done PIA!

And although optional, the Android app's security can be first rate. PIA provides Chromebook/Chrome OS setup guides using both L2TP and its Android app.

Up to 5 simultaneous connections are permitted and PIA boasts excellent connection speeds.

How Does a VPN for Chromebook Work?

On other platforms, you usually sign up for a VPN service, then use the VPN's app to connect to it. The core idea behind the Chromebook, however, is that everything happens inside the browser, so no additional apps are needed (or possible).

Except for the fact that it's now possible to run Android apps on many newer Chromebooks.

There are now two basic ways to run a VPN connection in Chrome OS. You can use the built-in L2TP/IPSec VPN client or app. In addition to this, you can use a VPN add-on for the Chrome browser. These are not really VPNs, but proxy connections.

Browser Add-on VPNs for Chromebook

The whole thing about Chrome OS is that it's basically just the Chrome browser. This means that most of the Chrome browser VPN add-ons offered by an increasingly large number of VPN services will work just fine on your Chromebook.

Technically speaking, these “VPN” add-ons aren't actually VPNs. This is because they don’t protect all internet connections going into and out of your computer. They are instead proxy connections that only protect the browser.

Windscribe Chrome

However, since with Chrome OS the browser is the operating system they can, in effect, act as true VPN clients.

That is, apart from the fact that newer versions of Chrome OS support Android apps. These run on their own separate Android subsystem, and won't benefit from a Chrome VPN browser add-on.

Most such browser add-ons securely encrypt the connection using HTTPS. It is always worth checking that this is the case with your VPN provider, as some have no encryption at all. These may still be useful for spoofing your location, but provide no security or privacy benefits. If you need more information about the, take a look at our VPN encryption guide.

Quick View

  1. NordVPN - Large brand with very good value, and a budget price
  2. ExpressVPN - The fastest VPN we test, unblocks everything, with amazing service all round
  3. CyberGhost - Longtime top ranked VPN, with great price and speeds
  4. VyprVPN
  5. PrivateInternetAccess

Written by: Douglas Crawford

Has worked for almost six years as senior staff writer and resident tech and VPN industry expert at ProPrivacy.com. Widely quoted on issues relating cybersecurity and digital privacy in the UK national press (The Independent & Daily Mail Online) and international technology publications such as Ars Technica.

15 Comments

  1. Ian

    on May 2, 2018
    Reply

    Hi Douglas This is a very helpful article - thank you. Unfortunately I have had bad experiences trying to install a VPN on my chromebooks from two of the five best buys you list above. I'm wary of trying any others until I work out what's going on. Essentially, the appear to install correctly and they allow me to connect to overseas servers using L2TP/IPsec, even confirming "connected" on the settings screen. But when I then check my IP address, I find it has not changed at all. I have spent several hours online to support reps from the two suppliers who have both been very helpful. They have confirmed there is a problem and have tried to solve it, but both have finally admitted defeat, and I have had to seek a refund in both cases. Any idea what might be happening here? I know that connecting to VPN on chromebooks is not straightforward, which was why I looked for specific recommendations before starting. Unfortunately, that hasn't guaranteed success. I'd be most grateful for any thoughts.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Ian

      on May 2, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Ian, Hmm. Connecting on a Chromebook should be straightforward enough using L2TP/IPsec. I must admit that I have no idea, off hand, why you are having problems. I am very busy at the moment, but when I have a little time I will try to investigate a little further.

      1. Scott Johnson replied to Douglas Crawford

        on April 27, 2019
        Reply

        "L2TP-IPsec provides weak security benefits" This is quoted from ExpressVPN's site. L2TP is a 20 years old and very outdated.

        1. douglas replied to Scott Johnson

          on April 30, 2019
          Reply

          Hi Scott, As we explain here (https://proprivacy.com/guides/vpn-encryption-the-complete-guide/#l2tpipsec), L2TP/.IPsec does have security issues. But unless your threat model includes the NSA then they are probably not worth losing sleep over. To put it another way, L2TP is _good enough_ for _most_ purposes. And more to the pint as far as this article is concerned, it is the only VPN protocol supported natively by ChromeOS.

  2. Kharma

    on March 6, 2018
    Reply

    Why is being based in Canada considered as a con here in your reviews? I only ask because while I was researching for good web hosts and about web hosting in general, I found that a host with data centers in Canada was a good thing and something most people sought out to find. Also, I Am Canadian, so.. I'm a little biased lol

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Kharma

      on March 6, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Kharma, Canada is listed as a con because it is a core member of the NSA-led Five Eyes spying alliance. Bills C-11 and c-51 are also deeply concerning for privacy. As Wikipedia notes: "The Edward Snowden revelation that the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), without a warrant, used free airport Wi-Fi service to gather the communications of all travellers using the service and to track them after they had left the airport sparked an ongoing concern about mass surveillance in Canada. The number of Canadians affected by this surveillance is unknown apparently even to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service."

  3. Heather

    on January 5, 2018
    Reply

    I need a pc perfect a laptop mac for tech. School and I have a brand new PlayStation 4 limited but not to sure if I can make that work til I get a laptop.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Heather

      on January 5, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Heather, Sorry, but you will need to explain your problem a little more clearly if am to help you :).

  4. Douglas Crawford

    on October 4, 2017
    Reply

    Hi bobs uncle, As I clearly state in the article above: "Unusually, the ExpressVPN Chrome browser add-on is not a browser proxy, but an interface for the full desktop app (which must be installed). This means that the Chrome browser add-on does not work on Chromebooks." L2TP/IPsec setup instructions are available for Chromebook, however, as are Chromebook-specific instructions for its Android VPN app.

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