Best VPN Extensions for Browser in 2024

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Are you looking for a reliable browser VPN extension to secure your online browsing? Browser VPN extension is a quicker and less complicated alternative to a standard VPN application.

Sometimes, users might be put off by the VPN app installation process, especially if the app requires you to alter your device settings. A VPN browser add-on is a much easier and quicker way to secure your online activities when browsing the web on popular browsers like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and others.

The main difference between the VPN application and the VPN browser extension is that the latter encrypts traffic only on your browser, and it may have fewer server options or advanced features.

With that in mind, we have tested some of the best VPNs on the market to determine which VPN extension is best for browsers.

Surfshark – Superb VPN with Unlimited Connections

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PureVPN – Functional VPN With Cheap Add-Ons

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ExpressVPN – Fast VPN With a Free Password Manager

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NordVPN – Feature-rich VPN for Security and Privacy

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CyberGhostVPN – Secure VPN With Various Dedicated Servers

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IvacyVPN - Very Affordable Long-Term VPN

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StrongVPN – Simplistic VPN for Torrenting

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Best VPN Browser Extensions at a Glance

  1. Surfshark – Affordable browser VPN extension with data breach monitoring
  2. PureVPN – Reliable browser VPN with servers optimized for specific websites
  3. ExpressVPN – Highly secure VPN extension for browsers
  4. NordVPN – Fast and secure VPN for most popular web browsers
  5. CyberGhost – A free VPN extension that helps you bypass geo-restrictions
  6. Ivacy VPN – The best free VPN extension for popular browsers
  7. Strong VPN – A VPN for Chrome users with numerous protocols

Best Browser VPNs Reviewed

We’ve reviewed and tested the best VPN browser extensions, looking at their encryption, VPN protocols, speed, server spread, and security features. Based on these factors, we shortlisted the 7 best VPNs for you to browse freely on search engines.

1. Surfshark – Fast and Secure Browser VPN Extension

Max Devices Unlimited
Server Network 3,200+ servers in 100+ countries
Browser Extensions Available Chrome, Firefox, Brave
Price From $2.19/month
Why We Picked It

Surfshark secure browser VPN offers complete online privacy and anonymity, as well as fast connection speeds.

Features

In addition to hiding your IP address and location, Surfshark offers Clean Web 2.0. This blocks all ad banners, video ads, and cookies, meaning you’ll be safe from any third-party snoopers and annoying targeted ads.

Another advantage Surfshark VPN has over competitors on the list is website breach monitoring. When you turn on the website safety warnings feature, Surfshark will alert you about any incidents and data breaches you may have experienced. The pop-up window features all the details, such as the exact date of the breach and the information hackers exposed, so you’ll know which websites to avoid.

You’ll also love Surfshark’s alternative ID feature if you value your online privacy highly. It allows you to create a brand-new online identity with a new email address and bogus personal information. Another great security enhancement.

Pricing

What’s also great about Surfshark is that you can use it on unlimited devices with a single subscription. This means you can add the browser extension to every PC, laptop, tablet, and phone in your household without paying extra, all for just $2.19/month. On top of that, you can make use of its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Alternative ID feature
  • Blocks annoying ads and cookies
  • Data breach notification
  • Unlimited number of simultaneous connections

Cons

  • Not available on Edge and Safari
Surfshark
9.5
Review

2. PureVPN – Reliable Browser VPN for Android and iOS Users

Max Devices 10
Server Network 6,500+ servers in 65+ countries
Browser Extensions Available Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Brave
Price From $3.99/month
Why We Picked It

PureVPN is another excellent VPN extension, offering superb speeds and world-class security. It can also be used on up to 10 devices simultaneously. This allows you to keep every device in your household protected with the AES-256 encryption protocol and a slew of advanced VPN features.

Features

As a browser-based VPN, PureVPN’s extension lets you unblock geo-restricted websites and browse the web anonymously by encrypting your browser traffic. It includes WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) leak protection, ensuring your real IP address is hidden at all times. Plus, it spoofs your GPS location and lets you bypass proxy to set up split tunneling for your browser.

PureVPN offers unlimited bandwidth and helps you bypass ISP (Internet Service Provider) speed throttling. More so, due to the provider’s 20 Gbps servers, you can expect fast and lag-free connection speeds.

What’s more, PureVPN has optimized servers for different types of websites. This allows you to enjoy much faster streaming on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. PureVPN’s browser extension also protects your data when you’re connected to public Wi-Fi.

Pricing

The price for PureVPN starts at $3.99/month. There’s also a 31-day money-back guarantee if the provider is not what you expected.

For more iOS recommendations, see our guide to the best VPNs for iPhone.

Pros

  • Large server fleet and great VPN connection speed
  • WebRTC protection and geo-location spoofing
  • Public Wi-Fi network protection
  • Optimized VPN servers for specific websites

Cons

  • No malware and phishing protection
  • Additional features cost extra
PureVPN
9.4
Review

3. ExpressVPN – Safe VPN Browser Extension

Max Devices 8
Server Network 3,000+ servers in 105+ countries
Browser Extensions Available Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi
Price From $6.67/month
Why We Picked It

ExpressVPN comes with a secure, easy-to-setup, and easy-to-use browser extension. A functional automatic connection will connect you to the fastest available VPN server whenever you start your browser. So you can rest assured that your online data will be safe at all times.

Features

The VPN extension uses the same AES-256-bit encryption used on the VPN application, too. Additionally, you can expect the extension to spoof your location, prevent tracking, and protect you from malicious websites. Like a typical VPN connection, it also enables you to access geo-restricted content in the browser.

In terms of privacy, ExpressVPN has a strict zero-log policy, meaning the company does not collect and store its users’ data. This is further supported by the provider’s RAM-only servers that are wiped clean after each reboot.

There are over 3,000 servers to choose from in more than 105 countries worldwide. Additionally, you have the ability to choose between different protocols, like Lightway, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. During our speed testing, the Lightway protocol proved to be the fastest option.

Pricing

To use the ExpressVPN extension, you’ll need to install the ExpressVPN app on your Linux, Windows, or macOS device and have the app running. The lowest rate for the ExpressVPN subscription starts at $6.67/month.

Pros

  • Easy to add and use on your browser
  • 3,000+ servers in 105+ countries
  • Location spoofing and tracking protection
  • Lightning-fast Lightway VPN protocol

Cons

  • Premium price
  • No Safari extension
ExpressVPN
9.2
Review

4. NordVPN – Fast Browser VPN Extension

Max Devices 10
Server Network 6,400+ servers in 111+ countries
Browser Extensions Available Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Price From $3.09/month
Why We Picked It

NordVPN offers one of the most feature-rich VPN browser extensions on the market. In addition to hiding your IP address and physical location, the NordVPN extension also comes with an ad blocker and a strong privacy policy.

Features

Uniquely, NordVPN doesn’t just spoof your IP address; it makes it seem like you’re not using a VPN at all. This is done by matching your browser timezone with one of the VPN server locations you’re connected to. Additionally, during our testing, we discovered that, due to its lightweight NordLynx protocol, NordVPN is the fastest VPN on the list.

Another useful feature of the NordVPN browser extension is split tunneling. The feature lets you choose which websites you’d like to visit without a VPN connection in place. On top of that, the NordVPN extension for browsers comes with a Threat Protection Lite feature, which blocks intrusive ads and potentially malicious websites on your browser.

Pricing

While no free trial is available, the NordVPN app’s prices are fairly reasonable, with the lowest rate starting at $3.09/month. You get up to six simultaneous connections for different devices for that price. Plus, if anything, a standard 30-day money-back guarantee is also available for all its plans.

Pros

  • Ad blocker tool
  • Active protection against DDoS attacks
  • IP address spoofing and timezone matching
  • Fast proprietary NordLynx protocol

Cons

  • Free trial for Android only
  • No free plan
NordVPN
9.2
Review

5. CyberGhost – Free VPN Extension To Bypass Online Censorship

Max Devices 7
Server Network 11,500+ servers in 100+ countries
Browser Extensions Available Chrome, Firefox
Price From $2.03/month
Why We Picked It

CyberGhost offers a free browser extension that blocks ads, online trackers, and malicious websites. In addition, it also masks your IP, which lets you bypass online censorship and access your favorite content from anywhere.

Features

The browser VPN extension doesn’t require a credit card or even a CyberGhost account. All you need to do is add it to your Google Chrome web browser or Firefox and connect it to a secure VPN server. If you go with the free version, you will get access to four VPN servers. However, a premium version will expand this choice to 11,000 servers worldwide.

Additionally, you won’t have access to features like proxy bypass (split tunneling), which will likely prompt you to utilize the paid version of the CyberGhost app rather than the browser extension.

The paid version also performed better in terms of connection speed. During our testing, CyberGhost showed very similar results to ExpressVPN, keeping around 50-55% of the original broadband connection.

Pricing

Lastly, for $2.03/month, you’ll get to enjoy all the premium features the provider has to offer. That includes protecting up to seven devices simultaneously. And if the product is not up to par, there’s a generous 45-day money guarantee in place.

Pros

  • Blocks ads and trackers
  • Notifies you of malicious or shady websites
  • Secures your Wi-Fi connection

Cons

  • Only available for Chrome and Firefox
  • Free plan is very limited
CyberGhostVPN
8.7
Review

6. Ivacy VPN – The Best Free VPN Extension for Popular Browsers

Max Devices 10
Server Network 5.700+ servers in 70+ countries
Browser Extensions Available Chrome, Firefox, and Edge
Price From $1.17/month
Why We Picked It

Ivacy VPN is a great option if you’re looking for a free VPN extension for your browser. While both the desktop version of the app and the extension have paid pricing plans with additional security features, you can get the base VPN extension completely free (no credit card required).

Features

The app relies on AES-256 strong encryption, which successfully encrypts your internet traffic and hides your real IP address. You’ll also be able to bypass proxies, so you can whitelist the websites you trust and connect to them directly.

Ivacy VPN also provides public Wi-Fi security, helps you overcome ISP speed throttling, and lets you enjoy your favorite online content without interruption. Plus, to secure the fastest connections, you’ll be able to choose a specialized server for either streaming video content, browsing, or downloading files.

Another reason to opt for Ivacy VPN for your browser is its large server fleet. With over 6,500 servers spread across 60+ countries, you’ll always have a fast nearby server to connect to.

The only questionable thing is that Ivacy VPN’s no-log policy has not undergone an independent audit. So, the validity of the statement remains unknown.

Pricing

Lastly, Ivacy is very cheap, with prices starting at just $1.17/month, and a 30-day money-back guarantee is also in place.

Pros

  • Free VPN browser online extension
  • Large server fleet of 6,500 servers
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • The no-logs policy hasn’t been independently audited
  • Outdated interface
IvacyVPN
8.7
Review

7. Strong VPN – Secure VPN for Chrome Users

Max Devices 12
Server Network 950+ servers in 30 countries
Browser Extensions Available Chrome
Price From $3.97/month
Why We Picked It

Strong VPN provides a simple, easy-to-use VPN Chrome extension that protects your online identity when using the browser. The Chrome VPN also lets you bypass geo-restrictions and protects you from third-party spying and other online threats.

Features

Strong VPN has a strict zero-log policy, meaning the provider does not collect and store user data. However, this has not been confirmed by an independent audit. So, the legitimacy of the claim is still unclear.

The online VPN browser extension offers the choice of six VPN protocols, including WireGuard (the most secure), OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, IPSec, and IKEv2. This gives you the flexibility to choose a different protocol based on your activity and lets you prioritize speed or security.

That’s pretty much the extent of what the Strong VPN browser extension offers, so you won’t have access to any advanced security or privacy features. Moreover, you’ll only have access to 14 global VPN servers, which is barely any better than what CyberGhost offers for free.

Pricing

In terms of price, the VPN has a monthly and an annual plan, with the latter retailing for $3.97/month. While the price is fairly average, for even chaper ($3.39/month), you can get a more extensive NordVPN package.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Adheres to a zero-logs policy
  • Offers six VPN protocols

Cons

  • Only available for Chrome browser
  • Only 14 VPN servers available with the extension

Best Browser VPN Extensions Compared

Here’s a comparison table of the best VPN online browser extensions so you can see how they measure up head-to-head:

VPN Provider Best For Browser Extensions Available Cheapest Monthly Price Connections Server Count Server Locations
Surfshark Complete online anonymity Chrome, Firefox, Brave $2.19/month Unlimited 3,200 100+
PureVPN Unblocking online streaming sites Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Brave $3.99/month 10 6,500+ 65+
ExpressVPN Speed and connection reliability Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi $6.67/month 8 3,000+ 160+
NordVPN DDoS protection Chrome, Edge, Firefox $3.09/month 10 6,400+ 111+
CyberGhost Free online security and anonymity Chrome $2.03/month 7 100+ 11,500
Ivacy VPN Free IP address and location masking Chrome, Firefox, and Edge $1.17 (Free) 10 6,500+ 100+
Strong VPN Protection from third-party spying Chrome $3.97/month 12 900+ 67+
Methodology

How We Review and Test VPN Services

20 VPNS TESTED

25 DATA POINTS MEASURED

300+ HOURS TESTING

500+ USER REVIEWS READ

To provide our readers with accurate and well informed recommendations, we tested 20 leading VPN services to find the best in the market. Our methodology consists of the following criteria:

  • Security Features: We made sure that the provider uses standard security features and a secure tunneling protocol.
  • Privacy Policies: We looked for VPNs that come with a no-logs policy, and verify the extend to which user privacy is upheld.
  • Speed: We run speed tests three times a day and draw an average of the result to see how much of the original broadband speed is retained.
  • Compatibility: We ensure the VPN provider offers multiple simultaneous connections and is compatible with the most popular operating systems.
  • Geo-unblocking: We test whether the VPN service can unlock different libraries (content available in different countries) on the most popular streaming platforms.
  • Customer Experience: When researching products and services, we read real user experiences and test out their customer support channels ourselves.
  • Price and Value for Money: We set out to recommend reasonably priced products that offer value for money.

VPN Extension Pros and Cons

Just like regular VPNs, VPN browser extensions have their perks and limitations. Here are a few pros and cons to consider when opting for a browser extension.

VPN Extension Pros

  • Online security – A VPN browser extension secures your internet activity while browsing. It encrypts and redirects traffic through a VPN server, masking your original IP address. This makes it difficult for any third parties to obtain your online activity log.
  • Accessing geo-restricted content – You may be unable to access certain content or services due to geo-limitations. However, a VPN extension allows you to mask your original IP address and obtain a new one through your VPN service, which could be located anywhere in the world.
  • Cost – If you’re looking for a budget-friendly solution, VPN browser extensions tend to be much cheaper than a regular VPN app. You could even find one for free.

VPN Extension Cons

  • Limited protection – This is a VPN extension and not a fully functional app, so security is limited to your web browser activity. The VPN extension will not cover anything you do beyond the browser.
  • Restricted devices – A browser extension can only be used on a specific browser, meaning you won’t be able to use it on other devices like routers, gaming consoles, and smart TVs.
  • Not fully secure – While most VPN extensions are secure, some might actually be a malware in disguise. Well-known, respected VPN providers have fallen victim to security breaches in the past, showing that no one is immune.
  • Data logging – Some VPN extensions (especially free ones) may log your browsing activities, potentially even reselling them to third parties. To avoid that, extensively research your chosen VPN browser extension or opt for a reliable VPN app like Surfshark.

The Difference Between a VPN Extension and a VPN App

At its core, both a regular VPN app and a VPN browser add-on do the same thing – encrypt your online traffic. However, since they serve slightly different purposes, there are about to be some differences in their functionality:

  • Security – A VPN app typically includes features like kill switch, Multihop, double VPN, and many more that are not offered with a VPN extension. VPN browser add-ons usually offer fairly basic security features solely for the browser.
  • Compatibility – A VPN browser extension is available for just that – a web browser. Should you want to use your VPN beyond the web, you will not be able to access the tools or features unless you download the app.
  • Level of protection – A VPN app provides far greater protection for your system, while a VPN extension only protects your web browser. This means that if you are not using your browser, you will not be able to benefit from your VPN’s security features.
  • Ease of use – A VPN extension couldn’t be easier to use. With most VPNs using a one-click model, you simply download and connect. However, VPN apps can be more complicated to use, requiring a more in-depth setup and more complicated features.
  • Budget – Most VPN browser extensions are either more affordable than a regular VPN or even free. On the other hand, VPN apps cost more, and to secure the lowest rates, you have to commit to a long-term subscription.

Best Browsers With Built-In VPN

Few browsers provide a built-in VPN service, and even fewer offer a service that could compete with VPN extensions from providers like Surfshark or PureVPN.

However, these built-in solutions can be an ideal starting point for first-time VPN users or users who don’t need VPN protection while using other apps. Generally, built-in browser VPNs have smaller server networks and operate in fewer countries than premium solutions.

However, to help you find the best browser for your device, we tested a few browser VPN software, and here are the best solutions:

Browser Best Features Compatibility Best For
Opera Browser Lightweight, Unlimited Data, No-Logs Policy Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS Windows
Brave Browser Firewall, Reliable Customer Support, Protects up to 5 Devices Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS Ma
Aloha Browser Adblock, 80+ Server Locations, Unblocks Major Streaming Platforms Windows, Android, and iOS iPhone
Avast Secure Browser Pro Browser Lighting-Fast, Robust Encryption, Unlimited Bandwidth Windows, Android, and iOS Android

Will a VPN Extension Hide My Browsing History?

While a VPN extension won’t prevent your browser from storing your browsing history locally, it will prevent your ISP, third parties, and even the government from logging it. That’s because VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, including DNS traffic, which is used to track your web history.

It will also reduce your digital footprint, as it will prevent ads and third-party trackers from obtaining your real information. However, you’ll still need to manually clear your search history to remove it from your browser.

Are VPN Extensions Safe to Use?

Yes, VPN extensions from reputable providers, such as Surfshark, PureVPN, and ExpressVPN, are safe to use as they won’t log, share, or sell your data. However, the same can’t be said for every VPN extension, especially free solutions from shady providers.

To minimize your risks, look for a solution that offers powerful encryption, a wide variety of servers, several VPN protocols, and advanced features such as a kill switch and data breach monitoring. Additionally, ensure your future VPN provider has a strict no-logs policy and provides frequent updates to its browser extensions.

How to Set Up a VPN Extension?

Most VPN providers make it easy to set up a VPN browser extension. The process may vary depending on the VPN provider and the extension you install. However, here are a few generic steps you can follow:

  1. Pick a VPN provider and download its browser extension.

  2. Create an account.

  3. Activate the VPN extension and pick a server to connect to.

  4. Scroll away on your browser.

My VPN Is Not Working on the Browser. How Can I Fix It?

VPN extensions can fail to encrypt your online activities for numerous reasons, especially if you’re using a free virtual private network that most websites may blacklist.

First, you’ll need to identify possible issues in your setup that may prevent your VPN extensions from working. Here’s a list of the most common issues:

  • Your browser is running on an outdated version,
  • Your device’s operating system is outdated,
  • IP leaks: Cookies, cache, and browsing history on your browser are leaking your actual IP address,
  • Extension conflicts,
  • Browser settings block VPN usage.

To fix your VPN browser extension issue, try the following steps:

  1. Update your browser to the latest version,
  2. Update your device’s operating system,
  3. Clear your browser’s cache, browsing history, and cookies,
  4. Disable other extensions,
  5. Check your browser’s settings to ensure it’s not preventing VPN connections.

How to Choose the Best VPN Browser Extension

If you’re not sure which of the VPN web browser extensions we’ve covered in this guide is the best choice for you, here are a few factors you should consider, which will help shape your decision:

  • Security and Anonymity: Make sure that your internet connection is 100% safe and secure. So, in addition to secure tunneling protocols and encryption, ensure that the provider is equipped with features like a kill switch, malicious website blocking, and real-time data breach notifications. Additionally, if you want to stay completely anonymous, opting for a VPN with a verified zero-log policy and RAM-only servers, like Surfshark, is best.
  • Server Network: It’s also crucial to have access to a wide variety of servers. Closeby servers can be useful when browsing the web or torrenting, as they tend to be faster. Additionally, offshore locations are good if you wish to unblock geo-restricted online content.
  • VPN Connection Speed: The connection speed is also vital. So, ensure the VPN uses a lightweight tunneling protocol and records stable connection speeds. Otherwise, you might spend several minutes twiddling your thumbs while you wait for a website or a video to load.
  • Number of Connections: Ideally, you want to be able to use the VPN on all your devices at the same time, ensuring that you’re protected 24/7, regardless of whether you’re browsing on your phone, a laptop, or a tablet. So, make sure that the provider is generous with its simultaneous connections. Or opt for a provider like Surfshark, which doesn’t limit the number of connections.

Can I Use a Free VPN Extension for Browsers?

Yes, you can use a free browser VPN, but keep in mind that free versions of VPN extensions are typically extremely limited.

Even the best browser VPN extensions with free plans only allow you to connect to a handful of VPN servers. As a result, your connection speed will be super slow. Additionally, free VPN browser extensions typically don’t have advanced security features since it’s not in the providers’ interest to offer the full service for free.

That would be fine; however, free browser VPNs might pose a serious security risk. If you download and install an unreliable free VPN, it might not only fail to protect your online activities but also actively collect your data. Eventually, your personal information might even get sold to third parties.

All in all, free VPN extensions are good for occasional use, but you’ll need a premium VPN to be fully protected online and enjoy complete anonymity.

FAQs

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Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert
Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…