The Best Browser VPN Extensions Reviewed For 2024

If you wish to secure your online data when browsing online, a browser VPN extension is a great option. It’s 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. Additionally, it also helps you access geo-restricted content.

The main difference between the VPN application and the VPN browser extension is that the latter does not encrypt traffic on any apps or games on your device. More so, the add-on may have fewer server options and additional features.

With that in mind, we have tested some of the best VPNs on the market to see which one is the best VPN for browser.

Best VPN for Gaming
ExpressVPN
  • Fast connection speed
  • Threat manager feature
  • Servers in 105 countries
Best VPN Overall
Surfshark
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Audited no-log policy
  • Ad blocker
Best VPN for Speed
NordVPN
  • Extensive security package
  • Ad blocker
  • Meshnet feature

The Best VPN Browser Extensions Ranked

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

The 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 browsing on search engines.

1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN Browser Extension Overall

Browser Extensions Available Top 3 Features Cheapest Monthly Price Connections Server Count Server Countries
Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi – Free password manager
– Location spoofing
– Lightway VPN protocol
$6.67/month on 8 3,000+ 105+

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.

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.

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.

Read the full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Premium price
  • No Safari extension

2. PureVPN – 20 Gbps VPN Servers Optimized for Specific Websites

Browser Extensions Available Top 3 Features Cheapest Monthly Price Connections Server Count Server Countries
Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Brave – WebRTC leak protection
– Geo-location spoofing
– Specialized servers
$1.89/month 10 6,500+ 60+

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.

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.

Best of all, the price for PureVPN starts as low as $1.89/month. There’s also a 31-day money-back guarantee if the provider is not what you expected.

Read the full PureVPN review.

Pros

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

Cons

  • No malware and phishing protection
  • Additional features cost extra

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

Browser Extensions Available Top 3 Features Cheapest Monthly Price Connections Server Count Server Countries
Chrome, Firefox, and Edge – Free plan
– AES-256 encryption
– Bypass proxy
$1.00/month (free) 10 6,500+ 60+

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).

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.

Lastly, Ivacy is very cheap, with prices starting at just $1.00/month, and a 30-day money-back guarantee is also in place.

Learn more in our Ivacy VPN review.

Pros

  • Free VPN browser online extension
  • Large server fleet of 6,500 servers
  • Very affordable
  • Helps with ISP speed throttling
  • Bypasses geo-restriction

Cons

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

4. NordVPN – Fast Browser VPN Extension

Browser Extensions Available Top 3 Features Cheapest Monthly Price Connections Server Count Server Countries
Chrome, Edge, Firefox – Identity theft protection
– Meshnet- Fast NordLynx protocol
$3.39/month 6 6,000+ 60+

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.

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.

While no free trial is available, the NordVPN app’s prices are fairly reasonable, with the lowest rate starting at $3.39/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.

Read the full NordVPN review.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Free trial for Android only
  • Remote servers in 60 countries

5. Surfshark – Complete Online Anonymity and an Ad-Free Online Browsing Experience

Browser Extensions Available Top 3 Features Cheapest Monthly Price Connections Server Count Server Locations
Chrome, Firefox, Brave – Clean Web
– Website Safety Warning
– Antivirus
$2.29/month Unlimited 3,200 100+

Surfshark secure browser VPN offers complete online privacy and anonymity, as well as great connection speed.

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.

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 $2.29/month. On top of that, you can make use of its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not available on Edge and Safari
  • No free trial on Windows

6. CyberGhost – Free VPN Extension To Bypass Online Censorship

Browser Extensions Available Top 3 Features Cheapest Monthly Price Connections Server Count Server Countries
Chrome, Firefox – Ad blocker
– Geo-block bypassing
– IP address masking
$2.19/month 7 11,500 100+

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.

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.

Lastly, for $2.19/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.

Learn more in our CyberGhost review.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Only available for Chrome
  • Free plan is very limited

7. Strong VPN – Simple and Easy to Use, With Six VPN Protocols to Choose From

Browser Extensions Available Top 3 Features Cheapest Monthly Price Connections Server Count Server Countries
Chrome – Protects your online identity
– Prevents third-party spying
– Six VPN protocols
$3.97/month 12 900+ 67+

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

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.

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
  • Lets you bypass online censorship
  • Adheres to a zero-logs policy
  • Allows you to choose between six VPN protocols

Cons

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

Comparing the Best Browser VPN Extensions

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
ExpressVPN Speed and connection reliability Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi $6.67/month 8 3,000+ 160+
PureVPN Unblocking online streaming services Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Brave $1.89/month 10 6,500+ 60+
Ivacy VPN Free IP address and location masing Chrome, Firefox, and Edge $1.00 (Free) 10 6,500+ 100+
NordVPN DDoS protection Chrome, Edge, Firefox $3.39/month 6 6,000+ 60+
Surfshark Complete online anonymity Chrome, Firefox, Brave $2.29/month Unlimited 3,200 100+
CyberGhost Free online security and anonymity Chrome $2.19/month 7 100+ 11,500
Strong VPN Protection from third-party spying Chrome $3.97/month 12 900+ 67+

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.

Pros

  • Online security when browsing online
  • Accessing geo-restricted content
  • Ease of use
  • Price

Cons 

  • Protection limited to browser only
  • Not fully secure
  • Data logging (free VPN extensions)

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.  

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.

How We Tested the Best VPNs for Browsers

Before we make any recommendations to our readers, we first-handily test each VPN service. Here are a few things (you can also read our full methodology) we considered when creating the best VPN for browser list:

  • Security: We take note of all the security features the provider offers. Does it have a switch kill or a split tunneling feature? Does it use the WireGuard protocol and secure AES-256 encryption? In addition to these essentials, we also look for extra features like specialized servers and more.
  • Privacy: A reliable VPN provider should have a strong privacy policy supported by a no-log assurance. Additionally, the no-log statement should be backed up by an independent audit.
  • Performance: We test the provider app multiple times daily to see how fast the VPN connection is and how much of the original broadband speed the VPN retains.
  • Compatibility: We ensured that all providers on this list are compatible with the most popular browsers. We also ensured that the app was compatible with the most popular operating systems, like Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and more.
  • Geo-unblocking: We checked whether all browser extensions could bypass geo-restrictions and access different pages online.
  • Price: A good browser VPN should not break the bank. Therefore, we’ve compared each provider’s offerings and its monthly rates.

How to Choose the Best VPNs for Web Browsers

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 ExpressVPN, 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.

Additional VPN Guides

If you want to learn more about VPNs, here’s our comprehensive list of VPN guides:

FAQs

What’s the best browser VPN extension?

Are browser VPN extensions good? Are they effective?

Will a VPN extension hide my browser history?

Is there a free VPN extension?

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Aleksandar Stevanovic

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…