How to set up a VPN on Chromebook in 2021?

Setup VPN on Chromebook

Chromebooks and all OS devices have many going for them in terms of privacy and security. Installing viruses on them is tricky and wiping them to start over from scratch is a break. But there is one primary area in which Chrome OS can be a headache: virtual private network support. If you want to secure your connection with a VPN, you are not alone but strived to make it work on your Chromebook.

Setting up a Chromebook VPN has its benefits. Those with privacy and security in mind can be sure their location will be hidden, their activity would not be logged, and unreliable network connections cannot keep track of activity. Additionally, users can bypass geo-restrictions which makes it easy to use specific services where unavailable.

Chromebooks rely a lot on internet access for most of their functions. As a result, they churn out more internet traffic information than regular laptops, putting your information at risk. Chromebooks are pretty safe and secure straight out of the box. However, you can always enhance their security if you how to use a VPN on Chromebook.

If you are eager to install a virtual private network on your Chromebook, whether it is your personal system or a college Chromebook, this blog is going to let you through a detailed guide to ensure you can find one that works perfectly for you.

There are a variety of good reasons why you need to install a VPN on your Chromebook. Perhaps you need to access content that has been restricted, or you may need to stream the Netflix library from another country. Keep reading to learn more!

What is a Chromebook VPN?

Virtual Private Network serves as the middle-man in your connection to the internet. VPN allows you to connect your system to a server in the region of your choice and have all the web traffic go through the said remote machine before reaching your system. A virtual private network masks your location, identity, and other private information you might not want to share.

Does Your Chromebook Need a VPN?

A VPN builds an encrypted channel between your Chromebook and a server operates by a VPN service. Bypassing your internet traffic through that tunnel, you make sure that it cannot be spied on in transit. You want a virtual private network because when it is active, everyone on the same network as you, anybody that can access that network’s router, your internet service provider, and tricky intelligence agents will all be kept back in the dark. This is essential on public network connections, but it is important in every context.

Once your information reaches the virtual private network server, it is no longer encrypted. But because it emerges to be coming from the virtual private network server and not your system, your IP address is hidden. It is also much harder to correlate online activities to yours. Plus, if you connect to HTTPS websites, your information will be encrypted at every step of your internet browsing.

You can utilize a VPN to hide your location. Connect to a VPN server in a remote locale, and suddenly your internet traffic appears to be coming from the other region of the world. This is helpful for tunneling past suppressive online censorship or tricking a streaming website into letting you watch television shows from a different part of the globe.

Best Ways to Set Up a VPN on a Chromebook in 2021

Best Ways to Set Up a VPN on a Chromebook in 2021
Best Ways to Set Up a VPN on a Chromebook in 2021

There are many ways to get your Chromebook protected by a virtual private network. You can use a Chrome browser extension, an Android app or manually configure the client in Chrome OS to use your preferred VPN. Amazingly, going the Android route is possibly your best choice. However, each method has potential disadvantages, ranging from a lack of support to a lack of documentation, as TechNinjaPro will explain.

1. Chrome VPN Extensions

Using a Chrome browser extension is possibly the easiest way to protect your internet traffic. Many virtual private network services offer browser extensions for Chrome. Install one from the Chrome extension web store, and it will appear alongside your Omnibox wherever you are logged into Chrome.

The virtual private network Chrome browser extension is perfect for old Chromebook versions that do not support Android apps. Always keep in mind that a VPN browser extension encrypts internet traffic and data routed via Chrome browser.

The weakness is that the Chrome VPN extension protects only your web browser traffic. Internet traffic from all apps on your Chromebook would not enjoy the privacy and security provided by the VPN. Sometimes, it is a good thing. If you need to secure your internet traffic but do not want your VPN to distort your television show streaming, you can protect the browser and use an Android app for viewing Netflix that would not be piped through the virtual private network.

This process can create confusion about what is secured and what is not on your system. In general, TechNinjaPro advises people to use a VPN as broadly as possible.

2. Android VPN Apps

Almost all new versions of Chrome book come with Android apps enabled by default. Yet, if you are using an older version of Chromebook, you need to allow Android apps. To do so, open settings and go-to apps.

The best way to protect your Chromebook’s internet traffic is to use an Android VPN app on your Chromebook. Running a Smartphone app on a system may sound little nuts, but more and more Chromebooks are supporting Android apps, offering you the complete fruits of the Google Play store. Download the VPN apps of your choice, log in and switch it on. Android VPN apps appear as connection choices in the network settings menu on your device.

There is loads of confusion about whether or not Android VPN apps secure all of your internet traffic or the traffic of other android apps.

Adding to that confusion is the reality that not all Chromebooks can run Android apps. There is a growing list of Chrome OS devices that will support the Google Play store. If your system is on the list, you will have to be running the latest version of Chromebook and activate the Google Play store from the Chrome OS setting menu.

3. Manual Configuration

While the Android VPN app is the best choice, manual configuration is second best and maybe your only option if your Chromebook does not support Android apps. Doing so needs a bit of research, much of which would be handled by a VPN app if you were on macOS or Windows. It is equivalent to manually set up a VPN on Windows if you have ever tried that.

Unluckily, it is not just the legwork that is the problem with manually configuring your Chromebook. It turns out that various VPN services would not work with Chrome OS. And those that do need you to use a less secure connection method, as TechNinjaPro will show. You have three choices for manually setting up a VPN connection on a Chromebook. There are three VPN protocols which are different styles of creating a VPN connection. OpenVPN is one of the best protocols because it is open source and picked over for any potential vulnerabilities.

OpenVPN

Your Chromebook offers essential support for OpenVPN servers. OpenVPN connections can use the username and password authentication, customer certificate authentication, or a combination of both. If you want to set up more updated features of OpenVPN or import a “.ovpn” configuration file and your device supports the play store, think about installing OpenVPN for Android rather than using the built-in OpenVPN client.

  1. At the bottom, select the time.
  2. Choose settings.
  3. In the Network section, select add connection.
  4. Next to OpenVPN, go for add.
  5. In the box, fill in the information. If you are using your Chromebook with an organization, you might have to get this information from your administrator.
    • Server hostname
    • Service name
    • Provider type
    • Username and password
    • OTP Code
    • Server CA certificate
    • User certificate
  6. Connect

L2TP/IPSec

Your Chromebook has built-in support for VPN services that use L2TP. The IPSec layer will either utilize a pre-shared key or user certificate to set up the protected tunnel. The L2TP layer needs a username and password.

  1. At the bottom, select the time.
  2. Choose settings.
  3. In the Network section, select add connection.
  4. Next to L2TP, pick add.
  5. In the box, fill in the information. If you are using your Chromebook with an organization, you might have to get this information from your administrator.
    • Server hostname
    • Service name
    • Provider type
    • Username and password
    • OTP
    • Server CA certificate
    • User certificate
  6. Connect

PPTP VPN

Chromebooks with the Play store can easily connect to PPTP VPNs.

  1. At the bottom, choose the time.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Scroll down and choose Google Play store.
  4. Select manage Android preferences
  5. Scroll down and select PPTP VPN.
  6. To the right, choose to add.
  7. In the box, fill in the data. If you are using your Chromebook with an organization, you might want to get this data from your administrator.
    • Name
    • Server address
    • PPP encryption
    • Show advanced choices
    • Username and password
  8. Choose to save

To connect to a PPTP VPNs, go to the PPTP VPN menu and choose the name of the VPN connection.

How Do You Get a Free VPN on Your Chromebook?

Get a Free VPN on Your Chromebook
Get a Free VPN on Your Chromebook

The market has an excess of VPN services that you can use without spending a single penny. For instance, you can set up an account with a VPN service for free. However, using a free VPN service on your Chromebook is more harmful than a benefit.

The VPN services will be making money in some other ways behind the façade. Some VPN services sell your information to third parties, while others use the app to deliver persistent advertisements. Conversely, if you find a reliable free VPN service, chances are there will be multiple limitations. You will get limited bandwidth, unstable VPN connection, slow connection speed, and streaming lags.

Most VPN services offer a 30-days money-back guarantee which is an excellent way to use the VPN for free without any financial risk.

5 Best Fast VPNs for Chromebook

5 Best Fast VPNs for Chromebook
5 Best Fast VPNs for Chromebook

It is tough to find a VPN that is entirely compatible with Chrome OS. Chromebook is affordable, ideal, and easy to use for everyday computing. Yet Chromebook OS users need a good VPN as much as anyone else. If you want to unblock streaming websites or access games that might be blocked on your Chromebook, all while staying safe and anonymous, getting a VPN is the technique to go.

But which is the best VPN service for Chromebooks? TechNinjaPro has taken a look, and here are our five favorite ones.

1. NordVPN

Nord VPN
Nord VPN

NordVPN is one of the best VPN services for Chromebooks. It offers an unmatched mix of excellent features, value for money, and cutting-edge technology. NordVPN has an app that is optimized for Chromebooks. You can connect to around 5000 servers in approximately 55 countries. It is ideal for unblocking geo-restricted content.

NordVPN can easily unlock all the big streaming websites such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix, and more. NordVPN has a WireGuard technology which makes it the most effective choice available. It has an excellent array of features, including split tunneling, SmartDNS, CyberSec, and a dark web monitor feature.

NordVPN offers an anti-fraud measure that scans dark web marketplaces for your information, so if your email address ends up in the hands of hackers, you will get a notification right away. It has a strict no-logs policy. NordVPN is committed to security and privacy. Whether you need to hide your activity from your internet service provider, set up a kill switch to protect your network, or just get around geo-restrictions on content, NordVPN has you covered.

Dedicated and Masked IP

NordVPN provides its users the features of dedicated IP and masked IP. A single person will use dedicated IP, and no one will have access to that IP. NordVPN goes the next step by masking your dedicated IP.

When your IP is masked, you will get another layer of privacy and security, making it impossible for third parties to track your activity.

Pros Cons
Dedicated app for Chromebook No port forwarding
Unblock most streaming websites
Fast and reliable
Secure and private
24/7 live chat support

NordVPN does not offer a free trial. However, you will get a 30-day money-back guarantee if you subscribe to any of their packages. It provides instructions and warnings on using L2TP. It also has an excellent tool on its site for finding a server that will meet your requirements. NordVPN provides a Chrome extension and an Android app.

Pricing

1-month plan 12-month plan 24-month plan
$11.90 per month $4.92 per month $3.30 per month

2. CyberGhost

Cyberghost VPN
Cyberghost VPN

CyberGhost is a perfect choice for Google Chromebooks as it provides an L2TP/IPSec setup for proper VPN protection on your device. That means you can enjoy more than 3500 servers across 65 countries, automatic HTTPS redirection, and on mobile, optional data compression. It allows its users to unblock content like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Netflix, so you do not have to miss out when abroad.

CyberGhost will allow you to make around seven simultaneous connections and has various security features which other VPN services do not have. If you need to go away from your Chromebook, you are covered with support for up to a whopping seven devices simultaneously. It provides both IP and DNS protection. Overall, it is one of the better Chromebook VPN services available in the market nowadays.

CyberGhost VPN does many jobs, which makes it a very well-equipped VPN. It will mask your IP, which will help you in anonymous browsing securely and safely. You can use the CyberGhost VPN service to spoof your location, protect your identity and unblock all kinds of geo-restricted content. The main drawback of CyberGhost is that the interface has all been made a little over-complicated.

Streaming Website Unblocking

Streaming sites like Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, etc., have content available depending on its operation country. For example. The Netflix library in India would be different from the Netflix library of the USA. CyberGhost will allow its users to select those servers which will provide them access to that particular content that cannot be accessed from your region. It will change your location via their safe and secure servers, thus providing you more access.

Pros Cons
Dedicated app for Chromebook Allows access to only eight servers in 4 countries on Chrome browser extension
Best for streaming sites Limited
Fast and reliable
Security features are unique
It is reasonably priced
Has an ad-blocker
Wide server network

With CyberGhost VPN, you would not need to worry about connecting to a public internet network because of its split-tunneling feature. Since you will be encrypted, your activity cannot b tracked.

Pricing

1-month plan 12-month plan 36-month plan
$12.90 per month $3.92 per month $2.25 per month

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the well-known VPN services, and that is for a reason. It is the most used virtual private network worldwide because of its air-tight security features. ExpressVPN does not keep any types of logs on your internet traffic, timestamps, IP addresses, and VPN connections. It is a premium vendor, but a money-back guarantee backs it so you can try it risk-free and claim a refund within 30-days if you are not happy with it.

It has a strict zero-logs policy. ExpressVPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. It operates more than 3500 servers in around 90 countries. ExpressVPN uses the most robust security protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. It operates optimized servers that can unblock major streaming websites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or Hulu. Overall, ExpressVPN is one of the highly-rated services available on the market. Chromebook settings allow for split tunneling and multiple protocols, including a new lightway protocol

The excellent element is that ExpressVPN for Chromebook leverages OpenVPN, one of the safest and secure VPN protocols. However, It also protects apps downloaded from the play store if your device is running on a version of Chrome OS. ExpressVPN is the best option for Chromebooks with over 3000 servers. It provides intuitive controls and well-designed menus that make it straightforward to find and configure built-in features.

ExpressVPN will help in protecting your identity with their top-notch privacy and security protocols. You would not need to worry about connecting to a public network connection with ExpressVPN.

Kill Switch

Even though numerous VPN services come integrated with a kill switch, the kill switch technology that ExpressVPN has is more efficient and functional than the others. ExpressVPN offers a kill switch that will come into action when the VPN connection drops. It will immediately lock your internet connection by blocking all the traffic from your system until your VPN connection is secured again.

AES-256 Encryption

Furthermore, it is integrated with updated mathematics in AES-256 to keep encryption standards. This standardized technology is trusted by all of the security-providing businesses internationally.

DNS Privacy

The DNS privacy system offered by ExpressVPN is their custom-made privacy feature. ExpressVPN will encrypt all your DNS servers and improve your safety and speed.

Pros Cons
Dedicated Android app for Chromebook Configuration settings are limited
Best for streaming sites No stand-alone Chrome browser extension
Easily Defeats Censorship Customer support required to be upgraded to phone support instead of relying on Email and Chat
Affordable No free trial
Everything gets encrypted
Extended coverage
Supports L2TP/IPSec on Chromebook
Unlimited bandwidth

In addition, ExpressVPN will help protect your identity on the network with their top-notch privacy and security protocols.

Pricing

1-month plan 6-month plan 12-month plan
$12.95 per month $9.99 per month $6.67 per month

4. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield

The most crucial factor on which Hotspot Shield VPN won a spot on TechNinjaPro’s list, it works perfectly in China. As per its compatibility in the most strict geo-restricted country globally, Hotspot Shield became one of the biggest competitors in the VPN market. It is integrated with the features and tools that will help you mask your IP address along with any P2P activity from the ISP.

Hotspot Shield will also encrypt your internet connection, thus making it impossible for hackers to track you. Additionally, it is very effective in downloading and uploading speed. It offers excellent speed but is on a budget, and it all works perfectly on Chromebooks. Using a VPN proxy on Chrome means an easy-to-setup way to browse with all the benefits of a VPN. These include a free choice that provides 500MB per day, so not many, but it gives you a taster.

Hotspot Shield uses the Catapult Hydra protocol, a  TLS-based security protocol designed to enhance your connection speed and latency and provides super-fast speeds with top-notch levels of encrypted security. It also uses market-standard AES 256-bit encryption. This encrypted security can be accessed without creating an account, so it is one of the safest and secure ways to get a virtual private network without providing any details at the start.

Protection of User-Identity

Like other VPN services in the market, Hotspot Shield offers privacy and security to its users by creating strongly encrypted walls around its users, thus allowing them to browse the internet without getting tracked or hacked freely.

The encryption protocols used by this VPN are so technically updated, even your internet service provider, government, employers, and hackers cannot trace your internet activity via your IP address. All of your information, including passwords, bank accounts, and credit card information, is completely masked by the Hotspot Shield VPN service.

Protection from Viruses

Hotspot Shield offers malware protection features. For Instance, you are entering a site that contains malware. The viruses on that site will enter your Chromebook via your internet connection and cause issues. However, if you have Hotspot Shield VPN service turned on, it will initially analyze the website for any threat or virus, and if the site is clean, then and only it will provide you access to that site.

For example, if the site does contain any threat or malware, the application will automatically block that website, thus preventing your system from getting infected.

Pros Cons
Dedicated Android app for Chromebook Bad customer support
Unblock all kinds of sites
User identity gets protected
Affordable
Everything gets encrypted
Online security get boosted

Furthermore, It is an ideal option for streaming content on those sites blocked in your region and allowing you access to Netflix libraries and other streaming sites that are not available in your country.

Pricing

1-month plan 12-month plan 36-month plan
$9.99 per month $7.99 per month $2.49 per month

5. Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN
Surfshark VPN

It is one of the best choices in the VPN market. With its vast bank of servers in numerous countries of the world, it is guaranteed that you will get access to various geo-locked restricted content online. Surfshark will not leak your DNS data and mask your IP addresses with complete security. It has an advanced split tunneling feature. However, the kill switch in the android app malfunctions sometimes.

Surfshark VPN has a dedicated app that is optimized for Chromebooks. Beyond the ease of use, one of Surfshark’s features is that it provides unlimited simultaneous connections. It has more than 3000 servers to connect to in 65 different countries. Surfshark allows its users to unblock every platform that came to mind, including Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Netflix libraries, etc.

If you are getting in a quick gaming session, not only will Surfshark get around any blocks, it will also offer smooth, lag-free gaming.

CleanWeb

have you ever doubted what it would be like to browse the internet without those irritating ads and other ruthless stuff like pop-ups, etc.?

Surfshark will offer its users a clean cyber world where they would not need to worry about ads. With its CleanWeb feature, you would not get hacked or tracked in addition to the removal of any type of threats containing files and content.

Simultaneous Connections

Simultaneous connections are one of its best features that makes it stand out from the competition. Surfshark VPN provides you the liberty to connect an unlimited number of devices.

Split Tunneling

Split tunneling features if Surfshark VPN service allows you to put a few sites in the VPN’s split tunnel while you browse the internet through the rest of the sites without a VPN. If some site or app is not working or is malfunctioning, you can easily use the safelisting feature to put them off the VPN and browse through the rest of the web via a VPN.

Pros Cons
Optimized Android app for Chromebook No dedicated IP address
Unblock all kinds of sites
User identity gets protected
Customer support includes 24/7 live chat
Fast and reliable servers
Unlimited connections

Surfshark VPN service offers super-fast speeds with an extraordinary level of encrypted security.

Pricing

1-month plan 6-month plan 24-month plan
$12.95 per month $6.49 per month $2.49 per month

Conclusion

Finding a completely secure free VPN is rare. They often come with hidden restrictions and drawbacks. However, after days of research, the VPN services that made it onto the above list are safe and reliable. Getting a VPN is a no-brainer if you are interested in ramping up your internet privacy, improving your content choices no matter where you are, and staying safe and secure online.

If you are using a Chromebook at work, a virtual private network will help its users get around content blocks to stream television shows and play games when you have some spare time. If you are at home downloading torrents, VPN will ensure that your internet service provider and content owners would not be able to see your online activity.

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