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How to Set Up a VPN on Chrome in 2024

Written by Novak Bozovic
Last updated July 18, 2022

The easiest way to set up a VPN on Chrome is to use an extension. However, nothing really beats using a native VPN application. That's because most VPN extensions for Chrome act as proxies, which means you won't get the best possible protection for your sensitive data. Therefore, you need to be very careful about which VPN you decide to combine with Chrome.

To give you all the freedom you need, we'll show you how to set up a VPN on Chrome using 3 methods. More precisely, we'll show you how to install a Chrome VPN extension, a native VPN app that helps you get the best possible protection, as well as a way to combine the two.

We'll also recommend some VPNs that we believe are worth your time and money. Using those, your Chrome browser will block trackers, eliminate malicious attempts to steal your data, as well as allow you to unblock websites.

So, let's jump right in!

How to Set Up a VPN on Chrome

It's time to reveal your options. As briefly explained above, there are 3 methods to set up a VPN on Chrome. Here they are:

Method #1: Set Up a VPN Extension in Chrome

Setting up a VPN extension in Chrome is really simple. However, use a reliable VPN and take your time to find a truly capable and trustworthy option. We'll provide a recommendation based on our tests. So, do the following:

1. You need an active VPN subscription. Go ahead and subscribe to Surfshark.

2. Then, navigate to Surfshark's listing on the Chrome Web Store.

Installing Surfshark in Chrome

3. Click "Add to Chrome."

4. A pop-up will appear, asking whether you want to proceed. Click "Add Extension."

Adding Surfshark to Chrome

5. Wait a couple of moments until Surfshark's icon appears in the top-right corner.

6. Click on the Surfshark icon to initialize the VPN extension.

Login Screen Surfshark Extension for Chrome

7. Provide your email and password to access your Surfshark subscription.

8. Click "Connect" to establish a connection to the nearest VPN server.

Browsing VPN Locations in Surfshark for Chrome

9. To pick a server manually, select the "Locations" tab on the left-hand side.

10. When you're ready to disconnect, click "Disconnect." That's it!

Surfshark Extension for Chrome Showing Settings

Surfshark goes beyond what a typical VPN extension offers. It can also block ads and prevent you from visiting malicious websites. To access those features, use the extension's settings button on the left-hand side.

Method #2: Use a Native VPN App on Your Device

If you're looking to protect your data beyond Chrome, you need something other than a typical VPN extension. You need a fully-featured VPN application, which should be powerful enough to encrypt all your Internet data. So, you'll want to do the following:

1. Pick a capable VPN that deserves your trust. Our recommendation is ExpressVPN. (You can also try it risk-free for 30 days.)

2. After you subscribe, return to the home page of ExpressVPN's website.

3. Click "My Account" and access your ExpressVPN account dashboard.

Signing In to ExpressVPN Website

4. Select "Set Up Other Devices." Then, pick your platform on the left.

5. On the right, you'll see the instructions on how to download and install the VPN.

Installing ExpressVPN on macOS

6. Launch the VPN app and log in using your ExpressVPN activation code.

Logging in to ExpressVPN

7. Complete the initial one-time setup by following what ExpressVPN says on your screen.

8. When you reach the app's home screen, use the ON/OFF switch to connect.

Connecting to ExpressVPN Server

9. You can pick a location manually using the button below the ON/OFF switch.

Choosing Different ExpressVPN Server

10. When you're ready to disconnect, use the ON/OFF switch again.

ExpressVPN connected to USA - New York

The above-explained method allows you to install a VPN application and run it independently from Chrome. Aside from protecting your Web data that doesn't "flow" through Chrome, this method also helps you avoid installing a Chrome extension, which means that your browser's performance stays intact.

Method #3: Combine a Chrome VPN Extension With a Native VPN App

If you want to get everything your VPN offers, you can combine a VPN extension with a native VPN application. However, only a handful of VPNs do this in the best way possible. You'll want to do the following:

1. Subscribe to ExpressVPN, which integrates its Chrome extension with its native app.

2. Then, here's how to install ExpressVPN's native application on your device.

3. Use Chrome to open ExpressVPN's listing on Chrome's Web Store.

ExpressVPN Chrome Web Store Listing

4. Click "Add to Chrome" on the right-hand side.

5. You'll be asked to confirm your decision. Click "Add Extension."

Adding ExpressVPN to Chrome

6. ExpressVPN's icon will appear in the top-right corner after a few minutes.

7. Activate the extension and then log in using your ExpressVPN credentials.

ExpressVPN for Chrome Interface

8. Use the ON/OFF switch to connect to the nearest server.

ExpressVPN Connected Interface for Chrome

9. Click the button below the switch to pick another VPN location manually.

Browsing VPN Locations in ExpressVPN for Chrome

10. When you're ready to disconnect, use the ON/OFF switch again. That's all!

Remember that ExpressVPN's extension is a gateway to its app (that you have installed on your computer), so you get 256-bit AES encryption, protection against any Web leaks, and WebRTC leak protection. The extension will also check if you connect to HTTPS websites (great for preserving your privacy).

ExpressVPN Settings Interface in Chrome

To take advantage of all its features, visit the extension's settings using the "hamburger" button visible in the top-left corner of its interface.

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide has resolved any doubts you might have about setting up a VPN on Chrome. With that said, we recommend always going for the highest level of protection you can get. That means we recommend going with ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN gives you 2 different ways to set up a VPN on Chrome. It's highly capable and reputable, without sacrificing your privacy in any way. That's why it's the best VPN for Chrome. You can also try ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days.

In the end, check our central guide on setting up a VPN if you wish to cover other platforms as well. You'll find more than 60 platforms and devices covered in that guide.


Does Google Chrome Have a Built-In VPN?

No, Chrome doesn't have a built-in VPN. That means you need to pick a VPN, subscribe, and then install its extension for Chrome.

If you want the best, you'll go for ExpressVPN. As explained above, that VPN integrates its Chrome extension with its powerful native VPN app, giving you the best of both worlds.

How Do I Setup a VPN on Chrome?

To set up a VPN on Chrome, navigate to your chosen VPN's Chrome Web Store listing. Then, use the "Add to Chrome" button to install the extension.

If you need more detailed information, just scroll up. You'll find 3 ways to get started.

Are VPN Extensions for Chrome Safe?

Chrome VPN extensions are generally safe - but only if they come from trustworthy and reputable VPNs. That means you need to be careful about what you install on Chrome.

Most free VPNs for Chrome are designed to inject ads and collect your personal data. So, make sure to use a commercial VPN with a verified no-logs policy.

How Do I Use a VPN on Chrome for Android and iOS?

On Android and iOS, you can't integrate a VPN with Chrome. However, you can use a VPN app independently from Chrome - and protect all your incoming and outgoing data.

To learn more about the best Android VPNs, as well as the best iPhone VPNs, use the provided links. Then, here's how to set up a VPN on Android and iOS (iPhone).

How to Add a Free VPN to Chrome?

You can add a free VPN to Chrome by visiting your browser's Web Store. However, we have to recommend staying away from free VPNs as far as possible.

Even if you're careful, free VPNs will most likely leak your personal data. They might even take advantage of your privacy.

So, go for a reputable solution, such as ExpressVPN.

So, that would be all on how to set up a VPN on Chrome. We hope you've found this guide to be helpful and informative. In case of any issues or additional questions, let us know via the comments section below. We'll do our best to respond as soon as possible.

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