Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become an essential, must-have tool to go online safely — almost as crucial as your ISP. But running a VPN on your computer or device needs a little tweaking. For instance, mobile devices need an app specific to your chosen provider, whereas desktops or laptops require you to install a VPN client. VPN browser extensions obviate this requirement by quickly integrating with your browser, regardless of your device or operating system.
This article will tell you about the best VPN browser extensions out there. But, since all the providers mentioned here offer native VPNs, you can easily choose the option you like best.
How to use a VPN browser extension
If you’ve used a browser extension of any type, you’ll find that using a VPN plugin is exceedingly easy. Just follow the next few steps:
- Sign up with a VPN provider that offers browser plugins. Our no.1 recommended VPN with browser extensions is ExpressVPN. It’s not a standard feature in the VPN industry, but each option in our list has one.
- Install the plugin in the browser you want to use.
- Open the VPN plugin. Login in with your credentials.
- Select a server within the VPN network and connect to it.
Best VPN browser extensions in 2023 – Quick list
Maybe you are already conversant with VPN browser extensions and want the right names. Then, this is the section you need to read. However, if you need or want more details, scroll down to find out all about our preferred VPNs with browser plugins.
- ExpressVPN. The best-established name in VPN land couldn’t fail to have a browser extension.
- Private Internet Access. If you like to do torrenting in your browser, this is the best option. It also has the largest network in the VPN business.
- NordVPN. It’s fast, secure, has an extensive server network and many additional features.
- Surfshark. Low cost, high quality, this VPN is disrupting the industry.
- VyprVPN. This Swiss VPN offers optimal speeds. Also, it offers the best Chrome extension VPN.
These five vendors have two things in common: they are among the best VPNs on the internet, and they all have browser extensions. Each of these options is worth joining on its own merits. It’s a happy coincidence that they also have the best browser extensions.
What is a browser VPN?
A browser VPN is just a browser add-on that provides you with almost all the functionalities you expect from a VPN.
Browser VPN extensions also encrypt and anonymize your web traffic like standard VPNs. But they are different from web proxy extensions because they are convenient since you do not have to install any additional software. Instead, you can swiftly download and install the VPN plugin to your preferred browser. Therefore, you can enable and disable it at will and protect your web traffic with your VPN’s encryption and IP masking.
However, notice that we wrote “web traffic.” The standard VPN implementation encrypts every bit of traffic from your device (FTP, torrents, games, other apps, anything). However, web browser VPN extensions only protect your web traffic; the rest will remain unencrypted and show your accurate IP address. So, if you want full VPN tunneling, you must use your VPN app.
Advantages and disadvantages
Let’s start with the pros.
A variety of VPN browser extensions are available for browsers, including subscription-based ones from some of the most trustworthy providers.
In addition, there are many free ones you can choose from that do not require a monthly subscription.
Installing and using browser extensions is easy. First, you need to download the extension, which will appear in your browser’s bar.
Let’s now examine the disadvantages of using a VPN browser extension.
An extension is not always an actual VPN, which is one of its most significant disadvantages. In addition, compared to a standalone VPN plan, most extensions don’t offer one of the notable benefits: military-grade data encryption.