Google’s Chrome browser is highly customizable, but doesn’t come fully secured out of the box. To make up for this shortcoming, we’re going to show you how to install the ExpressVPN Chrome extension in mere minutes, allowing you to browse, download, and communicate online in complete privacy.
By a large distance, Google Chrome is now the world’s most popular web browser, and with good reason. It is a user-friendly, stable, secure, and well-designed browser which stepped up at a time when Internet Explorer was being retired and its replacement Microsoft Edge was failing to make the grade. Part of Chrome’s appeal is the huge variety of customization options available thanks to the thousands of different plugins and extensions which are available. Of course, many VPN providers offer a Chrome extension too and ExpressVPN is no exception.
The ExpressVPN Chrome extension is indeed a neat little tool; it allows you to connect to an ExpressVPN server with a single click as well as make use of a number of additional features such as their kill switch and DNS leak protection. In this guide, we will tell you how to install the ExpressVPN Chrome extension as well as everything you need to know about it.
Why Use a VPN with Chrome?
Chrome is the go-to browser for most internet users, so it follows that it is when using Chrome that a VPN is most important. That is because although there are many applications on your computer or mobile device which connect to the internet, Chrome is likely to be where the bulk of your online activity takes place. And there are some compelling reasons why every Chrome users should be using a VPN:
- Online Security – Chrome is a more secure browser than most, but it is not perfect. With the number of online threats growing, a VPN has become an essential security tool. By using a VPN with Chrome, you can be sure that everything you do online is encrypted and secure.
- Online Privacy – Privacy has been making plenty of headlines of late as internet users begin to understand just how vulnerable their personal data is online. Many websites capture user data, ISPs collect it and sell it on, and even Chrome itself will be gathering information about your activity. But a VPN renders you anonymous online, making it impossible for these third parties to gather data on your activity or identity.
- Unblock Censorship – Sadly, there are many governments around the world that like to control what their citizens can access online. Authoritarian regimes like China, Russia, and Iran are among the worst offenders, but even western democracies like the USA and the UK can get over-zealous at times. With a VPN, it is possible to get around this censorship and access any site you want to.
- Bypass Geo-restriction – Another regular issue internet users face is geoblocks–that is, sites and streaming services which limit their service to users in certain countries or regions. But with a VPN, users can make it appear as if they are anywhere in the world and so get around geo-restrictions to access content freely regardless of their location.
There are plenty of VPNs on the market, but ExpressVPN is the best for most purposes. There are a number of good reasons for that, but with this provider speed is king. ExpressVPN’s servers are configured to offer-super fast connections, and the results are true their expedient namesake. ExpressVPN also has a network of over 3,000 servers in 94 different countries which means they enable users to access geo-restricted content from just about anywhere.
While speed is important to ExpressVPN, it certainly does not come at the expense of security or privacy. Their 256-bit AES encryption is nearly unbreakable, and the service includes some great additional features like DNS leak protection and a kill switch available–all of which are accessible directly from the Chrome extension. Their privacy protections are top-notch too with a zero-logging guarantee you can trust. And with no data limitations or file type restrictions, ExpressVPN allows you to stream and download whatever content you like. With user-friendly apps available on most platforms as well as a fantastic Chrome extension, it is little wonder they are the VPN of choice for so many.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
- Unblocking Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime
- Super fast, reliable connection
- Secure encryption & VPN protocols
- Keeps no logs of personal data
- 24/7 Chat Support.
- Priced slightly higher.
A Word on Free VPNs
There are quite a few VPNs that offer free Chrome extensions, but these should always come with a warning. Nothing comes for free these days and if you are not paying for a VPN service through a small monthly subscription, you will be paying another way. Often, this is by compromising your privacy as many free VPNs will sell on user data. This is what most VPN users want to avoid, so it makes sense to sign up with a premium provider.
How to Install ExpressVPN on Chrome
You will need to have an account with ExpressVPN to use their Chrome Extension, as well as their app downloaded onto your device. If you have already signed up and downloaded the app, you can skip ahead to stage 3 of this guide. If not, then just follow the simple steps below to get ExpressVPN downloaded and working on Chrome.
- Visit the ExpressVPN website and sign up with ExpressVPN. You can do this using the links above and take advantage of our exclusive readers’ deal.
- Once you have signed up, visit the ExpressVPN download page, where you can download the latest ExpressVPN apps for your device. Select the right app for your device and follow the simple online instructions to download and install it.
- Once the app is installed on your device, return to the ExpressVPN download page. This time select the Google Chrome app and then click the Get Extension button in the window on the right of the page.
- On the webpage that opens, click on Quick Install in the centre of the screen.
- A pop-up window will ask you if you want to Add ExpressVPN for Chrome. Click on Add Extension.
- When the ExpressVPN Chrome extension has been successfully downloaded, another pop-up Window will tell you ExpressVPN for Chrome has been added to Chrome. The ExpressVPN icon will also appear with your other extension icons to the right of Chrome’s URL bar.
- Click on this icon. The ExpressVPN dashboard will now appear in the top right of your Chrome screen. This will allow you to connect to ExpressVPN with a single click, select the server location of your choice and manage some of ExpressVPN’s features directly on Chrome.
ExpressVPN Chrome Extension Review
Among privacy enthusiasts, ExpressVPN is one provider that needs no introduction. Their VPN service is amongst the very best in the business, so it comes as no surprise to find that their Chrome Extension provides a similarly exceptional experience. In design, it mirrors their Windows and Mac apps, which means that existing users will have no need to familiarise themselves with a new layout. It also boasts all of the most fundamental connection features of their regular apps, which are so cherished by users. These include:
- One-Click Connect – Using the main button in the centre of the Chrome extension, users can connect to ExpressVPN with a single click.
- Choose Your Location – Alternatively, if you want to select a server in a specific location, you can click on Choose your Location and browse either their recommended servers for your location or all servers, for the one you want.
- Choose Your Server – By clicking on a specific location, users are also able to choose specific servers they want to connect to as well.
Connecting to ExpressVPN via their Chrome extension really is just as simple as connecting to them through their app, which will come as a great relief to many loyal users. There are additional features well worth pointing out too, although it should be noted that not all of the features on the ExpressVPN apps are available directly through the Chrome extension. However, there are a couple of additional ones:
- VPN Kill Switch – Activating the Kill Switch ensures that if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, internet traffic on Chrome will not continue until you have reconnected.
- DNS Leak Protection – This extra security feature stops your ISP, DNS provider, or other unauthorized people from seeing what you are doing online.
- Block WebRTC – This feature is specific to the Chrome extension and helps to prevent websites from being able to discover your true IP address and location. Check out our complete guide on disabling WebRTC to learn more.
- Spoof Your Location: Another feature exclusive to the Chrome extension, this allows you to ensure your Chrome geolocation data matches the location of the VPN server you are connected to.
All of these additional features can be managed through the menu in the top right of the Chrome extension. Here is also an option to connect to ExpressVPN automatically when you open Chrome. If you do not have your regular ExpressVPN app already set to connect automatically, we strongly recommend you enable this option. The bottom of the menu screen has an option to Show all VPN settings, which will open up ExpressVPN. This should still be the main place you head to manage your ExpressVPN settings.
It is not necessary to use the Chrome extension to protect yourself online as the regular ExpressVPN app can do the job on its own. But there are a number of reasons why the extension is worth having as well. Its extra features add another layer of security when browsing the web on Chrome. Its presence will also act as an insurance policy to make sure you never forget to connect to ExpressVPN when going online. It is also a simple, easy-to-use way of managing the basic features that we use most regularly.
If you have downloaded the ExpressVPN Chrome extension using this guide, why not tell us how you found the process in the comments below. How do you find the Chrome extension to use? Does the Chrome extension do everything you want it to? We are always keen to hear your thoughts.
If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. NordVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay for the subscription, that’s a fact, but it allows full access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. Their no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.