8 Best (Free yet Reliable) VPNs for Chromebook (Updated for 2020)
Finding a free VPN for Chromebook is easy, if you’re willing to settle for slow browsing, bad security, privacy risks, and content blocks.
Luckily for you, I’ve done hours of research, testing free VPNs to weed out all the scams, fakes, and dangerous services, and I’ve put together this list of the best free VPNs for your Chromebook.
Just remember that even safe, reliable free VPNs have limitations. They might impose data or bandwidth restrictions, or operate only a few servers that get busy and super slow. But I have some creative solutions.
Take a look at the best safe, free VPNs I found for Chromebook based on security, reliability, and compatibility.
Short on Time? Here are the best free VPNs for Chromebook
- NordVPN: Dedicated torrenting profile, high-end security features, and the ability to break any block. An elite VPN you can try for 30-days free.
- Windscribe: 10GB of free data per month, enough to watch 10 SD movies. Premium security features and fast speeds.
- Hotspot Shield: Intuitive apps and fast connections. 500MB free data per day, allowing you to browse the internet for about 6 hours.
- ZenMate: P2P-optimized servers and unlimited free data.
- TunnelBear: 500MB of free data every month
- Dedicated torrenting profile
- LAN invisibility setting
- Onion over VPN for Tor
- Protect up to six devices on one account
- P2P specialty servers
- Works with: Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO GO, Netflix, Showtime, SlingTV, Amazon Prime Video
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, routers
NordVPN is a premium vendor, but I’ve added it to my list because you can try it risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s a great choice if you need to protect your Chromebook for a short time, such as an overseas vacation.
NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy. It uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. It uses some of the strongest security protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. It’s also based in Panama, beyond the reach of 14-Eyes Alliance.
The app features a dedicated torrenting profile and supports Onion over VPN for Tor.
It operates 5,600+ high-speed servers in 60 countries. This includes streaming-optimized servers that can unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and most other popular streaming services. During my tests, I was able to stream in HD without any buffering or lag.
The app is extremely easy to use. It offers intuitive controls and well-designed menus that make it simple to find and configure built-in features. You can connect up to six devices at the same time.
I was disappointed to find that it doesn’t accept PayPal in some regions. But you can pay with cryptocurrencies if you want to anonymize your payment details.
New to VPNs? Not a problem. NordVPN has a large FAQ section and 24/7 support via live chat.
Want to know more? Explore our NordVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
- 10GB free data per month, chance to earn 5GB more
- One-click connection with its best location feature
- Stealth Mode can bypass the Great Firewall of China
- Access to 10 servers
- IPv6/WebRTC/DNS leak protection
- Works with: Netflix US (restrictions), YouTube, Kodi
- Compatible with: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Opera, Chrome, Firefox
Windscribe offers 10GB of free data per month, and the chance to earn 5GB more. That’s enough data to stream HD videos for up to 3 hours, and stay up-to-date on social media and your email.
Torrenting is allowed on most servers but you’ll need to upgrade to premium to unblock streaming services like Netflix US and Hulu. You will be able to watch videos on YouTube and Kodi without a subscription, though.
Windscribe doesn’t log any of your browsing activity. You don’t even need to provide an email or contact information to create a free account. Free users get access to servers in 10 locations around the world, and Windscribe includes a built-in firewall for added protection.
Windscribe offers AES 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, port forwarding, and DNS/IPv6/WebRTC leak protection. You can use its Stealth Mode to bypass censorship in restriction regions, like China and Russia.
Upgrading to a low-cost premium plan will unlock unlimited data and access to its streaming-optimized servers. There is a 3-day money-back guarantee for all subscriptions.
If you’re having trouble finding a feature or accessing a server, you can find help through its extensive FAQ section, or contact support via the live chat feature on its website. You’ll be greeted by a chatbot that can provide quick answers about features and plans. If your question is a bit more complex, it will connect you with a human in customer support.
Want to know more? Explore our Windscribe review to see the full results of our research and testing.
- 500MB of free data per day, resets every 24 hours
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Catapult Hydra protocol
- Data compression during streaming
- 7-day free trial available
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, YouTube
- Compatible with: Mac, Chromebook, Linux, Windows, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Chrome, Firefox, routers
Hotspot Shield’s free version offers 500MB of free data per day and allows you to connect up to five devices to your account. That’s enough data to catch up on your emails and check out a couple of YouTube videos, but not much else.
It uses the Catapult Hydra protocol, a TLS-based security protocol designed to improve your connection speed and latency. Hotspot Shield also uses industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption.
Hotspot Shield compresses data while you’re streaming, which helps to reduce buffering and data usage. While that’s not super helpful for the free version, due to data limitations, it’s an excellent feature for paid plans.
Upgrading to premium unlocks unlimited data, malware protection, and access to 3,200+ servers in 70+ countries.
Going on a short vacation and want access to all the premium features? Hotspot Shield offers a 7-day free trial and a 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can test all the advanced features for yourself, risk-free.
Hotspot Shield doesn’t record your browsing activity, but it does keep some logs. This includes your real IP address, email, username, device information, and network information.
Want to know more? Explore our Hotspot Shield review to see the full results of our research and testing.
- Servers optimized for P2P applications.
- Unlimited free data.
- Uses the OpenVPN protocol and strong encryption.
- Access to servers in four locations.
- Works with: Netflix US, HBO Go, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video.
- Compatible with: Windows, Chromebook, Linux, Mac, Android, Raspberry Pi, iOS, Chrome, Opera, Firefox.
ZenMate’s free version has unlimited data, but it restricts some of the more important features, like speed and server locations. I recommend using the available 7-day free trial or 30-day money-back guarantee to test its full capability.
It uses an easy-to-understand no-logs policy, OpenVPN protocols, and optional separate free ad-blocking software. Its browser extensions use 128-bit encryption, and the desktop and mobile apps use 256-bit AES encryption. Don’t worry about the lower level encryption for browser extensions, 128-bit is plenty to keep you safe while browsing online.
ZenMate’s servers allow P2P applications, but the service is based in Germany, within the range of the 14-Eyes Alliance. It doesn’t work in China, Iran, or Saudi Arabia, due to heavy government restrictions. These restrictions are placed on all VPNs though, so finding a free VPN that bypasses restrictions in these areas is rare anyway.
With the free version, you have access to servers in Germany, Hong Kong, Romania, and the US. Your connection speed is capped at 2Mbps. Upgrading will grant you unlimited speeds on servers in 30+ locations.
During testing, I found that it unblocks most popular streaming services, including Netflix and Hulu. Although, because of the 2Mbps speed limit, I did experience some buffering and lag. I had the best results when I streamed Netflix in standard definition, as it isn’t quite fast enough for HD. You can also easily bypass censorship restrictions for YouTube.
Want to know more? Explore our ZenMate review to see the full results of our research and testing.
- 500MB free data per month
- Automatically connects to the VPN server on startup.
- Can bypass geo-restrictions and censorship.
- Includes a kill switch.
- Works with: YouTube, Kodi, HBO GO
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Opera
TunnelBear offers a truly free service with 500MB of data each month. Its apps are easy to use, and you can secure up to five different devices with a single account.
Its DPI-evading GhostBear feature makes your browsing activity invisible, even to government surveillance agencies. It’s capable of bypassing even the toughest geoblocks and censorship. TunelBear also uses AES 256-bit encryption, and offers an optional kill switch.
The Always On feature can be set to connect to the VPN network the moment your device starts up. Vigilant Mode is a kill switch that blocks all unsecured traffic until the VPN reconnects.
While the service offers lightning-fast speed, you won’t enjoy much streaming or torrenting before your data runs out. Plus it doesn’t have a money-back guarantee, so there’s no way to test the full version.
Want to know more? Explore our TunnelBear review to see the full results of our research and testing.
- 2GB free data monthly.
- Automatic kill switch.
- Split tunneling.
- IP leak protection and military-grade encryption.
- Works with: Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify.
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox.
hide.me offers 2GB free data per month on its free plan–plenty to update your emails or social media pages and watch a couple of videos.
Stream videos on Netflix or listen to your favorite music on Spotify. If you like torrenting hide.me is a great option because there’s no speed throttling. It also has 1,400 servers in 57 locations. Unfortunately, the free version is limited to five locations and you only use one device at a time.
Still, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to try its full version and you can pay with Paypal or Bitcoin for anonymity.
IP leak protection, 256-bit military-grade encryption, and a kill switch all work to protect your data and location from hackers and everyone else. hide.me features split tunneling and unlimited server switching as well.
Want to know more? Explore our hide.me review to see the full results of our research and testing.
- 500MB free data per day.
- Excellent FAQ section.
- No-logs policy and military-grade encryption.
- Single server access.
- Works with: Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix.
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome.
Betternet offers 500MB free data per day, that resets every 24-hours. It also has an extensive FAQ section that provides excellent support for users. Plus, answers weren’t overly technical which is great for people who are new to VPNs.
Streaming isn’t an option with Betternet’s free version. Don’t discount the service though. It offers military-grade 256-bit encryption, making it a great option for users that just want to browse anonymously online. Betternet free is also more than capable of bypassing censorship and geoblocking on YouTube.
The free version only gives you access to one server location and covers one device. Useful if you live in that area or need access to it, but not for the avid traveler. Upgrading gets you access to all the servers and coverage on up to six devices, and plans are affordable.
Want to know more? Explore our Betternet review to see the full results of our research and testing.
8. Opera VPN
- Unlimited bandwidth and data.
- User-agent add on available separately.
- Free with Opera Mini browser download.
- Battery saver feature for laptop and mobile.
- Works with: Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Kodi.
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome OS.
One of the best things about Opera VPN is you get unlimited bandwidth and data. On the downside, you have to download an opera browser to use it. Luckily, it’s easy to find the right one for your device and it covers desktop, laptop, and mobile.
Opera VPN is available through Opera (standard), Opera GX (gaming), and Opera Mini (mobile) browsers. The easiest option for Chromebook is Opera Mini from the Android store. It offers 256-bit encryption, no-logs, and features public WiFi protection.
Netflix users no longer have to steer clear of the service either. A separately available user-agent add on allows you to use Netflix through Opera’s browser. How does it work? Netflix doesn’t support using Opera, but it does support Chrome. The user-agent add can mask Opera as Chrome or other Netflix-supported browsers.
If you are a die-hard Chrome fan, this isn’t the VPN for you. It only works in the Opera browser. While you can mask as Chrome, you’re still using Opera or nothing.
Want to know more? Explore our Opera VPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
How I ranked and tested these VPNs
I tested the main free VPNs to find those that offered a service with no limitations. Unfortunately, there is no really free VPN that offers the whole package of speed, security, reliability, as well as unlimited usage. You need a premium VPN for that. What I did find was 8 VPNs that are free as well as safe to use but there are a few compromises. My recommendations are ranked according to the combined results of security, speed, usage limits, and reliability. I also looked at streaming support, logging policies, server availability, compatibility, and bonus features like malware blocking.
How do free VPNs make money?
Most free VPNs have a nasty habit of storing personal information, then selling it to third parties for a profit. It’s important to read the fine print on a VPNs privacy policies and data use practices, so you’ll know exactly where your information is going. We did that for you in our vendor reviews, so you can pick any of the free VPNs on this list and feel confident your data is safe.
Are free VPNs safe?
Some free VPNs just aren’t trustworthy – and some are just outright dangerous. VPNs are expensive to build, so some free VPNs cut costs by leaving out important security features like high-grade encryption and kill switches. Others have been known to download potentially harmful software like trackers and malware to your device without your knowledge. That’s why we did our due diligence to ensure that all the free VPNs on our list are both safe and reliable.
Are VPNs legal?
Yes, using a VPN is legal in most countries. There are a few countries where using a VPN is illegal, or in a legal gray area. This includes Iraq, Belarus, and North Korea. VPN use is heavily restricted in areas like China, Turkey, and Russia.
If you’re visiting one of these countries, don’t worry. There have been no incidents of tourists getting in trouble for using a VPN.
Finding a truly secure free VPN is rare. They often come with hidden restrictions and disadvantages. However, after hours of testing and research, the VPNs that made it onto this list are safe and reliable. Sure, they have some limitations, but they’ll keep you safe on public WiFi, keep your data secure, and most will also let you access some global content, at least until you reach your data cap.
If you’re looking for a short-term solution, you can use free trials and money-back guarantees to test out premium services, like NordVPN. Premium VPNs provide lightning-fast speeds and high-level security. Most support seamless streaming and torrenting.
Interested in premium vendors but want to save on the cost of your plan? Check out our latest deals.