The Best Chrome Extensions to Hide your Location or Country
Chrome is one of, if not the most popular internet browser in use today. This should come as no surprise seeing as how much versatility is actually offered to those who choose to use it. The ability to turn your normal, everyday Chrome browser into a browser that is personally-tuned to your exacting preferences is something most would consider special. Using the seemingly endless array of customization options and extensions that Google’s top-notch browser provides allows you to do just that.
The user-friendly setup, stability, and security enabled those using the likes of Microsoft’s browsers, Edge and Internet Explorer, as well as Mozilla Firefox, to say goodbye to the past and help usher in the reign of Google. Now, thanks to Google, users like yourself are gifted a high-powered browser to navigate the world wide web freely and to your liking using any amount of customization and extensions you fancy. This includes VPN extensions to hide your location when traversing global boundaries via the information superhighway.
VPN extensions are one of the better ways to hide your location in order to pass through geo-blocked websites, bolster your security while web surfing, and to keep your information safe. Chrome VPN extensions are abundant and readily available to anyone who chooses to use them. But which of them are ideal and which are duds?
“Does it really matter which one I choose? Don’t they all do the same thing?”
As long as you remain online, your browser will continuously send out collected information gathered from every site you visit. The information includes your IP location, which operating system and version you’re using, the hardware you use it on, and even information pulled from other WiFi devices currently connected as well.
Trusted websites are only considered as such so long as you have no idea what is actually going on behind the scenes. Even the most trusted sites in the world have access to this information if they choose to gather it, so just imagine what a malicious site could do with it.
Choosing the correct VPN extension can help you avoid these obstacles. Sub-par VPN extensions can actually leave your device more vulnerable. Some will even leak your information out to the highest bidder without your knowledge or permission. Hiding your location is one thing, ensuring that you’re secure while doing it, is another.
You’ll want to choose a VPN extension that allows you to mask your location while also keeps zero logs of your browsing history. A good VPN extension will encrypt your browser traffic so that criminals cannot use your personal data to hack into your accounts.
“Well, I’m on board. How do I choose the right VPN extension?”
I’ve compiled a few of the best Chrome VPN extensions you can acquire so far in 2019. They have been tested and are based on the security and speed offered to have you web surfing without worry. If what you want is to hide your location from prying eyes, feel that your information is safe, and stream media without being hindered by regional restrictions, then continue reading.
Use A Chrome VPN Extension To Hide Location & Maintain A Secure Browsing Experience
There are a couple of different ways in which to hide your location on Google Chrome. However, when it comes to secure browsing, A VPN extension is your best option. A good VPN extension will not only hide your location in order to surf anonymously but also offers a secure connection that will hide personal information from malicious entities.
The real problem in all of this is that not many of the available VPN extensions are considered safe to use. Some have even been caught committing malicious acts by exploiting users and leaking their private information to third-party sites and organizations. It is for this very reason that finding a trusted VPN extension is so important to enable a secure browser connection.
To compound on this problem is the neverending and overwhelming number of assorted VPN extensions from which to choose. Each one claiming to be the best available, some of which are literally banking on your lack of due diligence and research.
What you should be on the lookout for are extensions that are standalone. This means that they are not VPN specific companies with a site dedicated to their product. It’s much better to opt into those extensions which have been published by trusted VPN providers. A standalone extension is likely just a proxy service which will hide your location but fail to encrypt your data. They can also be specifically malicious, targeting you for information collection and profiting off of it.
Tech Junkie has already done the heavy-lifting for you in the research department. We’ve come up with 7 of the best Chrome VPN extensions available today so that you can hide your location and surf the web abroad both smoothly and securely.
The Best Chrome VPN Extensions Available in 2019
The following Chrome VPN extensions should provide you with a general understanding of what you can expect when using them. I’ve detailed the cost, efficiency, and security of each in the list, any of which would be a great choice for your needs.
Touting over 3000 servers in 160 varying locations, ExpressVPN is without a doubt the best all-around VPN extension you can find for the Google Chrome browser. It’s also one of the fastest on the market coming in at only slightly slower than the normal non-VPN connection speed.
The extension is simple and customizable but does require that you have the desktop version already installed in order to use it. Every bit of the data used and sent while using your browser is encrypted and logs for the browsing history will not be kept. This means none of the sites you visit or any of your online activity will be logged anywhere on their end.
ExpressVPN does come with a few nifty features like a kill-switch and DNS leak prevention. It will spoof your geolocation in order to grant access to blocked and region-locked websites without compromising your anonymity. All of this on top of some seriously powerful security and unlimited bandwidth usage packs one hell of a punch in the Chrome VPN extension market.
Now, you might be wondering why I’d start with the best on the list instead of waiting until the end of the article. The simple answer is though it may be the best overall VPN extension, that doesn’t mean it’ll be at the best price for your wallet.
ExpressVPN offers up three different subscriptions for the service at $99.95 ($8.32/mo) for an annual sub, $59.95 ($9.99/mo) for half a year, and $12.95 for a single month. Though the prices may be a little more than most competitors, each subscription comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Looking for the best bang for your buck? The $99.95 annual subscription is the way to go.
- Impressive global coverage with over 3000 servers in 160 locations
- High-quality Chrome extension, easy-to-use and navigate
- Must have the desktop app installed before using the Chrome extension
- Slightly more expensive than its competitors
It clocks in at an admirable speed but the defining feature of NordVPN is its military-style encryption. When security is your top priority, NordVPN is likely the best out there for ad and malware-free browsing. The extension uses CyberSec, which is a feature designed to block out adverts and malware ensuring a smoother, safer web-surfing experience.
Easily keep your anonymity intact while engaging in any online activity while NordVPN masks your IP address and location. You can even use it to bypass VPN-spotting software from the likes of Hulu and other online streaming platforms.
NordVPN offers more servers (5300+) in fewer places (62 locations) than ExpressVPN but still maintains a “no logs” policy to keep your online activity from going public. Other extensions have the tendency to slow down your device’s performance depending on the specifications. NordVPN doesn’t have this issue. The extension itself is very lightweight and easy to use with just a few clicks.
The only annoyance is that you must already have a subscription plan in order to use the extension as they do not offer it freely. You’ll need an account and one of four available plans before it can be downloaded. Cheaper than ExpressVPN, the plans offered are still considerably expensive with a single month being $11.95, full year at $83.88 ($6.99/mo), two years at $95.75 ($3.99/mo), and a three-year plan for $107.55 ($2.99/mo). The service does offer a three-day free trial and offers the standard 30-day money-back guarantee.
It will allow you to disable WebRTC permanently once everything has been set up. WebRTC is a program that generally runs by default and enables your IP address to be discovered even while you have a VPN active. Clearly, disabling this can only further strengthen the security protection offered by NordVPN’s encryption services.
NordVPN is also compatible with other browsers and devices such as Mozilla Firefox and Android. Once you’ve created an account and subscribed to your preferred plan, just log in and NordVPN will connect you to the best available server automatically. Your protection begins immediately so you can feel at ease while visiting your favorite sites or even a deep dive into the darker parts of the web.
- Excellent array of servers from which to choose.
- CyberSec will automatically block all malware sites and annoying adverts.
- All offered plans are rather expensive.
- Requires a subscription prior to enabling the extension for use.
For those living outside of the United States, HotSpot Shield is the fastest option for those in search of a Chrome VPN extension. That is to say that all of the tested US servers seemed to have far higher ping than those in other countries. This is highly confusing when you realize that the company is based in San Francisco, CA. In fact, those other countries were incredibly impressive with the ping that they provided. We’re talking ping rates of less than 60ms in EU countries while Asian countries rested somewhere around 140ms. Anyone who has tested other VPN services can attest that these are great numbers.
With the speeds provided, HotSpot Shield is a proverbial “hot spot” for those who prefer to stream and download torrents. In fact, HotSpot Shield incentivizes it by supporting your torrenting anonymity.
If the look and feel of a VPN matter to you, you’ll be pleased to know that HotSpot Shield’s interface is one of the prettiest I’ve seen. It’s very sleek, intuitive, and easy to navigate. After all, it only offers a few customization options to begin with, meaning that there is less need for a screen full of clutter. Only takes a few clicks after the extension has been downloaded, in order to get the VPN up and running. A server will be automatically assigned based on optimal distance from your current location.
The HotSpot Shield Chrome extension itself is free and void of ads but you only get a handful of locations from which to choose when deciding on a server. It also acts more as a proxy than a full-blown VPN. You’re able to maintain a hidden location but it doesn’t secure your online browsing experience. Combine that with HotSpot Shield’s DNS leaking problem (which is fixable) and you’re looking at potential security issues in the future.
I would suggest swapping from the basic HotSpot Shield over to the more secure HotSpot Shield Elite. The extension is also free but I feel it would be best to upgrade to the premium version in order to bolster the security further. The VPN service uses 256-bit encryption and frequently updates its browser add-on.
Premium comes with three different packages: $12.99 per month, $5.99/mo for a year, and $3.49/mo for three years. The three-year deal is the better option as it offers the most savings with a 45-day money back guarantee.
Hotspot Shield is a great VPN for beginners who just need to hide their location in order to get around a region block. Setup is quick and easy, providing a seamless experience from start to finish.
- The speeds are excellent outside of the US.
- Torrent anonymity is completely supported.
- Comes with a free 7-day trial.
- Budget-friendly still isn’t FREE.
- Ease-of-use means that the configuration options are rather limited.
- MAJOR CON: Currently has a DNS leak (can be fixed).
- The Fix:
- Navigate to chrome://settings/ in the address bar.
- Type predict in “Search settings”.
- Disable the option “Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar” and “Use a prediction service to load pages more quickly”.
- The Fix:
CyberGhost VPN boasts more than 3,700 servers across 55+ countries. The Chrome VPN extension, however, only allows choices between four available locations: US, Romania, Netherlands, and Germany. Torrents are allowed but there are dedicated servers offered with that use in mind.
On top of the basics you get with every VPN, CyberGhost has a few additional goodies bundled in. A malicious URL filter will help in blocking malicious websites, ads, and trackers. Automated HTTPS redirection to ensure that each connection made is the most secure possible. The ability to save money on your mobile plan using an optional data compression feature to reduce bandwidth usage.
The Chrome VPN extension is free but acts as more of proxy not unlike HotSpot Shield. It’s easily set up and the extension is also quite simple to use. With only an on/off button and location menu, anyone with opposable thumbs should be able to figure it out.
The performance is great so long as you’re connecting from Europe. Anywhere else and you’re likely to run into a few fluctuation problems. The encryption offered is the standard 256-bit AES but using the free extension won’t protect you from webRTC leaks.
To ensure full protection, you’ll have to choose one out of four plans that CyberGhost offers. The best offer always seems to be the one that costs the most up front and CyberGhost is no different. There’s a monthly plan at $12.99 and annual ($63), bi-annual ($99), and tri-annual ($99) subscriptions as well.
- The extension is completely free.
- Performance is top-notch for those living in Europe.
- Servers specifically for torrenting.
- Malicious URL filter enabled by default.
- Expensive subscription plans.
- Not great connection outside of European countries.
- Support is abysmal with poor article content filled with questionable advice.
Free. Nothing is better than when it’s free. TunnelBear offers up a 100% free plan where the only limitation is the per month bandwidth allotment. The allotment is quite small at only 500MB (receive an extra 1GB if you tweet about TunnelBear) but for a quick sprint through the web, while your location remains hidden, it’s definitely better than nothing.
TunnelBear is so user-friendly that all that is required to sign up for the service is an email address. The performance received can be a bit dicey, depending on the distance from the server but remains consistent when in close proximity.
TunnelBear makes your privacy a priority by implementing a strict no-logging policy. This means that any IP addresses upon connection and site visits, will not be collected so long as you remain connected to their service. No DNS queries, application, service or site information, will be used as a bargaining chip with interested third-parties. That is a TunnelBear guarantee.
They even offer a really cool service called VigilantBear. This service provides data protection while connecting and disconnecting. If your WiFi should drop when moving between access points, there is the possibility that some of your data will go out over an unsecured connection. VigilantBear prevents this possibility.
The free package may be enough for you but I think most will agree that 500MB/mo may be a bit too limiting. Naturally, TunnelBear offers up a pair of plans that will provide you with all of the goodies on top of unlimited data. There’s a monthly plan at $10/mo and an annual plan at only $5/mo. totaling $60. Bundle all this with amazing customer support and TunnelBear has to be hands down the best free VPN on the market.
- Has a strict no-logging policy.
- Incredibly safe and secure for a free VPN.
- Comes with great features like anonymous IP and Kill-switch (VigilantBear).
- Excellent customer support.
- Limited bandwidth when using the free version.
- Slower speeds than the others on this list.
- Blocked by Netflix.
- Very limited in advanced settings.