You have certainly seen countless news stories about private data being stolen from many large companies. While we expect these corporations to be held to a high standard of data protection, many of us go about life using unsecured Wi-Fi and without protecting our own information.
Browsing the internet, regardless of activity, has become a vulnerable pastime. At any given moment, someone can be attempting to steal credit card details, passwords, or contact information.
It is true that connecting to any unsecured Wi-Fi can put your device at risk. It is also notable that even our home networks are vulnerable and could use the protection of a virtual private network.
Using a VPN offers the protection of data encryption, IP address masking, and even allows evasion of certain geo-blocking attempts.
As more people turn to VPNs, a common complaint arises. Often slow or inconsistent connection speeds discourage the use of this security tool. This is where a Chrome VPN browser extension could step in.
The Benefits of Using a Chrome VPN Extension
Google Chrome has risen to be the most used browser among many competitors. This popularity has led major VPN providers to develop extensions specifically for Chrome. These optimized browser extensions promise better performance than one-size-fits-all plugins.
Acting as a proxy for the VPN, a browser extension extends its protection to everything passing through Chrome. All web traffic that occurs via Chrome goes through data encryption.
VPN extensions are unique from the full versions typically offered as an app. This can be beneficial in some ways and have drawbacks in others. The major benefits of using an extension versus the full version come in the way of resource management.
If you are using a device lacking storage or power to run a program like a VPN, a Chrome extension will allow you the protection of a VPN. The Chrome extension can also give you the flexibility to protect your data while limiting the impact on your overall system performance.
Ad blocking is a bonus attached to many Chrome VPN extensions. This can enhance your browsing experience by eliminating ads and preventing tracking software from noting your browsing habits.
A Thought to Consider When Using a Chrome VPN Extension
Chrome VPN extensions are undoubtedly good for the main task of any VPN – keeping your data secure. It is important to note that an extension only encrypts data sent through the browser it is attached to.
If you use messaging apps or play games through your network but not via Chrome, none of this information will be protected with a browser extension. Additionally, if you switch browsers for some purpose, any information sent and received using the non-Chrome browser will not be encrypted.
If you intend to protect your entire online experience, consider purchasing a full VPN app subscription. Most major providers offer an extension that can be used for convenience when browsing.
Choosing a VPN Extension for Chrome
The newfound popularity of privacy protection tools, like VPNs, has led to an abundance of choices to sift through. While extensions are proxies for the full-service VPN apps, it is essential that they adhere to the same standards you would expect from the full version.
Connection speed is often the first thing people will notice from their VPN provider. Some are indeed faster than others. If you frequently stream or play games through your browser, you might want to do copious research in this area.
Server accessibility is important to those who seek for avoiding geo-blocking tactics or privacy from governments. Most VPN providers will advertise where their servers are located and how many they have.
Examine privacy policies carefully before committing to a VPN extension provider. Is your data going to be logged? If so, who will it be shared with and when? This information can be challenging to find and if an inquiry garners no response, consider another option.
Be Wary of Free VPN Offers
For those looking for a VPN extension for Chrome, plenty of supposedly free offerings will be available. As a word of caution, you might think twice about signing on with one of these VPN providers.
Free services tend to require some form of profit if they intend to stay afloat. Unfortunately, this can lead to unsavory activities like selling your data off to marketing companies.
Other, less frightening drawbacks to a free VPN extension include poor performance, limited bandwidth, and copious pop-up ads. If you are considering installing a Chrome extension to protect your privacy, which you should, it may be beneficial to budget for a subscription to a high-quality VPN service.