Chrome OS is known for a lot of things.
One of its biggest selling points is its security.
However, that only takes care of malware and ransomware attacks.
Users are still required to protect their Chromebook’s web traffic on their own.
In order to do that, they need to use a VPN service.
So where is the problem?
The problem is in the fact that installing a VPN service on a Chromebook is a slightly more involved process than, say, Windows.
That’s why we have written this guide.
This guide will walk you through the process of installing a VPN service on a Chromebook.
Chromebooks Aren’t Bad
Chrome OS devices, including Chromebooks, offer users a lot of useful features.
Most of those features are security-related.
Studies show that hackers find it very hard to install malware on Chromebooks.
Because the process of doing so is more or less devilishly tricky.
Moreover, once a hacker has installed malware on a Chrome OS device, the process of wiping all the malware off the machine and start over from the beginning is a reasonably snappy one.
With that said, there is one crucial area where Chrome OS can cause users a bit of a headache.
What is that area?
That area is VPN support.
Users who have spent countless hours in attempts to secure their connection with the help of a VPN service but have found nothing but more struggle in making the VPN service work on their Chromebook should know that they are not alone.
Not by a long shot.
In this guide, first, we will explain why it is such a problem to install a VPN service on a Chromebook.
And then we’ll discuss ways that users can fix those problems (for the most part).
Do You Need A VPN On A Chromebook?
A Virtual Private Network of a VPN protects users by creating an encrypted tunnel.
The tunnel exists between the server that the VPN service operates on another location and the user’s Chromebook device.
The VPN service takes the liberty of passing the user’s internet traffic directly through the encrypted tunnel.
By doing that, VPN services make sure that no one is able to spy on the user’s data while it is in transit.
Everybody needs a VPN.
Because when a VPN is active and working, it has the ability to keep
- any and every other user who is present on the same network as the user
- Anyone who has the ability to access the user’s network router
- the user’s internet service provider
- all those sneaky little intelligence agents
They will have no idea what the user doing while connected to the internet.
Perhaps the most crucial application of a given VPN service is on those millions of public WiFi networks.
But that does not mean a VPN service is not useful in any other situation.
The fact is, it is.
And there are many situations where the user would rather have a VPN service rather than a vulnerable internet connection.
Another thing that readers need to understand here is that once the user’s data makes it way to the VPN service’s VPN server, it leaves all encryption behind.
In other words, it is not encrypted anymore.
However, because of the fact that the data now goes to its destination from the VPN server rather than from the user’s computer or smartphone device, the user’s IP address is safe.
And hidden from all random actors.
All of this makes it very hard for marketing agencies and government departments to correlate any online activity directly to the user.
Another advantage that modern users get to enjoy free of cost is that most reputable websites use HTTPS now.
To put it in simpler terms, the user’s data remains in an encrypted state at each and every step of his/her web browsing session.
Users also have the option of using a VPN service to spoof their location.
All that users have to do is to connect to that specific VPN server that is located in a far-flung location.
With the help of nothing but a couple of clicks, the user’s web traffic appears to anybody and everybody as if it is coming from a location that is different from the user’s real location.
Most of the time, the spoofed location is on the opposite end of the map.
Such tools are very useful for people who want to tunnel past online censorship mechanisms of repressive machines.
Some online consumers use the same trick to stream content from all the major streaming services in parts of the world where these streaming services don’t offer any content.
With that said, we would like to remind our readers that using Netflix with a VPN service is not an easy task.
Because Netflix has hired top engineers to make sure that the service is able to block not only VPN services but also VPN users.
However, there are some VPN services that work with Netflix.
Click here to look at a full list of such VPN services.
One other thing users need to take into account is the fact that using a VPN service may or may not break the user terms of service that they agree to whenever they use any online service.
In some countries, using a VPN service to access geo-restricted content may constitute breaking the law.
The Single Best Method To Set Up A VPN Service On Any Chromebook Device.
Pointing out the single best method for doing so is a difficult task.
Because different users have different machines and different technical expertise.
Hence, there is no single best method for setting up a VPN service on a given Chromebook device.
Instead of doing that, what we will do is list three ways to easily install a VPN on a Chromebook.
That, we think, will broaden up this guide enough to cover the topic of protecting oneself with the help of a VPN service on a Chromebook.
The three methods are,
- Simply use a Google Chrome web browser extension.
- Make use of an Android application
- Configure the VPN client in Chrome OS manually in order to protect oneself with a VPN of choice.
It may come as a surprise to many but the easiest (not necessarily the best) way to go about protecting oneself with the help of a VPN service is to go the Android route.
On the other hand, all methods are fine.
Each method comes with its own potential drawbacks though.
These drawbacks come in the form of lack of documentation and lack of support to everything in between.
We’ll explain more of these drawbacks later in this guide.
Google Chrome VPN Extensions
One of the easiest, quickest and reliable way to secure one’s web traffic with the help of a VPN service is to simply install a browser extension for Chrome.
The great thing about modern VPN service providers is that all of them offer VPN extensions for Google Chrome.
We’re talking about top VPN players such as,
- Private Internet Access
offering browser extensions to online consumers.
All that the user has to do is go to Chrome Extensions Web Store and install a VPN extension with good ratings.
After the user has installed one of these web extensions, the icon for the web extension should appear alongside the main Chrome Omnibox.
The user can avail the extension on any computer to which he/she logs in.
Everything seems to be working out.
So why do people bother with Android apps and Windows software applications?
Well, the problem with Chrome VPN extensions is that they only have the capacity of protecting the user’s traffic that goes out into the open via the web browser.
Moreover, in the case of Chromebooks, there are many apps that don’t support protecting web traffic via a VPN service.
That isn’t always a bad thing.
Users who want to secure their web traffic completely but don’t have any desire to do the same, (with the help of a VPN service) for their other apps, such as the ones that help them stream video content, have the option of protecting their web browser with a VPN service and then use any specific Android application to view Netflix so that it won’t have to pass through the VPN’s secure tunnel.
Again, it all depends on what the user wants.
Of course, any arrangement where the user protects some of his/her apps with a VPN service and leaves the rest, will produce quite a bit of confusion about what the user has protected and what he/she hasn’t protected on his/her device.
Generally speaking though, we advise online consumers to not have any hesitancy in using a VPN service as broadly and as often as possible.
VPN Apps For Android
One of the best methods to secure one’s Chromebook internet traffic is to use any of the official Android VPN apps.
Some of them are compatible with Chromebook.
We’ll admit that running a smartphone application on a Chromebook (or any laptop for that matter) may sound a little bit nuts.
However, recent trends show that more and more devices running Chrome OS, including Chromebooks, are starting to support Android applications.
This is probably great for Chromebook users because they can now get a taste of all the fruits that Google Play store has to offer.
All that the user has to do is download a VPN application from Google Play Store for Android.
Then log in to the application.
And then switch on the VPN service.
VPN apps for Android are also very handy for Chromebook users because they conveniently appear as internet connection options right in the menu for network settings on Chrome OS.
Among many other types of confusions, one is whether or not various Android VPN apps, in reality, secure all of the user’s Chromebook internet traffic or not.
Some Android VPN apps are only able to protect traffic that belongs to other Android applications on the user’s device.
Google representatives have recently told a few media outlets that Android VPN apps do have the capability of securing all web traffic on the user’s Chromebook.
As far as the end user is concerned, that is great news.
Because setting up a VPN service on a Chromebook via Android VPN apps is one of the quickest and easiest methods to protect oneself.
Of course, we also have to look at the other side.
What is the other side here?
The other side is VPN companies themselves.
What we mean to say is that many VPN service providers have spoken on the issue of Android VPN apps not offering full protection to users.
Apparently, some of the VPN service providers are still under the impression that Android VPN apps don’t always protect all user traffic.
This does nothing but add further confusion among people on whether or not Android VPN apps actually work.
Chromebooks are great.
And so are Android apps.
But, for now, Android apps on Chromebook devices haven’t managed to convince people.
The reality is that, there is some truth to the fact that Android VPN apps did not secure each and every piece of web traffic for Chrome OS users.
But those were the old days.
People need to realize that now, Android VPN apps do work as they are supposed to.
Another source of confusion for people is the fact that there are some Chromebooks that can’t run Android apps.
Some Chromebooks will never run Android apps because of various types of compatibility issues.
The good news here is that the list of Chromebooks and Chrome OS devices that will have full support for apps on the official Google Play Store is growing rapidly.
You know that there is some bad news coming whenever there is a mention of good news.
The bad news is that if the user’s device isn’t on the list of Chromebooks that support Android apps, then there is nothing the user can do.
Even if the user’s device is mention on the list of devices that support Google Play Store apps, the user will have to ensure that his/her device is running the absolute latest version of Google Chrome OS.
Once the user has ensured that, he/she will need to activate the official Google Play Store service by going to the settings menu of Chrome OS.
In terms of steps, the user has to,
- First, go to the Settings application.
- Then search for the term Google Play.
- And then toggle the option for Google Play on.
That is it.
Users need to remember though that if they are making use of a corporate Google account then they may not have sufficient privileges to activate the Google Play option on their Chrome OS device.
In such case, the best course of action is to simply apply for approval from the system administrator.
Third Option: Manual Configuration
We have already mentioned the fact that the best option for users to get a VPN on their Chromebook device is to use Android VPN apps.
And, we also mentioned that not all Chromebooks support Android VPN apps.
So here is the second-best option:
It is, good old Manual configuration.
Chromebook users who can’t just Android apps because of compatibility issues may have no other option to install a VPN service on their Chromebook except via manual configuration.
So how do you do it?
Before we start the actual process, we would like users to know that the process is slightly involved and will require some measure of legwork.
The majority of that legwork is pretty unnecessary if the user is on a Windows or macOS machine because the VPN app itself handles that.
Users who have already tried to set up a VPN service on Windows and other macOS operating systems should have a slight idea on the amount of effort it requires to manually set up a VPN service.
The unfortunate thing here is that Chromebook users will not only have to spend time manually configuring the VPN service, but they will also have to take care of other problems that result from trying to set up a VPN on Chromebook manually.
As it turns out, may VPN service provider’s apps simply do not work with Chromebooks and/or Chrome OS devices.
Even those that do support Chrome OS (and Chromebooks) tend to require the user to connect to the VPN service via less secure methods.
Allow us to explain a bit more.
Chromebook provides users who want to set up a VPN connection on their device manually a total of two connection options.
These options are as follows,
Both of these are VPN protocols.
Each relies on a different style when it comes to creating a secure VPN connection.
The VPN industry almost universally accepts OpenVPN as the best option when it comes to reliability and security.
Moreover, OpenVPN is actually open-source.
Many security researchers have picked it over for auditing while trying to find potential security vulnerabilities.
In addition to offering more security and reliability, OpenVPN also offers more speed.
Our research shows another unfortunate fact.
People who want to successfully set up and create an OpenVPN connection on their Chromebook devices would not have the opportunity of doing so.
Because whenever they will try to manually configure an OpenVPN connection, they will find that the connection would automatically time out.
Sometimes, users will find that their Chrome OS device would simply refuse to accept any of their login credentials.
VPN service providers such a TorGuard explain this problem by saying that Chrome OS devices actually require the OpenVPN connection to operate with the compression feature disable.
This arrangement isn’t an option for most VPN service providers.
Perhaps because TorGuard understands the problem, it is able to work with Chromebook on an OpenVPN connection.
Of course, users will have to do a lot of configuration before they are able to actually connect to the internet with some success via an OpenVPN connection.
And that configuration will require effort.
Sometimes that effort is more than what most users are willing to put in.
With that out of the way, let’s discuss the second connection option.
The second connection option is L2TP/IPSec.
It is around 20 years old.
This is the reason why plenty of VPN service providers don’t consider L2TP/IPSec as secure.
Readers should also keep in mind that now there are several VPN service providers that warn users against using the L2TP/IPSec protocol in their documentation pages.
That is despite the fact that they actually provide instructions to users on how to set up and configure devices such as Chromebook to use the L2TP/IPSec protocol.
TorGuard representatives have also told reporters that the company has already made plans to phase out the use of L2TP/IPSec protocol.
That isn’t surprising.
As mentioned before, many other VPN service providers have started to do the same.
There is an even greater number of VPN service providers who only provide legacy support for PPTP and L2TP protocols.
For clarity’s sake, these protocols do work.
But we, just like many other authoritative media outlets, don’t recommend users to make use of these protocols unless they absolutely have to.
In the upcoming sections, we’ll guide you through a step-by-step guide on how to manually configure your Chromebook VPN.
VPN Apps For Chrome OS
Apart from the manual configuration and Android apps for Chromebook, the third option for users to get their Chromebook online with a secure VPN connection is with the new Chrome OS apps.
There was a time when Chrome Extensions and Chrome Apps lived side by side.
Because of that fact, users could access them anywhere and everywhere the Google Chrome browser existed.
Google retired them in the year 2016.
Apparently, the company had lost interest in Chrome Apps because users lacked interest in Chrome Apps.
Right now, some of our readers might think back to a week ago when they came across a Chrome app.
So are we lying?
Actually, most of the Chrome apps that online consumers encounter today are nothing much but progressive (and some say glorified) web apps. .
However, Chrome OS (as a platform) still offers support for those dedicated apps even though those Chrome OS apps died out on all other platforms years ago.
There is an obvious upshot here.
Users can just download a given Chrome App and put it to use in order to connect his/her Chromebook to the internet with the help of a VPN service.
Just like in the case of the manual option that we mentioned before, users can operate the VPN service (in the sense that they can turn the VPN service on and off) via the network menu.
This network menu comes built-in with Chrome OS.
In other words, there is no need of using an app to operate the VPN service.
The app is only present on the system so that it may help the user set up some things.
This process is as simple as when users try to set up a VPN connection on macOS or Windows using a VPN app.
What’s The Catch?
The catch, and a pretty considerable one, is that the majority of the VPN service providers don’t offer users any Chrome OS apps.
Surprisingly enough, users can rely on the enterprise-grade application software solutions such as PulseSecure and Cisco AnyConnect.
Users who happen to own a Chromebook machine from work and/or have ever had the need to connect to their office’s network on their Chromebook would know what we are talking about when we talk about enterprise-grade application software solutions.
TorGuard, as a VPN service, offers users quite a few VPN servers that have the ability to work with the above-mentioned Cisco AnyConnect software environment.
All that the user has to do is to download the official Cisco AnyConnect Chrome OS app for free.
After that, the user should note down the name of a VPN server that belongs to TorGuard AnyConnect.
Then the user should input that name into the Cisco AnyConnect Chrome OS app.
And that is it.
Now the user should have everything he/she needs to get online via a secure VPN connection.
After the user has gone through the above-mentioned process, the user should perform a click on the user icon that appears in the slight lower right corner of the screen.
Then choose the option that says AnyConnect configuration.
After that, it is just a matter of entering one’s login credentials when the new window appears.
The impatient of our readers should take note that the relevant AnyConnect VPN servers are located at the very bottom of the official TorGuard VPN server list.
All of them have one distinct feature.
Each and every one of these VPN servers ends with the term anyconnect.host.
To take an example, if the user wants to set up a domestic connection while living in the US then the user would connect to a server named ny.usa.anyconnect.host.
There is no need to hide the fact that the TorGuard offers a rather limited number of those old AnyConnect VPN servers.
This isn’t actually a problem other than the fact that users would have a limited number of options when it comes to location spoofing.
Additionally, users should also expect low speeds when using these servers for their VPN connection.
The reason for the degraded performance, as we have come to understand, is because users will have to share the bandwidth with every other user who is connected to the same limited number of VPN servers.
How To Know If A VPN Would Work With A Chromebook?
If users decide that for some reason they don’t have any interest in using an Android VPN app on their Chrome OS device (like Chromebook), they might wonder if there is an option of manually configuring one’s Chromebook to somehow work with the user’s preferred VPN service.
There is no reason to fear.
For the benefit of our gentle readers, we have gone through the trouble of trodding the ground that lays ahead of them.
In the next couple of sections, we will share the fruits of our virtual labor.
First off, readers should know if they know their stuff then the can make many VPN service providers work with their Chrome OS device.
The best way to know if a given VPN service provider has Chrome OS compatibility is to first find out if it offers Chrome compatibility.
It is also preferable that users should do this for about 10 of their favorite VPN service provider.
We suggest that when users come across a VPN service provider, the user should seek out the VPN service’s documentation section on the official website.
Most of the time, users will find that VPN service providers have themselves explained the best methods for Chromebook users to work with their VPN service in order to get online.
When that’s done, all that the user has to do is to follow that information and then get online.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
This VPN service provider offers users all the information they need on a single nice looking page.
It also explains the user all the warnings that they need to keep in mind before embarking on their journey to connect to the internet via the L2TP protocol.
Our research shows that users should not have any problems in connecting to the internet following NordVPN guides on this page.
We also have to note here that NordVPN offers users a great tool on its official website for the purposes of finding a VPN server that meets their needs.
It is another fact that NordVPN offers custom-made and dedicated apps for the Android platform as well as a Chrome extension.
Private Internet Access
PIA, or Private Internet Access, has its heart set on offering users a special kind of emphasis on online security.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons why it wants users to generate a special password and username whenever they want to connect to the internet using the L2TP protocol on a Chromebook.
Just like NordVPN, Private Internet Access also offers a complete guide on how users can connect to the internet via the L2TP protocol.
Click here for that guide.
Our research shows that users should have no troubles in getting up and running by following the guide linked to above.
Similar to NordVPN, Private Internet Access also provides users with an Android application and an official Chrome extension.
For some reason, TunnelBear doesn’t offer users information that they need in order to get connected to the internet via the TunnelBear L2TP protocol.
More specifically, our research shows that users will have a hard time in finding all the URLs for the company’s VPN servers in order to complete the process of manual configuration.
TunnelBear representatives would tell you that despite the limitations of the company’s Chrome extension, they recommend users to try out the extension on Chromebook instead of manually configuring the VPN service via the L2TP protocol.
The CyberGhost VPN service is known for focusing hard on user privacy.
Perhaps that is the reason we don’t find it surprising that CyberGhost provides comprehensive user documentation on how users can utilize the L2TP protocol in order to get online via their Chromebook device.
Now, just because the documentation is comprehensive, it doesn’t mean that user will find success in getting online.
Our research shows that users will have trouble getting online using the official CyberGhost guide.
Apparently, the company is still investigating the issue with the documentation and why it is not working.
As usual, the company suggests that users should move towards the official CyberGhost Chrome browser extension and the Android app.
Our exploration shows that users should have an easier time in getting online on their Chromebook with the help of IPVanish.
Interestingly enough, even though ti works, the company has not gone through the trouble of providing specific documentation to help out users on Chrome OS.
Apart from being interesting, it is also slightly disappointing.
With that said, IPVanish more than makes up for it by offering users a dedicated and fast Android app and an official Chrome extension that does more than just “work”.
There are plenty of other reasons why IPVanish is the best VPN service on all platforms including Chromebook.
To sign up for IPvanish from the official website click here.
KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
This VPN service provider offers users a working generator tool with which they can try to get online via the L2TP protocol.
Our investigation shows that users can get online but only after they carefully follow the company’s user documentation.
Click here to access that.
One other thing that users need to keep in mind is that if they already have managed to eat up their device limit then they will have to remove one of their existing connected devices to KeepSolid.
For users who have subscribed to VPN Unlimited, the company offers them the option of swapping one device license each week.
In other words, users should think ahead.
After that, they should make sure that they have the required available slots before they begin to set up a VPN service on Chromebook.
Of course, there is always the option of buying more licenses from VPN Unlimited.
As one would expect from a world-class VPN service provider, VPN Unlimited offers users an official Chrome extension and an Android app.
VPN Unlimited users should go to the appropriate forum if they want to use one of these.
PureVPN offers users a dedicated VPN app.
It also offers users detailed instructions on how to connect to the internet using their Chromebooks via the L2TP protocol.
Our fact-finding expeditions tell us that users will secure their VPN connection without facing any problems.
PureVPN doesn’t offer any Chrome browser extension.
So if that is a problem for you then keep away from it.
We all know how ProtonVPN made its name.
It made a name for itself with ProtonMail.
And since both products have been huge hits with the online community, ProtonVPN now has an excellent reputation for security and privacy.
So it is extremely unfortunate, that the company does not provide any documentation for users who want to install and run ProtonVPN on a Chromebook.
If Chromebook users want to get online with ProtonVPN, they will have to do it on their own.
Moreover, ProtonVPN doesn’t even offer information that is necessary for users to connect to the internet via L2TP.
Now, just because a VPN service doesn’t provide documentation or a guide, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t support L2TP connections.
But in this case, it is very likely that users will not have luck with connecting to the internet via L2TP.
Why do we say that?
Because if you ask ProtonVPN representatives they would tell you the same.
More specifically, they will tell you that the company offers support for IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocol.
It doesn’t support any other VPN protocols.
Of course, that shouldn’t distract us from the fact that the company does offer an official Android application.
Hide My Ass is probably the one VPN service provider that not only provides comprehensive and accurate user documentation on how to connect to the internet via the L2TP protocol, but also one of the very few VPN service providers who provide instructions on how to manually configure the Chromebook device for an OpenVPN connection.
Click here for all the details.
Now, remember we said that HideMyAss offers a comprehensive and accurate guide.
Nowhere did we say that the guide would not have wonky instructions.
And that is truly surprising since the company has managed to build up quite a user-friendly image.
In other words, users will require a lot of technical knowledge and trickery to follow the provided OpenVPN instructions.
They will have to delve deep into the very guts of the Linux part that the Chrome OS machine is based on.
That, as we understand, is way beyond the technical skill of the average user.
We certainly did not have the courage to go through the process.
Regardless, credit where due, Hide My Ass made a respectable effort for Chrome OS users.
On that note, we would like to mention that Hide My Ass also has a custom app for the Android platform.
We have mentioned TorGuard quite a few times in this guide.
And the reason for that is simple.
It offers working instruction that average online consumers can follow to use the L2TP VPN connection on their Chromebook devices.
It also provides thorough instructions on the things users need to get done if they want their Chrome OS machine to use the OpenVPN protocol.
The method that TorGuard explains doesn’t require users to access the command line.
TorGuard even offers AnyConnect instructions.
Our research shows that users should be able to get online using any of the three instruction guides on connecting Chromebook to the internet via a VPN service.
We have also come to the conclusion that TorGuard offers the most successful and comprehensive user experience.
Users will enjoy working their way up to get Chromebook online via a VPN service.
We also recommend users that they should have a look at all the guides that TorGuard offers on the Chromebook/VPN subject.
Just like all the other VPN service providers mentioned on this list, it too offers an Android app.
The Best Way to Manually Install And Configure a VPN on Chromebook
Users who want to connect to a VPN service on their Chromebook machines without the use of a VPN client only need to change some settings.
Maybe you are one of those users who skipped a good bit of text above this section.
In that case, we would like to let you know that most VPN service providers consider the L2TP protocol as the least secure VPN protocol.
We always recommend users to move to OpenVPN protocol as soon as they can.
The only problem with the OpenVPN protocol is that sometimes it doesn’t work on Google Chrome OS.
There are many reasons for that.
Mostly they boil down to conflicts that arise between VPN servers that the user’s VPN service manages.
Let’s assume that the user has decided to go down this route, ignoring all other options.
Then, we would like to tell the user that he/she needs to do just a tiny bit of homework before he/she can secure his/her Chromebook device.
First of all, the user should contact his/her VPN service’s customer support.
Alternatively, the user can also look through the VPN service’s documentation in order to get some guidance.
We also recommend that the users should definitely give a read to the official Google documentation on how to use a VPN with Chrome OS.
Generally speaking, the user will first have to find the official list of his/her VPN service’s VPN servers.
Moreover, the user will also have to find information on the protocols that his/her VPN service supports on those servers.
The last bit of information that the user will need are the names of all those VPN servers.
This last step should not be hard.
The names usually look like URLs.
To take an example, if the user makes his way to the official NordVPN site.
And then goes to the proper documentation page.
There the users will find a NordVPN VPN server located in Ukraine that the company identifies as ua5.nordvpn.com.
At this point, users should actively search for servers that support the L2TP protocol.
Of course, we are assuming at this point that the user has decided to use the L2TP protocol instead of the OpenVPN protocol.
VPN service providers such as NordVPN offers users the ability to sort through the VPN servers by the protocols that the company supports.
The option is available in a more advanced section of the company’s online VPN server selector.
Not only users will have NordVPN as their preferred VPN service though.
So the actual steps will depend on the VPN service of the user.
A VPN service may require the user to create or copy new login details in order to use the L2TP protocols.
The other thing that users will have to do is to track down that special passcode which some VPN services call a shared secret.
Others call the passcode as pre-shared key.
That’s not all.
The user also needs a valid password and username in order to successfully access the VPN service.
This username and password combination is in addition to the special passcode we have mentioned before.
As we have noted above as well, the only VPN service provider that can reliably connect users to the internet via the OpenVPN protocol is TorGuard.
Even in the case of TorGuard, the user first has to download the official OpenVPN server SSL Web certificate file.
This is a good time to mention the fact that users can find all the related instructions on a single page if they just visit the TorGuard documentation page.
But maybe you are one of those users who opened up this page and then disconnected from the internet.
So, we’ll just briefly list out those steps.
- First, click on the user icon that is located in the slight lower right corner of the screen.
After clicking, the user should see a pop-up appearing.
The user needs to click on a small gear icon in order to open the required Settings window.
Once that is done, now the user needs to look at the top of the newly-appeared Settings window.
One of the options available there is Network.
This is the section where the user needs to go.
For users who are unable to see the section, they should search via the search box that appears right at the top of the opened window.
After that, it is just a matter of clicking the caret that appears right next to the text that says “Add connection.”
After clicking the Add connection option, users need to take a good look at the new section.
They should have no problems in finding the Add OpenVPN/L2TP option.
Another point that users need to note here is that if they are using an older version of the Chrome OS software, then the resulting window that would open after clicking the Add OpenVPN/L2TP option will close if they click away from that window.
Fortunately, the newer version of Chrome OS have fixed this problem and the window now remains open so that users can easily cut and paste the information presented there.
Now users should turn their attention to the server hostname section.
This is where they have to enter the VPN server’s IP address.
The full URL of the VPN server will also work here if users want to use that instead of the IP address.
When that is done, users need to bring their attention back to the service hostname section again.
This is where they have to enter any kind of information that they like.
Our research shows that users will find it beneficial if they use the name of their VPN service along with a little information about the VPN server itself.
To take an example, a user could use the name “IPVanish Denmark”.
Now users should shift to the Provider Type box.
It has a drop-down menu that contains a total of three options.
This is where users have to make a choice.
Users can either opt for the option of L2TP/IPSec plus pre-shared key or they can go with OpenVPN or even L2TP/IPSec plus user certificate.
For users who select the L2TP/IPSec plus pre-shared key alternative, they need to enter the pre-shared key in the text field that has a label of “pre-shared key.”
Users can usually find this type of information in the user documentation.
This isn’t a particularly difficult step so there is no need for more explanation.
We have come across services that use pre-shared keys as simple as 123456789.
For users who want to set up via the L2TP/IPSec user certification selection, they need to know that after selecting the option, they should see a warning sign that will appear at the very bottom of the screen with red text.
The warning will simply instruct the user to go ahead and install a new user certificate.
When the time comes to finally connect to the TorGuard OpenVPN VPN server, users should select OpenVPN as their provider type (of course, we’re assuming here that they are using TorGuard VPN).
If the user takes a look at the TorGuard official user documentation, they should not find any difficulty in downloading and importing a Server CA certificate.
To further facilitate the process, users can also use the tool that is available at chrome://settings/certificates.
Now users should move to the VPN setup page.
This is where the user needs to renter all of the information above.
After that, it is just a matter of selecting the new certificate from the pull-down menu related to Server CA.
For users who are not using this option, they should leave the User Certificate field alone or None.
It doesn’t matter which protocol the user makes use of, the final step is more or less about entering one’s password and username in the given appropriate fields.
Users should note that the actual login credentials might differ depending on the VPN service that they are using.
Some VPN service providers want users to use a different password and username than the one they use to access their billing information.
Some online fan communities have this term called OTP.
It stands for One True Pair.
Let’s put that into context.
In the case of a VPN service, the term OTP only means, according to some in the industry, One Time Password.
Some users may find that they have to use a token or any other device that is able to generate an OTP in order to grant them access.
Of course, these aren’t common.
In fact, odds are that the user will leave this field blank.
We suggest that users should leave the field called Group Name blank as well to save some time and effort.
Now users should find the option that has the text Save Identity And Password.
They need to check the related toggle that appears right next to it.
Users who don’t plan on using their VPN service provider in the future can probably leave this step out.
In any case, after toggling, the user needs to click the option that says Connect.
The VPN service should connect fairly quickly.
If there is no VPN connection, then the user will likely see an error message.
The error message will inform the user that something went wrong.
Assuming that is really the case, the user needs to double-check his/her login credentials.
After that, the next step is to check if the VPN service that the user has subscribed to really supports platforms such as Chrome OS.
That is it.
If the user followed the above guide, then the user should have successfully configured his/her Chromebook.
Of course, we have assumed here that the user would have connected to a VPN server from TorGuard.
On a side note, users should know that TorGuard has consistently ranked as the fastest VPN service on the Windows platform.
There isn’t much information available on whether it is the fastest on Chrome OS as well, but it couldn’t be far off.
Of course, being the fastest VPN doesn’t mean it is the best VPN as well.
That title, according to our research, goes to IPVanish.
With that said, some users might be wondering:
What to do if I have a need of changing VPN servers?
Or if I need some choice in which VPN server I may use at any given point?
Well, we’re afraid that users will have to follow the instructions that we have mentioned above for all the servers that they want to access with their Chromebook machine.
The good thing about Chrome OS is that it makes it very easy for users to switch between different servers once the user has gone through the trouble of configuring them.
All that the user has to do is perform a click on the pop-up settings menu that appears in the slight lower right corner of the screen.
How To Use A VPN on Chromebook
Now is the time to switch on the newly-installed VPN service.
The user just has to select the VPN service from the given list.
By the way, this also holds true for Chrome OS apps as well as Android VPN apps.
If the users click on the list a second time in succession then they can start configuring that particular VPN connection.
The other method is to open the previously-mentioned Settings menu and then navigate to the related Network section.
After that, the user has to click the caret icon in order to configure the connection.
As mentioned earlier as well, each given connection comes with its own variety of options.
And there are many.
Chrome OS has these toggles which let users prefer a specific given network.
There are also options for always connecting to the same network when the user comes in to use his/her Chromebook machine.
As is evident, these options are reasonable options.
That’s why we recommend users to take full advantage of them.
Users also have the option of updating (for any given VPN connection) the server information.
All that users have to do is to overwrite the related server hostname.
Needless to say, that is handy.
Especially in cases where the user has a VPN server that the user’s VPN service deactivated.
Users can, of course, also change the password and username for a given VPN connection with nothing but a click on the Configure button.
However, users don’t get to have the freedom of changing their VPN provider type.
In other words, they can’t change the VPN protocol.
Of course, users can always create a new VPN connection with a new VPN protocol.
Users who find that they don’t like a configuration or the configuration is not working out for them, they can just perform a click on the button that says “Forget.”
The Chrome Confusion With VPN
The point is, there are a ton of people who are searching the internet for a way to use a VPN on Chromebook.
We hope this guide takes them to a direction.
As readers can probably tell, one would need to go through a multiple number of,
- Confusing documentation
in order to finally get even more confused about how to get a VPN on a Chromebook.
It should become clear to anyone that the best option to get a VPN on Chromebook is to simply use an Android VPN app.
This is the easiest way to secure one’s traffic.
Of course, if the user’s system has support for Android apps then that’s even better.
Some users will take a lot of time and effort before they come to the same conclusion.
Our research shows that most of the top-tier VPN service providers (and perhaps all VPN service providers) don’t provide users with the right kind of information on how to get a VPN on Chromebook.
In fact, the official Google documentation itself is very short on details and beginners advice even though it is thorough.
The other thing which makes all of this worse is the fact that most users would not even think about using a mobile application on their laptop/Chromebook/desktop machines at first.
Chromebook users have it even harder because some Chromebooks still have no support for Android apps.
And perhaps they never will have support for Android apps.
Approaching the end of this guide, we’ll start with what we said in the beginning:
Security is the biggest selling point of Google Chromebooks.
So there is very little opportunity for anyone to run or store malware on it.
The existing low-cost computer market should thank God because Chromebooks are indeed a blessing for them.
Most of the time, users can get rid of their problems by a simple restart.
Some call it power washing one’s computer worries away.
As a company, Google needs to seriously think about putting in some resources to simply the VPN experience on its Chromebooks and/or all Chrome OS devices.
The company has already taken care of general security, so the only threats that Chromebook owners have to give consideration to are online threats and surveillance.
Google should help them in this regard.
Users who want to save themselves a lot of time and a lot of headaches should stick with using Android VPN apps on their Chromebook devices whenever they think about doing something sensitive in the online world.
Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
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