How to Set Up a VPN on a Chromebook

Conclusion

Set up virtual private networks (VPNs)
Several VPN companies that I have spoken to for this piece, however, are under the impression that this is not always the case. Hide My Ass also has an Android app. Click Import and Bind to Device. If allowed, you can upload a config file. Just connect to a VPN server in a far-flung locale and all of a sudden your web traffic appears to be coming from the other side of the globe. The sheer volume of people searching our site for advice on using VPNs with Chromebooks prompted me to write this article. That's great news, because it is by far the easiest way to set up a VPN on your Chromebook.

What's the Best Way to Set Up a VPN on a Chromebook?


Used for user certificate connections only. Select your installed certificate authority certificate from the list. The server's certificate will be checked to ensure that it was signed by the correct certificate authority CA. Select your installed user VPN certificate from the list. If you don't have any certificates installed, you'll see an error message. To install a certificate, see the instructions below. This can be left blank if your server only uses client certificate authentication.

In most cases, you'll leave it blank. If your VPN server requires client certificate authentication, select your installed user VPN certificate from the list. Scroll down and click Google Play Store. Click Manage Android Preferences. In the upper right, click Add. The name of the server you need to connect with to access your VPN. Leave this checked unless your administrator says otherwise. Leave this unchecked unless your administrator says otherwise. Create a new connection Click your account photo.

Next to the VPN app, click Add. Follow the instructions on the screen. Connect to a VPN Click your account photo. Click the connection name. To create a new connection or to connect to a VPN provided by an Android app: Next to the app, click Add. Follow any onscreen instructions. Split tunnel and full tunnel Typically VPNs implement a full tunnel, which means that all traffic from all Chrome windows, Chrome apps, and Android apps will pass through the VPN connection. This is useful if: Your VPN only provides access to internal sites, but not full internet access.

You need to communicate with devices on your local network, such as printers, while connected to the VPN. Install your server certificate Download your server certificate, according to the steps your administrator gives you. Open a new tab in Chrome. In the address bar, enter chrome: In the box that appears, fill out the info.

None of these settings need to be turned on, so we recommend that you leave these unchecked. The certificate will open and install itself on your Chromebook. By passing your internet traffic through that tunnel, you ensure it cannot be spied on in transit. You need a VPN because when it's active, anyone on the same network as you, anyone that can access that network's router, your ISP, and sneaky intelligence agents will all be kept in the dark.

This is most critical on public Wi-Fi networks, but it's important in every context. Once your data reaches the VPN server, it's no longer encrypted. But because it appears to be coming from the VPN server and not your computer or smartphone , your IP address is hidden. It's also much harder to correlate online activities directly to you. Plus, if you're connecting to HTTPS sites, your data will be encrypted at every step of your web browsing.

You can also use a VPN to spoof your location. Just connect to a VPN server in a far-flung locale and all of a sudden your web traffic appears to be coming from the other side of the globe. This is useful for tunneling past repressive online censorship or just tricking a streaming service into letting you watch movies from a different part of the world. Note that using a VPN in these ways may break terms of services you've agreed to, and even local laws.

Broadly speaking, there are three ways to get your Chromebook protected by a VPN: Surprisingly, going the Android route is probably your best option. Each method, however, has potential drawbacks, ranging from a lack of support to a lack of documentation, as I'll explain. Using a Chrome browser extension is probably the easiest way to secure your web traffic. Just install one from the Chrome Extensions Webstore and it will appear alongside your omnibox wherever you're logged into Chrome.

The downside is that Chrome VPN extensions secure only your web browser traffic. Web traffic from all apps on your Chromebook won't enjoy the security provided by VPNs. Sometimes, that's a good thing. If you want to secure your web traffic but don't want your VPN to screw up your video streaming, you can protect the browser and use, say, an Android app for viewing Netflix that won't be piped through the VPN.

But this can also create confusion about what is and what isn't secure on your device. In general, we advise people to use a VPN as often, and as broadly as possible. Running a smartphone app on a laptop may sound a little nuts, but more and more Chromebooks are supporting Android apps, giving you the full fruits of the Google Play store. Just download the VPN app of your choice, log in, and switch it on.

Handily, Android VPN apps appear as connection options in the network settings menu on your Chromebook. There's a lot of confusion as to whether or not Android VPN apps actually secure all of your Chromebook's web traffic or just the traffic of other Android apps. That's great news, because it is by far the easiest way to set up a VPN on your Chromebook.

Several VPN companies that I have spoken to for this piece, however, are under the impression that this is not always the case. This only adds to the confusion surrounding Chromebooks, and Android apps on Chromebooks. It seem that at one point, Android VPN apps may not have secured all Chrome OS web traffic, and that people may not realize that they do now. Adding to that confusion is the fact that not all Chromebooks can, or ever will, run Android apps. There's a growing list of Chrome OS devices that will support the Google Play store, but if yours isn't on there, you're out of luck.

If yours is on the list, you'll need to be running the latest version of Chrome OS and activate the Google Play store from the Chrome OS settings menu. Just open the Settings app, search for Google Play, and toggle it on.

If you're using a corporate Google account, however, you may not be able to activate Google Play without approval from your system administrator. While the Android VPN app situation is the best option, manual configuration is second-best—and may be your only option, if your Chromebook doesn't support Android apps.

It's about equivalent to manually setting up a VPN on Windows , if you've ever tried that. Unfortunately, it's not just the legwork that's the problem with manually configuring your Chromebook. And those that do require you to use a less secure method of connection, as I'll show. You have two options for manually setting up a VPN connection on a Chromebook: OpenVPN is my preferred protocol. Because it's open-source, it's been picked over for any potential vulnerabilities.

Plus, it has a reputation for being fast and reliable. Unfortunately, you probably won't be able to successfully create an OpenVPN connection on your Chromebook. In the case of TorGuard, I was eventually able to successfully connect via OpenVPN, but it required a lot more configuration than most people might expect. That protocol is nearly two decades old, and several VPN companies have told me that they don't consider it secure. In fact, I found several pages of documentation from different VPN services warning against using this protocol, even while they provided instructions on how to configure your Chromebook to use it.

When I asked TorGuard about it, a representative said that the company is already planning to phase out its use. These protocols work, but I don't recommend using them unless you absolutely must.

Chrome Apps used to live alongside Chrome Extensions and were accessible anywhere the Chrome browser lived, but were retired in due to lack of interest. Most Chrome apps you encounter today are actually progressive web apps, but Chrome OS still supports dedicated apps even if they've died out on other platforms.

The upshot is that you download an app that configures your Chromebook to connect via VPN. As with the manual option, you switch the VPN on and off from the network menu built into Chrome OS, not from the app. If you have a Chromebook from work, or have ever needed to connect to a work network on your Chromebook, this is probably what you've used.

TorGuard offers a handful of servers that work with the aforementioned Cisco AnyConnect environment. Click your user icon in the lower right corner, select the AnyConnect configuration, and enter your credentials in the windows that appear. Note that the AnyConnect servers are all the way at the bottom of TorGuard's server list, and all end with "anyconnect. The limited number of AnyConnect servers means that you'll have fewer options for location spoofing, and will likely experience degraded speeds when using the VPN connection.

That's because your bandwidth will be shared with everyone else on this handful of servers. If you decide not to use an Android VPN app on your Chromebook, you might be wondering if you can manually configure your Chromebook to work with the VPN of your choice. Fear not, gentle reader, as I have already trod the ground ahead of you and am here to share the fruits of my labor.

For each, I sought out documentation on how the company recommends Chromebook owners get online. I then tried to get online using that information. I was able to use these to successfully get online. Notably, NordVPN has an excellent tool on its website for finding a server that will meet your needs.

Private Internet Access places a special emphasis on security, and using L2TP on a Chromebook requires you to generate a special username and password. Thankfully, the company provides a guide on this process , which I was able to use to get online.

Private Internet Access also offers an Android app and a Chrome extension. A company representative said that despite its limitations, they recommend that Chromebook users install TunnelBear's Chrome extension instead. The company also offers an Android app. Unsurprisingly, the privacy-focused CyberGhost provides extensive documentation on how to use L2TP to get your Chromebook online.

However, I wasn't able to get it to work. A CyberGhost representative told me the issue is under investigation, and recommends users look to its Android app or its Chrome browser extension.

Does Your Chromebook Need a VPN?

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Your Chromebook can connect to a private network, like the network at your work or school, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection. Note: If you're using your Chromebook at work or school and have problems setting up your VPN, contact your administrator for more help. Using a VPN on Chromebook. Google Chromebooks have built-in support for these VPN technologies: L2TP over IPsec with PSK; L2TP over IPsec with certificate-based authentication; OpenVPN; Sign into your Chromebook and click the status area, which is where your account picture is. Click Settings. In the Internet Connection section, click . chromebook openvpn otp Android VPN download, chromebook openvpn otp Unlock the Internet (Perfect VPN🔥).