Google Chrome has taken the world by storm as the most popular web browser. With 51 percent of the world’s internet users now on this platform, Chrome has built a dedicated following with desktop and mobile users alike. Their software works on all operating systems and has proven to be seamless and intuitively user friendly.
The Problem with IP Address Tracking
There are however downsides to using a browser even as popular and successful as Chrome. Like most internet browsers, Chrome collects IP addresses from its users, as well as some cookies. While this information is usually not linked to any of your personal information, it can be used by your ISP or even government authorities to track your internet activities.
And I’m sure you’ve noticed those creepily accurate ads on the sides of several websites you may visit. Cookies are what give them the information they need to place those ads, so there really is quite a bit about your browsing activities that can be scooped up when you use Chrome.
Using VPNs to Take Back Your Privacy
You don’t have to use Chrome with trepidation though, there are ways to protect your privacy and anonymity while still getting to use your favorite browser. One of the easiest ways to do so is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs are a one-two punch of privacy and security, coupling tough, encrypted web tunnels with IP address blocking to give you truly private browsing.
Here I’ll go through some of the best ones out there for optimized browsing plus security, so you can get the most bang for your buck.
#1. ExpressVPN—The one that has it all
No doubt the best all-around deal for giving yourself some privacy as well as enhancing you security has to be ExpressVPN. This is a company that is all about protecting your anonymity, with zero data logging and IP address blocking. You don’t have to sacrifice the awesome features that Chrome comes with—ExpressVPN will let you have it all.
Their connection is unbeatably fast and powered by a massive network of servers to get the job done. Plus, with super-attentive 24/7 customer support, you’re never in the dark when it comes to technical problems. Hands down, these guys are your best option for any of your privacy needs, and priced right at just under $13 per month.
#2. IPVanish—Ultra low prices
If you have a hard time connecting to an ExpressVPN server, IPVanish is a great alternative. These guys have an extremely capable support team that is also available round the clock to answer your questions, with the main difference being that IPVanish doesn’t have a live chat feature.
However, with this VPN you’ll get a connection on Chrome that’s every bit as fat and seamless, with military-grade encryption to ensure your activity is nobody’s business but your own. The only thing to keep in mind with IPVanish is that, unlike ExpressVPN, you’re not going to be able to use their software on any devices running iOS.
#3. HideMyAss—Universal compatibility
HideMyAss is another great one for instant privacy when you’re using Chrome. This VPN boasts a fast connection and compatibility with all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and even Linux.
HideMyAss also has a substantial server network, so you’re likely to be able to connect to their network just about anywhere. The only major downside with these guys is that their customer support isn’t quite as prompt as ExpressVPN’s, even with their live chat feature. You may find that emails take a little longer to get a response.
#4. TunnelBear—Great for Beginners
TunnelBear has awesome VPN software that’s super easy to set up and use. If you run into problems, their “support bears” are there 24/7 to lend a hand and get you squared away. Like HideMyAss though, their support still isn’t super-fast, and you won’t get a response as quickly as you might like.
However, their universally compatible and user-friendly software is some of the best out there, and their military-grade encryption means that no one—not even Google—can track your online activity.
#5. EarthVPN—Huge server network
Another great option for rounding out your Chrome experience with some added anonymity is EarthVPN. They may not be the flashiest VPN service, but they have one of the largest server networks around, making your connection smooth and reliable, no matter where you’re browsing from.
They also have a large arsenal of features, with everything from 24/7 support to unlimited bandwidth. While their software may not be as slick and sophisticated as ExpressVPN’s, it’s easy to use and definitely gives you the privacy you need to surf Chrome worry-free.
Never Sacrifice Privacy for Chrome Again
Google Chrome’s browser is definitely the best. Its simple interface coupled with smart features, and a user-friendly layout has deservedly made it the number one browser in the world. Even as Firefox is preinstalled in tablets, users still opt for Chrome’s sleek design and universal compatibility.
However, like many browsers, the collection of cookies and IP addresses is just standard procedure. Every search you make and every link you follow from the results is ultimately tied to an IP address, which is tied to your geographic location. Even without personal information linked to it, it’s still enough to give a person the creeps.
There’s no need to give up one for the other though, you can have anonymity and still use awesome browsers such as Chrome. Using a VPN solves all of these problems, and gives you the toughest encryption to stop everything from IP address tracking to personal information hacks. Treat yourself to the best of both worlds, and never settle again.
About the Author: Cassie Phillips is a blogger for Secure Thoughts, and she enjoys writing about tech news, online security, and data privacy.