This guide will take you step by step through the process of setting up and connecting to a VPN on your Chromebook.
If you don’t have a VPN service yet, or you’re unhappy with your current one, I strongly recommend and endorse the VPN service provided by Private Internet Access (it’s the service I use), which works seamlessly with Chrome OS.
There are a few different ways to connect to your VPN using a Chromebook and we’ll cover the two big ones, setting up the connection manually or using an Android App.
Chromebook VPN Manual Configuration
- Click the time in the bottom-right corner of your Chrome OS screen (see screenshot below) and then click the Settings button (looks like a ‘cog’)
- Select Network from the Settings column on the left.
- Click Add connection from inside the Network section.
- Select the + (plus sign) next to Add OpenVPN / L2TP…
- Fill out each of the fields according to your VPN providers settings – they’ll provide you with all of the information, with the exception of the Service name field, which can be anything you’d like (a descriptive name is probably best). Toggle the Save identity and password to ON if you don’t want to enter your VPN username and password each time you connect and then click the Connect button.
- You can confirm the connection by selecting the newly created VPN profile from the Network section…
- and make sure the status is set to Connected
- The Wifi icon in the system tray will also have a tiny little ‘key’ next to it, indicating that you’re currently connected to a VPN.
- Open your browser and navigate to a site like whatsmyip.com – it should display the IP info of your VPN and not your wifi network info.
- Going forward you can connect to and view the settings of your VPN via the ‘control panel’ part of the notification section.
Android VPN App on a Chromebook
This method involves using an App from the Google Play Store. Almost all popular VPN providers offer an Android App – and you should be able to use that App on your Chromebook. In this example I’m using the Android App for Private Internet Access.
- While on your Chromebook head over to the Google Play Store page for the Private Internet Access Android App. Click the large green Install button.
- Once the installation has completed, click the Open button.
- Click Next a bunch of times.
- Click Login
- Enter your PIA username and password and then click the Login button again.
- Click OK
- Click OK to allow PIA to a VPN profile on your Chromebook.
- Finally, the main connection window will appear. Click the big yellow button.
- Once connected that yellow button will become green and your IP info will be displayed towards the bottom of the App.
- You can confirm the connection is working by opening your browser and visiting a site like whatsmyip.com – it should display the IP info of your VPN and not your wifi network info.
- You can get information on your VPN connection via the Notification section of Chrome OS, including the ability to disconnect.