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VPN App or Browser Extension: Which Is the Best for You?

VPN concept with person using laptop

A virtual private network, known as a VPN, serves as a privacy tool to safeguard your online information. It encrypts your data and conceals your IP address from potential threats. Once you have chosen the most suitable VPN for your needs, you can either download a VPN app or utilize a VPN browser extension. Both options provide VPN protection, albeit with varying degrees.

We will discuss the disparities between VPN apps and browser extensions. Let us immediately note that both options are useful, just for different purposes.

VPN Apps

A VPN application creates an encrypted tunnel between a VPN client and a remote server to ensure the security of your internet traffic from prying eyes. All your browsers, applications, and other internet-enabled programs are shielded, keeping your personal information safe from hackers. Additionally, a VPN application utilizes strong encryption protocols like OpenVPN or IKEv2, which are more secure than those used in extensions. You also have the flexibility to select a suitable VPN server from a comprehensive list. This sets VPN applications apart from VPN browser extensions.

Summary: If you need to change location on your iPhone, it’s smarter to use an app. It not only has good data encryption but also generally more reliable protection and greater capabilities. Of course, a lot still depends on the provider. Our favorite is VeePN, it has a lot of servers, and they work quickly, while the security is high. You can choose your option.


Consider these points if you think a VPN client is a smarter option. VPN app benefits:

  • VPN apps secure your entire internet traffic by using strong encryption protocols.
  • They regularly maintain multiple server locations to ensure quality.
  • VPN apps offer secure and reliable connections with minimal speed reduction.
  • Unlike VPN browser extensions, VPN apps support multiple simultaneous device connections, allowing you to protect more than one device with a single account.


VPN client apps come with their drawbacks:

  • Typically, VPN services charge a fee, either as a one-time payment or a subscription, due to the need to maintain a network of servers, which can be costly.
  • Installing VPN apps on certain devices may require time and knowledge. Thankfully, well-known VPN vendors now offer customer service specialists to assist their users.

VPN Browser Extension

A lightweight and convenient way to conceal your IP address is through a VPN browser plugin. It’s important to note that not all extensions can encrypt your traffic, as some are simply proxy-based tools that lack encryption protocols. However, there are extensions available that implement proper encryption protocols, ensuring complete privacy for your online activities.

The primary function of a VPN browser extension is to secure your communication on the browser level. However, it’s important to note that the private connection ends once you leave the browser and use other programs or applications on your device. For instance, if you download a VPN browser extension for Windows and establish a secure connection, your browser activities remain protected while other programs like Skype (or any other program) are left vulnerable.

Using a VPN browser extension is preferable for quickly hiding your IP address during a browsing session. However, for more comprehensive data security and unblocked content access, a VPN app proves to be a more effective solution.

Luckily, you can find extensions for most browsers. Including browsers for PCs such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Edge. However, a particular VPN provider may only offer a VPN extension for one or a few popular browsers. If we go back to the provider mentioned earlier, you can install the VeePN free extension in most browsers. This includes Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Chrome. This is almost a complete list of browsers, but not all offer so many add-on options.


If you use a browser extension for VPN access:

  • VPN extensions are user-friendly and require few resources.
  • VPN extensions often come at no cost, giving them an edge over client apps.


VPN extensions and add-ons have certain disadvantages:

  • VPN desktop apps are generally faster than their extension counterparts.
  • Cybercriminals may exploit the vulnerability of personal information on the device since VPN extensions only protect browser traffic.
  • Encryption of your connection is not a feature most VPN extensions provide, making them less secure.
  • Free VPN browser extensions intentionally track user browsing habits and sell personal information to third-party advertisers to sustain their service.

Should You Choose a VPN App or Browser Extension?

If you desire different levels of protection, the choice depends on your preferences.

For comprehensive web-based protection, a VPN app is recommended. However, be aware that this protection may result in slower internet speeds, including streaming and gaming applications.

On the other hand, if you specifically want VPN protection while browsing the web without sacrificing speed for streaming HD or 4K videos, a VPN browser extension is worth considering. With a browser extension, you have the flexibility to select which browsers and their respective traffic are protected by the VPN. Just remember that a VPN browser extension does not offer comprehensive protection for all your online activities.

Is It Legal to Use a VPN?

Using a VPN is not inherently illegal unless prohibited by your country. However, it may result in various repercussions.

Utilizing a VPN could breach the user agreement of a website or service, subjecting you to consequences like account suspension or termination. In addition, using a VPN to access illicit content in your jurisdiction may lead to legal complications.

We recommend thoroughly reviewing the user agreement of any website or service before employing a VPN. Keep in mind that engaging in illegal activities remains offensive, even if employing a VPN to conceal your location.

Final Thoughts

The discussion reveals the strengths and weaknesses of both VPN extensions and client apps. If you desire to encrypt all your internet traffic, it is advisable to utilize a VPN client app. On the other hand, if you simply wish to conceal your IP for casual browsing without the need for app installation, a VPN extension is a viable option. Before selecting a VPN, conduct thorough research to ensure that you are obtaining services from a legitimate VPN vendor.

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