Private Internet Access Chrome

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382 downloadsUpdated: February 15, 2021Commercialware

Chrome extension for the popular Private Internet Access VPN service, which lets you browse the web anonymously and bypass regional restrictions

Private Internet Access is one of the most popular VPN services in the world, for a number of reasons. It offers fast download speed, great encryption, support for P2P and a strict no-logging policy.

Applies to managed Chrome Browsers and Chrome OS devices. As a Chrome Enterprise administrator, you can block and allow URLs so that users can only visit certain websites. Restricting users’ internet access can increase productivity and protect your organization from viruses and malicious content found on some websites. Has anyone had success lately getting Private Internet Access to work on their chromebook? I decided to give them a try since they offer L2TP. I've followed several instructions for setting up a VPN on a chromebook, and I can connect to their servers but there is no internet access.

Private Internet Access for Chrome enables subscribers to take advantage of the service directly from their browsers, which is very handy when you can’t or don’t want to use a system-wide VPN.

README v0.4 / 15 January 2019. Private Internet Access. Private Internet Access is the world's leading consumer VPN service. At Private Internet Access we believe in unfettered access for all, and as a firm supporter of the open source ecosystem we have made the decision to open source our VPN clients. Private Internet Access is the leading VPN Service provider specializing in secure, encrypted VPN tunnels which create several layers of privacy and security providing you safety on the internet. Our service is backed by multiple gateways worldwide with access in 30+ countries, 50+ regions.

Established VPN service with a large user base

PIA is one of the oldest VPN providers on the market, and they have offered a reliable VPN service for many years. Among the advantages, we can mention very fast download speed, excellent encryption capabilities and support for P2P.

The company also has a strict policy of not logging user traffic, which has been proven to be true on several occasions when such information was requested by US authorities.

Nevertheless, it is worth keeping in mind that the company is located in the United States, a founding member of the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance. Since the VPN does not store traffic logs, this shouldn’t be an issue, but it is a factor you need to take into consideration.

Well-designed extension for PIA users

Right off the bat, you can tell that the extension was designed to be as intuitive as possible. A simple switch can be used to turn the service on or off, and you can see your virtual location and select a new one from the main window.

Numerous servers are available in a wide range of locations around the world. You can sort them based on name or latency, as well as add your preferred ones to the favorites list.

A couple of features exclusive to the extension

If you’ve used the desktop application already, everything we’ve covered so far should be familiar. However, Private Internet Access for Chrome also offers WebRTC blocking, and it allows you to add certain websites to a VPN whitelist.

In-depth customization of the extension’s security, privacy and tracking prevention features is also possible, which we can only appreciate.

On the whole, Private Internet Access for Chrome is an excellent extension for users who want to use the popular VPN service in Chrome or other Chromium-based browsers. It is a great option when you want to browse the web securely but prefer not to use a system-wide VPN.

Filed under

Private Internet Access for Chrome was reviewed by Catalin Chelariu
New in Private Internet Access for Chrome 2.1.0:
  • Fix exclusions for https-upgrade
  • Add unit tests for https-upgrade
  • Fix translated region name spacing on region list
  • Fix Issue with displaying Uncontrollable or Upgrade pages
Read the full changelog
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Private Internet Access for Chrome 3.0.2

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runs on:
Windows 10 32/64 bit
Windows 8 32/64 bit
Windows 7 32/64 bit
file size:
2.3 MB
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With the release of version 1.5 for our Desktop application, we have introduced the ability to exclude programs from the VPN. When excluding specific popular apps or files from the VPN, the following information can be helpful if these popular apps or files do not populate on the browsable exclusion list.

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Microsoft Store Apps:


On Windows, some apps that are downloaded from the Microsoft Store will not appear with their respective icon. For example, when excluding the Netflix or Hulu apps from the Microsoft Store, it will appear as Windows Web Applications on the exclusion list.

This is not the case for all apps from the Microsoft Store. Below shows the example of Netflix and Hulu being excluded from the VPN as well as other apps from the store.

Steam Application:

For some users, you may wish to exclude the Steam application from the VPN. Aside from just excluding the Steam app, you will also need to exclude the steamwebhelper.exe file as well. To do so, please perform the following:

  1. Click Add Application

  2. Click the Browse button next to the search bar

  3. Next select Windows (C:) > Program Files (x86) > Steam > bin > cef > cef.win7 > steamwebhelper.exe.

  4. Once selected, click the Add button

Specific Games:

Users may also wish to exclude a specific game from the VPN as well. For every game you wish to exclude, the following information will help you determine where your games are located so that you can add specific .exe files to the list.

  1. Click Add Application

  2. Click the Browse button next to the search bar

  3. Next select Windows (C:) > Program Files (x86) > Steam > steamapps > common

  4. You will then see a list of your installed Steam games

  5. Select the file for the desired game

  6. Click the .exe file for the game in the installation folder and click the add button

The game should now be added to the exclusion list. If your games are not installed on your (C:) drive and you do not know how to find the file destination, the file path can be located by right-clicking the game in your Steam Library > Properties > Local Files, and then Browse the Local Files. The destination path will then be displayed.


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To exclude specific applications on your Mac that do not auto-populate on the Add Application list, click the Browse button next to the search bar. The applications list should become available. Locate the application you desire to exclude and then click Add.

If you wish to exclude multiple apps such as the App Store, Safari, the Mail app, and others, simply exclude the WebKit applications option within the Add Application menu:


On Linux, users must browse for the executable they want to exclude, we do not enumerate apps on Linux currently (due to the complexity of determining what executable a .desktop file would execute).

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Finding the proper executable can be challenging for complex apps. For example, for Firefox, the proper executable is /usr/lib/firefox/firefox, not the one in /usr/bin.

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There are a few ways to find the correct app:

  • readlink /proc/$(pgrep <executable> head -1)/exe

  • Ex: readlink /proc/$(pgrep firefox head -1)/exe

  • Look for a process in your task manager

  • Some task managers may provide the executable path

  • Or readlink /proc/<PID>/exe

We've compiled a list of common apps and their executable locations on Ubuntu. These may vary among distributions or versions, but it is a good starting point for many common apps.

  • Chrome: /opt/google/chrome/chrome

  • Firefox: /usr/lib/firefox/firefox

  • Opera: /usr/lib/opera/opera

  • Chromium: /usr/lib/chromium/chromium

  • Brave: /usr/lib/brave/brave

  • Thunderbird: /usr/lib/thunderbird/thunderbird

  • Steam: ~/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/Steam

  • Steamwebhelper: ~/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_64/steamwebhelper

  • Hexchat: /usr/bin/hexchat

  • Discord: /opt/discord/Discord

  • Flatpak: /usr/libexec/flatpak-bwrap

Excluding flatpak-bwrap excludes all Flatpak apps, they cannot be selected individually. This is inherent in the Flatpak packaging system.

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AppImage apps can be excluded by selecting the AppImage file.