Users of Google Chrome can now protect their web browsing sessions with a free virtual private network (VPN) proxy.VPNs create a secure connection between a user’s web browser and a VPN server, which means they can help to protect the user from others spying on their web browsing activities over Wi-Fi, cellular networks, or broadband. The only issue is that most VPN services are not free and are available via paid subscription only.That helps to explain why the Hotspot Shield VPN service is so unique.Hotspot Shield offers users the usual benefits of a VPN, including a secure Wi-Fi connection, anonymous browsing, and safe access to social media, games, and videos on sites that might otherwise be blocked on a network. But unlike other services, this VPN is totally free.Users do have the option of paying for a subscription-based version of Hotspot Shield, which offers multi-device support, an ad-free browsed experience, more virtual locations, and cloud-based malware protection.For $100.00, users can unlock all of Hotspot Shield’s elite membership benefits “forever.”AnchorFree, the California-based software company behind Hotspot Shield, also doesn’t appear interested in unnecessarily collecting users’ data.“We encrypt all the data, and we throw away your IP address,” David Gorodyansky, CEO of AnchorFree, told ZDNet in an interview. “We don’t store it, we don’t log it, and we assign an IP address to you, and so your location and all your data is encrypted.”Hotspot Shield has been downloaded by 400 million users across the web.To help more people gain access to the service, AnchorFree has developed a free Hotspot Shield VPN proxy for Google Chrome.That particular offering has been downloaded by about 600,000 users thus far. It holds a 4.5/5 star rating out of more than 12,000 individual reviews.For more information on Hotspot Shield, please click here.News of this VPN proxy for Google Chrome comes just two weeks after Opera, another major web browser, announced a free VPN service built into its developer web browser.