VPN by Google One will be available for free to subscribers of the 2TB Google One plan. Initially, the service will only be available in the US through the Android Google One app. However, Google plans to roll out the service in more countries in the coming months. It also plans to expand the VPN service to the iOS, Windows and Mac operating systems.
VPN by Google One
Google announced yesterday that it plans to launch its own Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, called VPN by Google One, in the next couple of weeks. The service will be made available for free to subscribers of the 2TB Google One plan or higher. Google One is the company’s cloud storage service. Customers with subscriptions to lesser plans will have to upgrade to the 2TB plan to get access to the VPN service. Subscriptions to the 2TB plan cost USD 9.99 per month or USD 99 per year.
Google’s VPN offering joins an already crowded VPN market, with many VPN services already available to users. VPNOverview tested many of these extensively in the last couple of months, results from which are available on this website. VPN by Google One will roll out in the US in the coming weeks through the Android Google One app. However, in coming months, Google plans to expand the app to the iOS, Windows and Mac operating systems. It also plans to make the VPN service available to more countries going forward.
A VPN creates a secure connection between the user and the internet. It guarantees the user more security, more privacy and more freedom. VPNs also prevent hackers from accessing users’ unencrypted web traffic when their smartphone is connected to a public Wi-Fi network. This is because with a VPN, all data traffic between the phone and the internet is sent through an encrypted virtual tunnel. VPNs are also used by individuals who live in countries where access to the internet is barred by their government.
Overview of VPN’s Features
Google maintains that VPN by Google One will provide an “extra layer of online protection for your Android phone” and “peace of mind that your data is safe.” It also states that its VPN service will offer speeds above 300 Mbps.
The new VPN service is just one of the new offerings in Google’s 2TB plan cloud storage offering. To go along with the new service, Google is also providing Pro Sessions with their VPN support. These are one-on-one online support sessions that customers can schedule with Google experts to learn more about VPNs. The sessions also provide customers information on how to stay safer online. Furthermore, if a 2TB plan subscriber is sharing their subscription with family members, “they can also enable the VPN on their smartphones at no extra cost.”
It is simple for users to activate VPN by Google One on Android devices to safeguard their privacy. If users don’t already have the Google One app installed on their smartphones, they need to install it first. Once installed, users just need to open the Google One app and toggle on the VPN option. From then on, all internet data on the user’s Android device will be encrypted. This is regardless of the apps or browsers used, as Google’s VPN service affects the entire Android device’s system.
Google’s announcement states: “We already build advanced security into all our products, and the VPN extends that security to encrypt all of your phone’s online traffic, no matter what app or browser you’re using. The VPN is built into the Google One app, so with just one tap, you can rest assured knowing your connection is safe from hackers.”
VPN Service Raises Eyebrows
Google’s decision to offer a VPN service, has raised a few eyebrows. Google is a data-driven company whose business model relies on monitoring users’ internet data to generate income. Consequently, to some it seems a conflict of interest for the company to provide a VPN service. VPN connections often go through a private server belonging to the VPN provider, in this instance Google. Consequently, this theoretically allows Google to view all data passing through the server.
However, in a paper published earlier this month, Google seeks to reassure customers that it can run a trusted VPN service. In the paper Google maintains that “With VPN by Google One, we will never use the VPN connection to track, log, or sell your online activity. Some minimum logging is performed to ensure quality of service, but your network traffic or IP associated with the VPN is never logged.”
“To demonstrate how our design works, we have open sourced the code that runs on a user’s device and in the coming months we will be open sourcing the server side user authentication mechanism as well as providing the results of a third party audit, currently underway. These will provide further assurances of how user data is handled and how robust the VPN’s security is,” the paper stated.