Google has been preaching data security and privacy since its inception. And while many bash Google for not practicing what it preaches, we can surely do with some reassurances and peace of mind. The new VPN — Virtual Private Network — service by Google promises exactly that.
It’s still early days and there’s a lot to learn about the service, but we can certainly see potential in Google’s latest offering. So, with that thought in mind, let’s learn all about the VPN service for Google One.
Related: What is Orbot and how to use its VPN?
What is a VPN?
VPN or Virtual Private Network is pretty much a virtual, super-powerful tunnel for your outgoing and incoming data. The tunnel makes sure your data is safe from intruders and keep it from being intercepted in-transit. A fully-capable VPN is capable of masking your IP address — which would keep anyone from getting your actual location.
It also makes sure none of your internet activity can be traced back to you. And finally, unlike proxy sites, VPN doesn’t keep an active log of the websites you visit. In this day and age, VPN is, without a doubt, one of the most important components for your online wellbeing.
What is Google One?
Google One is Google’s paid cloud storage plan, which comes into play after the initial 15 GB — which is offered for free to all Google users — is exhausted by users. This storage is shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. So, if you have a bunch of high-quality photos on Google Photos and a few others on Drive, you may need to upgrade to a paid Google One package sooner than later.
Currently Google One offers three choices for different sets of users — 100 GB, 200 GB, or 2 TB. The first two plans should easily serve regular users, while the final one caters to more advanced content creators and developers.
Related: VPN on Android — All you need to know
What is VPN by Google One?
Just as the name suggests, VPN by Google One is Google’s proprietary VPN service that’s deeply intertwined with its Google One subscription plan, costing $10 (or more). The VPN service is Google’s first attempt at creating a secure tunnel, but it’s not available for anyone outside of the Google One ecosystem.
So, at least for the time being, the VPN can only be accessed by premium users of Google One, and that too, at the time of writing, to the Android users in the US only.
Google One VPN Availability
As the name suggests, the newly-launched VPN service by Google is deeply tied with the Google One subscription. However, all paid Google One users won’t be able to use the VPN service. Only the ones with the 2 TB plan or higher are getting the privilege of using Google’s first-ever VPN. So, unless you’re already using the 2 TB plan or are planning on upgrading, you won’t be able to reap the benefits of the VPN service.
Google VPN will be available only for users who have subscribed to the 2 TB plan. However, that doesn’t mean the VPN service is available for all users across the globe. As per Google, the service is coming first to the United States and is not available anywhere else. Fortunately, Google has assured that the service would eventually be distributed to other areas.
Related: Can a VPN service be dangerous?
Is Google One VPN available for iPhone?
Additionally and more interestingly, the VPN service is only reserved for Android devices. So, if you’re on iOS or any other system, you won’t have the privilege of using Google One.
How much does Google One VPN cost?
If you are flaunting a 2 TB plan on Google One, you’d be happy to know that the new VPN service would be made available to you for free. No extra charges, no hidden clauses — a 2 TB Google One subscription is all you need to enjoy the newly-launched VPN service. That being said, the 2 TB subscription plan comes in at $9.99/month in the United States, which isn’t affordable for all users.
How does Google One VPN work?
The VPN service by Google is bound to ruffle some feathers, as it’s Google’s first, clear declaration of war against current VPN leaders. Fortunately for them, the service is only staying restricted to Google One systems and won’t be available for purchase outside the 2 TB subscription plans.
Coming to working philosophy, Google has stated that the VPN network will make use of Google’s industry-leading network architecture. The tech giant assures break-neck speeds and superb connectivity at all times.
Google has always been a big fan of family sharing, and it’s great to see the trend extending to the Google One VPN service as well. If you have a 2 TB plan and want to share it with your family members, you could do so very easily.
All you have to do is download the Google One app on all Android devices — six, maximum — and enable the service, one by one. If you don’t exceed the limit and log in with the right credentials, the Google One VPN service should work just as intended.
Will Google One VPN be private?
Privacy is the single-most-important reason behind opting for a VPN connection. However, when the service provider itself is the leader of advertisement, concerns are bound to creep in. Google itself is aware of the lack of faith and has vouched to be as transparent as they can.
The company claims that it won’t use the data you transmit through VPN to “track, log, or sell” your browsing activity. Additionally, bandwidth utilization, connection timestamps, DNS, and IP won’t also be logged. Finally, the end-to-end systems will also be audited independently from 2021, which theoritically omits the chance of fraud or deception.
Related: How to update the security patch of your Android device?
The good and bad of Google One
We’ve seen what it is, and we’ve seen how it might affect you. Now, it’s time to see whether the service is any good. In this section, we’ll list out the pros and cons of the Google One VPN service.
- VPN made easy!
- Comes for free for 2 TB Google One users
- Easy to buy and use with one-click setup
- Based on Google’s reliable and expansive network architecture
- Ability to hide IP address from potential hackers
- A good protection service for Android devices
- Limited availability — available for Android devices who use the 2 TB plan and live in the United States
- Unclear whether users would be able to pick a server of their choice or be connected randomly to the fastest one
How to get Google One VPN?
If you have a 2 TB Google One plan, you’ll be able to get the service for free; no questions asked. However, if you’re a non-Google One user or are on a cheaper plan, you’ll need to upgrade to the 2 TB plan to enjoy the VPN goodness.
To get Google One with VPN, start by visiting this page. If you do not have Google One already, click on Get Google One as shown above. The page will take you to the section with all the Google One subscription options. Pick the last one — 2 TB — to subscribe and use the VPN service. The plan is available for $9.99 in the United States.
If you already have a Google One subscription, then you may need to upgrade it. Click on the blue ‘Upgrade’ button at the top-right corner.
Now, once you have subscribed to the 2TB plan, you can set up and use the VPN by Google One using the guide given right below.
How to turn on Google One VPN
So, if you’re a 2 TB Google One user, living in the United States, flaunting an Android mobile, you’re one of the lucky few to get access to the Google One VPN service. Google has always strived to be as easy-on-the-eye as possible, and the One VPN is no exception.
To turn it on, first, you’ll have to open the Google One app and login with the appropriate credentials. Next, tap on ‘Benefits’ at the top of your screen. Locate the VPN benefit and toggle on ‘Enable VPN.’ After you turn it on, you’ll get a Google One VPN notification on your lock screen and in the notifications tray.
Additionally, you could even add the toggle to your quick settings pane for faster access. To add to quick settings, swipe down twice from the top of your screen, tap ‘Edit,’ find ‘VPN by Google One,’ and finally, tap and hold the item and place it wherever you see fit on your quick settings page. That’s it! the toggle should now appear on your quick settings pane.
How to turn off Google One VPN
Turning off the Google One VPN is even more straightforward than turning it on. As mentioned in the previous section, turning on the VPN shows a notification in the notifications tray and even on the lock screen. This allows you to get access to the One VPN service as easily as possible.
To disable the VPN service, simply tap on the One VPN notification on your lock screen or the notifications tray and tap ‘Disable VPN.’