The new Google VPN is something that you must care about if you use public WiFi or internet connections outside your office or home.
Petrified while logging onto a public network? Worried something else besides your latte is brewing in your favourite café joint?
Worry no more, because Google is here with its VPN service to protect your data.
Unveiling the newest appanage in a blog post, the Google VPN will be essentially free for Google One subscribers. In what will be a cert for Google One users, the subscribers are set to gain access to the latest perk in the coming days on their Android devices.
The newly introduced Google VPN tool will come bundled into all Google One subscription plans with 2 TB or more of storage. A cute practical feature enclosed with the 2 TB plan, which is priced at $9.99 per month or $99 per year will be that users would be able to share VPN access with up to 5 family members at no extra charge.
The newly launched Google VPN service will be brought on to other platforms like iOS and Windows, as well as other regions and countries, in time. At the moment though, the service will only be limited to the United States.
Using the VPN service will also be a simple enough exercise. All a user would need to do is tap on the Google One app, toggle on the VPN, and voila! The user’s internet data on his phone would become encrypted. What’s great about the service is that it won’t matter what apps etc. the user might be using. Once the switch is flipped, the service will affect the entire system, preventing hackers from eavesdropping on sensitive data when users are connected to public networks.
Google VPN: An Essential Security Layer
Unsecured hotspots are like a spider’s web. Hotbeds, ripe in opportunities for those with malicious intent to boost any unencrypted data that gets transmitted through those networks. In such scenarios, the theft is extremely target-rich, ranging from passwords, financial, or other personal info, which could be easily be gathered through IP addresses and visited websites.
This is one of the reasons why VPNs have acquired such popularity and have permeated the online space over the past few years. Bear in mind, all VPN services are based on the same underlying principle: using encryption to secure internet connections. A VPN’s job is to route traffic through an encrypted connection which is managed by a cloud server, in order to keep it beyond the reach of prying eyes.
A pertinent ground behind the rollout of the feature, as the tech behemoth noted, is that in some cases, the user’s unencrypted traffic is still visible to the VPN provider, such as the domain of every website visited. In the past, reports have repeatedly and effectively shown that lax security here is potentially problematic, with some commercial VPN services already guilty of leaking user traffic, despite their best intentions. Google has sought to remedy this.
This time around, in what is a welcome effort to demonstrate transparency and garner trust, Google has taken the step of open-sourcing the code that runs on users’ devices when using the VPN. The California-based company has also committed to providing public access to the authentication mechanism running on the server-side, beginning in 2021, as it awaits the results of a third-party audit that is currently underway.
On the data front, Google has confirmed that the extra encryption will consume between 5% and 10% more data from its users, which will lead to some battery drain and higher data usage. The Google VPN, however, won’t hamper users’ throughput speed though, as it will allow speeds above 300Mbps with a minor warning of such practice impacting battery life adversely.
Google already has an offering of similar ilk through Google Fi, the company’s mobile virtual network operator. However, the shortcoming is that the always-on VPN protection by Fi is only built to serve Android smartphone users that are subscribed to Fi services.
All in all, the inclusion of Google VPN seems like a gratuity for a service the users have already too, no doubt. While it remains to be seen how the customers will actually respond to this, it has provided Google, and Google One users, with a neat trick up their sleeves.
Coupled with the premise of offering many smaller range benefits like reward points and such, Google One gives the search giant another way to generate revenue from Android’s massive global installed base.
Fly free with the VPN we say.
Not bad, Google.
Stay tuned to this space for more updates.