Google has been expanding its Google One service offering in recent months, and one of the most recent additions is a VPN service. This may come as a surprise to some people, as Google is not traditionally known for its VPN services. However, they are now offering an interesting option for people who want to protect their privacy online. In this article, we will discuss the Google One VPN service and what it offers. We will also compare it to other popular VPN options on the market.
Google has a VPN service you can use
Google One is the paid subscription if you want to use their cloud storage in any way beyond what they give to users for free. This helps people a lot who are heavily invested in the Google user ecosystem with the Pixel smartphones along with the photos that are saved into the Google Photos cloud storage, which is extended by Google One. The Google One service is available with a plan for 100 GB (19.99 USD per year), 200 GB (29.99 USD per year), 2 TB (99.99 USD per year), 5 TB (249.99 USD per year), and more plans for 10 TB, 20 TB, and 30 TB that can only be billed monthly though.
Just like the YouTube Premium subscription, Google One can also be shared with family members in the same household. This way you can possibly save some bucks if you have several people on slightly higher tier plans rather than having one plan for each person. Included in the Google One cloud storage are files that relate to Google Drive, Gmail, Google Photos, Family Storage, and Device Backup. This much was more or less clear when giving Google One the first glimpse. But what about VPN service? Google also offers that.
More details about Google One
Google advertises its VPN service as a means to increase a user’s online security. They state that with a single tap their users can add an extra layer of data protection and encrypt online activity. For details about how the Google One VPN works in detail and to check what it does, they prepared a good overview page which also includes a bit of technical information. In their list of features, they don’t claim that a user will be able to pretend to be from a different region. This is a popular feature of some other VPN companies, which some users leverage to access geo-restricted content and bypass license agreements. To give you an example, they could use a VPN with such features to access Netflix content from the UK, even if they are watching from the US.
Though this is popular, it is not legal in some countries to leverage technical means to bypass geo-restrictions like that. It’s only speculation but this might be a reason why Google does not offer the feature. I like that a lot more than some other VPN companies who advertise with such features, knowing that users in some areas of the planet might be sued or have to pay penalty fees if they do such a thing. The offering from Google for VPN services is very clear, transparent, and doesn’t claim anything that it’s not. On the other hand, it’s only a useful solution if you trust Google. If you don’t then it possibly makes no sense to hide your traffic from others and show it all to Google instead. I’m not saying you shouldn’t trust them, I’m only trying to keep things in perspective.
How to get the Google VPN?
The service is currently available to users in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States.
You can’t separately order Google One VPN though, which is a bit of a bummer. Instead, it’s included for free in all Google One plans starting at the 2 TB cloud storage tier, billed at either 9.99 USD per month or 99.99 USD charged manually. As of now, the Google One VPN service is available for Android and iOS operating systems. Google mentions that Windows and Mac will be supported soon as well, without sharing details.
If I was looking for a VPN service for myself, being in a small Google One plan anyway, I’d much rather update the Google One plan to get their VPN service rather than routing 100% of my data through a system of a VPN provider that I don’t trust (as much) and pay them separately for that.
Photo credit: The feature image is owned by Google and was part of their media content for press use.