Google’s ‘VPN by Google One’ is making its way to Canada and several other countries after launching in the U.S. last year.
The VPN service is available to Google One subscribers on the 2TB plan or higher. It can also be shared with family members like Google One subscriptions. VPNs, or virtual private networks, can help protect online traffic by extending a private network across public ones. For example, when connecting to an open Wi-Fi signal at a coffee shop, users could inadvertently make their device or data vulnerable to attacks — VPNs can help secure data on these networks.
For now, Google’s VPN only works on Android, although the company has indicated it plans to expand the VPN to iOS, Windows and Mac in the future. Android users with access to the VPN can easily turn it on from the Google One app.
Since launch, Google has added a few features to its VPN, including ‘Safe Disconnect,’ which can prevent a smartphone from connecting to the internet if the VPN is off. There’s also ‘App bypass,’ which allows traffic from some apps to go through a standard internet connection instead of through the VPN.
I spoke briefly with Google Product Manager and fellow Canadian Bruno Todescan about the VPN and how it works. Todescan said Google designed it to be “simple as possible” for users.
When it comes to security, he emphasized that VPN by Google One is safe and secure. He explained that VPN data passes through “specialized [Google] servers built for specific purposes like VPN” and that Google has no access to the data.
To back that up, Google made its VPN code open-source and has had it certified by the Internet of Secure Things Alliance (ioXt) and independently audited.
Finally, when it comes to performance, there may be a slight degradation in speed due to the nature of how VPNs work, but Todescan says it shouldn’t be noticeable in most cases.
Along with Canada, VPN by Google One will launch in Mexico, U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy. You can learn more about it here.