Google Drive logo on smartphone stock photo 2
  • Today, Google announced “VPN by Google One,” a new virtual private network service.
  • The service works only on Android for the moment and is a free aspect to Google One plans with 2TB plans or higher.
  • Do people actually want a VPN from a data company like Google, though?

In a blog post today, Google took the wraps off its newest perk for certain Google One subscribers: a VPN. Subscribers who have a Google One plan with 2TB of storage data (or more) will gain access to this new perk on their Android phones “in the coming weeks.”

The new VPN will eventually roll out to other platforms — including iOS and Windows — as well as other countries. Right now, it will only be active in the United States.

Using the VPN on your Android phone is simple. All you need to do is fire up the Google One app, toggle on the VPN, and boom: all internet data on your phone is encrypted. It doesn’t matter what apps or browsers you are using, as the service will affect the entire system.

VPN by Google One: Did we ask for this?

While this seems like a great perk for a service you’re already paying for, one can’t help but wonder how customers will actually respond to this. Google is a data-driven company that makes the bulk of its revenue off monitoring internet data. It seems to be a conflict of interest to offer a VPN — especially one that’s “free.”

Related: Why use a VPN: The advantages you should know about

To its credit, Google lays out what the service does explicitly on the sign-up page, and it seems legit. Google says it “will never use the VPN connection to track, log, or sell your browsing activity,” outside of “minimum logging” used to “ensure quality of service.” It also adds that “your network traffic is never logged and your IP is not associated to your activity.” So that seems pretty on-the-level.

Google is also making the VPN by Google One libraries open-source, and it will have its end-to-end services independently audited in 2021.

That all sounds awesome, but it still does seem weird for a made-by-Google VPN to exist. Thankfully, Google One subscribers don’t need to use the service, so if you feel weird about it, just stick with a third-party service. If you are OK with it, though, you just got a free VPN for your phone and, soon, your other devices. That’s not bad.

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