VPN applications have become one of the most important applications in this age of censorship and bad actors who are constantly looking for information on you. No matter what device you use, there is no shortage of VPNs in the app store.
In this article, I will review a VPN service provided by the tech giant, Google.
What is VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it is a network that is used to tunnel users’ traffic through an encrypted tunnel. VPN traffic is encrypted and routed through a different server hosted by the VPN provider.
When we browse the Internet without a VPN, our traffic travels via an unsecured (unencrypted) network, and our IP address is visible to not just the destination server, but also to anyone sitting between your computer and the destination server.
VPN encrypts requests and routes them through another computer (server), resulting in a secure and anonymous connection.
How to use Google VPN?
Google One features Google’s VPN service. To use VPN as part of the Google One features, you must at least be a Premium member of Google. However, there are a variety of plans available, and Google does not include VPN in all of them.
The free plan, which includes 15GB of Google Drive storage, does not qualify for VPN service. Among other plans, only those with 2TB or more of Google Drive storage offer VPN. So, for at least $10, you can receive a VPN as well as other Google One features.
After subscribing to the Premium plan, launch the Google One app on your Android or iOS device, scroll down to the available Google One benefits, and click Enable VPN.
When you enable this option, your device will tunnel all traffic through VPN. However, you are not given the choice of selecting a location. Google will automatically choose the fastest location for you. Most of the time, it will choose the closest server (usually in your own country), thus it will not bypass website blockage.
When it comes to how secure and private Google’s VPN is, it’s precisely the same as other VPNs. NCC Group, an independent business, was recruited by Google to assess its VPN security and privacy. They audited Google VPN and discovered various issues, which Google swiftly resolved. Aside from that, Google has its own privacy policies in place for dealing with the data of its customers. They, like other VPNs, guarantee to protect their users’ privacy. If you want a more privacy-focused solution, you should read this guide from LinuxAndUbuntu.
If you want more featured-rich VPN service, Google VPN may not be the perfect option for you. There is no option to switch location which is an important feature for majority of VPN users. Without switching location, users can not access websites blocked in their countries. So I recommend going with another VPN such as OpenVPN.
So, what’s not mentioned in the article above:
There’s no way I can see to use the Google One VPN in Linux. I can enable it on my phone, on my Chromebook, and on my Windows PC, but there’s no support for a standard configuration. You HAVE to use the Google One app, and that just doesn’t exist for Linux.