Pixel 7 and 7 Pro owners now have access to a free VPN
At the end of 2020, Google began rolling out its new VPN service, called VPN by Google One. It’s part of the Google One subscription service, which also includes cloud storage.
However, that’s only part of the more expensive 2TB or 5TB tiers: those on the Basic 100GB or Standard 200GB plans don’t get it.
The other way to access it is to have a Google Pixel phone and Google has started rolling out the VPN on Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
There’s no cost to use it – it’s completely free – and there are no data caps like you usually find on free VPN services.
But there are limits whether you pay or not. Most importantly, you can’t choose your location, which means you can’t unblock websites or video streaming services.
Google’s VPN service isn’t made for that: its goal is to protect your online privacy and identity by replacing your real IP address with another one and encrypting the data sent from your device – in this case a Pixel. 7 / Pro – to the Internet.
It helps when connected to public Wi-Fi in cafes, airports, hotels, and other places that don’t require a password.
It’s still part of the Google One app, but you’ll find shortcuts for connecting, disconnecting, and queuing the VPN in your Pixel 7’s quick settings.
Those familiar with VPNs might expect to find some settings, but currently all you can do is choose which apps bypass the VPN. It’s split tunneling and it’s useful for apps that don’t work properly when the VPN is connected, like banking apps that use their own encryption.
Henry Burrell / Foundry
Even with its downsides, it’s a nice bonus for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro owners.
You can use the VPN in these countries:
- South Korea
- United States
Exceptionally, Google uses its own proprietary encryption protocol for the VPN, which means you can only use it on devices it chooses to support. It added iOS support in February 2022.
You can learn more about how it works on Google’s website.
The idea is that you leave the VPN on all the time: Google says it won’t affect your internet speeds and you won’t even notice it’s connected.
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