Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
VPNs are common these days, and Google has jumped on board with Google One VPN. What exactly is it, though? We’ll explain the ins and outs of this VPN service.
What is Google One VPN?
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
VPN by Google One is a virtual private network, just like Nord VPN, Express VPN, and other popular options. A VPN lets you encrypt your web traffic and keep it confidential, away from the prying eyes of hackers, internet service providers, and other parties. Google One VPN is available for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows.
Read next: Can your ISP see your browsing history?
Google’s VPN is part of its Google One cloud storage service. You cannot purchase it separately. This is also why it’s more expensive than some other options.
As with other providers, when you enable Google One VPN, your web traffic gets redirected to proxy servers. This means that your smartphone or computer will have a secure and encrypted connection whenever you use Google One VPN. However, the service assigns you an IP address automatically based on the region of the world you’re in, so you can’t choose a server in a different country — more on this later.
Does Google One VPN work like a traditional VPN?
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
Google One VPN works like any other VPN in encrypting your data and rerouting your web traffic through proxy servers. However, there is one key difference that you should know about. Other VPN providers let you choose your location to circumvent regional restrictions. This enables you to access streaming content, for example, that you otherwise could not access in your country. Google One VPN does not let you do this. Instead, you will automatically be assigned an IP address based on your location. So, if you’re in Germany, you’ll get a German IP address, and if you’re in the US, you’ll get a US IP address, for example.
You can’t use Google One VPN to access streaming content that’s not available in your current region.
You also don’t get many other bells and whistles other VPNs offer. For example, you don’t get an ad blocker. Plus, it’s not clear how many servers in total Google One VPN actually has. You do get a “kill switch” option, however. That is, in case the VPN stops working for whatever reason, you can ensure you disconnect from the internet entirely rather than continuing to browse with an unsecured connection.
Besides that, Google One VPN functions like other VPNs. Google claims it doesn’t log your data besides some small details to help improve the service. While Google doesn’t have the best reputation regarding data privacy, they have open-sourced some reference files for Google One VPN, and third-party audits have found the amount of data logging to be in line with what Google says.
Google claims they log how often you used the VPN in the last 28 days, the number of times you attempt to set up a connection, and error logs. You can also opt to share feedback with Google, which will send your device logs containing personal information such as your email address. This is optional, and you must agree to submit the report each time. Other VPNs also claim not to log your details, but the details vary on how much they actually collect and what they do with it.
Who can use Google One VPN?
You can use Google One VPN on Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. It’s available to Google One subscribers with a 2TB Premium subscription for $9.99 monthly. A Google One Premium subscription at this tier lets you access 2TB of cloud storage to back up your data from your phone and other devices. Additionally, you get access to photo editing tools to enhance your snapshots and portraits. And if you use Google Meet, the Premium subscription gives you access to group video calls up to 24 hours long, noise cancellation during calls, and call recording.
Furthermore, as of December 2022, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro users can access Google One VPN free on their phones using the Google One app without a subscription. Note that this is unavailable for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro devices in Singapore and India.
Google maintains a list of countries where you can use Google One VPN. At the time of writing, these include:
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
The VPN will continue to work if your home country is one of those listed above and you travel elsewhere.
Up to six devices can share a Google One VPN subscription. Furthermore, family groups can also share the VPN service. However, supervised children’s accounts aren’t eligible.
How to get Google One VPN and how much it costs
To use Google One VPN, you must have a 2TB Google One subscription. You can purchase one from Google or upgrade your existing account if you have one. A monthly subscription is $9.99, while an annual subscription is $99.99. If you have a Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro, you can access Google One VPN at no extra charge on your mobile device.
You’ll also need the Google One app installed on your Android or iOS device. To enable Google One VPN on a smartphone, open the Google One app, tap Benefits, scroll down to VPN Benefits option, and head to View details > Enable VPN.
If you want to use the VPN on Windows or Mac, you can download it by doing the following:
- On your computer, open one.google.com in a web browser.
- Click on Benefits.
- Under “VPN for multiple devices,” click on View details.
- Click Download app and confirm.
- Once it finishes downloading, open VPNbyGoogleOneSetup.exe on Windows or VpnByGoogleOne.dmg on Mac.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to install Google One VPN on your computer.
Using Google One VPN on your mobile device will use more battery and data. While it’s not extreme, you may notice the difference. Google estimates you’ll use around 5-15% more data after you enable the VPN.
Frequently asked questions about Google One VPN
No, Google One VPN assigns you an IP address based on your region, and you can’t pick one in a different area to circumvent content restrictions.
Google One VPN is available on Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac.
Yes, you need a 2 TB Google One subscription to use the VPN service. However, if you have a Pixel 7 or Pixel Pro, you can use Google One VPN on those devices without any extra charge.
You can watch streaming content over Google One VPN, but you cannot change your location to access content that’s unavailable in your country. Instead, you’ll automatically be assigned a server based on your current location.