Google about to launch VPN by Google One (US-only) - gHacks Tech News

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Google about to launch VPN by Google One (US-only)

Google plans to launch a virtual private network (VPN) service soon as part of the company's Google One service. VPN by Google One is limited to customers from the United States at the time of writing and included in all 2 Terabyte and higher plans. Google plans to make the VPN available to customers from other regions in the future.

The eligible Google One plans that will receive the VPN free of charge start at $9.99 per month, but only in the Google One application for Android.

All Google customers get 15 Gigabytes of storage space with a free account; customers who require more can subscribe to a paid plan to increase storage by 100 Gigabytes, 200 Gigabytes or 2 Terabytes respectively.

Google One customers do get other benefits such as options to add family members, Google Store cashbacks, or additional support options. Features depend on the selected plan and are not necessarily available for all paying customers.

Google provides just a few information about the VPN at the time of writing. According to the official site, Google won't use the VPN connection "to track, log, or sell" a customer's browsing activity, and a customer's throughput speed is not limited artificially.

Engineers developed a method that separates customer authentication from use of the VPN service. The method adds a cryptographic blinding step "between user subscription validation and connecting to the VPN".

 

google one vpn privacy

The following data is not logged according to Google:

  • Network traffic, including DNS
  • IP addresses of the devices connecting to the VPN
  • Bandwidth utilized by an individual user
  • Connection timestamps by user

However, some data is logged at an aggregate level according to Google to "ensure a healthy and performant VPN". This includes:

  • Aggregate throughput
  • Aggregate VPN tunnel uptime
  • Aggregate VPN tunnel setup latency
  • Aggregate Total bandwidth rate
  • Aggregate Packet loss rate
  • Aggregate VPN tunnel failure rates
  • Aggregate VPN tunnel retries
  • Aggregate Service/Server CPU and memory load
  • Aggregate VPN tunnel setup error rates

Additional, to measure "overall service experience, debug the service, and prevent fraud", the following data may be collected for a user:

  • Use of the service in the past 28 days but not specific times it was used nor the duration of usage or amount of data transferred.
  • Number of recent attempts to set up a VPN session.
  • Server error logs without "request or response data".

Google has open sourced the client and plans to get the service audited by a third-party.

With growing demand for better privacy in a mixed landscape of solutions, we have used our
expertise in privacy, cryptography, and infrastructure to build a Google-grade VPN that provides additional security and privacy to online connectivity without undue performance sacrifices.

With VPN by Google One, users’ online activity is not identifiable to the VPN and not logged by the VPN. We believe a VPN must be transparent, and robust. That’s why we have open sourced our client and will provide a third party audit of the end-to-end solution to make them externally verifiable.

Closing Words

VPN by Google One is a free addition to the $9.99 Google One plan, but will only be available for customers from the United States at the time of writing. Google put a lot of thought into the architecture and promises that the results of a a third-party audit will be released to increase trust in the service. The entire architecture is operated by Google.

Some questions remain at this point in time though. Will users be able to select different regional servers when using the VPN or will they automatically be connected to the fastest available server? Will the service become available for other operating systems and devices? Does it have a DNS leak protection?

Now You: What is your take on the VPN service? Would you use it?

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Google about to launch VPN by Google One (US-only)
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Google about to launch VPN by Google One (US-only)
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Google plans to launch a virtual private network (VPN) service soon as part of the company's Google One service.
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Comments

  1. Indenim said on November 1, 2020 at 8:10 pm
    Reply

    Yeah. Like I’d trust Google with my private data using their VPN. Their “no-logging” policy is probably worth reading, just for a laugh.

    1. Finnegan said on November 1, 2020 at 9:14 pm
      Reply

      I swear

  2. Zelanium said on November 1, 2020 at 8:23 pm
    Reply

    No thanks.

    PS Do their “business partners” (to whom data is sold) still include the Chinese government?

  3. J. tripper said on November 1, 2020 at 9:00 pm
    Reply

    HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!! Hard PASS!!!!!!!

  4. Finnegan said on November 1, 2020 at 9:13 pm
    Reply

    RIP Mozilla VPN.

    1. Yuliya said on November 2, 2020 at 12:12 am
      Reply

      two equally bad services. avoid them, use the superior TOR network.

      1. Iron Heart said on November 3, 2020 at 7:52 am
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        @Yuliya

        Frankly, you are very naive. Tor prioritizes fast connections internally, and the fast nodes amount to expesnive servers costing thousands of $$$ per month(!). Do you think those are being run out of goodwill? They are owned by the state:

        https://yashalevine.com/articles/tor-spooks

        How do you think those criminals using ultra-secure Tor are being caught? I don’t support criminals, but if Tor were as secure as they claim, why is there such a high success rate? By using Tor, you are making yourself a target.

      2. OneWhoCares said on November 21, 2020 at 2:11 pm
        Reply

        I honestly don’t think this will be as bad service as most automatically believes, google has done many good things for the internet before wich peopl seem to be ignoring, and they sure have some of the best minds on the planet, Wouldn’t they if anyone be able to create a great vpn service?! i do think so. Let’s wait and see!

    2. Iron Heart said on November 2, 2020 at 9:11 am
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      @Finnegan

      Why? Mullvad still existed last time I checked. Mozilla’s VPN is just Mullvad with their own brand slapped onto it for marketing reasons.

    3. OneWhoCares said on November 21, 2020 at 2:15 pm
      Reply

      Why RIP Mozilla VPN?! Why would they suffer from this?!

  5. ShintoPlasm said on November 1, 2020 at 9:33 pm
    Reply

    LOL

  6. No Thanks, CIA said on November 1, 2020 at 9:35 pm
    Reply

    5 Eyes VPN

  7. chesscanoe said on November 1, 2020 at 9:55 pm
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    The bottom of Martin’s included link says “iOS, Windows, and Mac coming soon.” Sounds promising to me.

  8. Herman Cost said on November 1, 2020 at 10:37 pm
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    I love the assertion that Google will not track, log or sell data. Reminds of Bill Clinton saying he did not have sex with that woman. I guess it depends on how you define track, log or sell. it might be more interesting to know exactly what they intend to do with the data that will be available.

    In any case, the irony is palpable. People need a VPN to avoid being tracked by Google in the first place. So now they want you to pay them to avoid being tracked by them. There is a word for that kind of behavior: blackmail. In any case, if they thought this service would be in any way effective and widely popular, then how could they possibly square that with their core customer base who are, of course, advertisers?

    And oh yes, the third party audit approach is nothing but a PR stunt which must be getting a big laugh at Alphabet HQ. I was a partner in an auditing firm in my prior career and I can tell you for certain that there is no possible way for the auditors to find anything that Google programmers and/or management wants to hide from them. The auditors will be necessarily dependent on information that they receive from Google.

    I look forward to the Facebook and Twitter VPNs, coming soon to give you even more privacy.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on November 1, 2020 at 11:36 pm
      Reply

      That’s because it’s the backend that’s the problem, not the worthless open-source client :)

    2. Jesus666 said on November 21, 2020 at 2:22 pm
      Reply

      Geez, it’s really depressing reading your negative bs. You should find something fun to do in your life, be positive, think positive!

  9. Dave said on November 1, 2020 at 11:43 pm
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    The sad part is that there are plenty of people ignorant enough to pay google to prevent anyone but google from harvesting their personal data.

  10. Anonymous said on November 1, 2020 at 11:59 pm
    Reply

    What’s up with every company launching their own VPN

  11. Anonymous said on November 2, 2020 at 12:29 am
    Reply

    I don’t trust all of Google service.
    I definetly won’t use them

  12. asd said on November 2, 2020 at 12:41 am
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    Hahaha, I’m definitely looking towards Google, to bring me privacy. Fucking lol.

  13. ULBoom said on November 2, 2020 at 1:38 am
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    Ha! Ha! Ha!Ha! Ha! Ha!Ha! Ha! Ha!Ha! Ha! Ha!

    For all the reasons above.

    Wonder how FoxyMullTunnelVad is doing?

  14. TacoT said on November 2, 2020 at 5:24 am
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    Since it’s not legal for the US Govt to outright spy on its citizens, they just get around it by buying the same data from companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.

    Ya, no thanks Google.

    1. Anonymous said on November 5, 2020 at 12:16 am
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      “Since it’s not legal for the US Govt to outright spy on its citizens”

      Hearing that in 2020, almost as funny as Google selling a VPN.

  15. Paul(us) said on November 2, 2020 at 8:52 am
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    Lol, I can remember those exact same words from google in 2008 when there browser launched the only difference in 2020 is that the replaced browser with VPN “Google won’t use the VPN connection “to track, log, or sell” a customer’s browsing activity”.

    And probbably Google wil not do this for less than one second. This so the lawyers can say that Google kept there word but du to surconstances beyond Google his reach, being that they had to adapt to other brands of vpn to keep up.

  16. Iron Heart said on November 2, 2020 at 8:55 am
    Reply

    Serious question: What kind of idiot would even consider using this?

  17. Matti said on November 2, 2020 at 10:42 am
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    I see Google is getting into the stand-up comedy business.

  18. Anonymous said on November 2, 2020 at 12:34 pm
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    The main purpose of a VPN is to be hidden from NSA owned companies such as Google.

    Finaly a good joke!

    The soon migh launch an ad block and anti-tracking app.

    I wouldn’t use even if it was 110% free.

  19. TelV said on November 2, 2020 at 3:15 pm
    Reply

    VPN, but since Google doesn’t understand the word “Privacy”, it’ll mean: “Very Profitable Network”.

    A rather amusing statement on their site though which says “Some sites and apps use outdated, weak or no encryption at all.”. Since Google Chrome will block non-SSL sites anyway it seems to be a rather lame excuse to try and entice users to sign up.

  20. js said on November 2, 2020 at 4:01 pm
    Reply

    would i use it? hell no. but it could be usable for people who already pay for google one and don’t want or care to get a real vpn. i know a lot of them. if they think they with get a privacy vpn then they are idiots, but it could be usable for them to download just torrents with it without getting letter from their isp.

  21. Anonymous said on November 2, 2020 at 5:00 pm
    Reply

    I would appreciate Facebooks VPN even more
    /s

    1. ULBoom said on November 2, 2020 at 6:54 pm
      Reply

      They had one. It was marketed primarily to and used to spy on mostly minors as I recall. Even paid them to use it while not being clear as to what it really did.

  22. Anonymous said on November 2, 2020 at 5:06 pm
    Reply

    Wait I have another one:

    “Oh, it’s monday. I’ll check my email and see what’s new in google’s privacy policy changes”

  23. Herman Cost said on November 2, 2020 at 6:06 pm
    Reply

    First thing I can remember that everyone here agreed upon without even having to think much about it :-)

    1. TacoT said on November 3, 2020 at 5:09 am
      Reply

      This is funny, and true. Harmonious anti-Google unity.

  24. Corky said on November 2, 2020 at 7:03 pm
    Reply

    I thought GHacks was a tea drinking safe zone, I’ve got tea all over my keyboard and monitor now. ;)

  25. empirefall said on November 2, 2020 at 9:43 pm
    Reply

    HAHAHA! why do I not just send Google the keys to my house, my personal documents and the rest of my belongings

  26. Peterc said on November 2, 2020 at 10:06 pm
    Reply

    I actually started composing a reply to this post yesterday, but all my groaning, sighing, and head-shaking made it even harder to type than usual. Besides, I thought to myself, at least a dozen commenters are going to say what *I* was going to say by the next time I check in, and sure enough…

  27. thebrowser said on November 2, 2020 at 11:14 pm
    Reply

    @Herman Cost

    > First thing I can remember that everyone here agreed upon without even having to think much about it :-)

    And aren’t we all having fun like this? Just like the good times back a few years ago in Ghacks without worthless battles in the comments :)

  28. Google is God said on November 3, 2020 at 1:22 am
    Reply

    This is likely going to very popular with those who already have Google One, as the VPN will help secure things from hackers, and it’s free. Also, I imagine this will help secure things more with Google Pay and more.

    But if you don’t use Google, they why even complain?

    Don’t you have anything better to do?

  29. Paddleless said on November 3, 2020 at 6:31 am
    Reply

    Will they allow users of their VPN to use Google Search without having to solve CAPTCHAs?
    If so, will they end their practice of requiring the users of other VPNs to solve CAPTCHAs in order to use Google Search?
    If they treat the users of other VPNs differently, would this be a possible anti-trust issue?

  30. Anonymous said on November 3, 2020 at 11:10 am
    Reply

    I never thought Google,privacy and a vpn all go together.Who really wants to use their service.
    They as a trillion dollar company have enough money as it is already,don’t give them anymore.
    There are plenty of vpn services already available that are worthy of your money.

  31. thebrowser said on November 3, 2020 at 1:44 pm
    Reply

    @Paddleless

    > If they treat the users of other VPNs differently, would this be a possible anti-trust issue?

    Very unlikely, with their own VPN they effectively control all of the traffic going through it and can justify that they “know enough” about their own users to automatically pass the reCAPTCHA. Whereas with other providers they simply don’t really know who is “on the other side” and need to perform additional testing.

  32. Sebas said on November 3, 2020 at 1:45 pm
    Reply

    A Google executive who they had forgotten to fire, to the Google VPN geniuses: “You’d better get this sorted, because if this goes tits-up you and I will be lucky to get jobs on the production team of the chuckle brothers!”

  33. Wayfarer said on November 3, 2020 at 2:03 pm
    Reply

    A VPN needs to be trusted. How many of us would ever use the words Google and trust in the same sentence?

    1. thebrowser said on November 3, 2020 at 4:26 pm
      Reply

      You can trust Google to collect, analyze and sell your data :)

    2. Mark said on November 4, 2020 at 8:08 pm
      Reply

      Most people want a vpn for bypassing geoblocks of sites, being able to watch services that are not available in their country, bypassing isp blocks of piracy sites, download torrents. This shit will deliver that and they will get it with no extra cost. Why do you think that everybody is using a vpn for hiding their identity? Most people want a vpn for bypassing restrictions. Have you seen how many people use these free vpns or just use opera for their “vpn”?

  34. Ryan F said on November 3, 2020 at 5:45 pm
    Reply

    People use VPNs to protect themselves from companies like Google. This is laughable.

    1. Mark said on November 4, 2020 at 10:11 pm
      Reply

      No they don’t. Most people use vpns for bypassing geoblocks of sites, being able to watch services that are not available in their country, bypassing isp blocks of piracy sites, download torrents. They use vpns to protect themselves from restrictions. Don’t confuse your workspace with the workspace of the majority. They can be different.

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