The VPN market is full of anonymous data scammers clamoring for your attention and your money. When Google entered the fray in October 2020 with its mobile-only Google One VPN offering, it made some ripples, but no big waves. That might be about to change with the availability of VPN clients for Windows and macOS desktops. But should you use it?
What is a VPN and why should you use one?
A Virtual Private Network, as used by many consumers, is a tool to anonymize your data and make servers appear that you are located elsewhere in the world. Most VPN providers also encrypt your data so that it resists Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks from potential spies.
What is Google One VPN?
Google One was launched in 2018 and is a cloud storage solution similar to Dropbox, Microsoft’s OneDrive or the open source NextCloud. It allows users to rent storage space between 100 GB and 2 TB for use on the company’s Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos products. Paid plans for Google One offer a range of other benefits, and if you subscribe to the highest storage tier (2TB at $10 per month) you also get access to Google One VPN, allowing you to hide your raw traffic to snoopers. .
Google has been pushing users to pay for cloud storage for a while, and including the use of a VPN in Google One’s premium tier seems like a good incentive, especially if you’re planning on using one anyway. vpn.
Google’s privacy promises
All VPN companies promise privacy and anonymity. They swear they will never pass your details to the FBI, copyright attorneys, or marketers.
Google has a helpful support page that clarifies some privacy questions you may have on the service. The company explains that its VPN will “protect against hackers on unsecured networks, like public Wi-Fi,” and that “when you hide your IP address, others can’t use your IP address to track your location.” He goes on to say that:
VPN by Google One uses advanced cryptographic techniques to ensure that no one, not even Google, can associate your network traffic with your account or identity. Also, your network traffic and IP address will never be logged, and Google will never use the VPN connection to track, record, or sell your online activity.
Google maintains that it performs minimal logging in order to improve the overall experience, debug the service, and prevent fraud. This logging includes error logs; the number of recent connections to limit concurrent sessions; and the frequency of use of the service over the last month.
Is Google One VPN worth using on the desktop?
The benefit of subscribing to Google One VPN depends on your use case.
If you want a VPN because you are engaged in political disputes in your home country, then no. Google One VPN is only available in 22 countries, and none of them can easily be called an oppressive police state.
And if you want a VPN because you don’t like being tracked by predatory advertising giants, the answer is the same. Your IP address is a small piece of identifying information. Most legitimate online activity takes place in browsers. The world’s most popular browser is made, owned, and operated by Google, and you need a Google Account to use its VPN. Google is the company that does most of the online tracking, and Google One VPN will not protect you or your browser activity from Google itself.
Google’s VPN doesn’t let you choose a location, so there’s no bypassing geoblocks either.
If you are considering using Google VPN as a cover to commit illegal activity, be aware that Google has been known to cooperate with authorities and even has a web portal through which officials can submit requests for user data.
Is Google One VPN better than its competitors?
So how does Google One VPN compare to its competitors?
- Although the price is comparable to a standard commercial VPN for a single month, there is no discount for the commitment. Over an average three-year period, Google One VPN will cost around $280 more.
- Google One VPN doesn’t let you choose your server location, which makes it almost unique among paid VPNs.
- Unlike many competitors that accept cryptocurrencies, your payment information and identity are irrevocably tied to your VPN.
- Some VPN providers, such as Cryptoseal, shut down completely when it became likely that they might be legally compelled to hand over encryption keys. Others opt out completely of territories where they are required by law to collect user data. We don’t see Google doing either.
- Google often kills its products regardless of whether users like them. His VPN could be next.
Google already knows everything about you
If you’re using a Google Account (and if you’re using its VPN, you have to), Google already knows everything about you. He knows where you live, where you work and who you talk to. It reads and sometimes restricts your private documents. It knows your web history and your darkest desires. We’re not sure exactly who this VPN is supposed to be for, but it’s definitely not for people who really value their privacy. Anyone who wants to keep their private life private should avoid Google.
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