Let’s face it, a VPN offers a variety of benefits to online consumers. This ranges from hiding user IP to unblocking geo-restriction. As a result, it enables us to feel secure online.
Several VPN services are available in the market today. And each tends to promise exceptional online privacy and security. Among them is Google VPN.
After Google launched its VPN service, there were mixed reactions among Virtual Private Network (VPN) users. Again, many people have become skeptical about Google’s new business venture.
If you aren’t sure what VPN is then look at the article What is VPN and how it helps users protect privacy? by Privacy Savvy. It should give you a pretty good overview on the topic.
Considering you have a decent knowledge about VPN in mind, let’s dig deeper about Google VPN – and if it is worth trusting.
What is Google VPN?
Google VPN is Google-owned virtual private network service (as the name suggests) designed to help users encrypt their online activities. It comes as a free version though embedded in the 2TB or higher tier plan on Google One. Google affirms that the VPN is easy-to-use and offers maximum protection once connected.
The tech giant also released an Android-based version (the app) that is currently available to US users only. Still, the firm promises to expand its VPN services to other countries. It also aims at providing broader device support software.
That said, you might be amazed to discover that the VPN isn’t free as the company claims. First, it is only available to Google One users who subscribe to larger storage plans. The cost of specific plans often varies between countries.
For instance, you may pay between $10 to over $200 a month for a Google One package. With an active subscription, you then access Google VPN. Also, while it is costly, but interested users may opt for annual subscriptions – that is a bit cheaper.
How Google VPN came to be
The appearance of Google VPN might not have come as a surprise for people who have been in the VPN industry.
Back in 2018, Google tested its first VPN product, Google Fi. It was a mobile virtual network operator where the company tried its luck in the market.
Google’s intent seems to target the global market with its new VPN service. However, the VPN industry is congested with countless similar programs. While Google is a king when it comes to the search world, many internet users have posed myriad questions regarding the services’ trustworthiness.
How VPNs work
A VPN gives users online privacy and anonymity by generating a private network from a public internet connection. These are the primary roles of a VPN, but the software offers more. But how exactly does it work?
When you open your VPN, it first hides your IP address. This is achieved by redirecting your connection to a remote server hosted by the VPN provider. Meaning you get to surf online without being noticed.
Besides, Internet Service Providers and third-parties will not know your data traffic, IP address, or websites you visit. In other words, a VPN works as a filter that spoofs your data and scrambles your internet traffic.
A VPN as a whole forms a robust security environment for you online. That helps you become secure online anytime your browse, stream, or download stuff. Here is what a VPN does for you;
- Protects against unwanted data collection
- Fights censorship
- Secures users on open/public WiFi
- Protects data from hackers
- Limits digital footprints
- Unblocks geo-restricted content
Understandably, the relationship between VPN service providers and users is built from mutual trust. That is users trust providers with their sensitive information. Whereas these services can readily access any data you traverse through them. Thus, it would help if you had a trustworthy VPN service provider.
When we talk about the Google VPN, trust may not be a piece of vocabulary that everyone wants to hear. The big tech company has faced various criticism over user data tracking and usage. Most online consumers lack credibility with Google. This alone creates a significant setback for the success of Google VPN.
What is the prime concern with Google VPN?
When we go back a few years ago, Google was the backbone of search engines. As time went by, people began to get concerned about how creepy the tech firm has become. In turn, most online consumers turned to VPNs to avoid data traffic tracking.
Google has since been considered a data aggregator despite trying to be transparent. And it seems Google VPN is no different. Nevertheless, the company affirms that the VPN doesn’t track user logs.
Hence, the tech giant has tried to prove the transparency of the software to users. For instance, it has a Google VPN code open-source running on consumers’ devices. It also plans for more, but it remains unclear how Google VPN really works.
Google faced several antitrust lawsuits in the last decade. Thus, claiming to be a privacy-oriented VPN service is alarming. The tech giant is characterized by collecting user data and invading people’s privacy.
Millions of people have continued to turn to Google and Chrome alternatives. Namely, they are looking for secure platforms that don’t track their data. Because Google VPN is a product of the big tech, using it may seem risky.
Why Google VPN is an unideal option for you
As of now, Google VPN doesn’t offer a selection of servers. Primarily, it seems the software comes with a button to just turn it on and off. Yet, its simplistic design gives it an added advantage.
Again, Google VPN can be ineffective when it comes to unblocking geo-restriction content of platforms with an aggressive approach towards VPNs such as Netflix. Another thing is that it limits users from having control over their IP addresses. Hence, it is not the best tool to fight censorship at will.
The prime concern is the mistrust people have towards the VPN provider, Google. It seems having Google VPN may open up more channels for the tech giant to collect more user data. All those reasons may force many people to find the VPN unsuitable for them.
Google VPN tries to convince users to be a reliable privacy tool. Despite the owner, parent company, Google, being a known tracker, some people may get tempted to use it.
However, it is essential to consider using only trustworthy VPN services because the first rule here is to have trust with your provider. Yet again, Google VPN might be the entity devoted to protecting your online activities.