|VPN||VPN by Google One|
|Based In||Mountain View, California|
VPN by Google One is part of the Google One benefits. You can get it by signing up for the 2TB version of the premium Google One platform for $9.99 a month. In addition, you will have access to other features like 2 Terabytes of data storage and the ability to add up to 5 additional members to your subscription. Other benefits include the ability to schedule a pro session, Google Store Rewards, and up to 40% off hotel stays. At the time of our review, Google VPN is still new, so there are some improvements they are sure to make in the near future. However, the service is far enough along for us to test the speed and quality.
Since the early days of Google, it has dominated almost every field it has joined. That is obvious with their search engine, web browser, email, and smartphone operating systems. Some users are too young to remember that prior to Gmail, email storage limits were about 1/10th of what Google first offered. That prompted other email providers to increase the capacity and features of their services.
Pricing and Payment Options
As we mentioned, you can only get VPN by Google One by signing up for 2 TB or higher account. In the image, you can see the only difference in the plans is the amount of storage they offer to you. The starting plan gives you 2 Terabytes (TB) of storage space for $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. That includes access to Google experts, the option to add family members, extra member benefits, 10% back in the Google Store, and the VPN for Android phones. The second level is 10 TB of space instead of 2 TB for $49.99 a month. The third level is $99.99 a month for 20 TB and the fourth level is $149.99 a month for 30 TB.
In regards to payments, you need to have a Google account with a method of payment set up. While we would like to see a cryptocurrency option, we understand why you would not have one.
VPN by Google One Security
Google designed its VPN to be open-source. That means they show transparency in the design of their VPN. Their white paper document describes the procedures and protocols they use. To summarize, they launched the service using a proprietary VPN protocol. Afterward, they are going to move to IPSec because it is native to Android. Then, they mention moving to another protocol such as Wireguard. We are pleased to see that they do not plan on keeping logs. The image below is from the before mentioned white paper.
VPN by Google One is still a work in progress, at least at the time we are writing this review. They do not offer any specific features for their VPN service. However, we will talk about what they also include as part of your Google One account.
- Storage space – Storage space is important. As the world becomes more digital, users store many different types of media and documents in their online storage. The primary advantage of that is convenience. If you forget your important documents, you have a backup method. Of course, you could also digitize old photo albums or music. The free space Google gives you may not be enough for everything you and your family want to store. Whether you decide to get the 2, 10, 20, or 30 Terabyte plan, you can store all your files in the Google One account.
- Access to Google Experts – This feature allows you to get more out of your Google experience. When you take advantage of this option, Google privacy experts will help you improve your online privacy.
- Option to add family – Utilizing this option, you can add up to five additional family members to your account to take advantage of the benefits.
- Extra Member Benefits – These benefits have yet to be named. However, they state more are coming soon.
- Google Store Rewards – With Google Store rewards, you can earn up to 10% back in store credit on all device purchases from the Google Store.
- Google Hotel Discounts – This is a special discount that allows Google One members to save up to 40% on hotel rooms.
VPN by Google One Android App
Unfortunately, the VPN by Google One does not have a console. Instead, they offer a quick and easy way to connect and turn on the VPN. Once you download the Google One app, you see the screen on the left. Now, you can either click benefits at the top or the button at the bottom that says “Enable VPN”. Either way, you come to the middle screen. There is a slider option. Simply slide it to the right to enable the VPN.
DNS Leak Test
We performed several tests on Google’s VPN, and we started by using the DNS leak test. Not surprisingly, Google passed this test with flying colors. There are no instances where it shows our real IP address. They have the technical skills to make sure they do not have DNS leak issues.
Speed tests are also important. If you are trying to protect your privacy, you do not want a VPN to slow your activities down. That is why we are glad to see that Google’s VPN is fast. As you can see in this image, there is about a 52% loss in speed. That is in line with other leading VPN services that we have tested. Not only will that protect you, but it is also fast enough to make sure it does not hold you back from enjoying HD content or other activities that require heavy data usage.
While VPN by Google One is not the primary reason to purchase a Google One account, it seems to do a good job of protecting your privacy. Additionally, it still has more than enough speed to handle your needs. That said, let’s take a look at the good points and the things they can improve on.
- Good Speeds
- No logs
- Easy to use
- Open-source framework
- Good value for the entire account
- Ability to add family members
- Create separate console
- Allow members to select VPN servers and locations
- Offer more payment options
- Open the VPN to more platforms (coming soon)
- Add more protocols (coming soon)
As we said, this VPN is still in the early stages. However, we are encouraged by the Google teams’ efforts so far and the fact that they have designed the product to be open source. VPN by Google One has quite a bit of potential and we look forward to seeing where they take it next. The competition should be good for the community, once Google gets everything up and running.