Google One VPN shutting down, Pixel VPN remains

Google One VPN shutting down, Pixel VPN remains


Back in October of 2020, Google One introduced a VPN that later became available on all plans and platforms. Google announced today that the VPN by Google One is shutting down in the coming months.

It was originally pitched as providing an “extra layer of online protection for your Android phone” and “peace of mind that your data is safe,” with the company publishing a white paper that detailed how it works. Additionally, Google had a third-party audit of the system and open sourced the client APIs.

At the moment, this VPN is available in the Google One apps for Android and iOS, while Mac and Windows clients are also available. It originally required a $9.99 per month Premium plan, but was brought down to the $1.99/mo offering in March of 2023. 

Google is now “discontinuing the VPN feature as [they] found people simply weren’t using it.” The company tells 9to5Google that the deprecation will let the team “refocus” and “support more in-demand features with Google One.”

Earlier this year, Google One hit 100 million subscribers and CEO Sundar Pichai teased it as a future growth area driven by AI. Today’s change follows this week’s news about AI editing tools in Google Photos going free in the coming months and no longer requiring a subscription save for unlimited Magic Editor usage.

VPN by Google One is going away in the next few months, with no specific timeline provided today. Existing users will be directed to third-party VPN alternatives.

Meanwhile, there are no changes to the free Pixel VPN introduced with the Pixel 7 series in 2022. At the time, availability was guaranteed for five years.

In fact, the big VPN upgrade introduced with the Pixel 8 is coming to the Pixel 7, 7 Pro, 7a, and Fold in June. Those older Pixel phones will stop using the Google One app and switch to a built-in service that means there’s no persistent notification. 

The VPN available with Google Fi will also remain available.

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