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Google One VPN is shutting down, but there’s already a better alternative

Published Apr 12th, 2024 11:22AM EDT
Google One VPN
Image: Google

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Considering the state of the internet today, I think having a premium VPN app on your devices should be as big a priority as creating unique passwords for each web property and saving them into a premium password manager app. A virtual private network will anonymize your internet traffic, protecting your IP address and preventing tracking. That’s great for privacy and for securing internet traffic while using an untrusted Wi-Fi connection. A good VPN service will also let you access local websites for regions where you don’t actually live. Similarly, it’ll let you access your favorite streaming service’s library from your home market when traveling abroad.

For all those reasons, I always enable a VPN app on my Mac and iPhone, and I happily pay a subscription for a trusted option.

If Google’s VPN service via Google One were my VPN of choice, I’d be a very disappointed customer right now. Google just announced that the VPN service will be discontinued for the majority of Google One cloud storage subscribers.

As a result, Google will direct users to other alternatives, but you don’t have to wait. I already have a suggestion for you: DuckDuckGo’s new Privacy Pro subscription offers a private and secure VPN app along with two other services you’ll hopefully never need.

Google has started emailing Google One customers about updates to their cloud storage subscription. Android Authority was the first to discover these emails that mention the discontinuation of Google’s VPN service.

The email tells Google One users that Google Photos will receive big AI updates soon. That’s not surprising, as Google announced all Google Photos users will be able to use AI editing features on Android and iPhone soon, including Magic Editor.

Then, Google notes that it’s phasing out two benefits, including the VPN service:

Phasing out two benefits: With a focus on providing the most in-demand features and benefits, we’re discontinuing free shipping for select print orders from Google Photos (in Canada, the UK, US, and EU) starting on May 15 and VPN by Google One later this year. As a Pixel user, you’ll continue to enjoy being able to access VPN from Google through Pixel settings if you have Pixel 7 or newer models.

Pixel users who own a Pixel 7 or newer model can still use the VPN service from the phone settings.

The Google One VPN service isn’t in demand, so Google is retiring it from Google One. The company confirmed to 9to5Google that it’s removing the feature as Google found “people simply weren’t using it.”

Google didn’t offer a precise timeline for the VPN service removal. But when it does, it’ll direct users to third-party options.

The VPN service from DuckDuckGo's Privacy Pro subscription.
The VPN service from DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Pro subscription. Image source: DuckDuckGo

The VPN service was available to premium Google One plans, including the cheaper $1.99 option.

DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Pro service is more expensive, at $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year, but it offers two additional perks. Privacy Pro will help you remove personal information from the web and assist with identity theft restoration in case you become a victim.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.