Friday, May 24, 2024

Google to Discontinue Google One VPN Service Amid Declining Usage

Google has announced the impending shutdown of its Google One VPN service, signaling the end of another product in its lineup due to low user engagement. The service, integrated within the Google One subscription, is set to retire later this year, with specific details yet to be confirmed.

Background: Initially launched in 2020 as part of a premium package that included 2TB of Google Drive storage, the Google One VPN aimed to attract users with enhanced online privacy and security. Despite a significant price reduction to just $2 per month, the service struggled to maintain a substantial user base. A representative from Google conveyed that the discontinuation is due to the lack of substantial use by the subscribers, enabling the company to focus on more popular features.

Enhanced Features for Google One Subscribers: As the VPN service winds down, Google is expanding access to other valuable tools for its subscribers. Starting May 15, features like the Magic Editor, previously exclusive to Pixel devices, will be available for Google One users. This upgrade allows subscribers to utilize advanced photo editing tools within their Google Photos app, although some features will require a premium subscription of at least $10 per month for unlimited use.

Limited VPN Functionality and Privacy Concerns: One of the critical drawbacks of Google One VPN was its limited functionality; users could not switch countries or select specific servers. Moreover, while Google promoted a no-logging policy, the company acknowledged the potential collection of logs under certain conditions, which might not cater to users seeking maximum privacy and flexibility.

Continuation of Other Google VPN Services: The termination of Google One VPN does not affect Google’s other VPN services. Google Fi’s VPN remains available for all phones linked to the Google Fi network, and the dedicated VPN service for Pixel 7 and Pixel 8 devices will continue to operate.

Alternatives for Budget-Conscious Users: For those looking for cost-effective VPN alternatives, services like Proton VPN and Mozilla VPN offer competitive pricing, with annual plans costing around $5 to $6 per month. Surfshark provides a closer price match to Google One VPN, with plans as low as approximately $2.29 per month when billed biennially.

Conclusion: As Google phases out its Google One VPN, users may explore various other budget-friendly VPN services that offer robust privacy features without breaking the bank. Google’s focus shifts towards enhancing and expanding more popular and demanded features within the Google One suite, promising a richer experience for its subscribers.

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