Pixel 7 line starts receiving the free VPN feature promised by Google

Pixel 7 line starts receiving the free VPN feature promised by Google
Back when Google held its "Made by Google" event during which it revealed the features for the Pixel 7 series and the Pixel Watch, the company announced that its 2022 phones would be receiving a free VPN through the Google One app. A VPN is a "Virtual Private Network" that disguises your identity when online and also encrypts your internet data. This makes it harder for attackers to steal your personal data and track your online location. It also gives you protection when using public Wi-Fi networks.

According to 9to5Google, the VPN feature is being pushed out early for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro buyers. Google also has posted a support page that lists the countries where the feature will be available:

  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Google adds that if you have VPN by Google One enabled and you live in one of the above markets, it will still work when you travel to many other countries or regions. Besides Pixel 7 series users, the VPN is also available for Google One subscribers with 2TB of Google One storage (which costs $9.99 per month). Originally, the update containing the VPN feature was expected to arrive for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro with the December Quarterly Pixel Feature Drop expected to drop on December 5th.

After you open the Google One app on your Pixel 7 series handset for the first time following the update, the splash screen announces that "Your Pixel comes with VPN by Google One. Manage the VPN in the Google One app." Tapping on the "View details" button on the app will take you to the Use VPN toggle which you can toggle on in order to use the feature. However, the splash screen will only show you this information once.

Using the Google One app to manage the VPN feature can be done subsequently by opening the Google One app, tapping the Benefits tab on the bottom of the display, and then going to VPN > View details > Enable VPN.

The app notes that by using VPN Android users can reduce online tracking by hiding their IP address. They can also stay protected from hackers on unsecured networks (like public Wi-Fi), and browse the web with a secure and private connection. Pixel 7 series users will be able to add a VPN toggle to their Quick Settings to quickly change the settings, or they can access the feature by going to Settings > Network and Internet > VPN.

Google says that it "will never use your VPN connection to track, collect, or sell your online activity." And while Google might have added the feature as a freebie in order to boost sales of the Pixel 7 line, Pixel 6 series users are hoping that this becomes a feature included in a future Pixel Feature Drop.

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