Google One VPN axed for everyone but Pixel loyalists • The Register

Google One VPN axed for everyone but Pixel loyalists • The Register

In an incredibly rare move, Google is killing off one of its online services – this time, VPN for Google One.

The Chocolate Factory announced it would take the virtual private network offering offline in an email to Google One subscribers and Pixel smartphone owners. The note detailed several changes to Google One that would come into effect by May 15, and also mentioned the VPN would be discontinued “later this year” for subscribers. The service was introduced in October 2020.

Owners of Pixel 7 and newer phones will still be able to access the VPN even after it is unavailable for the wider public. The Pixel-exclusive VPN is free and Google previously promised it would remain available for at least five years. We think you all know what’s likely to happen at the end of 2025.

Google One is the web giant’s subscription service that primarily offers more cloud storage for things like files, Gmail, and photos.

The apparent reason for Google killing its VPN service was because demand was fatally low. “We’re refocusing our efforts to support more in-demand features with Google One. To keep our subscription service fresh, we’re discontinuing the VPN feature, as we found people simply weren’t using it,” Google said in a statement to The Register.

That certainly might be true as VPN by Google One was originally limited to the $10-a-month Premium plan, but came to the cheapest Basic $2 monthly plan a year ago, perhaps to get more users using the service.

At the time of writing, there’s no indication on the Google One website that its VPN is going away. The feature is still listed under the benefits section and says it’s available with all Google One plans.

“It should come as no surprise that we want to make VPN technology available to as many users as possible,” says Google’s whitepaper on its moribund VPN service.

However, it’s unclear if Google hasn’t at least tried to remove some mentions of VPN by Google One, which is only talked about sparingly overall and is overshadowed by features such as cloud storage and photo editing.

The end of Google’s VPN is among many things Google has discontinued over the years, according to Killed by Google. The ad giant was on a 197-day streak of not cancelling products and services, and VPN by Google is the first thing this year Google has announced it will end (so far). ®

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