Google’s Project Fi Now Comes with a VPN for Protection
Your internet activity is visible to wireless providers and mobile carriers, but Google is at least trying to mitigate the feeling of constant surveillance for subscribers of its wireless network, Project Fi.
The search giant announced today an “enhanced network” of security meant to blanket Project Fi with an ever-present virtual private network (VPN), encrypting all traffic entering the system through Wi-Fi or cellular. Project Fi is the company’s own cellular service, made possible through piggyback partnerships: It grants customers access to cellular networks from carriers like Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile in addition to two million free Wi-Fi networks dispersed internationally. It allows you to harness whatever network is most prevalent in a given region, and its rates are competitive.
This update means all traffic will be filtered through a Google VPN, regardless of which carrier provides the connection. The point is granting users some cherished anonymity: Google claims that browsing activity won’t be stored on company servers, and your traffic won’t be tied to your Google account. Of course, you’ll have to take them at their word, and that browsing data can, obviously, still be connected to your account if you’re logged into Google Chrome.
The new Project Fi also does a great deal to combat spotty Wi-Fi connectivity. Under the update, your phone won’t cling to weak wireless networks but instead will switch automatically to mobile data when a signal fades. This will help mitigate some of the routine headaches borne of crappy connections.
The updates to connectivity and the price alone make Project Fi a compelling offer, and the VPN on top is an added bonus if, otherwise, you’d have nothing at all. But if you’re serious about security, there’s ample reason to remain cautious. After all, the data collection is big business and the only VPN you can trust is one you’ve vetted and chosen yourself.