What’s Google Fi?
Google Fi (formerly Project Fi) is Google’s phone carrier, a service that piggybacks off Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Three’s cellular networks, and can automatically connect to more than two million Wi-Fi hotspots around the U.S.
Google Fi also has connectivity in over 170 countries worldwide.
What’s Google Fi VPN?
Google has recently upgraded its virtual private network (VPN) feature for Google Fi customers, allowing users the option to use a VPN for everything they do on Google Fi – Wi-Fi and cellular connections alike.
Google Fi VPN is a free, always-on VPN , and when you enable it on your phone, it encrypts your online activity, hiding it from the rest of the network.
According to Google, the always-on VPN should also reduce connection downtime when your device switches between cellular data and a wifi hotspot. To reduce interruptions, the Google Fi app switches your mobile data on once your Wi-Fi signal strength drops below a certain threshold.
Trade-Offs When Using Google Fi VPN
- Data Usage May Go Up 10%
You’ll have to turn Google’s enhanced network feature on if you want to use it—it isn’t enabled by default, and for good reason. Google warns that turning on the feature may bump your data usage by 10 percent and cause slowdowns, in some instances, since all of your data gets routed through Google’s VPN.
- Your VPN Data Sits on Google Servers
A VPN acts like a barrier that sits between your device and the network. Instead of your device connecting to a website, you connect to the VPN, and the VPN routes your traffic. The carrier network just sees data exchange between you and the VPN service. That means the VPN sees all of your data, so you need to trust the VPN provider more than your ISP or carrier.
Enabling Google Fi VPN
- Make sure you’re running the latest version of the Google Fi app from Google Play.
- Open the Google Fi app.
- Locate and tap the “Fi Network Tools” option.
- Enable “Enhance network” by tapping the slider.
Pixel 2 XL with Google Fi VPN Active