Lots of Google products begin life as a public beta. In some cases, that can last years, and it’s a major milestone when they leave that branding behind. Today Google Fi’s VPN graduates out of beta status. Not only does that mean it’s getting a new spot in a redesigned “privacy & security” section of the Google Fi app, it also means it’s coming to iPhones.
The news comes courtesy of a blog post published by Google earlier today. In case you weren’t familiar, Google Fi has had a VPN available for customers that helps save them money. I know, it sounds odd, but Fi encourages customers to connect to public Wi-Fi access points so they can reduce mobile data use. To make sure customers can trust that connection, the company offers a complimentary VPN that maintains their security even as they enjoy those free bits. And voila: Google Fi saves customers money.
You can read Google’s documentation to learn more about how the VPN works. But the short version is: you can trust it as far as you can trust Google, and any other devices on those open networks can’t see what you’re doing beneath the veil of encryption. Google also offers a similar service for Google One subscribers as a VIP perk.
The enhanced network VPN has been explicitly labeled as a “beta” for ages, but Google is changing that today. After years of use and trust, customers on Google Fi can depend on it. As part of that change, the VPN is also rolling out to iPhone-using Fi subscribers later this spring, and it will be moved to a new “privacy & security” section in the Google Fi app, that seems to merge the existing “privacy,” “spam” and Fi Network Tools sections together into a single menu. It isn’t live for us just yet, but Google says it will start rolling out today — probably via either an app update or a server-side flag.
As part of the announcement, Google also highlighted other privacy enhancements Fi customers can enjoy, such as spam call avoidance and protection from SIM-swap attacks thanks to things like notifications for account changes and two-factor authentication associated with your Google account.