Google One VPN rebrands as Pixel VPN as service axed for most

Google One app on a phone in a jeans pocket
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As we reported a few weeks back, Google has decided to shut down the VPN included with its Google One subscription for good, due to a lack of engagement. In another announcement, we discovered that Google One VPN is set to stop working on June 20, 2024.

However, this doesn't mean that all Google One users have to sign up to one of the best VPN services on the market to maintain their online privacy. Google Pixel users will still have access to the VPN, although in a slightly altered form.

As first revealed by 9to5Google, the Big Tech giant has dropped the Google One branding ahead of its VPN's funeral date. The service now goes by "Pixel VPN by Google."

Screenshots from Google Play App store of VPN by Google One vs Pixel VPN by Google (rebranding)

  (Image credit: 9to5Google)

If you have a Pixel 8, 8 Pro, or 8a, you don't need to worry too much about downloading the VPN app on your device as these smartphone models already come with a built-in VPN feature.

Pixel 7, 7 Pro, 7a, and Fold users should have this functionality soon. However, for now, you still need to head to Google Play App Store to download the VPN app yourself. So, bear in mind to look out for the new name and logo—a blue shield with "G" in the center, instead of the iconic "1" symbol.

Why use a VPN on your smartphone?

Whether you're a Pixel loyalist or a user of any other Android smartphone, you might be wondering at this point why you should use a VPN at all. Well, there are a quite few reasons for that.

Let's face it. Most of us browse the web directly from our smartphones nowadays way more frequently than, let's say, from a laptop or PC. It's important to have a tool that can boost our online privacy and device security.

A VPN, short for virtual private network, is security software that encrypts internet connections and spoofs IP addresses. These functionalities enable you to bypass online geo-restrictions—whether this is a censored site or a foreign streaming library—while boosting your privacy along the way.

All this is crucial when connecting to notoriously unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots, for example. A VPN is also vital when traveling to countries known for restricting access to certain apps—popular social media platforms are often a target. Some of the best Android VPN services on the market even boast extra features to prevent ads and other web trackers from tracking your activity across the web.

In case you're on the hunt for a valid alternative to Google One VPN, I recommend looking into NordVPN. Currently at the top of our VPN rankings, it offers easy-to-use apps, some of the fastest speeds I've seen, a great unblocking track record, and tons of security features. Proton VPN is also a very good option, especially because it includes a free VPN version as well.

Chiara Castro
Senior Staff Writer

Chiara is a multimedia journalist committed to covering stories to help promote the rights and denounce the abuses of the digital side of life—wherever cybersecurity, markets and politics tangle up. She mainly writes news, interviews and analysis on data privacy, online censorship, digital rights, cybercrime, and security software, with a special focus on VPNs, for TechRadar Pro, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide. Got a story, tip-off or something tech-interesting to say? Reach out to