Google One lets you pick which apps can get around your VPN

Google One
(Image credit: Google)
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Google is in the process of rolling out a new feature for the VPN (opens in new tab) service that comes bundled with its cloud storage (opens in new tab) subscription package, Google One (opens in new tab).

A teardown of the Android app performed by XDA Developers has revealed new functionality that allows for certain applications to bypass the VPN, similar to split-tunneling features available with the likes of ExpressVPN (opens in new tab).

Until now, if Google One users came across an app that suffered degraded performance while the VPN was active, the entire service would need to be disabled. With the new whitelist feature, however, users can pick and choose which applications are routed through the VPN and which through their regular network.

  • Check out our list of the best iPhone VPN (opens in new tab) services around
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  • Take a look at our list of the best Windows 10 VPN (opens in new tab) services right now

Google One VPN update

The addition of a VPN service to Google One was first announced in autumn last year, as an additional perk for US-based customers on the 2TB plan (costing $9.99/mo) or larger.

Although the Google One VPN is available to iOS users, the new whitelist feature is currently rolling out to Android customers only. Techradar Pro has asked Google for clarification over whether iPhone users can expect the feature in the near future.

Qualifying users can begin to formulate a whitelist from within the VPN settings panel in the Google One app, under Allow apps to bypass VPN. Here, users will be able to browse a full list of apps installed on their device, which can be added to or removed from the bypass list with a single tap.

The Google One support page sheds additional light on potential use cases for the feature, listed as follows:

  • If you need to use websites and services that block VPN usage
  • If an app needs to use your mobile wireless provider network to find info that relates to your account
  • If you can’t use a device in your local network while the VPN is connected
  • If you want to stream content and privacy doesn’t concern you 

Google also lists a couple of services that it recommends are not added to the whitelist, such as web browsers (opens in new tab) and any apps users don't wholly trust to handle their data.

Via XDA Developers (opens in new tab) 

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.