Google’s sibling company launches free VPN software


Tech incubator outfit Jigsaw has released a novel piece of software that will allow anyone to set up and run their own ‘homebrew’ free VPN.

Jigsaw, formerly known as Google Ideas, and now owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, has launched Outline, a piece of free proxy software. It’s out for Windows and Android, with versions for the Mac and iOS due in the ‘coming weeks’.

The app will let you set up your own VPN server on a physical server you own, or on a virtual server in the cloud (using a platform such as Google Cloud Engine), and the idea is to make it very easy to do so. As Wired reports, Jigsaw wants to make setting up the VPN something that small businesses or even individual users can do in minutes, with little fuss.

Data defense

Santiago Andrigo, product manager at Jigsaw, commented: “The core of the product is that people can run their own VPN. You get the reassurance that no one else has your data, and you can rest easier in that knowledge.”

Of course, the whole idea of a VPN is to secure your data (and better maintain your privacy) by sending it through an encrypted tunnel online. However, using a VPN tunnel may keep your data hidden from prying eyes like your ISP or the government, but the VPN provider itself can still potentially access your data.

So by running your own VPN, you can be totally assured that no third-party can pry into that precious data.

The other benefit is that this is a free piece of software, and although there are free VPNs out there, those particular providers are the ones most likely to be beset by privacy concerns (they have to turn a profit somehow, as we’ve discussed in the past).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).