Google Announces uProxy to Let Users Share Their Internet Connection

October 23, 2013 - Written By Brendan Lynch

While Google hasn’t always been warm to other countries when it comes to offering their services, they have always expressed concern for the lack of security on foreign networks. They have consistently battled with China in this regard and it is in this light that they are releasing their latest project, uProxy. The service is seeded by Google Ideas and is being developed in conjunction with the University of Washington and Brave New Software.

uProxy is a service that will allow your friends and family to connect to the internet via your connection. This will be useful because it will allow users who are in less secure areas of the world have access to a secure connection. In the same light, it will allow users who don’t have access to some necessary services gain access to them via your connection. It is meant to avoid censorship and emphasize privacy due to the fact that some areas of the Internet do not enjoy those luxuries.

You may be thinking that this service sounds very similar to a VPN. While this is true, it behaves slightly differently and is a little more constrained. VPN services can typically handle all traffic over your connection. In this case, uProxy is a browser extension. This means that the service will only affect the traffic that is coming in and out of your browser.

It is important to stress that uProxy is not meant to make you anonymous while on the Internet. In fact, the service will not conceal your IP address at all times, making it essential that you trust the person you are sharing a connection with. While the primary purpose is to help those dealing with government restrictions and spying, it can also be used as any other proxy or VPN service can be. This means you can bypass any corporate or international restrictions to gain access to content that is otherwise blocked.

As of right now, uProxy is in restricted beta. This means that Google is only inviting a small number of users. These users are required to have a strong technical background in order to make sure the service is as secure as possible. uProxy will only be available on Chrome and Firefox for now, but could possible expand in the future.