Google One, the company’s storage subscription service, added a VPN (virtual private network) on higher storage tiers in October last year. The internet giant is now working on adding a new feature to its VPN service – the ability to block internet access when VPN is disconnected. An APK teardown of the latest version (v1.92) of the Google One app for Android revealed this upcoming feature.
The folks over at 9to5Google have discovered strings for a setting to “block internet if VPN disconnects” in the said APK. The feature is currently marked as “beta” and is not yet live on the app. However, once it goes live, it will ensure that your internet browsing is always routed through the VPN. If your VPN connection is disrupted, you’ll entirely lose internet access. Of course, your internet access is restored once VPN reconnects.
Moreover, “VPN will try to reconnect automatically,” after you restart your device. To be fair, the app already does that. However, you must note that your device will have internet access until VPN reconnects, even with the new “block internet if VPN disconnects” setting turned on (provided you have turned on mobile data or are connected to Wi-Fi). The new setting essentially only works once VPN connects for the first time after a device restart.
According to the report, this setting may be available under “View details” on the “Online protection with a VPN” card. This section currently only features a reminder on how you can add a VPN toggle in the Quick Settings menu.
Google One is adding a setting to block internet access when VPN disconnects
You must be already aware that VPNs create private internet connections across public networks. They reroute your internet traffic through a remote server, thus hiding your IP address and location from the websites you visit. Moreover, VPNs also encrypt your internet traffic. This means no one will ever see what you’re doing online – protecting you from all the evil (and some not-so-evil) eyes trying to prey on your internet activities.
VPNs on Android already offer features like “Always-on VPN” and “Block connections without VPN”. However, you cannot use those features “if you’ve set up a VPN through an app”. With the upcoming setting, users of VPN by Google One will have this ability.
This would be ideal if you don’t want anyone ever to track your internet activities. You may have to live without internet sometimes (when VPN disconnects), but you’ll be safer that way.
It’s pertinent to mention here that unannounced features spotted in APKs may or may not ever go live. They just hint at what possible features are being worked on for a particular app. So it’s not yet confirmed if, and when, VPN by Google One will gain the ability to block internet access when VPN is disconnected.
Google One v1.92 is now rolling out to users via the Play Store.