For the past few years, Google’s MVNO has long offered a built-in virtual private network as part of its monthly subscription. The Google Fi VPN is now rolling out to iPhone users.
Google announced this expansion to iOS back in February when the Fi VPN exited beta for Android users. It was first introduced in November of 2018 alongside an “enhanced network” option that enables the secured connection and automatically switches to mobile data on poor Wi-Fi connections. It expanded beyond Pixel devices a year later to all Android phones.
This capability shields your IP address and makes sure nefarious parties cannot see what you’re browsing when you’re browsing on unsecured networks. It’s rolling out starting today, but we’ve yet to encounter it. Google tells us that the Fi VPN will be widely available in the coming weeks.
Be sure to update to version 3.5 of the Fi companion app on the App Store. Afterward, you enable it by scrolling through the main “Account” tab until you reach the “Phone Settings” section. There will be a “Privacy & security” menu — renamed from just “Privacy” — where you’ll be able to turn on/off the new “Protect your online activity” option.
Pop-ups will appear to confirm the feature (Got it > Allow), and then you enter your passcode/fingerprint/Face ID. “VPN” will appear in the top iPhone status bar when you’re connected.
The Google Fi VPN is available in the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, US, US Minor Outlying Islands, and Virgin Islands
This built-in VPN, along with spam blocking, is available on all three Google Fi plans (Flexible, Simply Unlimited, and Unlimited Plus). It was originally expected to arrive this spring.