In the ever-evolving landscape of tech services, the Google Graveyard has become a familiar plot, claiming yet another victim: Google’s VPN, formerly included with Google One subscriptions. This week, Google announced its decision to discontinue the VPN feature, citing low usage rates among subscribers.

In an email notification to Google One users, the company expressed its intention to sunset the VPN later this year. The rationale behind this move, according to Google, is a strategic shift towards prioritizing more popular features within the Google One subscription suite. A Google spokesperson explained to PCMag, “To keep our subscription service fresh, we’re discontinuing the VPN feature, as we found people simply weren’t using it.”

For those who have come to rely on the VPN service, there’s a small reprieve: it will continue to be available for Pixel 7 and Pixel 8 phone users. However, for the broader user base, the VPN’s days are numbered, with removal expected in the coming months.

The inclusion of a VPN in Google One was initially introduced in 2020 as a value-added privacy feature. However, assessments of the service, including our own review, revealed its limitations compared to dedicated VPN offerings. Critical functionalities such as protocol selection and location spoofing were notably absent, rendering Google’s VPN a basic offering rather than a robust privacy solution.

While the discontinuation may not come as a shock to some, it underscores Google’s pattern of swiftly launching and shuttering products—a trend that has become synonymous with the company’s ethos. From Stadia to Google Podcasts, Google’s track record with product longevity has been a topic of discussion within the tech community.

The demise of Google’s VPN is not an isolated event in the VPN landscape. Atlas VPN, a service boasting 6 million users, recently announced its closure, citing intensified competition and escalating operational costs. The service will officially sunset on April 24, with users being transitioned to NordVPN following its acquisition of Atlas VPN in 2021.

As users bid adieu to Google’s VPN and adapt to alternatives, the tech industry continues its relentless march forward, where innovation and adaptation often come hand in hand with consolidation and discontinuation.

PTSI Editorial Team

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