Google VPN is causing all kinds of issues for Pixel owners

Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro shown side by side
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Google One VPN bit the dust on June 20, 2024. From its ashes, though, we now have VPN by Google, a rebrand of its built-in VPN service for Pixel owners.       

Unfortunately, this change seems to have brought a bit of chaos into Google's ecosystem. Many users on Reddit are reporting that when the VPN is enabled, they can't access any webpages at all. The only answer seems to be switching off the VPN altogether, but that defeats the whole point. Needless to say, some users have been left wondering if maybe it's time to switch to one of the best VPNs.

Others, like 9to5Google, aren't having problems with browsing, but are unable to access many streaming apps – again negating one of the biggest reasons to use a VPN.                      

What's going on? 

Google Pixel Fold showing Google VPN app

(Image credit: Google)

Well, it looks like the switch from the Pixel 8-only Google One VPN to the new VPN by Google could have gone more smoothly. In a reply on the Google Pixel subreddit, it does seem like the issues may be over, at least for Pixel 8 owners.

One of the biggest positives of the new VPN is that it's available on Pixel 7, 7 Pro, 7a and Pixel Fold devices for the first time. However, some people on these older devices are reportedly still waiting for the appropriate system update.

If you're on one of these phones and can't find the option for the VPN, try updating your system software. If you still can't find anything VPN-related, that may be because your network provider is holding the update back. 

Alternatives

Luckily whether you're after a quality streaming VPN or just looking to improve your online privacy, you're spoiled for choice. 

Our top choice for both is NordVPN, which offers a fast, secure and stable service. While it's great for your phone, the desktop version (on Mac or Windows) is the real star with the brand new Threat Protection Pro system combining elements of leading antivirus software to create an all-in-one protection solution. 

If you're after a free alternative, then we've got you covered too. PrivadoVPN Free is our number one choice, but its mobile apps are a bit lacking, so it might be worth giving Proton VPN's free offering a try. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer – VPN

Andy is Tom's Guide Staff Writer for VPNs and privacy. Based in the UK, he originally cut his teeth at Tom's Guide as a Trainee Writer (go and click on his articles!) before moving to cover all things Tech and streaming at T3. He's now back at Tom's Guide to keep you safe online, and bring you the latest news in VPN and cybersecurity.