Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs for short, are primarily designed to enhance user anonymity. They achieve this by giving you the freedom to choose the country from which your IP address is being broadcast from. The aim is to maximize privacy by limiting the extent to which you can be tracked online.
However many apps and services require pinpoint accuracy to properly work or serve their users. Think Uber or some other form of experience that relies explicitly on your exact physical location. This presents a unique challenge. With Google One VPN, for example, the service often disconnects entirely as it conflicts with the very actions the apps are trying to perform.
The good news is that Google is set to resolve this issue. Starting July 29, 2023, the company will introduce a new feature to its VPN – a local IP address switching mode. In an email sent out this week, Google revealed that it would begin connecting you to servers geographically closer to where you are by default – a considerable shift from obscuring your location by placing your spoofed data further from your actual residence.
However, if this doesn’t sit well with you, it seems the option will be toggleable. Google says it remains committed to providing secure and private connections. This means your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will allegedly still be unable to determine your actual IP address or precise location.
Google One VPN is unique in that it doesn’t offer a country selector. This choice seems to have been made to prioritize simplicity over granularity. I would say Google is doing what it can to merge the best of both worlds – offering users location accuracy for enhanced app performance while preserving their privacy. Now, I know some of you might have mixed feelings about this just like I do. Instead of maximizing distance, it’s bringing things closer to home – definitely leaves you a bit wary.