Google One VPN is the Google Graveyard's newest victim

Google Ones vpnImage: Google

Days after I said a tearful goodbye to Google’s pretty-darn-good Podcasts app (yet another service that Google fed to YouTube as if it was a ravenous monster that needed to be sated), they’re at it again. This time it’s the Google One VPN, a perk that’s added on when you buy Google One storage to augment the company’s cloud services.

So sayeth an email that arrived in my inbox last night, informing me that Google One will be “phasing out two benefits.” The service is no longer offering free shipping for photo prints — which admittedly I never even thought about using — and the One VPN that comes with my $1.99 a month 200GB storage plan. Google says it’ll be gone sometime later this year, though precisely when wasn’t shared.

Why? According to a Google representative speaking to 9to5Google, the company is shutting down the VPN because “people simply weren’t using it.” I’m not willing to take that statement on faith, though. I’d wager that there’s a far more mercurial calculation going on behind the scenes, because the multi-device VPN perk that came with my $2 subscription is far less expensive than a lot of the competitors out there.

Google One VPN is the company’s latest app or service to get the unceremonious axe. While it’s true that most of the things Google offers to consumers are free, it still feels like you’re dating someone with a heartbreaker reputation every time you try a new one. I had more than a dozen feeds in Google Podcasts, all wonderfully organized and auto-streaming…and now Google wants me to switch it all over to YouTube, and presumably watch its ads every 20 minutes.

The “Google Graveyard” has become the unofficial name for the company’s abandoned apps and services, including such beloved internments as Google (RSS) Reader, Google Inbox, and Google Music. As The Verge’s David Pierce recently explained, it feels impossible to have faith in Google anymore.

Google’s email says it will continue to offer the Google One VPN (renamed “VPN from Google”) to owners of the Pixel 7 phone or later models, and subscribers to the Google Fi phone service can also use a free VPN through their mobile connection. If you’d like to buy virtual private network service from a company that won’t shut it down at the drop of a hat, check out PCWorld’s report on the best VPNs.

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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