Protect your online activity

The Google Fi virtual private network (VPN) increases your protection from third-party monitoring. With the VPN, you can:

  • Stream, browse, and download on an automatically encrypted, private connection.
  • Shield against hackers on unsecure networks like public Wi-Fi.
  • Prevent websites from using your IP address to find your location.

VPNs use mobile data for automatic encryption and network optimizations. To make sure that you don’t lose connectivity when your Wi-Fi connection is unusable, the VPN moves to a cell network. If you're in the middle of a download, it might continue to download over mobile data. To go back to Wi-Fi, move closer to your router or access point or pick a different network.

When you use a Wi-Fi hotspot, the device that receives the hotspot doesn’t use the VPN unless you separately use a VPN on that device.

Important: Data-only SIMs and corporate Google Fi accounts can’t use Google Fi VPN.

Google Fi VPN increases your data usage.

Turn the Google Fi VPN on or off

For Android phones:

Important: Your phone must use Android 9 or higher.

  1. Open the Google Fi app Fi.
  2. Scroll to “Phone settings.”
  3. Tap Privacy & security.
  4. Turn Protect your online activity on or off.
  5. In the pop-up, tap Got it and then OK.
  6. When the status bar shows the VPN key , you're connected to the VPN.

For iPhone:

Important: Your iPhone must use iOS 13 or higher.

  1. Open the Google Fi app Fi.
  2. Scroll to “Phone settings.”
  3. Tap Privacy & security.
  4. Turn on or off Protect your online activity.
  5. In the pop-up, tap Got it and then Allow.
  6. Enter your device passcode or fingerprint.
  7. When the status bar shows , you're connected.

If the VPN still isn’t on:

  1. Check internet speed and connection.
  2. Restart your device.
How to know when Google Fi VPN isn't available on iPhone

When the VPN isn't available on your iPhone, you get a notification on your "Privacy & security" page in the Google Fi app. The VPN may not be available if:

  • Your Wi-Fi or current network blocks VPNs. To fix this problem, connect to a different network.
  • Our servers experience issues. After we fix the problem, the VPN restarts automatically.

Important: When you're in a country or region that doesn’t allow VPN use, you get a notification in the Google Fi app.

Know whether VPN is on or off

Android: If the VPN icon  is in the status bar, the VPN is on.

iPhone and iPad: If the VPN icon  is in the status bar, the VPN is on.

Turn off another VPN & turn on Google Fi VPN

On Android phones, if you turn on another VPN while the Google Fi VPN is on, the Google Fi VPN automatically turns off. If 2 VPNs try to use the same connection at the same time, you may experience connectivity issues.

To turn off the other VPN on an Android phone:

  1. Go to Settings .
  2. Tap Network & internet and then VPN.
  3. Tap the active VPN name.
To turn Google Fi VPN back on:
  1. Open the Google Fi app Fi.
  2. Tap Privacy & security.
  3. Turn on Protect your online activity.
Take action to update your VPN

Some users may be on “Google Fi VPN (Legacy).” To find which VPN you are on, check your Android VPN settings.

If you're on “Google Fi VPN (Legacy)," update your VPN as soon as possible.

To update your VPN, turn the Google Fi VPN off, then back on. Accept permissions for the VPN. Tap Got it and then Ok.

After you update your VPN, you can remove “Google Fi VPN (Legacy).”

If you have both “Google Fi VPN” & “Google Fi VPN (Legacy)”

In your Android VPN settings, you may find 2 VPNs named “Google Fi VPN (Legacy)” and “Google Fi VPN.” Only use “Google Fi VPN.” The “Google Fi VPN (Legacy)” isn’t supported.

  • To remove “Google Fi VPN (Legacy),” tap Settings and then Forget VPN.

Troubleshoot the VPN

VPN connection unavailable or grayed out

1. Check VPN available country and region list

You can’t use the VPN setting outside these countries and regions:
Where the VPN is available
  • 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
  • Virgin Islands

If Google Fi VPN isn't available in your location, you get a notification.

2. Check device for operating system (OS) updates

The Google Fi VPN is only available on Android OS 9 or up or iOS 13 or up.

Learn how to check for Android updates.

Learn how to check for iPhone or iPad updates.

Apps, messages, or device features don’t work when VPN is on

If your device can’t perform these functions while the Google Fi VPN is on, try to restart the VPN:

  • Send calls, texts, or emails
  • Access Wi-Fi
  • Run apps correctly

To restart the VPN:

  1. Turn off the VPN.
  2. Repeat steps to turn on the VPN.
  3. Check if the issue is fixed.
  4. If the issue persists, contact Google Fi support.
Force apps to connect outside the VPN

Most apps connect through the VPN when it’s on. However, some apps may bypass the VPN so they can work correctly, such as smart home device apps and streaming services.

If a streaming service app doesn’t work when the Google Fi VPN is on, but other apps do work, verify it’s a VPN issue. Check if these are both true:

  • The status bar VPN key  is displayed.
  • The streaming error specifies a “VPN” or ”anonymous proxy” issue, such as “It seems like you’re using an anonymous proxy or VPN.”

If both circumstances are true, make an exception to force the app to send its traffic outside the VPN:

  1. Open the Google Fi app .
  2. Scroll to “Phone settings.”
  3. Tap Privacy & security and then Show details and then Manage advanced settings.
  4. Turn off Exceptions allowed.
  5. Tap Add an exception.
  6. Select the app that you don’t want to use the VPN.
    • If you make an exception, the app always sends traffic outside the VPN.
  7. If the streaming service still doesn’t work, turn off the VPN.
  8. If the issue persists, contact Google Fi support.

These types of apps and connections are always exempt from the VPN:

  • Apps that are critical to provide reliable Google Fi service.
  • Your device's connection to your smart home devices and other traffic over your local network.
  • Traffic over networks that aren't Wi-Fi or cell networks.
  • Connections to your tethered devices.
  • Actions you take on your phone while in Airplane mode.
  • Some Google services and apps installed by your device manufacturer have system privileges that can bypass VPNs, such as Android or Apple notifications to your device.
  • Your secondary profiles on Android devices. The VPN is only active for your primary profile.
  • The Google Fi VPN doesn’t support custom DNS lookups. You can’t do external or local DNS lookups, such as Google Wi-Fi's On.Here functionality.
Important: With or without a VPN, an app can track what you do on that app. Make sure you trust an app before you download it.

Related resources

Get to know Fi

Learn why Fi is a different kind of phone plan and how to get the most out of your Google Fi service. Get step-by-step guides and instructional videos on how to sign up, transfer your number, create a group plan, switch your price plan, etc.

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