What you need to know
- Google has unveiled a new Fi feature that adds extra protection for mobile traffic on Pixel phones.
- The new feature is designed to automatically encrypt all browsing activities on Pixel devices while connected to a Fi network.
- This feature is available to the Pixel 7 series down to the Pixel 4 line.
Google Fi plans already include privacy and security features like spam and robocall blocking, but the service is beefing up security for Pixel phone owners with a new feature that safeguards mobile traffic from prying eyes.
Google has announced that, starting today, Fi automatically encrypts all mobile data traffic for many of its best Android phones, from the Google Pixel 7 line down to the Pixel 4 series running Android 12 or higher. This means that your Google Fi mobile connection is private by default, with no additional steps required on your part.
For the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, in particular, the new security feature complements the built-in VPN that comes with the latest and greatest Pixel phones at no extra cost to consumers.
This automatic encryption feature also applies to Wi-Fi connections. You only need to turn on the Fi Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is available on any smartphone as well as the Pixel lineup. The service is designed to protect your browsing activity from attackers if you're on an insecure network, such as public Wi-Fi networks.
The latest Fi feature beefs up the security infrastructure already in place for Android phone users on Fi. Late last year, Google Fi launched end-to-end encryption for phone calls on its network.
Google notes that these privacy and security features are powered by Protected Computing, which includes a technology toolkit for data processing in a secure environment.
In conjunction with this announcement, Google has also rolled out passkey support to Android and Chrome as part of the Cybersecurity Awareness Month observance. Passkeys are the cornerstone of an industry-wide effort to bring passwordless sign-ins across apps and websites to the mainstream.
The Pixel 7 absolutely nails the basics, with Google's latest Tensor G2 platform and a fantastic 50MP camera alongside a 12MP wide-angle lens. The smaller size makes it ideal for one-handed use, and the low price of $599 makes it an excellent value when compared to other cameras on the market.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.