Google Secures Wireless Access

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The company’s experimental wireless network in San Francisco can be accessed with a new VPN tool.

There’s a new piece of software available for Google fans who use the company’s wireless connectivity in the Bay Area. A virtual private network tool called Google Secure Access lets users install and utilize an encrypted connection to Google WiFi.

Downloading the tool will also prompt users to install the optional Google Toolbar. Once installed, the application secures the wireless connection by encrypting traffic transmitted over-the-air.

Encrypted traffic will be sent through Google’s servers, similar to how traffic moves when using Google’s Web Accelerator. Since that practice will likely draw the interest of privacy activists, Google has disclosed the practice in their FAQ and suggests a review of its privacy policy.

In the policy, Google directly states that all traffic “will pass through Google’s gateway servers” when the VPN client is used. In the FAQ, Google notes what it will and won’t log:

Google may log some information from your web page requests as may the websites that you visit. We do this to understand how Google Secure Access is being used and to improve our services. Google Secure Access does not log cookies and strips potentially sensitive query data from the end of requests to help better protect your privacy.

Google also logs a small set of non-personally identifiable information — such as routing information, session durations and operating system and Google Secure Access client version numbers — in order to create your Google Secure Access connection, understand how people are using Google Secure Access and help us maintain the Google Secure Access client.

The Secure Access client has been made available for no charge, and right now is only available to those who connect at one of its San Francisco hot spots. Google notes that users of its client can also use corporate VPN clients alongside its application without a problem.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Google Secures Wireless Access
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