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Google WiFi+VPN Confirmed

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.

Google 320

An anonymous reader writes "Google is actually (confirmed!) rolling out their wifi network, first in the San Francisco bay area (see the FAQ for details.) They are also including a Secure Access program for use in conjunction with this. So far, as per usual, it's in beta, and only for the San Fran bay area. Soon the entire US, perhaps??"

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320 comments

I get redirected to www.google.com (2, Interesting)

Sindri (207695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603545)

When I click the link. I'm in the UK.

Re:I get redirected to www.google.com (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603574)

Same here.. In the US. All URLS to wifi.google.com/randomstuff.htm sends you to www.google.com

Re:I get redirected to www.google.com (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603640)

I'm thinking wifi.google.com is an intranet for google wifi users.

Re:I get redirected to www.google.com (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603895)

I can access it fine from Canada. Not redirecting me to google.ca or anything either.

Re:I get redirected to www.google.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603577)

Yeah, looks like they have pulled the info. I just heard about it 2 minutes ago on the TV news, and apparently the stock price has gone up as a result.

Re:I get redirected to www.google.com (-1, Redundant)

spuke4000 (587845) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603602)

Works for me, and I'm in Toronto. Anyway, here's the FAQ: What is Google Secure Access? Google Secure Access is a downloadable client application that allows users to establish a more secure WiFi connection. Why would I want to download and install Google Secure Access? Google Secure Access allows you to establish a more secure connection while using Google WiFi. By using Google Secure Access, your internet traffic will be encrypted, preventing others from viewing the information you transmit. Does Google Secure Access connect to a VPN server? Yes, Google Secure Access connects to Google's VPN ("Virtual Private Network") server provided for this service. Why did Google develop Google Secure Access? One of our engineers recognized that secure WiFi was virtually non-existent at most locations. As a result, he used his 20% project time to begin an initiative to offer users more secure WiFi access. Google Secure Access is the result of this endeavor. What sort of information does Google have access to? If you choose to use Google Secure Access, your internet traffic will be encrypted and sent through Google's servers to the Internet. The data that is received will then be encrypted and sent back through our servers to your computer. Your privacy is important to us, we strongly encourage you to read our Privacy Policy to be fully informed about how your privacy is protected. Is there a fee for using Google Secure Access? No, Google Secure Access is free. Where can I go to download Google Secure Access? The program can currently be downloaded at certain Google WiFi locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I install Google Secure Access, why does it ask if I also want to install the Google Toolbar? We've included the option to install the Google Toolbar because it improves your browsing experience. Can I uninstall Google Secure Access? Yes. You can uninstall Google Secure Access by simply running the Uninstall program. This can be found by clicking on Start Menu, Programs, Google Secure Access, and then choosing Uninstall. How do I make my connection even more secure? You can make your connection even more secure by using a software firewall. Windows XP users with Service Pack 2 can find it by clicking on Start, Control Panel, and then choosing Windows Firewall. Will my corporate VPN still work? Yes. You can connect to your corporate VPN while running Google Secure Access. I have configured Google Secure Access to connect automatically, but it's not working. What's going on? Certain wireless LAN management utilities and older wireless LAN adapter drivers prevent Google Secure Access from detecting that you're connected to the Google WiFi network. In this case it will not connect automatically, and you should connect manually to ensure the privacy and security of your network traffic. Will Google Secure Access work at other locations? While Google Secure Access should work, we have not tested it at other locations. Why is Google Secure Access a beta product? Google Secure Access is a new product that is only available at certain locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are constantly working to improve this product.

Re:I get redirected to www.google.com (3, Informative)

spuke4000 (587845) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603627)

Sorry, should have previewed that. Here it is again, formatted more nicely:

What is Google Secure Access?

Google Secure Access is a downloadable client application that allows users to establish a more secure WiFi connection.

Why would I want to download and install Google Secure Access?

Google Secure Access allows you to establish a more secure connection while using Google WiFi. By using Google Secure Access, your internet traffic will be encrypted, preventing others from viewing the information you transmit.

Does Google Secure Access connect to a VPN server?

Yes, Google Secure Access connects to Google's VPN ("Virtual Private Network") server provided for this service.

Why did Google develop Google Secure Access?

One of our engineers recognized that secure WiFi was virtually non-existent at most locations. As a result, he used his 20% project time to begin an initiative to offer users more secure WiFi access. Google Secure Access is the result of this endeavor.

What sort of information does Google have access to?

If you choose to use Google Secure Access, your internet traffic will be encrypted and sent through Google's servers to the Internet. The data that is received will then be encrypted and sent back through our servers to your computer. Your privacy is important to us, we strongly encourage you to read our Privacy Policy to be fully informed about how your privacy is protected.

Is there a fee for using Google Secure Access?

No, Google Secure Access is free.

Where can I go to download Google Secure Access?

The program can currently be downloaded at certain Google WiFi locations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

When I install Google Secure Access, why does it ask if I also want to install the Google Toolbar?

We've included the option to install the Google Toolbar because it improves your browsing experience.

Can I uninstall Google Secure Access?

Yes. You can uninstall Google Secure Access by simply running the Uninstall program. This can be found by clicking on Start Menu, Programs, Google Secure Access, and then choosing Uninstall.

How do I make my connection even more secure?

You can make your connection even more secure by using a software firewall. Windows XP users with Service Pack 2 can find it by clicking on Start, Control Panel, and then choosing Windows Firewall.

Will my corporate VPN still work?

Yes. You can connect to your corporate VPN while running Google Secure Access.

I have configured Google Secure Access to connect automatically, but it's not working. What's going on?

Certain wireless LAN management utilities and older wireless LAN adapter drivers prevent Google Secure Access from detecting that you're connected to the Google WiFi network. In this case it will not connect automatically, and you should connect manually to ensure the privacy and security of your network traffic.

Will Google Secure Access work at other locations?

While Google Secure Access should work, we have not tested it at other locations.

Why is Google Secure Access a beta product?

Google Secure Access is a new product that is only available at certain locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are constantly working to improve this product.

The FAQ (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603614)

Google Secure Access (Beta): Frequently Asked Questions

What is Google Secure Access?

Google Secure Access is a downloadable client application that allows users to establish a more secure WiFi connection.

Why would I want to download and install Google Secure Access?

Google Secure Access allows you to establish a more secure connection while using Google WiFi. By using Google Secure Access, your internet traffic will be encrypted, preventing others from viewing the information you transmit.

Does Google Secure Access connect to a VPN server?

Yes, Google Secure Access connects to Google's VPN ("Virtual Private Network") server provided for this service.

Why did Google develop Google Secure Access?

One of our engineers recognized that secure WiFi was virtually non-existent at most locations. As a result, he used his 20% project time to begin an initiative to offer users more secure WiFi access. Google Secure Access is the result of this endeavor.

What sort of information does Google have access to?

If you choose to use Google Secure Access, your internet traffic will be encrypted and sent through Google's servers to the Internet. The data that is received will then be encrypted and sent back through our servers to your computer. Your privacy is important to us, we strongly encourage you to read our Privacy Policy to be fully informed about how your privacy is protected.

Is there a fee for using Google Secure Access?

No, Google Secure Access is free.

Where can I go to download Google Secure Access?

The program can currently be downloaded at certain Google WiFi locations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

When I install Google Secure Access, why does it ask if I also want to install the Google Toolbar?

We've included the option to install the Google Toolbar because it improves your browsing experience.

Can I uninstall Google Secure Access?

Yes. You can uninstall Google Secure Access by simply running the Uninstall program. This can be found by clicking on Start Menu, Programs, Google Secure Access, and then choosing Uninstall.

How do I make my connection even more secure?

You can make your connection even more secure by using a software firewall. Windows XP users with Service Pack 2 can find it by clicking on Start, Control Panel, and then choosing Windows Firewall.

Will my corporate VPN still work?

Yes. You can connect to your corporate VPN while running Google Secure Access.

I have configured Google Secure Access to connect automatically, but it's not working. What's going on?

Certain wireless LAN management utilities and older wireless LAN adapter drivers prevent Google Secure Access from detecting that you're connected to the Google WiFi network. In this case it will not connect automatically, and you should connect manually to ensure the privacy and security of your network traffic.

Will Google Secure Access work at other locations?

While Google Secure Access should work, we have not tested it at other locations.

Why is Google Secure Access a beta product?

Google Secure Access is a new product that is only available at certain locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are constantly working to improve this product.

The link in the article is wrong. Fixed link here. (2, Informative)

buro9 (633210) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603703)

Note the trailing 'l':
http://wifi.google.com/download.html [google.com]

Basically any 404 Not Found gets redirected to your local Google page... so get the link right and it works :)

And can people please RTFA. It's not free wi-fi, they don't have to roll out tons of gear... it's a VPN. It's to secure your connection from third party sniffers, and to give Google more info, ad insertion capabilities, etc... not a physical hardware network of wi-fi points.

hmm (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603555)

hmmm.... i can't seem to see the google pages from singapore.

And then the world! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603560)

First the city, then the USA, and then: THE WORLD!

Muwahahahahahahahaha!

Doesn't work (4, Informative)

clinko (232501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603563)

Not surprisingly, it doesn't work unless you're in that area :)

Here [cnn.com] is a link to a CNN article about it.

Re:Doesn't work (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603690)

I'm in montreal and i was able to download the software.. mind you i've got no google servers to connect to, heh.

From TFA (1)

Chaotic Spyder (896445) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603829)

Will Google Secure Access work at other locations?
While Google Secure Access should work, we have not tested it at other locations.

That was quick... (2, Informative)

metaomni (667105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603566)

CNN broke the story as well, but it seems Google has quickly fixed all the links.

The links don't work (2)

jdaluz (512425) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603579)

They are redirecting to the main google page, as is the base url of http://wifi.google.com/ [google.com]. It's not just slashdotting either, as these were redirecting before the article was available for comment.

Re:The links don't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603637)

There's a link to this page [google.com] at the bottom of the FAQ.

The entire US???? (2, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603592)

Someone doesn't realize how very large the US is.

All of the densely and moderately populated areas, but there's no money to be made in doing this in towns (large and small) and rural areas.

In decreasing order of significance... (-1, Flamebait)

tgd (2822) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603606)

There's cities.

Then there's the burbs

Then there's the rest of the US

Then there's the Bush supporting areas.

Google can cover all the important stuff by hitting the top two.

Re:In decreasing order of significance... (0, Flamebait)

Nutria (679911) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603654)

Google can cover all the important stuff by hitting the top two.

Elitist snob, eh?

Re:In decreasing order of significance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603889)

If Elitism means "Not the dumbest mutherfucker in the room", then I'll be an elitist!

Re:In decreasing order of significance... (0, Offtopic)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603671)

Well unless I'm mistaken, major parts of your top three are included in the fourth. He did win two elections, you know.

Why does everything have to be political?

Money? (4, Insightful)

jpsowin (325530) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603693)

but there's no money to be made in doing this in towns (large and small) and rural areas.

Do you think there is money to made at all when they are not charging?

Re:Money? (3, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603841)

Do you think a publicly-trade company is doing something that will lose money over the long term?

Just because they aren't charging money directly doesn't mean they don't still need to earn money per eyeball. Whatever method they have to make money, it's still going to be dependent on the population density and economic prosperity of the area.

(they're not going to stick hotspots under the ocean, or in space, for instance)

Re:Money? (5, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603865)

considering their Privacy Policy states that they'll keep records of what sites you visit along with some other info, yes, yes i do think there is money to be made off this.

I'm in China (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603593)

you insensitive clod!

Re:I'm in China (4, Funny)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603673)

I'm in China

Attention citizen, you have been doing evil, posting to a capitalist website! Please report to the "Do No Evil" Friendship Happy Center.

Re:I'm in China (2, Funny)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603765)

hey, you're not in china, theres no way you could have posted china and evil together and got around the filters.

Re:I'm in China (3, Funny)

s.d. (33767) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603814)

Attention citizen, you have been doing evil, posting to a capitalist website! Please report to the "Do No Evil" Friendship Happy Center.

I see by the Big Board we got a Negative Nellie in Sector Two. I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to kind of freeze and prepare for Re-Neducation.

Re:I'm in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603909)

you insensitive clod!

Is it just me, or is that expression getting annoying.

RIAA (3, Interesting)

BrGaribaldi (710238) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603594)

So, will google turn over access information to the RIAA when people start using the free WIFI to download music?

Not the RIAA... (2, Insightful)

flimnap (751001) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603719)

Well, Google probably won't turn over data to the RIAA, but this looks like another "Do your web browsing through a Google proxy! It's free! Don't bother reading our vague privacy policy!" Between this -- which they seem to be also encouraging the use of with non-Google wifi networks -- and Google Accelerator, it seems that a large number of people could be used by Google in a study of web-browsing habits.

Re:Not the RIAA... (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603779)

And that's a bad thing because...? Any ISP could do this if they wanted to, so why does this make Google the bad guy? At least we aren't paying to have our internet travels recorded and analyzed.

Re:Not the RIAA... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603788)

They might well use this to refine their search. If I were designing search tools for Google, then I would have wrapped each URL in a little bit of Javascript that notified Google which link in the results you clicked on (or even a server-side redirection) so that they could use that feedback to see which links people actually wanted when they searched for a particular term, and feed this back into pagerank. This is even easier if you are connecting through their proxy, since they can scan the logs offline.

XP and 2K only... (5, Interesting)

yorugua (697900) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603597)

... is google turning *that* evil ?

Re:XP and 2K only... (3, Insightful)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603716)

With the exception of the Gmail Notifier, every piece of end-user software that Google's ever released has been for Windows only.

Some people here believe that Google has a duty to release for other OSes (especially Linux, which is so oft-used there) but that's not where the end users are. Perhaps when the software comes out of beta it'll be ported.

Re:XP and 2K only... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603777)

And from their FAQ:
When I install Google Secure Access, why does it ask if I also want to install the Google Toolbar?<br>
We've included the option to install the Google Toolbar because it improves your browsing experience.<br>
Right now it's optional, but will Google one day go the way of the bundling (...) ?

Re:XP and 2K only... (1)

bleaknik (780571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603902)

I don't know about you, but when I freshly format my PC the second thing I do (after security software), is to go download google desktop, google toolbar, google talk, and the gmail notifier (notifier's mail notes rock more than talk's...).

On the other hand... I hate the peripheral software other applications try to install. Y! Messenger, AOL Messenger, Winamp, Real (ugggh).

Re:XP and 2K only... (1)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603919)

Jebus, what a bunch of kneejerk slashdotters. The parent post is funny, not informative, not insightful.

the entire us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603604)

The FAQ deals with the secure client, not the actual wifi network. wifi.google.com leads to a redirect to google.com as well.

Is this an *actual* network or just a secured client connecting to a third party's network?

If it is their own, I wouldn't expect to see a US rollout any time soon - it'd be much cheaper (infrastructure wise) and faster to lease capacity from an existing provider. I'm not suggesting they're at all short on current (albeit in the form of hugely overvalued stock as well as a strong cash position flowing from adsense.

I'm probably just an idiot - but perhaps this article needs to be expanded, it's rather short on details. There isn't even a mention of the WiFi, just the secure client, on outside links.

Secure Access Program? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603605)

Wanna bet it's only available for Windoze?

FAQ is up (1, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603609)

A number of people are commenting that they can't see the FAQ. Here's a copy. None of the other pages work for me. Maybe those who are complaining just haven't tried the FAQ, I don't know, but it might get pulled anyway, so here it is:

Do NOT mod this up (unless it's modded down, obviously.) This is being posted at +2. It will be seen by all but the most selective Slashdotters. Use your mod points for something useful.

What is Google Secure Access?

Google Secure Access is a downloadable client application that allows users to establish a more secure WiFi connection.

Why would I want to download and install Google Secure Access?

Google Secure Access allows you to establish a more secure connection while using Google WiFi. By using Google Secure Access, your internet traffic will be encrypted, preventing others from viewing the information you transmit.

Does Google Secure Access connect to a VPN server?

Yes, Google Secure Access connects to Google's VPN ("Virtual Private Network") server provided for this service.

Why did Google develop Google Secure Access?

One of our engineers recognized that secure WiFi was virtually non-existent at most locations. As a result, he used his 20% project time to begin an initiative to offer users more secure WiFi access. Google Secure Access is the result of this endeavor.

What sort of information does Google have access to?

If you choose to use Google Secure Access, your internet traffic will be encrypted and sent through Google's servers to the Internet. The data that is received will then be encrypted and sent back through our servers to your computer. Your privacy is important to us, we strongly encourage you to read our Privacy Policy [slashdot.org] to be fully informed about how your privacy is protected.

Is there a fee for using Google Secure Access?

No, Google Secure Access is free.

Where can I go to download Google Secure Access?

The program can currently be downloaded at certain Google WiFi locations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

When I install Google Secure Access, why does it ask if I also want to install the Google Toolbar?

We've included the option to install the Google Toolbar because it improves your browsing experience.

Can I uninstall Google Secure Access?

Yes. You can uninstall Google Secure Access by simply running the Uninstall program. This can be found by clicking on Start Menu, Programs, Google Secure Access, and then choosing Uninstall.

How do I make my connection even more secure?

You can make your connection even more secure by using a software firewall. Windows XP users with Service Pack 2 can find it by clicking on Start, Control Panel, and then choosing Windows Firewall.

Will my corporate VPN still work?

Yes. You can connect to your corporate VPN while running Google Secure Access.

I have configured Google Secure Access to connect automatically, but it's not working. What's going on?

Certain wireless LAN management utilities and older wireless LAN adapter drivers prevent Google Secure Access from detecting that you're connected to the Google WiFi network. In this case it will not connect automatically, and you should connect manually to ensure the privacy and security of your network traffic.

Will Google Secure Access work at other locations?

While Google Secure Access should work, we have not tested it at other locations.

Why is Google Secure Access a beta product?

Google Secure Access is a new product that is only available at certain locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are constantly working to improve this product.

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Offtopic)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603676)

This is the most blatant example of karma whoring I've seen in a long time, right down to the comment encouraging people not to mod it up to make it look like the author's intentions are honourable.

If you're going to post mirrors, do it anonymously. People like the parent are just trying to get karma by posting stuff that's probably widely available anyway. This kind of thing needs to be stamped upon before it gets out of control.

Re:MOD GRANDPARENT DOWN (-1, Offtopic)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603712)

Where to begin with this one?

I just wanted to make sure the story was accessable without eagle eyed moderators having to plow through all the AC posts, wasting mod points on getting something to +2 when it could be +2 from the beginning. How is that "bad"? At least I'm not like 90% of people who post mirrors who either post links to inaccessable-behind-corporate-firewalls "NYUD" links or who post it with some NSFW joke at the expense of the people who run this website.

And I asked people not to mod me up. Only a troll like you could claim that's bad.

Re:MOD GRANDPARENT DOWN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603782)

WTF??? Why are you having a conversation with yourself? I'm confused!

Re:MOD GRANDPARENT DOWN (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603855)

Wow, I'm glad you said something, because I thought I was going crazy..

Is this some new karma whoring scheme in which the original whore ask for no karma, then berates himself for trying to not get karma and be helpful, and then presents himself with some fine arguments for why he should not be berated by himself for gaining karma for himself, even though he asked that he not get any karma...

BRILLIANT! I wonder if he modded himself +1 insightful as well... simply BRILLIANT!

YUO FORGOT TO CHECK ANONYMOUS FAGORT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603844)

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603735)

This kind of thing needs to be stamped upon before it gets out of control.

Right on! I mean, first they get the karma. Then they start moderating others who do the same. Then they rule the world! Think of the consequences! My god man, all of human civilization is at stake here!

I think you need to put down your fifth cup of coffee, and take a short break...

Re:FAQ is up (-1, Offtopic)

aug24 (38229) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603686)

I love that you got modded up anyway. We all know some slashdotters don't RTFA before posting, but I'm flabbergasted they don't RTFComments before modding them!

Justin.

Re:FAQ is up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603917)

take your own advice, and read the comments for this posting... the poster asks for no karma, then berates himself (oops forgot to check anon) and then fires back an argument at himself calling himself a troll... The moderators were probably so confused they just gave him the +1.. so as not to look trollish...

the best part is the -1 the parent received for his WHOOPS non-anon posting, that in effect cancels out any whoring they may have achieved for the fantastic effort...

BRAVO

The Next Step (5, Interesting)

ZurichPrague (629877) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603612)

And the next step (after rolling it out nationwide) is to introduce a cheap ($30?) handset that accesses the network. A "cellphone" with free phone calls -- forever.

That whistling is the sound of every phone company imploding at once.

Just makes sense (5, Insightful)

peterjhill2002 (578023) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603615)

It could end up being a hugely smart move.... I am sure that 90% of you have already figured out the business model... They will know exactly where you are (or close enough for hand grenades and horse shoes and... ads)...

Watch out clear channel... Why pay thousands to put your ad on an ugly billboard when you can put your ad less than two feet from a potential customers face... local.adwords.google.com.... (fake url) customers already use gmail and google at the hotspot, even without having some annoying gonna be hacked forced page to surf for free web machine, they can just set all the google sites that people already visit to places right around the corner...

If podcasts are going to replace radio, google wifi will replace ?
(a question for all those who recently took the sat)

Re:Just makes sense (2, Interesting)

mysqlrocks (783488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603669)

Well, actually, Google Wifi would be a nice compliment to PodCasting making it possible to truly replace radio.

Re:Just makes sense (3, Funny)

Keck (7446) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603769)

If podcasts are going to replace radio, google wifi will replace ? (a question for all those who recently took the sat)

I thought they removed analogies from the SAT like 10 years ago?

Re:Just makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603930)

They removed them last year, when they rewrote the SAT.

Re:Just makes sense (4, Interesting)

MoogMan (442253) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603791)

On the upshot, properly targeted adverts are useful for the consumer too. If you see an advert for a product that you are likely to buy anyway, then that's probably not a bad thing.

In the entire US - sure... (4, Informative)

gyepi (891047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603623)

From the FAQ [google.com]: "Why did Google develop Google Secure Access?
One of our engineers recognized that secure WiFi was virtually non-existent at most locations. As a result, he used his 20% project time to begin an initiative to offer users more secure WiFi access. Google Secure Access is the result of this endeavor."
That guy would need slightly more that 20% project time to help extending the service to the entire US..

Re:In the entire US - sure... (1)

PWatson (898578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603818)

From the FAQ: "Why did Google develop Google Secure Access? One of our engineers recognized that secure WiFi was virtually non-existent at most locations. As a result, he used his 20% project time to begin an initiative to offer users more secure WiFi access. Google Secure Access is the result of this endeavor." That guy would need slightly more that 20% project time to help extending the service to the entire US..

I'm pretty sure that what they mean is that their engineers get to use 20% of their time for projects that they thought of themselves. Thus, this guy was probably working on the wifi project for the other 80% and thought about its insecurities. The 20% was just to write the VPN software, not to implement and deploy the network. Thus, it isn't unreasonable.

Just a big lab experiment outside the lab (1)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603626)

From TFFAQ:
>No, Google Secure Access is free.

I don't they they can possibly do this nation-wide or worldwide (imagine negotiating setup and maintenance with a different local partner in each country).
I think this is just a scaled up lab test. If they do anything like this, it should happen after WiMax is out.

Boston? (4, Funny)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603632)

Google, please roll this out in my area. My neighbors finally got smart and put passwords on their wireless routers.

Re:Boston? (3, Funny)

el_womble (779715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603794)

I'm sorry sir, we're going to have to ask for your geek card. WiFi Passwords are for people that don't have time to crack the network. As a /. member you are expected, ney, demanded to crack that password.

Now, don't come back until you've cracked that password and distributed to everyone you know. At the very least man, don't admit that you don't know how to break the security!!!

--
This is a JOKE. It may not be very funny. But I at least want to know that when people mod it as a troll, they are doing it because its not funny, and not because they think I'm a terrorist.

Google OS (1)

waterlogged (210759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603644)

The ISP idea is nice, but I think the real direction google should be taking is to release an Operating System, and turn the typical windows interface on its ear. We have been fed command line and windowing user interfaces already. What we need is the next great UI. Its my belief that google could pioneer the next "search" based interface, possibly with some good voice recognition. Something like "google suggest" driven by voice. The technology is here. The CPU horsepower is here. Lets see google come up with some great new algorithms and finally sink Bill's boat.

Re:Google OS (2, Interesting)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603839)

Never gonna happen. Google's OS is the web browser. I could definately see Google making their own browser though.

Re:Google OS (1)

PWatson (898578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603868)

The problem with a Google OS is that it would take a lot more work than creating a series of wifi hotspots in San Fransisco, or in several major cities. Additionally, its not really in their area, where as wifi that enables localized ads arguably is.

I volunteer my house (3, Interesting)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603648)

I would jump at the opportunity to volunteer my yard the location for a low-powered neighborhood uplink to this service. Instead of expensive towers that provide access to everybody all at once and require various approval from the FCC and FAA (if the tower is tall enough) find people willing to host an uplink for a few square blocks. People like me. No matter which route I go -any- internet access will cost about $60 months - I either need to get a land line + DSL because nobody will provide DSL unless the line has an active phone number or I can get Comcast (and only Comcast because the local township granted them exclusive rights of service. If Google provides the equipment and the link I will be more than happy to ensure that my neighbors have another alternative for internet access.

The Bay Area (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603655)

Oh, look..we smart google, we put wi-fi where broadband service is already good, not where service is bad or non-existent.

I, for one, welcome any broadband overlord but the broadband overlords only dig hot grits, bitch!

Link only available to those on google wifi? (1)

chrispix (624431) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603680)

Ok, The link takes me to my google homepage. Can someone mirror what is on that page so we can all see what we are missing, not being on wifi, and not able to see what is on that crazy page?

The article: (-1, Redundant)

MaKS327 (654475) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603695)

Google Secure Access (Beta): Frequently Asked Questions What is Google Secure Access? Google Secure Access is a downloadable client application that allows users to establish a more secure WiFi connection. Why would I want to download and install Google Secure Access? Google Secure Access allows you to establish a more secure connection while using Google WiFi. By using Google Secure Access, your internet traffic will be encrypted, preventing others from viewing the information you transmit. Does Google Secure Access connect to a VPN server? Yes, Google Secure Access connects to Google's VPN ("Virtual Private Network") server provided for this service. Why did Google develop Google Secure Access? One of our engineers recognized that secure WiFi was virtually non-existent at most locations. As a result, he used his 20% project time to begin an initiative to offer users more secure WiFi access. Google Secure Access is the result of this endeavor. What sort of information does Google have access to? If you choose to use Google Secure Access, your internet traffic will be encrypted and sent through Google's servers to the Internet. The data that is received will then be encrypted and sent back through our servers to your computer. Your privacy is important to us, we strongly encourage you to read our Privacy Policy to be fully informed about how your privacy is protected. Is there a fee for using Google Secure Access? No, Google Secure Access is free. Where can I go to download Google Secure Access? The program can currently be downloaded at certain Google WiFi locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I install Google Secure Access, why does it ask if I also want to install the Google Toolbar? We've included the option to install the Google Toolbar because it improves your browsing experience. Can I uninstall Google Secure Access? Yes. You can uninstall Google Secure Access by simply running the Uninstall program. This can be found by clicking on Start Menu, Programs, Google Secure Access, and then choosing Uninstall. How do I make my connection even more secure? You can make your connection even more secure by using a software firewall. Windows XP users with Service Pack 2 can find it by clicking on Start, Control Panel, and then choosing Windows Firewall. Will my corporate VPN still work? Yes. You can connect to your corporate VPN while running Google Secure Access. I have configured Google Secure Access to connect automatically, but it's not working. What's going on? Certain wireless LAN management utilities and older wireless LAN adapter drivers prevent Google Secure Access from detecting that you're connected to the Google WiFi network. In this case it will not connect automatically, and you should connect manually to ensure the privacy and security of your network traffic. Will Google Secure Access work at other locations? While Google Secure Access should work, we have not tested it at other locations. Why is Google Secure Access a beta product? Google Secure Access is a new product that is only available at certain locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are constantly working to improve this product.

All your Internet are belong to us (0, Flamebait)

KkiniDst (56913) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603697)

So not only does Google want to archive your desktop, now they also want to read all of your Internet traffic in real-time at the dcecryption point?

It's a brave new world...

Re:All your Internet are belong to us (2, Insightful)

ravind (701403) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603797)

You took the words right out of my mouth. This is apparently something they've been working on for some time. First the Google Accelerator and now this. Coincidentally both of these products send all your traffic through their servers.

Do no evil? Commendable philosophy, but do I want to be put in a position where I only have your word to rely on to ensure that you do no evil to me?

Re:All your Internet are belong to us (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603851)

> Do no evil? Commendable philosophy, but do I want
> to be put in a position where I only have your
> word to rely on to ensure that you do no evil to
> me?

You are in that position every time you turn your back toward anyone.

hopefully (1)

shrewd (830067) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603700)

hopefully these intuitive* business practices catch on elsewhere too...



*intuitive may or may not refer to practices which further the goals of a private enterprise to enslave the earth.

Rural areas? (1)

Flying Purple Wombat (787087) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603704)

I hope they target rural and outlying areas as well as the cities and suburbs. It seems that all of the new services target areas that are already have multiple broadband providers.

I'm in a semi-rural area, and DSL was not available until just two years ago. I have a choice of DSL from the local telco or satellite, both very expensive compared to urban and suburban areas with more choices.

I know that in truly rural areas, they only choice is satellite. It's expensive, with high latency and low download limits.

Since the "last mile" is an RF link, the investment should be much less than pulling fiber or copper.

Where are they? (3, Interesting)

Yi Ding (635572) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603706)

I couldn't find a single mention on the Google website of where the access points actually are in the Bay Area. Anybody care to post a link or list?

This isn't hardware (5, Informative)

daves (23318) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603727)

To those commenting on how hard this is...

The announcement is not about rolling out hotspots. They are just providing an easy-to-set-up VPN connection using downloadable client software. Extending it to the rest of the country would just require distributed VPN host nodes.

Why would I cheer. (3, Insightful)

Irvu (248207) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603732)

Google is rapidly expanding to the point where they seem poised to be the Ma Bell, AT&T, Microsoft, or Verizon of the online world. No criticism of their work and all but I like a little competition in my world.

Re:Why would I cheer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13603796)

No criticism of their work and all but I like a little competition in my world.
Google is not engaging in any anti-competitive behavior; if there is room for others to do better here, why have they not shown up yet?

"Beta" means . . . (4, Funny)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603755)

Just be happy that you got something for free. You have no right to complain about anything because we put "beta" on it even though it is far beyond beta-grade.

So 5 years from now if your Google WiFi beta connection drops out you must react in the following manner, "Hmmm. . . that's interesting. I can't communicate with my clients anymore. But I guess I can only blame myself for depending on a Google, ahem, uh, a beta product."

Wi-Fi effects? (1)

RKenshin1 (899412) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603800)

Great! Just what I needed, more microwave radiation going through my brain! Seriously though, has anyone ever found any bad effects from long-term exposure to high frequency wireless signals? In my office, I'm within range of 4 - 5 base stations. I read an article a while back that stated that there is a slight heating of tissue when exposed to 2.4GHz wireless signals. With companies rolling out wireless access points all over major cities, I guess I would like that question answered once and for all. :)

This isn't an ISP it's a VPN client. (5, Informative)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603802)

It is a VPN client.

You download the software and it creates a VPN to vpn.google.com. It doesn't even have anything to do with wireless other than using this with wireless allows you to encrypt all your traffic on each end instead of with weak WEP or otherwise.

I just downloaded the client and just using my normal network card in my PC I was able to successfully connect to google and an ipconfig reveals a second connection:

PPP adapter vpn.google.com:
Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description : WAN (PPP/SLIP) Interface
Physical Address : 00-53-45-00-00-00
Dhcp Enabled : No
IP Address : 192.168.201.8
Subnet Mask : 255.255.255.255
Default Gateway : 192.168.201.8
DNS Servers : 66.51.205.100 66.51.206.100

I only hope they'll create a server version too and give it out. I must say there was zero configuration and a monkey could have installed it. If they release a server version and allow a small amount of configuration this could come in handy.

I guess one side effect is that I should be able to anonymously browse the web through google.

Consequently, they must be having DNS issues or something of that nature because nothing seemed to resolve while connected.

DNS is fixed. (1)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603830)

DNS is working now. Not sure what was going on before. So this post will be made through the new google vpn client.

Re:This isn't an ISP it's a VPN client. (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603901)

That's the way I understood it as well. It secures WIFI by tunneling and encrypting the traffic until it reaches google's server where it is converted to normal traffic. Hrm.. Too much trust in google... Google mail, google talk, google maps, google earth, google vpn. There needs to be a serious concern that the information they have on us doesn't get leaked out. This would be way worse than credit card numbers getting stolen.

Always "Beta?" (2, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603885)

Why is it that Google software is always beta and always freezes once there? Does Google have any software that went beyond this beta label?

PPTP VPN (4, Interesting)

Jacco de Leeuw (4646) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603906)

Google seems to use PPTP as their VPN protocol. In theory this should mean that you can use other OSes than Windows 2000/XP as well, if you configure the connection manually.

However, they seem to be generating the username and password on the fly. The username consists of a number. I had expected that you'd have to use your Gmail username and password but this is not the case. There is something fishy about it. Presumably the Google Secure Access client retrieves some credentials over an out-of-band connection (HTTPS? Will have to figure out with a network sniffer).

There are some curious things in the VPN connectiod that GSA creates. First, they use an IP address (66.28.250.27) instead of vpn.google.com. The IP address is not even owned by Google. The connectiod allows the outdated protocols CHAP and MS-CHAPv1 to be used. Ouch. It also binds the MS Client and File and Printer Sharing to the connection. You better have a firewall on your system before you connect. PublicVPN [publicvpn.net] seems to be a better option but it is not free.

It's becoming the AOL of the future... (3, Insightful)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13603925)

One window for all your needs. You need an ISP, email service, search, shopping... use Google.

I see this distinct trend ever since their IPO. They are trying to build a network of their own. It's almost frightening how blind most of my friends are towards this. For example, by using Jabber google becomes the community pet, but they keep a closed community by preventing S2S communication. AOL was massively successful this way building their network on top of telephone lines. Google is doing it on top of the current internet -- google web accelerator and things like this. It is like DRM, sooner or later everyone else will be using it and you'll have a tough choice to make.

Yahoo ! is no better, but at least people don't blindly trust Y! to do the right thing. I think I still have a couple of mags from 1992 when Bill Gates was the man who could do nothing wrong.
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