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Google is starting to roll out a new feature called Wi-Fi Assistant to Nexus users which will allow you to connect to free, open Wi-Fi hotspots. Unfortuantely it’s not coming to Australia, at least initially.

The option to connect to free, open Wi-Fi hotspots will allow users to access data, which is obviously a plus to Google. The feature was first introduced to Project Fi users, Google’s MVNO service that connects users to the best network, be it cellular with Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular, or a Wi-Fi network.

The assistant will connect you securely to the more than a million Wi-Fi hotspots available. To achieve this, Google uses a virtual private network (VPN) every time Wi-Fi Assistant connects to a network. To that end, you’ll see the familiar ‘Key’ symbol in your notification bar.

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To access the assistant:

  1. Open your device’s Settings app Settings.
  2. Tap Google.
  3. Tap Networking.
  4. Next to “Wi-Fi Assistant,” tap the On/Off switch.

Google will begin rolling out the update to Nexus owners in the United States, Canada, Mexico, UK and Nordic countries – with hopefully support rolling out further, though Google hasn’t said anything about it at this stage.

Source: +NexusGoogle Support.
    3 Comments
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    Gregory Eden
    Gregory Eden
    4 years ago

    Automatically attaching to an open unsecure network without your knowledge seems like a bad thing to me. A criminal’s paradise.

    Fred
    Fred
    Reply to  Gregory Eden
    4 years ago

    Wifi Assistant routes everything via a VPN – so nothing leaks into dodgy hands (assuming you trust google).

    Problem is AFAIK it doesn’t work with those ‘captive portal’ open wifi points that make you press a button to ‘accept’ their ToS, which makes it pretty much useless in Oz.

    John Bousattout
    John Bousattout
    Reply to  Fred
    4 years ago

    Yeah, I automatically thought of Telstra Air and there WiFi Network. Would be good if it worked with that.