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Google WiFi+VPN Confirmed 320

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.
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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Google WiFi+VPN Confirmed

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  • Doesn't work (Score:4, Informative)

    by clinko (232501) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @09:55AM (#13603563) Homepage Journal
    Not surprisingly, it doesn't work unless you're in that area :)

    Here [cnn.com] is a link to a CNN article about it.
  • That was quick... (Score:2, Informative)

    by metaomni (667105) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @09:55AM (#13603566)
    CNN broke the story as well, but it seems Google has quickly fixed all the links.
  • More info (Score:2, Informative)

    by Andrew Lenahan (912846) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @09:57AM (#13603588) Homepage
    Since the two links in the article don't seem to work at present, here's a link to a Reuters story for more information.. http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?t ype=topNews&storyID=2005-09-20T113746Z_01_HO038752 _RTRUKOC_0_UK-GOOGLE-WIFI.xml&archived=False [reuters.co.uk]
  • FAQ is up (Score:1, Informative)

    by squiggleslash (241428) * on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:00AM (#13603609) Homepage Journal
    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.

  • by gyepi (891047) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:01AM (#13603623) Homepage
    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..
  • by spuke4000 (587845) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:01AM (#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.
  • by buro9 (633210) <<moc.9orub> <ta> <divad>> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:09AM (#13603703) Homepage

    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.

  • This isn't hardware (Score:5, Informative)

    by daves (23318) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:12AM (#13603727) Journal
    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.
  • by Mustang Matt (133426) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:22AM (#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.
  • Re:Not the RIAA... (Score:5, Informative)

    by generic-man (33649) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:32AM (#13603874) Homepage Journal
    They've done this many times without any fanfare: each result URL is a link to a Google wrapper, but they use onMouseOver='' to pretend to show you the real URL in your status bar. Here's one write-up about what was being done [boingboing.net] recently.
  • by generic-man (33649) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:43AM (#13603982) Homepage Journal
    Google Earth was acquired from Keyhole. Before then it was Windows-only too. Even if they released the source under the GPL (which may not be feasible, if Keyhole had licensed other code) the app wouldn't be necessarily portable to Linux. Look at the handful of not-easily-portable open source apps (Miranda IM, Adium) for other examples.
  • Re:Money? (Score:5, Informative)

    by limber (545551) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:48AM (#13604037) Homepage
    There's an article in the current issue of Business 2.0 that speculates as to the business model.

    http://www.business2.com/b2/web/articles/0,17863,1 093558,00.html [business2.com]

    Part of it is not a revenue generation thing so much as a cost savings. Google has been buying up a lot of dark fibre... They're trying to eliminate a middleman for IP transit fees. "Millions of dollars per month in savings" etc.
  • Re:PPTP VPN (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @11:48AM (#13604758)
    maybe you want to take a look at this xml ;-)

    https://vpn.google.com/getpass/ [google.com]

    66.28.250.27
    2395114012
    Oln0kWc36nA9i3KoRRij

  • Re:PPTP VPN (Score:2, Informative)

    by hagrin (896731) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:10PM (#13605714) Homepage Journal
    Actually, you can specify either PPTP or L2TP by going to network connections and drilling down on the properties of the GSA VPN. You can see screenshots (and more) here on my forums. [hagrin.com] (shameless plug).
  • Re:PPTP VPN (Score:2, Informative)

    by hagrin (896731) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:51PM (#13606177) Homepage Journal
    Although I haven't tested it yet (as I am having issues getting it to work here), I'm going to assume that everything is going to be passed at time of connection through HTTPS and then the L2TP connection will be established by grabbing the PSK in a similar manner of the ../getpass/ page.

    However, this is purely me guessing ... I need to get it to work first here (different error codes on 2 machines - going to have to see if the router/NAT box is causing the problem here).

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