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Google Moving Beyond Search – Is "Google WiFi" On the Way?

"Google Secure Access" Is Designed to "Establish a More Secure Connection While Using Google WiFi"

Is Google going to move beyond its core Internet search service and enter the ultra-competitive world of ISPs and telco giants? An FAQ page at the Google site suggests so.

Although http://wifi.google.com still currently resolves back to the Google main page, anyone browsing to https://wifi.google.com/download.html is rewarded with the sight of a Google beta page that leads to a dialog box.

There is an FAQ available too, which reads as shown in full below. In one key passage, it says "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."

Currently only two sites close to the Google Headquarters are equipped with Google WiFi access points for what the company calls a "limited test" of its wireless Internet service. A Google spokes person has been quoted today as saying "Google WiFi is a community outreach program to offer free wireless access in areas near our headquarters".

Here is the FAQ in full:

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.

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.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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