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Users say Google’s VPN app “breaks” the Windows DNS settings

Users say Google’s VPN app “breaks” the Windows DNS settings

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Google offers a VPN via its “Google One” monthly subscription plan, and while it debuted on phones, a desktop app has been available for Windows and Mac OS for over a year now. Since a lot of people pay for Google One for the cloud storage increase for their Google accounts, you might be tempted to try the VPN on a desktop, but Windows users testing out the app haven’t seemed too happy lately. An open bug report on Google’s GitHub for the project says the Windows app “breaks” the Windows DNS, and this has been ongoing since at least November.

A VPN would naturally route all your traffic through a secure tunnel, but you’ve still got to do DNS lookups somewhere. A lot of VPN services also come with a DNS service, and Google is no different. The problem is that Google’s VPN app changes the Windows DNS settings of all network adapters to always use Google’s DNS, whether the VPN is on or off. Even if you change them, Google’s program will change them back.

Most VPN apps don’t work this way, and even Google’s Mac VPN program doesn’t work this way. The users in the thread (and the ones emailing us) expect the app, at minimum, to use the original Windows settings when the VPN is off. Since running a VPN is often about privacy and security, users want to be able to change the DNS away from Google even when the VPN is running.

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