Using Google’s Wi-Fi Assistant

Available for sometime in the USA, Google’s Wi-Fi Assistant has made its way to the UK for those people with Nexus devices.

In a nutshell, Wi-Fi Assistant, when switched on, will automatically connect you to approved public Wi-Fi hotspots whenever you’re in range. For security they have to be Google approved but, also, it runs everything through a VPN.

Chances are, even if you’ve not realised it, you have the option available to you. When 3 other people in the office (2 with a Nexus 6P and 1 with a Nexus 5X) all had it, a quick reboot of my phone added it to my own. After a while, if you don’t switch it on, you may get a pop-up about it but it’s easy to miss.

Wi-Fi Assistant is off by default. To switch it on…

  1. Open Settings and select the Google option
  2. Tap Networking. If you don’t have this option then, no, Wi-Fi Assistant isn’t yet available for you. Try rebooting your phone first
  3. Next to “Wi-Fi Assistant,” tap the On/Off switch
  4. Now head into Settings -> Wi-Fi and then click the cog icon in the top-right hand corner
  5. A new option can now be found here – “Use open Wi-Fi automatically”. Make sure this is switched on

When your device is connected via Wi-Fi Assistant…

  • Your notifications bar shows the virtual private network (VPN) key
  • Your Wi-Fi connection says: “Connected via Wi-Fi Assistant.”

And that’s it. There’s no downsides to it and it will now automatically connect you to certain Wi-Fi hotspots, savings your data usage.

Posted by David Artiss

Enterprise Happiness Engineer for the WordPress VIP team at Automattic. Gamer, film lover and general fan of all things Marvel, Star Trek and Star Wars. Failed comedian. Writer for The Big Tech Question. World's Greatest Grandma.

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