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.