Google Extends Project Fi's Wi-Fi Assistant to All Nexus Phones

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Google is extending the Wi-Fi Assistant feature available via its Project Fi wireless service to all Nexus owners in the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, and Nordic countries.

"Keep your connection speed high and your data bill low," a Nexus Google+ post says. The feature, which promises automatic and secure acccess to more than a million free wireless hotspots, is rolling out gradually over the next few weeks.

Turned off by default, Wi-Fi Assistant can be activated via your device's Settings: Navigate to Google > Networking > Wi-Fi Assistant > On/Off. Check that your phone is linked by looking for the virtual private network (VPN) key icon in the notifications bar. The VPN protects users' data from being seen by others using the open network. When active, Google may monitor your system data to improve the program and scan for abuse.

To disconnect, return to the Settings app, tap Wi-Fi, touch and hold the name of the network, and click "Forget network." Or turn off Wi-Fi Assistant altogether by following the same steps above.

According to Google, some sports and video apps that limit use to specific locations may not work over this kind of secure connection. In which case you can simply disconnect from the Wi-Fi network and reconnect manually. Also, keep in mind that the function will not work with networks that require steps to connect, like signing in.

Google unveiled Project Fi in April 2015: For $20 per month, users get basic features (talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international coverage), and can pay an additional $10 per GB. Any unused data will be returned in the form of a refund.

Though no longer invitation-only, Project Fi is still restricted to Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X.

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