Android 12 will have a built-in VPN to increase privacy

Google wants all Android users to use a VPN virtual private network, and with Android 12 this may be the case

With Android 11 Google has taken several steps to increase the security and privacy of its users, but with Android 12 it will do much more: the next mobile operating system from Mountain View will in fact integrate kernel-level support for the WireGuard VPN protocol.

This is the first step, which will certainly be followed by others, so that next-generation Android smartphones can run VPN apps that can protect the device right to the heart of the operating system. The next step will be to develop the APIs, i.e. the interfaces for programmers, through which the apps will be able to manage this function. It's not an easy job, and it's quite delicate, but Google has plenty of time to do it before presenting Android 12. The next operating system of the green robot, in fact, will not arrive before August 2021.

WireGuard VPN: what is it

WireGuard VPN is an open source protocol, so free from copyright and improved by anyone who has the ability, which aims to simplify and speed up the encryption of data.

According to many experts is the VPN protocol of the future and the endorsement of Google would suggest that it is just so. It must be said, however, that WireGuard is a very young protocol and has only been used commercially since 2018.

What is a VPN and why is it important on Android

WireGuard, then, is a protocol that is used to create VPNs. That is, Virtual Private Networks. A VPN is a private network that runs on protected servers, in which data is encrypted and the IP address of the connected devices is camouflaged.

Those who surf through a VPN, therefore, are much more difficult to trace and, even if a hacker manages to implement a "man in the middle" attack (i.e. manages to sneak into the communication between two devices and read the data they are exchanging), the only thing they can steal is a handful of encrypted data. So unreadable.

VPN at the core level

There are already plenty of VPN apps for Android and some of them already use the WireGuard protocol. So what changes with WireGuard integration at the kernel level?

The kernel is the core of the operating system, the only part of it that can access hardware resources like the processor and memory. Above the kernel are other layers of software all the way down to the user interface.

The integration of the open source VPN protocol at the kernel level makes it easier for developers to propose their apps and services on Android. But that's not all: data encryption is much faster and even more secure.