This Christmas Google offered a free Nest mini to all of it's Google Fi subscribers.
I already have an Alexa I never use but I do find my self saying "Ok Google" at least 5 times a day to locate my phone, so maybe the Nest could be more useful.
I click the link but am unable to add this thing to my cart...
I scroll down to find the "contact us" link so I can complain and that's when I see it.
Google is sending me to the India's store page, even though the URL appears to be for the normal US store. Since I already scrolled through 20 pages of Nest's features to get to the footer I reached out to support anyways (lost cause fallacy?). Who informed me the giveaway was only for people currently in the US. What ever...
So I opened a WSL terminal on my Windows 10 laptop. Googled the flags for a socks proxy and typed in the hostname for a machine I have back in the states.
ssh -D 5222 email@example.com
Once connected I then Googled for how to set chrome to use my tunnel (are you seeing a pattern yet?). Turns out it still uses crusty ole Internet Options from the Control Panel.
So I setup the connection:
It was about this time that I felt all was right with the world. I had single-handedly defeated Google. I was unstoppable. Who knew what Achievements tomorrow would bring.
So I did something wrong, wrong flag, wrong port? After double checking everything I re-ran the command as sudo... why not. Nothing.
You may not know this but I'm a seasoned Google warrior trained in the arts of Google-Fu. I can type obscure search teams that appear to have no relevance to each other and retrieve a blog post that I read three years ago. If a solution existed on the internet then I WOULD FIND IT.
My usual heroes like Medium and StackOverflow offered no help. Certainly I was not the only person in the world trying to make a "poor man's" VPN. Then when all hopes seemed lost, I came across post on Reddit.
Thank you! Who knew leaving everything else blank was the right answer.
Leave everything else blank? This seemed like a silly solution but I was desperate.
With that setting my internet connection roared to life. I checked my IP and sure enough my traffic was originating from inside the United States. I went back to Google Fi and clicked the link...
Was a free Google Nest worth this kinda time and hassle? Probably not. Did I learn something valuable in the process? Yes. I haven't been a "gamer" in years so that excuse for running Windows is not really valid.