Windows/Mac/Linux: Opera users just got a free, unlimited VPN that you can use to encrypt your data or get around location-based restrictions on content. It’s currently in the dev version of Opera, but turning it on is as easy as flipping a switch. The latest versions of Opera are built on Chromium, so you can expect a similar browsing experience, but today’s big change is the introduction of that free VPN service. Once you’ve updated, all you need to do to enable it is toggle it in the toolbar. Once enabled, you can set your location to exit servers in the United States, Germany or Canada, and use it as much as you like. More specifically, from Opera’s blog:
To activate it, Mac users just need to click the Opera menu, select “Preferences” and toggle the feature VPN on, while Windows and Linux users need to go to the “Privacy and Security” section in “Settings” and enable VPN there. A button will appear in the browser address field, from which the user can see and change location (more locations will appear later), check whether their IP is exposed and review statistics for their data used.
Once enabled, all of your browsing data (and without getting into the distinction between a true VPN and a proxy — or the web browser tools call themselves VPNs) is encrypted and sent through Opera’s VPN concentrators. This gives you most of the benefits of a good VPN.
Of course, Opera’s VPN service only encrypts and protects traffic inside the browser. That means you don’t get encrypted data in all of your apps, across your entire system. You also don’t get the sheer number of exit servers and protocols that most other VPN providers offer you (Opera currently offers three, and hopefully there’ll be more soon.) Similarly, we also don’t know Opera’s stance on data privacy and logging, which are important to be transparent about if you want to be a trustworthy VPN provider.
Opera’s new VPN is great for people who want to make sure their data is private on cafe, hotel, airport or library Wi-Fi; who just don’t like the idea of sidejacking attacks stealing their credentials; or who want to stream a movie, YouTube video or audio track that’s not available in their country. It’s more of a replacement for browser-based tools than a fully featured, system-wide VPN, and certainly no match for some of the best full-service VPNs you can choose from. Even so, it’s a step in the right direction, and we can’t argue with free and unlimited use.
If you’d like to give it a try, you’ll need the dev version of Opera to do so, which you can grab here. If you’d like to read more about it, hit the link below.
Free VPN Integrated in Opera for Better Online Privacy [Opera Blog via The Verge]