Opera just added a free VPN as a bonus feature for users
In the league table of browser popularity, it’s a straight up battle between Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Edge, and Mozilla’s Firefox. Step a little further back and you spot Safari creeping up, thanks to the Mac resurgence, and if you really squint you can just about make out Opera, trundling along at somewhere between 0.5 and 5% of the market.
Fans of privacy may be inclined to give the browser a second look, though, as the company has announced free, built-in and unlimited VPN access for people using the latest version of the browser. Writing in a
Fans of privacy may be inclined to give the browser a second look, though, as the company has announced free, built-in and unlimited VPN access for people using the latest version of the browser. Writing in ablog post, Krystian Kolondra announced the change saying: “Now, you don’t have to download VPN extensions or pay for VPN subscriptions to access blocked websites and to shield your browsing when on public Wi-Fi.”
“What people need are not the same features that were relevant for their browsers ten years ago. This is why we today have more engineers than ever before working on new features for our desktop browser.”
VPNs – or virtual private networks – were once a niche enthusiasm, but are gaining more traction. They work by routing your internet traffic via servers in different countries, making it harder for people (both governments and hackers) to snoop on your internet activity. They’re also frequently used to bypass geolocation blocks, allowing you to, say, watch American Netflix in the UK. Opera promises all you’d expect from a paid VPN, including the obfuscation of your IP address, unblocked firewalls and additional public Wi-Fi security.
The reason this is such a surprising move is that VPNs either cost money, or are unreliable and come with hidden costs – such as potentially using your bandwidth for dubious activities. Opera was among the first web browsers to have integrated ad-blocking, and by offering a free, unlimited VPN built into the browser, the company is certainly making a big play for the tech-savvy end of the market.
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