Opera builds a free and unlimited VPN service directly into its desktop browser

By midian182 ยท 21 replies
Apr 21, 2016
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  1. Last Month, Opera became the first major web browser to come with a built-in ad blocker. Now, the company has introduced another baked-in feature that’s usually found in the form of a an extension: a VPN.

    The virtual private network feature arrives thanks to Opera’s acquisition of VPN service SurfEasy in March last year. At the moment, it’s limited to the developer version of the desktop browser, and users are only able to choose from three “virtual locations” – the US, Canada, or Germany – but Opera will make more locations available in the stable version.

    “Everyone deserves to be private online if they want to be. By adding a free, unlimited VPN directly into the browser, no additional download or extensions from an unknown third-party provider are necessary. So, today, our Opera desktop users get a handy way to boost their online privacy, as well as easier access to all their favorite online content, no matter where they are,” says Krystian Kolondra, SVP, Engineering and Head of Opera for computers.

    The feature offers a 256-bit encrypted connection and doesn’t set any data limits – a paid-for feature in most popular VPN services. Enabling the browser’s virtual private network will bring up a little padlock in the URL field that will let you change your location, check whether your IP is exposed and review how much data you have consumed through the VPN servers.

    While VPNs are popular for a variety of reasons, bypassing Netflix’s geoblocking technology is one of the most common reasons people use the services. Krystian told me that it’s possible the streaming site could identify and block IP addresses linked with the browser’s VPN, as it has done with similar services, but added that Opera’s goal is “on bringing the best quality product, focusing on users.”

    Having a free, built-in VPN that offers the same functions as most paid-for services, such as hiding an IP address, unblocking firewalls/websites, and offering public Wi-Fi security, will likely draw more users to Opera, and could see the browser's 2 percent market share start to increase.

    “There is definitely huge demand from users for VPNs, so that they can browse privately and access online content no matter where they are in the world. VPN in Opera is the first VPN option integrated into a major browser. It doesn’t require any payments, nor subscriptions, and doesn't set any limits for your VPN-enabled browsing. Also, it’s delivered from a company you can trust. Not all VPN products are delivered by a company with an extensive history in providing reliable and trustworthy internet products,” said Krystian.

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  2. Mieksr

    Mieksr TS Enthusiast Posts: 42   +8

    When will this be available in Opera. Just checked for an update on my Opera Browser, but nothing. I currently have build: 36.0.2130.65
  3. d4fseeker

    d4fseeker TS Rookie

    Look at me! I'm not irrelevant. Take this, and this. Just pleaaaase look at me. /Opera
  4. Kaotika

    Kaotika TS Rookie

    Actually Internet Explorer has had built-in adblocker since.. IE9 I think? Tracking Protection, while may be meant for something else really, works just like adblockers do with correct blocking lists.
  5. Thrackerzod

    Thrackerzod TS Enthusiast Posts: 40   +30

    That's nice but I'm not sure what it has to do with the article. VPNs are not ad blockers.
    Auth3ntic0 and psycros like this.
  6. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,667   +987

    Darth Shiv likes this.
  7. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,995   +1,316

    Anyone use opera? How stable is it compared to Firefox?
  8. Mieksr

    Mieksr TS Enthusiast Posts: 42   +8

  9. noc81

    noc81 TS Enthusiast Posts: 79   +29

    I want to like Opera... but the bloated firefox-style interface and not being able to have multiple windows filled with tabs makes it entirely a no-go for me.

    One thing I'd be interested in, though.. If you were to use Opera with a torrent extension (of which I'm sure there are several), would the torrent traffic go through the browser's VPN if enabled..? That'd be a quick an easy way for pirates to use a vpn service to download, without paying or having to implement advanced set-ups.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    This is good as long as it doesn't have
    SNGX1275 used to swear by it. I've had it installed and it was OK. I just wasn't as familiar to me as FF so I didn't bother keeping up with it.

    Two points: Back when I had it, you couldn't get "NoScript" for it. Don't know about that now.

    The page Firefox has now where you can put multiple site homepages, used to be an Opera exclusive. They called it, "Speed Dial". IIRC it had a 9 site "memory", (9 "click me and you're there" panels).
    Phr3d likes this.
  11. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,867   +1,286

    No doubt a lot of people will be testing this shortly. Problem is, you still have to use Opera so is it really worth it?
  12. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Evangelist Posts: 302   +107

    As always Opera is the best browser, I've been using it for years without letdown.
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    I used Opera for a few years but refused to upgrade to the Chromium engine. Once the old version started getting glitches from sites updating their software, I was forced to change. So I chose Firefox and have been using it ever since. If I wanted to support Google with their Chromium engine, I'd use Chrome.
    Phr3d likes this.
  14. JaymondoGB

    JaymondoGB TS Enthusiast Posts: 37   +12

    Didn't think anyone used this any more, but its an interesting feature

    CK JAGUAR TS Rookie

    "Fans of the popular mobile and PC browser Opera learned this week that the rumors were true: Opera has been sold to a consortium of Chinese tech companies." And how secure is a Chinese controlled browser, or VPN for that matter? I won't use it.
  16. Amet Monegro

    Amet Monegro TS Enthusiast Posts: 62   +17

    Great! I prefer Opera over Chrome I feel it faster and more stable
  17. Captcurzk

    Captcurzk TS Rookie

    Seem to it is only version of the developer so far?
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    Gosh, I could be wrong, but I think it says that, right in the article.
    Amet Monegro likes this.
  19. Gaspode

    Gaspode TS Rookie

    where are you?
    This isn't available in all countries yet.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    It's in the latest developer's build, which was linked above by Julio Franco @ post #6, after "Meiksr" posted that.

    IDK if that has changed since post #6, but I'm willing to listen..:confused:

    (Sorry, just trying to put us all on the same page).
  21. SoulSeeker

    SoulSeeker TS Rookie Posts: 17

    "Opera became the first major web browser to come with a built-in ad blocker last month."

    Erm... Opera had a built in ad-blocker since 15 years ago. And build in torrent-client, mail-client, mouse gestures, voice commands... Of course that was when they had their own engine and where always on the edge of what a browser should be like.
    Good to see they still come up with relevant features. If they ever bring Opera back to its feature packed and fully(!) customizable glory, with all the expert-friendly preferences to be tinkered with, I'll gladly come back to it.

    As it stands, it's just "Chrome +" I suppose. And the news of a chinese tech consortium buing Opera doesn't really leave me much hope for its future... But we'll see.
  22. JediMaster

    JediMaster TS Rookie

    Opera is doing a great job. A built-in VPN shortly after the built-in Ad blocker. However, one very important piece is missing in this puzzle that is it can only work for the browsing through Opera browser. All the other activities including mail client, cloud etc will remain open for hackers. This is the biggest reason I will keep using Ivacy VPN to hide all of my online activities.

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