Free VPN integrated in Opera for better online privacy
Today, we want to share with you another big thing that you will first see free VPN in the developer channel for Opera for computers.
We are the first major browser maker to integrate an unlimited and free VPN or virtual private network. 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.
Why we are adding free VPN in Opera
Bringing this important privacy improvement marks another step in building a browser that matches up to people’s expectations in 2016. When you think about it, many popular options offered by desktop browsers today were invented (quite frequently by Opera) many years ago. The innovation energy in the industry has been recently so focused on mobile, even if the desktop is still thriving.
In January, we were reviewing our product plans, and we realized that people need new features in order to browse the web efficiently in 2016. It also became apparent to us that 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.
So far we have the native ad blocker. And, we’re introducing another major feature in just a matter of a few weeks; a native, unlimited and free VPN client, right inside your browser!
Enhanced privacy online with Opera’s free VPN
According to Global Web Index*, more than half a billion people (24% of the world’s internet population) have tried or are currently using VPN services. According to the research, the primary reasons for people to use a VPN are:
– To access better entertainment content (38%)
– To keep anonymity while browsing (30%)
– To access restricted networks and sites in my country (28%)
– To access restricted sites at work (27%)
– To communicate with friends/family abroad (24%)
– To access restricted news websites in my country (22%)
According to the research, young people are leading the way when it comes to VPN usage, with almost one third of people between 16-34 having used a VPN.
Better than traditional VPNs
Until now, most VPN services and proxy servers have been limited and based on a paid subscription. With a free, unlimited, native VPN that just works out-of-the-box and doesn’t require any subscription, Opera wants to make VPNs available to everyone.
That’s why Opera’s built-in free VPN feature is easy to use. 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. It’s free and unlimited to use, yet it offers several must-have options available in paid VPNs, such as:
- Hide your IP address – Opera will replace your IP address with a virtual IP address, so it’s harder for sites to track your location and identify your computer. This means you can browse the web more privately.
- Unblocking of firewalls and websites – Many schools and workplaces block video-streaming sites, social networks and other services. By using a VPN you can access your favorite content, no matter where you are.
- Public Wi-Fi security – When you’re surfing the web on public Wi-Fi, intruders can easily sniff data. By using a VPN, you can improve the security of your personal information.