This week Opera added a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to its desktop browsers (Window|Mac|Linux). This is the first time one of the major browser developers has included this feature by default, and it is a huge step forward in security for all of the browser’s users. Best of all, it’s free.
At this point, nearly a quarter of the world’s internet population are using VPNs for the security they offer. They work by providing you with a secure connection to a server from which you can privately surf the web.
For most, the main advantage of this direct connection between your computer and the server is that it prevents anyone intercepting your information when connected via Wi-Fi. This is perfect if you are a laptop or notebook user who likes to use your machine when out and about. With the VPN active, you can safely connect to public Wi-Fi to browse, email, and shop, without fear of anyone being able to access your personal data.
However, this isn’t the only benefit of using Opera’s VPN. It replaces your IP with a virtual IP address making it harder for sites to track your location or identify your computer – adding yet further privacy to your browsing habits. Plus, by browsing from a remote VPN, you can circumnavigate some restrictions linked to location and firewalls that may prevent you accessing some sites.
Providing you have the most recent release of Opera installed, you can now start using its VPN on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines. On Windows and Linux, all you need to do is go to “Privacy and Security” and then activate the VPN within the “Setting” options. Similarly, on Mac, just got to “Preferences” to toggle the VPN on and off. All without having to install any extensions.
Unlike other free VPNs, Opera places no data limit on your browsing. This ensures that you can make use of this safe connection whenever you need it.
This is fantastic news for Opera users, and should also attract a new audience to this powerful browser. We just hope Opera adds this service to it mobile version, Opera Mini (Android|iOS|Windows Phone), sooner rather than later.