In a recent and quite a very bold move by Opera, they have released a developers preview for the latest update for the browser which now includes a full-featured virtual private network (VPN) client as well as free access to the aforementioned service.
Opera Software Releases Developer Preview for Namesake Browser Which Includes Free VPN Service
Krystian Kolondra, head of engineering in Opera, said the following in a Thursday post within the company’s blog: “We are the first major browser maker to integrate an unlimited and free VPN or virtual private network.” Even though the idea of using VPNs is most commonly used by corporate workers in order to access company data whenever they’re outside their company’s network area, the firm stresses out the anonymous browsing service that they can provide.
The Opera Browser and its now built-in VPN will let users access sites that are blocked in their countries, or by their employers or educational institutions. Furthermore, users of the free VPN service will be anonymous, in which it will disguise the actual IP address of the user thereby making it appear that the browser activities are being done from somewhere else.
For a more public setting, such as that of a coffee shop’s Wi-Fi network, using a VPN tunnel will provide a secure access to the destination, which can prevent theft of credentials and other personal information such as passwords.
The free VPN service is likely to be based on the network of Toronto-based SurfEasy, in which the Norwegian browser maker recently acquired last month. At the time of writing, SurfEasy currently offers VPN subscriptions, which includes a plan that has a month charge of $6.49 (when paid annually). For those who are using Opera, they will, in effect, be able to use the VPN service without having to pay any subscription fees.
In the developer preview of the browser, this VPN addition came with the March debut of a built-in ad blocker for the browser. Kolondra argued that the ad blocker, as well as the VPN service, are what today’s customers really want. She said, “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 10 years ago.”
Users of the new VPN service brought by Opera should not have high hopes for it, however. Those who have downloaded and installed the developers preview of the browser, and enabled the VPN service, would be able to successfully browse numerous websites. But it should be noted that there are others that do take a long while to load, at least on the first instance that they have been visited.