Opera, laying immense emphasis on online privacy, has become the first-ever company to integrate free VPN services into its desktop browser. It had been testing the native integration of the VPN service into its browser developer branch for the past year or so. The desktop browser — version 40 — is, however, now out of beta and brings the new free, unlimited, no-log browser VPN service to all globally.
For those unaware of what a VPN is, let me brief you before proceeding to the details. We can start by saying that a VPN(or Virtual Private Network) is extremely helpful for people who’re extremely cautious of their online privacy. It allows you to hide your location, bypass your own network, and run the internet via a remote location server.
As you may recall, after introducing the free VPN service into the developer browser, the company started rolling out a similar VPN service on its Android and iOS app — but that was also available on the developer versions. But with today’s update, Opera is not only bringing the benefits of its privacy and security features to you, but also making it easier to access blocked content from foreign websites(Spotify, Hulu, etc.) unavailable in India.
The VPN integration into the browser has been made possible, thanks to the acquisition of SurfEasy — a North American online privacy company in March 2015. It allows you to securely connect with one of the five(Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore and the US) server locations, automatically based on the optimal connection speed. It selects the optimal server location based on factors such as network speed, latency, location and server capacity. You can, however, switch to the network connection of any particular region, if you want to access any specific content.
We strongly believe that if more people knew how the internet truly works, they would use a VPN – and we hope that by making our browser VPN free and easy to use, it will become an essential tool for everyone.
says Krystian Kolondra, head of consumer products at Opera.
This service, the company believes will benefit over 350 million of its users across various products. In the blogpost, it also adds that people have been hesitant of using a VPN service due to hassles of setting it up and the high cost of monthly/yearly subscriptions.
In addition to the free VRN service, Opera has also included some other nifty upgrades to the finished version of the desktop browser. It has added an automatic battery saving mode that clicks in when the power to the laptop is unplugged. This iteration has also added support for Google’s Chromecast dongle alongwith major improvement to the video pop-out feature. you can now multitask with the picture-in-picture video capabilities of the Opera browser.
Alongwith some under the hood changes, this could be the last iteration that may be delivered by the company itself. Opera, if you’re unknown, has recently sold off its browser business to a Chinese Consortium for a whopping $600 million. The Consortium of Chinese Internet companies led by Qihoo 360 Software has agreed to buy out Opera’s browser business, the performance and privacy apps, alongwith its technology licensing business as well.