Opera preview build integrates a free VPN service with the browser

Opera wants to become the browser of choice for users concerned about privacy. In March, the company introduced a native ad-blocking service. Now it's taking another step in that direction. The company has announced that it has integrated a free and unlimited VPN service into the latest developer build of its browser.

The service appears to be relatively easy to set up and use. After a simple change in the settings menu, a button appears in the browser's address field. This button enables users to see and change their locations, check to see if their IP is exposed, and turn VPN services on and off.

VPNs are already popular around the world, so it'll be interesting to see how this service affects Opera's popularity. Opera cites research from the Global Web Index that  indicates 24% of internet users around the world have tried a VPN service. 38% of them do so to "access better entertainment content." Netflix isn't only the reason that people want VPNs, though. Respondents to the poll also cite anonymity as a primary concern, and expressed a desire to access networks, sites, and news websites restricted by their country or employer.

Opera's VPN service won't be the only one on the market, of course, but most of its competitors operate on a subscription model. Private Internet Access, for example, charges $7 a month. It's hard to argue with free, so if Opera can avoid some of the security flaws that have cropped up with other VPN services, its integrated VPN might give users a compelling reason to switch browsers. If you're interested, you can grab the Opera developer build for Windows, Mac and Linux here.

Comments closed
    • DrCR
    • 3 years ago

    Surfeasy, I suspect, which they acquired relatively recently per the below.
    [url<]http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/25/opera-ceo-sale-to-chinese-consortium-wasnt-our-decision/[/url<]

    • Neutronbeam
    • 3 years ago

    Anybody using Vivaldi? I’m trying it this week. Seems a bit unstable. It’s sort of a Chrome fork.

      • NovusBogus
      • 3 years ago

      I tried it a while back, but didn’t get into it. As you say it’s basically Chrome with a lot of extra buttons, and I don’t want Chrome.

      • tsk
      • 3 years ago

      I found it too unstable, also didn’t work properly with all the Plug-ins I wanted from the chrome store.

      • brucethemoose
      • 3 years ago

      I’ve been using it for awhile, love it.

      It’s been pretty stable for me, but (ironically) I use the dev branch. Fixes seem to come in faster with it.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    I was a big fan of Opera in the Presto days but they lost me when the browser became a Chrome clone. I like Chrome and I use it myself but I don’t want a Chrome clone because then I’d just go straight to the ‘original’ itself. Once in a while I still check out Opera to see if it’s worth ditching Chrome for but time and time again I just meh.

    This free VPN may be worth checking out though. Not that Chrome is full of holes, mind you, but if Opera offers a free VPN and the browser proves to be polished enough, why not?

      • brucethemoose
      • 3 years ago

      If you liked Opera, you should be checking out Vivaldi, not the new Opera.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 3 years ago

    Free VPN and Chinese owners–what could possibly go wrong with that scenario?

    [url<]http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/25/opera-ceo-sale-to-chinese-consortium-wasnt-our-decision/[/url<]

      • Kougar
      • 3 years ago

      Hmm good point

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      Yikes. K thnx bye.

      Edit – judging by what the Opera guys are saying in that article it doesn’t seem like they’re too happy with the acquisition. And who would be?

    • bjm
    • 3 years ago

    Will Opera be implementing a select-your-VPN-provider pop-up window or will an EU court force them to release an Opera N version?

      • Yan
      • 3 years ago

      Opera isn’t abusing a dominant position. It doesn’t even have a dominant position.

        • bjm
        • 3 years ago

        Excuse you, but please don’t let facts get in the way of my teasing!

    • cmrcmk
    • 3 years ago

    So how are they paying for this? All that connectivity isn’t free unless they’re plumbed into tor or some other community effort.

      • slowriot
      • 3 years ago

      They’re almost certainly collecting and selling data.

      This could be convenient for people trying to avoid region blocks on sites like YouTube or the BBC but as an attempt to increase privacy I would not trust a free VPN service, regardless of whose providing it.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      Oh, haven’t you heard?

      “When the product is free, the real product is YOU.”

    • Anovoca
    • 3 years ago

    Nice, I used Opera up until Chrome came out but have been meaning to make the switch back. Chrome runs too many background processes and utilizes too many resources for my liking.

      • Tirk
      • 3 years ago

      Well they are both based on Chromium so I’m not sure how big of a difference you will find. Opera made the switch to Chromium back in 2013. Now they might subdue more of the background processes than Chrome’s implementation but they are still based off of the same source code from the Chromium project.

      I used to use Opera a while back as well and wouldn’t mind testing out what it has become.

        • slowriot
        • 3 years ago

        Opera to my knowledge uses the Blink rendering engine but isn’t based off the Chromium source.

          • Tirk
          • 3 years ago

          Blink is part of the Chromium project, if they use blink than they inherently use some of Chromium’s source.

          Opera can implement it any which way they want but that doesn’t change the fact that Blink is from the Chromium Project and is used in both Chrome and Opera. I cautioned Anovoca because if what they don’t like about Chrome’s processes is due to the structure of Blink they are not going to find a substantial difference in Opera.

            • cygnus1
            • 3 years ago

            Fortunately the rendering engine is very separate from all ‘background processes’. The UI, plugins, cloud syncing… all that is very separate from Blink.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      I find it faster than other browsers though. And in a world of multicore processors I really don’t mind Chrome running 6 or so threads. I can even assign all of them to just one module on my FX-8350 and I don’t notice any slowdowns. No biggie, IMO.

    • Deanjo
    • 3 years ago

    Opera’s VPN servers get blacklisted on Netflix in 3…2…1…..

      • adisor19
      • 3 years ago

      Oh, it currently works ?

      Adi

    • moose17145
    • 3 years ago

    I have been using Opera for a little while now, and i must admit to actually liking it much better than both chrome and firefox.

    I too am using a vpn service. Like many mine is a subscription, but it works out to only being 4 dolalrs and change a month.

      • Wildchild
      • 3 years ago

      Which VPN service are you using?

        • moose17145
        • 3 years ago

        I am just running tunnel bear.

        It seems to work well enough and I am most happy with it give the yearly price.

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