Great news privacy fans! In a recent update, the folks over at Opera Software have implemented a free Virtual Private Network (VPN) service into its Opera browser. Although this update is currently only available for the developer version of Opera, the company claims that this feature will be readily available for all of its millions of users in future updates.
In addition to this VPN implementation, Opera has also included a free ad-blocker in a recent update from last month. Last week, we examined how crude ad-blockers are “breaking the internet”, and how Blur differentiates itself as a unique Tracker Blocker that can be easily customized based on user preferences.
Opera software, along with Brave browser, seem to be leading the consumer war in favor of a “privacy-centric” browser. While Brave does not yet offer support for browser extensions, they have said that support for Chrome extensions will be coming later this year. (You can download Blur for Opera here)
Recently, we published a blog post explaining the benefits, similarities and differences among some of the most popular VPNs out there. Some of our favorites include VyperVPN (by GoldenFrog), PrivateWiFi and PIA (Private Internet Access). While using a VPN provides a great service to enhance your privacy and security online, we think that using Blur in addition to a VPN provides an even greater layer of protection from data miners and ID thieves.
(P.S. as a Blur user, you can get a discounted subscription to VyperVPN by GoldenFrog here)
Although the implementation of this free VPN is a great move for Opera, their free VPN may not provide the exact privacy and security features that you’re looking for. While a typical VPN service “protects”, or re-routes all of your network activity, Opera’s “VPN” can only protect you when you’re browsing the web using your Opera browser. For example, if you have the free Opera VPN enabled, your browsing activity inside your Opera browser will be protected, but any activity in any other program like Skype, Outlook, etc…, would go unprotected. This may not be exactly what you’re looking for in a VPN service, but Opera’s free VPN does not require a subscription or any sort of technical setup to get going; you can simply turn it on and begin browsing.
At Abine, we think that Opera is a great option as an internet browser, and with all of their recent improvements, it’s clear that they have consumer’s privacy and security in the forefront of their thinking when developing new features or products.