Opera wants to offer better privacy and content access, so it baked a free VPN right into its desktop browser.
Many users choose to rely on a virtual private network to enhance their privacy while surfing online or to get access to content restricted by location. Netflix, for instance, is making various content available based on location, and many users prefer to fire up a VPN to get access to that sweet U.S.-only content.
If you wanted to use a VPN, however, you had to install a third-party browser extension or use a little-known niche browser that offered VPN access. From now on, however, users will have a more mainstream alternative: Opera.
The latest developer version of the Opera desktop browser now comes with native VPN support, allowing users to easily switch to a 256-bit encrypted connection that hides their details.
"We are the first major browser maker to integrate an unlimited and free VPN or virtual private network," says Opera. "Now, you don't have to download VPN extensions or pay for VPN subscriptions to access blocked websites and to shield your browsing when on public Wi-Fi."
The new option follows Opera's move back in March to add a built-in ad-blocker option to its browser, and VPN now takes it to the next level.
To activate the built-in VPN in the developer version of Opera, all you need to do is access the "O" menu > Settings > Privacy & Security. Once there, you'll see an "Enable VPN" option. Tick that box and you're good to go.
With the VPN enabled, the URL field will now display a tiny padlock icon indicating that your privacy is protected by a virtual private network. Clicking on that padlock will allow users to change various settings.
When it comes to virtual locations, users will be able to mimic browsing from the United States, Canada or Germany for now. Opera will soon add more options.
The new VPN feature may not work on Netflix anymore, as the video streaming company started cracking down on VPN use worldwide, but it can still be very useful on many other sites.
If you've already tried out the new Opera developer version with a built-in VPN, drop by our comment section below and tell us about your experience.