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article imageOpera adds a built-in VPN feature for secure web browsing

By Claudio Buttice     Oct 21, 2016 in Technology
In its upcoming update, Opera is going to offer a new built-in virtual private network (VPN) to increase users' security during web surfing.
As soon as Version 40 is launched, Opera will be the first web browser that can boast its own free VPN service to increase security and privacy during navigation. The feature started its first testing back in April and can really be a unique opportunity to re-launch one of the oldest desktop browsers in the market. Most standard browsers such as Chrome and Firefox offer a "private mode" that simply maintain privacy inside the computer, in order to avoid other users to check the history and nothing more. A VPN service instead helps to keep at bay any potential intrusions or unwanted prying eyes by adding encrypting software, blocking tracking cookies and hiding the user's IP address.
Anyone who is browsing through a commercial or public Wi-Fi hotspot usually uses a VPN to add an additional layer of privacy and to protect himself against Wi-Fi sniffers or advertisement trackers that spy on users' internet habits. The most secure VPN services currently available on the market offer various features other than just avoiding that sensitive information gets into the wrong hands. Bitcoin anonymous payments, no-log policies and location hiding are just some of the most appreciated among them, although paying a monthly fee to access one of these services can add up to monthly expenses. Opera will be the first one to offer this service for free and without bandwidth cap, also adding the opportunity to get around geolocation-locked contents, such as movies or TV series that cannot be streamed from that location.
Krystian Kolondra, Opera’s desktop browser chief, explained that inclusion of VPN functions is going to be a standard feature of new browsers, and this tool will be as essential "as the lock and key is to your house.”
However, the major downside is that Opera's VPN is not a "true VPN" but just a proxy that redirects all traffic to SurfEasy, a company subsidiary that usually offers this service for a monthly fee. The traffic encrypted is only in the browser, so everything that is sent through any other network function such as chats, virtual drives and email clients is not covered. Although SurfEasy promised not to store any users' browsing habits and information on its servers, Opera will still get insight on all the details coming from clients' surfing history. This "proxy" feature will just re-route traffic through five locations: Canada, U.S., Singapore, Netherlands and Germany, leaving the vast majority of the European traffic yet uncovered.
More about Opera, Web browser, Web surfing, Security, Vpn
 
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