Opera has has announced it will include free virtual private network (VPN) in the newest version of its desktop browser.
The new VPN feature which is included in Opera 50 and is available completely free of charge, you don’t even need to sign up for an account, and can be activated by a selecting the VPN option in the browser settings.
There are also no third party extensions and no limit regarding how much you use it.
The VPN feature in the current developers version offers you a choice of three virtual locations: Canada, Germany and the US, although Opera has said it will introduce more locations in the future, presumably when the full version is up and running.
Opera claims the VPN in its browser offers 256 bit encryption, replacing your existing IP address with a virtual one so your computer appears to be located in a different part of the world.
In my very brief test of the VPN function I found that even with the VPN feature enabled I was unable to access geo-restricted content in Netflix, although I was able to watch some YouTube videos that would other be blocked, as well as access some sports video content from the websites of BBC Sport and Sky Sports.
Of course, a VPN doesn’t just offer a solution to access geo-restricted content and there are a number of reasons why you may want to use a VPN when browsing the internet.
Even if you are prepared to pay for content, some websites or apps prevent that from even being possible due to geo-restrictions.
A VPN also offers additional protection for when using public Wi-Fi connections, such as in hotels or cafes or perhaps you just want your online activity to remain private.
Whether or not the VPN in Opera web browser will be enough to replace your paid for service remains to be seen, although its introduction is an exciting development and it will be interesting to see if any other web browsers follow suit.
You can download the latest developer version of Opera for Windows and Mac here.
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.