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The desktop browser Opera has been around for a long time, but it has lost ground to the likes of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Opera is doing a lot to lure users back, and its latest feature is a doozy. Opera now comes with unlimited, free VPN for life Opera Adds a Free VPN, Microsoft Kills the Xbox 360... [Tech News Digest] Opera Adds a Free VPN, Microsoft Kills the Xbox 360... [Tech News Digest] Opera now comes with a free VPN, Microsoft stops making the Xbox 360, Facebook enables group calling on Messenger, HBO goes free for Game of Thrones weekend, and the emotional power of video games. Read More !

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, basically masks your online identity and tricks the site you are visiting into thinking you are in a different location than where you actually are. It’s an important security element and you should be using VPNs more often than you think 8 Instances You Weren't Using a VPN, but Should've Been: The VPN Checklist 8 Instances You Weren't Using a VPN, but Should've Been: The VPN Checklist If you haven't already considered subscribing to a VPN to secure your privacy, now is the time. Read More .

What Is “Free and Unlimited”?

VPNs usually have one of two restrictions. Either they restrict the amount of data you can download and upload, or they ask you to pay. Opera’s new VPN is both free and offers unlimited data, so you have a completely unrestricted VPN built right into your browser.

What Makes Opera VPN Special?

On any other web browser, you’ll need to install extensions to use a VPN. However, you can’t always trust those. By baking it into the browser, Opera—a long-time Internet stalwart—gives you a sense of trust and certainty.

Also, free VPNs can be unbearably slow to use. VPNs route your data through a remote server, so the speed is slower than your usual bandwidth. But Opera’s VPN, at the moment, is working as fast as any paid VPN.

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Additionally, it’s remarkably easy to use, compared to extensions.

  • To activate it: Go to Menu > Settings (or Preferences on Mac) > Privacy & Security > Enable VPN.
  • To use it: Click VPN in the URL bar to get a drop-down menu. Toggle it On or Off. And select from one of three VPN countries: USA, Canada, or Germany.

You’ll probably need to refresh the page once to reload the page using the VPN. And any new tab you open will start with the VPN enabled, till you turn it off.

Can Opera VPN Be Trusted?

Normally, free VPNs aren’t too reliable or trustworthy. VPNs like the Hola Unblocker extension for Chrome and Firefox are notorious for their flaws and top most “extensions to avoid” lists 4 Malicious Browser Extensions That Help Hackers Target Their Victims 4 Malicious Browser Extensions That Help Hackers Target Their Victims You'd be wrong to think all browser extensions are designed to help you. Whether extensions exploit vulnerabilities or send data to hackers, it's time to be vigilant about how you enhance your browser. Read More .

For a good VPN, you would usually need to pay for a subscription. We have taken a detailed look at several to come up with a list of the best VPN services The Best VPN Services The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. Read More and our constant advice is to purchase a paid VPN and not trust the free ones.

However, the new Opera VPN changes that! You see, a while back, Opera bought a reputed paid VPN service called SurfEasy Protect Your Mobile Data and Network Usage With SurfEasy VPN [Giveaway] Protect Your Mobile Data and Network Usage With SurfEasy VPN [Giveaway] In the Google Play Store, you'll find a whole lot of VPN clients for Android devices, but few of them are as up-to-date and robust as SurfEasy. SurfEasy offers a 3-tier account structure: Free, Mobile... Read More . And the “free, unlimited VPN” you get now is through that deal, and features all of the protections you would thus expect from a paid VPN.

What Security Do I Get with This VPN?

Most VPNs are not going to guarantee you complete anonymity and privacy. VPNs are less secure than most people think 5 Ways Your VPN Is Not as Private as You Think It Is 5 Ways Your VPN Is Not as Private as You Think It Is Your VPN is not as secure or private as you think it is. We explain why you and your browsing history might not be anonymous after all. Read More , but they are still better for your security than using no VPN at all.

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For example, the Opera VPN will automatically mask your IP address and show a different one to the websites you’re visiting. That way, you can browse the Internet with more privacy and they can’t tell it’s you.

Also, connecting to public Wi-Fi networks like those at a coffee shop can be risky since those are usually easy for hackers to crack. A VPN gives you an additional level of security there too, while letting you browse as you normally would.

Can I Watch Region-Restricted Videos?

Yes you can! If YouTube says, “Sorry, the uploader has not made this video available in your country”, then don’t worry. Enable the VPN, choose a country, and reload the page. You should be good to go! It’s far easier than other tricks to bypass YouTube’s regional filter How to Easily Bypass YouTube's Regional Filter How to Easily Bypass YouTube's Regional Filter Some YouTube videos are restricted by location. Luckily, with a few tricks you can unblock YouTube videos not available in your country to what any content you want to, regardless of your location. Read More .

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I tried it out with several other region-restricted websites and services, like Comedy Central, and Opera’s VPN worked flawlessly each time. It tracks the amount of data you use and seems to be alarmed even when you hit 10MB, but I wouldn’t pay much heed to that because it worked fine even when I hit 200MB.

Can I Watch Unrestricted Netflix?

Nope! The one service that Opera’s VPN does not support is Netflix. It’s understandable, given that Netflix has publicly banned VPNs Why the Netflix Crackdown on VPNs Will Ultimately Fail Why the Netflix Crackdown on VPNs Will Ultimately Fail Netflix is set to crack down on VPNs to satisfy the rights-holders from whom it sources its content. So, how will Netflix’ ban work? And how effective will it be? Read More because users were accessing content not meant for them.

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So even if you’re on Opera, you’ll need to stick to your own country’s Netflix catalog. Of course, there are other ways to watch all of Netflix no matter where you live How to Watch Everything on Netflix No Matter Where You Live How to Watch Everything on Netflix No Matter Where You Live In this article, we explore why Netflix content differs from country to country, and how you can watch everything on Netflix regardless of where you live! Read More .

What Are the Problems With Opera VPN?

Right now, there is very little to criticize about Opera’s new VPN offering, considering it’s free, fast, and unlimited—a rare combination. That said, here are a few things I’d be glad to see:

  1. Only three countries supported so far: Germany, USA, and Canada. Opera has said that they will be expanding this list slowly.
  2. No support for Opera mobile so far. It’s a fantastic app with some great space-saving features Low on Storage? Save Space on Android With Great Apps Under 10 Megabytes Low on Storage? Save Space on Android With Great Apps Under 10 Megabytes Running low on storage space on your phone or tablet? These tiny apps should be able to remedy that! Read More , but it won’t get VPN. That said, there’s better news. Opera is looking into releasing standalone, system-wide Opera VPN apps for iOS and Android, according to Ars Technica.
  3. It’s only in the Developer version of Opera at the moment, not in the stable version.

How to Get Opera VPN

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So as we just noted, the stable version of Opera doesn’t have this feature yet and it has only been rolled out in Opera’s Developer version. But don’t let that bother you, it’s still a free download and works on all major desktop operating systems. Grab it here:

Will You Switch to Opera Now?

Opera has been on quite a roll lately, but people find that it’s difficult to switch to Opera completely Opera Has Good Features, so What’s the Problem? Opera Has Good Features, so What’s the Problem? There is something holding you back from clicking that "Make Opera My Default Browser" button. What is it? Read More . However, with new features like a built-in ad-blocker, a video pop-out system, and now this free VPN service, are you ready to change your mind and swap out your current desktop browser for Opera? If not, why not?

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