If you value your privacy and want to avoid web sites that track you, use a VPN. VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) will secure your computer’s internet connection to guarantee that all of the data you’re sending and receiving is encrypted and secured from prying eyes. It is especially useful when traveling and using untrusted wi-fi and hotel networks. I travel a lot and use a VPN in my laptop for security purposes. In fact, I configured the VPN to load automatically as soon as the laptop is booted up.
For more reasons, read my earlier article, Update: Why You Want to Use a VPN, at https://goo.gl/9GHj0i.
VPNs are available from any number of vendors at all sorts of prices. Now one of the better VPNs is available free of charge and it throws in a really good web browser besides.
The desktop browser Opera has been available for years, but has never become as popular as 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’s new VPN is both free and offers unlimited data, so you have a completely unrestricted VPN built right into your browser.
The VPN in the Opera web browser is free and unlimited to use, yet it offers several must-have options available in paid VPNs, such as:
- Hide your IP address – Opera will replace your IP address with a virtual IP address, so it’s harder for sites to track your location and identify your computer. This means you can browse the web more privately.
- Unblocking of firewalls and websites – Many schools and workplaces block video-streaming sites, social networks and other services. By using a VPN you can access your favorite content, no matter where you are.
- Public Wi-Fi security – When you’re surfing the web on public Wi-Fi, intruders can easily sniff data. By using a VPN, you can improve the security of your personal information.
The downside is that the VPN is only available in the Developer Version (beta test version) of Opera at the moment, not in the stable version. However, it probably will be released to general production soon. Another downside is that it appears to only secure connections made with Opera, not with other web services, such as FTP file transfers. Still, with a price tag of FREE, this is a very worthwhile VPN.
I downloaded and installed the latest Opera Developer Version web browser and found it easy to use. One caveat: the option to use a VPN is turned OFF when Opera is first installed. To enable the VPN, click on PREFERENCES and enable it.
I have only used the Opera Developer Version for a few hours but, so far, but it has worked flawlessly. Being a “developer version,” I wouldn’t be surprised to encounter a bug or two sooner or later. After all, that’s the purpose of a developer version: to identify any possible bugs before releasing it to production.
You can read more in the Opera Blog at http://www.opera.com/blogs/desktop/2016/04/free-vpn-integrated-opera-for-windows-mac/.