In the latest update to its mobile browser, Opera has added a built-in VPN service which is free, unlimited and doesn’t require users to login or create an account.
As consumers and businesses alike have grown more concerned about their privacy, the use of virtual private network (VPN) services has grown to over 650m people worldwide according to a GlobalWebIndex estimate.
However, this isn’t the first time that Opera has experimented with VPNs. The company launched its own standalone VPN app for Android and iOS in 2016 called Opera VPN and then added VPN capabilities to its desktop browser shortly after that.
Last year, Opera shuttered its VPN app as the company prepared to add VPN functionality to its Android browser.
Free VPNs have come under criticism recently as security flaws were discovered in many free VPN apps on the Google Play Store and this, combined with the fact that the companies running these services are likely selling your usage data to advertisers and other third-parties, could be enough to turn some users off from VPNs entirely.
However, Opera’s built-in VPN will be entirely free and the company won’t attempt to monetize the service according to its VP of product marketing, Jan Standal who explained this to VentureBeat, saying:
“The service is provided fully free of charge as a unique feature to improve the privacy and security. Opera monetizes from other unrelated mechanisms, and unlike other VPN services, Opera doesn’t depend on monetizing the browser VPN service”
The latest version of Opera, which includes its built-in VPN service, is now available in the Play Store and users that do decided to give it a try can pick a server of their choice from a range of locations to browse the web securely using 256-bit encryption.