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Opera brings built-in VPN service to its browser

TechCrunch TechCrunch 20/04/2016 Frederic Lardinois

When Opera acquired the virtual private network (VPN) service SurfEasy last March, it obviously did so to build that technology into its browser and maybe its Opera Max data-savings app. It took more than a year, but now Opera is actually launching a built-in version of SurfEasy in the early release developer version of its browser.

The built-in VPN will protect your unencrypted browser session for being exposed on public WiFi networks and will also let you bypass the occasional firewall at your workplace or in countries like China. It will also assign you an virtual IP address, so it’ll be harder to track your location.

Unlike the full version of SurfEasy, this built-in service only protects your browser session, though, and no other traffic that originates from your computer.

“Everyone deserves to be private online if they want to be. By adding a free, unlimited VPN directly into the browser, no additional download or extensions from an unknown third­party provider are necessary,” Opera SVP Krystian Kolondra said in today’s announcement.

For now, you can choose between three virtual locations (USA, Canada and Germany), but the company says more will be available once this feature makes it to the stable release channel later this year.

Right now, this feature is still somewhat hidden in Opera’s settings menu. To give this a try, install the developer version of Opera and then look for the “Privacy & Security” tab and toggle this feature on. Hopefully, this will become a one-click affair similar to turning on Opera Turbo once this feature hits the stable release channel.

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