As of late there's little that separates the top browsers from one another, and whether you pick Chrome or Firefox or Internet Explorer/Edge or Opera is mostly down to personal preference or fanboyism. But now Opera has baked a new feature into the developer edition of its browser that makes it stand out from the rest. That new feature is a free VPN service.
And yes, it's totally free. There's no subscription service to sign up to, and no software or extensions to download and install.
A VPN - or Virtual Private Network - creates a secure connection between your web browser and the VPN server on the web, which means that your web traffic is protected from prying eyes as it travels across the Wi-Fi, cellular network or broadband connection you are using.
The VPN also helps:
- Hide your browsing activities from other users of your local network
- Bypass firewalls and access blocked content
- Hide your IP address from websites, and block many tracking cookies
The developer version of Opera currently allows you to pick from VPN servers in Canada, Germany, and the US, but more are expected to be added when this feature rolls out to the release version of Opera.
In my opinion, this is one of the best features to hit a browser in ages, and will certainly appeal to the security-conscious. I imagine that we'll be seeing this feature rolled out into more and more web browsers over the coming months.
The developer version of Opera is available for Windows and Mac users.