For those of you that missed it there has been something major happening in the web browser world.
In a blog post on Wednesday, the folks at Opera have announced that they are working on a new version of the Opera web browser that will have a virtual private network(VPN) built into it.
You will be able to choose between VPN servers in the USA, Canada and Germany.
So why would you even want to use a VPN in the first place? Well a VPN provides a safer way to browse. This is important if you are browsing the internet at an airport or at a cafe where they have free Wi-Fi, and you use that free Wi-Fi for shopping online or logging into your internet banking account. By using a VPN the stuff that you do online cannot be seen by a bad guy.
A VPN can also allow you to bypass restrictions that certain websites have. For example if you a site says “you must be in France to access this video” you can then use a VPN to fool the site into thinking that you are in France and you will be able to see the video. This also doubles up as a good way to keep your privacy. This is because websites cannot see your real location.
At the moment, you would download a separate piece of software just to connect to a VPN. However, this is integrated right into the opera web browser. Sure there are already VPNs on smartphones and tablets that are built into a web browser but there is no VPN that is built into a web browser on a desktop or laptop computer.
I think that this is quite an interesting move by Opera. I think it’s a move by Opera Software to market their web browser as the privacy browser.
With that being said most people are using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, so it will be interesting to see if people will be willing to try out something new (especially if it’s something that other browsers do not offer).
In terms of pricing, Opera’s new VPN is going to be free and will offer unlimited usage (which is something a lot of VPNs do not offer).
At the moment, Opera VPN is only available through it’s “developer” channel. As such some things are very likely to break as this new version of Opera is still in development. Either way if you want to try it out then check out the Opera Developer site to download the preview. It’s available on Windows, Mac and Linux desktop/laptop computers. A version for iOS is on its way.
Would you be willing to try Opera if it has a VPN in it? If you have tried out the Opera VPN, what do you think? Let me know in the comments!