Opera has released a new VPN add-on in what it seems to be an effort to become not more user-friendly but more user-alluring. The latest version for desktop already includes a few tweaks the bigger competitors lack, and will also include in future software updates: like its built-in ad blockers.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) acts a filter to reroute all of your internet traffic to a different location. VPNs are distinct from the proxy, which only works in your web browser. A VPN affects all of your computer’s web applications.
If it’s online, the user’s VPN works automatically. They have become pretty standard with young users because of two main reasons: access to content otherwise unavailable because of your location and anonymity.
The streaming giant Netflix has reportedly blocked the add-on already, but other websites might still be open for new waves of remote users to visit and enjoy their content. To activate it, the user must head to ‘Settings,’ ‘Security and Privacy’ and check the box marked ‘Enable VPN.’ Only a few countries are available so far, with two of the internet proxy’s biggest victims (The US and Canada) already covered.
Other options include Germany, the Netherlands, and Singapore. The mobile version is already on both the Play Store and the App Store, again, completely free and with all the same functions, something that (notably) includes unlimited usage and no restrictions on bandwidth.
The reason this matters
Most VPN services today are either blocked, on the verge of being blocked or not available for free, which is the same as being unavailable for a significant number of users. With this release, it is safe to say that Opera will see an increase in downloads.
Mark Hachman at PCWorld calls Opera “the T-Mobile of the browser world,” referring to how its marketing efforts usually concentrate on adding features that are hard to find completely available for free to other competitors.
The service affects page-load times the same way most VPN services do when the user has a moderately efficient bandwidth speed. However, a testing round done by PCWorld between websites with ads and websites with no ads showed a dramatic gap in page loading times in all the countries available. Ad-free websites resulted in three times as less loading time when compared to their ad-filled counterparts.
Mark Hachman also remarked they used Opera’s ad-blocker for the testing experiment which (alongside the new VPN and its consistently low page loading times) puts Opera in the web browser spotlight.
Source: The Verge