Opera Adds Built-in VPN Feature To Its Mobile Browsers

With more people becoming concerned about their privacy, VPN services are booming because of that. One of the players, is Opera.

Opera was the first browser to bundle a VPN directly inside its desktop service. This is expanding as the company is delivering that same free and unlimited VPN feature to its mobile apps.

Initially available in beta for users on Android, the feature allows users to connect from locations in America, Europe and Asia as well as having an “optimal” setting that connects to the fastest available connection.

There are other settings too, including limiting the VPN usage to private tabs, and switching the feature off for certain search engines to get more local results.

"The reason why we are including this built-in VPN in our Android browser is because it gives you that extra layer of protection that you are searching for in your daily mobile browsing," said the company that went offering its IPO in 2018.

Opera has a tradition of innovation. We are always thinking about new features that can enhance your online experience. Most recently, we introduced the cookie dialog blocker, which blocks annoying pop-ups displayed on websites that ask for your consent before you can access them, thus breaking the web experience."

As for the VPN, once users enable the feature, the service will replace their IP address with a virtual IP address. This will make it difficult for websites and their trackers to locate the users' location.

According to Opera, its VPN service is a no-log service.

What this means, "we will not collect any information that travels through the network servers. This will keep your private data protected from intruders when you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi network."

Opera browser on mobile with VPN
Mobile users using the Opera browser can choose one of the several available virtual locations

Opera's VPN service is powered by its 2015 acquisition of SurfEasy.

This feature has been one of Opera's privacy feature offerings. Others include cryptojacking protection and ad blocking. The company also offers support for cryptocurrencies with the addition of a cryptocurrency wallet users can easily use.

Previously, Opera had a data management app called Opera Max, which also had privacy features such as tracker blocking and DNS masking. This project has been discontinued because "The product had a substantially different value proposition than our browser product."

The company also had a free VPN app, but that project has also been closed due to SurfEasy parting with the company.

As a workaround, Opera implements its VPN service directly inside its browsers to give them a more competitive advantage. With the VPN baked directly inside the browser, the company hopes to bring more users into the Opera ecosystem.