On Wednesday, Opera announced that it has added a built-in virtual private network client for its desktop users.
Initially limited to the developer channel for Opera for computers, the VPN is free, and users get unlimited data usage. "With a free, unlimited, native VPN that just works out-of-the-box and doesn't require any subscription, Opera wants to make VPNs available to everyone," said the company in a blog post on the new feature. The VPN feature is available on Mac, Windows, and Linux, and offers several options typically found in paid VPNs, including the ability to hide your IP address, unblock firewalls and websites, public Wi-Fi security, and more. Opera said that this native VPN client will roll out to users in "just a matter of a few weeks." This feature is included in the Opera 38 developer update, which is available now. In the developer release, users can choose from one of three virtual locations, —USA, Canada, and Germany— but more locations are expected for when the feature hits the stable version of the Opera browser.
"Right now, we are releasing VPN in the Developer/alpha channel to gather feedback from users," said an Opera spokesperson in a statement to Ars Technica. "Based on this feedback, we will estimate on [sic] how much time we need to develop the stable version. Our usual release cycle is six weeks." The spokesperson added that the company is planning to release a mobile version of this feature at a later date. On iOS, the company will offer a free VPN app called Opera VPN, giving users VPN service for all apps on the device. Opera is also considering an Android option, but this has yet to be developed.
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