When you think of Opera Software you likely think of their Opera Web Browser and rightfully so as it is the mainstay of the company. As of late however, Opera has been working on several new projects, one of which is a new standalone VPN service that the company has integrated into their desktop browser as well as an iOS App. Luckily for us Android users hat service has now been made available to allow us all the privacy and security a traditional VPN service can offer in an unlimited free option (well sort of!).
“The Opera VPN app for Android sets itself apart from other VPNs by offering a completely free service - without a data limit, no log-in required, advanced Wi-Fi protection features and no need for a subscription,” says Chris Houston, President of Surfeasy, Opera’s VPN division.Announced earlier this week,, Opera's new app packs a ton of features that like most VPN services will allow people to browse somewhat anonymously, block ad-tracking cookies, access more online content, extend the geographical reach of apps and even test the security of Wi-Fi networks. Unlike most of those other services Opera is offering their for free and without any limits! But if you haven't noticed we did say ad-supported!
The major caveat to the app, which seems pretty ironic to us geeks, is that it is powered by a company that Opera acquired last year called SurfEasy. And while the app itself is free once you begin looking around, you'll notice ads that are presumably powered by another of Opera Software's latest projects. Opera also wants to share anonymous data about your mobile usage and browsing habits with third parties. Sow while you are getting a pretty nifty VPN service you might want to check the fine print!
Opera had this to say about the data it collects:
This information is made available to third parties who are interested in better understanding the mobile ecosystem and how it’s evolving. It’s important to understand that this is not data about what you do with your phone, but rather this is data about how a large group of people use their phones.”If that doesn't bother you, and for most of us looking at free VPN services is shouldn't, here are a few more details about the app!
The app is completely standalone and is no way tied to the company’s web browser. So it will work with most Android (and iOS) devices and almost any web browser. There is no need to change your old ways and download Opera, though you might want to just to see how well your browser compares.
If you're not well-versed in VPNs, the app automatically handles almost everything including setting the Android VPN settings for you. It will also check the security and integrity of your current Wi-Fi connection. This feature may slow down your internet speed while you're using it, but not so much that it's too problematic to use while surfing.
Once you are in the app you can 'mask' several details of your online activity, such as applying new location settings across your entire device and other apps or blocking ad-trackers. Changing your regions settings is something most users will find useful when you need to bypass content restricted by location. Suck as viewing videos from other countries, watching Netflix while traveling ect. Currently the app will let you choose from five server locations: USA, Canada, Germany, Singapore and The Netherlands.
If you're interested in trying out the app, you can pick it up via the Google Play Store now.