Back in 2006 Opera was the first major browser to include BitTorrent support, and today it releases another feature that will appeal to millions of users.
Privacy aside, the built-in VPN is also an ideal tool to circumvent website blockades. This may come in handy for the aforementioned BitTorrent users as well, as sites such as The Pirate Bay are blocked in many countries.
The VPN connection is provided by the Canadian VPN service SurfEasy, which like many other VPNs keeps no logs. SurfEasy was acquired by Opera last year and VP of Marketing Steve Kelly tells TorrentFreak that privacy and censorship were the main reasons to add the free VPN to Opera.
“Everyone deserves to surf privately online if they want to. Today, it is too difficult to maintain privacy when using the web, and way too many people experience roadblocks online, like blocked content,” Kelly says.
“By releasing an integrated, free and unlimited VPN in the browser, we make it simple for people to enhance their privacy and access the content they want,” he adds.
It is worth highlighting that the VPN connection is limited to the web browser. This means that any content shared outside the browser, through traditional torrent clients for example, is not private.
Opera’s in-browser VPN uses AES-256 encryption and SurfEasy says that the initial response has been very strong. The network is prepared to handle hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connections without any problems.
With the addition of a VPN feature Opera hopes to set a new standard for modern browsers. Earlier, it was already the first major browser to include an ad-blocker.
“This is the first VPN option integrated into a major browser. Also, it’s delivered from a company you can trust, with an extensive history of providing reliable and trustworthy internet products,” Kelly told us.
More details about the built-in VPN are available at the Opera blog. People who want to give it a spin should download the latest developer release, as the feature is not available in the regular version yet.