Opera, the popular web browser is launching a VPN or virtual private network client for iPads and iPhones. The launch came just three weeks after the same feature was announced for the desktop browser.
Opera designed the app to be “especially relevant on campuses and workplaces” where Wi-Fi provided by certain institutions or companies has limited access to “social-media and video streaming websites”.
You can also set your app to route your internet connection through another country in order to have access to geo-blocked content. The app also blocks trackers and ads.
When the VPN/proxy version first appeared a few weeks ago it only supported three virtual locations – Germany, Canada and the US. With the new launch for iOS, you can now pretend to live in the Netherlands or Singapore as well. The new launch also boasts quite a few supported languages including Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Indonesian, German, French, Arabic and of course English. The Opera VPN app is set to “off” by default, so you need to turn it on manually. The two other options to block ads and block trackers can also be turned on from the “Settings” menu.
Although many VPNs were already available to users, most of these services required payment to unlock certain features. Opera offers free and unlimited access in a bid to gain traction with the online community.
Why would Opera go through the trouble of creating a new VPN app if it’s given for free? SurfEasy seems to think that Opera “collects anonymous data about how people use their mobile devices” and sells it to third parties who are “interested in better understanding the mobile ecosystem and how it’s evolving.” Opera is also likely to place ads in the app itself in the near future.
If you’re paranoid about being tracked online, you’ll feel much safer by using an app that charges a monthly fee. Individuals who are simply seeking to access websites or content that’s banned in their country, campus or workplace will clearly benefit from Opera VPN. - “With the new Opera VPN app, we help people to break down the barriers of the Web and enjoy the Internet like it should be,” said Chris Houston, president of Opera division SurfEasy. Opera’s upgrade efforts are not limited to VPNs though, as the company plans to create a VPN for Android as well.