What’s the buzz word for 2016? Privacy and security. Alright, that’s two buzzwords, but you get the idea. It seems everyone from hackers to criminals to government spooks wants to hack into or gain access to your Apple products these days.
Here’s a way to browse the interwebs a little more securely, and avoid some of those coffee shop Wi-Fi hackers, or your next door neighbor’s attempts to crack your Mac. It’s with a VPN. A virtual private network. Wouldn’t it be great if every browser came with a VPN option? Here’s one that does.
Security Is Complicated
The bad guys play hardball so there are times when drastic action is necessary to fight back. The same holds true with competition. There are many browser makers out there vying for our browsing time and when one developer gets a bit desperate for attention we gain by getting something new, different, and, in this case, useful.
The folks who run Opera have struggled to gain marketshare traction in recent years, but that hasn’t stopped them from coming up with a few cool ideas to share with browser users. First, there’s the Opera developer browser (conveniently available for use by non-developers) which comes with a few new bells and whistles but this is the one that caught my eye.
Built. In. VPN.
That’s right. A VPN connection built in to an Opera browser.
A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network, and thus benefit from the functionality, security and management policies of the private network.
Why would a browser developer do that?
We realized that people need new features in order to browse the web efficiently in 2016. It also became apparent to us that what people need are not the same features that were relevant for their browsers ten years ago.
Fair enough. This Opera developer version has built-in ad blocking, but that’s available for free on other browsers.
So far we have the native ad blocker. And, we’re introducing another major feature in just a matter of a few weeks; a native, unlimited and free VPN client, right inside your browser!
The problems with VPNs are obvious if you’ve ever tried one. They’re hit and miss on reliability, and you pay for the privilege of security.
Opera wants to make VPNs available to everyone.
That’s why Opera’s built-in free VPN feature is easy to use. To activate it, Mac users just need to click the Opera menu, select “Preferences” and toggle the feature VPN on
As it turns out, Opera developer edition makes privacy and security mostly a quick point and click, set it and forget it effort.
That’s it. Done. Browsing is more secure.
Why would you want a VPN anyway?
- Keep browsing anonymous
- Hide your IP address
- Unblock firewalls
- Access restricted content
- Add more security
Those features are hard to argue against unless you’re a restrictive government agency intent upon tracking citizens wherever they may browse on the interwebs. That Opera is making this free– even if only on a developer version of the browser– is the real news.