Opera has built a free virtual private network.
Nothing in life that is paid for can be "free", what's the catch?
Opera has built a free virtual private network (VPN) service into the latest version of its browser for Windows and OS X. The other other other browser will allow users running the most recent developer build to knock their connections through the SurfEasy VPN free of charge. The VPN option can be enabled under the Privacy and …
Build a free service, and some bastard will come along and abuse it in ways you've never thought of.
"I know ! Let's build a VPN so people can surf the web in privacy !" is almost invariably followed by "Where the hell did all this Netflix traffic come from ?", "Why is our VPN server taking such an interest in all of those military sites ?" and "Why are our proxy caches turning into a mirror of XHamster ?"
Too little too late.
The geeks have left the building, and we are not coming back (including Opera staffers).
Vivaldi caries on from Opera 12, and you can use that with a free VPN account (eg. ProXPN).
Avira have a privacy and security focus in their browser "Scout" and also offer a free VPN.
I would go with Avira Scout + VPN if I need privacy.
So, watching some talk on the twitters about this, some rather troubling things have come to light -
First, it's not really a VPN at all. It's an HTTP proxy. Calling it a VPN is, at best, misleading.
Second, it appears ( based on thread here: https://twitter.com/spazef0rze/status/723244948464762885 ) that it maintains a proxy-auth key.
If you recall the Verizon 'supercookie' mess? ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/03/07/verizon_fined_135m_for_stalker_supercookies/ ) Approximately the same capabilities should be possible - that is, unique identification of individual browser installations across browsing sessions, albeit limited to Opera and whoever they decide to sell the info to.
And given the nature of surveillance in this day and age, this places this traffic firmly into the "Hey, lookit this tasty morsel we can subpoena!" section of every applicable law enforcement environment.
There's no way that I'm going to install this hot mess.
Why try and out a negative spin on everything? Opera is a fine browser, and this is great news for consumers
The big question is who pays for this and how. "Free" is one of the most virulent lies of this century as the companies that utter that lie mean to say "you do not pay any MONEY". It means you pay through other means, or simply will be charged when you're well and truly wedded to it.
VPNs have a major problem for providers: it doubles bandwidth use as you need an incoming circuit as well as an outgoing circuit to the same VPN handler for it to work. Bandwidth may be ubiquitous, but it is not free, certainly not when you want to do this in any meaningful volume so at some point someone has to cough up some dough.
The question is thus what they pay this from, and why.
Back in 2009 Opera introduced 'Opera Turbo', a HTTP proxy service of sorts where compressed web pages (with much compressed images) were delivered through Opera's servers (in Norway?). I used a Nokia E65 at the time and it really did speed up browsing.
Enabling the Turbo feature essentially routed all HTTP traffic through their servers and you could bypass all sort of blocking on ISP level - downloading Linux Distros via TPB was once again feasible. :-)
No, Opera bought a complete multi-home VPN service and added it to the browser a while back. You can use it any time but free traffic is limited.
In the new version from the developer channel it looks like the PoPs which you can use are limited: I can only see Germany, Canada and the US. Guess it's back to using Hola…
With Opera VPN turned on, the bottleneck is now *FAR* more significant than the relatively marginal figures mentioned in this 2016 article. See here for more recent info, including the tie-in with Symantec.
I'd go so far as to say that Opera is now almost unusable with VPN turned on. At least, for me, tonight. ;-) It's a shame. Guess I'm stuck with my regular paid VPN provider.
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