VPNs the next big browser feature?

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 30, 2015
Internet
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11

While there are hundreds of web browsers, there are only a handful of engines all of these browsers run on, especially on the desktop.

Chromium alone is the building block for more than a dozen different browsers from Google's own Chrome browser over Opera and Vivaldi to Comodo Dragon, Yandex browser and SRWare Iron.

While there are certain advantages to that, compatibility comes to mind for instance, disadvantages such as visual limitations or similarity when it comes to features come to mind as well.

Even browsers that "do their own thing" such as Vivaldi are limited in what they can bring to the table without modifying core code of the browser.

But even across browser engines, similarities exist and it has become difficult to distinguish a browser from its competition.

There are still unique features like Firefox's customization options or the control it gives users over its feature set and interface.

One feature could rise to prominence in the near future: virtual private networks. Since privacy is a big topic on today's Internet, a VPN integration in a browser would not only improve user privacy but also be a feature that others don't offer.

Opera Software acquired the VPN provider SurfEasy recently for an undisclosed sum. While Opera Software has yet to announce any new services to come out of that acquisition, it would make sense to somehow tie the service to the web browser or at least its private browsing mode.

Private browsing is currently limited to reducing the local footprint when the mode is enabled. The addition of a VPN service would reduce the remote footprint of the user significantly as well.

Opera Software is not the only company developing a browser that could one day integrate VPN services in the browser. Recent rumors suggested that Mozilla might integrate the anonymity software Tor natively into its Firefox web browser as well but plans to do so were declined later on by Mozilla.

It should be noted though that the Tor browser uses a custom version of Firefox's most recent ESR (Extended Support Release) version.

Free basic integration of a VPN would certainly be appreciated by part of a browser's user base especially if it is offered as a free service. Opera could combine that with an offer to upgrade to the full VPN which would not only protect the browser but the complete system.

It remains to be seen if Opera, or any other company developing web browsers, will go down that route.

Now You: What's your take on this? If you don't think VPNs will be integrated into browsers soon, what is your take on the next big feature then?

Summary
VPNs the next big browser feature?
Article Name
VPNs the next big browser feature?
Description
Can virtual private networks (VPNs) be the next big browser feature?
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Comments

  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm
    Reply

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm
      Reply

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am
      Reply

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.
      http://www.google.com/saved

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm
    Reply

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm
    Reply

    @Martin

    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:
    https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/15/netflix-is-testing-game-streaming-on-tvs-and-computers/

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am
    Reply

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm
    Reply

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am
      Reply

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm
    Reply

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am
    Reply

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm
    Reply

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm
    Reply

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am
    Reply

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am
    Reply

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am
      Reply

      Comment redirected me to [https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/04/add-search-the-internet-to-the-windows-start-menu/] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am
    Reply

    Comment redirected me to [https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/04/add-search-the-internet-to-the-windows-start-menu/] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm
    Reply

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL: https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am
    Reply

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

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