Opera 51 for Android launches with built-in VPN
Opera Software released Opera 51 for Google's Android operating system a moment ago. The new version of the web browser is the first stable version that includes VPN functionality.
We took a look at the beta version of Opera for Android in February 2019 and the VPN functionality that it included, and most of what we have said back then is still true in regards to the final release.
The built-in VPN solution, better browser proxy as it works solely in the web browser, is not Opera's first launch of a VPN service. The company launched a standalone app called Opera VPN back in 2016 and retired the app in 2018.
Opera 51 for Android: the VPN
The built-in VPN in Opera 51 for Android needs to be enabled before it can be used. You can do so in the Settings under VPN.
Just toggle the option to get started. You get a couple of extra options that give you some control over the functionality:
- Set a desired region.
- Bypass VPN for Search.
- Use VPN for private tabs only.
Search bypassing may require explanation. Basically, what this does is reveal your "real" location to the search engine so that it can serve you with local content. While that may be beneficial if you like to get news from a specific region or search results in a specific language, it does mean that you connect using your "real" IP address and not the IP address of the search engine.
Similarly, if you enable the exclusive private tabs use, all regular tabs won't use the VPN connection.
The built-in VPN has advantages but also disadvantages over dedicated VPN applications. On the positive side, it is much easier to use it as you just need to toggle an option to do so. Also, you may trust Opera Software more than some of the companies that published VPN solutions.
Last but not least, it may be used directly without registration, and it is free to use without bandwidth or other limitations.
One of the main disadvantages of Opera VPN is that it works only in Opera. If you want to use a VPN globally, you need a dedicated VPN solution instead.
Opera VPN is a straightforward browser proxy designed specifically for improving your privacy while you are using the Opera web browser. It does not offer perfect anonymity though and lacks some of the features such as automatic disconnects when the VPN connection dies or support for filters that you'd expect from a VPN service.
All in all though it is a good addition to Opera, especially since it is free and completely optional to use.
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