Opera 40 users can access foreign media without moving overseas

opera 40 virtual private network vpn feature
Opera Software announced on Monday the launch of Opera 40 for the desktop, the latest version of its popular web browser. This release kicks security up a notch by including a built-in virtual private network (VPN) client developed by Canada-based SurfEasy, adding to the software’s incognito mode for private browsing. The browser also now automatically kicks into a battery-saving mode whenever a laptop is unplugged from a wall outlet.

On the VPN front, Opera Software-owned SurfEasy established servers located in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the United States. When the browser’s VPN setting is switched on, it will connect directly to one of these servers. This connection is secure, encrypting all data passing between the browser and the server. The end result will hide the user’s actual location on the internet, block cookies, and more.

“More than 80 percent of the people questioned in the USA and Germany were concerned about their online privacy,” writes Opera’s Krystian Kolondra. “More than 70 percent of people who knew what a VPN was but still didn’t use one, when asked why, said it was because they found VPN services difficult to use and were not willing to pay for the subscription.”

To enable the VPN feature, users have to hunt down the Settings menu. This section can be loaded up by clicking on the menu button located in the top-left corner of the browser and clicking on “Settings” in the drop-down panel. Once the Settings page loads in a new tab, user click “Privacy & Settings,” and then check the box next to “Enable VPN.”

After turning on the VPN feature, a blue “VPN” icon appears to the left of the address bar. Click on that, and a panel will appear providing an option to manually choose a server, or let the browser choose the optimal location. Opera will choose a server based on server capacity, location, latency, and network speed. The VPN service is totally free: no monthly subscription or account is required.

The side effect of enabling the VPN service is that users can access content flowing from foreign countries that was previously blocked. For example, users residing outside the United States can connect to the U.S.-based server and watch movies and TV shows on Netflix and Hulu that aren’t available in their country. That’s because websites and services only see the internet address that the server assigns to the user’s connection, not the user’s actual address supplied by their internet service provider.

Opera’s VPN feature originally made its debut in the desktop developer version back in April. However, the fine print in the VPN settings state that the “secure proxy” is provided by SurfEasy. That fine print has led to the argument that Opera’s new service isn’t a VPN at all, but a proxy service. The difference is that a VPN server encrypts all data passed between it and the user no matter the application while a proxy server only secures traffic between it and the Opera browser.

As for other new features provided by Opera 40, the browser turns on battery saver mode by default when a laptop is unplugged. It also includes Chromecast support, improvements to the video pop-out feature, RSS support in the newsreader, and an updated browser engine based on Google’s Chromium 53.0.2785.101.

Grab Opera 40 by heading here.

Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

Best free parental control software for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android

The internet can be a dangerous place, especially for your loved ones. Check out our selection of the best free parental control software for Windows and Mac OS X, so you can monitor your child and block unsavory sites.
Computing

Fix those internet dead zones by turning an old router into a Wi-Fi repeater

Is there a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home or office? A Wi-Fi repeater can help. Don't buy a new one, though. Here is how to extend Wi-Fi range with another router you have lying around.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Computing

Qualcomm’s dual-screen PC concept looks like two connected Surface Go tablets

In Qualcomm's video teaser, we got a glimpse of the company's vision for how a dual-screen ARM PC should work. The internet reacted to Qualcomm's video, calling the device in question merely a mashup of two Surface Go tablets.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Computing

Hololens 2 could give the Always Connected PC a new, ‘aggressive’ form

Microsoft is said to be leaning on Qualcomm to power its Hololens 2 headset. Instead of Intel CPUs, the next Hololens could use a Snapdragon 850 processor, allowing it to benefit from the always-connected features.
Computing

Chrome’s dark mode may cast its shadow over Macs by early 2019

By early 2019 Google may release a version of Chrome for Mac users that offers a Dark Mode feature to match MacOS Mojave's recent darkening.
Computing

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.