Opera have become the first major browser to integrate an “unlimited and free VPN.” The company reviewed their product plans in January. They found that people needed new features to for using the internet safely in 2016. Opera VPN is the result.
“Right now we are releasing VPN in the Developer/alpha channel to gather feedback from users. Based on this feedback we will estimate on how much time we need to develop the stable version. Our usual release cycle is six weeks.”
–Opera spokesperson (Ars Technica)
Canadian based Surf Easy handle Opera VPN. Surf Easy is an Opera Software company. The servers are in the US, Canada, and Germany. More locations are set to come. Some hope that the built-in speed test and data tracker will promote better advertising. Users can monitor their activity on a monthly scale. iOS users will be able to download the Opera VPN app shortly, which will offer the VPN for all apps on the device. An Android version is also in the works.
“VPN integration” is the latest addition to the browser. Opera have included an ad-blocker in previous versions and a video pop-out feature that allows you to watch videos in a smaller window.
There has to be a downside to this right? Well, there is and frankly we are a bit surprised that Opera would stoop this low for some publicity. What they are offering is not a VPN it is just a proxy. There is a big difference between the two. HelpNetSecurity provides some great details on how the proxy works and exposes the proxies potential for user tracking using the Device_ID variable.
The limitations of Opera
- Opera’s Proxy will only cover browser traffic. That means messengers and emails are not covered. Nor is P2P sharing and torrenting.
- Surf Easy does not have a warrant canary (Liquid does, though)
- The fact Surf Easy would use these misleading tactics is surely food for thought.