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Opera's VPN Desktop Browser Now Widely Available

Using a virtual private network (VPN) service usually requires a subscription fee, but Opera's desktop browser has those security and privacy features built in to its latest build at no cost to you.

Opera 40, launched today (Sept. 20), brings this feature to the mainstream. Previously, Opera had offered the feature to developers on its iOS and Android versions. Opera is using tech from its 2015 purchase of SurfEasy for the service.

In a blog post, senior vice president of global engineering Krystian Kolondra wrote that "[w]e strongly believe that if more people knew how the internet truly works, they would use a VPN – and we hope that by making our browser VPN free and easy to use, it will become an essential tool for everyone."

Opera hasn't said anything about bandwidth limits, which you'll often find in other VPN services. Users can pick server locations based on latency, server capacity and speed. The company claims that when using automatic location mode, users will always get the best speed possible.

The feature is not without its hiccups, of course. Netflix, not a fan of viewers using VPNs to access its international libraries, has already blocked Opera's VPN. You can always turn the VPN feature off to watch Narcos or Stranger Things.

As with all things free, there has to be a catch somewhere, but we haven't found one yet. We're curious to see if other browser developers will follow Opera's lead.

Image credit: Opera

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Andrew joined in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.