Wednesday 24 August 2016

Free VPN For Your Smartphone

If you have already heard of Opera you probably know it as another web browser you can use instead of Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Edge. While that's true, Opera now has another service many people should look at.

Opera is now offering a free VPN for your Android or iOS device. VPN stands for "Virtual Private Network", and it protects your data on the internet by using encryption to prevent people from snooping what you are doing. With Opera you can have a secure VPN that is free to use on your Android smartphone, iPhone, or tablet.

"But why would I want a VPN?"  Good question, and I have a good answer. Actually 3 of them.

1) Privacy - If you are not using a VPN then people on the same network as you (or the network administrators) can see the traffic going to/from your phone.

2) Security - If someone can see your traffic, they can attempt to steal your information and use it for their own purposes.

3) Bypass geo-restrictions - Maybe you want to access content that isn't available in the country you are currently in. Using a VPN you can bypass those restrictions and gain access to apps and content you might otherwise have problems reaching.

Opera's VPN lets you choose to route your data between Canada, the USA, Germany, Netherlands, or Singapore.

The interface is friendly and easy to use. In addition to providing you VPN service, Opera will also let you score the network you are currently connected to for security, and provide a side-by-side comparison for how it rates when using a VPN and not using a VPN.

In my case Opera rated my home network a B+ for security, because the administrator can see all traffic on the network. (Since it's my network I'm ok with that.) Once Opera was engaged though, the score went to an A+ because now all the traffic was encrypted.

Unlike other free alternatives, there are no data caps on Opera's VPN. In terms of ease of use I'd compare it to Tunnelbear, only without the 500MB data limit per month.

Since it's free I'd encourage everyone to at least try Opera VPN. You can download the Android version here, or the iOS version here.

Considering many people do everything from banking to emailing confidential documents on their mobile devices, who wouldn't like some additional protection?

Happy surfing!

-The Home Geek

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