Opera Launches Free VPN for Android

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Security-conscious Android users can now tap into Opera's free and unlimited VPN service, which blocks ad-tracking cookies and tests wireless network security, among other things.

Users can change their virtual location by connecting to one of five regions—the US, Canada, Germany, Singapore, or the Netherlands—and borrowing an IP address from that area.

This week's launch comes just a few months after Opera rolled out the same service to iOS, where it has been downloaded by more than 1 million users. It was added to Opera's browser earlier this year, and all three versions were built by SurfEasy, the VPN company Opera acquired last year.

"The Opera VPN app for Android sets itself apart from other VPNs by offering a completely free service—without a data limit, no log-in required, advanced Wi-Fi protection features, and no need for a subscription," SurfEasy President Chris Houston said in a statement.

The VPN service creates a secure tunnel between the user and SurfEasy's servers, making it more difficult for sites to track Web surfing. The ad-blocking feature, meanwhile, promises to save time, frustration, and battery life. Users should, however, be aware that the app does collect anonymous data about how folks use their mobile device, which Opera makes available to third parties.

"We've incorporated a Viking in the app, because Vikings didn't care about borders, and they certainly wouldn't be afraid of public Wi-Fi," Houston said. "The Opera VPN app can unlock online borders and is the closest thing to a Viking shield that today's mobile users have for virtual self-protection."

Available to download from the Google Play store, the Android-based service supports English, Arabic, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, and Spanish languages.

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