Opera might not be able to match the install base or popularity of Google Chrome, but it now improves our internet safety by including a fee VPN service within the Android application.

The very latest build of the Opera browser for Android will now include a built-in VPN for web user protection. This isn’t exactly new, as it was offered to mobile beta users just last month and they have offered similar incentives in the past and on desktop.

However, this time around the built-in VPN doesn’t include intrusive ads and even uses 256-bit encryption to protect your data. This is great for anyone that doesn’t currently use a paid-for VPN service, it is always wise to utilize one for all of your web connections.

If you’re unsure of how a VPN can help you be safer online, they essentially work by creating a private connection to a server located elsewhere. That server then connects and communicates with the website you visit.

This stops any data you send from being sent and received over a public network and can be easily intercepted. Because the data is encrypted via the connection to the VPN, it’s very difficult for anyone to decipher your information and log your online activity.

Opera states that no logs are kept of your browsing data, which is more than can be said about other similar free VPNs on the Google Play Store. The update is rolling out with Opera for Android 51 from today.

It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to use the VPN at all if you prefer to use your own system. My personal preference is that of NordVPN, although I will concede that IPVanish is also a superb VPN service to check out should you want to improve your web safety.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com

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