Recently Opera became the first major web browser to feature a built-in ad blocker that doesn’t require you to install a third-party extension. Now Opera has also become the first major web browser to include a built-in VPN.

The latest developer channel build of Opera comes with a virtual private network that you can use without paying a subscription. It could let you access some websites that might otherwise be restricted by your network and could provide an extra layer of security when you’re surfing the web on an unsecured connection.

opera vpn_02

Opera’s VPN is disabled by default, but you can enable it from the preferences menu if you’re using or the Privacy and Security settings on Windows and Linux. Once you’v done that, you’ll see a VPN button in the address bar.

Want to change your “location” so websites think you’re in another country? Just tap the button and you can find a drop-down menu for that. While this won’t necessarily help you watch the Netflix video catalog for a country other than the one you’re residing in, (since Netflix is cracking down on VPN users), it may help you access other sites that may be geo-restricted.

You’ll also see information showing data usage and your virtual IP address (which appears instead of your real IP address. Using the VPN may also help you get around work or school firewalls, not to mention firewalls implemented by the government in some countries.

Keep in mind that the VPN is built into the web browser… and only affects data that goes through the browser. So installing Opera won’t allow you to use the same VPN with other browsers or apps that access the internet.

Other changes in the latest developer channel build of Opera includes support for adding a personal block list to the ad blocker, support for viewing extensions on the Speed Dial page, and the ability to use a photo to create a custom theme for the web browser.

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