By @TheMarkDalton

Following the launch of their built in VPN services for the Opera web browser in April, Opera has now debuted a free and unlimited mobile VPN app for iOS. Opera VPN is designed to protect user privacy, it allows you to block ads and also change your virtual location to bypass restricted internet access. 

IMG_8677I downloaded Opera VPN last week after someone suggested I check it out and it has become one of my top must have utility apps. There are things that they need to work on but based on what they have been saying on social media I have full faith that the small issues I encountered will be fixed soon. Opera VPN caught my attention because it has been designed and marketed to completely protect user privacy.

Opera VPN will also stop ad tracking software from gaining information about your internet habits, these ad tracking cookies are basically what follow you around the web and allow advertisers to serve up personalised ads for you. When you install and open the app it will remove ad tracking cookies and install a VPN configuration profile on your iOS device and allow you to block both ads and trackers.

The app will also encrypt all your local web traffic which protects you when you are using public Wi-Fi. Where it gets really interesting though is the ability to change your virtual location, this really is where the app shines.

Every day millions of us find that social media sites like Facebook are blocked when you try to access them on Wi-Fi in the office or on the college campus. Or we really want to watch a video but we get that not so lovely notification that the video can’t be played in our region.

Let’s be real, this is not how things should be. Over time barriers have appeared which restrict what we can access in different locations. Some content is not just behind a paywall, it is also hidden behind a wall which determines what you can watch based on where you are surfing the internet from.

Opera VPN allows you to choose from one of five virtual locations, the U.S., Canada, Singapore, The Netherlands and Germany. You can select a virtual location and then break down the barriers of the web so you can enjoy content and not have to worry about what region you may be in.

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There are plenty of VPN services available on iOS at the moment, however many of those apps track consumers mobile usage as part of a larger business which is the sale of app analytics data. Or they come at a premium price, where Opera VPN stands out is that the service is unlimited VPN for absolutely nothing – completely free!

The only problem I have encountered at present is that Opera VPN does not seem to be blocking ads consistently all of the time. Many websites I visited would block ads fine but there was also a decent share of websites which displayed ads as per normal. I have reported the issue to Opera and noticed a number of other users raise the same question so they are aware that there is an issue present for some users and hopefully we will see a fix soon which will make the ad blocking element a lot more consistent.

In the meantime you can get the best of both worlds but downloading an ad blocker like Focus and then using the Opera VPN to tap into virtual locations. Win-win!

You can download it today by clicking on the button below.

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