Opera releases a free VPN service that is set to change the online security landscape
The Opera released this Monday (9) a VPN application for iPhones and iPads. The company promises to improve privacy, block ads and allow access to restricted content by region: just activate the VPN Operates and choose an IP of the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands or Singapore. The best part is that the application is completely free: does not have monthly fees and or traffic limit.
But wait: maintain a VPN service costs money. As the Opera’s going to pay for the servers and the traffic consumed by users? The answer lies in Opera terms of service VPN, which reveals that data generated by users, including the addresses of pages accessed through the VPN, can be collected and disclosed to third parties.
This is an unusual feature in the paid services of VPN, usually created to protect the users ‘ connection and prevent the collection of data by unauthorized persons. As the tunnel between your device and the target server is encrypted, a VPN prevents your information from being intercepted, which can be useful when accessing a public Wi-Fi network, for example.
Most services explicitly limits the data that they collect. The Private Internet Access, for example, says that only gets the information essential to the operation: the e-mail address, payment details and, if you use the optional bezel, a temporary cookie. Some go further: the AnonVPN works through prepaid cards, which are not sold directly by the company, so it’s very difficult to track who is using the service.
Other personal VPN service have different business models. The famous Hola, which works with a simple extension in Chrome, opera in the collaborative model and sells the connection of users to provide the service: who accesses Web sites through the VPN and not pay the monthly fee of the Hola Plus has its connection used by another client. That way, your IP is “loaned” to unlock pages restricted to Brazilians or for less noble purposes, how to attack servers and accessing illegal content.
SurfEasy blog, the company Operates that provides VPN service, President Chris Houston explains that the data is collected anonymously and the Opera servers VPN are different from those used to provide VPN integrated with Opera for desktops and the paid service of SurfEasy itself, which does not collect any data. The VPN Operates also plans to show ads in the future, which is ironic for an application in which one of the functions is just blocking ads.
Of course the company know that Opera is not VPN for everyone, so I will continue offering paid services (or limited to the browser) that collect data. Anyway, this is another example of the maxim that, in free product, the product is you.