Come get your free Opera VPN (and bring along something to read)

Browser offers secure service, world + dog chokes up pipeline


Opera has built a free virtual private network (VPN) service into the latest version of its browser for Windows and OS X.

The other other other browser will allow users running the most recent developer build to knock their connections through the SurfEasy VPN free of charge. The VPN option can be enabled under the Privacy and Security section of the Opera browser settings screen.

It seems Opera acquired SurfEasy in March of last year with just this in mind – baking the SurfEasy VPN into its software as an additional security and privacy measure for users. Obviously, you have to assume Opera isn't spying on web activity through its VPN service, but that applies to all shared VPN providers.

"Until now, most VPN services and proxy servers have been limited and based on a paid subscription," wrote Opera senior VP of global engineering Krystian Kolondra in a blog post announcing the feature.

"With a free, unlimited, native VPN that just works out-of-the-box and doesn't require any subscription, Opera wants to make VPNs available to everyone."

So how does it work?

We decided to take the VPN feature out for a quick spin. Installing and enabling the VPN was easy enough (just make sure you have the developer preview and not the regular version).

Opera VPN (OS X) setup

Setup is every bit as easy as advertised

However once you turn it on, well, things slow down.

Loading the Reg home page took a good 15 seconds or so, and other sites showed similar lag, despite loading quickly with other browsers (Chrome) or on Opera with the VPN turned off.

We ran a speed test to get some numbers, showing the VPN-based connection is (as expected) slightly slower than the normal connection. In practice, loading pages with the Opera SurfEasy VPN was a definite bottleneck: the extra latency (as you can see with the higher ping times via the VPN) slows down the delivery of webpages.

speed test with Chrome

A normal connection speed at the Reg SF office

speed test with Opera VPN

The test results with Opera's pokey VPN

Perhaps this is acerbated by a crush of traffic on release day. It wouldn't be the first time we've seen users bog down a brand new feature. If that's the case, Opera will have a nice selling point on its hands.

With privacy increasingly becoming a concern, the option to further hide from prying eyes will definitely help Opera gain market share on the likes of Chrome, Firefox and IE. If Opera can't get speeds above what we experienced, however, the lag will be more than most people can handle. ®


Other stories you might like

  • US-APAC trade deal leaves out Taiwan, military defense not ruled out
    All fun and games until the chip factories are in the crosshairs

    US President Joe Biden has heralded an Indo-Pacific trade deal signed by several nations that do not include Taiwan. At the same time, Biden warned China that America would defend Taiwan from attack; it is home to a critical slice of the global chip industry, after all. 

    The agreement, known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), is still in its infancy, with today's announcement enabling the United States and the other 12 participating countries to begin negotiating "rules of the road that ensure [US businesses] can compete in the Indo-Pacific," the White House said. 

    Along with America, other IPEF signatories are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Combined, the White House said, the 13 countries participating in the IPEF make up 40 percent of the global economy. 

    Continue reading
  • 381,000-plus Kubernetes API servers 'exposed to internet'
    Firewall isn't a made-up word from the Hackers movie, people

    A large number of servers running the Kubernetes API have been left exposed to the internet, which is not great: they're potentially vulnerable to abuse.

    Nonprofit security organization The Shadowserver Foundation recently scanned 454,729 systems hosting the popular open-source platform for managing and orchestrating containers, finding that more than 381,645 – or about 84 percent – are accessible via the internet to varying degrees thus providing a cracked door into a corporate network.

    "While this does not mean that these instances are fully open or vulnerable to an attack, it is likely that this level of access was not intended and these instances are an unnecessarily exposed attack surface," Shadowserver's team stressed in a write-up. "They also allow for information leakage on version and build."

    Continue reading
  • A peek into Gigabyte's GPU Arm for AI, HPC shops
    High-performance platform choices are going beyond the ubiquitous x86 standard

    Arm-based servers continue to gain momentum with Gigabyte Technology introducing a system based on Ampere's Altra processors paired with Nvidia A100 GPUs, aimed at demanding workloads such as AI training and high-performance compute (HPC) applications.

    The G492-PD0 runs either an Ampere Altra or Altra Max processor, the latter delivering 128 64-bit cores that are compatible with the Armv8.2 architecture.

    It supports 16 DDR4 DIMM slots, which would be enough space for up to 4TB of memory if all slots were filled with 256GB memory modules. The chassis also has space for no fewer than eight Nvidia A100 GPUs, which would make for a costly but very powerful system for those workloads that benefit from GPU acceleration.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022