3 reasons you should install Opera VPN for iOS right now
Also, one setting in the browser that you might want to turn off.
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Opera made headlines last month for adding a VPN to its desktop browser, which allows users to bypass region-oriented content blocks while at the same time improving online privacy.
Opera VPN for iOS brings those same capabilities to iPhones and iPads, meaning you now have a free, unlimited VPN you can use on the go. Here are three reasons you should install the app right now:
1. Pandora at work
Many companies and college campuses block user access to certain sites, which is understandable from a security and productivity perspective, but annoying from a can't-listen-to-my-Pandora-stations perspective.
Because Opera VPN routes your Internet traffic through a special server, it allows you to bypass these kinds of site restrictions and content-blocking.
Likewise, it helps you overcome regional limitations. For example, if you're traveling overseas and want to access a streaming service account back home in the U.S. that is unavailable while abroad, you'd configure Opera VPN to connect to a United States-based server.
2. No more trackers
No one likes being followed, but Web trackers (to say nothing of Web hackers, potentially) do exactly that as you hop between websites. Mostly for innocuous reasons, but many users find the practice objectionable.
If you're among them, Opera VPN's tracker blocker is enabled by default. At the same time, the app encrypts all your local Web traffic, thereby protecting you at public Wi-Fi hotspots.
3. No more ads
If you're tired of ads cluttering up your mobile browser, Opera VPN can block them. And not just in Safari, but also in Chrome and other apps. That feature, too, is enabled by default.
I turned it off. Much as I welcome privacy, especially when connected to hotspots, I made the decision last year to stop using ad-blocking software. That's because I value all the free content I'm able to get online and know that ads pay for that content.
Let your conscience be your guide, of course, but I think the occasional banner or inline ad is a very fair price to pay for the incredible breadth of material you get for free.