Internet users are looking for two things, the first is security and the second is anonymity. Security can be achieved, among other things, with an updated operating system, a good antivirus, antimalware software, and a firewall. As for privacy, it can be achieved in two ways: using a Proxy or a VPN. Today we are going to focus on VPNs, which are very useful tools and are increasingly present in our daily lives, and which we should also always use on public Wi-Fi networks. We are going to focus on a very specific type, and ask ourselves the following question: should I trust a VPN for the browser?
Insecure VPN Dangers and VPN Types
One thing to keep in mind is that not all VPNs are safe, in some cases their use can harm us. The moment we start using one, you can obtain valuable information about us and can even create a profile of us. In this aspect, when using a VPN, they can get to know our data such as:
- Our public IP.
- The browsing history.
- The devices we use.
Therefore, you have to be very careful when choosing a VPN. In this aspect, we must try to choose one that is reliable, that protects our data correctly, and that at no time sells our personal information. As for the types of VPN , we could make a distinction regarding the economic amount. We have paid ones such as Surfshark, PureVPN, NordVPN and HMA VPN that would guarantee anonymity. On the other hand, we would have free VPNs that can be used to steal data.
In terms of how it works, we could distinguish two types:
- A VPN for the browser : which would only be active when you use that particular browser. Here we would have to talk about those that are integrated into the browser and those that are used with extensions.
- The VPN in a program or application : which would affect all the browsers and programs that you use in the browser.
Browser-Integrated VPN: Opera VPN
Opera web browser has built-in VPN service in it, no need to purchase any third-party VPN service or install anything. This service that it offers us will allow us to browse the Internet by hiding our public IP address, and we will also be able to choose between different continents. A VPN for the browser like the one that Opera incorporates is totally free , and we can activate and deactivate it whenever we want. Its mode of operation is that the traffic from the browser will go directly to the Opera server, and from the Opera server to the Internet. So we can browse the Internet in a more private way.
This is an example with Opera VPN activated choosing a server from America after checking my public IP here :
Here you have explained how to install and configure Opera VPN. Without a doubt, it is an interesting alternative to consider, however, it really is a «Proxy» because it does not route all the traffic of the computer, but only the web browsing traffic made by the browser.
VPN extensions in browsers
We have already seen that we can use a VPN through an application or program, in which case it would affect all programs. We have also seen a free VPN integrated into the browser, such as Opera’s, and that would only be active while we use that browser. Now comes the turn of a VPN for the browser that we use with a . In this regard, it should be noted that they can be dangerous for various reasons:
- They monitor our activity on the Internet.
- They can steal our personal data such as our passwords, credit cards, ID and more.
- In some cases they contain malware.
- It doesn’t always hide the real IP.
Is a browser VPN always dangerous? No, there are some reliable ones that we can download from the official browser stores such as the Chrome Store, which, for example, could be the PureVPN or NordVPN extensions, among many others. The drawback is that these VPNs are specifically paid. A free one could be TunnelBear but it requires registration and offers only 500 Mb.
Finally, here are some tips for using a VPN browser extension.