The world wide web is a beautiful and dark place with its pros and cons and the latter can be quite frustrating. Take for example, some web content are restricted to certain locations i.e you can’t access them if you’re not from a particular location. Aside from this, you also have the problem of protecting your personal data when surfing the web on public WiFi.
Even if you’re on your home / personal WiFi, you run the risk of attacks from unscrupulous websites. Therein lies the need for VPN services. Unfortunately these VPN services come with a price until now.
Opera is currently working on including free unlimited VPN web surfing into their Desktop browsers for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. These features are now available to those using the Developer version. Aside from the free VPN, users will now be able to block ads across all websites.
How To Block Ads & Enable VPN On Opera Desktop Browser
By default ad blocking and VPN service are disabled. To enable them go to Menu >> Settings >> Privacy & Security as shown in the screenshot below.
Once enabled, you’re good to go. By default, VPN traffic is routed through USA servers but you can change that by clicking on the VPN icon in the address bar and selecting another country in the dropdown.
For now Opera’s free VPN only runs on American, German and Canadian servers. Hopefully when the service is open to the public, more servers will be added.
Overall, the service seems to work pretty well from my experience though I have a dedicated VPN service which I can’t let go off. The VPN works even when Opera Turbo is enabled and that’s pretty cool for times when the network is slow.
The ad blocker feature works as it should though Yandex, Google, Facebook and Baidu are whitelisted by default but they can be deleted. As Opera is a business, only time will tell if ad companies would be required to pay a fee to have their ads whitelisted.
Though advertised as unlimited now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them enforce a monthly limit on how much content one can consume via the free VPN service. It wouldn’t make sense to make their SurfEasy VPN paid service suffer.
With regards to bugs in this developer version, LastPass extension seems to be crashing the browser and auto restarting it. It got so bad I had to shut the system, turn it back on, uninstall and reinstall Opera Developer.
I’ll just leave the browser for times when I need to do some private snooping around the web.
I haven’t been able to install and use it on my Mac OS X partition. Hopefully, LastPass extension will play nice over there and no other major bug will arise.
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