Anonymous browsing

How to use Opera web browser as a VPN gateway to online anonymity

Opera offers free VPN on its web browser. Here's how to enable the feature on your computer to protect privacy online or to access geographically restricted content.

Enable Opera VPN feature

On the internet there a many VPN services that anyone can get for free, but the most reliable cost money. The Opera web browser wants to change that by integrating a free VPN service that anyone can use without installing an extension or paying a subscription.

A virtual private network, or VPN for short, has been around for years. It’s commonly used by companies to offer employees with a secure remote access to the company’s network. However, the nature of connecting to a VPN network allows users to connect to the internet as if they were physically located where the server is hosted, it allows users to access content that might be geographically restricted to them.

For example, many European users may use a VPN service to access Netflix, Hulu, or other video streaming services that are only available for users in North America. As such, Opera’s VPN may be a solution for many users.

It’s not just about accessing restricted content, many users are also concern about their online privacy, and using a VPN service can substantially increase the anonymity while browsing online.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to easily configure the Opera web browser to protect your online privacy or to access content not available in your region.

How to set up Opera’s VPN feature

Let’s be honest, you’re probably either using Google Chrome or Firefox, so the very first thing you need to do is to download and install Opera. It’s worth pointing out that VPN is supported on Opera version 40 and later.

To enable the VPN feature on the browser, do the following:

  1. Launch the Opera web browser.

  2. Click the Menu button.

  3. Click Settings.

  4. Click Privacy & security.

  5. Check the Enable VPN option to turn on the feature.

    Opera "Enable VPN" option

How to configure Opera VPN to access restricted content

The above instructions are all you need to browse the internet privately without being too much concerned about your online privacy. However, if you’re looking to access content that is geographically restricted, you need to connect to a VPN server located in the region.

For example, if you’re located in a European country, and you want to access content restricted to people in the United States, then you need to click the VPN button in the address bar in the Opera browser and change the virtual location to United States.

Opera VPN settings

Currently, the Opera web browser offers four different locations, including Germany, Canada, Netherlands, and United States.

But… There is one little problem. While the point of using a VPN connection for many users is to protect the their online privacy, the Opera web browser, even with the VPN feature enabled will leak your local and public IP address information. However, here is the workaround for IP leak problem.

Originally published on April 2016, updated on September 2016.