The Laziest, Cheapest Way To Set Up A VPN

Last year, Opera, the little browser that everyone seems to forget about, rolled out a free VPN. While it immediately ran into a security problem by leaking IP addresses, it's now been patched up, and is easily the simplest, cheapest and reasonably private way to access a VPN right now. It does come with a slew of caveats though.

Here is Opera's privacy statement if you're interested, but let's run through the main points. Speaking with PCWorld, an Opera spokesperson said that the VPN is a no-log service, which is good, but there's a little more to it. First, while Opera is a Norwegian company and therefore acts under Norwegian law, SurfEasy, the company that provides the VPN service, is a Canadian company, and Canada is known to hand over intelligence data. Regardless, using the VPN means you're agreeing to SurfEasy's Privacy Policy. Opera was also purchased by a Chinese consortium last year, so any data Opera does collect could be accessible by that company at some point.

It's also good to remember that unlike a traditional VPN that encrypts all the traffic on your device as a whole, only the web browsing you do in Opera will go through their VPN. So, it's more like a proxy than a VPN, but it still works for our purposes here. You can also snag Opera VPN on Android and iOS to encrypt your traffic on mobile devices. The mobile apps work like a regular VPN. This is an important bit of information to consider for privacy purposes. After all, you get what you pay for.

OK, with all that out of the way, here's how to use it:

  1. Download Opera for your operating system.
  2. Click Settings (Click Opera > Preferences on Mac).
  3. Click the Privacy & Security section.
  4. Click Enable VPN. While you're on this screen, you might as well click the checkboxes for Do Not Track and Block Ads to help get around other types of tracking.

Once that's enabled, you'll see a VPN button in the URL bar. I'd also download and install HTTPS Everywhere as well as either Privacy Badger or Disconnect for an added bit of security and privacy.

Or just shell out the cash monthly for a legit VPN.


Comments

    What about Tor Browser? Doesn't that provide safe surfing like VPN? I would've thought it might have even been safer than Opera?

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