You are sitting in a public area. Your goal is to protect personal data during exchanges between your laptop/smartphone and remote websites. One way to achieve this by using a private data connection, but it costs money.
Imagine having free and unlimited private data connections.
Here’s how to do it.
Using a private connection will protect you against snooping, theft of credentials and personal information in public areas such as:
- Hotel Rooms
- Wi-Fi Hotspots
- And many more
Public WiFi networks are not private by default. Many of them will forward your data in clear text. Don’t rely on them. Make sure you use a private connection instead.
How to Protect Your Personal Data
You can protect your personal data with a private connection. It will encrypt your contents. To achieve this, you use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN enables you to create a private connection (or tunnel) between your computing device and an endpoint, usually a VPN server.
To create a VPN connection, you need specialized software that runs on your laptop / tablet / smartphone. Several third party vendors offer such software. However, you need to buy a monthly subscription to use it.
But wait, a free choice is available for you: Opera VPN.
With Opera VPN, you will get Free Unlimited Access.
How to Enjoy Opera Private Connections
There are two ways you can create private connections using Opera products:
- On your laptop (Windows / Mac / Linux)
- On your smartphone / Tablet
Let’s first cover the laptop solution. Then we will move on to the mobile devices.
Opera for Desktop
Opera is a well-known web browser. It now has a built-in VPN service.
Once you install Opera on your laptop, you can surf privately with the Opera browser. All your Opera browser session data is encrypted before transmission. This is depicted in the next diagram.
Opera Browser Setup Instructions
Here is how you can set up your Opera browser for private connections.
- Download and install Opera
- Choose the Preferences pane
- Mac OS: Command + ,
- Windows: Menu > Settings
- Choose Privacy and Security
- Check the VPN box
A small blue VPN icon will display in front of Opera’s address bar. This confirms that your connection is private between your Opera browser and the Opera VPN server on the Internet.
If you click on the blue VPN icon, the following info will display. Please refer to the next figure:
- An On/Off button – you can enable or disable the VPN. If set to Off, the VPN icon will turn Grey.
- Your monthly data transfer stats
- Virtual location: set to optimal depending on your geo location
- Your VPN IP Address
The Virtual location represents the Opera VPN server you are connected to. Your Opera browser will pick the optimal location based on your physical location. You can select a different Opera VPN server by clicking on the Optimal location pull-down. By doing this, your IP address will change too. In the example below, I selected United States.
Opera has VPN servers in five countries:
- United States
How about Mobile?
As of this writing, Opera VPN is only available on iOS devices (Apple iPhone et al.)
For iOS, the concept is different.
Opera VPN is an app you install on your smartphone/tablet. You don’t need the Opera browser.
With this app, the whole device communications are private. That means you can use any browser, your favorite email client, etc. The next diagram depicts the concept.
iOS Setup Instructions
Here is how to set up Opera VPN on your iOS device.
- Download and install Opera VPN from the Apple Store
- Click on the App icon – a Viking helmet
Please refer to the next figure for the next discussion.
If you get a notification that Opera VPN is turned OFF, click the green Turn On button.
Once the VPN is ON, a small VPN icon will display on the top left of your iDevice.
When you choose the Settings tab, you will see three toggle buttons:
- Enable Opera VPN – you can disable your VPN when not needed
- Block Ads – stop getting annoyed by ads
- Block Trackers – block ad-tracking cookies
Let’s move on to the next figure. From the Stats tab, you can look at your stats such as the number of blocked Ads and blocked trackers.
Clicking the lightning bolt icon (top right) takes you to the region settings. By default, Opera VPN picks the closest region VPN server. But you can change this setting by selecting the desired location.
Based on the selected region, your IP address will change.
Here you go. You now have a free and unlimited VPN solution. Use it during your travels, in public areas or anywhere you need private connections. For more information about Opera VPN software, please see this article.
Which solution do you like the most for a secure and private connection? I would be glad to hear from you and get your feedback.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your social networks.
- Do You Need an Excellent Password Manager? Dashlane Free
Quick Note – Tools I used to illustrate this post:
You may also want to refer to my image creation tutorial.