Opera is a multi-purpose Internet browser that blocks ads and trackers, protects your online privacy, improves browsing speed, reducing bandwidth and data usage by close to 90%, and drastically boosts your browser gaming experience. Granted, these features aren’t all part of a single browser. We have Opera GX, Opera Touch, and Opera Mini as the main versions, and even two special ones, Opera 36, compatible with Windows XP and Vista, and Opera USB, a portable edition. Among things they have in common is the sense of peace and security online, which mainly comes from knowing how to add a VPN in Opera.
Word of warning
Before you dive in, it’s important to note that the service demonstrated in methods 1 and 2 is not a full-fledged VPN. Instead, it’s a proxy, more specifically, a VPN proxy, because it provides end-to-end encryption. However, it only works on the application level, which is one of the key differences between a proxy and a VPN. In other words, only the traffic within Opera (Private window included) is protected. Another important piece of information is that enabling Opera VPN disables Opera Turbo mode.
1. Use the built-in Opera VPN
One of the key marketing points of Opera is its free, built-in VPN. It requires no logging in and comes paired with an advertisement and tracking cookie blockers. Since installation is unnecessary, here are 2 ways to enable Opera VPN and connect:
Download, install and launch the Opera browser from your desktop, Start menu (Windows), or Applications folder (Mac). Then, follow these steps to add VPN in the Opera desktop version:
- Click on Menu in the top left corner.
- Select Settings.
- Now, depending on the operating system, do this:
- On Mac, click on Opera in the top bar, then select Preferences… from the drop-down list.
- On Windows, click on Advanced in the left sidebar.
- Click on the Privacy & security tab in the left sidebar.
- Scroll down and find the “VPN” section.
- Toggle the switch next to Enable VPN.
- Go back to the home screen and click on the blue VPN badge left of the sidebar.
- Either select a continent under “Virtual location” or leave an Optimal location selected.
- Toggle the switch in the top left corner from Off to On.
Now, let’s demonstrate the procedure of adding OperaVPN to Android:
- Tap on the Opera app in the app drawer.
- Tap the Opera icon in the bottom right corner.
- Note. For smart devices with a larger screen, you might have to tap on the hamburger (3 horizontal lines) menu in the upper left corner.
- Select Settings from the drop-down menu.
- Find the “VPN” option and slide the switch to On.
- We recommend removing the checkmark from “Use VPN for private tabs only” below.
Note. Opera VPN is disabled when using search engines like Google or Bing so that its location doesn’t skew the search results. If you want to prevent this, move the slide from On to Off under “Bypass VPN for search.”
2. Install the Opera VPN browser extension
Another way to utilize VPN inside Opera is to install a VPN browser extension. With that said, here’s how installing a VPN browser extension in Opera works:
- Head on over to the Opera Addons page.
- Search for “VPN”.
- You now have 3 options:
- Click on Opera Free VPN, which will be the first search result. Click on Enable in Opera in the top right corner.
- Install any third-party VPN application by clicking on its name, then Add to Opera in the upper right corner.
- Add the Install Chrome Extension. Pick a VPN browser extension from the Chrome Web Store by clicking on the Add to Opera button, then Install.
3. Install a VPN application
For the reasons we mentioned in the beginning, it’s recommended that you install a full-fledged VPN application. It will protect not only the browser but your entire operating system. We already demonstrated setting up VPN on Windows and Mac, configuring VPN on iPhone, and, even a specific case such as installing ExpressVPN on Android.