A simple way to have a browser with a VPN

(which might help you get round any Age Verification blocks)

Whatever you think Age Verification is a thing and could result in some pornographic websites being blocked for users in the UK.

One possible way around that is to use a VPN which (in very general terms) allows you to disguise where you are surfing from. There are a number of good security reasons for having a VPN and there are numerous paid for (and some free) VPNs available.

However this isn’t going to recommend any particular product but instead outline how you can use the Opera web browser – which has a built in VPN – to give you some of that functionality.

Doesn’t this mean Age Verification isn’t a problem for me

Well no. All a VPN does is disguise your IP address and makes it look like you are accessing a site from another country. If a site only applies Age Verification to visitors with UK IP addresses that will be a way round that.

However sites might apply checks in other ways – for example for users registered in the UK. Secondly blocking VPNs is relatively easy to do as each provider has a limited number of ‘visible’ IP addresses.

Finally the government may introduce other measures to prevent VPN use to get around legislation. That’s not straightforward (and certainly not uncontroversial if it were to be tried) so this may not be a long term solution.

Some words of caution first:

1) This is a free VPN. The usual adage of if your no paying for it your the product not the customer will apply as there will be some (commercial) reason why Opera provide this. That said Opera has been around as a browser company for a long while and they do have a reasonable reputation as not being too shady.

2) This isn’t really a ‘proper’ VPN – in that it only protects browsing you do within Opera and it may have some limitations to its protection and you’d need to keep using Opera as your browser to use the VPN.

3) It seems to have some limited ‘alternate’ IP addresses so may be blacklisted/blocked by some sites.

But this article is intended to tell people how to easily set up some VPN functionality to get ‘around’ Age Verification – and this is the simplest and most straightforward way I know. If you want more detailed advice on VPNs and security then there are other sources for that such as:

Step 1

Download and install Opera from www.opera.com

Step 2

Start up Opera and click on the VPN button by the address bar

Step 3

Slide the ‘toggle’ to on and select your location (or use Optimal Location)

Step 4

You’ll now be set up with a an active ‘VPN’ connection

Happy surfing

Note: Is this legal?
Using a VPN is perfectly legal and nothing in the Digital Economy Act prohibits you doing this. If you do something illegal when using a VPN that is a whole different matter!