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How To Protect Your Privacy In Opera GX

by George Mensah
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Opera GX is a gaming-specific version of the standard Opera browser. It has CPU, RAM, and network usage limiters, which free up resources to run your games more smoothly — resources that would otherwise power the browser. Opera GX also includes seamless Twitch and Discord integration. Furthermore, the browser includes a dedicated feed of gaming-related deals and news.

However, in comparison to most mainstream browsers, Opera GX is better optimized for security and privacy. Tracker and ad blockers make your browsing experience faster and more private. By default, fraud and malware protection is enabled, alerting you to malicious websites. Furthermore, the built-in free VPN can encrypt your connection and spoof your location, making it more difficult for third parties to track your online activity (via Opera).

Many of these privacy-enhancing features do not require any configuration. However, with a few simple steps, you can allow others to further enhance your privacy. Here’s how you can improve your privacy in Opera GX.

How to enable ad and tracker blocking in Opera GX

Ads appear to follow you around on every app and website you visit. Even if you switch devices, the same ad may appear in banners, sponsored sections of social media, or YouTube videos. Web trackers enable such persistent, targeted advertising. Trackers are cookies or scripts that are injected into most websites (often by third parties) to closely track your web activity. Trackers are used by advertisers to create unique fingerprints of your devices and to collect personal information and preferences.

This massive data collection yields a detailed user profile, from which targeted ads are served. However, you can use Opera GX’s Privacy Protection feature to block creepy trackers, reducing intrusive data mining and user tracking.

Open Opera GX and find the Settings button (gear icon) in the sidebar. Or hit Alt + P to open the Settings menu.

Go to Settings > Privacy Protection and toggle the switches next to “Block ads” and “Block Trackers”.

To access these toggles and monitor the blocked ads or trackers, click the shield icon in the address bar. Opera GX keeps a log of ads and trackers it blocks for you.

“Turn off for this site” also allows you to whitelist websites from ad and tracker protection (via Opera). When you add a website to the exceptions list, Opera GX temporarily disables blocking on that website.

How to enable Opera GX VPN

Before learning how to configure the VPN built into Opera GX, keep in mind that the Opera VPN is not a true VPN. Unlike traditional VPNs, which create a secure tunnel through which all of your internet packets are rerouted, the Opera VPN only works within the browser. It’s more of a proxy than a VPN, but the data sent over the connection is encrypted. You can use it to spoof your location, circumvent internet service provider (ISP) restrictions, or simply improve your privacy on local networks (via Opera). To enable VPN on Opera GX, follow these steps:

Click the Opera icon on the top left of the browser interface. And go to Settings > Advanced > Features.

Find the VPN section and toggle the switch next to “Enable VPN”.

The quick VPN button will now be available on the left side of the omnibar.

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Opera offers three different regions to choose from — the Americas, Europe, and Asia. If you don’t want to pick a location manually, you can set it to Optimal, and the VPN will auto-select the best connection for you.

Toggle “Connect to VPN when starting browser” under VPN to automatically initiate the connection when Opera GX is launched.

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