How To: This Is by Far the Easiest Way to Set Up a Free VPN on Your iPhone

This Is by Far the Easiest Way to Set Up a Free VPN on Your iPhone

A VPN service is almost an essential these days. Good ones can block ads, prevent tracking cookies, encrypt your internet traffic for better security, and even spoof your device's location to bypass geo-restrictions—all things you should be concerned about in the age of NSA snooping and ISP logging (and even Netflix location-blocking).

But most of the good VPN services charge a monthly subscription, or at least a one-time installation fee. Plus, they are incredibly difficult to set up on an iPhone; if you've ever tried, you know what I'm talking about.

For these reasons, the folks behind the popular Opera web browser have built a relatively new iOS app that offers a truly free and unlimited VPN service for iPhones. It's incredibly easy to install and set up, plus it won't cost you a dime.

Step 1: Install Opera VPN

To try out Opera's free and unlimited VPN service for iOS devices, the first thing you'll need to do is install the app, which is fittingly called Opera VPN.

Step 2: Run Through Initial Setup

From here, you'll be greeted by a handy set-up guide. It starts with a quick demo of how the VPN service works, but once you've flipped past those pages, make sure to tap "Continue," then press "OK" on the popup to allow Opera VPN to send notifications.

Next, tap "Continue" again when prompted, then press "Allow" on the subsequent popup so that Opera can add its VPN configuration to your iPhone's settings. After this, you'll be prompted to scan your Touch ID or enter your passcode/password to activate the VPN system-wide, but that's really all there is to set up.

Step 3: Choose Your Region, Block Ads, & More

With the VPN now active, you can open the Opera VPN app at any time to configure certain aspects of your newly-protected internet connection.

For instance, to spoof your device's location, tap the lightning bolt icon in the top-right corner, then choose from one of five regions when you want to bypass geo-restrictions in any of your apps. Otherwise, you can head to the Settings tab to toggle the VPN service on or off, as well as block ads system-wide, or prevent the use of tracking cookies.

You'll know that the service is active with a quick peek at your status bar.

With all of Opera VPN's settings enabled, you should no longer see any ads on your iPhone, even in apps. Then, when you factor in the location spoofing and the anti-tracking measures it offers, you start to see how awesome this app really is—especially considering that it's 100% free.

Cover photo and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

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