One of the frustrating things about surfing on the Internet in Thailand is the dreaded green screen that shows that the website that you are trying to open has been blocked by the Thai government. One of the classic examples of this is the Daily Mail website from the UK. To be clear here, I don’t normally have a need to read this tabloid website, however, on a number of occasions, people have tweeted links to articles about Thailand in this newspaper. And each time I get a page that says that this website is blocked. For those people who are curious, this has nothing to do with the latest Daily Mail articles about the brutal attacks and murders against British tourists. It was because of ONE article a few years back about the Crown Prince. Instead of blocking that one page, they made the decision to block the entire website. This is a bit like blocking youtube for just one offensive video. And this is the problem, There are sometimes websites that we need to access that haven’t been blacklisted, but they are also blocked by a bumbling technician.
A solution to getting around these blocks is a VPN. For my work it is essential because sometimes I cannot access my own servers because of the incompetence of ISP’s in Thailand. But, having a VPN is sometimes expensive as they need a subscription or, if they are free, they are complicated to set up and use. So, this was why I was really happy to stumble upon Opera Developer the other week. With just a few clicks, I turned on their free and built-in VPN and I was surfing the net anonymously only one minute after downloading the browser. Yes, it was that easy. Now, every time I open the browser, the VPN is always turned on. I don’t have to do anything. You can even change countries, though only four available at the moment.
How to do: Download and install the browser from this link. Then click on the “menu” button in the top left and choose “settings”. Next, choose “Privacy & security”. Tick the “Enable VPN” box and that is it! No need to repeat the next time you open the browser.