Last night my nap was interrupted just when I was falling asleep. Anyone who knows me knows that I really do not like it when that happens. For me, it’s like stopping a clothes-washing machine halfway through and opening the lid.
I can’t get back to sleep for several hours and while I’m awake, I sort of feel like those half-washed, wet-soggy clothes all packed in tight in a drum.
It’s a real drag. And as I say, I often cannot get back to sleep for some time so just endure and try to make the most of it.
The most noticeable thing is that I feel I lose some mental acuity. I’m not as sharp as when I am properly rested. And the only way to “reset” myself is to wait until I naturally fall asleep again and then awake naturally when the “cycle” is complete.
You can imagine my bedroom has a long line of those orange earplugs! I use them so often that I have to wash them to avoid getting an ear infection.
So you see, last night wasn’t the greatest night I ever had. But it certainly wasn’t the worst, either.
While feeling somewhere between fully awake and a dullard, I felt I needed a change on the internet front.
I can get bored of the same ol’ , same ol’, so often change around my operating system or how my old PCs are networked with my one half-decent PC. It’s just a geeky hobby that comes in handy especially during the pandemic—i.e. a time killer.
So instead of checking out a new OS, I tried the Opera browser which I have looked at before but never taken too seriously.
The last time I tried Opera the free VPN, which is a big draw for folks concerned with online privacy, didn’t seem to work very well. It was slow and didn’t fully protect my IP from potential stalkers (more on this below). There are a few sites where you can check this. I’m no expert but I use ipleak.net. It apparently shows if your proxy or VPN is “leaking.”
Well, this time around when I initially tried Opera at ipleak.net, it just showed my normal IP. So I changed the settings so the VPN would work for all tabs and not just private tabs. I still do not know how to enable private tabs, so it seemed easier to simply make the VPN global.
To make a long story short, when adjusted this way in Settings, Opera seemed to be protecting my home IP without any leaks. Again, according to ipleak.net.
So from this non-pro hobbyist, I’d say that if you simply want to keep intrusive people out of your life — you know, the type who might have a legit job searching for child pornographers, etc. but who also harbor serious issues themselves and abuse their powers to peer into every aspect of innocent persons lives with whom they are obsessed and fixated on — well, Opera just might be the right choice for you.
TOR browser is often hailed as a great way to remain anonymous. But I find it doesn’t work too well. It does seem to protect your privacy but you spend half your time doing “captchas” and for me, it seems slower than Opera’s VPN.
So there you have it. A potentially crummy night turned into an extremely productive one!
I hope this helps anyone who has that nagging and recurring intuition that some creepy troll is illegally watching them. Even if they are not and it is just your imagination, using a VPN should help give you a break from that unpleasant feeling that some unsettled stalker is violating your privacy.
We don’t have to be victims in this world. Those who abuse their powers are the biggest losers of all and we must remember that, using everything at our disposal to call them out and put a stop to their reprehensible, dysfunctional behavior.