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I am the 1%. I love Opera. And I also love their new built-in VPN feature. However it appears that there are some compatibility issues when using it across the various Stack Exchange domains.

I don't know if there are issues because traffic is getting funneled by multiple users to the same IP address, 204.52.135.126, or if there are compatibility or plain old server-side issues going on.

I posted a similar question on Meta Ask Ubuntu without a ton of responses. I'm hit heaviest there as that's where I end up most of the time after a Google search and the pages never load. But I'll try to provide as many examples as possible throughout the domains.

The following URLs resolve without issue:

  1. http://meta.stackexchange.com (HTTP)
  2. How to get the tag-synonym data dump of Stack Overflow? (HTTP)
  3. https://meta.stackexchange.com/users/login (HTTPS)
  4. http://askubuntu.com (HTTP)
  5. https://askubuntu.com/users/login (HTTPS)
  6. How to check who installed what in the system? (HTTPS)
  7. Drawing two cards from a deck of 16 (4 ranks and 4 suits) (HTTP)

The following URLs return errors on page load:

  1. https://askubuntu.com/users/login (HTTP)
  2. How to check who installed what in the system? (HTTP)
  3. Does using OpenDNS or Google DNS affect anything about security or gaming speed? (HTTP)

I seem to have hit a bit on the issue already. Pages that return errors load successfully when accessed via HTTPS.

The issue then is that Google results all point to the HTTP pages which default you to the error page making for a poor user experience. It makes it seem like the entire network is down because often multiple answers on Ask Ubuntu will appear from a google search and NONE of them load. It gives the appearance that the entire Ask Ubuntu network is down.

Do I not entirely understand VPNs? Is something broken on the Opera side? Can Stack Exchange start redirecting to HTTPS by default?

Opera Info:
Version: 40.0.2308.62 - Opera is up to date
Update stream: Stable
System: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (x86_64; Unity)

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Until someone gets a chance to jump in - here's a temporary workaround so people who come from Google don't leave empty handed:

One workaround is to install an Opera extension that redirects HTTP requests to HTTPS. Without sponsoring any specific one, there are a few that can easily be found here:

https://addons.opera.com/en/search/?query=https

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Is something broken on the Opera side?

Probably. I have used VPNs without issues on SE sites - not this particular one, but shared IP addresses and VPN usage have not been a problem.

Can Stack Exchange start redirecting to HTTPS by default?

No. Full HTTPS support is work in progress - and we are unlikely to turn it on by default any time soon (you can get browser extensions that do that for you - though, given that HTTPS is not fully supported yet, YMMV).

There are good reasons for us to not turn it on yet everywhere (increased latencies for everyone being one).

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  • There is merit to putting the blame on Opera's side. I have been recently getting intermittent certificate warning pop ups while loading a site. They quickly resolve and go away but the fact remains that they still occur. – anon58192932 Oct 7 '16 at 13:45
  • @anon58192932 - might be an issue in their infrastructure. – Oded Oct 7 '16 at 13:49

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