Opera VPN Review 2020
|Servers||3 Regions Only|
|Logs||Stores Usage/Connection Logs|
|Encryption||No Information Available|
|Works in China||No|
Owned by SurfEasy, Opera VPN is only available on the Opera Web browser as a built-in service, allowing users to use the internet securely. The service is free of cost, has no bandwidth limits, but does not offer strong privacy/anonymity.
Users have no distinctive security features, the network infrastructure is poor, it cannot unblock Netflix, and even adopts a shady logging policy. From what I have uncovered, Opera VPN is more of a proxy than an actual VPN.
As such, I do not recommend the provider and advise going for the cheap yet reliable, Surfshark. Based in BVI, the provider starts at a minimal of $1.99/mo. on a 2-year plan. It unblocks all VoDs and even works in China.
- Jurisdiction: Where is Opera VPN Based?
- Security: Can Opera VPN Keep Me Safe Online?
- Leaks: Does Opera VPN Leak Your IP, DNS & WebRTC?
- Servers: How Many Servers Does Opera VPN Have?
- Streaming: Can I Unblock Netflix US and Other VoDs?
- Speed: How Fast are Opera VPN Servers?
- Compatibility: Can I Use Opera VPN on All My Devices?
- Pricing: How Much Does Opera VPN Cost Exactly?
- Trustworthiness: Trustpilot Ratings, Reddit & Customer Support
Jurisdiction: Where is Opera VPN Based?
Opera VPN’s origins are as part of a Norwegian company, SurfEasy LLC that was acquired by Opera Canada in 2015. Then in 2016, Opera itself was acquired by a Chinese consortium. And in 2017, SurfEasy and its propriety services, such as the VPN client was sold to Symantec, a U.S. firm.
Confusion about Opera VPN’s location
What followed was a messy and complicated deal that left users confused about where would the VPN services actually be operating from. Currently, the company maintains that its headquarters are in Canada, with regional offices in both Norway and the U.S.
However, none of this makes Opera VPN a safe option, since all three of these countries are members of the notorious 5/9/14 Eyes alliance, which impose mandatory data retention and mass surveillance laws!
Security: Can Opera VPN Keep Me Safe Online?
No, stay as far away from this “proxy” as possible, as many of the obvious flaws in its performance casts doubts on its status, as a VPN at all. It behaves and functions more like a proxy than a VPN.
Users do not get any form of torrent support, no protection outside the browser, there is virtually no customer support and to round things off, there are IP leaks.
Unclear Info about Encryption & Protocols
Just like other important bits of information, Opera is unclear on its encryption policies as well. While Opera VPN claims to provide VPN services, it does nothing more than just hiding your IP on browsers.
This makes it a proxy rather than a VPN. Not to mention, the lack of information about encryptions as well as protocols is usually an indicator of no proper security/technologies implemented at all!
Does Opera VPN Store Logs?
Opera VPN makes it clear that it logs a user’s runtime environment, UI session activity, and keeps a complete log of browser OS, platform, and memory data. Basically, they have remained vague on this subject because it appears that they log everything.
Leaks: Does Opera VPN Leak Your IP, DNS & WebRTC?
Unfortunately, I cannot call Opera VPN a good option to secure your IP, DNS, or WebRTC addresses. I conducted several tests using the following websites and there were glaring leaks exposing my IP addresses on several occasions:
This is why I have censored the information with a red highlight, as to protect my own identity. One thing is for sure though, Opera “Proxy” is not a safe choice at all, be it for unblocking, streaming, torrenting, or anonymous browsing!
WebRTC and HTTP Request Leaks:
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc (Failed)
- https://www.doileak.com/ (Clear)
IPv4/IPv6 and Torrent IP Leaks:
- https://ipleak.net/ (Failed)
- https://ipx.ac/run/ (Failed)
Servers: How Many Servers Does Opera VPN Have?
Opera VPN lacks a strong network infrastructure with users only gaining access to a limited selection of 3 servers available for connection vaguely labeled as the Americas, Asia, and Europe.
Back in 2017, you could select among servers in Singapore, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, and the U.S. However, now users have absolutely no clue about which city, location, country and jurisdiction they are connected to.
This a damning indictment of Opera VPN, considering how even some of the shadiest VPN services that I’ve reviewed before, give users complete clarity about exactly which servers they will be connecting to.
Can You Use Opera VPN for Torrenting?
As Opera VPN is a browser-based VPN, it does not provide any sort of support for torrents. If you’re using P2P sharing clients like BitTorrent or uTorrent, you will have to rely on other services, such as Surfshark or PureVPN.
Does Opera VPN work in China?
No, Opera VPN does not work in China. They announced launching a VPN service at the time of a takeover deal with a consortium of Chinese investors led by Beijing Kunlun Tech Co and Qihoo 360 was also being negotiated.
The government is notorious for being strict when it comes to VPN services and it didn’t take long for Opera VPN to fall victim to these policies. Unfortunately, for users inside the country as well as for expats, Opera VPN will not be able to unblock any content in China.
Streaming: Can I Unblock Netflix US and Other VoDs?
There was a time when Opera VPN could unblock Netflix throughout different regions, but not anymore. Netflix has ramped up its efforts against proxies and VPNs, which has affected quite a lot of free options, including Opera VPN!
Unlike premium options in the marketplace, free counterparts cannot rotate their IPs fast enough to avoid Netflix’s blacklisting. Due to these issues, Opera VPN is also unable to bypass geo-restrictions on other popular streaming sites like Voot, Hulu, Hotstar, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+.
Speed: How Fast are Opera VPN Servers?
Unlike some of the other free-to-use VPN services on the market, Opera VPN actually makes some rather bold claims about spectacular speeds. We put it through our standard speed test on a 100 Mbps connection to gauge how accurate are these claims:
Compatibility: Can I Use Opera VPN on All My Devices?
Opera VPN is a service that is only available through Opera Browser. As such, does it not have a dedicated app for Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, or iOS. The provider also recently discontinued its Android and iOS apps.
Because of Opera VPN’s nature, as an add-on for Opera Browser, users that rely exclusively on the two most popular browsers; Firefox and Chrome will also not be able to use the service.
Enabling the add-on is fairly easy and does not require rocket science, but since the service is not supported on any other browser, Opera VPN becomes a considerably less attractive option for users.
Pricing: How Much Does Opera VPN Cost Exactly?
Opera VPN is a free-to-use service, as it operates effectively as an add-on for Opera browser. Unlike some of the other free VPN services, Opera VPN does not have any locked special features that can only be accessed by paying for them.
As easy-to-use as it may be, Opera’s checkered history of ownership by a Chinese firm means there are allegations of it being Chinese spyware. In all probability, this does not seem that far-fetched, as what better way to get user-data, but under the premise of something “free”.
Trustworthiness: Trustpilot Ratings, Reddit & Customer Support
Despite being one of the most popular web browsers, users appear less enthusiastic about its VPN service. While there were not many reviews on Trustpilot, comments from Reddit indicate, Opera needs to do a lot of work on its service.
Opera VPN Reddit Review
As some comments indicate, users were quick in labeling Opera VPN, as a proxy rather than an actual VPN. They stated their displeasure with the fact that the service does not provide essential VPN features, such as DNS leak protection and WebRTC protection.
Redditors also voiced their issues with the speed of the service. It appears as though the users’ browsing experience is seriously jeopardized because of the lengthy loading periods. This is in addition to users appearing annoyed regarding their data being sold, albeit anonymously.
Opera VPN’s customer support system is extremely sloppy and terrible. There is no direct way to contact the service, as there is no live chat system. Additionally, almost every VPN provider has an email ticketing system that surprisingly, but Opera VPN does not.
There is a generic FAQ section that does not properly answer user queries. There is a forum but it is dedicated towards the browser rather than the VPN. This lack of dedicated support for VPN is unheard of in the VPN market and doesn’t reflect well on Opera.
Opera VPN Alternatives
Unsurprisingly, there are vastly superior alternatives that users can, and quite honestly, should opt for. PureVPN, thanks to its numerous important features available through a number of affordable payment plans is definitely an option any user should seriously consider.
Similarly, Surfshark is another possible option that gives users proper security and anonymity online, without any form of compromise. It works perfectly for unblocking Netflix, bypassing the GFW in China, and even offers dedicated IPs for maximum protection!
Do I Recommend Opera VPN?
In short, no and this is probably the first time where I’ve had serious reservations about a service’s claims about being a VPN provider. There is no dedicated client and the service exists as an add-on, available only on a single browser.
Other problems with the service include DNS Leaks, inability to unblock Netflix, lack of clarity about where they actually operate from and its logs policy. Opera VPN might be free, but users will gain absolutely nothing worthwhile by opting for this service.
It’s not a vpn service I found out much later got fooled by it only to found out its like a proxy.