Opera VPN Quick Review
Based in Norway, the Opera Browser ranks as the fifth most popular browser in the world, which also offers a VPN product. It is run by the Opera-acquired Canadian service called “SurfEasy”, which provides users with good unblocking capabilities.
|1. Free Proxy Service|
2. Unblock US Netflix
|1. Limited Server Choices|
2. No Apps for Android/iOS
3. Non-Existent Customer Support
4. Unclear Jurisdiction Information
5. SSL Encryption is Alarming
Opera VPN Plans and Price Review
I am not a fan of Opera, so I really had no idea about its VPN service. I just got into analyzing the provider, since a lot of users needed a better idea about their security.
While conducting my Opera VPN review, I could not find any pricing information on the site or elsewhere. This means you can use their integrated VPN service the browser, without paying a single penny.
Since Opera already has a strong reputation, I understand why many users may opt for the service. However, if we are completely unbiased, the free is just a cover.
The product is not actually a “Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, but rather a proxy. So, the max you can do with Opera VPN is unblocked geo-restricted websites to bypass content censorships.
Does Opera Offer a Free VPN?
As mentioned earlier, I found no indications towards any subscriptions for the Opera VPN service. I simply downloaded the browser from the official website: https://www.opera.com.
After the installation process came to an end, I launched the browser. Right next to the URL bar, I found a “VPN” button. To activate it, however, I had to go to Menu > Settings > Privacy > VPN.
Opera VPN Payment Methods Review
Since Opera VPN is a “Free” service, it does not support any payment methods. This is because it simply does not offer anything “premium” that may require purchasing.
The browser just like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome is available to download FREE. Even the add-ons available in Opera’s dedicated store can all be downloaded free. There is no need for payment methods!
Opera VPN Servers and Performance Review
My Opera VPN review unveiled that the provider lacks a strong VPN network. Users only have a limited selection of five servers available for connection.
The locations include Singapore, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, and the US. Opera states that its servers are located in climate-controlled, high-security facilities that support 10Gbit connections.
For the most part, I believe this is true. Opera VPN did not fail to disappoint for a “proxy” service. Hit names like ExpressVPN and NordVPN struggle in maintaining consistent connections to Netflix.
Opera, however, successfully unblocked the VoD service. While I did face poor speeds and a few lags while browsing the internet, Netflix worked smoother than expected!
Opera VPN Speed Test Review
To gain a better understanding of the reliability and bandwidth of Opera VPN, I decided to conduct a speed test on my 50Mbps connection. I have presented the results in the table below:
Opera VPN Privacy and Security
Earlier, I told users that Opera has its headquarters in Norway. Their VPN service is made available through a subsidiary called SurfEasy. Now, privacy advocates and those wary about internet laws may know that Norway upholds and protects the right to user privacy.
Many of its legislation and laws tend to be favorable for the average Joe. However, SurfEasy may not be that trustworthy! Guess why? The service that has integrated its proxy technology to the flagship browser has its headquarters in CANADA!
Now, let us not forget that Canada is a member of the Five and Fourteen Eyes Alliances. This group of intelligence includes names like United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. As such, you can expect their governments to indulge in mass surveillance.
In fact, most countries under EU and US jurisdictions even impose mandatory data retention laws. This means, not only will Opera VPN log all your information. However, when demand from the Canadian government, they will hand over private data.
Things kept getting confusing though when reviewing Opera VPN. You do not really know who owns what! In a discussion with the Android Police in April 2018, Opera PR informed that their VPN app is no longer part of their browser software.
This is either a trick to avoid the backlash of being based in Canada, or simply poor marketing and PR that has resulted in massive confusion about the real headquarters for their VPN service. Regardless, I would avoid putting my privacy at the hands of Opera’s VPN service.
Opera VPN Protocols/Encryption Review
As expected, Opera VPN does not support a huge list of protocols. Since it is a proxy service, the protocol used for connection will be different. For instance, those who are using the desktop version of the browser will establish a VPN connection via an SSL encrypted proxy.
However, those with the now discontinued Android and iOS apps use the OpenVPN and IPSec protocols subsequently. I did try getting to learn more about the Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS), hash authentication method, and RSA keys, but could not find any info.
In terms of encryption, users received protection via AES-256-bit ciphers, but that was before Opera only made the proxy available on its browser. IOS apps established a connection with the now easily hackable AES-128-bit ciphers and the Android devices used the traditional Blowfish-CBC ciphers!
Opera VPN P2P/Torrenting Review
Since you are using a browser proxy falsely marketed as a VPN service, you can expect not to receive any P2P/Torrenting support. The service only protects the information sent and received from your browser.
Therefore, if you decide on indulging in P2P/File sharing, bear in mind that you will have to face legal consequences. This goes true for those, especially living in countries with tough copyright laws.
The same goes for their previously available Android and iOS applications. I have test smartphones for both platforms and found an old version of Opera VPN available.
You do not have P2P supported servers available. To clear any doubts, the service also clearly mentions on its VPN page that it does not support P2P/Torrenting. Therefore, it is imperative that users avoid sharing/downloading torrents at all costs.
As mentioned earlier, Opera VPN is not exactly a virtual-private-network service, but rather a proxy server. While it does provide all the functionality you need from a VPN, a majority of the capability is only restricted to your browser data.
This means, the provider only encrypts data transmitted from your web browser and the internet. As a result, the service may not be completely safe. In fact, it is similar to locking the door of your home but leaving the windows open.
The service states it does not log connection/session info, but as I uncovered earlier, this is false. Of course, since it is a free service, you do not have to provide a name, email address, and other important personal information.
Is Opera VPN Safe?
As mentioned earlier, Opera VPN is not exactly a virtual-private-network service, but rather a proxy server. While it does provide all the functionality you need from a VPN, the majority of the capability is only restricted to your browser data. This means, the provider only encrypts data transmitted from your web browser and the internet. As a result, the service may not be completely safe.
Opera VPN Customer Support Review
Unfortunately, you do not have many choices for receiving support from Opera VPN. The service does not offer any contact or ticket system. Sadly, the browser has never created a knowledge base for its VPN service either.
This means using Opera VPN is incredibly inconvenient, especially if you encounter a weird error that requires troubleshooting. The only support available is through a FAQs section.
You will receive detailed answers to common questions. That is just about it. Even for the now-defunct Android and iOS apps. You had zero features for contacting the support directly.
Opera VPN Device Compatibility Review
Previously, Opera VPN had its own website, which has now shut down. In April 2018, Opera claimed that their VPN service is now fully owned by SurfEasy, acquired by the browsing company. As such, you no longer have access to extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
Opera VPN has even gone as far as removing their Android and iOS apps from dedicated Google Play and iTunes stores. In simple words, all apps were discontinued on April 30th, leaving only the integrated browser VPN add-on for Windows.
Opera VPN Installation Guide Overview
As mentioned earlier, users who want to use Opera VPN have limited platform options available. They can only use the integrated VPN product on desktop browsers on Windows. Below we highlight the installation process for getting the browser and VPN on Windows:
Opera VPN for Windows
Getting the Opera browser with the integrated VPN app requires no rocket science. The Opera VPN website is no longer operational. As such, you simply have to visit the primary website and click on the “Computer Browsers” tab. Then hit the “Download Now” button!
How to Use Opera VPN
To use the VPN on the Opera browser, all you have to do is install the software. Once done, enable the VPN feature by going to Menu -> Privacy & security -> VPN -> Enable VPN.
This will encrypt all your browser traffic and page requested information, which ensures nobody will be able to track your internet activity.
You can toggle the VPN function off and on by clicking on the small button marked “VPN”. The feature is quite intuitive and does not come with any data limit whatsoever.
The best part of all: you do not have to provide any personal information for using the service. It is a simple install-and-use, which is good enough for an unblocking proxy!
The Android and iOS apps are no longer available. Below is a little information on how they used to be!
Opera VPN for Android
The Opera VPN Android app boasted a very simple and straightforward design. It was very intuitive and user-friendly and offers speed connections.
The logo was different from the Opera Browser’s signature red “O”. It boasted a red Viking helmet instead. Establishing a connection is easy and required a tap on the “connect” button in blue for browsing anonymously.
The Android app also used a remarkable Guardian feature. This would prevent threats from entering your phone or stealing your information.
Upon browsing the internet, users could check and see what threats Guardian has blocked for you. The Android app even had a Wi-Fi security check feature.
Opera VPN APK
Some users reported facing trouble in installing the Opera VPN app on their Android device. An easy solution is to download the APK file separately.
This proves to be quite useful, especially in circumstances where you were more comfortable using an earlier released version of the application. If you want to download the APK file, click on this link.
Opera VPN iOS Review
The Opera VPN iOS app was quite similar to its Android counterpart. The only difference between the two is that the Android version uses iOS app uses IPSec for establishing connections.
Conversely, Android uses the OpenVPN protocol. When you download the app, you will not be required to enter an email address, password, or any other information.
Instead, you have displayed a set of guides in the form of pages. Each page provided information regarding the different features of the service.
If you clicked on settings, users would gain the ability to set the app to launch with system boot or re-launch itself if the application shuts down for any reason.
Opera VPN Review Reddit
My Opera VPN review unveils that the service has a very active presence on Reddit. You can find various threads where users are looking for solutions regarding problems faced with the browser add-ons and smartphone applications.
You have many active community members present for providing solutions to varied issues. Below you can find a thread where users are discussing Opera VPNs action on removing its website and apps, leaving only one Windows browser VPN offering:
In my opinion, the Opera should stop marketing that it offers a “VPN” application. Their confusing terms with SurfEasy are a turn-off, along with the association of a Canadian location.
The last thing anybody needs is logging of their crucial personal data and Canada makes it mandatory! At the same time, you have zero cross-platform compatibility available.
You only have a browser extension available on Windows, which does nobody else good. The only great thing about Opera’s so-called VPN, which is a proxy, is that it can unblock Netflix.
- Intuitive Add-On.
- Unblocks Netflix.
- Free VPN Service.
- Great Connection Speeds.
- Smooth Browsing Experience.
- Poor Customer Support.
- Limited 5 Servers Available.
- No Cross-Platform Compatibility.
- SurfEasy Imposes Bandwidth Limitations.
- Uses Google DNS Servers Instead of Proprietary.