Opera VPN
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Content: Our Score:
Speed 1.0 / 10
Servers 2.0 / 10
User Experience 8.0 / 10
Support 2.0 / 10
Pricing 9.0 / 10
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Opera VPN Review 2024: Is This Free VPN Safe?

Opera VPN Overview

Opera has recently unveiled the Opera VPN Pro, a premium VPN service that boasts a higher degree of functionality as compared to the prior free VPN service offered by the company. To validate these claims, I conducted a comprehensive evaluation of OperaVPN Pro by testing its various features, including its speed and its ability to unblock popular streaming platforms.

Upon conducting thorough evaluations, it became evident that Opera Pro lacks sufficient security measures and exhibits fluctuating performance levels. The results of my tests also revealed that Opera VPN is inadequate for dependable gaming or streaming, as it has a limited number of servers. Furthermore, there is a likelihood that it may compromise one’s privacy.

You can assess the efficiency of Opera Pro before commitment try utilizing the company’s 30-day money-back guarantee trial period. If you are looking for a more efficient and secure way to protect your online privacy, I suggest considering other reputable VPN options.

Don’t Have Time? Here’s a 1-Minute Summary

Opera VPN Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max (But Can’t Access Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, or BBC iPlayer)

During my testing, I observed that Opera Pro VPN delivered mixed results when it came to bypassing restrictions on streaming services. It successfully provided access to popular platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. However, it faced challenges in unblocking Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. This variation can be explained by the continuous efforts of streaming services to prevent VPN usage in order to protect their content. As a result, the effectiveness of Opera Pro VPN varied depending on the specific streaming service.

Regarding streaming quality, the performance was subpar across all platforms, with the exception of Netflix US, which was accessible without any issues. It’s also worth mentioning that Opera VPN’s limited server options may pose challenges when attempting to access specific country libraries on streaming platforms.

Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max: Unblocked

Following a comprehensive evaluation of Opera VPN US servers, the results showed that each one effectively unblocked Netflix US. This ensured a seamless log-in process and the ability to stream content without interruption. Although, it was noted that the video quality was slightly impaired, exhibiting a grainy appearance.

Screenshot of Opera VPN open while Orange is the New Black streams on Netflix

Opera VPN unblocks Netflix, but you might encounter buffering and grainy video quality

Opera VPN offers you the chance to access content from platforms like Hulu and HBO Max. Yet, in our testing, we encountered issues where videos struggled to load correctly and frequently showed error messages. Even when a show managed to launch and begin, the consistent buffering posed challenges to enjoying the content seamlessly.

Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer: Blocked

When the VPN tried to access a BBC iPlayer account using Opera VPN, it had a problem. The free version of Opera VPN does not have a server in the United Kingdom, which was the cause of the issue. One can upgrade to the pro version, which offers a UK server, but even with this upgrade OperaVPN can’t access the platform.

In addition to BBC iPlayer, Opera VPN was also ineffective when trying to watch Amazon Prime Video or Disney+. There were login issues and proxy VPN errors, making it impossible to watch any content on these platforms.

Sorry, Disney+ is not available in your region.

If a smooth streaming experience is important to you, I would highly recommend trying CyberGhost. This VPN has servers that are specifically optimized for popular streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer, ensuring that you have a satisfying viewing experience.

Speed

- 1.0 / 10

Some Servers Are Lightning-Fast and Others Incredibly Slow

I conducted a series of speed tests on different server regions within Opera VPN, and the results were not reliable. The closest server location to me (Americas) resulted in a 99% reduction in my speed, as did the Optimal Location option. On the other hand, distant servers in Europe and Asia produced speeds that were only 15% slower than my internet service provider.

Speed Test Results

The average speed I measured during my experiments was 42 Mbps, however, this value was influenced by extreme variations in speed across different servers. Most servers were not capable of providing sufficient bandwidth for activities such as streaming, gaming, and video chat.

In my tests, I first recorded my speed without using a VPN and then compared it to the speeds I obtained while connecting to 4 different server locations. The Optimal Location option turned out to be the slowest, followed by the server closest to me in the Americas. Interestingly, the servers in Asia and Europe were only slightly slower compared to my network speed without a VPN, despite being located on the other side of the world from me.

Screenshot of 4 speed tests while Opera VPN is connected to servers in the US, Europe, and Asia

My Opera VPN speeds were mostly so slow I could only use it for basic web browsing

The latency on all four servers I tested was found to be unacceptably high. A high ping indicates a slow transmission time between your computer and the VPN server, leading to lagging during online gaming or streaming activities. With an average ping of 153.5ms, Opera VPN was found to be inadequate for online gaming as it resulted in frequent delays and disconnections.

In my assessment of the VPN performance, the fastest server proved to surpass my normal network speed, however, a significant majority of Opera VPN servers demonstrated a significant decrease in connection speed by a minimum of 96%. In contrast, real VPNs, particularly those with substantial server networks, demonstrate a marked improvement in speed. As a point of reference, ExpressVPN consistently demonstrated a speed reduction of no more than 35% during my evaluation.

Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.

Servers

- 2.0 / 10

Server Network — Supports 30+ Locations

Opera VPN Pro presents a comprehensive network of servers across 30+ countries with a total of over 3,000 servers. Prior to 2017, Opera VPN Pro outsourced the management of its VPN component to SurfEasy, a subsidiary located in Canada. However, after the acquisition of SurfEasy by Norton in 2017, Opera VPN Pro has taken on the responsibility of managing the project internally.

Individuals who subscribe to the paid service of Opera VPN Pro are provided access to all servers within the network. The servers have been strategically placed in five regions: Asia, The Americas, Europe, The Middle East, and Oceania, with Europe boasting the highest concentration of servers. In comparison to other prominent VPN providers, such as Cyberghost which offers server access in 11,676+ countries, this particular offering may seem limited.

Opera VPN’s free service provides a connection to servers located in three broad regions – The Americas, Asia, and Europe. However, the user interface does not display the exact country to which the connection is established. This absence of information can make it difficult to identify the specific location without utilizing an external online tool.

To determine the specific locations of Opera VPN’s free servers, I conducted a DNS leak test for each region. The results of my test revealed the following city locations for Opera VPN’s servers:

  • Americas server — Washington, US
  • Europe server — Groningen, Netherlands
  • Asia server — Singapore

Screenshot of Opera VPN's virtual location menu

Opera VPN’s free version gives you minimal server options

It is crucial to understand that the results obtained may not reflect complete accuracy due to the utilization of virtual servers by Opera VPN. Virtual servers enable the ability to alter their locations dynamically. As a result, it is feasible for the results of my experiment to vary from those that you may obtain.

Opera VPN offers an innovative feature known as “Optimal Location” that automatically determines the fastest server in proximity to the user. My check on the company’s security showed that it uses Google’s DNS instead of having its own. This makes me wonder about how they handle our information and if they keep our information private. It’s important to think about this when we look at the services Opera VPN offers.

Security — Passed DNS Leak Tests but Lacks Advanced Security Features

My evaluation of Opera VPN revealed that it lacks advanced security measures. This includes missing features such as Perfect Forward Secrecy, various tunneling protocols, IP switching, and the ability to conceal VPN traffic. Furthermore, Opera VPN operates as a proxy that only encrypts web browser traffic, leaving other programs like banking apps and torrent software unsecured. The absence of a kill switch also poses a security risk as sensitive information may become susceptible to compromise in the event of a VPN connection failure.

Opera VPN offers a few fundamental security features, including:

  • AES encryption – Opera VPN has employed the use of AES 256-bit encryption, a method of encryption considered to be of the highest security standard. The utilization of this method is commonplace among military organizations, and it is deemed to be uncrackable even by government intelligence agencies.
  • HTTPS, IKEv2, and OpenVPN protocol – the Opera VPN Pro desktop version uses a protocol called IKEv2, which is not as strong as the standard OpenVPN. However, the Android version uses the better OpenVPN protocol, so it’s recommended. The free version of Opera VPN uses HTTPS over TLS 1.3 to keep information secure, which is a commonly employed technique for websites.
  • Built-In Ad-Blocker – this feature is turned off when you first use Opera but can easily be turned on or off from the “Settings” menu. The purpose of this feature is to block any advertisements that might be intrusive or disruptive to your browsing experience.

I conducted a DNS leak test on Opera VPN to ensure that my personal data remained private. This test checked for any instances where my actual location and IP address were visible to external parties, such as website administrators. After connecting to a server in Asia, I was pleased to find that the DNS test only revealed IP addresses associated with Opera VPN, indicating that my data was indeed secure.

Screenshot of DNS leak test results showing no leaks while connected to Opera VPN

I tested for DNS leaks, and only Opera VPN’s servers appeared, meaning my real IP stayed hidden

DNS leaks are not the only way that your IP address can be exposed. Some common browsers and messaging apps use a technology called WebRTC for real-time communication features like voice or video. To check if Opera VPN would also expose my IP address through this protocol, I ran a WebRTC leak test. I am pleased to report that Opera VPN successfully kept my IP address hidden.

Screenshot of WebRTC leak test results showing no leaks while connected to Opera VPN

Opera VPN didn’t reveal my IP address during a WebRTC leak test

Finally, I performed an IPv6 leak test to determine if Opera VPN could still hide my IP address when using the Internet Protocol’s newest version. Opera VPN pleasantly surprised me by keeping my IPv6 address hidden.

Privacy — Collects Data and Has a Complex Organizational Structure

The Opera browser claims to have a no-log policy, but its privacy statement contradicts this statement. Despite Opera’s VPN service claiming to keep your browsing history, search queries, and other data private and secure, it assigns a unique device identification number to each account. This allows Opera to collect and track data on the user and the performance of advertising campaigns.

While you have the option to opt out of this program, it’s important to note that web activity can still be monitored and shared with Opera’s marketing partners, even with a VPN enabled. This raises questions about the level of privacy protection offered by the Opera browser.

Screenshot of Opera VPN's privacy policy's

Although Opera VPN’s data collection is anonymous, I prefer VPNs that don’t track me at all

Opera permits third-party entities, such as Facebook, Google, and Yandex, to integrate their code into Opera’s applications. This integration enables these companies to collect data from Opera’s users. According to Opera’s privacy policy, these third-party companies are categorized as “data controllers,” which grants them the authority to determine the utilization of personal data. This situation raises concerns as it highlights potential weaknesses in safeguarding users’ personal information.

Screenshot of Opera VPN's privacy policy's saying third parties have access to your data

By using the Opera browser, you’re trusting companies like Facebook, Google, and Yandex with your privacy

Opera VPN’s privacy policy is complicated due to its complex structure, making it unclear what laws the company is subject to for data retention and web surveillance. The company has headquarters listed in Norway but is officially based in Singapore and subject to the laws of England and Wales. It is owned by a Chinese company and uses servers from a Canadian-based VPN provider, potentially subjecting it to multiple countries’ laws. Opera may be required to share data with law enforcement from the 9 Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, and its privacy policy states that personal data may be shared with partners outside of Singapore.

Screenshot of Opera VPN's privacy policy's

Opera can share your personal data with its partners outside of Singapore

In the year 2016, a breach occurred in Opera’s synchronization service resulting in the exposure of sensitive information belonging to over 1.7 million users, including passwords and login details. Hence, it is imperative to exercise caution when sharing personal information with a VPN provider. As a privacy-focused individual, I choose VPN services that do not retain records of my data. ExpressVPN is a trustworthy and dependable option as it has been verified to abide by a strict no-logging policy.

Torrenting — Not Supported

Opera VPN Pro’s poor speed hindered my ability to download any torrents. Additionally, the VPN’s logging practices, unclear jurisdiction, and lack of a kill switch pose a significant risk to your online privacy and anonymity.

If you want to download torrents anonymously and safely, it’s important to have a VPN that can protect your entire internet connection from malware and third-party threats. Instead of using Opera VPN, which may not provide adequate security, it’s a safer bet to go with CyberGhost. This VPN has dedicated servers specifically designed for torrenting, which allows for fast and secure downloading of large files.

Just remember that downloading copyrighted material is still illegal in many countries, even if you torrent with a VPN. To avoid criminal and civil penalties, only download content that’s in the public domain.

Does Opera VPN Work in China? No!

Opera VPN Pro’s reliability for internet access in China is uncertain due to the lack of necessary security features to bypass China’s firewall. I attempted to contact Opera’s customer support for further information on its effectiveness in China, but no response was received.

Even if Opera VPN were to function properly in China, I would not recommend using it due to the fact that the Opera browser tracks and logs users’ device activity. This would make me uncomfortable using it in a country with such extensive internet surveillance.

Additionally, Opera is owned by a Beijing-based consortium, which is subject to Chinese electronic surveillance laws. This means that if the company were to be forced by local law enforcement to release user data, they would be obligated to comply.

Chinese authorities do not typically arrest tourists or visitors for using VPNs, but they do use advanced technology to detect and block unauthorized VPN connections. It is important to note that even if you are using a VPN for protection, it does not give you the right to break local laws. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of and abide by Chinese laws while using a VPN in the country.

User Experience

- 8.0 / 10

Simultaneous Device Connections — Use Opera VPN on as Many Devices as You Want

Opera VPN Pro and the free version offer differing levels of access and security. The Pro version allows for 6 simultaneous devices and requires users to create an account and log in. Meanwhile, the free version can be utilized on an unlimited number of devices with no account or login necessary and can be activated simply by downloading the Opera web browser.

I recommend considering Cyberghost if you’re after a more comprehensive VPN experience. This provider offers advanced privacy and security features and allows for connection on 7 devices. In my experience, Cyberghost’s user-friendly VPN effectively shielded my online identity and provided access to popular streaming sites.

Device Compatibility — Works on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android

Opera VPN Pro is a multifaceted application that can be utilized on multiple device platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It is crucial to acknowledge that the free version operates as a proxy exclusively, thus only providing security to browsing activities conducted within the Opera browser.

Ease of Setup & Installation — Easy to Install and Get Started

The Opera VPN is a straightforward application that can be easily installed via the free Opera web browser. To ensure proper the functioning of the VPN, it is crucial to only browse the web through private tabs. To initiate a private session, simply tap the zoom-out button and select “Private”.

In the event of encountering technical difficulties while using the application, restarting the browser or switching to a different server located in a different region can resolve issues. If the VPN continues to malfunction, reinstalling both the browser and VPN from the beginning should resolve the problem.

Steps to Installing Opera VPN on Windows

  1. Visit the Opera website. Both the free and Pro versions require the Opera browser to be installed, but only the Pro versions can be used independently without the browser.
    Screenshot of the Opera VPN website's subscription page
  2. Download Opera VPN. Upon signing up, an email with the Opera VPN software download link will be sent to you. Simply click on the link to start the download process and then follow the installation instructions to have it installed on your device.
    Screenshot of the Opera VPN download page
  3. Enable VPN. From the menu, select “Settings” and then “Privacy & Security”. In this section, you will see the option to enable VPN. Turn it on by clicking the toggle switch.
    Screenshot of the Opera VPN search bar
  4. Choose a server. With the VPN enabled, you can now choose a server to connect to. You can select a server from the list provided or choose the “Best Location” option to automatically connect to the fastest server.
  5. Verify the connection. Once you have selected a server, you will see a notification that your VPN connection is active. You can verify this by checking the VPN icon in the upper left corner of the browser.
  6. Enjoy secure browsing. With the VPN connection established, you can now enjoy secure browsing with increased privacy and security.

Support

- 2.0 / 10

Opera provides a comprehensive support service that includes a live chat option (only available for the Pro version), a contact form, a forum, and a knowledge base. The support team available through the live chat function is well-informed and equipped to provide assistance. However, their accessibility is confined to the hours between 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday.

I encountered difficulties in locating the contact form section on the Opera website due to the centralized integration of all Opera’s offerings. Despite my efforts, I was unable to receive a response from the support department after submitting inquiries through the form.

The knowledge base serves as a centralized source for general information, including FAQs, setup guides, and account and billing details. While the section does offer several articles, it should be noted that the level of detail provided may not meet all expectations.

Screenshot of Opera VPN FAQs
You won’t find Opera VPN FAQs very helpful if you have a technical query

The forum on the website presents an opportunity for you to engage in discussions regarding browser-related topics. However, there are currently no specific discussions or questions regarding Opera VPN.

How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.

Pricing

- 9.0 / 10

Opera VPN Pro offers three pricing plans – monthly, semi-annual, and annual. Despite the affordability of Opera VPN Pro, particularly in its long-term plan, it falls behind premium VPN services in terms of functionality and features. Additionally, Opera VPN offers a free version, which is restricted to three proxy locations and fails to secure the user’s data beyond the confines of the Opera browser.

To help you decide, Opera VPN provides a 7-day free trial as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can evaluate the service during the trial period at no cost to you and then make a well-informed choice. In the unlikely event that you are dissatisfied with the service after purchase, you may request a refund within 30 days of the purchase.

Opera VPN Pro currently only accepts payment via credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, etc.). The addition of support for PayPal and cryptocurrencies would be a huge plus for Opera VPN, as these payment options provide enhanced security for customer data.

You should check out one of our monthly top VPNs that offers excellent value for your money if you want a service that is both highly secure and up-to-date. All of them come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test them out risk-free.

Opera VPN offers the following plans

1-Month plan
 
$7.99
per month
 
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1-Year plan
$7.99
$3.99
per month
Save 50%
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Save 50%
6-Month plan
$7.99
$4.99
per month
Save 38%
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Save 38%

Final Verdict

The free version of Opera VPN is primarily designed to offer rudimentary VPN capabilities. Its usage is limited to the Opera web browser and employs an insecure protocol while providing a meager selection of server options. Furthermore, the software retains logs of user data, which it monetizes through its free service, by sharing it with entities like Facebook and Google for advertising purposes. Nevertheless, it does offer unrestricted data usage and the ability to connect with an infinite number of devices.

Opera VPN Pro, in contrast, provides an elevated suite of features, comprising expanded server choices, preference-based location selection, system-wide encryption, US Netflix accessibility, and rapid connectivity to nearby servers. Unfortunately, it does restrict concurrent connections to a maximum of 6 and lacks the imperative kill switch security feature.

Based on the factors mentioned above, I highly recommend going for a top VPN service such as ExpressVPN as it offers high speeds and is great for activities that require a lot of data, like streaming and torrenting. What’s more, you can buy ExpressVPN in confidence thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to get a full refund if it fails to meet your expectations.

FAQs About Opera VPN

Is Opera VPN good?

Opera VPN is too slow and bare-bones to be a good VPN. It only protects your web browsing activity (not your entire device) and collects anonymous data for advertising. Its lack of features and streaming capabilities makes it useless for most online activities.

Can I use Opera VPN for free?

Yes, Opera VPN has a free version to use within its web browser. However, you get what you pay for — it has slow speeds, limited servers, no extra features, and might not keep your data safe or private. Free VPNs, while suitable for rudimentary internet activities such as email and web browsing, are inadequate due to their limited functionality, inadequate server infrastructure, subpar speeds, intrusive advertising, and imposed restrictions. Therefore, it can be logically inferred that the majority of these VPNs do not provide sufficient benefits to justify their use. However, there are some reliable, yet free VPN options worthy of consideration.

Is Opera VPN really safe?

Opera VPN itself isn’t unsafe, but it may not keep you anonymous when you use the web. It has an ambiguous privacy policy that says the browser may track some of your data anonymously. This defeats the purpose of a VPN and puts your online privacy at risk, especially since it isn’t clear with whom the data will be shared.
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