Opera VPN Review 2021: Before You Buy, Is It Worth It?

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Opera VPN Overview June 2021

OperaVPN is a free service — and like most free products, it comes with a catch.

Despite its name, Opera VPN is not a real VPN. It’s a proxy built into the Opera browser that’s also available as a Google Chrome extension. This proxy won’t secure your entire internet connection like a real VPN, only the browser where you have it enabled. It also lacks most security essentials that top-grade VPNs use to keep you safe. Worse, Opera’s browser actually collects your data for ads — that’s how you pay for the “free” service. Although Opera says data is only associated with an anonymous “device ID,” it still puts your privacy at risk.

I also found that Opera VPN is too slow for reliable gaming or streaming, has limited servers, no torrent support, and doesn’t work in China. It’s no surprise — free providers aren’t usually powerful enough for any of these activities.

Opera VPN is free and you don’t need to create an account to use it, so you can easily test it out for yourself as long as you don’t engage in any sensitive activities that may compromise your private data. But to save yourself time and ensure your online privacy, I strongly advise you to try a reliable VPN instead. Not only will it keep you anonymous online, but a top-grade VPN will also perform better in speed, security, and ability to access major streaming platforms.

Don’t Have Time? Here’s a Short Summary (1-Minute Read)

Opera VPN Unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer but Doesn’t Work With Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+

If you often travel abroad or your favorite streaming sites are blocked by a corporate firewall, Opera VPN isn’t the best choice for unblocking content that you pay for. While I was able to log in to Hulu and HBO Max, the VPN was too slow for me to watch any shows or movies. With the Opera Browser proxy, I could stream Netflix US in low resolution, while the OperaVPN Chrome extension worked with BBC iPlayer for my colleague in the UK. 

Though my team and I could use it to stream Netflix and BBC iPlayer during our tests, OperaVPN only let us connect to 3 very general server locations — Americas, Asia, and Europe. This means it won’t help you access a specific country’s library on streaming sites like Netflix or Disney+.

Netflix: Unblocked With Low Video Quality and Unreliable Connections

All the Opera VPN servers I tested managed to unblock Netflix US. This came as a surprise to me because the streaming giant uses powerful technology to detect and block proxy connections. But while I could log in and stream, my video quality was slightly grainy, and some shows took up to a full minute to load. There were also some buffering delays up to 20 seconds or longer, especially if I skipped around to different parts of the video stream.

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

Opera VPN unblocks Netflix, but I encountered buffering and grainy video quality

Some titles were watchable, but I found the video quality too low to tolerate for action films, nature documentaries, and other content that relies on stunning visuals.

Other VPNs can reliably get past location and proxy errors on Netflix while also providing fast enough speeds for lag-free, bufferless streaming. If you want to keep up with your home Netflix library while traveling, I suggest you try CyberGhost’s optimized streaming servers, which give you top speeds for uninterrupted HD video.

BBC iPlayer: Unblocked

My friend in the UK was able to watch several episodes of Luther on BBC iPlayer with OperaVPN’s Chrome extension. I was surprised to learn that he didn’t experience any lag or pixelation during his tests, and only minimal buffering at the beginning of each episode.

Screenshot of Opera VPN accessing Luther on BBC iPlayer

OperaVPN’s Chrome extension successfully accessed BBC iPlayer

That said, he couldn’t connect to the streaming site using the Opera browser proxy, as it didn’t give him a UK-based IP address during his tests.

Hulu and HBO Max: Unblocked, But With Constant Buffering and Errors

Opera VPN unblocked Hulu and HBO Max and let me log in, but with one huge caveat: it was too slow for me to watch anything. Videos wouldn’t load, or I’d get an error screen when I tried to watch something. The few times I got a show to start, constant buffering delays made it impossible to watch anything.

Amazon Prime Video and Disney+: Blocked

Opera VPN didn’t work at all when I tried watching Amazon Prime Video, Disney+. I either couldn’t log in or got proxy VPN errors when I tried to watch anything. To watch TV and movies on these sites, you need a VPN with more powerful servers to bypass these advanced proxy filters.

Sorry, Disney+ is not available in your region.

Instead of wasting your time on these error messages, I suggest you try CyberGhost. The VPN has servers explicitly optimized for major streaming sites like Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. While it’s not free, you can try CyberGhost’s streaming servers without committing to a purchase — it’s easy to get your refund as long as you request it within 45 days. Just remember that while using a VPN doesn’t violate most streaming platforms’ terms of service, unblocking their content from other countries is usually against the rules.


Is Opera VPN Fast? Some Servers Are Lightning-Fast and Others Incredibly Slow

I ran speed tests on different Opera VPN server regions, and my results were inconsistent at best. When you use a VPN, your speed usually drops a bit because your connection gets encrypted and tunneled through another server; the farther the server, the slower the speeds.

My baseline speeds were 137Mbps, but when I tested Opera VPN, servers in my region (Americas) produced only 1Mbps — too slow for anything but basic web browsing and email. This 99% speed drop shocked me, seeing how Opera VPN wasn’t channeling my connection through a VPN protocol and the server was so close to my location. Servers in Asia — which were the farthest from my location and would usually be slowest — were a bit faster than the ones I tried in the Americas region. Meanwhile, servers in Europe gave me higher speeds than what I usually get on my network without a VPN.

I tried running speed tests on Opera VPN’s Chrome extension, but the Ookla Speedtest site wouldn’t load, no matter what server I tried.

Speed Test Results

The average speed I recorded during my tests was 42Mbps, but this number was distorted by extremely slow speeds on some servers and extremely fast speeds on others. Most servers were too slow for high-bandwidth activities like streaming, gaming, or video chat.

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

Usually, my Opera VPN speeds were so slow I could only use it for basic web browsing

While the fastest server outperformed my usual network speeds, most Opera VPN servers slowed down my connection by at least 96%.

I also noticed that the latency, aka ping, was quite high on all three servers. With an average ping of 241ms, OperaVPN is completely unsuitable for online gaming, as high latency causes frequent lags and even disconnects players from the game.

Real VPNs with massive server networks are typically much faster and have low ping, as they take less time to communicate data between you and the server. For example, ExpressVPN never caused a speed drop of more than 35% and had an average ping of 110ms during my tests.

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.


Server Network — Only 3 Locations To Choose From

Opera VPN’s servers come from Surfeasy, a VPN service owned by Norton. Paid Surfeasy subscribers have access to the entire network, but within Opera VPN, you can only choose from 3 broadly defined server regions — Americas, Asia, and Europe. You can click on the blue VPN box to get a dropdown menu with these locations or choose “Optimal Location” to connect to the fastest nearby server.

Screenshot of Opera VPN's virtual location menu

OperaVPN gives you minimal server options

There’s no indication in OperaVPN’s interface of what country you’re connected to. This makes it impractical for many of my favorite VPN uses, like unblocking my local streaming subscriptions when I travel abroad. Given the geographical scope of the 3 regions, you’ll have only the vaguest idea of what country you might be connected to until you check with an online tool.

To try and find out the exact server locations in these regions, I ran a DNS leak test on each available location. Here are the city locations that my tests revealed for each of Opera VPN’s servers:

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

I’m not sure if these tests are enough to pinpoint the precise locations of OperaVPN’s servers. If Opera uses virtual servers, it could switch locations at any time, so your test results may differ from mine.

In Opera VPN’s Chrome extension, I found a slightly broader selection of servers and country-level information. Here are the locations you can access through the Chrome extension:

  • US — 3 servers
  • UK — 3 servers
  • Canada — 2 servers
  • France — 1 server
  • Germany — 1 server

Despite the somewhat larger server selection in its extension for Google Chrome, Opera VPN’s server limitations were still disappointing. The best VPNs for Windows and other devices have hundreds or thousands of servers, and most let you pick individual countries and cities.

Security — Passed DNS Leak Tests but Lacks Advanced Security Features

OperaVPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, which provides data protection that’s almost unbreakable even by governments. However, OperaVPN doesn’t channel your connection through a tunneling protocol like OpenVPN or IKEv2. Most VPNs use these secure protocols to further shield your data from prying eyes and sneak around firewalls. Opera VPN, however, relies on HTTPS over TLS 1.3 — the same protocol used by millions of websites to communicate sensitive data.

To see if my data really stayed private with Opera VPN, I tested for DNS leaks. This looked for instances of my actual location and IP address becoming visible to third parties, like administrators on websites I visit. After I connected to a server in Asia, I was relieved that my DNS test only found IP addresses associated with Opera VPN. The Chrome extension replicated this result when I tested each of its 10 servers, too — not a single server caused a DNS request leak that would expose my IP address.

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 aren’t the only fault that can reveal your IP address. For instance, many browsers and messaging apps rely on WebRTC for their real-time communication capabilities, such as voice or video. Unfortunately, a protocol used by WebRTC makes it easy for malicious third parties to detect your IP address. To see if OperaVPN would compromise my IP address this way, I ran a WebRTC leak test. I’m happy to report that OperaVPN kept my IP address hidden.

Screenshot of OperaVPN passing WebRTC leak test

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

Sadly, Opera VPN’s Chrome extension failed my WebRTC leak test on each of its available servers, meaning you shouldn’t trust the tool to mask your IP address on Google Chrome.

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. Both the Opera browser proxy and the Opera VPN Chrome extension pleasantly surprised me by keeping my IPv6 address hidden.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any advanced security functions with Opera VPN. There’s no perfect forward secrecy, no choice of tunneling protocols, IP switching, or obfuscation to hide VPN traffic — all essential features that premium VPNs commonly have. Opera VPN’s bare-bones approach doesn’t give you anything to work with other than encrypted servers in the 3 general regions.

Another major security disadvantage to Opera VPN is that it’s actually a proxy, which means it encrypts only your browser traffic. Banking apps, torrent software, and other programs won’t be protected even while you’re connected.

Privacy — Collects Data for Ads and Has No Kill Switch to Keep You Anonymous

VPNs are supposed to protect your privacy, so I was glad to learn that Opera VPN’s privacy policy vows never to log any of your online activities.

Screenshot of Opera's privacy policy showing the VPN doesn't record logs

According to Opera’s privacy policy, its VPN doesn’t record your online activities

However, the no-logs policy only applies to Opera VPN itself, not the Opera browser you must use to take advantage of the proxy tool. The Opera browser’s privacy policy fully admits to logging personal data. The policy states that you’re assigned a device ID when you create your account, and Opera may track this ID to gather data about you when you use the browser. The company then utilizes this data to track ad campaigns’ performance. While there is a link to instructions on how to opt out of this program, it’s terrible for privacy that your web activities could be collected for Opera’s international marketing partners.

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’s policy reveals another worrying detail — Opera applications contain code from third parties like Facebook, Google, Yandex, which use their code to collect Opera users’ data. As Opera’s privacy policy explains, these third-party partners become “data controllers”— by definition, it means that they can decide how your personal data will be used.

Screenshot of Opera's privacy policy disclosing data collection by third parties

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

To determine the local data retention and web surveillance laws that Opera VPN is subject to, I tried to find out where the company is headquartered. Sadly, Opera’s true location is impossible to pinpoint. The Opera website lists its headquarters in Norway (with satellite offices in Poland and China), but its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy state that the company — Opera Unite Pte. Ltd — is based in Singapore. Adding to the confusion is a Terms of Service clause stating that the terms are subject to the laws of England and Wales. If that’s not puzzling enough, Opera is owned by Golden Brick Capital Private Equity Fund PLC, a Chinese company, while its proxy uses servers from Surfeasy, a Canadian-based VPN.

This confusing structure makes it difficult to understand what jurisdiction your data is subject to when you use the Opera browser and VPN, and the lack of clarity leaves a lot to worry about. Opera’s logging practices can tie your identity to your activities, and Opera may be compelled to share this information with law enforcement in any of the countries where the company has a presence.

And if you think that Singapore’s relatively strong privacy laws will protect you, think again. Opera’s privacy policy states that your personal data may be shared with partners outside of Singapore.

Screenshot of Opera's policy on international data transfers

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

Another privacy concern with Opera VPN is that it doesn’t have a kill switch. Should you lose your connection for any reason, a kill switch instantly shuts off your internet. This way, none of your private data (like your location or online activities) leak out due to a VPN crash or server issue. Without a kill switch, it’s only a matter of time before your data leaks.

Opera VPN’s only redeeming quality is that it doesn’t collect your email, name, or other information that could identify you unless you choose to create an Opera browser account.

Still, you can’t use Opera VPN without using the Opera browser, which logs personal data, shares users’ information with advertisers, and doesn’t have clear jurisdiction. As a privacy-minded user, I prefer VPNs that log no data at all, like ExpressVPN. Its zero-logs policy has been verified by a third-party audit, so I know it’s got more weight to it than just empty words. The VPN’s commitment to privacy was also displayed when Turkish police seized ExpressVPN’s server in an effort to find user logs — and found none.

Torrenting — Not Supported

Although it’s based in torrent-friendly Norway, you can’t use Opera VPN to secure P2P file sharing over BitTorrent clients like uTorrent. That’s because it’s not a real VPN, but a browser proxy that only secures your Opera browser (or your Chrome sessions, if you’re using the Chrome extension). Even if you could torrent with Opera VPN, the company’s logging practices, unclear jurisdiction, and lack of a kill switch would pose a privacy risk to your online safety and anonymity.

To torrent safely and anonymously, you need a real VPN that can secure your entire internet connection against malware and malicious third parties. Instead of wasting your time on Opera VPN, I suggest you try CyberGhost’s dedicated torrenting servers that will help you download large files quickly and securely. The VPN is also based in Romania, a country with no data collection laws.

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? Not Likely

I can’t say for sure whether OperaVPN works in China, since I don’t live there and can’t test it myself. However, my teammate tests VPNs there regularly, and OperaVPN isn’t on his list of VPNs that work in China.

Even if Opera VPN did work in China, I wouldn’t recommend using it there. Seeing how the Opera browser identifies users’ devices and logs and tracks their activities, I wouldn’t feel comfortable using it in a country with mass internet surveillance.

What’s more, Opera is owned by a Beijing-based consortium, which is subject to Chinese electronic surveillance laws. If the company was forced to cooperate with local law enforcement there and hand over your data, it would have no choice but to comply.

I also wouldn’t recommend using Opera VPN in Hong Kong, since Chinese security laws now extend to the administrative region.

That said, there haven’t been any reports of Chinese law enforcement apprehending tourists or visitors for VPN use. Instead, the country’s authorities fight unauthorized VPN access with advanced technology that identifies and blocks VPN connections. Still, the protection of a VPN doesn’t give you the right to commit illegal acts, so please be mindful of local laws if you do use a VPN while in China.

Server Locations

United States

User Experience8.0

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

As totally free software, you can use Opera VPN on all the devices you want. You don’t need to create an account or log in; all you have to do is download the Opera web browser and activate the VPN. However, for a provider that lets you connect on unlimited devices and offers much stronger privacy and security than Opera VPN, I recommend IPVanish. Its user-friendly VPN kept me completely anonymous online and helped me unblock major streaming sites on unlimited devices during my tests.

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

You can install Opera VPN on most desktop devices that support Opera browser version 38 or later. These include:

  • Windows 7 and up
  • macOS X El Capitan 10.11+
  • Linux 64-bit Ubuntu 16.04 or later

In the past, Opera had standalone VPN apps for Android and iOS devices. Since Opera got rid of these apps, you can only get the browser proxy on Android 7.1+ devices, whereas Opera browser for iOS doesn’t come with the VPN feature. Just remember, since Opera VPN is a proxy, it won’t protect your entire connection — only your activities on the Opera browser. For example, using a messaging app on your Android while Opera VPN is open won’t encrypt your messages. Only your activities within the Opera browser will be sent through the VPN server. You’ll have to get a real VPN for your Android device if you want to secure all your apps and activities.

Ease of Set-Up & Installation — Easy to Install and Get Started

Regardless of what kind of device you use, Opera VPN is safe and easy to install via the free Opera web browser.

Anytime I install a new app, I like to scan the installation file with the malware screening tool at VirusTotal. Though there’s no such file for Opera VPN itself, I scanned the Opera browser installation file, and found no hidden malware.

Screenshot of a malware scan showing no viruses found on Opera's installation file

I was happy to learn that Opera’s installation file is malware-free

Though the Opera browser and VPN setup is equally simple on all devices, there are some differences between the desktop and mobile setup steps:

Desktop Setup

  1. Download the Opera browser from Opera.com or the Apple App Store if you have a Mac.
  2. Open Opera and navigate to www.addons.opera.com.
  3. In the search bar, enter “VPN,” then select “Opera Free VPN” in the results.
  4. Click the green button to add the VPN to Opera.
    Screenshot of the Opera VPN add-on website
  5. Connect by clicking the small blue “VPN” button that appears on the left side of the address bar.
    Screenshot of the Opera VPN search bar

Mobile Setup

  1. Download the Opera browser from Google Play or Apple App stores.
  2. Open Opera and tap the “O” icon in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap “Settings”.
    Screenshot of the Android Opera browser settings menu showing the VPN option enabled

  4. Turn on the VPN with the button in the menu.
  5. Start a private session and browse like you usually would.
    Opera review

Opera VPN’s interfaces are incredibly straightforward and similar on both desktop and mobile versions, so if you’ve used the Windows version, the macOS app will be familiar (and vice-versa).

The Android version feels much like the desktop apps and has the exact same limited selection of servers. The default setting has the VPN working only in private tabs, but you can change this setting and enable the VPN in any tab you open.

If you have any technical problems, try restarting the browser or disconnecting and then connecting to your chosen server in a different region. If the VPN still doesn’t work, try reinstalling the browser and VPN from scratch.


There is no real support for Opera VPN — only an FAQ, a forum, and online bug reporting tool. The FAQ has only 4 questions addressing the VPN, and these cover only the bare essentials.

Screenshot of Opera VPN FAQs

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

While I found a forum where users can discuss a range of browser-related topics, there weren’t any questions or answers specifically about the VPN. There’s also a suggestion form if you think of features you want to be included in future updates.

Screenshot of Opera VPN's online bug reporting and suggestion page

I was disappointed that other than FAQs and suggestions, Opera VPN has no support

I reported a bug to test the response time, and after a whole week, I still haven’t gotten a reply. While the delay didn’t matter since it was a bug report and not a support question, I was disappointed by how long it took to hear back from 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.


It’s Free, but It’s Not Worth Your Time

You don’t have to pay to use Opera VPN, but you also don’t get most of the standard features a real VPN would give you. It’s a proxy that calls itself a VPN, and all it’s really good for is spoofing your IP address.

Also, any time a service is “free,” it means your data is probably being collected for advertising so the company can make money. Opera VPN is no different, collecting data for “promotional campaigns” that it offers on its own and through its partners. This means you “pay” for Opera VPN by letting the browser monetize you through data collection.

Even though it costs money, a premium service like IPVanish is still really affordable — and it’s committed to a zero-logs policy. IPVanish has incredibly fast speeds and reliable connections with solid encryption. It also has broad device compatibility, and you can connect to unlimited devices, which is a great bonus. If you want to try IPVanish’s affordable plans risk-free, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you use it with no commitment. If you aren’t happy with it, you can just get your money back.

Opera VPN offers the following plans

Final Verdict

Like most free VPNs, Opera VPN is tempting — but it has too many problems for me to recommend it.

This browser proxy has some attractive features, like unlimited data usage, military-grade encryption for your browser, the ability to access some streaming sites, and decent speeds.

However, remember that Opera VPN isn’t a VPN at all — it’s just a proxy that only secures your browser, but leaves the rest of your apps exposed to prying eyes and cybercrime. It doesn’t use a tunnelling protocol, has no kill switch, and there’s no meaningful support for you if you ever get stuck. You also can’t rely on Opera VPN to keep you safe while torrenting.

And while you can use Opera VPN to stream Netflix, you may not be able to access your country’s library because Opera VPN only has 3 server locations without country-specific data.

What’s worse, to support its “free” business model, Opera collects your data for advertising and shares it with partners like Facebook and Google. This means you “pay” for the VPN by letting the browser monetize you through data collection.

That’s why I still recommend a paid provider like CyberGhost. It’s super-fast, so you can use it for high-bandwidth activities like streaming and torrenting, and its huge network gives you access to a global selection of servers. Best of all, you can try CyberGhost with zero risk to stay safe online and just get a refund if you don’t think it’s a good value.

FAQs About Opera VPN

Is Opera VPN any good?

OperaVPN is a good choice if you’re looking for a simple, free proxy service, but not ideal if you need a VPN for privacy, security, torrenting, or streaming. 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. If you’re looking for a good balance between speed, privacy, security, and access to streaming sites, I recommend you try ExpressVPN instead. Its policies and facilities were audited by an independent third party, confirming it really records zero data and keeps you anonymous online. ExpressVPN also provides consistently high speeds on all its servers and works with most popular streaming sites. If you’re not sure that it’s worth the money, you can try ExpressVPN yourself and test all its features risk-free for 30 days, as the VPN offers a money-back guarantee.

Can I get Opera VPN for free?

Yes, Opera VPN is free to use. 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. Some free VPNs are pretty good, but they’re only usable for basic email and web browsing. Since they have limited features, few servers, slow speeds, annoying ads, and other restrictions, the majority of them aren’t worth it (and some can expose you to scams or malware).

Is Opera VPN safe?

Opera VPN lacks security basics like a kill switch, tunneling protocols, and perfect forward secrecy, so it may not keep you safe and private when you use the web. It’s also not a real VPN, so it cannot secure your entire internet connection and all your apps. What’s more, Opera has an ambiguous privacy policy that says the browser may track some of your data. 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. Because of Opera’s complex corporate structure, it’s unclear what country’s jurisdiction governs its privacy practices.

To stay safe online, you need a VPN that takes privacy seriously. For a trustworthy zero-logs provider that doesn’t track you in any way, I recommend CyberGhost. In addition to robust security and privacy features, it’s also way faster than Opera VPN and protects all your devices (not just your web browser). You can try CyberGhost’s NoSpy servers commitment-free for 45 days, so there’s no risk of comparing it to Opera VPN and seeing which you like best.

Try Opera VPN for yourself

Important to know

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Contact Details

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Compare with Alternatives

9.9 / 10
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Opera VPN
4.2  / 10

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