Opera VPN’s standalone Android and iOS apps are no longer available, but its built-in browser VPN boasts military-grade encryption, a no-logs policy, and unlimited data usage. Best of all, Opera VPN is absolutely free. But since most free products come with a catch, I decided to test Opera VPN and see if all these intriguing features are too good to be true.
After extensive testing, I learned that Opera VPN provides limited protection, has inconsistent speeds, and may even compromise your privacy. First, I was disappointed to learn that Opera VPN doesn’t protect your entire internet connection like most VPNs would. It’s built into the Opera browser, and only secures your browsing sessions there. This means that Opera VPN leaves all your other apps’ data exposed to your ISP, government, and hackers.
Worse, I found that 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.
My tests also showed 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.
On the upside, Opera VPN is free and you don’t need to create an account to use it. You can easily test Opera VPN 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.
After trying to access several popular streaming platforms with Opera VPN, I can’t recommend it as a good choice for streaming.
While top VPNs offer thousands of servers across hundreds of locations, Opera VPN only has 4 servers from which to choose — Americas, Asia, and Europe. This means it won’t help you access a specific country’s library on streaming sites like Netflix or Disney+. For example, my fellow VPN reviewer in the UK couldn’t select a UK server, so he wasn’t able to access BBC iPlayer.
What’s worse, I couldn’t use Opera VPN to stream several popular sites, either because I was locked out altogether or because the streaming quality was so poor. Netflix US was the only platform I could watch without errors or excessive buffering, but there were still delays and the resolution was too low for enjoyable streaming.
Since Opera VPN only protects your session on the Opera browser, you wouldn’t be able to use Opera VPN with streaming apps, smart TVs, or gaming consoles. This was a very annoying limitation for me because I typically stream on my Fire TV Stick, not on my laptop.
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 VPN 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.
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, buffer-free 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.
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.
My fellow reviewer in the UK couldn’t connect to BBC iPlayer using Opera VPN. It’s no surprise — Opera VPN doesn’t offer the option to use a server in the UK, and the “Europe” server gave my teammate a Dutch IP address.
Opera VPN didn’t work at all when I tried watching Amazon Prime Video or 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 sites’ advanced VPN-blocking technology.
Instead of wasting your time on these error messages, I suggest you try CyberGhost. It 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.
I ran speed tests on different Opera VPN server regions, and my results were inconsistent at best. My closest server location (Americas) reduced my speed by 99%, as did the Optimal Location option. In contrast, faraway servers in Europe and Asia gave me speeds that were only 15% lower than what I get from my ISP.
When you use a VPN, your speed usually drops a bit because your connection gets encrypted and tunneled through another server. Typically, the farther the server, the slower the speeds.
During my tests, I recorded my speed without a VPN, then compared it to the speed test results I got while connected to each of the 4 server locations. These are the results:
|Connected to||Download Speed||Speed Drop||Ping|
|No VPN (baseline)||325Mbps||n/a||46ms|
The Optimal Location option was the slowest, followed by the server that’s technically closest to me, in the Americas. Surprisingly, servers in Asia and Europe were only slightly slower than my network speed without a VPN — despite being halfway across the globe from me.
I also noticed that the latency, aka ping, was quite high on all 4 servers. High ping means that it takes long for the signal to travel between your computer and the VPN server and back, and you can expect lagging when gaming online or streaming. With an average ping of 153.5ms, Opera VPN is completely unsuitable for online gaming, as the high ping causes frequent delays and even disconnects players from the game.
Top-grade 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.
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.
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 4 broadly defined server options — Optimal Location, 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.
There’s no indication in Opera VPN’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:
I’m not sure if these tests are enough to pinpoint the precise locations of Opera VPN’s servers. If Opera uses virtual servers, it could switch locations at any time, so your test results may differ from mine.
Overall, Opera VPN’s server limitations were disappointing. The best VPNs for Windows and other devices have hundreds or thousands of servers, and most let you pick individual countries and cities.
Opera VPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, which provides data protection that’s almost unbreakable even by governments. However, Opera VPN doesn’t channel your connection through a tunneling protocol like OpenVPN, IKEv2, or WireGuard. 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.
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 Opera VPN would compromise my IP address this way, I ran a WebRTC leak test. I’m happy to report that Opera VPN kept my IP address hidden.
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.
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 encrypts only your browser traffic. Banking apps, torrent software, and other programs won’t be protected even while you’re connected.
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.
For instance, the official headquarters in Norway mean that Opera falls under the 9 Eyes jurisdiction — an intelligence sharing alliance between 9 countries, either of which could request your logs from Opera.
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. ExpressVPN’s commitment to privacy was also displayed when Turkish police seized ExpressVPN’s server in an effort to find user logs — and found none.
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 only secures your Opera browser sessions. 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. CyberGhost 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.
I can’t say for sure whether Opera VPN works in China, since I don’t live there and can’t test it myself. However, my teammate tests VPNs there regularly, and Opera VPN 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.
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 Opera 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.
You can install Opera VPN on most desktop devices that support Opera browser version 38 or later. These include:
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 built-in browser VPN on Android 7.1+ devices, whereas Opera browser for iOS doesn’t come with the VPN feature. Just remember, since Opera VPN is built into the browser, 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.
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.
Though the Opera browser and VPN setup is equally simple on all devices, there are some differences between the desktop and mobile setup steps:
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 Opera VPN working only in private tabs, but you can change this setting and enable Opera 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 Opera 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 Opera VPN, and these cover only the bare essentials.
While I found a forum where users can discuss a range of browser-related topics, there weren’t any questions or answers specifically about Opera VPN. There’s also a suggestion form if you think of features you want to be included in future updates.
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.
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.
You don’t have to pay to use Opera VPN, but you also don’t get many of the standard features a standalone VPN would give you. It functions as a browser extension, 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.
Like most free VPNs, Opera VPN is tempting — but it has too many problems for me to recommend it.
Opera VPN 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 doesn’t function like most VPNs — it 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 Opera 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.
Opera VPN is a good choice if you’re looking for simple, free browser protection, 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 it offers a money-back guarantee.
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).
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.
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