Everything about Opera is fast. In fact, it’s among the most impressive on the market, especially considering the service is free of charge.
Downloading the Opera browser was quick and easy. The process took less than 5 minutes from the moment we landed on the service page to the moment we used the browser.
Once downloaded, we tested our internet speed using first while on Google Chrome and then from the Opera browser.
The results were outstanding.
Using Google Chrome, the internet was 23% faster than my host average. With Opera, the internet was 39% faster than my host average.
Additionally, the company is pioneering cutting edge technology to speed up its web browsing further. An example of this is its development of Opera Turbo which uses compression technology to speeds up web browsing
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.
When you try and connect to the servers, you have four choices. Optimal (the server closest to you), Americas, Asia, and Europe. We did a little digging and found that there are actually five countries that Opera has servers in. They are:
When it comes to user experience, Opera is one of the easiest to download and use.
In fact, Opera has gone above and beyond when it comes to design. The browser is stylish, intuitive, and a pleasure to maneuver.
We used an Apple MacBook to test the browser. With a Mac, all you have to do is download the browser and open it. Then, go to Preferences and enable the VPN.
You can also enable the ad-blocker to get rid of annoying ads.
The VPN then connects to websites via various servers around the world. While the browser does warn you that by enabling the VPN the connection can become slower, we didn’t see much difference. Enabled or not, the browser performs quickly.
When it comes to browsing, the big question is, can Opera bypass the Great Firewall of China? Unfortunately, the answer is no. In April 2016, there were reports of the VPN browser working in Southern China. Since then, the country blocked Opera. Additionally, Netflix users can’t view content that isn’t available in their country and the BBC iPlayer is able to block OperaVPN users from accessing their shows if you are not in the US.
When it comes to security, there is little to no information. We were able to see that Opera uses AES-256 encryption. While this is good, it doesn’t tell us much.
There are exceptions though. SurfEasy clients may use in-app analytics like Google Analytics which collects all kinds of data with regard to your online behavior and habits.
But, how much of this applies to the Opera VPN?
After all, SurfEasy is Canadian. Opera is Norwegian and Norway does perform some surveillance. The country also cooperates with the NSA.
But, that’s not our biggest concern! Both Canada and Norway are part of the Five (9/14) Eyes. Which means that they will share information with the other governments should they receive an official request. This doesn’t bode well for a VPN that can’t bypass VPN blocks, if they don’t have top-notch security what do they have going for them?
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.
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