The internet has become a scary place in the last few years. Large amounts of users are moving more toward things like proxies and VPN services in order to safeguard their online activity. Gone are the days of mindlessly downloading software ...
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#112 out of 164 VPN providersRead our Full Opinion
Unlimited data transfer
Optimal location can be very fast
What others say about Opera VPN:
“ Opera VPN is not fast. However, it is not exactly the slowest one around. “
“ It’s free, has no data limits, and generally works well. So why quibble? “
“ All the features that made the VPN a semi-viable option are no longer available, and you should really consider an alternative. “
“ The only reason you should even consider using this product is if you want to use a VPN to watch Netflix. “
What is Opera VPN
Asking what is Opera VPN is a good question, and it’s best answered by telling what it isn’t – and that’s a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This is one of the cases when the name of the service is misleading because Opera is just a proxy working as a browser extension. For the sake of simplicity, we will also call it a VPN in combo with “Opera” as this is the keyword you will get even when looking for a proxy.
Speaking of browsers, that’s where Opera started back in 1995 when Chrome and even Firefox were not yet conceived. It’s been more than two years already since Opera has started offering a free proxy for its browser users. But the company’s relationship with online security tools dates back to the purchase of the Canadian SurfEasy VPN. Apparently, it has helped Opera to start their free proxy service, although one might question such an investment in the first place. Well, chances are Opera VPN pays for itself in other ways.
While Opera VPN has not been caught in any scandalous stories yet, the fact that SurfEasy comes from Canada, and Opera is located in Norway, causes some concern, because both countries are members of the 5 Eyes and 9 Eyes groups respectively.
The countries belonging to these groups have an agreement to share intelligence data, and collecting it is pretty easy with free software attached to a browser. If that alone wasn’t enough, in 2017 Opera was bought by Chinese Golden Brick Capital, which coincides with the launch of this proxy.
Opera VPN itself has military-grade encryption in AES-256 cipher. But as it protects you on a browser level only, there is no kill switch and no protection against data leaks. If that was not enough, Opera proxy has been documented as suffering from WebRTC leaks which expose your real IP address that was supposed to be kept hidden.
In this light, finding that Opera VPN works with its own browser only sounds like a pro rather than a con, because it limits the number of users which might run into trouble using this troubled, desktop-only proxy service.
Opera VPN Facts
Where Opera VPN is based and why it is important
Just like in any type of business transaction, trust is the key element that has to be shared between the provider and the buyer. That’s why many VPNs try to register their services far away from the 14 Eyes members and countries with data retention laws to show that they are serious about their clients’ privacy and anonymity. Such redirection to the off-shore companies adds additional layers for the authorities to peel off before getting to your data. Also, the fact that countries such as Panama offer lower tax rates also plays a role in making such a decision.
Opera VPN location: Oslo, Norway
Opera is not of those companies looking for tax alleviation. Their business has stayed in Oslo for almost 25 years. While Norway is perfectly fine for creating a browser, it poses some issues when it comes to a VPN or proxy. First of all, Norway is a member of the 9 Eyes alliance. To make matters worse, the SurfEasy VPN servers used to direct traffic are in Canada, which is a 5 Eyes member. Finally, the company was bought in 2017 by Golden Brick Capital, a Chinese consortium.
Speaking of data retention laws, Norway expects all communication data to be stored for six months, but the implementation of this directive is still adjourned. This means that the authorities can check your personal data only after getting a court order, which is the way it works in any country with no data retention laws.
In any case, there’s a chance that these data retention directives will be abolished because there is an incentive to bring them to Norway’s Supreme Court and later to the European Court of Human Rights, if necessary. On the other hand, a Chinese-owned proxy is not something we’d recommend, no matter where Opera VPN is registered.
What does a Opera VPN location say?
Part of 9 Eyes intelligence alliance
Communication data retained for six months
The impementation of the data retention directives is pending
Chinese ownership might be more important than de facto location
Want More Insights About Opera VPN?
Check out our Opera VPN review to see if you are making the right choice!Read our Opera VPN review
Platforms Opera VPN supports
Opera VPN proxy comes in the form of a browser extension, but it works with the Opera browser only. This automatically narrows down the list of devices that are compatible with this service.
Opera VPN works on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Unfortunately, Android and iOS versions don’t include the free proxy, leaving one to wonder if using different proxies on your laptop and smartphone is something that you would look forward to.
But it seems there is light at the end of the tunnel, at least for Android users. On February 7, Opera posted in their blog about the upcoming “no-logs” VPN for Android which, based on the screenshot, will be the same old desktop proxy recalibrated for the mobile platform.
Opera VPN for streaming and China
While protecting your privacy is probably the most important feature of a VPN or a proxy, it should also be able to unblock access to gaming, streaming, and other entertainment-focused platforms. Below we assess the power of Opera VPN when it comes to unblocking Netflix and other media platforms, and also evaluate its capabilities to break down the Great Chinese Firewall. Because browsers do not support the protocols used in P2P, torrenting with any browser-based proxy is out of the question.
One of the best things about Opera VPN, besides it being free, is the ability to unblock Netflix libraries. We’ve tested that successfully with all three continents. The speeds varied from excellent to poor, which means that in some cases you might be able to stream UHD (4K) one day and struggle with an SD stream another day.
Also, Opera VPN proxy is not your choice if you need country-specific content. You will never know where you will end up when pressing Europe or Asia, which is why finding some rare local show can be a bit of a problem. But the best part is that you can test everything yourself for free and keep using it or find something better suited for Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer or another streaming platform.
Having in mind the WebRTC leaks and the Chinese ownership mentioned above, we strongly advise against using Opera VPN proxy in China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, or any other country with restricted internet freedom.
If you do something that doesn’t please the regime, you can be sure that there are logs that Opera openly admits to keeping. And with your true IP address, finding the person behind it becomes much less of a problem.
Nonetheless, Opera VPN is simply unable to unblock the content behind the Great Chinese Firewall.
Articles about Opera VPN you might be interested in
This article and the Opera VPN review are not the only resources we have about this proxy. Below you will find some more resources about this free service.
A few years ago Opera disappointed a lot of people when the company announced that they’re dropping their free VPN app. However, one year later, Opera bought SurfEasy, a Canadian based VPN provider, and then shocked the world by announcing that ...
Opera is a Chromium-based web browser and it’s known for being the first to introduce a free VPN built-in feature. What does that mean? Well, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it works by encrypting your internet traffic, while ...
Opera is one of the first companies to offer an alternative browser to users worldwide, as they’ve first entered this “racket” back in 1994. However, the Opera browser is not very popular nowadays, having a relatively tiny market share (2.08% on ...
If you’re a Mac user looking for more privacy online, Opera VPN for Mac is the answer to your prayers. The best part about using Opera’s venerable browser is that it comes with all the bells and whistles one could wish for “in the current year,” ...