Opera VPN Review

5.4/10
Last updated: December 24, 2020

Using Opera VPN to protect your privacy is like trusting a wolf to mind the sheep. The only thing this glorified proxy service is good at is putting your privacy at risk.

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Opera VPN sounds like a perfect solution: a VPN integrated into your browser, so everything that you do online is protected with encryption. It’s free, and you don’t have to perform an additional set up. The best part: it’s always on because it’s effective from the second that you turn on your browser.

In this Opera VPN review, I will look into this free solution. I will test its speed, performance, security, multi-platform support, and possibilities to use it with media platforms. Let’s find out if you should ditch your premium VPN subscription and switch over to this VPN-browser.

Speed and performance

Opera VPN gives good enough speeds if you select the optimal location. If you pick distant regions your connection speeds will be very slow.

I’ve tested the VPN with Opera 58.x version. Our baseline download and upload speed averaged 250 Mbps.

Optimal location, Europe

Opera VPN speed test in Europe

  • Download: 206 Mbps (82% of baseline)
  • Upload: 60 Mbps (24% of baseline)

East coast, US

Opera VPN speed test in the US

  • Download: 143 Mbps (57% of baseline)
  • Upload: 1 Mbps (0.4% of baseline)

Singapore, Asia

Opera VPN speed test in Asia

  • Download: 1 Mbps (0.4% of baseline)
  • Upload: 0.5 Mbps (0.2% of baseline)

Most users in Europe and North America should be able to connect with Opera VPN’s speeds until they need to connect to another continent. For that, you should take a look at our fastest VPNs.

Server locations

If this were a premium VPN provider in this section, I would list all the countries you could connect to. Well, in this case, there’s no need for a table. When using Opera VPN, you can select between Optimal location, Europe, Americas, and Asia. If you choose Asia, you’re assigned to Hong Kong. If you select Europe, you get the United Kingdom, and if you pick the Americas, you get Mexico.

Under the Optimal location, you get the closest country – the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, or Singapore. But it seems that their servers are virtual, so the naming differences might be their way to create an illusion of them having more servers than they already have. If you repeatedly connect to the location it seems that you get assigned the same IP, meaning that you’re connecting to the same server.

LocationCountriesServers
The AmericasUnited States, Mexico, Canada3
EuropeUnited Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden3
Africa, the Middle East, and IndiaN/A0
Asia PacificHong Kong, Singapore2

It’s also not known if all servers belong to Opera, but I can assume they don’t because it would be strange not to boast about it.

To sum up, Opera’s server coverage is very poor. There are no servers in South America, Africa, the Middle East, or Australia, while the entire Asian region is forced to cram into one server location.

Security and privacy features

Security and privacy are the most important characteristics of a reliable and useful VPN solution. Let’s see what Opera VPN has to offer:

Essentially this means that Opera VPN is not safe enough. If you simply want to hide your IP address and browse geo-blocked content, feel free to give it a try. Otherwise, if you take your online security and privacy seriously, you won’t find your ideal VPN software here.

Does Opera VPN keep logs?

First of all, Opera VPN collects all kinds of sensitive data that may be used to identify you. Here’s what the Privacy Policy says about this:

The information we collect may include: personal data, for example, your name, email, IP-address, location; and non-personal technical data…

Of course, they try to make it sound less dangerous by adding that they assign a unique identifier to this data and “these identifiers are anonymized and cannot be linked to you as an individual person.”

Regardless, Opera VPN logs more data than is needed.

Is Opera VPN leak-proof?

Modern Opera versions run on a modified Chromium engine— the same as Google Chrome or Brave browser. Due to them being on the same engine, you can add third-party extensions that disable WebRTC entirely.

Opera browser WebRTC settings

If, however, you prefer a built-in solution you can disable WebRTC via settings. However, even if you disable non-proxied UDP leaks, this isn’t a VPN, it’s a proxy. Because of this even disabled WebRTC will contribute to your anonymity because your link to a proxy server isn’t encrypted in any shape or form.

Ease of use and multi-platform support

Opera VPN works with Opera browser only, which severely reduces its audience and its growth potential. As of now, Opera VPN can be used on:

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
  • Android

Since it’s a free browser-based proxy that requires no login, you can use Opera VPN whenever wherever. Speaking of that, downloading, installing, and using this proxy is super easy. Of course, this means that more advanced users will find this service too basic even for a proxy.

First, you will need the Opera browser. After clicking the green Download Opera button on its official website, you can easily install it.

Opera VPN is off by default. So when your Opera browser launches, click the logo on the top left and choose Settings. In the left panel, choose Advanced->Privacy & security. Now, scroll down until you see the VPN section and simply turn it on.

Opera browser settings – VPN turn on

Notice that you get Bypass VPN for default search engines turned on. While it’s convenient to get local search results while connected to a server in another country, I recommend disabling it if you care about your online privacy.

How to use Opera VPN

In the top right corner, there is a Gear icon to click, which will take you to the VPN section in the browser settings.

There’s an ON/OFF switch to toggle the VPN on and off, information about the amount of data transferred, the virtual location, and the virtual IP address.

Once you choose your virtual location, you can start browsing sort of protected right away. If you run into some issues you can check our article about opera connection issues.

Opera VPN for Netflix

You can actually stream Netflix with Opera VPN. The bad thing is that you will be able to access neither the US nor the Japan library because there’s no way to select a country.

I accessed Netflix in all three regions. Europe gave us the Netherlands library, but the Americas region loaded a Swedish version of Netflix. Finally, choosing Asia led us to the Singaporean version because there are simply no other countries with Opera VPN servers in them.

To sum up, Opera VPN can be good for Netflix if you don’t need country-specific content.

There’s no UK server in Europe which means BBC iPlayer is unavailable.

If you are more serious about your protection and accessing Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, or other media streamer centers, check out our Best VPN for Netflix page instead.

P2P and torrenting

Opera VPN doesn’t allow P2P file-sharing and torrenting. If you are a BitTorrent or uTorrent user, you would want a reliable VPN software that offers the best possible security and privacy, right? So, be grateful that you can’t use this free tool for torrenting. That’s all I can say in this Opera VPN review.

However, if you want to protect your P2P experience, you may be curious to see our Best VPN for Torrenting ranking.

Online censorship in China and elsewhere

If you are in a country like China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, or North Korea, you shouldn’t use Opera VPN

Opera VPN was mentioned as one of the five worst VPNs on the market, alongside Hola VPN, VPN Gate, Betternet, and SurfEasy VPN.

Since your online security and privacy should be your main concern, I cannot recommend Opera VPN for China, even though it stands higher in our VPN ranking than the aforementioned not-so-Fantastic Four.

While your IP will (hopefully) remain hidden, your traffic won’t be encrypted. Also, you will be subject to DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) and will have little chance of climbing over the Great Firewall.

Finally, let’s not forget that the current Opera Software AS owner is from China. With a questionable privacy policy, they might get you in serious trouble.

Customer support

All you have is the Help & support page on the official site. You can browse the relatively good knowledge base, the FAQ, the Opera forums, and the Opera blogs for help. But you can forget about getting live chat support for your Opera VPN; not that it would add too much value in this case.

Pricing

You can’t do better than free, right?

Even though Opera is a free VPN isn’t really a VPN. It’s completely free without any annoying third-party ads or other pitfalls. This is surely a redeeming quality.

Opera browser

Most of the features you know and use in other browsers were copy-paste from the original Opera. It includes pop-up blocking, incognito mode, tabs, restoring recently closed tabs. Opera used to be at the forefront and pioneered most of the features.

Years later, it’s not as cutting-edge as it used to be, but it’s still a capable browser. Still, it’s one of the few options if you want a built-in proxy option in your browser. Combined with a large number of supported platforms, you can use it on virtually every device. Please read our opera browser article to find all there is to know about this browser.

Opera VPN alternatives

If you’re now feeling tricked by the Opera VPN because it’s a browser proxy, I can guarantee that you’re not alone. The good thing is that there are many free VPN services that you can use without the fear of your data ending up in some foreign data center. Here are the top contenders that are free and provide much better services than Opera VPN could achieve.

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN offers a free version of its premium VPN product. It’s a separate software piece that uses genuine VPN tunneling protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2. It also has an added military-grade encryption to make the tunnel between your device and its servers inaccessible. It also protects not only your browser traffic but everything that you do online. For free users, access is only to 3 servers, but there are no data caps. Their other and more premium features are left behind a paywall, but you’re not forced to upgrade if you don’t feel like it. On its own, this service could be more than enough if you value your privacy.

Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN started as a mobile-only VPN, this service now has an app for many operating systems. The base version is free for everyone, but there are subscription options if you want to commit. However, even on their free version, you get plenty of features: AES-256 encryption and IKEv2 tunneling protocol. It makes the service stand head and shoulders above Opera VPN in terms of safety. That aside, you can also use it for entertainment purposes. It’s possible to unblock Netflix and download torrent files. The downsides are also similar: limited location options and speed caps. These can be removed by becoming a paying user.

Bottom line

Opera is a proxy, not a VPN. It can be good for spoofing your IP or accessing geo-restricted content, i.e. streaming a show from a random Netflix library, but not for encrypting and protecting your traffic. Strongly recommend to check other free VPN options.

Yes, it’s all free without the disruption of ads or other tricks. Yes, it’s very easy to use. And, yes, there’s also way too much sensitive logging and data sharing going on in the background.

If you don’t care about your privacy and just want a free proxy service that can be really fast, then forget everything I’ve said and download it now before they put a price tag on it!

Opera VPN FAQ

Does Opera VPN hide IP address?

Opera VPN uses a proxy to route your connection through an intermediary server based in your chosen location. However, Opera uses proxy rather than a VPN because they don’t encrypt your connection. It means that your IP address is hidden, but it still can be accessed via third parties.

Does Opera VPN work with Netflix?

Surprisingly enough, Opera VPN works with Netflix. You can use it to unblock other countries’ libraries. Plus, this proxy doesn’t use any monthly caps, so you can stream as much data as you want.

How to use Opera VPN?

If you want to turn on the VPN mode, you’ll have to enable it. Go to Menu, and click Settings. Choose Privacy, and select VPN and enable it. You’ll see that next to the website address, there’s a tiny VPN icon. You can click on it to turn the connection on or off.

How good is Opera VPN?

Opera VPN is really a proxy. It means that your browsing isn’t encrypted. However, you can use this service to hide your IP address. This will work to bypass some website blocks. However, be sure that your ISP knows everything that goes through your connection.

How secure is Opera VPN?

In 2016 the company’s ownership changed. Chinese investors acquired the company. The security of the Opera VPN depends on how you look at this ownership shift. Generally, you can expect some data gathering, which isn’t secure by definition.

Good

  • Free service
  • Unlimited data transfer
  • No registration required
  • Optimal location can be very fast
  • Works with Netflix

Bad

  • Based in Norway (9 Eyes)
  • Logs and retains personal data
  • Other than optimal locations are very slow
  • Few server locations
  • No kill switch
  • No human support
  • No torrenting / P2P support
  • Not a real VPN, it’s a proxy
  • Works with Opera browser only
 5.4 / 10
Total score
$0.00 / month
Minimum Price
Top VPN options:
1. NordVPN
9.6 / 10
Excellent security
Very fast speeds
2. Surfshark VPN
9.4 / 10
Strong encryption
Excellent performance
Unlimited simultaneous connections

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7 comments
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  1. cecilsheffield

    Not a fan. I used Opera for a while a few years ago, and I’m glad I got rid of it. Not only are there other, better free browsers out there, but there are WAY better VPN services. Windscribe or ProtonVPN work just as well and they don’t compromise your data, or at least don’t put you in THAT much risk.


    1. Ethan Payne Author

      Spot on, Cecil. Both Windscribe and ProtonVPN offer two of our favorite free VPN plans. They’re both secure, privacy-friendly, and relatively fast (for a free VPN) – a complete 180 compared to Opera VPN.


  2. Vin

    I had no idea that Opera is Chinese owned now. That’s good to know. It’s nice that it works with Netflix (I wasn’t expecting it to do that) but I don’t see many reasons why anyone would use this instead of other (better) free options.


  3. Ryan Mathias

    I have read a few Opera VPN reviews and I have zero interest in using them. It sounds like you might as well post your ISP, home address, and web history when you use it. What a joke VPN. I’d warn people, don’t let the joke be on you and your security!


  4. 145carley

    Yikes! You won’t find me using this one! When I initially saw it I was stoked, because I’ve been looking for free VPN services. I’m super broke and I can’t afford to pay for one of the lump sum ones, and the ones that do let you pay by the month are ludicrously expensive. But I’ve seen NOTHING but bad reviews on this one, and I’ll definitely be skipping it.


  5. jawa42

    It works fine. Unlimited traffic. The speed drops a bit in the evening and on weekends. It sometimes disconnects. In comparison with other free vpn, A little better. Super easy to set up app.


  6. hurricane98

    Most of the reviews I’ve come across regarding Opera Browser VPN are not good. It provides abysmal network performance and even though it is completely free to use, it is not recommended. I also read news the other day that the Opera VPN mobile Android and iOS apps have been shut down.

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