Opera Browser Review: is it secure enough?

8.5/10
Last updated Dec 13, 2022 at 4pm ET

Opera offers an unparalleled selection of browsers tailored for specific consumers. There’s Opera GX for gamers, Opera Mini for bandwidth savers, Opera Crypto Browser for crypto traders – the list goes on.

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An alternative browser on a range of platforms, could Opera be the secure browser you’ve been seeking? Let’s dig deeper and find out more in this Opera review.

Browsing without security and privacy in mind doesn’t just hand over your valuable data for free to third parties. It also exposes us to cybercriminals, curious local users, and potentially official agencies. So what can we do?

Well, the first step towards online safety is to use a secure web browser. When you log off, it can lock down your local data, erasing your history and password information. And it can encrypt the data you transmit – making you invisible to external observers. But making a second step is also important – more on that later.

What is Opera?

First off, not everyone will be acquainted with what Opera is and where it stands in relation to more popular alternatives like Chrome. Actually, it’s one of the oldest browsers, born way back in 1995 in grim and frost-bitten Norway.

What is Opera?

In 1996, the first Opera browser for Windows appeared, and versions multiplied around the turn of the millennium (even extending to Nintendo DS editions). All the while, the core browser remained free to use but has long been ad-supported as a result.

Into the 2010s, the browser changed dramatically, incorporating aspects of Google’s Chromium platform and generally starting to resemble the search engine’s offering more closely.

A Chinese consortium purchased the company behind the browser in 2016 for $600 million. The leading buyer was Qihoo 360, a search and security company.

In 2018, Opera Ltd. became a publicly listed company on NASDAQ. It raised more than $115 million. Kunlun Tech Co, publicly listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange, became the principal investor.

This might alarm some people, as China isn’t exactly known as a bastion of digital security. However, all companies are listed publically, meaning they must adhere to strict regulations when it comes to privacy. Moreover, Opera is still based in Norway, where GDPR and other EU laws are in force.

As of now, Opera offers a number of products and services. The main one is, of course, Opera browser along with its different versions. Additionally, there’s Opera News, a news app that uses AI.

Is Opera browser safe?

What about security, though? If Opera fails here, we can write it off for good. But that’s not the case. On the contrary, the browser has some great security and privacy features:

  • Private browsing. As you’d expect from a modern browser, Opera allows its users to hide their local activity. Private browsing erases history, cache data, and cookies for good.
  • Password manager add-ons. If you want extra password protection, good add-ons like Bitwarden integrate seamlessly with the browser.
  • Security badges. When you visit sites, the security badge icon lets you know whether it uses HTTPS and other certification forms.
  • Google safe browsing. Opera takes advantage of the Google connection to mine a vast database of known attack sites, helping to guard against phishing.
  • Crypto Wallet. Opera users can also connect their cryptocurrency reserves with the browser, allowing them to make virtually anonymous payments, manage tokens, and more.
  • Free and premium VPNs. Opera VPN is a free built-in proxy that hides your IP address. In the meantime, Opera VPN Pro is a full service that protects your whole connection.
  • Ad and tracking blockers. With Opera, you can easily block ads or whitelist websites that otherwise won’t work. Blocking most trackers is also just a few clicks away.
  • Fraud and malware protection. Opera warns about suspicious websites and helps you avoid phishing or malicious software.

Opera Privacy Policy is a pretty tight and GDPR-based document as far as browser privacy goes. It clearly explains the terms used and what kind of information is collected in each case.

All data collection procedures are anonymized as much as possible. Most importantly, Opera gives guidelines for opting out.

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How to use Opera

Opera for desktop is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and in a “portable” USB-stick format. There’s more than one version for Android and iOS phones, including Opera Mobile, Opera GX (also on desktop), Opera Crypto Browser (also on desktop), Opera Touch, and Opera Mini.

Using all of the versions should be fairly straightforward. They are available on the Opera homepage and will simply auto-install onto your chosen system.

When you’re up and running, plenty of features contribute to ease of use, including:

  • Swift load times usually beat the performance of Chrome or Firefox.
  • Unusual sidebar setup allows you to pin frequently visited websites and different settings, giving you flexibility about privacy and caches.
  • Address and search bars are combined, saving space and making it easier to find what you need.
  • Fully compatible with voice commands, adding another dimension to web browsing.
  • Syncing is available across browser versions on computers and tablets so that you can easily send over links and documents.
  • One-click access to external apps like email clients thanks to pinnable icons

Opera browser home screen on Windows

And remember, the basic Opera setup is modeled on Google Chrome. So if you’re familiar with Google’s browser, getting up and running won’t be a problem.

Opera browser for Mac

Some browsers offer a stripped-down version for Mac users, but that’s not the case here. In fact, this browser could be the ideal option for OS X users for a couple of good reasons.

Firstly, it’s more memory-efficient than Chrome or Firefox. So your Mac battery should last longer. Secondly, Opera on Mac tends to be faster than the competition (even Safari). And the pinned tabs and favorite icons we discussed earlier add to the user experience in ways that Safari doesn’t.

Let’s not forget that the gaming-oriented Opera GX is also available on macOS. So as you can see, it’s worth giving Opera’s Mac version a try.

And if you do, don’t forget to use full protection with the Best Mac VPN.

Opera browser for Android and iOS

Opera has five (!) versions for mobile browsing, each built with a different goal in mind.

Opera Mobile

This Opera browser comes with a built-in proxy named “VPN,” just like the desktop version. It’s also free and easy to use but lacks advanced features, such as choosing your country.

Opera Mobile browser for Android and iPhone has an ad-blocker, personalized news feed, syncing with desktop Opera, and speech-to-text input support.

Opera GX

Opera GX is oriented toward gamers. Released in 2019, it allows to limit RAM, CPU, and network resources for better performance. Moreover, Opera GX integrates Discord and Twitch services, which are invaluable when playing and streaming online.

You can download this browser for both mobile and desktop devices. Just make sure you use the best VPN for complete protection.

Opera Crypto Browser

As the name implies, this is a dedicated browser for those into cryptocurrencies. Opera Crypto Browser has something to offer whether you’re just starting your crypto journey or an already established trader.

It’s a Web3 browser that adds protection with a malicious-address checker, phishing protection, and a secure clipboard. Additionally, users can access Telegram and Discord right from the sidebar. Finally, Opera’s Wallet Selector will enable you to work with multiple wallets at the same time.

Opera Mini

This mobile browser is built with the core goal of saving as much mobile data as possible. It works not only with Android but also with older smartphones and basic phones.

Opera claims that this browser can help save up to 90% of mobile data. It also comes with an ad-blocker, QR code reader, and unbeatable speed in case of a slow connection. If you choose this version, don’t forget to protect all of your traffic with the Best VPN for Android.

Opera Touch

Android users have a special version of the browser called Touch. Introduced in 2018, Opera Touch is being marketed as a fast web search browser that you can use with only one hand, and it definitely departs from the core Chromium-style model.

The one-handed mode allows quick browsing when you are out and about. Speed Dial provides rapid access to the sites you visit most often, and there are a solid ad-blocker and a unique “cryptojacking” defender as well.

What are the 3 most common Opera browser issues?

What are the most common Opera browser issues?

Opera is generally seen as a reliable app with relatively few major operational problems. Having that said, errors can arise, and here are the three most popular reasons why Opera might not work:

  1. Opera browser won’t open. Sometimes the browser simply freezes and refuses to play ball in any way. That’s something all browsers do from time to time. Thankfully, the solution is generally straightforward. Just reinstall your browser and choose NOT to remove your files. That way, you will retain your passwords and bookmarks.
  1. Excessive memory usage causes poor Opera performance. This doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, the causes can generally be traced to your cache. Try erasing the cache and seeing how performance changes.
  1. Can’t access Gmail on Opera. This is a common issue for Opera users and a really frustrating one. It’s also not hard to fix. The culprit tends to lie with your cookie settings, and by turning off “Block third-party cookies,” you can usually solve the problem.

Browser comparison: Opera vs Chrome vs Firefox in 2024

OperaChromeFirefox
OwnerPublicly-ownedAlphabetThe Mozilla Foundation
Launched in199520082004
Security featuresPrivate browsing,  free and premium VPN, password manager, crypto wallet, security badges, phishing protection, ad and malware blockerSandboxing to handle malware infections, ad-blocking available, Incognito mode, website certificate security checksPrivate browsing, Open source code reviews via the “bug bounty system,” Adblocking, Eliminates cookies, VPN add-on, Security alerts
Private browsingYesYesYes
Custom extensionsYesYesYes
Open-sourceNoNoYes
CloudSyncYesYesNo
Available onWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, portable USB, basic phonesWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS

Conclusion

Opera is clearly one of the most secure browsers in the world. The only concern that users may have is the previous ownership by a Chinese conglomerate and a current major investor Kunlun Tech Co. However, there are no grounds for suspicion – the company still operates from Norway and adheres to GDPR and EU legislation.

Furthermore, Opera offers an unparalleled selection of browsers tailored for specific consumers. There’s Opera GX for gamers, Opera Mini for bandwidth savers, Opera Crypto Browser for crypto traders – the list goes on.

Finally, when it comes to performance, Opera often outranks both Chrome and Firefox. And if you combine the Opera browser with the best VPN, staying safe online should no longer be an issue.

FAQ

Is Opera browser safe?

Yes, Opera is considered to be a secure browser. It has a built-in VPN, ad & malware blocker, and password manager. Besides, you can spice it up with any extension from the Chrome Store.

Is Opera safer than Microsoft Edge?

It is. Microsoft Edge suffers from security and privacy issues, which is not the case with Opera.

Should I use a VPN while browsing with Opera?

Yes, you should. Opera has a free built-in VPN, but it protects only the browser traffic. You can use Opera’s premium option for full protection, but we highly recommend checking our top VPN services first.

Dos Opera have a mobile version?

Yes, in fact, it has five of them. There’s Opera Mobile for Android and iOS. Then we have Opera GX, Opera Crypto Browser, Opera Mini, and Opera Touch. The last two versions are Android-only.

Good

  • Very high security
  • Great ad-blocker
  • Free VPN proxy

Bad

  • Mini & Touch Android-only
  • VPN Pro not worth the price
 8.5 / 10
Total score
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28 comments
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  1. D. B. Cooper February 11, 2024 at 9:16 pm

    Opera business practice is shady ass hell. No one should be using Opera browser. Let this company tank and fade away.


    1. CrAnKy mOnKeY March 1, 2024 at 7:09 am

      Ironically this was my go-to browser for ages because of the built in ad blocking, but now ads reappear every other day on my start screen, even after closing it. I prefer to keep my start screen clear so I can search what I need and not be distracted, but that’s not the case anymore. They say it’s to keep features like AI and VPN features free, well, I don’t use those features.


    2. PATRICK DUSK COAT DUC CHI OF DO FUN GO DO HAD CO HS DISCO SOCK CO March 1, 2024 at 6:49 am

      ADS? NO WAY! Putting ads that reappear on our home screen was the last straw. Don’t bother “responding” saying that we can just close the ads by clicking the x. You can do that with a lot of ads that your browser blocks. Point is, we shouldn’t have to. If you want to add features like VPNs and AI, then create a new version (like mini) and put ads in that one. Adding ads all of a sudden to a product we’ve been using for years is a good way to anger your user base.


    3. DO BUZZ IN SO February 17, 2024 at 6:21 am

      You got that right. Opera browser or any of it’s software is horrendous and shady business practice.


  2. Mucky World January 20, 2022 at 10:54 am

    I feel obligated to mention that those who dumped Opera because a Chinese company bought it are perhaps barking up the wrong tree given the fact they will in all likelihood be hard put to find more than a few, if any, components in their devices that aren’t manufactured in China & of course components such as CPU’s, GPU’s, & hard drives, to mention a few, all contain OEM coding any of which could theoretically spy on you & all of which are harder to audit than a browser.

    One needs to remember that China is not its government it is the sum of it’s people a people whose attitudes and beliefs are at least as many and diverse as anywhere in the world & they at least have the very distinct advantage of knowing they live in the shadow of a hegemonic government…

    Bottom line. The internet is a massive public venue & no matter how quietly & stealthily you whisper your private words there might still be a lip reader in the room or a bug under your table.


    1. Barry Allen February 14, 2024 at 5:16 am

      Yes well said! I use all of the Chinese web browser, from UC, QQ and Mi web browser and etc.


    2. aightmileshi October 26, 2022 at 4:47 am

      well said


      1. URABOZO January 17, 2023 at 4:25 am

        Oh bullshit. The people ARE the country. Countries are run by GOVERNMENTS, not by people. And the GOVERNMENT runs China, in evverything from what its people think to whom it issues business licenses to.


  3. Anonymous January 13, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    Once at youtube i was looking videos about xiaomi and when i got to opera there was an ad for xiaomi phones at homepage
    But idk the vpn is rlly bad tho i condnct to europe once is in netherlands and when i go to other site its denmark and when i see ip it says algeria


  4. battery saver January 1, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    i mean if u dont want the opera vpn to log ur data just dont use it. I feel opera to be pretty secure personally even without the vpn I found no trouble using it and no security issues. but if u rly want more security while browsing just install a different vpn or just use a different browser.


  5. roman finske December 5, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    anything that has chinese on it has to be avoided.
    i have been using opera for quite sometime and it was a good browser but after it has been acquired by the chinese, time to move on. no sir, cant trust the chinese for just about anything…


    1. ManyThings December 11, 2021 at 1:08 pm

      American spyware also – please uninstall Chrome, just after u have uninstalled Opera 🙂


      1. Ernest August 10, 2023 at 12:59 pm

        why not uninstall Edge too, while you are doing that !!!! you trust Microsoft. Who can you trust ?


      2. angelofdecay February 28, 2023 at 12:13 am

        @ManyThings Who’s stupid enough to use Opera OR Chrome ?? Oh wait …. YOU are 🙂


      3. jerry February 16, 2023 at 1:34 pm

        words to be carved on stone! thumbs up


  6. brkli Any date Rank November 16, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    Honest, i use to like opera till they over do on permission. Once they override my (ADMIN) decision on what is default browser on my PC, i uninstall all of them. i find this can’t be tolerate, attitude and behavior is no different with any VIRUS and Malware.


  7. T and cakies May 7, 2021 at 12:46 am

    I used Opera for years and when China bought them a few years ago I knew it was time to move on from them.It’s like Duck Duck go browser that claims no tracking cookies and my ghostry and Badger found 5 tracking cookies.You can’t trust any of them so use the one that works best for you.


  8. Art Hartmut December 10, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    I have been using the OPERA browser from its earliest years, and for a long time my preferred option and wholeheartedly recommending it to other users. They were pioneers. Knowing that money is needed to develop such products, I was not opposed to allow a certain amount of advertising to show up – people who work on stuff like this need to earn a salary. However, when I found out that the original Opera company was sold in 2016 to a company from China I could only shake my head. For a company headquartered in China it is quite impossible (a great hazard!) to work outside of the directives and influence of the country’s government. This means that it is diametrically opposite to what the Opera browser stood for, and the guiding spirit of its Norwegian developers. This puts some very serious spin on what this browser really does under the cover.


  9. Arthur May 15, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    I preferred opera in old days. They pioneered many features in browsers like Speed Dial, Turbo, customisable layout, loading page with/without image, fit to width etc many of which were later co-oped by Chrome and other browsers.

    Presently the thing spooking me is Chinese ownership. I would be more inclined to use Firefox.


    1. oneblankspace March 29, 2022 at 3:08 pm

      They were the first browser to combine the stop page loading and reload page button. I loved their Z-X navigation, the keyboard shortcut to the homepage, and the edit code in the view source feature. You could also access cached files directly.


    2. bellavue October 9, 2021 at 2:46 am

      and did you know that the volvo brand is also owned by a chinese company? Because of this, you consider volvo cars to be of lower quality and more dangerous than others? And are Thinkpad series laptops made by the Chinese company Lenovo also dangerous to use? Then why does NASA take them to the space station?


    3. David Chibi June 16, 2020 at 8:27 am

      I am personally happy for a Chinese or Russian company to handle my security as opposed to any western based company knowing that all communications are intercepted by our “security” apparatuses. I currently use Yandex and kaspersky and find they work well.


      1. Danish Anwer January 15, 2021 at 12:34 pm

        I agree 100 percent to your comment. The western countries are more of a risk to the users all over the world. Edward Snowden showed to the world about the extent of spying done by NSA with collaboration with big companies. I think Facebook, Alphabet, and other companies are a bigger threat than Chinese or Russian firms.

        Alphabet has stolen $500 through Google Play using a scam gaming app. And they decline to refund the stolen money. I trust Chinese companies more than the corporate pigs in America.


        1. JamesD April 3, 2021 at 10:21 pm

          I would not touch Opera with a ten foot pole now that it is owned by a Chinese corporation. For safe browsing, try Brave.


          1. Emma April 27, 2023 at 9:02 am

            So dont use a iPhone cause most phones are made in china in the worlds largest iPhone factory.


  10. Jared G March 31, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    I tried Opera for a while but I didn’t like very much, I felt it was some kind of slow Firefox, even though it’s older. I’m using Chrome now because it’s simpler for everyday usage you have to admit that (mostly with googledocs and stuff). But It’s true Opera is safer.


  11. Otto Matthews March 28, 2019 at 12:49 am

    Opera is the most reliable internet browser. I wasn’t quite sure if it was the safest to be honest, bu after reading your review I was convinced. Don’t use Chrome or Explorer anymore!


    1. denial July 14, 2021 at 5:45 pm

      wait i thought opera isnt safe

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