Opera VPN Review

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Opera VPN Review


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Written By: Adam Dagan Cyber security & Privacy expert

Opera VPN Review

Opera is a renowned cross-platform browser that has been offering a free VPN feature to all its users since 2016 when Opera acquired a Canadian VPN provider SurfEasy. A quick look into Opera’s origins tells us it was originally a Norwegian company, which was acquired by a consortium of Chinese investors Golden Brick Capital Private Equity Fund in late 2016.

What is Opera VPN?

Interestingly, on November 6, 2017, Opera sold SurfEasy to Symantec for $38.5 million in cash. The legal documentation regarding Opera VPN’s ToS and Privacy Policy still refers to Opera as the owner. So the jurisdiction of Opera VPN is unclear. Symantec is a US company; SurfEasy documentation refers to Canadian jurisdiction while Opera is now apparently a Chinese entity.

Is My Privacy Protected with Opera VPN?

It is also not clear whether any logs are kept. Canada, on the other hand, is a member of the NSA-led Five Eyes Anglophone spying alliance, and is now subject to the terrifying Bill C-51 (Anti-terrorism Act, 2015) so this raises eyebrows in terms of privacy.

Privacy Policy
Privacy Statement
We at Opera Software AS (“Opera”) take your privacy seriously. This privacy statement explains what data we collect, how we store and transfer it and how we use it. The exact set of the data we collect, its purpose and your opt-out choices depend on the product or service you use. Please refer to the relevant product or service sections of this privacy statement to learn more specific details.
Some of the data we collect, either individually or aggregated may be considered personal. We treat this data in a special way, as required by law.
We’ll always honor your decisions for how your data is used. We have safeguards in place to protect your data from loss, misuse, and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction.
When we post changes to this privacy statement, we will include the date when the statement was last updated. If we significantly change this statement or how we use your personal information, we will notify you either by prominently posting a notice prior to implementing the change or by sending you a notification directly. We encourage you to respect review this statement periodically.

Why do we collect data?
We only process your data for purposes that are objectively justified by our products and services. We process this data with respect to your fundamental right to privacy, including the need to protect personal integrity and private life and to ensure that your personal data is of adequate quality. Unless otherwise stated, we determine the purposes for and manners in which your data is collected (in legalese, we act as a “data controller” regarding personal data).
We collect data to:
• Improve, debug, and maintain Opera products and services
• Study and personalize user experiences
• Fulfill legal requirements
• Conduct business analysis and research, and marketing campaigns
• Ensure better security and fraud protection
We may also use your data to send personalized information regarding updates, upgrades, enhancements, surveys, recommendations and/or advertisements, if we believe these are relevant for you.

What data do we collect?
The information we collect may include: personal data, for example your name, email, IP-address, location; and non-personal technical data. For example, who manufactured your device, your screen’s resolution, your mobile operator’s region and code. A complete list of the data we collect and the purpose of collection may vary between our products and services. You can find detailed descriptions in the product/service-related sections below.

How do we collect data?
Generally, we collect data:
• When you provide it explicitly to us; for example, when you submit a form on our websites
• When you install and run our products, use our services, or visit our websites
• When third parties share information with us
Some products may require your personal data to function properly. Wherever technically possible, we’ll ask for your consent to collect your personal data and offer you the choice to opt-out. Please read product-specific information to learn how to opt-out.
When we collect your data, we associate it with a unique ID and a unique device ID that are generated when you install an Opera product or begin using one of our services. These identifiers are anonymized and cannot be linked to you as an individual person. We also take measures to remove any possible connections between these IDs and other types of personal data.
To collect information automatically, we may use cookies, web beacons, our own data-collection tools or various third-party services.
Some third-party websites may monitor data traffic from our products and services, such as numbers of hits and the search terms used. We do not make available any personally identifiable information to these services.
This privacy statement does not cover the third-party apps you access and use through our products and services, nor does it cover links to other websites. We do not control the privacy and security practices and policies of these third parties and their websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements of the third-party apps and websites you use.”

How Much is Opera VPN? Is There a Free Trial?

It’s tough to beat the price for Opera’s VPN. In fact, it’s impossible to beat.
It’s truly free.
Most VPN’s cost around $100 per year or more. But, Opera offers their VPN for free as part of their browser.
And unlike other “free” VPNs – it’s not supported with advertising or malware. It’s basically a Freemium business model to market the Opera browser and the SurfEasy VPN – a premium VPN service for your entire network.

Since Opera offers a free VPN, it eliminates the fear of commitment that you probably feel as you consider your different VPN options. If you find that this VPN doesn’t meet your needs, just move onto another option. Many of the most popular VPNs require a contract of a year or more, and several VPNs are considerably more expensive on a month to month basis.

Opera VPN Speed Test

Opera’s VPN is far from the fastest in the industry – which, by the way, is technically running off a proxy provided by SurfEasy.
*Aside – due to this setup, I wasn’t able to run the same speed tests that I run with other VPNs.
You will notice a difference in speed when comparing the browser with the VPN on as opposed to with the VPN off. But, most users will find that the slight dip in speed isn’t a major pitfall, especially if you have a fast Internet connection. If your connection provides download speeds of 50Mbps or greater, you’ll hardly notice any difference at all.
In fact, the speed of Opera’s VPN is astonishing when you consider this next point.
These results are pretty darn good, especially when you consider that the service is free! Color me impressed! DNS resolution is performed using Google DNS servers located in the same country as the VPN server you are connected to. So, when connected to a US VPN server, DNS resolution is also performed using US DNS servers. This is good for Geo-spoofing.
From a privacy perspective, as far as Google is concerned your DNS requests will appear to come from Opera (rather than your real IP address).

How is Customer Service at Opera VPN?

There is little in the way of support for the VPN feature, although it is so simple to use that it hardly needs it. If for any reason you do get stuck, you can ask questions on the Opera forums.


• Free VPN service embedded in the web browser
• Easy-to-use
• Extra feature that blocks unwanted ads and tracking
• Substantial privacy and encryption
• Number of Server Locations (countries) – 5
• Does VPN keep logs – No
• Includes Kill Switch – No
• Devices per license – 1

Is Opera VPN Safe?

The only information available is that the VPN uses AES-256 encryption, which to be honest, doesn’t really tell us much. AES-256 encryption is good, but the devil is in the details.
The cipher (OpenVPN I assume, but this is nowhere confirmed), the RSA handshake keys, an authentication method, and whether Perfect Forward Secrecy is used, etc. are not known.

Bottom Line

Opera VPN is an attractive proposition because who doesn’t like freebies that unblock Netflix? It’s extremely easy to use, cross-platform and surprisingly fast, but it logs your activities top to bottom, inside out. I wouldn’t use it for private browsing, and neither should you. The only scenario where I’d use it is for watching Netflix occasionally while it still isn’t blacklisted by the streaming giant.