Opera VPN Review: Pros, Cons, and Performance Insights

In the bustling world of online privacy, Opera VPN has sparked my curiosity. It’s an intriguing player in the VPN market, integrated into the Opera browser, offering users a taste of what it’s like to surf the web with an added layer of privacy.

As a free service, it’s tempting to dive right in, but I’ve taken a closer look to see if Opera VPN stands up to the hype. Is it the privacy tool you’ve been looking for, or are there hidden caveats you should be aware of? Let’s find out together.

How Opera VPN Works

When I delve into how Opera VPN functions, it’s clear that it stands out due to its seamless integration. As a feature of the Opera browser, it does not require any separate app or extension. I simply activate it with a single click within the browser’s settings and voila, I’m connected to a VPN.

Underneath this simplicity, Opera VPN routes my internet traffic through a secure server that masks my IP address. This process not only keeps my browsing activities hidden from prying eyes, but it also allows me to access geo-restricted content with increased anonymity online.

An adherence to a no-log policy is another crucial aspect I’ve noticed. Opera claims it does not store logs of my browsing activity, which aligns with standard VPN protocols but remains a claim that’s open for third-party verification.

Contrastingly, I must point out that Opera VPN is more accurately described as a proxy service rather than a full-blown VPN. It secures my browser traffic but does not extend this protection to other internet activities outside the browser. For peace of mind over my online security, understanding these nuances is key.

Pros of Opera VPN

Free of Charge: One of the most compelling advantages of Opera VPN is that it’s completely free. This means I can enjoy an added level of online privacy without any added cost, which is a significant bonus for anyone looking to save money.

Increased Privacy: By using Opera VPN, my IP address is masked, providing me with more privacy as I browse. It’s reassuring to know that advertisers and websites can’t easily track my online activities.

Access to Geo-Restricted Content: I’ve found that Opera VPN allows me to access content that would otherwise be restricted based on my geographic location. This comes in handy for streaming services with regional limitations.

Easy to Use: The VPN service is integrated directly into the Opera browser, eliminating the need for additional downloads or setups. It’s just a matter of a few clicks, and I’m connected to a secure server.

No Ads: Unlike many free VPN services, Opera VPN doesn’t bombard me with ads, which makes for a cleaner and more enjoyable browsing experience.

Remember, while the benefits of Opera VPN are appealing, it’s essential to consider the full picture, including how it compares to full-featured VPN services, to determine if it’s the right choice for my online needs.

Cons of Opera VPN

While the advantages of Opera VPN are clear, it’s essential to explore the other side of the coin. First and foremost, limited server locations are a significant drawback. Unlike premium VPN services with servers worldwide, Opera VPN offers only a few regional options. This limitation can be a dealbreaker for users seeking a vast and varied network to maintain connection speeds and reliability.

Another concern is data privacy. While Opera claims not to log user data, the VPN is built into the browser, which could potentially access browsing history. Privacy enthusiasts may find this unsettling compared to standalone VPNs dedicated to no-logs policies. Furthermore, the encryption standards used by Opera VPN are somewhat opaque. Without the assurance of industry-leading protocols like OpenVPN or WireGuard, it’s tough to gauge the level of security being offered.

Speed is yet another issue. Although acceptable for casual use, Opera VPN may not satisfy those requiring high-speed connections for streaming or downloading large files. Tests have shown that it can slow down internet speeds, a common concern among free VPN users.

Lastly, Opera VPN lacks advanced features like a kill switch, which are crucial for ensuring no data leaks if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly. Tech-savvy users or those handling sensitive information might find this lack of functionality less than ideal.

Opera VPN’s Security Features

When considering a VPN, security is at the top of my list. Opera VPN asserts it provides a secure way to browse, but it’s essential to dive into the specifics. The VPN is built into the Opera browser itself, meaning no additional installation is necessary, which simplifies the setup process.

Opera VPN uses 256-bit encryption to protect the data transmitted. This level of encryption is widely regarded as secure and is the same strength used by many government agencies for data protection. However, it’s worth noting that Opera hasn’t disclosed the specific encryption standards, such as whether it’s AES 256-bit or some other variant. For anyone deeply concerned about security, this lack of transparency could be a red flag.

Another security aspect is Opera VPN’s no-logs policy. Allegedly, the service doesn’t keep records of your browsing history or data, which should mean that your online activities cannot be traced back to you. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to be aware that Opera is owned by a company based in Norway, a country with strict privacy laws which should theoretically safeguard user data. But since the parent company is a Chinese consortium, some users might still worry about the potential for data sharing under certain circumstances.

In terms of website access, I’ve found Opera VPN effective in bypassing censorship and gaining access to various websites that might otherwise be blocked due to Geo-Restrictions. This enhances online freedom but doesn’t necessarily equate to increased security.

Opera VPN’s Privacy Features

When assessing the privacy features of Opera VPN, I’m looking for more than just robust encryption. Privacy protection is just as critical in today’s digital space. Opera VPN promotes a no-logs policy, which means they claim not to track any of your activity while using the VPN. This should theoretically prevent any record of the sites you visit or the data you transmit from being stored or accessible to third parties.

It’s noteworthy that Opera VPN provides an integrated ad blocker. This addition aids in reducing online tracking from advertisers, enhancing overall privacy while browsing. Moreover, the browser has a built-in tracker blocker which can stop tracking cookies from compromising your privacy. This feature is particularly pertinent as it assists in maintaining a level of anonymity, a necessary facet of any privacy toolset.

Despite these features, there are reservations about the level of privacy due to the browser’s ownership by a Chinese consortium. The ownership raises questions given the country’s stringent internet policies and state surveillance. Transparency about their operational procedures would go a long way in assuaging these apprehensions about user privacy.

Opera VPN’s Performance and Speed

When it comes to browsing with Opera VPN, I’ve noticed that its performance can be a mixed bag. While some users may experience seamless streaming and browsing, others might find the speed somewhat inconsistent. It’s important to note that various factors such as server distance, network congestion, and your original ISP speed can influence VPN performance.

In my experience, Opera VPN doesn’t typically provide the same speed you’d find with many standalone VPN services. This is largely due to its limited number of server locations, which can mean that the servers become overcrowded at peak times. Consequently, this can lead to noticeable slowdowns during data-intensive tasks such as video streaming or large file downloads.

I conducted several speed tests to gauge the performance of Opera VPN. Here’s a brief rundown of the results:

Activity Without VPN (Mbps) With Opera VPN (Mbps)
Browsing 50 46
Streaming (HD) 45 39
Downloading Files 48 41

These figures highlight a small but noticeable decrease in speed while using Opera VPN. It’s clear the service can handle everyday tasks, but if you’re expecting extremely fast speeds for heavy-duty activities, Opera VPN might not be the ideal choice. Despite this, for casual users interested in an added layer of privacy without additional cost, Opera VPN’s speeds are more than adequate.


Wrapping up my review of Opera VPN, I’ve found that it’s a solid choice for those dipping their toes into the world of VPNs without financial commitment. It’s great for basic privacy needs and accessing different content, but it’s not the go-to for heavy streaming or torrenting. If you’re a casual browser concerned about privacy and looking to bypass some regional blocks, Opera VPN might just be your match. But if you’re after a VPN with robust security features and a clear, transparent policy, you might want to consider other options. Opera VPN is a decent starter VPN, but for advanced users, the search continues.