Opera software is a well-known tech-firm from Norway that took a leading step in 2016, when the full implementation of virtual private networking. The first VPN browser integration was originally launched within its desktop development channel and a few months later, Opera’s free VPN apps for iOS and Android were released. Opera is still working on the next-generation Opera browser, but it has directed its attention mainly to its mobile solutions.
Although it is good to see a major browser developer such as Opera, taking steps to help users to protect their privacy, there are concerns about the reliability of this VPN solution. It is important to examine closer what Opera truly offers to determine if it is a trustworthy way to keep your information safe from eavesdroppers, hackers and other threats. Other popular browsers like Google Chrome are also considering the possibility of adding a VPN to provide secure browsing. In the meantime, let’s take a look at what Opera offers at this time.
What do you get with Opera VPN?
VPNs have become widely-used thanks to to privacy and anonymity that they bring to your connection. Since we have become aware of the scale of global surveillance carried out by government organizations like the NSA, it has become clear that in order to protect our privacy, we need to use tools like VPN services. In addition, cybercrime is rising and tech giants like Google and Apple are involved in massive data collection for their own benefit. Furthermore, online censorship and geographical restrictions prevent people around the world from enjoying true online freedom.
While Opera has earned recognition by becoming the first major browser to include a VPN, there have been previous examples of VPN browser integration. For instance, Tails, which is an advanced security system, support this option. Tails focuses on features that increase the protection to your data, such as anonymity via the TOR network, plausible deniability and complete deletion of browsing history.
The Opera VPN apps for Android and iOS include features that you can find in other VPN services such as the possibility to change the IP address and appear as if you were in a different location, security for your browsing activities, ad blocker, basic network analysis tool that notifies users about risky WiFi hotspots and encrypted communications.It should be noted that the free Opera VPN mobile apps don’t support only their own browsers. When the VPN service is installed, its functionality’s coverage will extend to device connection and other apps that you are using. This means that it is a practical solution when you want to bypass geo-restrictions that prevent you from accessing content on YouTube or other streaming platforms.
It is important to note that there are some downsides. While the Opera VPN apps come with an ad blocking feature, this only works with the browser and it even shows some Opera ads. This ads won’t affect your browsing experience significantly, but it is something that allows Opera to make money, even when it offers a free service. Another thing to keep in mind is that Opera servers are likely to throttle bandwidth during peak usage, which can eventually have an impact on the popularity of the service.
Does Opera really offer privacy?
Opera’s VPN solution is not the only way in which the company is working to offer innovation and more options for its customers. Turbo browsing and mobile data compression were also launched a while ago and they have allowed users to enjoy a more efficient and fast browsing experience. VPN browser integration can be a practical option for many users and since Opera is a well-established name, it has gained the trust of people around the world.
It supports features like AES-256 encryption and it offers the chance to mask your IP address so that you can unblock content and bypass censorship. As long as the VPN feature is enabled, Opera users will be able to enjoy safer browsing and freedom to access the websites that they want. However, the rest of your traffic, including the traffic of the apps you use, won’t be protected. Your real IP address may still be leaked and you may experience issues while trying to unblock videos and other media content. In order to enjoy online privacy, it is recommended to opt for a VPN instead.
With a VPN, you entire traffic will be secured, not only your browsing. If you are playing games, using streaming apps or VoIP services, you are better off with the encryption that a VPN provides. In addition, Opera is not an effective solution when it comes to getting around the geographical restrictions implemented by Netflix and Hulu. These services are known for blocking proxies and have even managed to block some VPNs. Since Opera is a popular solution, it is likely that their VPN servers have been already blocked by Netflix.
On the other hand, there are VPN services that have gone unnoticed as they are smaller companies and some have the resources to update their servers regularly to ensure that their customers can get around the restrictions. They offer several VPN servers in different cities, giving customers more options to bypass the blocks. There are many VPN services in the market, but some of the best ones are ExpressVPN, NordVPN and VyprVPN. These are options that allow you to get around restrictions and enjoy access to the content that you want, even on Netflix.
Opera’s decision to introduce a free VPN deserves to be welcomed as it shows that the company understands user’s concerns about privacy, security and online freedom. This free solution allows more people to enhance the protection to their browsing activities. However, if you are looking for a higher level of security, as well as increased protection for your privacy and an effective solution to defeat restrictions, a good VPN service is a better choice.