The desktop browser Opera has been around for a long time, but it has lost ground to the likes of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Opera is doing a lot to lure users back, and its latest feature is a doozy. Opera now comes with unlimited, free VPN for life!
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, basically masks your online identity and tricks the site you are visiting into thinking you are in a different location than where you actually are. It’s an important security element and you should be using VPNs more often than you think.
What Is “Free and Unlimited”?
VPNs usually have one of two restrictions. Either they restrict the amount of data you can download and upload, or they ask you to pay. Opera’s new VPN is both free and offers unlimited data, so you have a completely unrestricted VPN built right into your browser.
What Makes Opera VPN Special?
On any other web browser, you’ll need to install extensions to use a VPN. However, you can’t always trust those. By baking it into the browser, Opera—a long-time Internet stalwart—gives you a sense of trust and certainty.
Also, free VPNs can be unbearably slow to use. VPNs route your data through a remote server, so the speed is slower than your usual bandwidth. But Opera’s VPN, at the moment, is working as fast as any paid VPN.
Additionally, it’s remarkably easy to use, compared to extensions.
- To activate it: Go to Menu > Settings (or Preferences on Mac) > Privacy & Security > Enable VPN.
- To use it: Click VPN in the URL bar to get a drop-down menu. Toggle it On or Off. And select from one of three VPN countries: USA, Canada, or Germany.
You’ll probably need to refresh the page once to reload the page using the VPN. And any new tab you open will start with the VPN enabled, till you turn it off.
Can Opera VPN Be Trusted?
For a good VPN, you would usually need to pay for a subscription. We have taken a detailed look at several to come up with a list of the best VPN services and our constant advice is to purchase a paid VPN and not trust the free ones.
However, the new Opera VPN changes that! You see, a while back, Opera bought areputed paid VPN service called SurfEasy. And the “free, unlimited VPN” you get now is through that deal, and features all of the protections you would thus expect from a paid VPN.
What Security Do I Get with This VPN?
Most VPNs are not going to guarantee you complete anonymity and privacy. VPNs are less secure than most people think, but they are still better for your security than using no VPN at all.
For example, the Opera VPN will automatically mask your IP address and show a different one to the websites you’re visiting. That way, you can browse the Internet with more privacy and they can’t tell it’s you.
Also, connecting to public Wi-Fi networks like those at a coffee shop can be risky since those are usually easy for hackers to crack. A VPN gives you an additional level of security there too, while letting you browse as you normally would.
Can I Watch Region-Restricted Videos?
Yes you can! If YouTube says, “Sorry, the uploader has not made this video available in your country”, then don’t worry. Enable the VPN, choose a country, and reload the page. You should be good to go! It’s far easier than other tricks to bypass YouTube’s regional filter.
I tried it out with several other region-restricted websites and services, like Comedy Central, and Opera’s VPN worked flawlessly each time. It tracks the amount of data you use and seems to be alarmed even when you hit 10MB, but I wouldn’t pay much heed to that because it worked fine even when I hit 200MB.
Can I Watch Unrestricted Netflix?
Nope! The one service that Opera’s VPN does not support is Netflix. It’s understandable, given that Netflix has publicly banned VPNs because users were accessing content not meant for them.
So even if you’re on Opera, you’ll need to stick to your own country’s Netflix catalog. Of course, there are other ways to watch all of Netflix no matter where you live.
What Are the Problems With Opera VPN?
Right now, there is very little to criticize about Opera’s new VPN offering, considering it’s free, fast, and unlimited—a rare combination. That said, here are a few things I’d be glad to see:
- Only three countries supported so far: Germany, USA, and Canada. Opera has said that they will be expanding this list slowly.
- No support for Opera mobile so far. It’s a fantastic app with some great space-saving features, but it won’t get VPN. That said, there’s better news. Opera is looking into releasing standalone, system-wide Opera VPN apps for iOS and Android, according to Ars Technica.
- It’s only in the Developer version of Opera at the moment, not in the stable version.
How to Get Opera VPN
So as we just noted, the stable version of Opera doesn’t have this feature yet and it has only been rolled out in Opera’s Developer version. But don’t let that bother you, it’s still a free download and works on all major desktop operating systems. Grab it here:
- Opera developer for Windows
- Opera developer for Mac
- Opera developer for 32-bit Linux – deb file
- Opera developer for 64-bit Linux – deb file
- Opera developer for 32-bit Linux – RPM file
- Opera developer for 64-bit Linux – RPM file