This week, our focus will be on exploring the web securely and anonymously through the use of VPN.
We generally don’t recommend completely free VPN services, because too many of them borrow your bandwidth, inject ads into displayed websites or sell user browsing histories. (Opera does at least the last of those, as detailed in the service’s privacy statement).
If you want a nearly invisible, VPN-like connection, you might be tempted to try the Opera web browser’s built-in service. It doesn’t require extra software or even an account, it delivers unlimited data and it’s pretty good for streaming especially the likes of Netflix from overseas.
Opera’s VPN is a service built inside the Opera’s web-browser, offer its users the ability to surf the web with enhanced privacy. It’s completely free and does not have any bandwidth limits. However, instead of using an Open VPN, it uses proxy to encrypt your traffic which is less secure than a full, standalone VPN service.
One of the good features of the opera VPN is that, it’s quite very much easy to set up.
To get securely online, all you need to do is open the Opera browser, click the Opera logo at the top left of the browser window, select Settings and then Privacy & Security, and finally check the Enable VPN box. A few seconds after that, the VPN logo will change to blue to show it is secure, and the interface will show the current IP address and how much data has been transferred.
You can also switch servers at will with the Opera VPN.
The Opera browser VPN lets you choose from among only three server locations, vaguely labeled as Americas, Asia and Europe. (In 2017, you could select among servers in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore and the U.S., and speeds were much faster).
Opera VPN Cons
- It’s not really a true VPN. It works more like a proxy.
- It’s browser-only based. There is no provision for a standalone app.
- It has provision for only three servers; this means that the features are very limited.
- Opera VPN doesn’t allow torrenting.
- Opera VPN has slow speeds. Even though it’s a free VPN service, Opera VPN slows your system down by quite a bit.
- Lastly, Opera VPN has no provision for customer service. No love lost there though; it’s a free service so much shouldn’t be expected when it comes to customer service. If you have questions or need help, there is a link to click on their VPN provider features page. This link will basically take you to a general Opera browser help page where you can read a bit more about the VPN.
While we love the Opera browser VPN’s no-nonsense approach and operations, we can’t fully recommend it for regular VPN usage due to the slow speeds and some other side issues. We can recommend Opera VPN, however, if you just want to stream Netflix from overseas and aren’t particularly picky about where it comes from. And if you want a truly speedy free VPN service, there are cool and better VPN services out there.
Client platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Restrictions: Limited to Opera desktop browser