Is Opera VPN safe?

Opera VPN

Opera is one of the top ten web browsers in the world. The browser, available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, also includes its own VPN service free of charge.

However, a review of some of the key features that every trustworthy VPN service should possess reveals that Opera is not as reliable as suggested. In fact, what Opera claims to have can hardly be called a VPN service.

Here are the main issues.

Location

After you have successfully activated Opera’s VPN feature (Menu→Settings→Advanced→Privacy&Security→VPN), an icon will appear displaying your VPN status.

Through VPN add-ons you can choose one of the following vague locations: Europe, the Americas, and Asia. There is no further information about the exact number and locations of Opera servers. Also, the country you choose does not always match the location previously selected.

Limited Security

The reason Opera’s VPN is not a real VPN service is that it does not provide comprehensive protection. With Opera VPN your online traffic is protected so long as you are using the Opera browser – whenever you leave it, you become vulnerable.  This means that torrenting and streaming services, as well as any other apps that do not use Opera, are unsafe to use and your location can be easily detected.

Other Safety Issues

No tunneling protocol

Although Opera VPN boasts AES-256 encryption, considered unbreakable, Opera does not have a VPN tunneling protocol to ensure safe network communication. It only uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption, which does not encrypt large amounts of metadata generated by various devices. Also, it does not encrypt the data transported through other browsers.

Few additional security features

Although no data leaks were discovered while using Opera, the browser does not have additional safety features that some users require.

One such feature is Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS), which is the type of encryption that frequently changes the keys used for data encryption and decryption. In this way, you may rest assured that even if the current key is hacked, only a minimum amount of sensitive data will be exposed.

Another useful feature Opera VPN does not have is the kill switch. The kill switch makes sure to disconnect your device from the Internet in case your VPN connection is broken, thus preventing your information from exposure.

Last but not least, Opera VPN seems to offer little protection against IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks.

Lax no-logging policy

One of the reasons people use VPN services is to have privacy, including protection from parties that collect, store and sell information about your online activity.

Opera, like so many other VPN service providers without a strict no-logging policy, shares its users’ browsing data with Google and Facebook, and in this way completely defeats its VPN purpose.

In Summary

One of the main advantages of Opera VPN is that it is free and easy to use. Also, it provides AES-256 encryption and no leaks have been discovered when using the Opera browser. Furthermore, Opera VPN can unblock American Netflix.

On the downside, Opera VPN is only safe when using the Opera browser; it has no VPN protocol; its logging policy is not strict and it does not offer any additional security features.

All in all, if your main objective is simply to spoof your location and be able to watch Netflix abroad, Opera VPN may be sufficient. But if you are looking for foolproof protection from online intruders and data collection, make sure to choose a more reliable and extensive VPN service.

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