Opera VPN offers a free and unlimited VPN service

By , May 13, 2016

Opera VPN App Icon

VPNs can afford a lot of benefits to users. They route your data through special servers that can help you access content that is only available in certain regions, bypass firewalls that block content like iDownloadBlog or music streaming services, and protect yourself on public networks. They grant these features, usually in exchange for a monthly fee. The new Opera VPN app brings all of this and more, for free. However, it isn’t without compromises.

Opera purchased SurfEasy last year and is using their service as the backbone of their free VPN app. SurfEasy is still offering a paid option that gives you access on your computer, as well as your mobile phone for those who want a full service VPN. This is also similar to the service that Opera recently introduced in their developer preview of their desktop web browser.

Beyond just the VPN, Opera also baked in a tracker blocker that prevents trackers from following you around the web, and an ad blocker. That makes this almost a 2 in 1 app. Instead of having an app to block trackers and ads, then a second app for a VPN, you have one for both. Blocking ads and trackers are both enabled by default, though I recommend disabling the ad tracker. Great sites that provide free content, just like you are reading right now, rely on ad revenue. The ad blocker in the Opera VPN app is all or nothing, with no way to whitelist certain sites. So, at least until a time whereas I can support the sites I enjoy, I keep it turned off.

Opera VPN Ad and Tracker Blocker

So what are some things you can do with a VPN? Well, some content can be blocked based on location. As an example, say I was traveling in Canada for work. I want to watch some YouTube videos but they are blocked in CA. If I enable my VPN, I can change the location I am accessing the content from to the US. It routes my traffic through the Opera VPN server, then to YouTube, so as far as the content site is concerned, I am accessing it from within the US. Currently, the Opera VPN app offers 5 geographic locations you can use when connecting.

Opera VPN Geographic Locations Popup

Aside from accessing location based content, you can also bypass firewalls. So if your office or school blocks blogs or music streaming services, using the VPN can go around that. So you would be able to listen to your favorite music streaming sites/apps, as well as read iDB at the office.

As usual, everything free comes with compromises. Opera does need to get something out of this, and they do. The first is just generating fans and awareness of their desktop web browser. Currently, they are the number 5 browser and they could use more marketshare. Companies like Google pay Opera when they set them as the default search engine in the browser. So if Opera can encourage more people to use Opera, they can increase their revenue.

The other benefit to Opera is they can provide outside companies with anonymized web data from their users. Chris Houston, the president of SurfEasy said “This information is made available to third parties who are interested in better understanding the mobile ecosystem and how it’s evolving,”. While users who are the utmost concerned about privacy should be wary of that, this is not uncommon for many apps that use the same practice. To be clear, no personal or identifying information is being made available to outside parties.

Many people will find a need for a VPN. Whether accessing content while traveling abroad, catching up on their iDB news at work, or just blocking ads and trackers. The Opera VPN app is a free and dead simple way to take advantage of these features.

What do you guys think of Opera VPN? Would you rather get access to a fast VPN for free with the catch that they offer anonymized data to outside parties, or pay to ensure the highest security?

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  • Ethan Humphrey

    Has anyone got it working with Netflix anywhere but the US?

    • iltas

      Netflix is free in all country no need vpn

      • rafaelpz

        But it has location based content. So there’s that.

      • iltas

        In last update it avalible in all country some of countries need vpn but there is no ads n Netflix i give u advic use (Avast secure vpn )its preety fast no laging

      • Shinonuke

        It is available in all country but each country have their own local content that will not be available in other countries. Example is being a USA user who wants to see Chinese content. There are Chinese movies available but only the ones that are licensed for USA use. Rafaelpz wants to unlock all content

    • Sujan

      Nope i can confirm its not working on netflix.

  • czbird

    Not bad but not customizable. Not blocking some obvious ads. Also on certain networks, their VPN servers are inaccessible by e.g. company firewall – resulting into your phone endlessly trying to reconnect and depleting the battery.

    • iltas

      U right

  • iltas

    hope work with hulu ads

  • Victor

    i hope it’s not blocked in China yet.

    • rippley5150

      I’m in Beijing and it still works as of Friday at 8:48 pm.

      • Victor

        glad to hear that 🙂

  • triggerhappypunk

    Sorry for my ignorance, can somebody confirm if this (a VPN) will work to get around the issue of purchasing music in iTunes that is not available in the US iTunes store? For example, say an artist has a song that is only available in the Canada iTunes store, if I use a VPN and change to the Canada iTunes store, can I purchase the song, and then switch back to the US iTunes store, and still have access to the purchased song?

    • Daniel Waske

      Probably won’t work since you’re AppleID is tied to the US store, i.e., you can only buy stuff from there independent of where you actually are at the moment of purchase.

      • triggerhappypunk

        ok that makes sense, thanks.

      • If you want to purchase music in an other country, you have to have an account in that country. For example, youl buy an itunes card in canada to go an make an account in the canadian itunes store. And you need to give a canadian adress into itunes.
        I am from germany and have three accounts, one Germany, one in the US and one in Canada.

      • triggerhappypunk

        ok thanks, seems like more work than it’s worth. perhaps the United Nations should put a unified global iTunes Store at the top of their agenda?

      • Sleaka J

        I’m pretty sure the UN has more important things to take care of.

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    Great article and video tutorial. But I’d like you to expand a little more on what the disadvantages are of this service being free and unlimited as it is. Of course as you mentioned they have to be getting something in return and I’m sure it goes beyond just the “all we need from you is to get the word out there that we offer this service and we’re awesome!”-spiel. Please expand on the disadvantages, if any, a bit more, Andrew. Thanks!

    • See very last link ion this post about why you should avoid free VPNs

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        I already read that article, what I meant was what are the cons specifically related to Opera’s free and unlimited VPN service? What are those compromises? If its cons are more or less the same as that of other free VPN services then I guess the question is already answered. Unless anyone else who knows more can chime in, perhaps? Thanks.

  • askep3

    How does it compare to bettermet?

  • Nolan I.

    Guys, this is NOT a VPN…

    This is merely a proxy. It will work ok for unblocking content, but you should not trust this to keep your connections private.

  • This is just a proxy not a vpn

  • 5723alex .

    Don’t touch this VPN even with a 100 feet pole. It’s open to NSA and other countries in the 14-eyes group. Norway belong to the 9-eyes group. You won’t get privacy, anonymity or safe encryption.

    9 eyes: Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway

    These are third-parties with whom the NSA cooperates, but also spies upon. Denmark for example has allowed the NSA to install surveillance equipment on international fiber-optic cables for data leaving and entering the country under the Rampart-A program. In the return, the NSA assists the Danish intelligence services in various ways including access to NSA hardware, and allowing them access to the surveillance equipment installed on the fiber-optic cables. Germany, too, is part of this program.

    The 5 are the main spies, the rest are enablers that also spy on each other, with help they receive from taking part of in this intelligence sharing program. Your internet traffic will most likely transit through one of these countries anyway, but if you avoid make sure your traffic doesn’t originate from one of these countries, you’re better off as far as privacy goes.

    https:// www. reddit. com/r/VPN/comments/345nep/psa_avoid_servers_and_vpns_in_the_14eyes_countries

  • It’s slow compared to other VPNs. My personal fav is SurfEasy.

    • 5723alex .

      SurfEasy is a Canadian company and your data is under NSA… surveillance.

      You surly don’t get any privacy, encryption, anonymity.., so why pay for nothing ?

      5-eyes: United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand

      These five countries make up the core of the UK-USA Agreement . That is to say, they are the main entities spying on everyone, including their partners..

  • techfreak23

    I love how you guys block mobile access if you are using 1Blocker. Even tried whitelisting and it still doesn’t work. If you don’t want people blocking your ads, find a better way to implement them so they are not intrusive or inhibiting the performance of the site. Roughly 20% of the site is ads.

  • Mallouk Malek

    This is the first free VPN that did not degrade my quality of connection WOW !
    With ads and trackers blocking? I’m all in!
    The funny thing is that it is already blocking your ads 😀

  • Nesly Lacroix

    Thank you so much for this article. The best so far on iDownloadblog this year. I was able to use it right away to access an app unavailable in my country.

  • frankbilson

    Well, I am using Ivacy VPN for last 6 months. I have not faced any problem whether I use it for Live streaming or downloading movies and TV shows. I have read blog post on Life hacker Australia and Geek Time as a leading VPN provider.