Background of Opera VPN
If you use Opera you know that there is a VPN integrated in the browser that you can toggle on and off. A VPN is used to hide your online activities from hackers and other parties. The question is – is Opera VPN really safe? In this article, we look at that in greater detail so that you know what is needed. There are premium VPN services that are on the market and it’s important to see how Opera VPN stacks against the big boys.
This new feature of Opera was initially available in the developer version then it was rolled out into the main version.
Spoiler Alert: It’s not really a VPN, not in the traditional sense
Installation and setup
You can install Opera browser by visiting Opera website and from there you can access download links for your device. This may be a Mac, Windows, iOS or Android.
Allow the setup to run and complete. For maximum security don’t allow usage data to be logged.
When you launch Opera for the first time, the VPN is disabled by default so you have to turn it on via the settings. Under Privacy and Security, you find an option to use Opera VPN.
How well does it change your IP address?
Click to enable it. Instantly, you find that the VPN label appears in the address bar. From there you can choose an optimum location depending on where you are, or you can select a specific location from the list.
Once you change the location, you are assigned a new IP address. This can be confirmed by an IP address tool. We did a test and it shows that it works well in changing the IP address.
How is the network speed affected?
Next is the speed of the network when Opera VPN is on. Online activities like streaming require good network speed and any prolonged latency disrupts user experience. An excellent VPN must support high network speed so that you are not hindered from accessing any resource that requires good speed.
A quick speed test when connected via Opera VPN shows a drop from about 47 Mb/s to 10 Mb/s. This means expect a loss of more than 50% of network speed when you connect to the internet via Opera VPN. A good VPN should not go beyond 30% loss in speed.
What this means is that if you have a slow internet connection, using Opera VPN is going to further worsen the connection.
Do you have DNS leaks with Opera VPN?
Every time you type in a URL and request for a site, the request is sent to a DNS server. This server is responsible for finding an IP address of the site you want so that you can view it on your device. Usually your ISP hosts the DNS servers and forces any DNS queries to be made via these servers.
A good VPN must handle all DNS queries instead of using the ISP servers, hence your ISP is not able to see the sites you visit. A poor VPN leaks DNS requests and your ISP is still able to see what you are doing online.
You can run the test online and if all is in order, the name of your ISP servers must not appear in the results. In this case, when we did the test while Opera VPN was on, there was no DNS leak. This shows that Opera VPN is safe as far as DNS leaks is concerned.
Limitations of Opera VPN
A true VPN works at operating system level so that your entire apps on your device pass through the VPN when you go online. Read more about how a VPN works in greater detail.
On the other hand. Opera VPN only encrypts traffic from the web browser and excludes any other apps running on your device. This means you are exposed when you go online because hackers still have access to your system. Open VPN is actually an encrypted HTTPS web proxy and not a true VPN.
Only web browser traffic is encrypted and that’s it. Any other app that connects to the internet does that outside the VPN.
Opera VPN limitations:
- Device support is limited
- You can’t use it to download torrents
- You can’t unblock Netflix
- You can’t stream efficiently
- You can’t install it on a router
What’s the way forward?
We selected top VPN services and reviewed them in one section. At the top of the pack is NordVPN which has all the features you need to access the internet securely and privately.
Is Opera VPN really safe? Now you know it’s not. Visit this page and select one of the top VPNs at the moment.