A virtual private network (VPN) is a great way to protect yourself online, especially on public hotspots. Opera is the first major browser to have a built-in, no-log, unlimited browser VPN that is completely free. So how can you make sure your browsing is safer with Opera’s VPN?
For one thing, you don’t need any extra software, and you don’t need an account. Simply toggle on the VPN badge, and your Opera browser is protected by the VPN – you can surf the web normally without worrying about the security of the Wi-Fi at your favorite coffee shop. But now you are trusting Opera’s VPN instead of the public hotspot, so how do you know if it’s safer to use?
How secure is Opera’s VPN?
The safety and security of Opera’s VPN depend on two major factors: encryption of internet traffic to and from the VPN server and no-logging. When you enable Opera’s VPN, your browser creates a secure tunnel between you and one of our physical VPN servers, and encrypts your browser traffic with industry-standard 256-bit encryption.
256-bit suggests how long the encryption key is that encrypts the data sent over the VPN connection. This is the strongest encryption available in commercial applications today, and it would take a hacker with even the fastest computer more than a billion years to break using brute-force methods. In other words, a hacker will not be able to just guess the key and gain access to your browsing data.
Your connection to our secure VPN servers remains private and our no-log policy ensures that your browsing activity is never recorded or logged, making your browsing strictly your own business.
How does using a VPN protect me?
VPNs protect you in two major ways:
One, they encrypt traffic between your device and the VPN server so that no one, not even your ISP (internet service provider), can see your online activity.
And two, they disguise your IP address and location so that you cannot be identified by this data.
Online, security and safety are often used interchangeably, but with VPN providers, safety is more than just how secure your connection to the server is. Generally, the VPN server can see your internet traffic, but a good VPN provider will never log or store this data. This means that which VPN provider you choose depends on which one you trust with your data. This should be considered when looking through free VPN providers as well as paid ones. It’s a good idea to go with a well-known and transparent provider for a free safe VPN.
Which brings us to a very important question:
How does Opera’s VPN handle my data?
When you use our built-in VPN service, we do not log any information related to your browsing activity and originating network address. Period.
No logs. No tracking. What you do online is your own business.
And what if the government makes you give up user data from the VPN?
Opera is based in Norway, and Norway has adopted the GDPR. Norway’s data protection authority, Datatilsynet, also oversees data protection in the country. As a result, we are subject to, and have to comply with, some of the strictest data protection regulations in the world.
Government authorities or law enforcement agencies may reach out to us during the course of investigations, as they reach out to any company. When this happens, they must do so by liaising through Norwegian authorities, who then contact us. In all such cases, we inform those authorities that we are not able to share user data because we do not have it.
But you’re offering the VPN for free. Are you doing that by monetizing my VPN data?
Actually, no. You see, the free VPN is not our core product. We make money through business partnerships and through advertising in our main browsers. We also provide a premium, device-wide VPN service called VPN Pro that we charge money for. And so we’re able to provide the in-browser VPN for free, and we don’t need to monetize it. So you can rest assured that we do not collect any data when you use the free VPN.
Okay, you say Opera’s VPN is safe and secure. Is there proof?
That’s a great question that you should absolutely be asking. When choosing any VPN, free or paid, it’s important to do your research and make sure the provider is trusted and the product is vetted by recognized reviewers and third-party auditors.
We are very aware of this ourselves. That’s why Opera’s VPN has been audited by Cure53, a renowned cybersecurity firm based in Berlin with more than 15 years of experience running software testing and code auditing.
How fast is Opera’s VPN?
When you enable Opera’s VPN, your browser automatically connects to the server that will provide you with the best user experience. But if you’d prefer a server in a different geographical area, simply go to your VPN settings and choose the region that you would like. With physical servers around the world, we offer users a choice between three regions: America, Asia, and Europe. The exact location of the server will affect your connection speed, especially if you choose a region that is not optimal.
Opera’s VPN is fast and can keep up with good broadband connections. The most significant slowdown that you may experience is an increased ping (the time required to send a signal to a remote server and receive a response). Even then, the difference should only be a matter of milliseconds, a small compromise for the peace of mind that our VPN can provide.
Where do I find Opera’s free, secure VPN?
To enable Opera’s secure VPN, go to Settings > Go to full browser settings > Features > VPN and turn on Enable VPN.
When you enable the VPN, a blue badge will appear at the upper left corner of the combined address and search bar, indicating that the connection has been made. Click on the badge to see an on/off switch, information about the amount of data transferred, the virtual location, and the virtual IP address.
Okay, but this only protects my browsing in the Opera browser. What if I want to protect my entire device?
It’s true that our free VPN only protects your browsing within the Opera browser, and not your entire device. For those of you who need device-wide protection, we mentioned VPN Pro before: a premium VPN offering that lets you protect up to six devices simultaneously. You can choose from 3,000+ private servers in over 30 countries, so you can tailor your browsing to your needs.
To provide the VPN Pro service, we are collaborating with renowned VPN provider NordVPN, which operates the servers for VPN Pro. This is an additional guarantee of a private and secure experience when you use VPN Pro, as NordVPN is one of the most trusted and transparent VPN vendors in the world. This means that, just like Opera’s free VPN, VPN Pro is a secure, no-log service with strong industry-standard encryption that protects your entire device.
Download Opera to try our safe VPN. Online security can seem challenging, but we’re helping to make it easier. With simplicity, safety, and speed, Opera’s secure VPN can help you protect yourself online.