Back in 2016, Opera introduced its free mobile VPN add for iOS devices. Unfortunately, it didn't last long as was discontinued for both iOS and Android devices in 2018. The developer SurfEasy had been acquired by Opera in 2015, but after their departure, Opera had no choice but to discontinue the VPN service.
However back in February, Opera announced that they were reviving their mobile VPN service and that it would be a built-in feature for their browser that Android users would be able to enjoy.
After a brief beta period, Opera's mobile VPN for Android has been live for a few months, and it's a solid mobile option for people looking for a mobile VPN. Today, we will talk about how to set it up, as well as go over the pros and cons of using Opera's mobile VPN.
Setting up Opera's Mobile VPN
- Download the Opera Browser
Since Opera's new and improved mobile VPN is now a built-in feature for the Opera browser as opposed to a standalone app like the original version, Android users must use Opera to use this VPN.
- Open up Opera
- Head to Settings and toggle on the VPN option
Opera's Mobile VPN security options
By default, Opera's Mobile VPN service will only use its' VPN if you are in private tabs. If you wish for the VPN to also be used for search engine, then you will need to manually turn this function on.
You can also ensure that Opera's Mobile VPN works for all tabs instead of just private tabs by toggling off the option "Use VPN for Private Tabs only."
The VPN currently allows users to select servers from America, Europe, and Asia. You can allow the VPN to choose what it thinks is the best server option by picking the "Optimal" option under Virtual Location. There's no telling if there will be any more locations added in the future.
Benefits of Opera's Mobile VPN
Opera's mobile VPN service is free for Opera users, and free always attract a person's eye. This is particularly good for people on the younger side or kids, who may or may not be able to afford a mobile VPN service. People are using their phones more and more nowadays, and it is important to be using a VPN on your computer as well as your smartphone.
It can get around Netflix's restrictions
Opera's mobile VPN can actually work to get around Netflix's restrictions. This isn't something that many VPNs can say (And considering this isn't really a VPN that makes it even more impressive). A lot of Netflix users prefer to watch via their smartphone, so again, this is a pretty big win.
It's easy to set up and use
Since Opera's mobile VPN is now a built-in feature for Opera users that makes it very easy to setup and use. This is great for people who are less technically-inclined but would still like a layer of protection when browsing on their phones.
Just like with its ability to access Netflix, unlimited bandwidth is extremely rare amongst free VPNs, and it is something that is worth noting.
Cons of Opera's Mobile VPN
It's not really a VPN so security isn't good
Although Opera has called it a VPN, their VPN service is really just a glorified proxy server.
Opera's VPN hides your IP address, but there is no encryption software here, so you aren't nearly as protected when using it as you think you are. For that reason, we would recommend Opera users to keep their mobile activities harmless.
Opera claims they don't keep logs, but they do
Many VPN services claim that they do not keep logs, but a lot of them actually do. And Opera is one such company.
Making it worse, is the fact that there are 3 countries that you would need to worry about when using Opera's mobile VPN. Opera is a Norwegian company, but the developer SurfEasy, responsible for the creation of Opera's VPN, is a Canadian country. Opera is also majority owned by a Chinese company. That's a lot of laws you'd need to keep up with, and it definitely causes concern for one's privacy.
Very low amount of servers
Opera's mobile VPN has three servers. And unlike other VPNs which have countries, or cities, Opera's mobile VPN just has three continents. Anyone who has used a VPN before knows that results can vary from country to country or city to city, so having such limited options is less than ideal.
Opera's VPN had more servers when it was a standalone app, so why Opera decided to take several steps back in this regard is beyond me.
Relatively mediocre speeds
This shouldn't come as a surprise since it is a free service, but Opera's mobile VPN couldn't be considered fast by any standards. So while this service can access Netflix, it might not be as great as you initially thought.
No customer service support
Don't expect any help from Opera if their mobile VPN service starts acting up, as you won't get any.
It's essential for VPN services to have good customer support so that when issues arise, they can be addressed and solved as quickly as possible. Opera's VPN only has 3 servers, so if one goes down, you're screwed. No other options, and no one to talk to in hopes of getting it fixed.
Is Opera's Mobile VPN worth using and who should use it?
Is Opera's mobile VPN worth using? I'd say that the answer is yes and no.
I think for kids and perhaps the older generation, Opera's mobile VPN is fine to use so long as you aren't doing anything sensitive when you are browsing. There are plenty of security and privacy concerns here, so this isn't recommended for those interested in keeping themselves safe.
But if you just want to be able to use Netflix in locations where you ordinarily couldn't or want to keep nosy ISPs out of your business, this is a decent enough option.