The Best VPNs for The Opera Browser
The internet is a huge, lumbering beast with close to two million web pages, making navigation challenging. Web browsers act a bit like sniffer dogs, hunting down the information you want by sifting through pages of information in a matter of seconds.
Opera is a fast and efficient way of locating pages, audio files, and even videos. Being both smaller and faster than many of the alternatives, it gives users a simple way of tracking down relevant content while avoiding unwanted adverts.
Like many web browsers, Opera has an incognito option available, but that’s not enough to give users robust online protection, which is why many use a VPN extension. While some opt for the Opera free VPN, which is little more than a glorified proxy service, others want something a bit more robust and private, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best VPNs for the Opera browser.
Opera: The Good, the Bad and Why You Need a VPN
It may seem as though everyone’s singing from the same songbook at the moment, and the song they’re singing is all about cybersecurity, digital freedom, hate speech, and censorship. While these could restrict your ability to access the content you want, even if Opera finds it for you, they’re nothing compared to the cyber threats online criminals are conjuring up.
A reliable Opera VPN will keep your secrets safe by ensconcing all your internet traffic within an encrypted tunnel, so rather than seeing your credit card details, cybercriminals will simply be confronted by an encoded pile of gibberish.
Certainly, the incognito mode will prevent your cookies from being tracked and reduce the number of targeted adverts you get inundated with, but it won’t stop your ISP from knowing where you’ve been or what you’ve viewed. Similarly, private browsing mode can’t protect you against phishing attacks or malware, which is why a VPN is so important.
While Opera works effectively when it comes to hunting and gathering information, there’s only so far it can go, so if you’re holed up in somewhere in China and desperate for a little Netflix action, you’ll need one of the best VPNs to get around the censorship, firewalls, and geo-blocks regardless of whether you’re using Opera or another web browser.
The best VPNs for the Opera browser are those that offer high speeds and cutting-edge encryption without logging your activities or leaking private traffic.
The Best Opera VPN for the Opera Browser
#1 – ExpressVPN
Fast, secure, and completely transparent, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for Opera, as it is for practically everything else as well. Although it has released an Opera-specific browser extension, its Chrome one will work just as effectively with Opera as it does Chrome, although it does require a few more steps to get it up and running.
Established a decade ago, ExpressVPN seems to outperform the competition at every turn, whether it’s accessing Netflix, navigating the Great Firewall of China, or protecting user privacy. High speeds, cutting-edge encryption, and a no-logging policy are the standard qualities of our favorite VPNs, but ExpressVPN manages to do everything just that little bit better and faster than anyone else.
With apps available for almost every device, operating system, and web browser, ExpressVPN is nothing but versatile. It has also a huge network of servers, all of which utilize its zero-knowledge architecture to protect its users’ data. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the other VPNs discussed here, it’s got everything you need, and its simplicity makes it more streamlined and user-friendly.
ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which effectively gives every user a month to try the service for free. Given how fast, effective and secure ExpressVPN is, once you’ve tried it, you’ll find it hard to give it up, especially as you can enjoy 15 months of top-class cybersecurity for the price of 12.
#2 – CyberGhost VPN
Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost doesn’t have an extension for Opera specifically but does have one for Chrome that works well and is completely free of charge. Like CyberGhost’s other products, its browser extensions are simple to set-up and utilize while also being surprisingly customizable.
CyberGhost works so effectively, and testing it delivered a few surprises. For example, once installed as an Opera VPN extension, it simply starts working without the user having to do anything at all! Checking to see what IP address the sites we visited were detecting proved that CyberGhost had allocated a secure European IP address, and was, with eerie efficiency, already masking our original one.
Another surprise was that not even the CyberGhost website detected that a VPN was in use, indicating that this is a great way to get around geographical restrictions and access blocked content. The only problem is, you can’t select a specific server or location unless you have the complete VPN app installed on your device. Furthermore, the CyberGhost browser plugin doesn’t have the full functionality of its native mobile or desktop apps and offers little protection against WebRTC leaks or contaminated Flash content.
CyberGhost VPN is the epitome of cheap and cheerful, but its goofy ghostly graphics belie the power that’s behind it. Not only does CyberGhost have one of the largest server networks in the world, but it also uses the latest encryption and security protocols to deliver some of the best online protection.
Affordable long-term subscriptions and consistency of service make CyberGhost a great choice, either as a browser extension or fully-fledged VPN. Check out our full review here or start your life as a Ghostie by signing up with CyberGhost today.
#3 – Surfshark VPN
Although Surfshark VPN doesn’t have a dedicated browser extension for Opera, its Chrome extension works just as effectively with Opera as it does its targeted web browser. It may not be as well known as some of our other top VPNs, but it does live up to its name when it comes to both power and speed. Using the latest 256-bit encryption, Surfshark gives its users a cloak of invisibility, from under which they can access geographically restricted content and even stream movies from other countries undetected.
Surfshark VPN has a comparatively small server network but that doesn’t seem to hinder its speeds or cause any interruptions to the connections. Servers have been carefully distributed to give users worldwide access to top-class protection. Its CleanWeb feature boosts Opera’s own ad-blocker to give users even more protection against malware and phishing attacks.
With unlimited simultaneous connections available and apps that are compatible with a wide range of operating systems and browsers, Surfshark is extremely versatile and even gives users the option of extra VPN protection with its Multi-Hop feature. Although diverting traffic through multiple secure servers may reduce speeds to some degree, if you want the best online protection available, this is the way to go.
Competitive pricing plans and a strict no-logging policy make Surfshark a great alternative to the free Opera VPN, while its ability to dodge geo-blocks means users can access whatever content they like. If you want to do a little stealthy streaming, sign up with Surfshark VPN today or check out all its features and functions in our full review here.
#4 – ZenMate VPN
Not only does ZenMate VPN have a browser extension dedicated to Opera, but its also completely free. While free VPNs tend to get a pretty rough ride, ZenMate’s is one of the small handful are actually designed to protect user privacy and enable anonymous browsing. Inevitably, the free version is limited in terms of both available servers and maximum speeds, while the premium packages offer more locations and consistently faster connections.
ZenMate is certainly no match for the likes of ExpressVPN and, rather than switching to the latest 246-bit encryption, has stuck with the sub-standard 128-bit in an effort to bolster its average speeds. It also doesn’t have the cleanest track record when it comes to logging either. On the other hand, ZenMate is adept at getting around geographical restrictions and supporting P2P traffic, so it’s got some definite perks.
With servers in just 30 countries, ZenMate is tiny compared to the likes of CyberGhost VPN, but it still does a decent job of hiding your digital footprint and keeping your online transactions out of the hands of cybercriminals. In addition to its free offering, ZenMate has a range of affordable pricing plans available, with the two-year plan offering the best value at $2.05 per month.
Read more about its features in our comprehensive review.
How Good is the Opera free VPN?
To say that opinions are divided on the Opera VPN is an understatement. The truth is, the latest version of the Opera VPN is considerably better than the old one, but still nowhere near the quality offered by the best VPNs for Opera.
Opera VPN is limited, that’s indisputable and works more like a proxy service than an actual VPN, encrypting traffic only on the Opera browser and leaving other web browsers and email clients exposed. This is a shame given that the free VPN Opera used to provide for Android devices was quite good and made use of real VPN servers.
Despite its drawbacks, however, Opera VPN is surprisingly efficient when it comes to accessing blocked content on streaming sites like Netflix. Of course, with Netflix constantly on the look-out for new VPNs and proxy services, this could vary dramatically from one day to the next.
Furthermore, the Opera free VPN is easy to use and, at present, offers a simple solution to the problem of how to watch American Netflix from abroad. Without the security of the OpenVPN protocol, however, the VPN Opera bundles in with its browser remains substandard in terms of online security and extent of protection.
How to Add Chrome Extensions to Opera
For ExpressVPN, Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN, users will need to add the Chrome extension to Opera, as neither has a dedicated extension for the Opera browser. This is a straightforward process that requires you to follow these simple steps:
Step One – install the extension that allows you to install Chrome extensions into Opera.
Step Two – head over the Chrome Webstore and select the VPN extension of your choice
Step Three – click on the Add to Opera button.
While that’s essentially it, with ExpressVPN and Surfshark VPN, you will also need a subscription, so you’ll need to open an account and install the latest relevant app for the device you’re using. You also need to tweak the settings in your Opera browser to enable the VPN connection.
Although Opera browser developers have tweaked certain settings and provided users with a variety of opt-out choices, it still isn’t going to give you a secure nor anonymous browsing experience, even with the private browsing mode enabled. The Opera free VPN can help but it’s not as comprehensive, powerful, or effective as a complete VPN service, operating more like a proxy.
The best VPNs for the Opera browser aren’t necessarily those with dedicated Opera browser extensions and ExpressVPN, CyberGhost VPN, and Surfshark VPN all have Chrome extensions that can be used just as effectively with Opera. While users need a subscription to use either Surfshark or ExpressVPN with Opera, CyberGhost’s Chrome extension is available free of charge.
As with any free service, there are limits to CyberGhost’s browser extension and those wanting comprehensive online protection will need to upgrade to a paid option. Even its browser extension, however, will work more effectively than the Opera free VPN in most instances, although the latter is surprisingly good at accessing blocked content on streaming sites like Netflix.
While Opera is a decent enough web browser, those looking for a more secure browsing experience should consider downloading the free browser from Mozilla and getting one of the best VPNs for Firefox to boost security even further.