While Opera’s free VPN app was already available for iOS users earlier this year (surpassing 1 million downloads), the brand has now launched its Android counterpart.
With Opera VPN you can improve your online privacy, block ad-tracking cookies, access more online content (which may be geographically restricted) and test the security of WiFi networks around you — a feature I find particularly useful.
You don’t need to set up an account to use the app and it’s genuinely free to use unlike some other options involving in-app upgrades. There aren’t any limits on how much data you can use either — convenient if you’re using the VPN to watch TV series from abroad. (Tut tut…)
According to Chris Houston, President of Surfeasy, Opera’s VPN division: “The Opera VPN app for Android sets itself apart from other VPNs by offering a completely free service — without a data limit, no log-in required, advanced Wi-Fi protection features and no need for a subscription.”
WiFi testing functionality
With Opera VPN’s WiFi testing tool, you’ll be able to scan a network to check whether it’s public or private, whether it’s encrypted, how many other devices that share the same connection, if the IP address and the location are exposed, and if others can monitor or sniff device details.
What I find particularly interesting is that if the tool detects weaknesses in that network (it grades the network from A-F), it will advise you to enable the VPN.
Since the app is 100% free, logically some users had security concerns. Talking to The Next Web, Chris Houston cleared them up by saying:
“To help cover the cost of providing the service Opera VPN displays advertising and collects anonymous information. It’s important to understand that this is not data about what you do with your phone, but rather this is data about how a large group of people use their phones. It’s very much like taking part in a survey – there is very little value in your personal answers since your answers may not be representative of the larger population. This data is completely anonymized.”
Setting it up and first impressions
Setting up the app felt straightforward and once that’s done (a process that takes seconds), you can choose between five server locations including the US, Canada, Germany, Singapore and The Netherlands. So far I’ve found the app to be very user friendly and considering it’s free and unlimited, I’m looking forward to testing it out properly!