Opera kills off mobile VPN


It's the end of the line for Opera's free mobile VPN app, but there are discounts on offer for old users.

Last November, Symantec acquired VPN developer SurfEasy from browser-maker Opera. While most consumers barely blinked at this news, a small subset sensed trouble ahead and their hunch was right. Opera has now closed its excellent Opera VPN app, which provided iOS and Android users with that rarest of rare things: a free, ad-free VPN with unlimited data.

Firstly, if you paid up for Opera Gold a version of the service which sped up connections, doubled the regions available and added dedicated customer support then Opera is giving you a free year's subscription to SurfEasy Ultra. Given that's the same VPN platform on which Opera's system was based, most people likely won't notice too big a shake up and given it usually costs $12 per month, they're getting a decent amount of software for their previous $30 per year.

But what if you were just enjoying the free version? Well, there's a fair argument to say the company doesn't really owe you anything, but all the same, Opera is offering you something to apologise for the end of the service. If you have the apps installed (and you still seem to be able to download it for some reason), Opera says you'll be able to redeem an 80% discount on the SurfEasy Total VPN, which usually costs $5 per month, and has 12 fewer regions than the Ultra version.

If you're used to paying nothing for your VPN, then 99 cents per month may still feel like a slap in the face but it may still be preferable to the long, thankless search for a free VPN that can offer similar quality to what Opera managed. Personally, I think I'd value the time at more than 99 cents...

Alan Martin

After a false career start producing flash games, Alan Martin has been writing about phones, wearables and internet culture for over a decade with bylines all over the web and print.

Previously Deputy Editor of Alphr, he turned freelance in 2018 and his words can now be found all over the web, on the likes of Tom's Guide, The i, TechRadar, NME, Gizmodo, Coach, T3, The New Statesman and ShortList, as well as in the odd magazine and newspaper.

He's rarely seen not wearing at least one smartwatch, can talk your ear off about political biographies, and is a long-suffering fan of Derby County FC (which, on balance, he'd rather not talk about). He lives in London, right at the bottom of the Northern Line, long after you think it ends.

You can find Alan tweeting at @alan_p_martin, or email him at mralanpmartin@gmail.com.