The free VPN is a joke - at least with me. It clearly says the VPN is on and the blue icon appears in the address bar however it has absolutely no effect. I use IP Vanish but as I use Opera as a browser and this was offered, I thought why not try it. When I turn on IP Vanish, if I'm running Soulseek (a P 2 P music share program) it immediately disconnects as it appears to the program as if I'm running 2 instances from 2 entirely different locations. BitTorrent will run down to zero share before it picks up the connections from the new location. Also as Australia has made a farcical and amateurish attempt at 'blocking' use of Pirate Bay - as in if you actually try to connect to the site specifically called 'The Pirate Bay.com' you'll be denied access. You can of course still connect to the many PirateBay sites at different addresses without a problem. So Opera's (ie Surf Easy) VPN did none of these things. Soulseek kept running without a problem, BitTorrent (which I had open in a window to observe the result) kept running without interruption - as in it didn't need other programs to reconnect to my ISP and I was still blocked from using PirateBay - (which I can use as I please with IP Vanish). In other words my ISP appeared not to change at all.
You get what you pay for it seems and I for one won't be cancelling my existing subscription to my paid VPN and turned Opera's off so I didn't have a false sense that I couldn't be tracked by using it. Maybe there are different experiences out there but I can't imagine why my system would be different. I naturally had IP Vanish turned off when trying Opera's.