The Opera Browser is among the oldest browsers in the world. It has been one of the most used browser from last two decades. Although it was still an underdog, its user base has been steady for many years despite massive shifts in the browser industry. Opera is a browser full of features and good customization options. Since it is based on Chromium, most of the Google Chrome extension library can also be used. The company behind Opera has recently acquired by a Chinese consortium, which we hope will uphold its tradition of creativity, strong privacy, and independence.
In this Opera review, we will discuss how it compares with other browsers to help you in determining if it’s worth making the switch.
- Lots of great built-in features
- Compatible with most Chrome extensions
- Fast Performance
- Privacy & security concerns
- High RAM usage
Setup and Installation Of Opera Browser
Opera installation is as easy as most current browsers: you download a very small stub-installer that installs and downloads the entire browser immediately afterward. Installation options let you choose from multiple languages. Next, a dialogue asks if you want your default web browser to be Opera. The browser defaults to send crash data to servers of Opera if opt-in.
Opera runs on Windows XP through Windows 10, macOS X 10.10 and later, and Ubuntu 16.04 and later. Opera still support XP with security updates. It is a 32-bit application—no 64-bit version yet—and a fresh installation took up 136MB on the hard drive, compared with 406MB for Google Chrome and 92MB for Mozilla Firefox.
How is the Interface of Opera Browser?
Most user interface design is standard, with top of the screen tabs, search and address bar and bookmarks. The browser tab overview function can be reached from a chevron on the title bar’s right side. Hit this, and you can see a dropdown of all tabs, and hovering the cursor over any of them displays a glimpse of the web in the center of the browser window.
The Opera interface now has a real differentiator: its Speed Dial web tile home page. Another is the menu icon on the upper left side of the browser rather than the 3-line traditional menu on the right, as with the latest versions of all other browsers. Furthermore, when you close the last tab, the browser does not close in Opera. For this reason, Firefox offers the option, but as with the rest, Firefox shuts down by default when you close the last tab.
In Opera reading mode and a social sharing button are absent but present in Firefox and Edge. Reading mode is essential for today’s websites, full of advertisements and other content, such as auto-play videos and pop-over ads. The same is relevant with simple social network sharing — one of the web’s main activities today.
Opera is also unique for bookmarks. The bookmark feature displays a thumbnail grid for all the bookmarked sites. You can build as many folders and subfolders as you want, and the browser also imports bookmarks from other browsers.
Opera lets you remove the video from the web page while watching a video and resizing it and switching it anywhere you want. And the video remains in place, regardless of which tab you’re looking at or whether you’re switching to another window.
Apart from the features that come with the browser, Opera has a great extension library. Above all, since it’s Chromium-based, it is compatible with many Chrome extensions. That means that through Chrome’s vast library of third-party functionalities, you can attach almost any feature you can think of to Opera.
Like Firefox and Chrome, it’s easy in Opera to dress up a browser’s interface with themes, but these are a long way from the old Opera themes. The current iterations only affect your Speed Dial page background. Previous Opera Theme versions allow for a modification, including buttons and text interface objects. Even Firefox and Chrome allow you to change visuals behind the border of the program.
Does Opera Browser Offer Ad Blocking Feature?
Possibly the most used extension type are ad blockers, but this feature is already included in Opera. Opera claims that its integrated ad blocker not only de-clutters web pages but accelerates the search process and eliminates monitoring from third parties. As several such apps, exceptional sites you don’t want blocked ads can be identified, and a customized blocklist can be loaded. Adblocker is not enabled by default. You have to turn it on manually when you set up a browser.
There is also a newsreader which draws articles from the sources you want. It allows you to take advantage of various blogs and publications and safely and digestibly deliver the news and articles.
Is Opera Browser VPN Any Good?
Opera VPN does not need any configuration. It’s already in your browser. You have to activate it in Settings. Your VPN status is displayed to the left of the address bar when it is activated. . The integrated VPN is a good improvement, but it’s limited, so it doesn’t allow you to pick a particular country. Rather, it helps you choose between being in America, Europe, or Asia. In addition to the absence of a tunneling protocol or encryption beyond HTTPS, it is of no use for privacy or bypass geographic restrictions on Netflix services.
However, the Opera VPN is completely free, forever. It’s a great deal. You can install Opera on as many devices as you like and take advantage of VPN on each.
Only data from your browser is sent into the encrypted tunnel of your VPN when you enabled OperaVPN. Any data sent from your device by other applications is usually transmitted over the Internet. This ensures that other programs will not slow down, like computer games or video streaming sites out of the browser.
What About the Performance?
Opera is a fast browser. Our desktop tests placed it just behind Chrome and Firefox, but well ahead of Edge.
The Mini version of the web browser came dead last in speed, but with Chrome, Firefox and Safari, the Touch edition had equal ratings, both of which are approximately in the same place when it comes to mobile speed.
Opera is also resource-hungry and comparable to Chrome, which is notorious for its RAM consumption.
How is the Security of Opera Browser?
Like other browsers, Opera alerts you of unsecured connections when visiting websites. However, it does not defend you from malicious websites because it does not use Google Secure Browsing for those services. Still, Yandex or PhishTank are used for ransomware and phishing websites, which do not have the same protection level.
Is Opera Browser Privacy Any Good?
The Opera Company was sold to Chinese companies and investors in 2016. Given the controversies surrounding China’s ability to compel tech companies to backdoor their software, this was a major blow to the browser’s privacy.
Theoretically, including a VPN on the browser should increase its privacy. Still, SurfEasy, the organization that runs the VPN service, mostly gathers from users all that it can, including browsing history, IP address, and bandwidth usage when VPN is used.
Opera is a great browser with many fantastic features from the start. Features like conversion of the automatic unit conversion, tab previews, the ability to separate videos, and embedded messaging applications distinguish it from the competition without burdening you with interface and icons. Compatibility is not a problem since it uses Chrome’s underlying page rendering technology nearly all-compatible. If each kilobyte of data is to be stored, the Turbo mode of Opera is your mate, as is its battery saver mode.
However, the browser has major privacy issues, and it is not as good to protect you from cybercriminals as other browsers like Chrome & Firefox. It’s as resource-hungry as Chrome, which uses a huge RAM quantity, regardless of whether you have many tabs open.