Opera

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Opera shares most of its guts with Google Chrome, but the Web browser distinguishes itself with features like a built-in ad blocker, claims of improved battery life on laptops, and the option to watch YouTube videos in a floating window.

Pros

Supports most Chrome extensions: Since Opera and Chrome have so much code in common, it’s not difficult to create native Opera versions of popular extensions like LastPass, uBlock Origin, Reddit Enhancement Suite, and Pocket. And if a developer hasn’t created an Opera version yet, Download Chrome Extension can install extensions directly from the Chrome Web Store, so Opera users shouldn’t miss out on many Chrome add-ons.

Saves laptop battery life: Opera does some clever wizardry in the background to extend battery life on a laptop. We can’t guarantee any particular number, because battery life depends a lot on your screen’s brightness and resolution, and whether you’re streaming HD videos or just browsing Wikipedia. Either way, enabling or disabling power saving is a quick toggle at the top of your screen.

Handy YouTube video pop-outs: When you browse YouTube with Opera, you can click an additional button in the top of the video frame to pop the video out to a separate window. You can drag it around and resize it, and it will float on top of other windows. That is, it won’t disappear if you put another app window in the foreground, so you can multitask without losing your video. The original browser tab where you found that video must remain open, though.

Cons

Default security and privacy settings could be better: Opera Software routinely advertises its browser as a “safe” option. However, it uses navigation prediction services that require sending (anonymized) data about your usage habits over the Internet to be analyzed by a remote server. This can be disabled, but it’s not by default, and you have to search Google to figure out how these services work and what they expose. Form autofilling is also enabled by default — another feature that favors convenience over safety. If an unauthorized person gets access to your device, they can pull up what you’ve entered into a form just by experimenting with the alphabet, potentially giving them your home address, phone number, and other sensitive info. Opera also has a setting to “protect me from malicious sites,” but the setting doesn’t explain what this entails.

Searching for extensions is hit-or-miss: We got some odd search results on Opera’s website when looking for extensions to install. Searching for Gmail produced two pages of extensions, which was good. But searching for Google produces only six extensions, none of which are Gmail. Why does a more generic query return a fraction of the results and exclude an obvious ingredient?

Installing Adobe Flash is relatively tricky: Adobe’s once-universal Internet streaming video tech is finally on its way out, but many legacy websites still require it. Unlike Chrome, Opera does not have Adobe Flash built in. Googling for ways to add it produces outdated instructions from Adobe and Opera Software about enabling a setting that no longer exists. You have to go to the Adobe Flash plug-in webpage (once you’ve Googled it) while using Opera; the website uses its own voodoo to determine which Flash installer to deliver to you. But you won’t see the download button if you have an ad blocker enabled.

Bottom Line

Since Opera is basically Chrome’s fraternal twin, if it wants to compete with Chrome, it has to be better, and that’s a hard act to follow. However, Opera’s benefit to battery life is one point in its favor — Chrome has a reputation for inefficient battery use. And some users will appreciate the video pop-out. Since you can get all the major Chrome extensions without much fuss, it’s hard to make a case against Opera. It’s definitely a worthy Web browser in its own right and might make Google reconsider some of its decisions on Chrome.

 

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Category
Category Browsers
Subcategory Web Browsers

Publisher’s Description

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From Opera Software:

Opera for computers is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content, speed-boosting Opera Turbo mode and more handy features, Opera has everything you need to do more on the web. Also, with 1700+ available extensions, you can mix and match additional features to customize the browser the way you want.

Opera browser brings you more speed, more safety and more ways to discover content on the web.

Here are some of the key features that will help you make the most of your internet surfing:

* Opera has an intuitive and elegant interface that is integrated with Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.
* If you have a slow connection, for example, on congested Wi-Fi and 3G networks, you can speed up your browsing with the Opera Turbo feature.
* Opera’s news feature brings you the latest articles and other interesting content from all over the world straight to the browser’s start page.
* With Opera’s visual bookmarks, not available in any other browser by default, you can organize your favorite sites in a gallery with page thumbnails.
* The Speed Dial lets you keep the most important sites one click away: add sites’ thumbnails to the browser’s start page and group them in folders, as needed.
* In Opera’s add-ons catalog, you can get over 1,700 extensions to customize the browser. From sidebar notes and in-browser messengers to advanced developer features – mix and match extensions to get a perfect browsing experience.
* Also, you can add a personal touch to the browser by changing background themes (including animated ones!).
* Pick up browsing in Opera on another computer or mobile device by syncing your bookmarks, open tabs and other browsing data in the cloud.
* Once a new version is available, Opera updates automatically so that you don’t miss the latest features and security improvements.

We constantly add smaller and bigger improvements, and we have a lot of updates in the pipeline.

But, Opera isn’t just about cool features. It’s about your experience on the web – more info, more content, more fun, more communication. We’re happy to deliver this to millions of people around the world. Give it a try – download our browser today and join the Opera family!

What’s new in this version:

Fixed:

  • [Win7][HiDPI] Thin Aero stripe is visible on the title bar.
  • Opera crashes when bookmark is deleted using keyboard
  • Whitelist JS API for opera.com/client/upgraded

 

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