Have you heard of the Opera web browser? It’s been around for years, but gets little love.
Opera is the best under appreciated desktop web browser for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
1. Built-in ad blocker that makes content rich pages load 90% faster.
2. Power savings that will make your laptop battery last 50% longer.
4. Windows version can be run from a USB drive.
5. Sidebar access to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Telegram. This is an incredibly useful feature that I use all day every day.
6. Support for Opera extensions, but more importantly Chrome extensions work in Opera. Yes! you can install Chrome extensions in Opera. This combines the best of both worlds.
7. HTML 5 based videos can be played in a popup video player. You can even move the popup video player outside the confines of the browser window so it’s easy to watch videos from YouTube, Vimeo or Twitch while you browse the web.
The killer feature:
8. This is the big one. The feature that first caught my attention about Opera. The Opera browser on all computer platforms includes a free integrated VPN service.
For most people this feature removes the need to purchase a VPN service. I leave it on most of the time and definitely use it while making purchases on unsecured wifi at coffee shops.
If Opera can offer VPN service for free, why isn’t Google doing the same for Chrome?
What about mobile?
Opera offers a few different mobile versions depending on your platform. For Android there’s Opera and Opera Mini. For iOS there’s just Opera Mini.
Creating an Opera account will allow you to sync bookmarks and tabs between a desktop version and one of the mobile versions.
Opera Mini includes an ad blocker, a turbo feature that compresses web content to load it faster, and a video boost feature that reduces buffering.
At this time the mobile versions of Opera do not include the integrated VPN service present in the desktop versions.
Will you give Opera a try?