Opera remains as one of the most popular alternative web browsers to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, the Safari browser from Apple, and Microsoft Edge from Microsoft. First developed in 1994 until its initial release in 1995 by Opera Software, it is also one of the oldest actively developed and updated browsers of today.
To adapt to modern web technologies and standards, its developers also switched from its proprietary Presto engine to the free and open-source Chromium codebase in 2013. The web browser remains a true cross-platform application that is available for Microsoft Windows, Android, macOS, iOS and iPad OS, and Linux distributions such as Debian and Ubuntu.
Nevertheless, despite the switch to the Chromium codebase, Opera retains and expands further notable strengths or advantages through the inclusion of features that differentiate it from other web browsers in the market.
Pros of Opera Browser: Reasons Why You Should Use this Browser? What are the Key Features?
All of the Advantages of the Chromium Codebase
One of the primary advantages of Opera, when compared to non-Chromium-based browsers, is the inherent strengths of Chromium. These include a clean and straightforward user interface, a strong priority toward speed and performance, availability of browser extensions, and compatibility with established web technologies and standards.
Built-In User Data Privacy Features and Functions
Proprietary browsers based on Chromium have unique modifications to set them apart from the rest. Opera has notable privacy features and functions to include an integrated ad blocker for blocking intrusive advertising, a specific blocker for web trackers such as cookies, and a free virtual private network or VPN for a more private browsing session.
Integration of In-Browser Messaging Applications
Another interesting feature and strength of Opera as a browser is the built-in access to social media messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram, and VKontakte. These apps are placed on the left sidebar of the user interface. However, take note that this messaging feature is only available for the Windows, macOS, and Linux versions of the web browser.
Turbo Mode and Battery Saver Mode Features
There is also a Turbo Mode feature that allows users with slow Internet connection speed to access websites faster through caching and page compression technologies. However, this does not work with websites encrypted with SSL or TLS. Another unique feature is the Battery Saver mode available on desktop versions that lets users browse 35 percent longer.
Other Notable Advantages of Opera Browser
Opera Software has been at the forefront of developing feature-filled web browsers. Other notable features include Video Pop-Out that enables videos to float on top of webpages while browsing, a readily accessible Snapshot or screenshot tool, a personalized news feed on the start page, an option for organizing tabs through the Workspaces tool, the Easy File tool that enables users to attach files with a single click without digging through folders, and a unit converted for automatically converting units of measurement, time zones, and currencies.
Cons of Opera Browser: Reasons Why You Should Not Use this Browser? What are the Key Issues?
Not Clutter-Free User Interface Design
While it is true that this browser has utilized the core design philosophy of Chromium, it is not as clean and straightforward as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, as well as non-Chromium browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Safari. Similar to the feature-filled orientation of Vivaldi browser, this is a notable disadvantage of Opera. Users who prefer a minimalist interface will definitely find its sidebars, presence of other buttons, and other features too distracting and somewhat intrusive.
Chrome and Firefox Remains the Fasted Browsers
The fact remains the Chrome and Firefox have remained two of the fastest web browsers in the market. Tech reviewers have been consistently testing every iteration or update of these browsers. Hence, both Chrome and Firefox perform better on average. However, it is still worth mentioning that Opera is relatively a fast and efficient browser.
Absence of Some Essential Browser Features and Tools
Web browsers have evolved over the years in response to the evolving manner in which users and websites interact with one another. Most modern browsers have standard features to include a reading mode, reading list, and social media sharing tools. However, take note that these features are not present in Operate by default.
Takeaway: Advantages and Disadvantages of Opera Browser
The obvious strength of Opera is in its slew of built-in features that are not present in popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. Native add-ons such as social messaging applications, free VPN, integrated ad and tracker blocker, and Workspaces tool can be very useful for power users.
However, it is important to highlight the fact that most of these features are only available in the desktop versions of the browser. The mobile versions are still functionally good but their differentiation to other mobile browsers is not as impressive.
Opera has also notable disadvantages or weaknesses. The fact that the desktop versions come with a number of tools and functions can make the entire user interface unappealing to users who have grown used to the minimalist design language of Chrome and Safari. Nonetheless, other than this, it remains a capable alternative.