When I mention to my friends Opera is a good browser, they roll their eyes and say “Nobody uses it for a reason” or “I am pretty happy with Google Chrome and I have all my bookmarks there”. First of all, I get it! Not everyone has this crazy need to check how other browsers work. If you’re happy, why would you change? I am not going to try to convince you anymore.
However, if you’re not happy with your browser like some of my friends, I can highly recommend you to give it a try and I’ll explain why in a bit. I had a friend who said Google Chrome was using a lot of RAM, which made his navigation super slow. That’s why the conversion to Opera was easy for him, and I am glad he is still happy with the change. He was just worried all his bookmarks would be lost. It’s not true, you can import the bookmarks from other browsers.
I decided to switch browsers completely because there was a time when I was really paranoiac with privacy and figured Opera had a VPN built-in the browser. I know Chrome has extensions you can use to hide your IP but I am in the user experience field and just the fact that Opera thinks about the user needs, made me fall in love with it.
So below, I am going to describe things I appreciate about this browser:
- Free VPN, as mentioned previously. No subscription required to use it (Chrome extensions will ask for it most likely). It’s unlimited and free.
- Battery saver if you’re using a laptop. This might give you an extra hour of browsing away from a power outlet. It compresses data, blocks ads and other features that will help you navigate faster.
- A built-in ad blocker that makes webpages load in Opera up to 90% faster.
- A sidebar with chatting apps like Whatsapp, Messenger, and Telegram. I bet you were not expecting this. It’s really useful to chat while you’re doing something else in the browser. You don’t have to open another tab and get distracted by Facebook feed. Although, I’ve heard some people worried about lack of focus if they had that sidebar on. In order to fix that, you are allowed to remove it anytime you want (check the image above to spot where the switch button is).
- Newsfeed that you can personalize as you want — meaning that you can add the sources you wish. Plus, you can choose between 2 views which provides a better experience to us as we are the ones who decide how to read our news.
- Extensions! It was a big turn off for me at the beginning because Opera didn’t have as many extensions as Chrome and that’s why I couldn’t switch browsers completely. However, they’ve added an extension that allows you to get pretty much ALL THE CHROME EXTENSIONS!
- A cash converter tool. It’s very useful if you’re a traveler or buy a lot of stuff from other countries. You just have to select the amount of money and it will convert it to your currency.
- Text selection based on Fitts’s law. According to this law, it’s faster and easier for users to have less distance between the user’s starting point (word selected) and his or her endpoint (Search, Copy and Send to My flow options). By this, I mean you select the text in order to copy it, and instead of running through a list of options like if you right clicked it, these two options will show up automatically every time you select text. If you are wondering what it the blue icon below, it’s Google translator. You select the word and it will translate it to your language. There is a small bug while using these two things at the same time. If you select the text, the translator icon stays underneath the other options, so to be able to click on it, use the mouse wheel and scroll — it will disappear.
- And the best thing about Opera is that you can watch videos even with the browser minimized! Are you learning Photoshop, Illustrator or any other kind of software? Because you can totally watch a tutorial while the video is being played on top of the app. Please check the image above.
- And of course, you can sync bookmarks and the history across your devices.
- My flow is a new feature created for you to send things to yourself across devices. You’d need to install opera flow on your phone to use it on this device.
Many people still use Chrome or Firefox, and it’s totally fine. They are very good browsers, but many people don’t know what other browsers could provide them, so I just want to make sure you are aware you could have the things I just described above. You probably didn’t think about it so never felt the need to have all of this or thought about it but didn’t know there was another option for you. The purpose of this article is just to inform you about cool stuff that could be interesting for you.
I am not being paid to advertise opera, as all my friends say. I just believe it offers an incredible user experience for everyone. Would you give it a try? Let me know in the comments.