Chrome is the most popular web browser at the moment, Microsoft Edge is constantly growing and getting new features, Safari is an excellent and regular reliable choice for Apple users, Firefox is known for protecting user privacy, and along with all these names Opera is occasionally mentioned.
The competition for web browsers is really big and it is not so easy to break into the market, but Opera seems to manage to attract attention from time to time. On what way?
Primarily through features that are mostly exclusively available on the Opera web browser and that represent an interesting and atypical user experience. The mentioned features are regularly innovative and make for an interesting solution that can attract users and make them switch from Chrome or Edge to Opera.
Why is that so? Below is a description of the ten most interesting features of the Opera web browser that might make you want to start using it.
1. Mouse Gestures
Think of mouse gestures on Opera as keyboard shortcuts that make your navigation faster while surfing the Internet. They are so practical that you do not actually have to take your hand off the mouse.
Their form itself is not difficult. For example, when you click the right mouse button and make one or two small mouse movements, you can already execute one of the commands. You have mouse gestures to navigate the web page forward or backward, open a new tab, restart the page, close the currently open tab, open a link in the background of a tab, or open a link in a new window.
It takes a short time to learn the gestures, and in case you don’t like their default settings, you can turn on the so-called “rocker gestures” in Opera, with which you navigate with left and right mouse button presses and vice versa. This is even a faster way to navigate for many.
2. Battery Saving Mode
What are the results of this feature? Opera claims that more than 35% of battery life can be saved this way. We believe that this information varies from person to person as we all have different ways of working on the computer, but the battery-saver mode is definitely a useful feature that every user would love to use.
Do you often correspond on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Telegram? Or maybe you like to glance at Instagram or Twitter every now and then? With Opera’s sidebar, you can access these social networks and VoIP applications at a moment’s notice. When active, a row of icons will appear on the left side of the web browser. Click on one to open a specific application or website.
In addition to the fact that the sidebar constantly updates received messages or changes on the page, as a user you have the ability to change workspaces (see the “Workspaces” feature below), adjust the receipt of the news, open the most visited websites and change certain parts of the settings, which includes adjusting the window that pops up they open after clicking on the available icons.
4. Upgraded Tab Hover Card
We all know that, for example, when moving the cursor over a tab in Chrome, certain data can be seen in a white box. This box is called a “tab hover card” and will display the full title of the tab along with the URL of the web page.
Opera has the same feature, but its tab tabs have a small addition. When you move the cursor over a tab in Opera, you will see its full title and the URL of the web page, but below them, you will also find a list of open tabs that are connected to the existing web page. At that moment, you can click on one of the tabs from the list and the web browser will take you to it.
With this add-on, every user avoids wandering around the web browser and searching for a particular part of the website. That’s why the upgraded tab hover card is a small addition, but extremely functional when it comes to navigation.
5. Ad Blocking
You can always add an ad-blocking plug-in to the Opera web browser, but you don’t really need it at all. Opera web browser blocks ads by itself. This feature is available on desktop computers and smartphones.
All you have to do is download the Opera web browser and activate its ad-blocking feature, and all unwanted advertisements and similar spam will disappear in an instant.
Do you have a habit of keeping several windows open in your web browser to keep content separate? Many of us use this kind of organization when multitasking, but in this case, navigation can be difficult and you always have to remember where the content is.
In order to make the displayed mode of operation more fluid, the Opera web browser found a solution in the “Workspaces” feature. Workspaces works similarly to a virtual desktop on Windows or macOS. Each individual desktop contains as many tabs as were open while we were active on it, and moving between different desktops is made easy using Opera’s sidebar.
The “Speed Dial” feature appears on the home page of the Opera web browser and displays links to the pages or extensions you open or use most often. A similar thing can be seen on Chrome and Firefox, but on Opera, it is especially practical because you can independently add content that you think is important to you.
Visually, Speed Dial looks very practical and replaces the somewhat complicated habit of saving and subsequently opening bookmarks.
8. Automatic Blocking of Tracking
Opera takes privacy and security very seriously, so it prevents websites from tracking your internet activities.
In this case, too, you can always resort to some external applications (Ghostery or Privacy Badger) that disable tracking, but you get everything in the package with the installation of Opera and you do not have to go beyond that.
9. News Reader
Following the news in the country and the world is part of the routine of many users, and the Opera web browser has its own “news reader” as a built-in feature. This RSS reader is easy to use because you can choose the news areas suggested by Opera, you can search for news within the same window or add your own links.
In this context, it is not bad to mention that Opera also has the so-called “reader mode” that allows you to transform visually cluttered and unwieldy web pages into a clean template suitable for reading.
10. Built-in VPN
About virtual private networks, you already know how they work and how they protect the tracking of your online activities which you would want to do from, say, locations that are allowed (unlike your natural location) for doing some things online. Usually, the best option is a paid VPN that provides the best levels of protection, but sometimes we do not want to pay for such services and look for free solutions.
The Opera web browser has a built-in virtual private network that has 256-bit encryption, no bandwidth limitations, and does not require special logins. It seems to us that this is not bad for a free feature. The only thing to pay attention to is that Opera’s virtual private network does not offer protection when you use applications outside the web browser itself.