Built on the Chromium engine, the same as Edge and Chrome, Opera is a modern, fast, and secure browser.
Many of the browser features we are used to now that make day to day browser usage easier or more pleasant have found their beginnings in Opera. Tabbed browsing, ad blockers, incognito or private browsing mode – all of these began as a project on Opera before being picked up by other browser developers because of how well they were received by the community.
While some browsers hog enormous amounts of system resources, Opera is said to be built on an optimised version of chromium, to make it easier for computers and devices with less system resources to handle. A VPN is also built into Opera, giving it some good privacy functions. It also has a large developer community, meaning that it has great support.
Battery life can also be hugely improved if you’re using Opera, its battery saving mode can extend the life of your battery by up to 40% – it does this by optimising its use of your system resources.
As with all software, Opera has a learning curve – unlike lots of other browsers, Opera is geared more towards those more technically-minded, who don’t mind a bit of searching for an option or potentially want to try out new ideas and new features before more mainstream browser developers pick them up. Opera, because of its technical nature and complexity, can sometimes be a little too much or a bit off-putting because of its interface and menus.
It is also very strict when it comes to reading a website’s code. Most websites have bugs, but some of these may be more apparent under the gaze of the more unforgiving engine running Opera. Many other browsers such as Chrome or Firefox have varying levels to which they will correct or display incorrect code so that the website is still useable. Because it is a relatively niche browser, web developers often won’t check that their content works in Opera – some websites and web apps may disallow it entirely simply because their code has not been tested or verified to work with it.
Power users may get a lot out of Opera with newly-developed and up-and-coming features and extensions; those who just want a smooth and easy internet experience may want to look elsewhere.