Opera 79.0.4143.72 / 80.0.4170.11 Beta / 81.0.4189.0 Dev (Freeware)

3 weeks ago 10

Stylish web browser that comes with multiple integrated tools, including sidebar apps and a VPN, and allows extensive customization

What's new in Opera 81.0.4189.0 Dev:

CHR-8581 Update chromium on master to 95.0.4638.10 CHR-8582 Forward declare BrowserContext in content namespace CHR-8588 Update chromium on master to 95.0.4638.17 DNA-95180 Add transparency to video popout

Read the full changelog

Opera is one of the oldest browsers in the market, first released for Windows 95 all the way back in 1996. Since then, it has enjoyed a relatively consistent (albeit small) usage share, and it has gone through multiple redesigns and engine changes over the years.

Today, Opera stands out as a visually-impressive browser that includes a number of additional features and tools out of the box. It comes with a VPN, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, and Telegram sidebar apps, an ad-blocker, crypto wallet, and much more.

Chromium-based browser with access to Chrome extensions

For a long time, Opera relied on the in-house Presto engine, but like almost all major browsers, it now uses Google's Blink. From a compatibility standpoint, this is great for users, as support for web standards is never an issue.

One other advantage is that Opera users have access to the ample Chrome Web Store, but there's a twist — an additional extension needs to be installed from Opera's add-on database first. Afterward, extensions from Chrome's repository can be added normally.

Built-in VPN and ad-blocker

More and more users are turning to VPNs to keep their traffic private and access restricted content, but most of these services are subscription-based. While the VPN Opera includes is very basic, and quite slow, it is better than nothing. If your needs are limited, it will do. The company also claims not to log any of your traffic.

Just like a few other major browsers, this one comes with an ad-blocker. You will have to enable it from the settings, and it's not the best ad-blocker out there, but it still improves your browsing experience considerably. A tracker blocker is also available, but it too needs to be enabled from the browser's settings.

Use various apps from the sidebar

Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram are enabled by default, and they can be used from the browser's convenient sidebar instead of separate tabs. Seeing how web apps seem to be taking over our desktops, being able to minimize tab clutter is awesome.

Other sidebar apps can be enabled, and there are dozens of other sidebar extensions you can download from Opera's add-on repository. These can expand the browser's functionality in various ways and will be accessible directly from the sidebar.

Compared to other browsers, Opera gives you a head start

Whether a browser supports extensive or limited customization, there are always a bunch of extensions you need to install, and settings you need to tweak before you can actually start using them. With Opera, you can get started almost right away.

Even some basic options, that you would normally have to dig through the settings menu to find, are easily accessible from the Easy Setup right-hand sidebar. From here, you can also change the browser's theme and change its wallpaper.

All things considered, Opera is still a great option today, as it comes with an impressive array of built-in tools and features a modern visual design that is also easily customizable. It is particularly well suited for users who don't like installing a slew of extensions just to make their browsers functional. It works great out of the box.

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