Opera has recently put a lot of effort in development of their browser. It was once a browser with 350 million user base which reduced after Google’s Chrome came in to existence. Yet, Opera Mini, the Opera’s browser for mobile devices stood unbeaten because of the compression it offered, helping users to load pages much faster.
The latest version of Opera’s browser for PC has bought some great features that would make you fall in love with it.
The browser of the 22-year old company runs on the forked version of the same Chromium engine that powers Google Chrome. So, you need not worry about page loading problems with the browser. It can load any webpage that Chrome does. Now you might think that you can go with the original build in Chrome itself. I already mentioned that Opera uses a forked version. This makes it easier for the company to add its own features into the browser, making it unique. And features are where things get more exciting.
The browser comes with the ability to block advertisements on any website. So, what does this mean to a casual user?
- You get to avoid the annoying popups and Gifs that play in the sidebar of the pages
- It saves you a lot of bandwidth by not loading advertising images
- Loads the web pages faster
The feature is not enabled on start, but you can enable it in the settings of the browser. Head to Edit -> Preferences. In the Settings page that appears, you will be provided with a check box to block ads at the top of the page. Tick the check box to enable the ad blocker.
The address bar of the browser also displays the number of ads that are blocked by the page. You can also check the page speed with and without ads on the page. You can turn off the feature for specific pages as well. The loading speed can be further improved by turning of the Opera Turbo feature, which is the child version of the compression engine that is used for Opera Mini.
Save power? Really? Yes. opera just moved a step further in understanding its users needs. The power saving mode allows to save battery on laptops while browsing. It achieves this by reducing the activity of the browser tabs that are open in the background. Other optimizations include
- Freezes unused plug-ins in the browser
- Reduces frame rate to 30 frames per second
- Makes use of hardware accelerated video codecs
- Pauses animations of browser themes
The browser itself will alert you to enable power saving mode once your laptop battery reaches 20% capacity.
According to the company, Opera developer version was able to run 50% longer than browsers like Google Chrome on a laptop running Windows 10, 64-bit.
The feature is still in beta and is out for the developer version of the browser. It will soon hit the stable release as well. Read more about power saving in Opera’s blog post.
If you are not sure what a VPN is, it’s a set up where the requests from your computer are sent to an intermediate server and from there it is sent to the original address. This hides your actual IP from the website you are requesting data. Read more about Virtual Private Network here.
Opera offers 256-bit encryption in their VPN service. And best of all, it is totally free and there is no limit in data usage as well. To activate the VPN in the developer version of the Opera browser, click the “O” menu, select “Settings” (or “Preferences” on Mac), choose “Privacy & Security” and then toggle the free VPN on.
The VPN service is currently available in the developer version and is expected to come installed with the next stable update.
The company aims to address three problems with this service.
- Providing anonymity by hiding IP address
- Safety while using public Wi-Fi networks
- Unblocking of firewalls and websites
The VPN servers are available in three different locations: USA, Canada and Germany.
Video Pop Out
This one lets you play videos outside your browser tabs. This helps in multitasking while watching a video. It is enabled by default. In order to use this feature, look for a pop out icon at the top of the video.
Once you hit it, your video will be popped out in to a different layer that can be dragged and located at any position on the screen. There is also an option to reattach the video to the playback tab itself.
Opera also has a personalized news feed in the homepage (Speed dial). Take a look at it here in the video.
The Choice Is Yours
So combining all of these, now you can simultaneously watch and video and browse over the VPN connection and load web pages faster by avoiding ads. And all this happens while save some battery juice(with power saver).
Its up to your to decide whether you would need these features or rather go with chrome and install extensions to do the same.