Opera Browser

Recently, I thought it might be time to re-visit an old friend, the Opera browser. I had stopped using it back in 2013, when Opera Software switched the browser’s rendering engine from Presto to Blink, but now I wanted to take another look and see how things have changed.

I use portable software whenever possible, so I downloaded the portable version of Opera from the following location:

http://www.opera.com/computer/portable

My testing confirms that the browser is fast and compatible, but that is only to be expected for something built on the Blink engine. What makes the browser stand out, what makes it different from its comeptitors, is the integration of innovative features. Two such features that come immediately to mind are its VPN and the pop-out video player.

The built-in VPN is great. It’s incredibly easy to use, and it really does give me more privacy when I surf. I turn it on in Opera’s settings:

VPN

Once it is enabled, I can change my virtual location by clicking on the blue VPN to the left of the web address. I prefer access points in the US for a number of reasons, but you can easily adjust it to your own liking — or just leave it on the default optimal choice. This feature alone makes Opera my go-to browser whenever my access to the Internet may be monitored and tracked.

Initially, I did not give the pop-out video player much thought. I never needed such a feature before, so why bother? Well, I have completely changed my tune. Now I routinely click on the switch in the middle-top position of the video frame to pop it out. This frees me to scroll up and down the browser window so I can read the comments, look at song lyrics, browse through suggested videos… or anything else I did not do before only because I didn’t want to scroll the video off the screen. This is convenient!

You can get similar functionality in Chrome by installing the Floating for YouTube app and extension from the Chrome Web Store, but I think Opera deserves a lot of credit in integrating this feature and making it so simple to use.

The above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many features of Opera, but I hope it’s enough to pique your interest. Why not try this innovative browser for yourself? You may just find it fitting well into your daily browsing of the Internet!