According to a statistic at Net Market Share Opera is the world’s 6th most popular browser. Nevertheless, the gap is too far. Opera has only 1.18% of market share compared to Google Chrome with 58.64% in the top list. But, popular doesn’t mean the best. Isn’t it?
Despite its smaller number in the market share, Opera is a cool and feature-rich web browser. In fact, if you have been an Opera user from the time this browser was introduced in 1995, you will find a tickle fact that most current web browser features are basically originated from Opera. Speed dial, pop-up blocking, browser sessions, private browsing, to tabbed browsing are the examples.
However, not all original Opera features have been adopted by other browsers. There are some that remain exclusive and only available in Opera, at least until today. I have listed 7 of Opera unique features that make it different to other web browsers.
1. Built-in VPN
This is probably the most-wanted feature by all web browser users. While other browser users — let’s say Google Chrome and Firefox — have to digging up the web to look for external VPN service, those who use Opera can instantly click the VPN button every time they want surf the internet from virtual location.
Opera has a built-in VPN that you can find under the Settings menu. This feature is enabled by default and you just need to click the VPN button within address bar to activate it. There are five virtual locations you can choose from USA, Germany, Canada, Singapore to Netherlands. If you find this feature didn’t enabled in your Opera you can enable it from the Settings menu and go to Privacy and security.
2. Ad blocker
Most websites — news sites in particular — contain ads because they are the reason why a certain website keep alive. But, a website with too many ads is completely such. People who get tired of seeing ads usually install an ad blocker add-on to their browser.
Opera is one step ahead to combat annoying ads by allowing you to disable ads on any website. No additional extension required since Opera has a built-in ad blocker to handle it. You can even make a custom block list and manage exception. To activate this feature go to the Settings menu and you can find the Block ads options at the top of Basic sub menu.
3. Battery saver
When your laptop is unplugged you will see a battery icon right next to the address bar of Opera. Clicking on it meaning you have activated the battery saver feature in Opera. How does this features works?
When you activate this feature Opera will tweak different settings to become light on the battery. Some of tweaks include pausing unused plugins, pausing theme animations and reducing background tabs activity. Opera has tested this feature and the result showed that it can extend your laptop battery life up to 35%.
4. Pop-out videos
Did you ever wondered if you still can see the video you are watching in YouTube even if you scroll down to the comment section? You can do this in Opera.
Opera has a unique Pop-out video feature to enable you see the video while reading some comments in YouTube and other video sharing sites. Your video will be displayed in a tiny pop-up. Every time you open a video on YouTube or other video sharing sites and hover your mouse over the video you will see a tiny Pop-out video button at the top of videos. Clicking on it will activate the Pop-out video of Opera.
5. Customizable keyboard shortcut
Shortcut is the common feature in many apps, including web browsers, to enable you working faster. Opera also comes with a number of shortcuts but there is a huge different of Opera’s shortcut feature to other browser’s. In Opera you can change the default shortcuts with ones you love. To change the default shortcuts in Opera you can go to Settings -> Browsers. You will find this options on there.
6. Opera Turbo
Opera understands you who in terms of internet quota by offering a Opera Turbo feature. What is this feature for? Opera Turbo is built-in data compression of Opera. If you enable this feature Opera will download less data to enable you save your internet quote. However, this feature only works on unencrypted websites (http). Currently Opera can’t intercept data from encrypted (https) websites. You can find the Opera Turbo feature from the File menu of Opera.
7. Personal news
Another interesting feature of Opera that not all web browsers have is Personal news. With this feature you can read the news digest based on your interest from your selected list of news websites. Personal news of Opera covers around 41 countries. You can add your favorite news websites to the source list if you don’t like with ones that offered by Opera. You can set Opera to show News from the View menu. This feature is pretty cool because you can read headlines from multiple news websites in single place.