Long story short, Opera is the best browser in 2019. I have been aware of it for years but never gave it a shot until now and I really regret not getting it sooner.
I’ve been a loyal user of Chrome for as long as I can remember and cannot recommend it enough. Firefox is also quite good these days, making the choice between browsers tougher than it has been in years. However, the surprisingly unpopular Opera takes the cake for the best browser overall.
What makes Opera so great?
Core built-in features
Unlike every other browser that I’m aware of, Opera comes ready-to-go out-of-the-box with several crucial features in modern browsing such as: ad blocking, a VPN, a screenshot tool, and integration with several high-profile messaging services like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Why install a bunch of add-ons for no-brainer features that can be built-in to the browser? Opera knows what’s what.
Mobile to desktop “Flow”
It’s incredible how many times I have to send links or text from my desktop to phone or vice versa. Normally I would send myself an email to open on my other device — especially considering Windows 10 doesn’t support connecting to an iPhone. Opera solves that problem with “Flow”. Simply click the Flow icon on the sidebar and paste whatever you want to send to your other devices.
The little things
Highlighting text on any webpage brings up the option to search for that text, copy it, or send it to your Flow. It also offers out-of-the-box options to pop-out videos, and not just on YouTube. Opera is full of little things that show they care about making things as good for the user as possible. They also offer an extensive settings menu to tweak things to your liking.
Install your favourite add-ons
Opera has a ton of the most popular add-ons but also has an add-on that allows you to install any Chrome add-on. So you don’t have to miss anything that you enjoyed with Chrome. Like LastPass, which I can’t recommend enough.
Mouse and keyboard shortcuts are available. For example, you can right click on a blank space on a page and drag to the left or right to navigate backwards or forwards. No more reaching for that back button in the top-left corner!
An efficient mobile app
Opera’s focus on the user experience doesn’t end with the desktop app. The mobile app has a “Fast Action Button” that lets you use the app with one hand and far fewer taps than other browsers. Simply press and hold the button and swipe in the direction of the action you would like to take — go back, close the tab, search, open a new tab, switch tabs, and send the current page to your Flow. Late-night browsing in bed, as much as it should be avoided, is much easier.
Try it out. You won’t regret it. The transition is easy too — it’ll bring over your bookmarks and away you go!
A special shout-out to the article that led me to this great discovery.