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Is it worth using Opera? See advantages and disadvantages of the browser | Browsers

Opera is one of the main alternatives to the most famous Chrome and Firefox on Windows and macOS. The browser was introduced in 1995 in the third edition of the WWW Conference, a World Wide Web Consortium conference that presents the latest news from Internet standards. Since then, it has been famous for its speed and exclusive features.

Opera 51: new version of the browser faster and brings useful functions

The browser is well behind competitors of Mozilla, Google and Microsoft in terms of popularity, so much so that it does not even appear in Statcounter graphics, where Chrome reigns with 72% preference. However, Opera has extra features and performance that can encourage the user to try new ways to surf the web. Check out three strengths and weaknesses of the software and find out if it's worth switching browsers.

See positive and negative points of using Opera on a daily basis Photo: Divulgao / OperaSee positive and negative points of using Opera on a daily basis Photo: Divulgao / Opera

See positive and negative points of using Opera on a daily basis Photo: Divulgao / Opera

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Good performance is still one of the main reasons for using Opera instead of Firefox or Chrome. Although the browser is not exactly faster than rivals, its memory consumption tends to be lower when browsing the same sites and loading the same number of pages as Google's software, for example. Because of this feature, Opera is best suited for computers with 4 GB of RAM.

Opera tends to consume less RAM than Google Chrome Photo: Reproduo / Paulo AlvesOpera tends to consume less RAM than Google Chrome Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

Opera tends to consume less RAM than Google Chrome Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

2. Integrated ad blocker and VPN

Opera has an ad blocker that prevents the loading of banners and the opening of pop-ups on any website. Unlike the Chrome solution, the resource is proactive and acts on any type of advertising, whether intrusive or not. The function is useful because it makes the interface cleaner and, at the same time, dispenses with the installation of third-party plugins that can consume more computer memory.

In addition, the browser has native VPN function, which allows you to connect with more privacy for free. With a click, the user can activate tunneling of the connection in automatic mode, or can choose where to simulate the connection: from Europe, the Americas or Asia. There is no data transfer limit with VPN enabled.

Opera has free unlimited VPN to use Photo: Reproduo / Paulo AlvesOpera has free unlimited VPN to use Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

Opera has free unlimited VPN to use Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

Since Opera is built with the Chromium code, the browser is compatible with Google Chrome extensions. Just install a plugin to release downloads via the Chrome Web Store, without having to resort to alternative stores. There are also official extensions for Opera, which can be downloaded from the browser's addon store, such as Lastpass, Evernote, Mailtrack and Pushbullet.

Opera compatible with Chrome extensions Photo: Reproduo / Paulo AlvesOpera compatible with Chrome extensions Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

Opera compatible with Chrome extensions Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

1. Compatibility errors

Since Opera 15, the browser has Chromium's Blink engine to load pages, but there may still be compatibility issues. When using Opera instead of Chrome or Firefox, you can see some bugs on the web, from elements that appear where they shouldn't be to website malfunctions. If you use a web platform at work that is not developed with Opera in mind, the browser will not be ideal for everyday use.

Opera may present bugs on some sites Photo: Reproduo / Paulo AlvesOpera may present bugs on some sites Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

Opera may present bugs on some sites Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

Opera's sync feature allows you to use the browser on multiple devices to have history, bookmarks and other information available on any device. However, the function does not always work as it should, and may fail from time to time. It is common, for example, to receive notifications that the synchronization has encountered an error and has stopped working, forcing the user to force an update or make a new login. When this happens, websites that you open on your PC are not instantly available in the mobile app, for example.

Occasionally Opera may experience synchronization problems Photo: Reproduo / Paulo AlvesOccasionally Opera may experience synchronization problems Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

Occasionally Opera may experience synchronization problems Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

3. No support for multiple users

Opera is not the ideal browser to use on a shared computer often, unless each person has a different user on the operating system. Unlike Chrome, it is not possible to log into multiple accounts and switch between them depending on the need. Because of this, there is also no guest account to use if you need to lend your computer for a short period to someone. In these situations, the user ends up being obliged to log off and delete his data or open another browser to maintain the confidentiality of his data.

Opera allows you to connect only one user at a time Photo: Reproduo / Paulo AlvesOpera allows you to connect only one user at a time Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

Opera allows you to connect only one user at a time Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

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