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MichaelA free, light-weight web browser based on the blink layout engine

A review by Michael

Opera is a web browser which is powered by Chromium and works on the Blink layout engine technology to provide a bright and friendly interface for users. It is available on many operating systems and devices, including Linux, Windows, Mac and Android. The company behind Opera has been successful by going public on NASDAQ. The owner of this business is Yahui Zhou, a Chinese businessman.

History

In 1994, the journey of the Opera browser started as a research project for Telenor. Opera Software bought it for commercial usage in 1995 and powered it with its award-winning engine, known as “Presto”. In 2013, development of this engine stopped, and the Opera browser was shifted to a ‘Chromium’ engine for further development and usage. Opera has found tremendous success, with the launch of its three mobile versions comprising of Opera Mini, Opera Mobile, and Opera Touch.

Accessibility and Usability of Opera

  • Users have the flexibility of controlling many aspects of Opera. For examples, features such as choosing custom search engines, security features, and even using a free VPN, integrated VPN.
  • Users can use “keyboard shortcuts” to access menus and perform actions which normally need you to use a mouse, such as closing tabs and opening new windows.
  • Users with visual impairments can rely on the zoom feature to view large text, images, java, and flash content.
  • A feature used by the Opera mini browser is its reliance on the Opera Turbo feature which claims to reduce the size of the page by 50%, with an exception to HTTPS pages. Turbo feature is valuable for users with slow internet connections or capped data packages to access websites and consume less data in this process.

Is Opera secure and private?

Every user can erase their data by only clicking a button, as it deletes all the HTTP cookies, passwords, browsing history and cache. On a shared computer, this method helps in securing your data. Another feature to protect user’s data is to alert them when they are visiting a malicious or insecure website. As Opera contains a security badge, enabled by default, it scans and compares the entered site from various known malicious websites found in public blacklists. Opera also allows users to view the security certificate of websites visited. Opera also implemented a free VPN service to provide users with security while using public networks. In 2007, rival Mozilla accused Opera of keeping people in the dark about an update to their application. Opera had updated its browser to patch security issues present in the previous version, without letting people know the reason behind the upgrade. Asa Dotzler, from Mozilla, accused Opera of withholding the information from the public, which led to many people not finding it necessary to update their web browser to a newer version. This posed a serious security risk to millions of Opera users.

Reception of Opera from the community

Back when Opera used the Presto engine, it got a lot of positive reviews, but also faced a backlash because of compatibility issues with some websites.  Because of this backlash, Opera found a workaround to run these websites and updated their application. Since its shift to Chromium code, its Blink engine has witnessed quite a lot of success as it is modern and has an improved UI. It has also helped Opera achieve much better speed and compatibility with modern devices. However, die-hard Opera fans have criticized it from dropping its usage of the Presto engine.

Authors
Otello
License
Free
User rating
0/50 ratings
Platforms
Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10