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What you didn’t know about the Opera browser

LiveMint logoLiveMint 12-05-2017 Abhijit Ahaskar

Despite its limited user base, Opera continues to be the most refreshing of all the web browsers around. It keeps coming up with new features and concept browsers for users and the latest update includes an improved layout, new themes and elements of Opera’s concept browser, Neon.

Neon was released in January 2017 on an experimental basis, and has a very different layout from the existing Opera browser, and focuses on faster and more streamlined web browsing experience.

Here are some of the features the Opera browser gets from the experimental Neon, and we wish some of its rivals had similar goodies.

Inspired by the Opera Neon, the new layout makes hopping from one task to another a lot easier

Chatting made easy

Inspired by the Opera Neon, the new layout makes hopping from one task to another a lot easier. Opera has added a sidebar where one can see all messaging apps at a glance. It allows users to carry on browsing and a Facebook or WhatsApp chat on the same page. As of now, only WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram can be integrated with the sidebar. You can customise the side bar and add or remove these options in Browser settings->Sidebar->Manage sidebar. 

Video Popout 

Another feature inspired by Opera Neon is Video Popout. It allows users to watch an online video in a detachable popout window, while browsing through other webpages simultaneously. Users can adjust the size of the window and drag and place it anywhere on the screen. To detach a video from the browser, go to a video streaming site such as YouTube, play a video and then click on the green arrow icon on the video. 

Opera browser’s new in-built warning, active by default, immediately warns users

Warns about insecure webpages

While browsing through web, we often forget to check which sites are HTTPS protected and which are not. Opera browser’s new in-built warning, active by default, immediately warns users. It shows a “login not secure” message right after the URL tab when the user tries to login to a web page which is not HTTPS protected. 

Ad (Advertisement) free web browsing

Unlike rival browsers, Opera has built-in ad blocking tools. This saves users the task of downloading third-party ad blockers which are not always effective and are also a major privacy risk. A browser with advertisement blocking has many advantages: your web pages load faster and look clutter free. It also blocks the source of many tracking cookies. To enable it, go to Browser Settings-> Privacy & security->Block ads.

Secure your web activity

Another highlight of the Opera browser is the built-in VPN. When a user browses through a website, its owner and the Internet Service Provider (ISP) providing the internet connection can see your IP address, and through it, your location. With VPN enabled, all your web activity will be redirected through a VPN server. So instead of your IP, the website and ISPs will see a virtual IP address. It is entirely free which is a big bonus, as most reliable VPN services charge a monthly subscription fee. 

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