5 Reasons Why Opera Is My Favorite Browser (And You Should Check It Out Too)

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Close up of male hand typing on laptop keyboard in neon light

Tatiana Lavrova

I’ve been using Opera as my go-to browser for about a year now and find it a combination of everything I find positives in a web browser and very little of what I feel detracts from the experience

You may be thinking to yourself, “Aren’t all web browsers created equal?” Or maybe, “I’m fine with what I have.” Great. If the browser you’re using works for you, then I say, “keep it on.” But if you don’t give opera a chance, you’re missing out.

Let me give some reasons why Opera has quickly become my default browser on every operating system I use (Linux, macOS, and Android).

Are you ready for it?

1. Unbeatable tab management

You may think your browser handles tabs well, but I can guarantee it’s not nearly as good as what you’ll find in Opera. Opera uses a feature called workspaces, which allows you to create separate workspaces for each category you need.

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For example, I have Writing, Shopping, Social, and Work, and each workspace only has open tabs related to those topics. Other browsers (such as Safari and Vivaldi) offer similar features but Opera takes it a step further by allowing you to pin tabs to specific workspaces. With this feature, I can open ten or more tabs in each section and not feel like my browser is so crowded with tabs that it becomes impossible to work efficiently.

As far as Chrome is concerned, it doesn’t come close to what Google’s browser offers. With Chrome you can create separate groups but the tabs crowd the bar with no way to select those groups individually. With Opera, I can create a workspace called “work”, switch to it, and see only the tabs associated with that workspace. With Chrome, you have to save a group, manually hide it, and then manually reopen it On top of that, you can’t specify which tab group to unhide. That is not efficient.

Opera Workspace feature in the sidebar.

Opera’s tab management can’t be beat.

Jack Wallen/ZDNet

2. Sidebar

I honestly never thought I would bother with a browser sidebar but Opera convinced me otherwise. Opera’s tech in the sidebar is divided into three sections: Workspace at the top, Apps in the center, and Opera Tools at the bottom. The sidebar doesn’t just give me quick access to my workspace, but it does allow me to add specific apps that I use frequently, like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more. As far as the Opera Tools section is concerned, it has become a feature I rely on daily, as it allows me to view my downloads, personal news, pinboards, history, and more. If you try Opera, don’t neglect the sidebar.

3. Aria AI

This is a rather touchy subject for many, but as I’ve written before, I’ve found Opera’s built-in AI, called Aria, incredibly helpful. I use it as a super-charged search tool that bypasses all the sponsored articles that bubble up to the top of Google results. I only use this tool when researching but I do a lot of research (especially when writing fiction).

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And although Opera allows you to quickly access the ChatGPT service, I found Aria to be more useful for my needs. Even better, Aria Opera lives in the sidebar, so when you click the icon, it opens as a slide-out window, where you can quickly run a query and read the results, without opening another tab.

Opera's Aria AI explains string theory.

Opera’s Aria is incredibly helpful for AI research.

Jack Wallen/ZDNet

4. Mobile version

I immediately switched to Opera on Android as soon as I realized how customizable it is. This enabled me to create a very minimal browser, with the address bar placed at the bottom of the screen, so it’s not only easy on the eyes but very efficient to use. That alone was good enough to switch me.

The only thing the mobile version of Opera is missing is Workspace, but then I don’t use it nearly as much as the desktop version, so the Workspace feature isn’t really necessary. Even without this, Opera makes managing tabs on a mobile device pretty easy. And with a built-in VPN, I feel safe using Opera Mobile outside my home network.

Opera mobile browser.

The Opera mobile browser can be as clean or as busy as you want.

Jack Wallen/ZDNet

5. Look and feel

This may not matter to some, but I cut my teeth on the Linux desktop, where I would spend hours tweaking the UI to see exactly how I wanted it. While aesthetics won’t make your experience more efficient or effective, it can make it more enjoyable. I find other browsers to be dull and lifeless, whereas Opera has a more modern aesthetic that is not only pleasing to the eye but also arranged in such a way that each feature is in a specific part of the browser (eg sidebar, workspace, address bar, tabs, extension “island”). “).

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I know this is a very personal opinion but this is how I feel when I use Opera at home. When I switch to another browser, I feel like something is wrong. Firefox is very rare, Vivaldi tries to be Opera but doesn’t achieve its goal, and Chrome has come a long way but it hasn’t done much to appeal to anyone who needs a highly efficient and effective work environment.

Opened Opera browser on ZDNET.

Opera UI is one of my favorites.

Jack Wallen/ZDNet

Opera isn’t perfect (no browser is), but it’s certainly proven to me that (for the moment) it’s my go-to browser. I can’t imagine another browser taking its place, but I’m about to dive into the world of Microsoft Edge, so we’ll see if I switch to another web browser. Until that day comes, I will happily (and efficiently) continue to work with Opera.

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