Opera Review

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Bottom Line [object Object]


  • Uses less memory than other browsers
  • Loads quickly on slow connections and older computers
  • Improved customization


  • Not compatible with some sites
  • Fewer features than major browsers
Our Analysis


Easy ways to organize browsing. Reviews concur that Opera belongs in the top five among major web browsers, but doesn't have all the advantages of Firefox and Chrome. Loyal users of the web browser have balked at many of the changes since version 12, and Opera has yielded to its critics by including many of its older features like a bookmarks bar. (An integrated email client and its super-fast "Presto" search engine -- replaced by Google's Chromium -- are gone for good.) In addition to the traditional bookmarks bar, the speed-dial feature saves and tiles sites on a page for easy access. (You can drag and drop to add new sites in bookmarks and speed dial.) Stash lets you mark pages for later (similar to a reading list), and Discover is a content portal tailored to your interests. The browser's mobile and desktop versions are also linked for integration across devices. 

Privacy and Security

Smaller may be safer. Opera has many of the privacy and security features users have come to expect of a browser, including anti-malware, anti-fraud and pop-up warnings of potential threats. The browser also lets you browse privately and erase history in a single tab. Fair or not, the major criticism of Opera -- once an industry trailblazer known for creating features like tabs -- is that it just isn't unique enough anymore. One thing that's great about its understated status, says PCMag.com: It's not a target for hackers. (However, one yearlong study found that 20 percent of Opera mobile users were concerned about security.) Opera is now using Google Chrome's code and has been through several redesigns since launching the enormously popular version 12 of its browser, which it still supports. PC Advisor says Opera "is perfect for people that want Chrome's performance, but don't want a Google account."

Our Sources

Michael Muchmore, March 12, 2014

Opera gets a "good" rating here and proves to be very fast in its "Off Road" mode; in tests of Opera in its standard form against other browsers, it scores in the middle. This is the most in-depth review of Opera 20 and weighs the browser against competitors.

Eddie Cho, July 5, 2013

This is a review of an older version of Opera (15). CNET's Download.com gives Opera an "outstanding" 4.5-out-of-5-stars rating, praising its various features including Discover, Off-Road mode, speed dial and Stash. Opera has also set up an integrated user experience across devices, CNET notes.

By Roland Waddilove, Dec. 16, 2013

This reviewer compares the features and performance of Internet Explorer 11, Opera 18, Firefox 26 and Google 31, but does not formally test them. Opera is named one of the best because it's like having Chrome without needing a Google account.

Ian Harac, Dec. 9, 2013

PCWorld's reviewer gives Opera 18 a rating of 3 out of 5 stars and isn't thrilled with the browser's "stripped down" browser and features. While the reviewer critiques Opera for being too basic (and therefore minimizing its innovation) the simpler version is undoubtedly easier for users with slower connections or computers.

Ionut Ilascu, Nov. 20, 2013

Softpedia.com gives Opera 18 a 4-out-of-5-stars rating in this fairly detailed test review. Off-Road mode is praised for speeding up browsing, but Opera's decision to strip so many features from its browser is a drawback in the reviewer's eyes.

Nick Peers, March 4, 2014

This isn't a review but instead describes updates to Opera 20, including drag-and-drop features on the bookmark bar and speed dial.

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