Listen, Opera is a good browser. It’s fast, stable, mature, and has a few features that even Safari doesn’t have, including a built-in ad blocker which speeds up webpage downloads– in some cases– by an order of magnitude.
What’s not to like? Opera is free and works well and has a few nifty features to set it apart from Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, and even Mozilla’s Firefox.
See? A browser!
Opera’s ad blocker works well. It has a visual bookmark system so you can just point and click to favorite websites, yet, there is a full-on, built-in syncing bookmark feature for the rest of us. Opera still uses the data-compressing feature Opera Turbo so speed up webpage downloads. That save battery life.
Opera, like Firefox and Chrome, has a thousand or so extensions to add functionality. All these features are nice, but the security options are rather generalized these days. Brave and Firefox has even better ad blockers and more built-in security options.
Here comes the shocker. Opera is from China. Opera on the Mac uses an installer application instead of the standard download, drag, drop for most Mac applications. That means you have no idea where Opera’s installer will put files and since Russia seems to involved in election meddling and router hacking, why should I trust a blind installer from China?
That alone raised my suspicion bar to a new level. One of Opera’s saving graces in the past was the built-in virtual private network (VPN). I use a VPN on Mac, iPhone, and iPad so Opera’s VPN has been less valuable to me, but I can see why some Mac, Windows, and Linux users might be concerned.
It doesn’t matter, though. This is why I get most of the time when trying to use the Opera VPN.
Sometimes you get what you pay for. I use Firefox more than any Mac browser, but I dance around. Nothing improves without change. If you want a more secure and faster browser– Mac, iPhone, and iPad, try Brave. It doesn’t have the features in Safari, but it is very fast and more secure.