When it comes to browsers, Chrome isn’t the only choice you have. Far from it: Other browsers also have their advantages. Opera scores plus points such as for its unique functions, incredible speed, and maximum protection. The first installment of our blog series reveals why you should give this browser a shot.
The great age of software revolution seems to be long over. Word has established itself as the leading text processor, Photoshop is the king of image editing, and Windows 10 is the defacto operating system. There’s only one area that remains truly exciting – browsers. Let’s take a look back: It was only 10 years ago that Internet Explorer was the most popular browser, then Firefox took the crown for a while only to be replaced by Chrome, which is now the dominant browser – even in Germany.
Market leader – with downsides
Chrome is popular thanks to its speed and the fact that it’s being continuously enhanced. It’s also fairly robust when it comes to security. However, its monopoly status (current market share of 67%*) comes with the risk that it is increasingly attracting the attention of cybercriminals. From a data protection viewpoint, the Google browser must also be treated with caution as it comes bundled with many Google services in one interface, such as the famous search engine, maps, Docs, and Sheets. And let’s not forget Google’s business model, which is to collect user data and profit from it.
Opera: Fast and secure
Despite all the above, Chrome isn’t the only choice you have. There are other great alternatives, such as Opera. This free program has everything a good browser should have: Fast page loading speeds, easy to use, and light on system resources to name just a few great features. However, this great performance doesn’t just come by chance as Opera is ultimately based on Chromium – a Chrome clone freed from Google services. Opera even comes top of the bunch in several benchmark tests. That said, its great security functions are what count the most.
Browsers are a popular target for criminals as hardly any other program is used as frequently, makes as many network connections, and in doing so uses so many interfaces. This is why auto updates, phishing site alerts, and malware detection are now part and parcel of every browser’s armor. They even tell you if the website you’re trying to visit is secure or not – critical for online banking, for instance – using color icons. But Opera offers a whole lot more.
Security test winner
In a special test performed by Germany’s PC Magazin (issue 3/2018), in which experts focused exclusively on testing the security of Opera, Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, the Opera browser was by far the best. The editorial team’s summary: “Opera stands apart from the crowd as the most secure browser, making it our test winner.” The testers singled out the many pre-installed security functions, in particular. “The latest version of Opera is based on Chrome technology and comes with an ad blocker and VPN (Virtual Private Network) built-in. Edge, Firefox Quantum, and Google Chrome first have to be upgraded with such features by installing plugins,” said editor Wolf Hosbach. In other words, Opera is much more secure than the competition right out of the box in its default configuration.