10 Reasons Why You Should Switch to Opera Browser Right Now

Opera is one of the most underrated browsers out there. Even though it usually pops up in the most-popular browser lists, only a fraction of total users use it (W3schools puts the figure at around 1% for 2016). Still the numbers add up to about 60 mil users on desktop and twice that on Opera Mini for Android.

Despite its lower usage numbers, many of the awesome features you use in your favorite non-Opera browser are either introduced by Opera or turned mainstream by it. The speed dial, private/incognito window, pop-up blocker, tabbed browsing, ability to turn off images and browser sessions are some of the features that originated from Opera.

I have extensively used both Firefox and Chrome and switched to Opera almost a year ago and never looked back. I found many good reasons to ditch other browsers in favor of Opera, and in this post I’ll share all of them with you.

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1. It’s not a resource hog

This is definitely a deal breaker/maker if you tire of browsers like Chrome and Firefox slowing down your PC. Opera is a resource-friendly browser that focuses on using less of your PC and Internet resources.

Many of its features are made to strip down resource usage (more on them later). As a result, you experience fewer hiccups and hang ups when on Opera.

2. It has a built-in ad blocker

Opera has a built-in ad blocker which eliminates the need to use a third-party ad blocker. Opera claims that their ad blocker can block all types of ads and speed up the load time of websites up to 90%.

Opera’s ad blocker is built-in and blocks ads at web engine level. So it is lighter on the resources and offers a faster page load time.

opera adblocker

Opera tested its ad blocker against Chrome running the popular Adblock Plus extension. With tests on 66 different websites, Opera’s ad blocker was 45% faster as compared to Chrome with Adblock Plus installed.

To enable ad blocker in Opera, go to Settings from the main Opera menu and enable it in the “Basic” section.

3. Opera’s “Battery Saver” mode

Opera recently added a battery saver feature that can extend the battery life of your laptop up to 50%. When your laptop is unplugged or when you enable the feature manually, Opera will tweak different settings to become light on the battery without sacrificing performance.

Some of the tweaks include, pausing unused plugins, pausing theme animations, reducing background tabs activity and less interactions with CPU by changing JavaScript schedule.

opera battery saver

Opera compared battery saver with Chrome and found it to extend battery life by 50%.

4. It has built-in VPN

Opera has a built-in free VPN without any limitations that you can start using with a click of a button.

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To enable Opera VPN, go to Settings and move to the “Privacy & security” section. Here, check “Enable VPN” to enable it.

opera build-in vpn

This will add a “VPN” button at the start of your address bar that you can click to turn on/off the VPN. You can choose from five virtual locations: USA, Germany, Canada, Singapore and Netherlands. The VPN works great and doesn’t show any ads or throttle browsing speed.

5. You can use Chrome extensions in Opera

Opera has limited choices when it comes to extensions. Fortunately, Chrome and Opera are based on the same platform (chromium) and as such, Opera can easily run most Chrome extensions. All you need is the Download Chrome Extension for Opera.

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Once you have installed this extension in Opera, you will see that the “Add to Chrome” button in the Chrome store as been replaced with “Add to Opera

Just click on it to install your favorite Chrome extensions in Opera. I am using many of my favorite Chrome extensions like Avast Safe Price, The Great Suspender, Lazarus and Note Board in Opera without any problems.

6. Opera Turbo

Opera has a built-in data compression system called Opera Turbo that uses Opera’s servers to compress data. When Opera Turbo is enabled, less data will be downloaded leading to less internet data usage (good if you have limited data). Additionally, the loading speed of pages will also increase.

However, do keep in mind that compression only works on unencrypted websites (http). Opera cannot intercept data from encrypted (https) websites. You can enable Opera Turbo from the main Opera menu at the top left corner.

7. Speed Dial

Opera’s renowned Speed Dial replaces your homepage with speed dial to your frequently accessed websites. You can simply bookmark websites and pages you need to access frequently to speed dial, and you will be able to quickly access them from the home page.

speed dial opera

IMAGE: Opera.com

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The speed dial makes the home page look really cool and your default search engine is at the top to let you quickly search the web.

8. Opera News Digest

Opera offers a curated news digest based on your interest from your selected list of news websites. Click on Opera main menu and select “News” from it

Here you can tell Opera which language and country to offer curated news about (multiple options can be selected).

opera news digest

After that, specify categories in which you are interested, including arts, business, entertainment, food, sports, science, travel, technology and many more.

Opera will then create a news digest with latest articles from categories you selected. This news digest will update frequently as the sources are update.

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9. Pop-Out Videos

On YouTube and other video sharing websites, the video is only visible as long as you stay in its section. If you will move to comments or recommended videos, the video playing will be left behind. However, this won’t happen with Opera.

Opera adds a tiny Pop-out video button at the top of videos. Click on it to pop-out another instance of the video.

opera pop-out video

Now you can scroll down the page and that instance of the video will be visible to you all the times. Best of all, even if you leave the website, the pop-out video will still be visible.

This is perfect if you need to follow troubleshooting instructions or tutorials on another tab and would like to keep the video in view all the time.

10. Customize Keyboard Shortcuts

If you are a keyboard shortcuts fanatic but don’t like the default keyboard shortcuts offered by your browser, then you will be pleased to know that Opera lets you bind your own keyboard shortcuts

In Opera Settings, move to “Browser” section and scroll down to “Shortcuts” option. Now click on the “Configure shortcuts” button and you will see a full list of supported keyboard shortcuts.

opera pop-out video

Here you can click on each shortcut to either replace it with another or add multiple shortcuts for the same function. You can also specify shortcuts for extensions and their functions.

opera shortcut keys

Conclusion

Additionally, Opera supports all the other important features that are essential for browsing, including data syncing over different devices, password manager, bookmark manager, control over plug-in content, block pop-ups, control over location and cookies, ability to customize interface and pretty much everything that most other browsers can offer.

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I should also mention that Opera page loading and browsing speeds are head-to-head with Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge. Do let us know in the comments if you are planning on switching to Opera or not.

The post 10 Reasons Why You Should Switch to Opera Browser Right Now appeared first on Hongkiat.

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8 Time Tracking Apps That Work Right Off Browser

Time tracking apps work like a boon when you’re working with a remote team or managing freelancers for your projects. There are thousands of time tracking apps for macOS as well as Windows offering different features.

However, in this post, we are featuring a list of time tracking apps that work right in your browser – meaning you don’t need to download or install them in your computer. Let’s take a look at the following list to see which one works for you the best.

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Zoho Projects Time Tracking

Zoho Projects Time Tracking

Zoho Projects’s Time Tracking offers a cloud-based time-tracking platform, generally targeted towards small and medium-scale companies. It includes various features for enabling project managers to assign tasks, accept or dismiss timesheet entries and manage team members. One significant feature is its dashboards and reporting modules help you prepare business summaries.

Zoho offers a free plan allowing two projects and three users. Its paid plans include the Premium plan costing 350 INR per user per month for up to 50 users and the Enterprise plan costing 700 INR per user per month for unlimited users.

  • Supported Platforms: Browser
  • Is Zoho Projects Time Tracking free? Yes
  • Does Zoho Projects Time Tracking has paid plan? Yes, Starts at $ 5/user/month.
Pros
  • Features cloud storage, subtasks, and more in paid plans.
  • Supports gantt charts and workflow automation, unlike many.
Cons
  • Interface is complex and not user-friendly for beginners.
  • Not very workable as it offers a limited number of templates.

Time Tracking by Freshbooks

Time Tracking by Freshbooks

The Time Tracking feature in FreshBooks helps you to focus on work without worrying about the clock. It can record your working time down to every billable second and change the timesheet to an invoice seamlessly. The most handy feature of this all-in-one online accounting service is that it can record time spent by an entire team on a project, for a specific client, and more.

FreshBooks plans start with a Lite plan ($ 15 per month for five clients), Plus plan ($ 25 per month for 50 clients), Premium plan ($ 50 per month for unlimited clients), and ends with a Custom Pricing plan with specialized features.

  • Supported Platforms: Browser
  • Is Time Tracking by Freshbooks free? Yes
  • Does Time Tracking by Freshbooks has paid plan? Yes, Starts from $ 4.50/month.
Pros
  • Keeps accurate track of billable hours, like Harvest.
  • Easy to use pop-up timer for mobile and desktop platforms.
  • Offers other features for managing projects, teams, and more.
Cons
  • Proves to be unaffordable if you do not have to use all the features.
  • Ideal for small to medium enterprises only; not large organizations.

TimeSolv

TimeSolv

One of the prominent features of TimeSolv is its ability to run multiple timers and track various tasks simultaneously. It is most suited for accountants, consultants, law firms, and similar businesses. It supports unlimited clients and projects with different hourly rates and recurring expenses features.

It also provides a desktop app, namely TimeSync, to track time offline without the need to open your browser. TimeSolv offers a free trial of its software. Then, you must opt for its subscription plans starting at $ 39.95 per user per month for 1-4 users, $ 34.95 per user per month for 5-14 users, and $ 29.95 per user per month for 15+ users. That is, it provides volume discounts like actiTIME.

  • Supported Platforms: Browser
  • Is TimeSolv free? Yes, free trial
  • Does TimeSolv has paid plan? Yes, Starts at $ 24.95/user/month.
Pros
  • Expense reporting and invoicing prove to be handy features.
  • Provides multi-factor authentication options and data security.
  • Supports integration with accounting tools, like MinuteDock.
Cons
  • Supports Android and Web only, unlike many others.
  • Not suitable for large enterprises, unlike Timely or actiTime.

Trigger

Trigger

Trigger provides a platform catering to project managers and small teams responsible for managing several projects simultaneously. One of its powerful features is it provides you with a centralized location to keep track of all the projects for various clients. This facilitates keeping track of the billed hours without the hassle of managing different projects on different platforms.

Trigger offers multiple plans starting with its free Start Up plan, allowing up to three team members. With more features, it offers two paid plans: Standard plan for $ 11 per user per month and Premium plan for $ 15 per user per month.

  • Supported Platforms: Browser
  • Is Trigger free? Yes
  • Does Trigger has paid plan? Yes, Starts at $ 11/user/month.
Pros
  • One-click automatic time tracking across clients and projects.
  • Auto-generation of timesheets, which saves tons of hours a week.
  • Supports integrations with accounting and team tools like Slack.
Cons
  • Does not track websites, which can be needed for remote teams.
  • Expensive if compared to its competitors like TimeSolv and Bonsai.

Timenotes

Timenotes

Timenotes allows managing projects, billed hours, and track absence in a single dashboard. It provides an efficient way to track all users’ tasks in a simple, user-friendly interface, allowing the team to focus on projects rather than tracking billed hours. What I find unique about Timenotes is it allows a handy feature to manage and track absence, providing a robust tracking system.

Timenotes offers two flat-fee plans: the Small Team plan costs $ 6.99 per month for up to 10 users and Unlimited plan costs $ 69 per month for unlimited users.

  • Supported Platforms: Browser
  • Is Timenotes free? Yes
  • Does Timenotes has paid plan? Yes, 14-days trial, or plan starts at $ 6.99/month.
Pros
  • Features multiple types of timesheet reports and export options.
  • Supports popular integrations like GitHub, Todoist, and Trello.
Cons
  • An affordable flat-fee alternative compared to its competitors.
  • No support for billing invoices and sending them to the clients.

Kimai Time-tracker

Kimai Time-tracker

Kimai is an open-source time tracking platform with a web interface. It lets you utilize timesheets facilitating time tracking and managing expenses across multiple projects and numerous users. It supports role-based permissions to ensure access to authorized persons only and manage multiple clients.

Kimai is best recommended for small-scale businesses who need to track progress and print invoices. Also, it lets you export data into many popular formats like CSV, XLSX, etc. Kimai is a free, open-source platform, unlike others. However, you require your own web server to install and run it self-hosted.

  • Supported Platforms: Browser (Open source)
  • Is Kimai Time-tracker free? Yes
  • Does Kimai Time-tracker has paid plan? No
Pros
  • Supports unlimited customers, projects, users, teams, etc.
  • Its self-hosted infrastructure ensures data integrity and safety.
Cons
  • The interface is a bit laggy if compared to tools like timeEdition.
  • Requires your web server for installing and using it, unlike others.

Timely

Timely

Timely is an automatic time tracking software for both freelancers and small to medium sized businesses who need to track their time expenditure. It provides detailed timesheets auto-created by tracking apps, documents, and websites used by you. It also offers user-level privacy by architecture, like Timing. Also, it helps you monitor budgets for projects and track teams’ performance.

Timely provides a 14-days trial, after which, you have to opt for one of its subscription plans. Its plans start with the Starter plan costing $ 10, Premium costing $ 18, and Unlimited costing $ 26 per user per month. It also offers a custom pricing plan named Unlimited+ for tailed experience with Timely. Its Starter plan features 50 projects and three teams while unlimited for others.

  • Supported Platforms: Browser
  • Is Timely free? Yes
  • Does Timely has paid plan? Yes, 14-days trial, or plan starts at $ 8/user/month.
Pros
  • Real-time dashboards and reports help boost projects’ critical activities.
  • Respects members’ privacy by letting them control publicly shared data.
  • Supports 10+ integrations including GitHub, Trello, Zapier, and Zoom.
Cons
  • Does not provide a lot of useful insights, unlike tools like Timing.
  • Suitable for companies that are more inclined towards desk work.

Time Doctor

Time Doctor

Time Doctor lets you track all the activity on your PC and take customizable screenshots of activity. Specifically made for teams, it can keep track of employee activity and avoid distractions by prompting them to get back to work if they stray away. Furthermore, it also allows you to make payments to employees based on the work recorded without any fee.

It also has GPS tracking feature in its smartphone app to track location of the users and only track work time when they are in the work environment. You will need to upgrade to the pro version for client login and billing features.

  • Supported Platforms: Browser
  • Is Time Doctor free? Yes
  • Does Time Doctor has paid plan? Yes, 14-days trial, or plan starts at $ 7/user/month.
Pros
  • Take screenshots of activity.
  • Built-in tool to avoid distractions.
  • Billing system.
  • GPS tracking.
Cons
  • Complicating interface for beginners.

The post 8 Time Tracking Apps That Work Right Off Browser appeared first on Hongkiat.

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How to Check Browser Compatibility via Command Lines

Building a website traditionally involves a variety of technologies which may work across all major browsers, some of them partially, or none at all. Web developers these days would always refer to CanIUse to check if a certain feature is supported on a browser or one of its many versions.

CanIUse keeps track of the browser adoption of standard HTML, CSS, and SVG along with their references, the specifications status from W3C, and links to the issues and bugs that present in each browser (when available).

For instance, we can see below that Edge, Firefox, and Opera Mini do not support CSS Reflection, and in browsers that it is supported in, the vendor prefix is required.

CanIUse is the de facto tool that records how far the standard web specifications compatibility in desktop and mobile browsers.

Aside from the browser version through caniuse.com, CanIUse is now also available as a CLI (Command Line Interface). We are also be able to pull out the CanIUse resultant via Terminal or Command Prompt.

If you found yourself stumbling while on Terminal often, the CLI would effectively streamline your workflow.

Requirements

To deploy the CanIUse command line, you will first need NodeJS and NPM installed.

If running npm -v or node -v returns the version number (as shown below) you are ready to deploy the CLI. Otherwise, if it returns the “command not found” error, download the NodeJS installer here.

The installer is available for Windows, OS X, and Linux; select the OS you are using.

The CLI

Installing the CanIUse CLI is just a line away. Open Terminal or Command Prompt and run the following command.

npm install -g caniuse-cmd

This command installs CLI globally which will allow it to be accessible throughout the location in the OS. Once installed, the command line caniuse should now be available at your disposal. There is no rule on how to “search” via CLI. Simply search naturally as you would in the web version, e.g. running “caniuse box shadow” will return the CSS3 Box-shadow specification.

Notice that we do not need to escape the space for the keyword query, which we traditionally would have to do.

Basically, the CLI results match the web version. Even if a search is done with an incomplete keyword, for example, soc or sock , the search will result with Web Socket at the top, followed by relevant entries.

CanIUse is a perfect complement for other command line based tools like Gulp, Grunt, and is an all-round handy tool that could boost your workflow eventually. Now you don’t have to leave your Terminal ever to check for browser compatibility for HTML, CSS, and SVG.

The post How to Check Browser Compatibility via Command Lines appeared first on Hongkiat.

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Is The Tor Browser Illegal?: What You Need to Know

The Tor Browser has been in the news for the past few weeks with people looking for reassurance that Tor Browser lets them browse anonymously and safely. The biggest question on everyone’s mind right now – is Tor illegal? Could we be in trouble if we use Tor Browser to access the dark web links? […]

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Vectr Offers Free Graphics Editor for Browser & Desktop

How many times have you wanted to whip up a quick vector icon or simple interface design? This is much easier with a program like Sketch, but all good design software also costs money.

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Thankfully there’s a new kid on the block named Vectr and it’s taking the design world by storm. It’s completely free and you can design anything from websites to print adverts and even custom icons. Plus there’s almost no learning curve and if you have some background knowledge in vector design you’ll pick this up with little effort.

Vectr works in the browser and has a desktop app you can download to run locally. It’s the best of both worlds and for a free program it comes with plenty.

vectr homepage

While working online you can generate a custom URL for your documents and share for live collaboration. This is a bit like InVision but it’s free and focused primarily on vector work.

Everything you create online is auto-saved and stored in the cloud. This means you can work on your vector projects from any computer and save your progress as you go.

It also makes delivery a whole lot easier when you can share final designs right through the browser. With such a simple learning curve it’s easy for managers and producers to jump into files and start making adjustments.

screenshot vectr app

Each Vectr file has its own version control system so you can easily roll back changes to earlier versions. And each file supports annotations and comments that help designers organize their changes.

Everything you do can be saved online and even shared in a public collection of resources. This helps the community and offers user-created templates for new Vectr users to start with. The Vectr interface is also easy to customize with plugins made by other users, or plugins you build yourself with the canvas API.

You can dig a bit deeper with Vectr’s custom tutorials aimed at anyone regardless of background. The site also has a free user guide which offers a very gentle introduction to the interface.

And if you’re still not sure why Vectr is so awesome then check out the 2-minute demo video below.

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