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Opera vs Brave: In-depth security and feature comparison

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Milan Stanojevic

by Milan Stanojevic

Deputy Editor




Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more






  • Opera and Brave are quite popular alternative browsers, and in this guide, we’re going to compare the two and see which one is better.

  • Opera focuses heavily on user functionality, and it offers some interesting productivity and entertainment features.

  • Brave Browser is privacy-oriented and it gives you extensive configuration when it comes to blocking ads and tracking cookies.

  • If you’re concerned about Opera and Brave RAM usage, keep reading to see how the two compare.


opera vs brave browsers



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The browser market is dominated by Google Chrome, but there are many great lesser-known browsers such as Opera and Brave.


Both of these browsers offer some unique features in terms of user security and privacy, and today we’re going to compare Opera and Brave and see which one is better.


The two are quite similar, but each has some unique features that differentiate it from the other, so let’s take a closer look and compare these two browsers.


Opera or Brave, which is a better browser for you?


A quick introduction


Opera: A browsing veteran





Opera has been present on the browser market since 1995, which makes it one of the oldest web browsers.


Despite being an older browser, Opera has changed a lot over the years. The browser used its own Presto layout engine, but in 2013, Opera switched to the Chromium engine.


In terms of availability, Opera covers almost every modern and legacy platform, so you should be able to run Opera on Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, and legacy phones.


Brave Browser: A privacy-oriented newcomer



Brave Browser first appeared in 2019, and ever since its release, it got major popularity due to its unique privacy features.


The browser is based on Chromium engine, so it’s pretty similar to Chrome in terms of a user interface, but the two couldn’t be more different in terms of security and privacy.


Brave Browser is currently available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, so you should be able to run it on almost any platform.


Interface and customization


Opera: Clean and customizable


As soon as you start Opera, you’ll be greeted with a clean and simple user interface. Since the browser is based on Chromium, you’ll notice that the browser is similar to Chrome in terms of looks.



The interface is divided into two segments, and the left pane is reserved for browsing while the right pane holds the Sidebar.


The Sidebar allows you to quickly access certain features, such as your browsing history, bookmarks, settings, or some of the more unique features that Opera offers.


The left pane hosts your most visited websites, allowing you to access them quickly. Of course, you can rearrange this list any way you want, and you can even add any website in a matter of moments.


Regarding the customization, you can choose which items will appear in the Sidebar, or if you don’t want to use the Sidebar, you can hide it completely.





Opera also has an Easy setup pane that you can use to enable certain features or customize the look of your browser.


You can choose between two available themes, and you can decorate your Speed Dial page with a couple of pre-installed wallpapers, or you can use custom ones.


As for customization, you can change the title size or choose if you want to have browsing suggestions on your Speed Dial page. You can also choose to show News and Weather information on the start page.





Overall, Opera’s interface is clean and simple to use. The Sidebar is a great addition, but users that want to keep their user interface minimalistic might not be too keen on this feature.


We wish that there was an option to auto-hide the Sidebar for the users that want more working space, and we’re hoping to see that feature in one of the upcoming versions.


Brave Browser: Easy to use, but a bit overwhelming


When you first start Brave Browser, you’ll see a list of your favorite websites, and you can rearrange them or add new websites to the list with a couple of clicks.


The browser also comes with some unique wallpapers, and you’ll get a new wallpaper every time you open your browser. We’re not too fond of wallpapers, but if you want a fresh look in your browser, then you’ll love this feature.





Brave Browser also shows you useful stats in the top left corner such as the number of blocked trackers and ads, the amount of bandwidth and time that you saved by blocking ads.


The right side of the browser is reserved for cryptocurrency and Brave Rewards, but if you’re not trading or using cryptocurrency, you won’t find this feature that useful.





Lastly, we have to mention Brave Today that works like a news feed for your start page. While this feature is useful if you want to quickly check the news, the thumbnails are too large and take too much precious space.





It’s important to mention that you can customize the start page, and you can choose to show or hide any element on the start page.


This means that you can disable features as Brave Today and Cards if you don’t want to read the news or you’re not interested in cryptocurrency.





Overall, Brave Browser offers a solid interface, but the start page feels a bit overwhelming the first time you open it. Luckily, you can customize it and you can disable wallpapers and other elements that you don’t plan on using.


Unique features


Opera: Optimized for productivity and entertainment


Opera offers some unique features, and while some features are aimed towards user productivity, others are aimed at social media and entertainment.


The first feature that we have to mention is the Workspaces feature, and with it, you can separate tabs into different workspaces.





By doing so, you can easily organize tabs and improve your productivity. Switching between workspaces is simple and you can do it from the Sidebar or by using a keyboard shortcut.


Another productivity feature that deserves a mention is the Search in Tabs. With this feature, you can find any tab quickly based on its name or content. You can also search for recently closed tabs, which can come in handy.





Opera also has messenger integration and it works with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and VKontakte.


This means that you can use any of these messengers right from the Sidebar while browsing. This is useful since you won’t have to keep any of these websites open in separate tabs or check your phone for messages.





Social media integration is also available, and Opera offers both Twitter and Instagram support so you can check your feed at any time right from the Opera’s Sidebar.


Opera also has integration with popular music streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music, so you can listen to your favorite artists while browsing the web.





Another feature that we liked is the Flow feature that allows you to send files, texts, links, and other data seamlessly to your phone.


This feature works almost like an instant messenger of sorts allowing you to send text and files quickly and easily between devices. It’s an incredibly useful feature, and we hope that other browsers would implement it.





Opera offers some unique features, and we were pleased with how useful features such as Workspaces, Search in tabs, and Flow are.


If you want to improve your productivity or just organize your tabs better, be sure to try out these features.


Even if you’re a multitasking user, or just a casual user that likes chatting and social media, Opera will surely have something to offer to you.


Brave Browser: A security powerhouse


Unlike Opera, Brave Browser doesn’t have many flashy features, and instead, it focuses heavily on user security or privacy, so you won’t find features such as integrated messenger and file sharing.


Brave has a tab management feature, allowing you to group multiple tabs into groups. You can change the color of the tab groups, name them, and even minimize them to save space.





This is a welcome feature, and it’s a solid alternative compared to the Workspaces feature that we have in Opera.


However, we did find that the Workspaces feature is a bit more streamlined when it comes to tab management.


Brave also has its own Search Tabs feature, and it works similarly to the Search in tabs feature in Opera. It shows your currently open tabs as well as recent tabs and lets you search them by their name.





However, there’s one major difference, and while Opera can search both the tab title and its contents, Brave’s search feature is limited only to tab titles.


This isn’t a dealbreaker, but we did like the search feature better in Opera. As we already mentioned, Brave doesn’t have too many flashy features, so we can’t really compare it to Opera.


However, when it comes to security and privacy, Brave packs a wide array of features, and we’ll explore them in detail in the next section.


Brave vs Opera privacy and security comparison


Opera: Great browser with solid security features


When it comes to security and user privacy, Opera has a couple of great features to offer. First off, there’s a built-in adblocker.


The adblocker will block all ads as well as trackers that keep a log of your browsing activity in order to give you personalized ads.





At any time, you can easily see the number of blocked ads and trackers for the current page. If you want, you can even see the names of individual trackers.


The browser also has its own Ethereum-based crypto wallet. This feature is available on both mobile and desktop versions, but to use it, you first need to create your wallet on the mobile version of the app and then connect the wallet to your PC.


Lastly, the browser has a VPN that will protect your IP address from hackers. By using this feature, you can make your browsing sessions completely private.





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It’s worth mentioning that the VPN offers three locations to choose from, and the speed can vary depending on the location that you choose.





It’s important to mention that the VPN is completely free and it comes with no data caps, so you can browse the web privately without any restrictions.


The VPN feature isn’t enabled by default, and to enable it you’ll have to dive into the settings page and enable it manually from there.


Opera offers some solid security and privacy features, and we did like the inclusion of a built-in VPN and adblocker, but we wished that there was a way to enable them with a single click.


Brave Browser: A privacy powerhouse


Right of the bat, Brave Browser comes with adblocker enabled, so you’ll start blocking those pesky ads as soon as you start your browser.


At any time, you can open the Brave Shields section and see how many items have been blocked on the current page.


There are different categories that Brave Browser will block, and those include trackers, scripts, cookies, and there’s even a fingerprinting protection.





Each section can be expanded, allowing you to easily see all individual blocked items by their name, and you can even choose if you want to allow certain scripts to run on the page while blocking the rest.


Most of the settings can be customized, so you can choose how strict the ad and tracking protection will be, and the same applies to fingerprinting protection.


The same applies to cookies, and you can choose what type of cookies to store, or if you want, you can block cookies altogether.


Brave Shields feature also allows you to upgrade website connections to HTTPS for an extra layer of security if the website isn’t already using HTTPS.


Unlike some other web browsers, Brave won’t collect any of your personal or browsing data and sell it to the advertisers.


As for advertisers, Brave offers a Brave Rewards feature that will give you a small commission by viewing privacy-oriented ads, and all the ads are based on your interests, and not on your browsing activity.


You can then use these rewards to tip content creators and publishers, or you can redeem them for gift cards if you want.


Brave also has its own Crypto Wallet, so you can easily trade or store cryptocurrency. Lastly, we have to mention that Brave Browser takes private browsing to a whole new level.


In addition to the standard private browsing feature, the software also has private browsing with Tor. In case you’re not familiar, Tor is a private browsing network, and by using it, you’ll get a truly private browsing experience.





This is similar to browsing with a VPN, but instead of using a server, Tor is based around volunteers around the world and it offers multiple layers of protection, so it offers better protection than a VPN.


However, Tor is slower than a VPN, so if you plan to browse the web anonymously, be prepared for slowdowns. We also have to mention that the private browsing mode uses DuckDuckGo, this keeping your online searches safe.


Overall, Brave Browser offers some great features in terms of security and privacy. It has an extensive adblocker and tracking protection, allowing you to keep a close eye on trackers and scripts.


Private browsing with Tor also deserves praise, and privacy enthusiasts will find it more than useful.


Brave vs Opera GX


Not that long ago we wrote Opera GX vs Brave vs Vivaldi guide, so we’ll keep the comparison short. If you want a more detailed comparison, be sure to check the aforementioned guide.


Opera GX is another version of Opera, intended for gamers, and it comes with a couple of unique features. Some of the included features include a highly customizable design along with Twitch and Discord integration.


This version also has a Hot Tab Killer feature that allows you to see all tabs that are currently open along with their CPU and memory usage.





Using this feature you can quickly close any tab with just a single click and free up some of your resources.


The software also has a GX Control feature that will allow you to limit RAM and CPU usage in your browser, and ensure that your browser doesn’t take away resources from other more important applications.





If you want to learn more about Opera GX, we recommend that you check our Opera vs Opera GX article for an in-depth comparison between the two.


Since Opera GX has all the same features as regular Opera, it has all the advantages and disadvantages when compared to the Brave Browser.


The only thing that stands out in Opera GX is its GX Control and Hot Tabs Killer feature, and we wish that other browsers would add those features as well.


Brave vs Opera Mini


Opera Mini: Minified version of Opera with few flaws


Opera Mini comes with a simple and friendly user interface, and the first thing you’ll notice is the list of top websites that you can change any way you want.





The main window also has a useful news section in which you can choose which topics you want to follow. This section also holds some sponsored content, and we weren’t a fan of this.


As for additional features, Opera Mini supports offline reading which can come in handy if you’re on a go.


The browser also has a data saving feature that will save up to 90% of your data and load pages faster. To top it off, an ad blocker is available right off the bat, which is a plus.





Overall, Opera Mini has some decent features, but we weren’t fans of the sponsored content. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but some users might not like this.


Brave Browser: Safe and privacy-oriented


Brave Browser offers speed and security, and according to its developers, it two to four times faster than other browsers, plus it saves your battery and reduces data usage.





We have to mention that the Brave Shields is available in this version as well, and it offers extensive tracking protection, and it’s just as configurable as in the desktop version.


Brave Rewards makes an appearance as well, which might come in handy if you want to support your favorite content creators.


As for the design, it’s clean and it doesn’t have any unnecessary elements. Favorite websites are hidden behind the stats screen and you can easily reveal them if needed.





Although Opera Mini offers more features to its users, we feel that its interface is a bit cluttered. On the other hand, Brave Browser offers a more streamlined interface and more advanced security features.


Closing thoughts on Opera and Brave Browser


Opera: Lightweight, fast, and feature-rich





Opera a great browser, it works without any slowdowns, and it offers some great productivity features. We especially loved the Workspaces and Search in tabs features, and we wished that more browsers would implement these features.


Opera Flow is also a great addition, and it’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to share data, texts, and links between your PC and phone.


VPN and ad blocker worked perfectly during our testing, but we wish that there was a faster way to enable these features.


This is especially true for the VPN, and we wish that there would be a button in a toolbar that would allow us to enable and disable VPN more quickly.


Music Player is a solid addition, especially if you want to listen to your favorite tunes while browsing the web. Social media and messenger integration are also handy, especially if you’re a heavy social media user.




Pros

Available on all major platforms

Clean and easy to use interface

Workspaces

Built-in adblocker

Unlimited VPN



Cons

Minor interface issues



Overall, Opera is a great browser, with a lot of functionality, especially if you want an ad-free and secure browsing experience, so be sure to consider Opera.


Opera

Opera


Thanks to all these amazing features included, Opera is the secure browser that you’re looking for!




Brave Browser: Advanced and secure browser





Brave Browser doesn’t have many innovative features, but it makes up for that with its security and privacy protection features.


Brave Shields give incredibly extensive control over ad blocking and trackers, and it’s enabled out of the box, so you can browse the web without any distractions.


Private browsing deserves a mention, and it’s great to see that the browser relies on DuckDuckGo and Tor to provide maximum privacy protection to its users.


Brave Rewards is also a great idea for an alternative method of monetization without relying on privacy-invasive ads.


We did feel that the interface was slightly overcrowded, especially the start page, and we felt that the Brave Today feature took way too much space, which made it harder to read.




Pros

Extensive privacy configuration

Private browsing with Tor

Based on Chromium

Compatible with Chrome extensions

Easy to use



Cons

Interface could be more streamlined



We love our user interface to be on a minimalistic side, and luckily, you can disable all the elements that you don’t need with just a couple of clicks. That’s what Brave is all about!


Get Brave


So, which one is better, Opera or Brave Browser? It’s hard to choose, and if you want a browser that offers great features and it has integrations with social media services and messaging services, then Opera might be a perfect choice for you.


Brave Browser doesn’t have any of these flashy features, but it makes up for it with some outstanding security and privacy features.


If you’re a casual user that uses social media frequently or you use messaging apps as your primary method of communication, then Opera is a perfect choice for you.


On other hand, if you’re concerned about your privacy, and you want maximum protection, be sure to give Brave Browser a try.





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