With so much attention focused on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, it would be easy to forget that Opera even exists.
But it does, and the fact that it has been somewhat overshadowed by three big rivals is no reason to think it's not worth checking out.
Opera is based on Chromium, but the look is different to just about everything else on the market. Making use of the fact that monitors are widescreen, Opera maximizes the amount of vertical space it has to display web sites by featuring a sidebar to the left of the screen to provide access to bookmarks, history and other options, freeing up the top of the screen. The sidebar is also home to shortcuts to apps such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram and WhatsApp, which is a very nice touch.
There's an integrated news reader, and Opera can be expanded through the use of extensions. There are thousands of add-ons available, and you can even use Chrome plugins if you can't find a native extension that does what you need.
Open a new tab and the customizable Speed Dial provides access to a search function and your favourite websites.
The look of the browser is pleasingly customisable too, thanks to a dark theme option and the ability to change background images.
You don’t have to spend long using Opera to wonder quite why it is you don’t hear more about the browser – even if it is a little quirky.
There are no traditional menus needed for daily use: click the bookmarks button, or history, and it loads in a browser tab. There is a menu that's somewhat hidden under the Opera button but you'll probably never need it.
As with Firefox and Chrome, you can synchronize bookmarks and settings between computer – or even the mobile version of the browser – and there are so many extra features (ad blocking, VPN and data compression to name but three), it puts other browsers to shame.
Everything feels wonderful speedy and slick as well, and the pop out video player that lets you keep browsing while a video continues to play – and remains visible – is just brilliant. Truly inspiring stuff.
Lot’s of settings
No sync of bookmarks, passwords or anything between devices.
Vivaldi, which is based on the same technology as Google Chrome, is a fully customizable open source browser. It's not as fast as some of its rivals, but its developers are adding innovative new features with every release (ever fancied controlling your lighting from your browser?) and everything is fully customizable.
Not only can you choose your own shortcuts, alter the main menu design and specify the control panel placement, Vivaldi also lets you arrange browser tabs, letting you place the tabs at the top, bottom, left or right of the screen. You can also hide them altogether and use shortcuts instead. If you're prone to keeping lots of tabs open, Vivaldi lets you stack and group them to make navigation even easier. Save your favourite tabs after a session, ready to reload any time.
A built-in browser notification function makes it easy to create memos. Vivaldi then takes a screen shot of your desktop and adds it to your memo automatically.
You can use Vivaldi to access the Chrome Web Store, and you can use Chrome add-ons to expand Vivaldi with a host of extra functions.
Vivaldi lets you build your own browser that suits the way you like to browse the web, and the whole process is broken into manageable steps that even a complete newcomer could follow.
First, you're prompted to choose a color scheme and tab position (along the top, the bottom, or either side), which will determine the overall look of Vivaldi. Positioning tabs along the side might seem odd, but the extra space means there's room for a preview in each one, making them easier to navigate.
Once that's done, you're ready to start setting up your homepage. This can be any website you like, or you can use a tool called Speed Dial to create a set of tiles for quick access to your favorite sites. It's much like a Favorites menu, but more convenient.
Bookmarks and downloads are accessible via a narrow navigation bar on the left called the Panel, which can be collapsed using a little switch at the bottom.Here you'll also find a notes tool that works much like a text-only version of Evernote, enabling you to jot down thoughts while you browse. You can also add site links to the Panel, which open alongside the main browser window. This is a particularly good way to keep an eye on your Twitter feed.
At the bottom of the Panel you'll find Vivaldi's main settings icon. As you'd expect, the options here are extensive. Some of the most significant are: keyboard, where you can define your own shortcuts; mouse, for setting gestures; and privacy, including phishing protection. If you're on a slow connection, you can toggle images off using the small picture icon at the bottom left. The double arrow icon beside this offers a range of filters and effects. Some of these (like highlight focus and the CSS debugger) have a clear purpose, whereas others (like the 3D effect that skews the page to create a 'turning' effect) are just for fun.
Finally, visiting vivaldi://extensions to access to the Chrome web store, where you can install any add-on built for Google's web browser. Extension icons will appear to the right of the browser's search box.
The whole process is surprisingly engaging, and you can easily spend hours tweaking and customizing Vivaldi. If you're tired of the usual web browsers and think you could do better, Vivaldi is well worth a look.
Spybot is a malware remover. It is designed for basic use yet offers complex menus and information for advanced users.
After installation, the program will offer to create a whitelist. This process indexes files for faster scans and isn't recommended unless the host computer is known to be clean. For best results cancel this option, update the software, run a full scan then create a whitelist if all is clean.
Real-time protection, protects one or more user profiles.
Scan didn't detect malware coded file, does not uninstall cleanly.