Opera vs. Firefox – Battle of the Senior Browsers

Opera vs. Firefox - Battle of the Senior Browsers

Opera and Firefox have been around for way longer than Chrome or Microsoft Edge. These are the senior browsers. Although they do not even cast a shade on Chrome when it comes to market share, they are the key competitors. This post will make a comparison between the two.

Opera was launched in 1995, Mozilla Firefox in 2002, and Chrome in 2008. Now you know why we are calling them the senior browsers. Microsoft Edge aside, Opera and Firefox are the main competitors of Chrome. While Firefox has a 1.3% market share and Opera has a 3.4% market share, as opposed to Chrome’s 85% market share, these browsers have their own niche followers. There are millions of people around the world who prefer Opera to Chrome to this date. But our post is not about Chrome, it’s about Opera vs Firefox. So, let’s get into that.

Rules of the match

We will compare Opera and Firefox on 5 different grounds in 5 different rounds. And the browser with more points will be deemed the better of the two. The areas we will focus on here are features, ease of use, speed, security, and privacy. As said earlier, we will try and keep Chrome out of the equation while making this comparison.

Round 1 – Features

When we say features, what we really mean is the range and convenience of a certain browser in a bunch of different situations. Let’s start with Opera.

Opera features

Opera has always been known for its inbuilt capabilities. It has so many tools and communication apps built into it that it diminishes the requirement for extensions. Having a full suite of communications tools like Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Messenger, and V Kontakte, Opera minimizes the need for swapping tabs or apps while using the browser. 

The multi-device sync with Myflow makes it very easy for you to sync your browsing data, bookmarks, and settings across multiple devices.

Opera uses the Chromium engine which also makes it possible for Opera users to access Google’s expansive library of extensions.

Firefox features

Firefox is known for its simplicity and minimalist approach to web browsing. It doesn’t have a full suite of communication tools like Opera does. It does have a number of extensions that make life easy for Firefox users.

As one of the few browsers that do not use the Chromium engine, Firefox does not allow you to use Chrome extensions. 

Score: Opera 1. Firefox 0.

Also Read – Box vs Dropbox – Which Cloud Storage Platform Serves You Better

Round 2 – Ease of use

User interfaces are central to a browser’s popularity and usability. Both Opera and Firefox have decent UX designs. But once again Opera takes a slight advantage.

Opera convenience 

The sidebar makes all the difference for Opera. It contains all the communications channels and it also helps you swivel between workspaces. Workspaces are neither tabs nor windows. They are something in between that segregates different aspects of your work conveniently without requiring a separate window. 

The tabs shrink on Opera instead of enabling a horizontal scroll when you have a bunch of tabs open. This can be a hassle if you have a lot of tabs open and the site titles on the tabs are no longer visible.

Firefox convenience

Firefox doesn’t have Opera’s all-in-one feeling. It has a minimalist approach to browsing and it focuses on that. It doesn’t have a sidebar but other than that it is an even match with Opera. The tabs do not shrink, instead, you can scroll horizontally to see the tabs and a drop-down menu lets you see the list of open tabs. 

This round is a tie between the two.

Score: Opera 2. Firefox 1.

Round 3 – Security

There are a lot of malicious actors waiting for you to make a mistake so that they can infect your PC, steal your data, and pull you into a ransomware attack situation. Your browser forms the first line of defense against security threats. 

Security with Opera

Opera is not known for its security. Even though it uses the Chromium engine, it doesn’t use the Google Safe Browsing database which is Google’s database of common browser-level anomalies.

Nevertheless, Opera has inbuilt pop-up blockers and ad-blockers that come in handy in terms of secure browsing.

Security with Firefox

Powered by the Google safe browsing database, Firefox has a better cover against malicious sites. While it has a pop-up blocker, it doesn’t have an inbuilt ad blocker. However, you can use an ad-blocker as an extension.

This round goes to Firefox.

Score: Opera 2. Firefox 2.

Round 4 – Speed

Opera is the faster browser of the two. It has been tried and tested. On a test ran with Speedometer, Opera did 103 runs per minute while Firefox did only 98.40 runs per minute.

Score: Opera 3. Firefox 2.

Round 5 – Privacy

You do not want your browsing data to be visible to even your browser provider let alone third parties. Let’s learn which browser does a better job at protecting your data privacy.

Privacy with Opera

Ever since Opera was acquired by Chinese company Quihoo 360 its reputation has suffered. As a browser that is under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government, its privacy is not trusted. Moreover, its privacy policy clearly states that the browser sells its users’ browsing data for targeted ads.

Privacy with Firefox

Mozilla has a better privacy policy, at least on paper. It lets you choose the trackers you want to block. As a non-profit organization, Firefox doesn’t sell its data to third-party vendors.

Score: Opera 3. Firefox 3.

It’s a tie between Opera and Firefox and it really boils down to what you are looking for in a browser. It’s your preference that should guide you to the right browser for yourself.