A fast and super-private browser with its own built-in VPN and other cool features? Sounds good, right? Opera browser offers all of this but it’s still only used by less than 2% of people. Last week we learned how to download and install this great, free program. (You can click here to learn how to do that.)

Today, we’ll take a tour of Opera. The first time you use Opera, you should get the Welcome page. From here you can choose to import bookmarks from your other browsers, select a dark or light theme, add a messaging app to your browser, block ads, or set up a wallet for cryptocurrency.

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To see the Start page, click the square of squares at the top left.

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The Start page is known as Speed Dial in Opera.

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The default search for your Speed dial page is Google. You’ll also see some promoted websites and suggestions for websites.

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To the left, you’ll see a sidebar.

sidebar

If you’ve chosen to link your messaging accounts, you’ll see new messages here. This is convenient because you don’t have to leave a tab with Facebook open to receive messages.

sidebar-messages

The next two icons are for Searching and for My Flow. My Flow allows you to securely send items between your phone and desktop browser.

sidebar-search

You’ll also find short cuts to Speed Dial (the Start page), Bookmarks, your Personal Newsfeed, and History.

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Click the three-dot menu icon for a pop-up menu. You can choose to remove shortcuts for any of the items displayed on the sidebar by unchecking them You can also add shortcuts for Downloads, Extensions, and Settings. Or choose to hide the sidebar completely.

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At the top left, you’ll see arrows for going forward and back plus a refresh icon. The square of squares icon brings up Speed Dial.

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You can either type a keyword or a web address in the search bar to navigate.

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By default, the Bookmarks Bar will show with your most frequently visited sites.

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Tomorrow, we’ll learn more about Navigating Opera.