Opera 40 is the latest version of the Opera desktop browser that brings automatic battery saving, Chromecast support, a built-in browser proxy and other features to the stable channel.
We have talked about most of the features that ship with Opera 40 in the past already. The one thing that is new is that these features are now available to all users of the web browser, and not only users who run development versions of Opera.
Probably the biggest feature of Opera 40 is the new browser proxy -- Opera calls it VPN and we will use the same terminology in this article -- that the browser ships with.
The VPN is not enabled by default, but can be enabled in the preferences. Easiest way to do that is to load opera://settings in the address bar, switch to Privacy & Security when the Settings page opens, and check the "Enable VPN" box on the page.
Please note that enabling the VPN will disable Opera Turbo. Once enabled, VPN is displayed on the left side of the browser's address bar.
A left-click on the icon displays options to disable the VPN, check the data transfer of it, the IP address assigned to your PC, and an option to switch to another location.
Opera VPN supports the five locations United States, Germany, Canada, Netherlands and Singapore currently.
It hides the "real" IP address of the device you are using. The connection speed is quite good. I was able to play 1080p YouTube videos without issues for instance, and Twitch.tv streams played in source quality just as well.
One thing that you cannot use Opera VPN for however is Netflix, as you will get the dreaded "you seem to be using an unblocker or proxy" message when trying to do so.
The VPN adds some extra protection when you are browsing the Internet. Check out this presentation video advertising Opera's VPN.
Opera 40 ships with a big list of under the hood changes that you may find interesting. The battery saving mode supports new power saving settings that allow you to configure thresholds. There is also an estimation of the remaining time on battery capacity.
Load opera://settings, make sure browser is selected and scroll down until you find the battery saver group listing.
You may enable or disable it there, and check the "save battery automatically" option to set a threshold for the feature.
The new Opera 40 web browser supports Google's Chromecast out of the box. You do need to download and install the Download Chrome Extension first in Opera, and then the Google Cast extension from the Chrome store.
Download Chrome Extension allows you to install extensions from Chrome's Web Store directly in Opera.
Once done, you may interact with Chromecast devices as if you were using Google Chrome.
The integrated newsreader supports RSS feeds now. Basically, what you can do now is add any RSS feed to Opera to read it in the browser.
To use the personalized newsreader, click the News icon on the left-hand side of the Speed Dial and then click the “+” button. You can then paste a URL into the search field. Once the URL is recognized as valid source, you can add it.
The browser engine was updated, and the video pop out feature of the browser supports more video sites and players.
You may download Opera 40 from the official website, or run a check for updates if the browser is already installed on your system.
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