Things are getting hairy for advertisers and marketers. The latest version of Opera has a dedicated user interface to show you how much you are being tracked.
According to the developers (opens in new tab), the new desktop Opera 65 — available for macOS, Windows, and Linux — includes an update to its tracker blocker, which was introduced in the previous version.
Opera tracker blocker speeds up your browsing by crunching all those pesky marketing trackers that bloat web page code, slowing everything down. Opera claims that the speed boost is “roughly 20%”. The company says that the speed gain loading pages could be as much as 76% combined with the browser’s built-in ad blocker — an impressive feat.
The tracking blocker’s ability remains the same in Opera 65 but now, instead of just doing its fine work invisibly in the background, it displays a shield that you can click on to see who wants to track you and how much. It is a feature that you can toggle for individual sites, the company says.
Fighting Big Brother
Browsers have been pushing for privacy protection for a while now, spearheaded by the little guys like Opera and Firefox but also by Apple’s Safari. The latter now limits fingerprinting and flag tracking cookies, although it doesn’t get as radical as Opera.
Even Google, which depends on advertisements to keep the machine working, had bowed to the cry for privacy by making it harder for marketing companies to track you. It also wants to badge and shame sites for being slow, which happens in part because of heavy tracking. However, the Mountain View company will not apply Chrome’s tracking restrictions to itself.
How to download Opera
With that in mind, it seems like prime time to switch browsers and ditch both Safari and Chrome for Opera, Firefox and even the latest Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, which also offers tracking prevention (opens in new tab) in its latest builds.
But if you are tired of people sucking up your privacy and you want to relish how much you are thwarting their efforts, you can download the latest version of Opera here (opens in new tab).
Bonus points: it has a new redesigned address bar that dims the current site to add clarity for your search and shows websites titles with their logos first, followed by hyperlinks, history, bookmarks and speed dial elements.