On Thursday, Opera released the latest developer version of its browser, adding built-in ad-blocking.
"Ads have been an important part of the internet since its very beginning. The first online advertisement appeared on the web as early as 1994. Ever since then, ads have helped the web grow, giving people free access to millions of websites," said Opera's SVP of Global Engineering Krystian Kolondra in a blog post. But since then, online ads have grown to be "one of the major annoyances of web browsing" causing web pages to load more slowly. Third-party ad blockers have been available for some time, but Opera wants to take things a step further by integrating ad-blocking directly into its desktop browser. The new ad-blocking feature is deactivated by default but the browser will suggest using the feature when it detects ads that can be blocked. To activate or deactivate the feature on a specific website, click the shield icon in the address bar and toggle the switch.
"Advertising fuels the internet, allowing for many services to be free for users," said Kolondra. "But, as our new research shows, most webpages today are significantly slowed down by bloated ads and heavy tracking. We don't accept it – we want the web to be a better place for us all, as users." Opera claims that browsing with Opera's built-in ad-blocker turned on is, on average, 45 percent faster than browsing on Google's Chrome browser with an AdBlock Plus extension and a whopping 89 percent faster than Microsoft's Edge browser, which currently does not support any ad blocker extensions. The feature is expected to roll out to other Opera browsers for computers and phones in a future release.
Photo: © iStock.