Opera vs Waterfox: Which is the better browser for you?

by Ola-Hassan Bolaji
Ola-Hassan Bolaji
Ola-Hassan Bolaji
A Computer Engineering graduate, he has spent most of his life reading and writing about computers. He finds joy in simplifying complex topics into simple solutions for PC... read more
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  • Opera and Waterfox are some of the best modern-day browsers available.
  • Waterfox prides itself on speed and data security, making it a viable choice.
  • Opera, being a household name is an all-rounder with numerous standout features and integrations.
opera vs waterfox
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Opera browser is a veteran browser that has been evolving for over two decades. It has undergone major transformations to satisfy users’ needs, notably its move to the Chromium framework in 2013.

Waterfox, on the other hand, is a Firefox fork that got into the market in 2011. It has come leaps and bounds since then and has been doing well for itself.

This comprehensive Opera vs Waterfox guide will show how these two browsers from different ages and generations compare. 

How is Waterfox different from Firefox?

Waterfox is a fork of Mozilla Firefox that is based on the open-source Firefox code. It is available on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

It was advertised as a more ethical version of the Firefox browser, thanks to eliminating data collection and use features.

Firefox is the same well-known open-source browser that has been making waves for a long. As expected, it has more features and reaches than the Waterfox browser.

Opera vs Waterfox: Which one should you choose?

➡ Supported platforms

As expected from a browser that has been around since 1995, Opera has a wide range of coverage. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, and Android.

Waterfox, on the other hand, is only compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Though there was news of an Android compatible version in the works, it is safe to say it has stalled, and nothing is happening anymore.

Also, nothing is happening on the iOS front, with no plan to develop a compatible browser anytime soon.

With the ability to sync Opera browsers across platforms, it is without a doubt that Opera is the obvious choice when it comes down to supported platforms.

➡ Design and Interface

Waterfox’s interface is identical to that of the Firefox Proton interface. It comes with empty buttons to be customized with links to your favorite websites. Just below the buttons is the recent activities tab.

waterfox homepage vs  opera

Overall, its interface appears blank and boring, but it is purposely designed that way to allow you to customize it to your taste.

Opera’s interface is minimalistic and simple. Upon launching, you will be greeted by its signature speed dial page.

opera homepage vs waterfox

The speed dial page packs in buttons for some of the popular sites. It can be customized to save you the stress of typing the URL of your most visited sites.

The address bar, bookmarks, and tabs are located at the top of the page. On the left is the sidebar, which contains more buttons for integrations such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and Instagram.

This sidebar is also fully customizable to suit your needs, among other wonderful features.

➡ Performance

This is one of the strongest selling points of the Waterfox. It is a very fast browser boasting a better speed than Firefox. It does not use too much memory and CPU, freeing up vital resources for other activities.

Being a Chromium-based browser, Opera is no slouch on the speed front either. It boasts respectable numbers and does not experience any slowdowns.

There is also the Turbo feature that helps to trim data usage. This is especially useful for users who want to surf the web quickly without a fast broadband internet connection.

The only downside is that Opera uses a lot of RAM.

➡ Features

– Ad Blocker

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With ads being a prominent part of the web in the 21st century, getting a browser that can block the sometimes-frustrating ads is a blessing.

opera adblocker vs waterfox

Opera offers a strong ad blocker that gives you a smooth and ad-less browsing experience. Although this feature is not enabled by default, you can easily activate it in the settings.

Waterfox, on the other hand, does not have an ad-blocking feature. And with System 1 – an advertising company – being the majority shareholder of the browser, you shouldn’t expect an ads blocker anytime soon.


Opera incorporates a free VPN that allows you to browse the web anonymously. The VPN protects your identity and allows you to browse websites with location restrictions.

opera vpn vs waterfox

The Opera VPN is one of the best free VPNs you can ever use. Although being a free VPN, there are limitations. So, you can always get a paid VPN for added data security.

There is no VPN integration on Waterfox. If you need a VPN, you will need to get a paid one or other less secured free VPNs.

– Extensions and integrations

Waterfox allows you to install extensions from Chrome, Firefox, and Opera stores. This gives you limitless options and allows you to use the browser for various functions.

waterfox extension

Opera is a monster when it comes to extensions and integrations.

opera extension

It currently has 126 integrations covering instant messaging sites like Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp; Social Media platforms like Twitter and Instagram; extensions from the Chrome web store; and a series of other far-reaching integrations.

In this aspect of comparison, Opera is just in a world of its own.

➡ Privacy and Security

A whole lot of our data is used on our browsers. This makes privacy and security an integral part of any browser comparison.

waterfox privacy

Waterfox comes with the uBlock Origin, which is known as the gold standard for free, privacy-enhancing browser plugins. The uBlock Origin is a wide spectrum tracker blocker that prevents you from being tracked on the internet

Unlike Firefox, Waterfox has removed the data collection and use from its privacy and security section. With this, you can be sure that it does not collect, use, or share your data.

What’s more, Waterfox is updated frequently. This helps fix bugs and security issues and adds some exciting new features.

opera privacy

Opera, with its VPN, offers some level of privacy and security. There is also the ad-blocker that protects you from malicious links and ads.

What’s more, Opera incorporates the sandboxing security characteristics that stop codes from websites from entering your system. Add its fraud and malware protection feature, and you have a safe browser on your hands.

Opera vs Waterfox: Verdict

These two browsers are some of the best modern browsers currently available.

However, if you are left with just a single browser to choose from, we recommend Opera. This is because it has many features and properties that are unique to it.

It also suits so many use cases and gives you limitless options. What’s more, it thrives in the strong points of the Waterfox browser, and the same cannot be said the other way around.

From a general and specific-use suitability perspective, Opera is indeed the smart choice.

Get Opera

Get Waterfox

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