Opera Software today permanently removed the ad banner and licensing fee from its award-winning Web browser. The ad-free, full-featured Opera browser is now available for download – completely free of charge – at www.opera.com.

"Today we invite the entire Internet community to use Opera and experience Web browsing as it should be," said Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. "Removing the ad banner and licensing fee will encourage many new users to discover the speed, security and unmatched usability of the Opera browser."

Opera was previously available free of charge with an ad banner. Users had the option of paying a licensing fee to remove the ad banner and receive premium support.

Opera also includes a mail client that is worth taking for a spin.