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Archive for the ‘Dial-Up internet’ tag

Opera 10 – Snappy on crappy connections

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The first time I came across the Opera browser was somewhere around 1998, just around the time I’d gotten access to the Internet. It was trialware and therefore not usable for long, but compared to my other options – IE and Netscape – it was so much better. I especially loved the way I could easily switch off images with a simply click and make the most of the 4kb/s bandwidth on my dial-up connection (I’d enable images on those early mornings when everyone in the country was asleep and I’d get 7kb/s).

Starting with version 5 in 2000, Opera became ad-supported and I weaned myself away from Netscape’s Navigator (I used every browser on the planet that’d keep me away from the monster). Until I joined Vesess where GP and Lankitha converted me to Firefox, it was Opera all the time.

Nowadays, the utility of having so many add-ons (DownthemAll, AdBlock Plus and ChatZilla to name a few) keeps FF my browser of choice, but that hasn’t stopped me from checking up on Opera and its latest incarnation.

The latest offering is certainly something of a godsend for anyone who’s been left out of the broadband revolution and even those with daily/monthly download limits. Opera 10 brings with it the Opera Turbo feature which builds on Opera’s experience with Opera Mini, its application for mobile phones. By routing the information through its Opera Turbo servers, the browser has less to download, resulting in savings in bandwidth usage.

Pretty neat, although it does crumple images and turn off flash by default. Unless of course you’re like me and actually want that as part of the browsing experience.

The difference in images can be seen from the two screenshots of the Opera homepage below:

1. Simply loaded in Opera:
Opera Normal

2. Loaded in Opera with Turbo enabled:
Opera Turbo

Clearly, this is the most visible difference, but there is definitely an improvement in terms of speed. Being a user of a low bandwidth internet connection on weekdays I’d gotten used to carrying out chores while pages loaded, but once I got Opera running on Turbo I’ve even been able to access Facebook. Lower quality images is an easy trade off for quicker page loads. The difference in speeds is visible in a promotional video over at Opera Labs, where you can learn more.

Opera comes in a number of flavours, with customized installation options for your flavour of Linux as well. Definitely something anyone with bandwidth caps on their connections should check out – and hope that it comes out soon!

Written by Dulan

March 28th, 2009 at 9:14 pm