For those of you still using Internet Explorer to surf the web you should know that Internet Explorer is not the only internet browser on earth. The fact that most people use internet explorer does not make it the most fast, secure or the best browser available today. It just so happens that because Microsoft dominates the Operating system battle with its Windows Operating system that Internet Explorer has become quite popular. The latest statistics reveal that more than 60 % of the world uses Internet Explorer as its browser. Most people would agree that Bill Gates’ “evil empire” profits too much from selling its wares, but sadly they continue to use Microsoft software without making an effort to shift to Open Source or other cheaper software. However this is not a Bill Gates bashing post and I do not hate Bill Gates nor do I hate Microsoft.
There are lots of other browsers out there, Wikipedia has listed more than 30 browsers in the article “comparison of web browsers” Most experts would even consider these other browsers as more superior than Internet Explorer. According to the latest statistics, Fire Fox which is fortunately based on Open Source technology, is the second most popular browser, it has captured more than 35 % of the browser market. The rest of the browsers like Opera, Mozilla, Safari has captured from 1 to 3 % of the market while the others get 1 % or less than that.
But I am not going to discuss the other browsers here today; I am going to discuss only one specific browser which happens to be my favorite browser since I use it all of the time, the Opera Browser.
The makers of the Opera browser which is Opera Software once dubbed that Opera is the “Fastest browser on earth” and no doubt, the efficiency of the browser has truly made it the fastest browser on earth. Opera browser was once a commercial browser but with the browser wars, they decided to let the public use it for free.
Wikipedia’s article entry on the Opera browser describes Opera features which are “high performance, tabbed browsing, page zooming, mouse gestures, and an integrated download manager. Its security features include built-in phishing protection, strong encryption when browsing secure web sites, and a button to delete private data such as cookies and browsing history. Opera’s overall security as measured by known, unpatched vulnerabilities compares favorably with that of other browsers.”
Opera has pioneered several browser features. Aside from the three main features of Opera, here are the other features as stated in their website. These features should make you want to shift to using Opera Browser:
Now you have a new way to access your favorite Web sites. Just open a new tab to get your Speed Dial. It’s easy to populate and addictive to use.
Opera’s advanced fraud protection protects you against web sites that try to steal your personal information. Watch the demo to learn how to enable this feature.
You don’t need a separate BitTorrent application to download large files. Simply click a torrent link and start the download.
Add your favorite search engines
Right-click on the site’s search field and select “Create search” from the menu.
Want to view a site in a different way or deny certain cookies? Want to block pop-ups on certain sites only? Right click and select “Edit site preferences”.
Small Web applications (multimedia, newsfeeds, games and more) that make your desktop experience more fun. Use the Widgets menu to discover new widgets and access your favorites. Visit widgets.opera.com to learn more.
It is easy to have many tabs open at once in Opera. But exactly which tab had that video you wanted? Hover your mouse on any tab to see a thumbnail preview.
View download progress and access all your downloads from one simple transfer manager window.
Surf the Web easier and faster by opening multiple Web pages within the same application window.
The password manager remembers your usernames and passwords so you will not have to.
Search Google, eBay, Amazon and more with our integrated search field. You can also search directly in the address field using keywords (for example “g” for Google).
Opera supports mouse gestures, allowing you to perform certain movements with the mouse to access commonly used features.
Fast Forward will detect the most likely “next page” link and greatly simplify navigation in multi-page documents such as search results and image galleries.
Notes can be kept in conjunction with a Web site you want to refer to later, or remind you of any particular information you may like to review again.
The voice feature allows you to control Opera’s interface by talking and to have documents read aloud. Voice is currently offered in English and runs on Windows 2000 and XP.
Keyboard shortcuts – like mouse gestures – make your browsing faster and more efficient. Read more about all the keyboard shortcuts in Opera.
Skins can give your browser the look you want. Make the browser your own by giving it the icons, colors and style of your choice.
Opera is translated into a multitude of languages, and the language can be changed on the fly. Go to Tools > Preferences > General.
The F11 key toggles Opera’s projection mode, using the whole screen for browsing and, if a projection style sheet is present, displays ‘slides’ suitable for presentation.
Opera supports kiosk mode – a deadbolt locks down mode in which the browser can be used for unattended computers in public places.
Mail and Chat
Our built-in POP/IMAP E-mail client is a combined e-mail program, news reader, mailing list organizer and RSS/Atom newsfeed reader.
We take pride in supporting all major Web standards currently in use, including CSS 2.1, XHTML 1.1, HTML 4.01, WML 2.0, ECMAScript, DOM 2 and SVG 1.1 basic.”
I’ve used Opera Browser for almost 7 years now. (I’ve used it since its first free version, version 5.0 released in 2000) I have no problems whatsoever with it. In fact I am so satisfied with the browser’s performance that I have decided to feature it in this post. With all its features its a wonder that the browser is so fast. When I fix other people’s computers, I always never forget to install a copy of the Opera browser in their system. With this article and my recommendations, I hope you will make the shift too. With Opera Browser you get “Simply the best internet experience.” Get Opera today at www.opera.com
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