Software ASA claims it makes “the fastest Web browser in the world”, Opera,
so that its users “have the best Internet experience possible”. In addition
to visiting Web pages, you can use Opera to read e-mail, newsgroups and
send instant messages.
You can download and use Opera free
if you’re willing to deal with ads. You can purchase an ad-free version
for $39.00 (students pay $20.00).
Opera is available for these operating systems: BeOS, Linux/Solaris,
Mac, OS2, QNX, Symbian OS, and Windows. I downloaded Opera version 6.1
for Windows May 14, 2002. (On June 9, 2002, I found version 6.3 available
I’ve used Netscape Navigator, Netscape Communicator, and Internet Explorer.
Installing & Running the Program
After I downloaded the 11MB+ file, I didn’t have any problems installing
When I first started Opera, it had an ad banner at the top of the screen
and many pop-up windows appeared. However, after exploring the Preferences
dialog box I found a way to reduce them drastically.
Under Privacy, you can tell Opera how to handle cookies. You can let
it accept all cookies, refuse all cookies, accept cookies from selected
servers, or display all cookies. I chose the last option. Now, each time
a new cookie arrives I can see where it comes from, accept or refuse it,
accept or refuse all cookies from the server and/or the domain. By refusing
all cookies from several servers and domains, I was able to eliminate almost
all ad pop-up windows over a period of several days. While the banner ads
still take up some valuable real estate, it’s a livable situation.
Unlike Netscape Communicator 4.76 or MS Internet Explorer 5.5, Opera
allows more customization and lets you know what’s going on behind the
scenes as you browse, if you choose. For instance, About Opera gives you
not only the program name & version and who made it but also the paths
for many files. (Some examples: Preferences: E:\OPERA\opera6.ini, Saved
windows: E:\Opera\opera.win, and Bookmarks: E:\Opera\Opera6.adr)
Although I‘ve used Opera only a few weeks, I’ve found that it’s speedy
and gets me to web sites when the other browsers can’t.
Opera comes pre-loaded with a lengthy, well-balanced list of bookmarks.
The Help File is good but you’ll find some useful Windows tutorials at
Opera's web site
. (I couldn’t find any tutorials for the other operating systems.)
I haven’t used Opera to read e-mail, newsgroups or send instant messages.
Minimum configuration (without Java): Any system running Windows 95
(or higher), operating system, 9 MB of free disk space (maybe less if installing
from CD), 9600 bps modem
(without Java): Windows 95 or higher operating system, Pentium 166MHz
processor, 32 MB of RAM, at least 65 MB of free disk space, 28800 bps modem
or higher connection
Opera Software ASA
Postboks 2648 St. Hanshaugen
NO-0131 OSLO, NORWAY