Opera Web Browser
In today’s world, with viruses, worms, and hackers all trying to get at our personal and sensitive data, it’s more important than ever to do whatever we can to protect ourselves. And despite the constant patches, fixes, and upgrades, Internet Explorer has shown itself to be too easy to become infected or hacked. So how do you protect yourself in this sort of environment? The answer is Opera.

Opera is the best internet browser on the market and was developed by the Opera Software Company and first released in 1996, so it’s not a newcomer to the industry. It’s also free to download and install and runs on gaming systems, Smartphones, and PDAs. Opera is known by its twenty million users as the fastest and safest internet browser on the market.

Opera has always been a leader in innovations and safety. For example, tabbed browsing, which allows the user to have a single window with multiple tabbed sub-windows was introduced in Opera in 2000, whereas Internet Explorer didn’t release it until version 7 in 2006. Another great advance in Opera is called mouse gestures. This feature combines mouse movements with on screen prompts to quickly operate many functions. For instance, to page back the user would hold down the right mouse button and move the mouse to the left. The mouse prompt would then change to a back arrow, and when the user releases the button, they would page back.

Opera also includes standard browser features such as page zooming – the ability to zoom a page to different sized for easy viewing. Its download manager allows the user to quickly manage file downloads from the internet. It has a built in email client that let’s the user handle daily email requirements without needing a standalone program or relying on some of the public, free email sites that are known for spam and virus problems.

Also unlike the OS dependent Internet Explorer, Opera operates on a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris. In addition, versions of Opera are available for mobile phones and PDAs using the Symbian, Windows Mobile, or Java ME operating systems. About forty million mobile phones come shipped with Opera already installed and ready to go. It is also the only web browser compatible with the Nintendo DS and Wii gaming systems.

Independent speed tests have shown Opera to be faster than Firefox and Safari, and infinitely faster than Internet Explorer 7. One exciting feature that helps in the speed department is its Speed Dial function. This allows the user to add up to nine links that are displayed automatically on a page when a new tab is opened. This keeps your “favorites” even more accessible. As you know, there are truly a handful of pages you visit more than all others, so why not have them always at hand on your speed dial. Another handy feature is the Trash Can which allows you to instantly reopen closed tabs. Never go fumbling through a cumbersome “history” list again.

Opera also excels at computer accessibility features. As innovative as the mouse gestures are for people who prefer not to or are physically unable to easily use a keyboard, Opera also supports a full set of keyboard shortcuts. In fact, the user can control virtually every aspect of the program using only the keyboard if they desire. The page zooming feature allows easier viewing for the visually impaired, and IBM’s voice control technology is also built in.

Security is one of the main reasons for choosing a web browser and in this department, Opera also exceeds expectations. It has built in phishing and malware protection and superior encryption on secure web sites. Operations that are overly complicated on other browsers, such as deleting private information and cookies, are handled with the click of a button. Automatic site checking algorithms are built in to warn the user if they are visiting a black listed or dangerous site. Saving passwords, which is a convenient but dangerous practice is protected in Opera by using a master password. According to an independent computer security expert, average unpatched security flaws in Opera over the last year is .01 compared to 38 in Internet Explorer or 5.77 in Firefox.

If you move between different computers, say work and home, Opera has a feature called Opera Link that allows you to quickly synch up your bookmarks, Speed Dial, and other saved data between these devices, even with your mobile phone. And speaking of history, Opera doesn’t just remember what pages you have been to, it remembers the content. If you need to get back to a recent page that had some great piece of information, you no longer have to scroll through history trying to find it, just use Opera’s Quick Find feature.

RSS feeds are becoming more and more popular, but bookmarking or subscribing to a feed only to find it’s not what you are looking for is time consuming. Use Opera’s Feed Preview to see a feed before you subscribe. Searching is also improved in Opera. If you need to do a search for information, just start typing the address bar. No need to clutter up the menu with a separate search window and address window, Opera does both in one handy location.

Let’s face it, in today’s computing environment, the internet browser is the most important and often used piece of software we have. Rather than just accepting what came with the computer, shouldn’t you have the fastest, safest, most customizable browser with the most innovative features on the market? Download and install the best internet browser. Get Opera today and start surfing the net like it should be.