March 19, 2009 at 6:41 pm
Opera has been in the browser business for a long time, yet despite all of its innovations, its desktop market share has never penetrated the market like Firefox has or even recent newcomers such as Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari. Personally, it is my desktop browser of choice and despite trying other browsers I always come back to Opera. One of the main reasons for this is speed. I find that for most day-to-day browsing Opera is the fastest browser with the lowest CPU overhead.
Another one of its innovations, Opera Turbo, was released for testing last week. It is new technology that compresses network traffic providing significant improvements in browsing speeds over limited-bandwidth connections. How this works is that web pages are sent to Opera’s own servers first which compress them by up to 80% before they hit your browser. One obvious area where this will come in very handy is in mobile devices and netbooks.
Opera is claiming that using Turbo will increase web surfing speeds by up to four times. However, a side effect of the compression technology used means that some images may have resolutions that appear “considerably lower” than they would otherwise.
If you were on a network with speeds of just 100Kbps (which is the speed that Opera Turbo is targeting) then personally speaking this is a hit I’d be prepared to take. According to Opera, this is the kind of speed you can expect if you are out and about on a mobile network or busy WiFi network.
According to Opera Chief Executive, Jon von Tetzchner, if the online experience sucks, then so will the netbook experience. “There are more and more people buying netbooks and they only have a fast connection some of the time, and you have people who have mobile in their cars. Then you go to other markets like India, and the normal connection speed is 100Kb,” von Tetzchner said. Opera Turbo can be downloaded here.