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Monday 20th of November 2017

Opera web browser

Opera is a web browser and Internet suite developed by the Opera Software company. Opera handles common Internet-related tasks such as displaying web sites, sending and receiving e-mail messages, managing contacts, IRC online chatting, downloading files via BitTorrent, and reading web feeds. Opera is offered free of charge for personal computers and mobile phones, but for other devices it must be paid for.

Features of Opera include tabbed browsing, page zooming, mouse gestures, and an integrated download manager. Its security features include built-in phishing and malware protection, strong encryption when browsing secure web sites, and the ability to easily delete private data such as cookies and browsing history by simply clicking a button.

Opera runs on a variety of personal computer operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris. Opera is the only significant modern browser currently maintained for the older Windows 95 and 98 versions. Though evaluations of Opera have been largely positive, Opera has captured only a fraction of the worldwide personal computer browser market. It is currently the fifth most widely used web browser for personal computers, behind Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.

Opera has a stronger market share, however, on mobile devices such as mobile phones, smartphones, and personal digital assistants. Editions of Opera are available for devices using the Symbian and Windows Mobile operating systems, as well as Java ME-enabled devices. In fact, approximately 40 million mobile phones have shipped with Opera pre-installed. Furthermore, Opera is the only commercial web browser available for the Nintendo DS and Wii gaming systems. Some television set-top boxes use Opera as well, and Adobe licensed Opera technology for use in the Adobe Creative Suite.

Features

The Opera Software company claims that Opera is "the fastest browser on Earth." One set of third-party speed tests concluded that Opera 9.5 was indeed faster than Internet Explorer 7 and prerelease versions of Firefox 3 and Safari 3.

Opera includes built-in tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, fraud protection, a download manager and BitTorrent client, a search bar, and a web feed aggregator. Opera also comes with an e-mail client called Opera Mail and an IRC chat client built in.

Opera includes a "Speed Dial" feature, which allows the user to add up to nine links (or more, by editing the speeddial.ini file) to the page displayed when a new tab is opened. Thumbnails of the linked pages are automatically generated and used for visual recognition on the Speed Dial page. Once set up, this feature allows the user to more easily navigate to the selected web pages.

Opera supports "Opera Widgets", small web applications that start from within Opera. Alongside Widgets, "User JavaScript" may be used to add custom JavaScript to web pages, including Greasemonkey scripts. Opera is extensible in a third way via plug-ins, relatively small programs that add specific functions to the browser. However, Opera limits what plug-ins can do and does not support full-fledged third-party extensions to the browser. Opera does this as a quality assurance measure, so that third-party extensions cannot introduce bugs.

Privacy and security

Opera has several security features visible to the end user. One is the option to delete private data, such as cookies, the browsing history, and the cache, with the click of a button. This lets users erase personal data after browsing from a shared computer.

When visiting a secure web site, Opera encrypts data using either SSL 3 or TLS, both of which are highly secure encryption protocols. It then adds information about the site's security to the address bar. It will also check the web site that is being visited against blacklists of phishing and malware, and warn if it matches any of these lists. This behavior is enabled by default, but the user may opt to not make such checks automatically. If this check is disabled, the user can still check sites individually by opening a Page Info dialog.

The user can protect every saved password stored in Opera with a master password. This way malware and keyloggers cannot decrypt those passwords unless the master password is known. To catch security flaws and other bugs before they are exploited or become a serious problem, the Opera Software company maintains a public web form where users can submit bug reports. According to Secunia, a computer security service provider, the mean average of unpatched vulnerabilities in the last 365 days is 0.01. This stands in contrast to Firefox (5.77), Internet Explorer (38.3), and Safari (1.54).

Download includes a version of Opera for many Linux distributions in their own native package manager format (.rpm, .deb, etc.)

 

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