The premise of Opera has always been the same--develop the fastest, smallest, and most full-featured browser available--and the latest version maintains the tradition. Opera has all the basics covered, including tabbed browsing with an added functionality that lets you hover over a tab to preview a page; a search bar with Google and several other popular portals; advanced bookmarking tools, including one that lets you easily import from any popular browser; and simple integration with your favorite e-mail and chat clients. Mouse-gesture support, keyboard shortcuts, and drag-and-drop functionality further enhance your surfing experience.
With solid basics, Opera's extra features push it to the top of the class. Integrated theme support lets you preview and download themes from within the interface so you know what you're getting before you download. Widgets (akin to Mac OS X dashboard applications) are small, useful programs that appear in a window from any app while Opera is running. The Wand utility helps you autofill online forms and lets you securely save passwords for multiple sites. We really like the addition of BitTorrent support, letting you drop a Torrent link into the address bar and begin a file transfer immediately without the need for an extra app. Overall, we think Opera might have what it takes to unseat even the biggest-name browsers if users give it the opportunity. Opera is a must-download for those looking for a full-featured browser with added extras.
Opera is a free Web browser with a pop-up blocker, multiple-window navigation, mouse gestures, keyboard shortcuts, an e-mail client with a spam filter, and integrated search for user security and speed. The cross-platform browser includes IRC-compatible chat, support for RSS newsfeeds, a password manager, and one-click customization and privacy-protection settings. Mouse gestures and keyboard shortcuts allow for accelerated Web navigation while the Fast Forward and Rewind buttons easy browsing. Users can run multiple windows as well as personalize the user interface with one-click skins. The browser also contains special elements for users with disabilities, drag-and-drop support, a notes function, user profiles, and a host of other features. Opera supports the latest in security and provides password and cookie managers.
Version 9 adds BitTorrent support, search-engine customization, thumbnail previews, and widgets.