Opera

Download Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
4.3
out of 3854 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    12
  • Total Downloads:
    12,983,596
  • Date Added:
    Jun. 14, 2012
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    670.72KB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    11,874
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Product ranking:
    #3 in Web Browsers

Editors' Review

+

The bottom line: Extensions, competitive page-load times, solid features, and good support for "future Web" technologies make Opera 12 an excellent browser, but it's treading water where it used to lead.

Review:
The second-oldest browser currently in use, Opera debuted way back in 1994 and continues to attract attention. Its feature-phone version claims more than 160 million users worldwide. While desktop Opera isn't quite as heavily used, it has developed a reputation as a leader on feature development, and can hold its own against the big four.

Opera covers the basics with tabbed browsing, mouse-over previews, a customizable search bar, advanced bookmarking tools, and simple integration with e-mail and chat clients. Mouse-gesture support, keyboard shortcuts, and drag-and-drop functionality round out the essentials.

Installation
Installing Opera is a fast and short process, taking less than 2 minutes. Many of Opera's built-in features require creating a MyOpera account, but the browser will only prompt you to do so when you use them for the first time -- it's not required to browse.

Tap the Options button on the first install screen to reveal configuration tweaks. Besides changing the browser's default language and install path, you can also install for just the currently signed-on user, or choose to install Opera directly to an external device. It's a great, simple way to create a portable version of Opera for a USB key.

Interface
Opera's interface keeps the same look that debuted in Opera 11, with a condensed menu button in the upper left corner, tabs on top, and a translucent status bar on the bottom that hosts buttons to reveal Opera's Panels, and to activate Link and Turbo. The bottom right corner of the status bar sports a dedicated zoom slider.

The navigation bar and its associated buttons and extension icons are a uniform height, keeping the browser's chrome, its interface, to a minimum. It's a polished look, and one that most browsers offer today. The search box, located in its default space to the right of the location bar, can be removed. That and further interface customizations can be made by right-clicking on the navigation bar and selecting customize.

The influence of the radical interface changes that Google Chrome introduced in 2008 can be seen here, from tabs on top to the extension icons, yet Opera's personality does still come through enough to have a different vibe and feel from Chrome. A red Opera "O" logo button in the upper left corner reveals options and menus, while a wrench icon on the New Tab page allows you to customize Opera's forward-thinking Speed Dial.

Features and support
The five major browsers have been liberally borrowing features and innovations from each other for years, yet Opera has developed a reputation for showcasing some of the more interesting browser developments first. That's fallen off a bit in version 12, which showcases more catching up than trailblazing leadership.

Quirky features such as Widgets, Unite, and Voice have been killed off, which means that there's less bloat in the browser. But no doubt that those executions were performed also because of a lack of user interest.

Opera 12's hardware acceleration, which is when the browser uses the graphics processor to render animations faster and more smoothly, is still a work in progress. It's in the browser, but you must manually activate it for now.

Many changes in Opera 12 that pull it closer to parity with the competition. These include separate processes for plug-ins like Flash and QuickTime, so that when the plug-in crashes, the browser doesn't burn up with it; a lightweight add-on structure powered by HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS emphasized for extensions and now themes; and redesigned location bar security badges that are easier to read.

This isn't to say that Opera can't compare, because it holds up well. It's just not quite as innovative in this version as in the past. You still get tab stacks, a way to group tabs and cut down on tab clutter; tab pinning; and Opera Link for syncing Bookmarks, Speed Dial, Notes, and passwords to other instances of Opera, including Opera Mobile and Opera Mini. Sadly, there's still no tab sync in Opera.

There's Growl and multitouch trackpad support on Macs, support for some HTML5 including next-generation video and audio codec WebM, geolocation compatibility, Web Workers, App Cache, and Web fonts. The Web Open Font Format (WOFF), which Opera co-sponsored, hasn't yet been added, although Opera expects it will be soon. And Opera 12 has added HTML5 support for controlling local media hardware, such as Webcams, from Web sites.

One of Opera's lesser-known features is its integrated mail client. It's a reasonable alternative to Outlook, offering many similar features. It can handle importing mailbox files from Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Netscape, and Eudora, supports POP3 and IMAP, and quickly synced with Gmail when we added our account.

There are other features in Opera, including tab previews, newsgroups support, a built-in session manager, and a fantastic array of customizations that rival Firefox. Of all the browsers out there, Opera ships with a massive feature set and is an excellent choice for users who want something fast and robust but just a bit old-school right out of the box. However, aside from the integrated mail support, much of what Opera offers can now be found elsewhere.

Performance
Full benchmarks will be added here as they are completed, but preliminary results indicate that Opera 12's page-load times remain comparable to its competitors on publicly available benchmark tests. Short version: It's an extremely fast browser. And although rumors persist about Web site incompatibility, we've yet to encounter any major site that Opera had problems with.

Conclusion
Opera is in firm grip of the fifth-place slot in the race to be the world's most-used browser. It doesn't have the backing of a major corporation like Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome, or Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and it lacks the massive, open developer's community of Mozilla's Firefox. What it does have are a fantastic combination of speed and built-in services, and a mobile base that's enormous.

What's missing is a compelling argument for adoption beyond a dislike of the other four. As much as we enjoy our time using Opera, it doesn't surpass the competition -- it only matches it.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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  • Current Version

    3.6

    out of 16 votes

    • 5 star 6
    • 4 star 3
    • 3 star 2
    • 2 star 5
    • 1 star 0
  • All Versions

    4.3

    out of 3854 votes

    • 5 star 2515
    • 4 star 566
    • 3 star 321
    • 2 star 170
    • 1 star 282
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–10 of 16

4 stars

"youtube? this looks nothing like it in other browsers"

July 29, 2012  |  By farriskc

 |  Version: Opera 12

Pros

lots of great features

Cons

I can't stand my youtube page in opera and don't see how to change the view. the layout is completely different. Also grey buttons that do nothing when you click them. Fix it, or firefox it!!!!

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2 stars

"Facebook problem"

July 25, 2012  |  By robwired

 |  Version: Opera 12

Pros

None concerning Facebook.

Cons

Opera 12 does not completely load Facebook. I get the blue header but a blank white page beneath it: no News Feed, etc.

Summary

While Opera is the browser Firefox loves to steal from, the fact that it cannot render Facebook successfully made it a browser worthy of uninstalling. Gone!

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5 stars

"SPECTACULAR BROWSER EVER!!!"

July 19, 2012  |  By sandra979

 |  Version: Opera 12

Pros

-Safe
-Very fast and light
-Doesn't slow down PC
-Very fast start up
-Good add-ons
-Fast speed dial
-Easy to use
-There are no shockwave crashes
-No freezing
...etc...

Cons

///doesn't have

Summary

Opera should be the 1#Browser!!!

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2 stars

"Facebook game request links dont work"

June 26, 2012  |  By magicboo2u

 |  Version: Opera 12

Pros

fast, and can switch browsers

Cons

Facebook game links dont work so for it its useless-also it wont load hotmail.

Summary

If they fixed it I would keep it!

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5 stars

"Fast and stable"

June 25, 2012  |  By kanonsen

 |  Version: Opera 12

Pros

Mouse gestures make navigation extremely easy.
Opera link synchronizes bookmarks across desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone.
Very fast.
Neat layout.
Integration of services without bad looking garnish.
Innovation for years bringing new web browser features to Opera users first.

Cons

On rare occations a web page does only support the 1-3 most common browsers.

Summary

The best browser out there. I have been using it as my main web browser since the late nineties.

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5 stars

"Best, Smartest and most customizable"

June 25, 2012  |  By PRsurfer`

 |  Version: Opera 12

Pros

So many features to make your life easier: speed dial, Opera link (sync), tabs, sessions , extensions... Most

Cons

Rumor has it Facebook is after it

Summary

Dont be fool by its name, because it rocks!

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2 stars

"Worst of the Best !"

June 24, 2012  |  By TheDataRat

 |  Version: Opera 12

Pros

Greatly disappointing.

Cons

Been using Opera since you had to pay for it (or suffer an ad !). But v. 12 is the only version of this great Web-client I'd have to label as "bad".

Display of File-Edit-View-etc. toolbar is unreliable. Video are clunky and discommoding. Crashes frequent.

Summary

17-inch Dell Studio running 64-bit Windows Vista with 4-megs RAM. I ~love~ Opera and have been using it fifteen years approximately. But v. 12 is a HUGE disappointment !

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5 stars

"Very fast, low memory usage, stable."

June 23, 2012  |  By goplit

 |  Version: Opera 12

Pros

Excellent browser

Cons

Not at all

Summary

It must be used everywhere

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2 stars

"How the mighty have fallen . . ."

June 21, 2012  |  By nightflyre9

 |  Version: Opera 12

Pros

Transparency in speed dial, beautiful skins, lots of customizability . . . um, not much else these days.

Cons

Slow, slow, slow . . . did I say slow? And how about the pages that used to load lightning-fast that now just hang there in limbo with a big fat "X" glaring from the toolbar? Opera 12.00 is a huge step backward for a once-great browser. It used to be faster than Chrome. Now it's as slow, if not slower, than IE and Firefox.

Summary

Opera was my browser of choice for the past three years--a fantastic mix of phenomenal speed and elegant transparency that could not be rivaled. However, in the last six months it has simply fallen apart. I don't know what's going on behind the scenes but someone has dropped the ball big time. I can only hope these issues will be addressed, but until that happens--and Opera becomes the browser it used to be--I've removed it from my computer and gone to Chrome, which ironically has gotten faster as Opera has tanked.

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4 stars

"One of the best"

June 21, 2012  |  By nutu303

 |  Version: Opera 12

Pros

I was my favorite quite some time, but now I don`t use it that much.
It still remains a good browser.

Cons

I got used to using chrome, it seems more friendly.

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Results 1–10 of 16

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 12
  • Faster startup and quick page loading.
  • Put yourself in the picture: With Opera 12, your favorite sites can use your computer's webcam to take photos from the browser. Set a new profile picture in your social network or just see what you look like with a moustache!
  • Out-of-Process Plug-ins: Opera now runs plug-ins as a separate process, allowing for more control when a plug-in misbehaves. This feature will enhance security and stability.
  • 64-Bit Mac and Windows versions: The 64-bit version of Opera will offer performance improvements for some functions and allow Opera more freedom in allocating memory.
  • Themes: New, lightweight themes make it easier to customize the browser. Install or change themes at the click of a button, without restarting the browser.
  • Address Field Enhancements: Improved address field and address bar drop-down suggestions. Smart URL shortening in the address field drop-down. The page title and the page excerpt will be used for full page search results. URL and page content columns in the address field drop-down have been combined.
  • Experimental Full Hardware Acceleration: Hardware acceleration allows Opera to offload graphics rendering from the processor (CPU) to the graphics card (GPU), making graphics intensive operations such as animations faster.
  • Right-to-Left (RTL) script support added, RTL support will bring additional stability for certain languages. Persian, Urdu, Hebrew, and Arabic languages added.
  • Window and Tabs API: Extensions will now be able to interact with tabs, create tab groups, and manage windows.
  • Opera Unite and Opera Widgets will be off by default in Opera 12.00, and will eventually be phased out of the Opera browser in the future. Voice support will be removed as of Opera 12.00, as the voice-detection library is no longer supported by the third-party vendor.
General
Publisher Opera Software
Publisher web site http://www.opera.com/
Release Date June 14, 2012
Date Added June 14, 2012
Version 12
Category
Category Browsers
Subcategory Web Browsers
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/7
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 670.72KB
File Name Opera_NI_stable.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 12,983,596
Downloads Last Week 11,874
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

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