Opera

Download Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
4.3
out of 3841 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    12.11
  • Total Downloads:
    12,643,771
  • Date Added:
    Nov. 20, 2012
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    31.05MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    13,617
  • 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

    4.5

    out of 4 votes

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

    4.3

    out of 3841 votes

    • 5 star 2509
    • 4 star 566
    • 3 star 319
    • 2 star 168
    • 1 star 279
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–4 of 4

4 stars

"Two Click Install"

December 17, 2012  |  By johnblwe

 |  Version: Opera 12.11

Pros

High five for the man who came up with the two click install in Windows. Why can't every install be this simple? I'm giving it a 5 just for having 1 simple feature. (I haven't used the browser yet tho). Well I was going to give it a 5 but the the browser didn't support clicking the stars in CNET to make the review, so I have to give it a 4.

Cons

There are no cons to the installation process. Couldn't click the stars to rate the review in CNET. Had to write the review with FireFox.

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5 stars

"Opera Browser is Stable and dependable"

December 16, 2012  |  By Green_Star1

 |  Version: Opera 12.11

Pros

Is Free
Quick and clean operation
Has never Froze up or crashed
Is easy on Computer resources

Cons

Does not have add on and plugin support as good as other Browsers

Summary

I use Opera as the only browser on my Android. And as a secondary or back up browser on my desk top. Opera has NEVER Froze up like Firefox, and has NEVER completely crashed my computer like chrome.
If Opera had just a few more of the right add on's in the area of You Tube downloads and Bookmarks handling I would gladly make it my default browser.

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5 stars

"Still use it over all of the other Browsers"

December 09, 2012  |  By musicman4you

 |  Version: Opera 12.11

Pros

Fast and so many features and options.Many right out of the box.

Cons

Im sure they will fix it but everytime I delete all Private Data and run CCLeaner everytime I open Opera it takes a few seconds to install WOT and AdBlock each time.If you uncheck delete Persistant storage Pugin Data this won't happen but I delete everything included saved Passwords and I have many.

Summary

I have been using this for over a year and still use it as my main Browser for everything including online Shopping,YouTube and other.My Favorite Browser.

Updated on Dec 12, 2012

@necrobutcher666 LOL at your comment.Sounds like you are the sore loser and need to get a life.You mean it upsets you that much that I put in my review that I have been using Opera for over a year.Some people unlike you might like to know that info.Opera is a Great Browser and I use it all the time.Im using it now.Oh and you are telling me to get off of this site.Well I would tell you what you could do but CNET would probably suspend me.Anybody that has read reviews on CNET have seen many Reviews were other people have used a program for along time.I have seen people say I have used programs for 7 years and still like it.Sorry that all of you good CNET Reviewers had to see my comment to 666.Wonder why he uses that.LOL

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4 stars

"Excellent browser alternative to chrome"

November 21, 2012  |  By bwiemer

 |  Version: Opera 12.11

Pros

Ease of use
Speed
included features

Cons

Extensions
Using extensions
layout

Summary

Very good browser, I use this as an alternative to Firefox and Chrome

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Results 1–4 of 4

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 12.11
Version 12.11 includes several general fixes and stability improvements and fixed an issue that could cause Gmail not to load.
General
Publisher Opera Software
Publisher web site http://www.opera.com/
Release Date November 20, 2012
Date Added November 20, 2012
Version 12.11
Category
Category Browsers
Subcategory Web Browsers
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows, Windows Vista, Windows 2000
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 31.05MB
File Name Opera_26.0.1656.60_Setup.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 12,643,771
Downloads Last Week 13,617
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

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