Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Opera Software Opera 9.5
Opera gets even faster
- Fast, lightweight, Fraud Protection, Opera Link, Speed Dial
- Opera Link limited to bookmarks
If you want one of the fastest, safest, convenience-loaded browsers available, go for Opera. For speed and improved security alone, Opera 9.5 is a worthy upgrade.
The core improvements in Opera 9.5 are more technical than cosmetic.
At 6.8 MB, Opera 9.5's install file is about twice as fat as the approximately 3 MB we're used to from Opera — it is even larger than the 5.7 MB install of Mozilla Firefox 2.0 (but not larger than Firefox 3.0 at 7.8 MB).
We were initially afraid that Opera had slapped heavy saddlebags on its slick racehorse of a browser.
We needn't have worried. The core improvements in Opera 9.5 are more technical than cosmetic (though they have changed the looks a bit), in spite of the expanded download.
Faster than ever
In fact, it's like Opera has a new heart. Opera 9.5 loads faster than a greyhound on speed, and pages appear in a flash. Even with a dial-up connection, Opera 9.5 is definitely loading faster than before, and just as fast — or faster — than Firefox 3.0.
The company also notes that Opera 9.5 supports aspects of standards under development, such as HTML 5 and CSS 3. In fact, a pre-release version of Opera 9.5 was one of two browsers that passed the new Acid3 browser test less than a month after the test was made available in early March of this year. The other winner was WebKit , whose engine drives Safari. So Opera continues to ride the edge of the curve vis a vis Web standards.
Opera links your systems
A major addition to Opera 9.5 is Opera Link. This is similar to Google Browser Sync, which synchronises Firefox bookmarks, Web history, browser sessions and passwords across multiple computers. (Incidentally, Firefox fans should be aware that, according to a note on Lifehacker, Google Browser Sync will be discontinued rather than updated for Firefox 3.0.)
So what is Opera Link, exactly, and how does it work? Say you have three machines running Opera — your desktop, a laptop and a mobile phone running Opera Mini. If you change the bookmarks on any one of these, Opera Link will automatically update the bookmarks on the other two, synchronising them. What's more, even if you are on a "foreign" browser you can access your bookmarks through the Opera Link Web site, a password-protected repository of your data.
And, while it is not a bookmark backup program, if you lose some earlier bookmarks you can return to your pre-synched list, which is stored on the Web site when you activate Opera Link.
Currently, Opera Link is limited to bookmarks, the personal bookmark bar and Opera's Speed Dial. More items, such as passwords and web history, may be included in later versions. It's a good way to help keep your act together no matter what you're using or where you are.
Speed Dial speeds you along
Speed Dial is not new in Opera 9.5 — it appeared in a 9.2 version — but it deserves a mention here as one huge time saver.
Each time you open a new tab, the new page (which, if you were using, say, Internet Explorer, would be blank) shows thumbnails of any web page(s) you've set up for Speed Dial. There is always one blank thumbnail in the centre of the page — you click on it if you want to create a new Speed Dial; you can then pick the new page from a list of your bookmarks or the list of opened pages.
After that, each time you open a new tab, you click on the Speed Dial thumbnail of the page you want and you are there. Two clicks. It is a tremendous convenience. Granted, you can pick through your bookmarks or type in the URL you want, but Speed Dial shortens the process.
One other upgrade in Opera 9.5 is worth mentioning. Always noted for its security, Opera 9.5 now opens with Fraud Protection enabled by default. Instead of opting in, you have to opt out, which is a good idea, considering the thieves and scoundrels lurking on the web. Opera draws its phishing information from Netcraft and PhishTank and malware protection from Haute Secure. And Opera 9.5 also supports Extended Validation certificates, providing added assurance and trust for secure Web sites.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Budget 2018: Government seeks to boost Australian AI capabilities
- JBL take smart speakers back to the living room Link 300
- Sonos say Aussie Alexa support for One smart speaker won't arrive until Autumn 2018
- Transport for NSW boosts digital experience with Amazon Alexa
- Irdeto Acquires Denuvo
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- Overwatch Devs celebrate Anniversary event by sharing insights into the game's future
- Nokia 8 Sirocco review: Full, in-depth review
- HTC promise more Edge Sense and a better camera with the HTC U12+
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies