Opera even downloads and installs the fastest of all browsers!

OperaThe last time that I used Opera was back in the early 2000s while still at WPI.  I remember how it seemed to popularize the notion of tabbed browsing.  Before that I was using Netscape.  My past few years of web browsing have mostly occurred on Firefox and more recently Chrome.  However, being a fine upstanding citizen of the web community, I try to do my part with cross-browser/device testing.  So, between yesterday and today I’ve been installing the various web browsers onto a new laptop and decided that I’d give Opera another look-see.

Here are my experiences downloading and installing these various browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 9 is already installed with Windows 7; I have yet to fire it up.
  • Firefox 7 downloaded and installed just fine, but runs horribly, crashing often, with only a handful of tabs open.  I thought this release was supposed to RESOLVE the memory footprint issues.  It is also incredibly sluggish and freezes from time to time.
  • The usual Google Chrome installer sure is a quick download at a little over half a megabyte, but just sits trying to connect to download the browser (has happened to me recently on several machines).  Ultimately I gave up and downloaded the alternate installer which, while VERY hard to find on Google’s site, already has the browser included.  Chrome seems to do just fine, even though they are losing ground with the argument that Chrome is supposed to be a fast browser.
  • Downloading Safari from Apple requires the usual “don’t send me any info” clicking and making sure that you are only downloading the browser and not all of their other stuff.  The install process similarly requires making sure you are paying attention to what is being installed.  Safari is fine, nothing special, installed to make sure things look good for Mac users.

And now for Opera…

  • Easy to find → Visiting http://Opera.com quickly loads their site, with a very prominent link well above the fold prompting me to download Opera 11.52 for Windows.
  • Small download size → At only 10 MB, Opera has the smallest download size (with the exception of the non-functional Chrome downloader-installer).  See below for a comparison of the file sizes.
  • Fastest install time → Installing Opera was by far the fastest and easiest.  Just double-clicked the installer, I decided to choose Options to make sure I was happy with the settings (I was), and then Accept and Upgrade.  By the time I switched to another window to distract myself with some news the installation had already completed!  I sat for a minute waiting for the rest of the installer to complete and then immediately tried launching it to make sure that it had successfully installed, because I could not believe that it could already be done.
  • Peppy browsing → Opera is known for speedy browsing and the latest version sure feels the peppiest of all of the browsers I currently have installed.  I started writing this post in Firefox 7, but every time I hit backspace Firefox would need seconds (that’s right, seconds) to respond and actually delete the characters.  I figured I should write the rest of the post in Opera and what a world of difference.  It is very responsive and seems to work at the same speed that I do.

At a time when Firefox 7 is crashing with only 8 tabs open (my average number of tabs is usually around 25 to 30) and the Google Chrome installer would not even download the browser, Opera has impressed me right out of the gates.  Opera 11.52 for Windows was the quickest browser to download, easily had THE fastest install of any browser, AND feels really zippy to use.   I can already feel my productivity going up!

 

Browser Filesize Comparison

Browser Filesize Comparison


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