I Love Opera!

Written By: Gary Konigsberg

Why is a singer-songwriter and fan of Elvis, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan
and roots rock and roll being so effusive about Opera?

Well I’m not talking about opera music here, nor the Phantom of the Opera.
I am talking about Opera – the third most popular browser on the internet.

What is a Browser?

This is a software product which allows one to surf the world wide web and
also receive and send email and use other software applications such as
instant messaging. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is the most commonly used
browser and Netscape is second. AOL has it’s own browser which is actually
a version of Netscape which they now own.

Most cyber surfers are quite unaware that they have an option beyond these
two. Microsoft and AOL are able to monopolize the internet in this fashion.
But there are choices. In this article I am going to review a few points of
the available browsers.

Internet Explorer – If there is any way that I can get away from IE then I
am open to it. It is enough that Microsoft monopolizes the internet with
their Windows Operating System, it is a bit much that I have to also use
their browser. This having been said, there are certain very positive
features that make Internet Explorer quite efficient.
Thumbs Up -
1. If you are needing to fill out a lot of forms or enter your password
many times as in checking email,etc. then IE is extremely user friendly. It
will actually recall your user id and other information that you have
entered into
specific data entry slots before so you can avoid having to re submit the
info again and again. It also is the only browser that I have found that
works with a software product called Gator which will recall your user id,
password and personal info, including credit card info and pops up with the
correct info every time that you visit that same site where you submitted
that info before.
2. You can drag links to the browser tool bar and others are adaptable to
be included there for instance, Yahoo Instant Messenger and Yahoo
Companion( with access to all the cool Yahoo channels ), MSN Messenger and
other software products integrate directly into your browser screen and are
accessible. What is also good is that you can remove them and also choose
which of the various bars you want to see on your screen and which you
Thumbs Down -
1. It can be quite slow to load and even more so if you add more features
into your tool bars.
2. It can crash often.
3. It is often targetted by hackers.

Netscape -


There used to be many Netscape fanatics. In fact, it predates Internet
Explorer and many people were quite loyal to it. Within the last couple of
years though it was co-opted and corrupted by AOL who now own Netscape. AOL
has done such a thorough job of messing it up that it is receiving very
negative reviews in every case that I have seen. A friend who used to love
Netscape wrote a blistering review of it and it was all true. She stated
that it looked like “Internet Explorer in a clown outfit”. It crashes, it
takes a long time to load if you can get it to load at all, it is slow,
etc. Avoid Netscape 6.0

Thumbs Up

Netscape 4.73, the previous version is a much better product and you may
like certain features that are not in IE such as the integrated html
editor, the integrated email features and more.

Neoplanet –
Thumb sort of in the middle.

This is actually IE in disguise again. The difference between this and IE
is that you can choose how it appears, you can choose to add or subtract
certain tabs not available in IE and you can integrate an email account
into it. On the other hand, you cannot drag software products onto its tool
bar as you can with IE. So, it is prettier than IE and in some ways more
functional, and in some ways less functional. This is just a matter of

Now we get to the exciting part -

Enigma -
Thumbs UP -
This is a very lightweight browser that will download in a couple of
minutes. It will provide you a no frills and far more rapid access to the
internet than IE will. It has integrated email with your email server be it
Outlook Express, Hotmail (both Microsoft products) or Eudora or any other
email client and has the basic features, bookmarked favorite sites, etc as
in IE.
Thumbs Down -
Not as sophisticated or multi functional as IE, BUT it gets you out of the
yolk of having to use Microsoft and it is the fastest of all the browsers I
have tested by far.
The name – it is far from an Enigma, I would say that Netscape 6.0 is much
more of an enigma.

Opera -
Big Thumb Way Up!
This is the third most popular browser behind IE and Netscape. There is
even an “Opera for Dummies” book. A sure sign that you have made it in this
modern sophisticated time period of history is if they write a “for
dummies” book about your product. Then you made the big time! :)

This is strictly a browser that is excellent for research and for pure fun
- it is full of many preset links to web sites under just about any topic.
For instance, if you go to “lifestyles” under the bookmarks tab it will
take you to 35 different sites on subject as diverse as cooking, gardening
to sites for parents and for senior citizens, etc. Then you can go to its
sub headings, for instance “travel” which has about 35 sites on weather in
different regions, access to hotel and airfare arrangements,etc. Or you can
go to the “computers” subheading and find links to sites with names like
“how the internet came to be”, “how to fight spam”, “cool site of the day”,
“search engine tutorials” etc and then subheadings to several key
categories such as the technology of HTML (the code used to design web
sites) and anti virus software. I could go on. Additionally, there are all
sorts of features on how you can customize what you are viewing to your own
preferences, none of these options are available in other browsers. Email
is integrated nicely and you can import favorites from IE or from

I would like to point out that the difference between a wonderfully
user friendly and helpful browser like Opera and the arrogance of AOL is
that with Opera you are given access to tons of web sites right from your
browser window that provide you with excellent information for whatever
subject you may be interested in. AOL on the other hand co-opts the
internet into its own “channels” which are less informative, less helpful
and which are presented in such a way as to make you less likely to become
more interested in the subject. Not to mention that it is arrogance beyond
belief to try to sell customers that AOL is the internet when it is a very
diluted, very inferior alteration of what is available if you use a product
like Opera. AOL may have limited use for someone who is just a dabbler at
the internet and wants everything presented to them in bite size portions.
It is like Internet lite or maybe a TV dinner version of the internet.
Aside from the fact that AOL is inferior in quality and features as regards
its email and connectivity and many other things that you would use the
internet for.

Thumb down -
Does not have the ability to integrate other software products and remember
passwords, etc as does IE.
Tends to be a bit slow so far in my usage.
There are two versions – one is free but has a big ad banner in the tool
bar and the other is $39.

These are the key players in the WWW Browser game. What I do is I use IE
when I am doing something where I will need to fill out a lot of forms, I
use Opera for doing research and I use Enigma when I need to fly through
many pages rapidly. This is the best combination I have been able to
develop. Maybe someday someone will come up with a single browser that
serves all purposes. Hopefully it will not be Microsoft.

About the Author

Gary Konigsberg
The Best Marketing Site on the Web! You Will Get Results!

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