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 Phantom of Opera. I am talking about Opera - third most popular browser on internet.
What is a Browser?
This is a software product which allows one to surf world wide web and also receive and send email and use other software applications such as instant messaging. Microsoft's Internet Explorer is 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 internet in this fashion. But there are choices. In this article I am going to review a few points of 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 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 info again and again. It also is 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 correct info every time that you visit that same site where you submitted that info before. 2. You can drag links to browser tool bar and others are adaptable to be included there for instance, Yahoo Instant Messenger and Yahoo Companion( with access to all 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 various bars you want to see on your screen and which you don't. 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.
There used to be many Netscape fanatics. In fact, it predates Internet Explorer and many people were quite loyal to it. Within 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
Netscape 4.73, previous version is a much better product and you may like certain features that are not in IE such as integrated html editor, integrated email features and more.
Neoplanet - Thumb sort of in 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 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 preferance.
Now we get to 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 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 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 yolk of having to use Microsoft and it is fastest of all 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.