Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Opera Turbo

And finally there's some relief to the people blessed by slow connection blues!!! I'm one among you, if you're a victim of turtle/earthworm slow net connections. I use Airtel Mobile Office, which here provides a maximum download speed of 5.4KB/s!! Browsing is even slower than that because of lethargic response times. If I try to view a site with lots of page elements, graphics, flash content, it takes several minutes to load. If I'm in a blog or a forum and click a few links while holding CTRL+SHIFT(new tab for opera), it'll take ages to load all the pages fully. But now Opera has brought a solution especially for me and the likes! There's no downloading speed boost but there's surely a multi-folds browsing boost. The browsing experience is streamlined several folds. The product name is Opera Turbo. For windows it can be downloaded right here and it is just a 6.2MB download.
So, what's special about it??
First thing, Opera Turbo doesn't connect to the site you wanna view, directly. Instead it uses its separate proxy server labs1-turbo.opera-mini.net to download the page for you. When you request a site say google.com from turbo, it connects to labs1-turbo.opera-mini.net where they've zillion times fast connection than yours. Google.com page is downloaded there, compressed and then sent to your computer! Now that's something rapid!!! But there's a con. The images are converted to save size, and the images look crippled while browsing through turbo. But who cares? Second thing is that, you don't have to compromise on security because secure connections are setup through your own computer and opera-mini server isn't going to perform any man in the middle attacks! ANyways, I trust Opera guys. They won't try eavesdropping my e-mail conversation, nor they've any time for that. lol
Ok, here are two reasons I found why it gives an ultra faster browsing experience for lethargic ISP users:
1. Compressed data download, as Opera designed it to do.
2. Instead of resolving several hostnames and connecting to several servers, it just connects to a single server and downloads all the stuff in one go.

I'm explaining the second one with a simple example. Suppose you wanna view a blog or a forum post with several images, frames, google ads, and several other page elements hosted at different servers. Like, your site is blah.com/blah and the page markup needs to connect to css.blah.com, static.blah.com, img1.blah.com, img2.blah.com, page2ad.googlesyndication.com etc....to display everything correctly Then on any other browser, separate connections to these servers will be opened hence crippling your already slow internet connection. Lots of bandwidth will be wasted to connect, download, manage error/flow control(if required) to each of these separate servers. But with turbo, a single connection will be made to opera-mini server and all data will be downloaded in one go and that too compressed hence giving you a smooth and fast browsing experience.

In the status bar there is a turbo button to enable turbo browsing or disable it. When red, turbo is enabled. When gray, itz disabled. When you hover your mouse pointer over the button, it'll show how much bandwidth you've saved by now.

What Opera have written about it on their blog can be read at http://labs.opera.com/news/2009/03/13/

Turbo will be a feature of Opera 10, which is still beta. I noticed some issues in it being beta. Here are the two:
1. If you toggle turbo anytime, the change will be available in all tabs you open afterwards. It won't be visible in the tab you toggled it or all the ones opened before.
2. The Transfers tool is buggy. Stopping and resume a download corrupts the file.

They'll surely fix the issues in the subsequent versions.
Enjoy fast browsing with Turbo and turbocharge yourself!!


mantiz said...

you still use Mobile office?? I think it'd be pretty extravagant now at 495/month here (dunno about your place).. thats why I went for free GPRS + frequent visits to the local cyber cafe :)

Prab97 said...

Yup! lol Here it is Rs.250/month but mine has been working free for last 6 months!!! And I don't live at my home so can't get BSNL broadband.