Opera browser is about to get even faster

Oslo-based Opera Software, best known for its Opera Web browser, has announced that it plans to integrate SlipStream Data’s Web and e-mail acceleration technology into the next release of its desktop Web browser. Set to integrate into Opera 7.60, Opera claims that it will enable users up to six times faster browsing on dial-up and wireless connections, a particularly neat feature for those with limited bandwidth.

SlipStream Data’s Web Accelerator technology only accelerates certain text and graphics on Web pages, so it won’t speed up everything you do on the Internet. However, both companies claim that with Web Accelerator you will notice a significantly faster experience when you visit Web sites, send and receive e-mail, and perform other Web-based activities. To achieve this speed up, proprietary lossless compression is applied to text, HTML, XML, JavaScript and style sheets. Proprietary image compression is applied to GIF and JPEG images, as well as to Flash content.

SlipStream also accelerates e-mail traffic (POP3 and SMTP) using lossless compression, but does not speed up file downloads (over FTP or file sharing programs), streaming audio/video and HTTPS (secure Web sites). If you have a slow Internet connection (such as a dial-up or wireless connection) with a bandwidth of less than 300Kbit/s, you should experience a significant degree of acceleration using SlipStream, boldly claims the company.

However, SlipStream Web Accelerator does not increase the speed of file downloads such as music files, or streaming video or audio media. Opera 7.60 is set to usher in more innovative browsing features – something we’ve come to expect from its developers. The public release of v7.60 is planned for the end of 2004.

SlipStream is currently supported by over 900 ISPs worldwide, according to the company, with its popularity due to that way that it allows service providers to offer a faster and more flexible way of rolling out value-added services. SlipStream SE (Secure Enterprise) further optimises bandwidth and improves the performance of Web-based applications, accelerating secure access to e-mails, FTP and other critical business data.

“SlipStream is the dominant acceleration solution provider for ISPs in North America, South America, and Europe,” says Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “Their innovation and reputation for service, makes them an ideal partner. We are eager to work together to deliver an improved experience in installation, operation, and support to enterprises and users wanting more Web speed and performance.”

“As Opera is known as the fastest browser on earth, the decision to consider the browser for this integration was simple,” says Ron Neumann, President, SlipStream Data. “Our goal is to offer a superior accelerated browsing experience on any platform and Opera’s multiplatform support helps achieve this. This integration gives ISPs increased support and speed for their users, and will also significantly increase the productivity of mobile workers. Such a partnership helps us continue to expand and embed our technology into new markets.”

As well as its speed, another key factor in Opera’s success that the browser is cross-platform and modular, and currently available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Symbian OS, Windows Mobile, BREW, QNX, TRON, FreeBSD, Solaris and Mediahighway platforms.