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Turbo Mode is one Opera 10's most popular features. In just a month, 3 million people used the new feature, which is also utilized to speed up Opera's mobile browsers for smart phones.  (Source: Opera)
New feature is popular among users in a variety of scenarios

While Firefox and Internet Explorer earn most of the news and publicity, smaller browsers like Google Chrome and Opera are quietly earning more marketshare.  Norwegian-based Opera recently debuted a new browser, Opera 10, which brought improved speed compatibility, and some innovative built-in features.

Among the most popular of the new browser's features is Opera Turbo.  The feature uses server-side compression to deliver webpages faster on slow connections.  It can compress webpages 3 to 4 times, reducing transfer size by up to 80 percent in some cases.  Turbo is located in the lower left-hand corner of Opera 10 and is turned on with a click.

In the first month after Opera 10's release, Opera reports that almost 3 million users worldwide tried the new feature.  They used it to view 668 million compressed Web pages, numbers that indicate that the feature is gaining significant traction.

Users cited a variety of reasons for using the feature.  Some users, forced to use slower connections like dialup or slower DSL conections, used the Turbo mode to help make navigating these slow lines less of a headache.  Other customers who used mobile internet cards or other metered/pay-as-you-go plans turned on Turbo to reduce their data transfer and lower their monthly bills or prevent overages.

Looking forward, Opera is providing support for AT&T's fall smart phone browser lineup (other than the iPhone).  The new "att.net" features Opera Mini, Opera's popular smart phone browser.  DailyTech recently took Opera Mini 5 for a test drive on the Blackberry Storm, and found the latest version to be vastly improved, and much faster than the native browser.  Opera's mobile browsers use many of the same compression techniques that power its PC Turbo Mode.




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Turbo Mode?
By brandonicus on 10/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: Turbo Mode?
By JCheng on 10/24/2009 5:21:16 PM , Rating: 5
Opera sees everything you browse.


RE: Turbo Mode?
By Cypherdude1 on 10/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: Turbo Mode?
By Klinky1984 on 10/25/2009 12:03:20 AM , Rating: 2
For the hardware/software compression options you're talking about you'll also need your ISP sending the data compressed in the first place. Most cable/dsl modems do not compress the data you're receiving like say what analog modems used to do with things like v.42bis. So you can go check all the boxes you want in Windows, but that doesn't mean your ISP is sending you compressed data.

The savings are because Opera's server compresses the HTML and recompresses the images to lower quality.


RE: Turbo Mode?
By Some1ne on 10/25/2009 3:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see why anything would need to be done at the ISP level. Unless you are using a *very* old browser, then every time you access a webpage your browser sends a header that goes something along the lines of "Accept-Encoding: gzip, compress". And unless you are talking you a *very* old web server, then the server responds by automatically compressing its response before it sends it to you. No intervention by the ISP or anyone else is required, and no hardware support is necessary. The data is compressed on the server before it gets sent, and decompressed by the browser as it is recieved.

Frankly, it looks to me like Opera is trying to get people excited over a feature that has been present and enabled by default in every other browser for years now. Maybe the article just does a poor job of describing what is going on, but the stated effects of Turbo Mode ("It can compress webpages 3 to 4 times, reducing transfer size by up to 80 percent") are identical to the effects of enabling gzip compression. This isn't novel, it isn't new, and it isn't anything to get excited over.

However, if they also re-encode images on the fly (which the article doesn't state that they do, and which I very much doubt that they do), that would be something new, but do you really want them arbitrarily degrading the quality of your content?


RE: Turbo Mode?
By tfk11 on 10/25/2009 3:14:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
By default, all Windows computers from 95 to Vista, have both hardware and software compression enabled.


Compression support in terms of web sites is actually not a feature of the operating system but of both the browser used and the sending server.

When a browser requests a page it sends with the request information on the types of compression if any that it is able to handle. If the server has been configured to compress the requested page using one of the browser's supported formats then it compresses the page before sending and indicates to the browser what type of compression was used.

The other type of compression is for jpeg images. Opera's servers download the original image and then re-compress it more aggressively than the original and send the smaller version of the image along to the user.

Re-compression of images always results in lower quality but depending on the circumstances it may be a small difference visually.

Forcing all traffic though another server also introduces the possibility of reduced performance. Especially in the case that your using a fast connection that may be capable of retrieving the content directly faster than opera's servers can forward you a re-compressed version of the content.


RE: Turbo Mode?
By chick0n on 10/25/09, Rating: -1
RE: Turbo Mode?
By MrWho on 10/25/2009 3:31:49 PM , Rating: 3
What a ass-hat!

If you don't have anything useful to say, don't say anything at all!


RE: Turbo Mode?
By thartist on 10/24/2009 5:32:20 PM , Rating: 2
it is for reaaally slow connections, not for regular DSL browsing


RE: Turbo Mode?
By rudy on 10/24/2009 6:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
If you compress then decompress that adds lag the compression on the hop side to the opera servers and decompression on your machine. So if you have a fast enough connection you would not want to waste time with this. I also think this service will work best if implemented by the web servers so they keep compressed versions of their site at all times and deliver it to anyone with a slower connection. Because it seems like it will probably cost money for Opera to run these servers and what revenue will they generate from this service?


RE: Turbo Mode?
By Jason H on 10/24/2009 6:03:22 PM , Rating: 5
It applies heavy JPEG compression to all images, significantly reducing their quality.


RE: Turbo Mode?
By Alexstarfire on 10/24/2009 6:23:20 PM , Rating: 3
Yep. AdBlock and NoScript generally get rid of all the crap that you don't want to look at. Though, if caps and slow speeds are the problem then just turning off images all together is probably your best bet. Just turn on the ones you want to see, even if it will be a guess most of the time.

I can say that where Firefox isn't available that this is a good option, like mobile phones.


RE: Turbo Mode?
By StevoLincolnite on 10/24/2009 10:04:04 PM , Rating: 3
Dial-up ISP's have been bundling server side proxy based compression techniques with dial-up plans here for years, works rather well, generally you can right click on the image and see the non-compressed version. (Varies from ISP).

Web browsing speed on dial-up was pretty comparable to a low-end 512k DSL connection of yore, basically giving Dial-up extra life, and especially helpful to those who live out in the sticks.


RE: Turbo Mode?
By icanhascpu on 10/26/2009 11:06:40 PM , Rating: 1
Im on dialup and ive tried the compression stuff.

1. Its bearly faster unless the page is filled with 100% quality jpgs, and then there is a nice boost at the loss of image quality.
2. Its nowhere fucking near even 512k DSL.
3. See #2
4. You cannot compress lag. DLS even slow connections youre going to see about 100ping while on dialup it will be more to the tune of 500, now multiply that by every item on the page and its a huge difference with that alone.


RE: Turbo Mode?
By NA1NSXR on 10/24/2009 11:05:18 PM , Rating: 5
It compresses images even further. The image degradation is noticeable though. Depending on what kind of surfing you do "cough" it may or may not be appropriate.


RE: Turbo Mode?
By Zoomer on 10/26/2009 5:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
For mobile devices, it's not going to matter that much, since the images would have to be resized down to fit the tiny lowres screen anyway.


Slow?
By ChristopherO on 10/24/2009 4:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some users, forced to use slower connections like dialup or DSL


DSL slow? I know my 6MB isn't like drinking from Stanly Spadowski's fire hose (name that movie!) but slow? Maybe the author was getting confused with the 6 people in the US still using iDSL.




RE: Slow?
By ipay on 10/24/2009 4:23:39 PM , Rating: 5
In South Africa, the fastest DSL connection you get is 4Mbps and mine runs at a measly 384Kbps (and I probably pay more for my line than you do for your 6Mbps one).

Yay for government telecommunications monopoly.


RE: Slow?
By halcyon on 10/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Slow?
By n00bxqb on 10/24/2009 4:29:57 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure if it has been edited since you quoted, but I'm seeing:

"Some users, forced to use slower connections like dialup or slower DSL conections ..."

In my area, many users have "High-Speed Lite" Cable or DSL, which is 128-256 kbps because they're too cheap, can't afford, or simply don't use the internet enough to justify a real high-speed connection.

Most of the articles I've found through Google state that somewhere between 10-15% of Americans still use Dial-Up, BTW.


RE: Slow?
By n00bxqb on 10/24/2009 4:33:09 PM , Rating: 2
Also wanted to add that Opera is awesome. It makes almost everything I do faster and, for the few pages that don't work in Opera, right-click > Open With ... > Firefox/Internet Explorer.


RE: Slow?
By Sunrise089 on 10/25/09, Rating: 0
RE: Slow?
By dark matter on 10/25/2009 8:57:06 AM , Rating: 1
Erm Sunrise, you are aware that Opera 10 is the only ACID compliant browser on the market? No doubt you have no idea what I am talking about.

But, thanks for the chuckle I don't usually laugh at the ignorant.


RE: Slow?
By alphadog on 10/25/2009 10:12:37 AM , Rating: 5
I love how some people latch on to useless marketing blurbs to say their browser is bigger than another's.

Firefox is 93/100 compliant. So, I don't have SVG fonts. Whoopedeedoo. At least they focus on relevant features.

Most real websites use frameworks to build sites that degrade gracefully over the multiple browser makes, models and versions that are out there.

Full ACID3 compliance is nice, but the remaining 7 points are just for fanboy bragging rights.


RE: Slow?
By photi on 10/25/2009 9:16:38 AM , Rating: 2
clearly you have never used opera. you should try it out, it is a damn fine browser for web users and web developers alike (developers see Dragonfly on the Opera website). I have used IE, Firefox, Safari, Flock, Konqueror, and Opera. Opera easily takes the cake home. Quite feature rich.


RE: Slow?
By photi on 10/25/2009 9:19:07 AM , Rating: 2
i forgot to mention chrome, i have also used chrome, it is my 2nd favorite after opera


RE: Slow?
By Zoomer on 10/26/2009 5:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
Well, Chrome is just KHTML/Webkit anyway.


RE: Slow?
By jonmcc33 on 10/26/2009 8:44:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most of the articles I've found through Google state that somewhere between 10-15% of Americans still use Dial-Up, BTW.


Because a lot of them still live out in BFE that doesn't get broadband or they are older and don't really want to change their ISP (including their e-mail address).


RE: Slow?
By foolsgambit11 on 10/24/2009 8:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
UHF. I was just describing a Twinkie Weiner Sandwich to a friend of mine yesterday, in fact.


RE: Slow?
By johnsonx on 10/24/2009 10:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
I have several customers who can't get any DSL faster than 384k. Their only choices for something faster is several hundred $ per month for wireless or a fractional T-1, and even then it wouldn't be all that much faster. Don't go thinking that everyone gets 6mbps+ service just for the asking.

It's kind of counter-intuitive too: right in the middle of orange county, califonia, the best DSL speed I can get is 3mbps no matter how much money I offer. At my vacation home on a lake near a small town in north-western Minnesota, they've got fiber running right into the house. They offer up to 50mbps less than $100 per month. (I only got 3mpbs there as that's all I need while on vacation)


Not needed for some sites
By Sunday Ironfoot on 10/24/2009 7:12:14 PM , Rating: 4
I'm a web developer and there are steps that websites can take to compress and optimise the content themselves, such as enabling compression on the server for text based files such the HTML and CSS and external JavaScript files (something called GZIP compression). Also images can be compressed/optimised by the web developers as well. Thers's also 'spriting' the images (combining multiple images into one and using CSS to show the bit you want, fewer HTTP requests = faster), and setting far-future expire headers that force the browser to not bother checking for new versions of static files (images, scripts, CSS etc.) = fewer HTTP requests to the server.

Indeed many websites already do this, so I wonder if Opera's Turbo mode would make any difference in these cases?




RE: Not needed for some sites
By Taft12 on 10/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Not needed for some sites
By johnsonx on 10/24/2009 10:58:07 PM , Rating: 2
not exactly a bad suggestion, but there's no need to be a prick about it


RE: Not needed for some sites
By Chocobollz on 10/25/2009 5:00:47 AM , Rating: 2
The kind of compression used by the Opera's Turbo Mode is a bit different than what the webdevs/servers has used, at least in its paradigm. Most webdevs tries to "optimize" their content, which is a balance between quality & filesize, while Turbo Mode most of the time will choose speed over quality. That works very good in a mobile browser environment where you don't need the images to be in 100% quality because it will only hurt speed without giving any improvements in visual quality. Most users will notice very little differences between 75% compressed JPEGs and 20% compressed JPEGs in a QCIF or CIF resolution.

In a desktop environment, I'd say it's not very good but still it can be handy when you use some GPRS/EDGE connection. It maybe sacrifices quality too much but what's the point of getting good quality contents if the page isn't loading? :p

Oh, and Opera FTW! :-)


RE: Not needed for some sites
By GaryJohnson on 10/25/2009 11:07:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Indeed many websites already do this, so I wonder if Opera's Turbo mode would make any difference in these cases?

Opera's turbo does make a difference in those cases. It wouldn't even be notable if it didn't because just about every site out there uses those techniques.


Netzero has had this for years
By davecason on 10/25/2009 5:32:58 AM , Rating: 3
Netzero has had this working for over 10 years. They call it
"Accelerated Dial-Up Service" and it is one of the reasons their dial-up service still exists.

http://www.netzero.net/

There are a lot of people still using the internet without broadband.




RE: Netzero has had this for years
By jjmcubed on 10/26/2009 12:16:30 AM , Rating: 2
Also used to use it with People PC. Regular dial up was $10 and with the compression software it was an extra $4. It was worth it for me.

You could chose from five different levels of compression IIRC. Lvl 1 was not much image quality difference, and Lvl 5 would just have a Grey image. All you had to do was right click the picture and select show image or something along that line if you wanted to see the whole image. Load times could be up to 60% faster with image intensive sites.


By icanhascpu on 10/26/2009 11:09:12 PM , Rating: 1
So basically they are charging you 4$ a month for what you can do in your browser for free.

Good deal, want to buy a bridge?


Opera FTW
By albus on 10/24/2009 4:03:28 PM , Rating: 3
I have been using Opera Mini since version 3 on Symbian. The performance has been absolutely mind blowing !!!
Only Opera allowed browsing on a network with 2-3 bars of coverage. Huge webpages loaded in seconds. The default Nokia browser would crash or throw up an error. All this on a GPRS/EDGE network!

Currently using Opera Mini 4 to post this :)




RE: Opera FTW
By thartist on 10/24/2009 5:29:19 PM , Rating: 2
Not to jump on fanboysm but Opera Mini rooocks and the 5beta is kickass fast and connects better, but it is still at a buggy stage by now


How does it work
By SonicIce on 10/24/2009 5:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
What do they mean it works server-side? Is it like a proxy that the Opera company provides?




RE: How does it work
By piroroadkill on 10/24/2009 6:47:46 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, it's a proxy that Opera provides, exactly as the image in the post shows.

It's the same way Opera Mini has worked for ages now:- Opera's servers compress the data, and then send it in simplified markup to your client.


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