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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 "" 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 10/24/2009 5:17:53 PM , Rating: 0
Why is there even a button for this? Why not just have it turned on by default? Is someone really going to think "hmm these webpages are loading a bit to fast, I better turn off my turbo mode"? Is there a downside to this, besides some server working hard to compress tiny files?

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
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.

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