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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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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?


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