Opera Vs. Firefox

Opera or Firefox? Confused? Going crazy over what’s better. This comparison might just help you a bit to decide.

  • Interface

Basically both programs follow the same traditional placement of buttons of any browser. Based on the default skin Opera would win this. It consists of a sleeker interface. Also websites loaded in Opera are ‘skinned’ as well. With checkboxes, fonts and command buttons in web pages the same as the ones in the opera skin. Firefox though uses a basic interface. Both programs contain some good skins (themes) and with skins taken into consideration the result would be a tie.

  • Ease of use

Both programs present its features and preferences in a user-friendly way. So by ease of use it would be a tie.

  • Features

In the browser wars, the term ‘features’ can be a loose term. This is due to the availability of addons (widgets in Opera) that most browsers employ. These addons are applets that can be installed into the browser to provide an added feature (s).

Therefore looking at features taking addons into consideration it can be hard to make a comparison, as pretty much all browsers can become ‘all-powerful’ using addons, however a comparison of features out-of-box can be made.

Out-of-box features in Opera heavily outweighs Firefox. Apart from the standard set of features provided by all browsers, Opera offers a horde of other features out-of-box; Opera Mail, Unite (discontinued) and BitTorrent to name a few.

Of course, all the above mentioned features as well as the others not available to Firefox out-of-box maybe added via addons.

  • Addons

Both programs provide addons. Opera provide this in the form of widgets. Both programs provide several useful  (or not) addons. However, Firefox offers a lot more addons than Opera, this reflects on the user base of the two browsers as well. Firefox has a lot more users therefore more addons developed.

Also based on my observation, it appears that the quality of the addons in Firefox are higher than in Opera, developers of Firefox addons seem to be a lot more comprehensive.

  • Memory Usage

Opera would win this one by a landslide. Memory has long been an issue for Firefox and apparently Mozilla isn’t bent over fixing this issue. Latest versions barely have any improvement in terms of memory compared to past builds. In addition, the latest ‘feature’ where the plugins are isolated in a separate process appears to be consuming even more memory than before. While the feature is handy in case the plugin stops responding, it doesn’t make the memory issue any better.

On the other hand, Opera has always been light weight and handles memory very efficiently.

  • Popularity

Currently browser market share based on all popular sources suggests that Firefox popularity heavily outweighs Opera. Over the past few years though, Opera has been gradually gaining market share, however the minute change over the years suggests that it would be a while before Opera becomes even the slightest threat to Firefox in terms of popularity.

  • Browsing speed

There are dozens of speed tests via different reputed sources and the results are mixed. Speed is measured based on load times, startup times, javascript processing times and other factors. A quick search on Google will reveal the various speed tests conducted and the results can indeed be confusing. One such comprehensive test you might want to check out is available on Lifehacker.

While these tests may make it confusing to decide which browser is faster based on personal usage I have deduced that Opera is better for slower connections. Based on observation and comprehensive usage, the overall speed of Firefox is slightly faster however Firefox tends to load more content before displaying it in comparison to Opera which immediately displays whatever is loaded, this makes it apparent that Opera is faster and is therefore better for slower connections. Firefox however has a faster overall speed thus it is more advisable for faster connections.

  • Compatibility

Compared to the recent past, most websites support both browsers extensively, one common occurrence are sites that only support Internet Explorer, this is a common problem to both browsers so doesn’t apply in this comparison.

One factor of compatibility however works in favor of Firefox. As aforementioned, Firefox is a lot more popular than Opera thus third party applications like download managers may support integration with Firefox but not Opera.

  • Privacy

Both programs provide adequate privacy. They provide quick access to a window where all temporary files could be just selected and deleted. Both programs allow basic privacy options like disabling history, cookies, etc. Both programs allow private browsing. (browsing session where no private data is recorded)

Based on the comparison above Firefox and Opera are quite closely matched, if you are looking for a browser that has enough features out-of-box and aren’t too keen on looking for addons, Opera maybe a good choice for you. I personally use Firefox because I am more comfortable with it. Managing and developing this site is all done using Firefox. So Firefox would be my choice. What’s yours?

You might also want to check out the Chrome vs Firefox comparison.

About the author


is a Software Developer and the main writer behind Computer Realm.

Niaz - February 23, 2008

In my opinion Opera is much faster at slow connections. Firefox having an edge as far as the add-ons are concerned.

    Rosco - February 26, 2009

    I’ve got to be honest with you, this is a terrible review. Opera is one of the most compliant web browsers around (together with Safari & Chrome). To say that FF would be more “compatible” because it can render non-compliant markup & CSS is very misleading.

      luq - February 26, 2009

      This has been stated based on personal experience, even recently when developing a site theme for the software section of the site with valid css, firefox rendered the site perfectly while opera produced glitches along with as expected Internet Explorer.

      Nevertheless Opera is still a great browser.

      Haydon - April 14, 2011

      Hi, I came to reveal the truth on Opera vs Firefox. Well, I will tell you what happened. I downloaded Firefox, after about 2-4 days it stopped working it was getting stuck every time! So, what I did was I got opera it was so fast that I couldn’t believe it! Now I’m using Opera for about 7 months and it’s still working no getting stuck or anything! That’s when i realized Opera Rocks!

    Harsha - December 25, 2009

    Seriously, who needs add-ons when you got opera 🙂 name it and opera already has it, i have a broadband, opera is way faster… It’s sleek , secure and fast… about compatibility issues… the infamous sites that do not provide support can suck it ;p

luq - February 23, 2008

that’s just about right,but if you havent used firefox yet you should try it,initially you may feel opera is still faster but that’s because your frequently visited pages are cached by opera.

when it comes to plug-ins all i can say is every blessing has a curse, while plug-ins optimize the browser and makes life easier a lot more,it slows down the booting up of the browser dramatically.

Stronghold - March 28, 2008

Great tips, i found all information i was looking for, i will use some of them.

luq - March 28, 2008

Nice to hear you liked the post 🙂

Benzyl - April 17, 2008

Firefoxcan be REALLY sluggish running under OSX due to it not being a native app. Opera however is lightning fast in the same environment.

luq - April 17, 2008

Guess Opera is better for OSX then, but this comparison is based on Windows usage, thanks for the point.

Cool - May 17, 2008

Firefox is my choice as well. The only problem with Firefox is the memory leak problem. But it’s still the best compare to other browsers

    luq - May 17, 2008

    true..i guess everythin is all good with firefox except for problems with memory..haven’t tried ff3 much but wonder if they’ve taken steps in this version..

Tech Brave - June 14, 2008

iam big fan of firefox for the plugins it support and i like opera for speed . Now iam using Firefox3 RC and it is looking very speed browser

Now firefox 3 coming on june 17 , time to switch to FF3

Tech Brave’s last blog post..Finally : Firefox 3 will be released on June 17th

    luq - June 14, 2008

    yeah..totally agree with you, i am currently using ff3 rc2 and its vast improvements has truly made it the dominant browser around from the add ons to the security to the speed…thanks for the comment!

    lets hope it gets to the guinness on 17th!

AnotherGuy’s Weblog » The Great Battle - Opera 9.5 vs Firefox 3.0: Now It’s Your Turn - June 20, 2008

[…] A Firefox Lovers’ Guide To Opera Firefox – Opera: Andrew Gregory Browser Smackdown: Firefox vs IE vs Opera vs Safari Computer Realm: Opera vs Firefox […]

latest movie reviews - August 29, 2008

i use both but i prefer to use opera, its just easier and faster to use in my opinion.

sadf - September 28, 2008

if you have a fast connection go with firefox for customization.

if you have a slow connection go with opera for more speed.

muscaru - September 28, 2008

Firefox 3 is better and faster. Opera is good enough, too.

Maxi - September 30, 2008

I think Firefox is better than Opera its fast, more secure. I don’t like Opera because it always stuck on my computer

Abhishek - October 1, 2008

Both are great browsers. lots feature. Firefox is strong in addon only because of variety of plugins

Computer Training - October 3, 2008

I do like opera but firefox has a lot more functionality. Google chrome is one to watch too though

Z Buchanan - October 11, 2008

FireFox is amazing! The plugin help you do everything… I’m surprized IE is still more populat though!

Z Buchanan’s last blog post..Can Forex Trading Software Really Give You an Advantage

    Adam - January 9, 2010

    IE is still more popular because it’s preinstalled… Poor users, don’t have the bandwith nor time to download Firefox… sniff…

    Anyhow, personally I use Opera, because I find it a little faster. I don’t know why, but in my usage, it actually loads Flash content faster than FF. I am enjoying FF 3.5, but it’s a little to slow (Celeron 2 Ghz with 1GB RAM running Ubuntu might explain things).

    On my 2 Core Pentium 2.2Ghz, Slackware machine with 3GB of RAM, FF runs fine.

      SRChiP - January 18, 2010

      I heard (read) somewhere that firefox is faster using wine and running windows version than using native linux app.

      Adam - January 22, 2010

      Really? I wonder what exactly makes the Win32 version faster… and running through an extra Wine layer?!?

      What, did they program this in VB.NET and try to port it to Mono?

      (That was an underhanded joke. Everybody knows it’s programmed in Perl 🙂

      SRChiP - January 22, 2010

      What? FF is mostly programed in C++, and wine is in C. What’s the perl talk.

      this is the link to show that wine + firefox is faster than native firefox. They say that it could be a video driver problem.

      Adam - January 22, 2010

      Yeah, I knew it wasn’t Perl. That was a pretty bad joke, and I daresay, more underhanded then the VB.NET joke.

      And as far as TuxRadar’s Google benchmarks… that’s severly disturbing. I might as well try to make a Flash plugin for Links then deal with that amazing speed lag.

      SRChiP - January 23, 2010

      The VB.net\mono joke was actually a good one. This benchmarks gives us a idea that graphic card manufacturers may ignoring linux a little.

Lancashire SEO guy - November 7, 2008

I’d say that, for me, it has to be the extent of the plugins that Firefox produces from the community. I love a good number of things about Opera, including its extensive modern thinking about mobile support, but I keep coming back to Firefox. Thanks for a good post.

Lancashire SEO guy’s last blog post..I’m a commentluv convert

mr.eims @ prospects - November 26, 2008

I vote for opera.. 😐

mr.eims @ prospects’s last blog post..Create money making links – UserCash

M@¥UR - November 30, 2008

Firefox 3 rules man. The coolest i would ever say ……. yet !!!

Odzyskiwanie Danych - December 4, 2008

I choose firefox for many plugins I just like. I found the way to release RAM used by my browser when minimizing. It’s something in about:config if you need to find it. Hope it helps!

irvan - December 22, 2008

Opera maybe faster than firefox , but i use firefox

Dewaji SEO Test - January 3, 2009

Both are great browsers and have lots feature. But I prefer to choose Firefox because it have more variety of plugins

Acai Burn Reviews - January 24, 2009

Great tips!Thanks! there’s still nothing better than Maxthon though.

Acai Burn Reviews’s last blog post..Pure Acai Berry | Acai Pure

    luq - January 25, 2009


beloed - January 25, 2009

that great comparison. thank for that.

beloed’s last blog post..Busby SEO Test – It’s Time To Change

SEO Services - January 27, 2009

i dont know but some how i like to use firefox the most.

SEO Services’s last blog post..inventory management software zone

panda webkinz store - February 2, 2009

I’m using Firefox too and it is hard to find other better browser than Firefox.

iPhone - February 11, 2009

Thanks Luq I wondered why firefox took so long to load now I know the plugins are slowing it down

Pemilu Indonesia 2009 - February 12, 2009

I use firefox coz there are many plugins support this browser. For the speed, I think both opera and firefox have no much differences. CMIIW.

Inventory Management Software - February 16, 2009

Hi.. i still use firefox and i like it.. very faster..

Inventory Management Software’s last blog post..Inventory Management Software is Essential

Kampanye Damai Pemilu Indonesia 2009 - February 19, 2009

I love Firefox, customizable and powerfull

Kampanye Damai Pemilu Indonesia 2009’s last blog post..Petunjuk dan Tata Cara Pemilu 2009

Acer Aspire Guy - February 21, 2009

Right now, I am personally test running Google Chrome for a few weeks, and so far it impresses me. But I will probably go right back to Firefox. Its just the best.

Acer Aspire Guy’s last blog post..Aspire One Review – Acer Aspire One LU.S050B.133 8.9-Inch Black Mini Netbook

loan modification - March 1, 2009

I would bet with firefox. It is unmatchable. With all those plugins I don’t think that no other browser will be able to replace. Just imagine what would be the situation if there is no plugin to find PR? I think for now, the best browser is Firefox.

realm - March 2, 2009

Good stuff . i like firefox.it’s lots of plugins…

jim - March 2, 2009

i just love firefox better than any other browser. It is definitely better than internet explorer.

forex trading forum

Rafael Marcondes - March 8, 2009

Opera is the best browser, due to its features
I particullarly love the drag-and-drop right click to left to go back in the navigation

Rain & Bliss - March 12, 2009

OPERA!!! opera is the best. It starts fast, it closes fast, it browses fast, it has in-built mail system, tons of new stuffs which are easy to configure.

and firefox?? well it has those 400 addons that make up for its flaws.

    luq - March 12, 2009

    Flaws in firefox pretty much consist of relatively higher memory usage and starting up times, apart from that firefox is at the top i’d say. thanks for the comment.

arthur - March 19, 2009

I use opera because it’s very VERY fast
and it’s safer because firefox is used by hackers
and it have more viruses
but firefox is slow very slow
you must restart it all times
and restart firefox takes 20 sec. for starting up
opera 1 sec.
and google chrome is too good but google chrome
has big problems
just take opera

    arthur - March 19, 2009

    i mean google chrome is also good
    but opera is just the best web browser
    try it and you see it
    and i have broadband 85 Mbts/s and mozilla is a snail
    and opera is a tiger
    and internet explorer is ridiculus
    it has to many problems
    i hope you are gonna use opera now

postscripter - March 21, 2009

“Managing and developing this site is done using firefox”??? do you develop websites using a webbrowser????

    luq - March 21, 2009

    i was referring to minor site changes and improvements using the built in wordpress editor, etc.

how to build muscle fast - April 3, 2009

I like opera cause it’s faster and got some nice features. But i can’t use it all the time because it doesn’t have a lot of good plugins and some sites aren’t standardized for the browser.

Gill - April 14, 2009

What a joke. This site throws tons of errors in the W3C HTML and CSS validators. Obviously not using compliant markup. I even noticed a couple of Firefox specific CSS parameters. It’s no wonder the site doesn’t render correctly in anything but Firefox.

Acid3 results:

Firefox v3.0.8 – 71/100
Opera 9.62 – 85/100 (This isn’t even the most current)

I used Firefox for many years but dumped it because of the horrible memory leaks and resource hogging. A clean install of Firefox with only Adblock+ and NoScript would regularly get to the point of using 1.5GB of RAM and spiking one of my cores to 100% every 30 seconds. Firefox may also have a ton of add-ons, but the majority of them are worthless.

Ever since I switched to Opera it feels like a huge weight has been lifted. No longer do I have to restart my browser “just because”. Sites load faster, scrolling is seamless (in Firefox scrolling would intermittently choke for a few seconds now and then) and the UI is much cleaner.

My vote definitely goes to Opera on this one.

    luq - April 15, 2009

    thanks for the comment, however computer realm renders perfectly on opera and chrome as well. Errors in css are present in pretty much any website, even google!

Used Tires - April 20, 2009

I would say that I like Firefox, but I do use Opera from time to time just for the fun of it, lol. But… I would say that the only bad thing about Firefox is the memory, I have experienced alot of memory leaks for some odd reason

    luq - April 20, 2009

    true, i guess thats the main disadvantage with firefox, the memory usage, and the fact that i use several addons doesnt help too.

luxury - April 24, 2009

I love firefox , My computer has firefox and IE .But Most i use firefox…

luxury’s last blog post..www.fiacardservices.com

Title Insurance Tampa - May 1, 2009

FireFox is best in any comparison of Opera, Plug in, Speed, user friendly Opera quite far to compete to FireFox.

noodles - May 3, 2009

I like both Opera and Firefox…I tend to switch around everyday lol.

Ikon - May 5, 2009

Firefox still has the memory thingy. (I use linux) If I test it, opening around 50 tabs in the browser, Opera navigates as if nothing has happened, while Firefox…well you should try it, he crawls in hell 🙁
I should tell you, I have this experience with a very well tweaked FF toward memory usage, with 4G ram in the PC. So it still has it, that Mozilla guys have to fix many issues around the memory. Still, I use both.

India property - May 28, 2009

I’ve had Firefox installed for years now, and with just a minor amount of what I consider necessary extensions to make Firefox worth using make it slower and more of a memory hog than Opera. It’s why Opera is still my default browser.

India property’s last blog post..4 bedroom Villa/Bungalow for Sale in Devanahalli, Bangalore (1420391)

    luq - May 29, 2009

    true, if you are not much of a user of firefox addon i think opera or even chrome would be a better way to go, however i heavily use addons while i surf so i’ll be sticking with firefox.

Attitude tees - June 9, 2009

I am trying to decide which browser to use. IE is out of the question, but I am stuck between Firefox and Opera. What would you recommend?

Attitude tees’s last blog post..T- shirts- most comfortable outfit

    luq - June 9, 2009

    it depends on your usage, if you are looking for just basic browsing either should be fine, but if you are looking for more functionality while you surf as in with the use of addons firefox is the way to go.

angga hendra - June 11, 2009

FF is the best browser…many addons can used like wordpress…

angga hendra’s last blog post..Comment on (Alnect Komputer) Modem GSM 3G/HSDPA Sierra Compass 885 by angga hendra

Miguel - July 7, 2009

I have tried both i perfer FF over opera. One reason is when i 1st installed opera it kept freezing up and i had to keep exiting it and reloding it. Firefox on the other hand no prob at all. As this far i am still likeing firefox more and i am using opera but still get the freezing up. I have used FF for a while and have come to the liking of it and like others said alot of USEFUL addons. Overall i still perfer firefox over oipera. I have only 2 things i like so far about opera. 1. is the speeddial and 2. the previews of tabs when u hover over them

    Luqmaan - July 7, 2009

    well firefox have addons for this, to preview tabs there is Tab Preview, for Speed dial there is Speed Dial

Rob - July 23, 2009

Firefox hands down for me, with Chrome a near second (simply because it’s spiffy fast for me, on my old PC)
.-= Rob´s last blog ..December Sun #3 – Page 16A =-.

Jamol - July 30, 2009

Firefox is the best TOOL for developers!
Opera is the best BROWSER!

Chrome vs Firefox | Computer Realm - August 5, 2009

[…] I wrote the Opera vs Firefox post, which turned out to be very responsive I thought I’ll make a similar comparison with […]

Danny - August 15, 2009

Well, I just used Opera for the first time today and my impression is very postive. The default look and feel is simply beautiful. Especially im comparison to firefox which has this wonderful (read: irony) early 90s aesthetics. Opera’s UI is very sleek and classy and i9t’s also designed to be used with more keyboard action which I find very appealing.

I have tried to get the hype about firefox for quite some time and honestly firefox sucks. I hate the default UI and those myriads of “CUSTOMIZABLE SKINS!!!ONEONEELEVEN!!!” are pretty much worthless crap. I have to admit there’s one expection: nasa night launch which looks quiet good but doesn’t really match with your OS if grapfical consistency is what you desire. Also it’s simply a lie that firefox is more secure and blocks more popups than IE. I have never gotten any viruses through IE and getting annoyed with popups only happens with firefox to me.

So from now on I will continue to use IE while dwelving into Opera and its wonderful features and laugh about all you brainwashed firefox fanboys out there (you know who you are)!

    Luqmaan - August 15, 2009

    Well, I’m going to have to admit, i’m a firefox fan too (after using Opera and IE as well as my primary browser for a while), as for the security issues with IE, these are usually ‘under the hood’ vulnerabilities (that can be dangerous to its users though) which you normally wouldn’t notice (you could follow blogs like Lifehacker which occasionally highlight these as well as other browser news). Also if you are a web developer you gotta hate IE as it uses a very ‘different’ rendering engine and developers sometimes have to deal with websites on IE for several weeks while the other browsers display the website correctly.

    I admit opera’s default skin is more sleek however Firefox’s theme inventory has several themes and I’m sure there’d be at least one that suits your taste. As for me, i mainly prefer Firefox as I use a few plugins (gmail notifier, searchstatus, etc.) that makes things a lot more efficient. In the end, it pretty much boils down to your browsing needs and habits. Thanks for the feedback.

jheel - August 17, 2009

Opera is the best. Firefox is the SLOWEST. Even IE8 opens pages faster than firefox if you’re not on a broadband. And if you’re on a broadband, firefox slows down when you run downloaders like utorrent and limewire. Opera, on the other hand, renders pages faster. I don’t care plugins. Half of the firefox plugins are open-sourse non-senses like the linux craps I see all around. And most of the operations achived by the meaningful other half, can be acheived by Opera natively, without the use of open plug-ins that come from unknown programers.
1> Opera is way more efficient in using available bandwidth and way more effective on slower connections compared to firefox. Try IE8 if you don’t like Opera, even that out-performs firefox in terms of speed.
2> More than 50% of the meaningful features that Firefox plug-ins provide, are supported in-house (native support) by Opera.
3> The most POPULAR isn’t necessarily the most BEAUTIFUL. Use your head and make a good choice.


    Luqmaan - August 17, 2009

    I agree with opera being faster on slower connections and plenty of firefox features with add-ons are supportedly natively on Opera, however Firefox is faster than IE without a doubt. Also IE is the most popular browser followed by Firefox, unfortunately Opera still has the lowest browser share taking the main browsers in the market, hopefully with their latest features such as Opera Unite, they should gain popularity. Thanks for the feedback.

Matt - September 5, 2009

I don’t know if this was addressed here yet, but firefox has a big issue with overloading the CPU , at least under Vista. Apparently not every FF user is concerned, but I had the problem – firefox regularly claiming 95-99% of the CPU for no recognizable reason, often after restarting the computer from sleeping mode. Browsing the internet showed that I am not the only one with this issue, in fact it seems to be quite common. It is also mentioned on the official FF website, but all the suggestions given there to solve the problem don’t work. Neither do the dozens of recommendations found elsewhere on the web, ranging from switching of Java/Javascript to deinstalling flash player…

Anyway, I am tired of the problem and give Opera a chance. So far I am quite happy with it, seems to be a bit faster, with some slight compatibility problems here and there.

    Luqmaan - September 5, 2009

    well it’s probably an addon issue or other incompatibility conflicting with firefox causing the high CPU usage, i am currently using Firefox and CPU usage is fluctuating at 5-15% with 5 tabs open, i have never experienced firefox consume too much of the CPU however if you don’t really use addons from FF that much I suggest you use Chrome, which is simple and fast, thanks a lot for your feedback.

sharpaqouslcdtv - September 21, 2009

it uses much memory …LOL

noname - November 22, 2009

you havn’t mentioned opera single-key shortcut, k/b-less browsing yet.

Donte harris - November 29, 2009

You are a Firefox suck up a very biased reviewer, Especially with a lame review that deserves no attention what so ever. I’m using opera 10, It beat firefox slightly in speed, (But it really depends on computer/Internet )Especially with opera having Opera Unite with many users, Over 3mill. Which is really awesome. You can create blogs, Share music, Share notes, Built in Media player, With many different widgets to add on the side bar,Share files,Message other users,Web server. What i love about firefox, It has a lot of addons/Plugins and compatibility with many different sites and addons. Especially with themes, appearances and a lot of customization. Which beat opera.

Choose opera if you want Speed, Community, Sharing Blogs, Music,Web server,Notes,Pictures,Looking at other friends notes,Even messaging, Right from your browser. Slightly good Security, Speed dial, Build in features like, Mouse gesture and content block. With many other features that you will love and it will never let you down. I won’t think of opera as a Browser, But as a Internet suite, Seriously!

Choose Firefox if you want Full Customization with many possibilities,Slightly good speeds, Thousands of addons that will keep you coming back for more as a promise from me. Compatibility with many sites and addons which opera lacks in. Performance, Uses less memory on the CPU. Each update/beta keep getting better and better and far more suburb and Fast! Badass security with a small anti virus, When you finish downloading a file, It will scan it for any malicious files/Activity. Parental control, Good support.

There you have it folks, a small short summery. I’m not biased, i use both browser for different reasons. Lets say opera have computability issues with sites (Which is getting improved) I just open my handy firefox. I also use Firefox for downloads for it badass security. I use opera for streaming videos because I get full screen lag with firefox for some reason and it’s AWESOME OPERA UNITE which i fell in love with.

    Luqmaan - November 30, 2009

    thanks for your feedback, i would say i am a fan of Firefox, but i am not really sucking up to it, you’d notice, it’s quite in the balance with some features siding towards Opera, as for all of the features you mentioned about opera, firefox has add-ons for it, including the features of Unite, Opera unite is a great innovation, and while i covered a post on it, i haven’t really incorporated Opera Unite’s pros in to the review much so i should probably edit it, since there is nothing to compare it with firefox for, maybe as a miscellaneous advantage that opera has.

    About the speed, firefox is faster, just google around for some speed tests and you’ll see and like you said it depends on the internet connection/local settings, etc. of course.

      Luqmaan - November 30, 2009

      Also you said you are in love with Unite so the flaming is understood 😛

setu - December 24, 2009

Have used all popular browsers for years. Opera is still the best for me.

Don’t like FF too much – it still(V 3.5) needs a third party add on for even common tasks – like mouse gestures or page zoom!

Opera’s capability to customize its interface(not just the skin but the toolbars, icons, toolbar placements etc etc) is just awesome – no other browser comes even close to that.

Feature wise Opera is a complete browser out-of-the-box. Of course FF can beat any browser once you add some good plugins – plugins are its strong point. But its default setup is pretty inferior to Opera.

    Luqmaan - December 25, 2009

    thanks for the feedback, however interface customization in firefox is pretty much the same, toolbars and icons can be placed anywhere you want it. Page zoom is available by default in firefox, mouse gestures of course require an addon however mouse gestures cater to a very small amount of surfers so IMO not required by default. Opera has a better default interface and skin, but in terms of memory usage (without addons), speed and customization with addons firefox would be the clear winner.

Dev - January 3, 2010

I have always been using IE, up and untill Chrome came and started using Chrome. Was irritated with those tab always “breaking up” and “killing pages”, but they have improved. Then switched to Firefox loved it untill I downloaded Opera and started using it.

It looks sleek, it is faster and i feel pretty comfortable using it.

so although I thought Firefox is a great browser till I was using it, my vote comprehensively goes to Opera. There are some sites however that do not support Opera e.g google sites and google adwords.


Sjrsmile - January 13, 2010

I apologise if this has been brought up already, but one thing I wish this covered was downloading. Now, I use firefox, but I’m looking to change because I’m getting this problem (if you search google you’ll find a few people have. This is how I found this page.) where it stops downloading part of the way and I can’t resume. I wish I knew if other browsers did this?

    Luqmaan - January 13, 2010

    Personally, I haven’t come across this issue, it is probably due to issues with your cookies, cache, etc, a conflicting addon or malware on your computer. I must add however that I use the Download Statusbar(along with the internet download manager application) which works flawlessly. It pretty much extends the default download functionality with a better interface.

    SRChiP - January 18, 2010

    Sometimes you can’t resume certain downloads. This could be the problem.

Buddacow - January 18, 2010

To start out, I am loving this discussion. I’m learning a lot about both browsers. I have been using both browsers for years now. In fact, I have been an avid fan of “alternative” browsers (as in alternative to IE) since Netscape. I was a big fan of the pre-firefox Mozilla browser and loved the inception of Firefox. I have also been using Opera since 4.0 which was released around 2000. It’s been interesting seeing them develop over the years.

I’ll try to be objective but I have slowly grown to support Opera for all my browsing needs.

Firstly, Opera has lead the field by a large margin in innovation. They changed the way web pages were stored and access on your computer. This made browsing much faster and allowed for moving back to previous pages seamless and without the need to reload the page. I am unsure about whether Opera came up with all of these new features or were simply early adopters of them. Regardless, Opera had all of the following before any other major browser (IE, Firefox/Mozilla, Safari, Chrome) and had them all natively, and seamlessly without the need for plug-ins.

Tabbed Browsing: They started (public release) in 1996 and were a very early adopter of tabbed browsing with 4.0 in 2000. This was before Firefox even existed IE didn’t even have this feature until 2006.

Keyboard Shortcuts: I have never come across an operation in Opera that I did not have a keyborad shortcut for or couldn’t easily create one. Don’t get me wrong, Firefox is good here also but Opera led the way.

Native Email: This was nice for directly emailing from email links on web pages.

BitTorrent: I would never pick Opera’s BitTorrent over uTorrent but it does work surprisingly well and the fact that they had it built in made browsing and downloading much more effortless.

Magic Wand (Auto Log-in): This was a nice way to manage passwords. I don’t like my credentials auto-loaded into web pages. I want the browser to remember user names and passwords but I don’t want them passed to the web page until I decide. Opera’s password wand is great for this. It can also auto-fill form entries such as name, address, phone number, etc. which sounds a little scary at first but of course it gives you control as to when you want this information sent.

Speed Dial: If your like me, you have like a billion bookmarks saved in your browser. I certainly need every single one and you probably do too. But if you are like me, you predominately only visit a handful of them on a regular basis. The Speed Dial is great visual reference for your commonly used bookmarks. I don’t know if Opera invented it, but they were certainly the first of any browser mentioned here.

Mouse Gestures: This has to be the biggest thing that makes me a proponent of Opera. The problem is that most people don’t know about them or have never really used them. If your not using mouse gestures in Opera or a plug-in for Firefox, do yourself a favor and try them. In fact, don’t just try them… Learn them. Making them a natural part of hand motions changes your browsing experience drastically. I feel crippled when I use someone else’s computer now and mouse gestures are not available.

I have purposely only mentioned features that are natively available in Opera by default. Firefox can do all of these things with plug-ins. But plug-ins are hit or miss. Some work flawlessly and are really awesome. But some are extremely buggy. They can hog systems resources, crash your browser, or simply not work. Opera’s widgets are the same way. But this will most likely never be a problem for features already implemented in the browser.

For website compatibility, I have to give it to Firefox historically. They have consistently supported certain websites that Opera has not. I’ve grown to typically use Opera until I come to the random website that behaves a little wonky. Then I will open it in Firefox and everything is fine. Every now and then I will need to use IE as a web page seems to be built just for it. However, with the release of Opera’s 10.10, I have not yet come across a single website that is not supported in Opera but is supported in Firefox. Opera 10 got 100/100 for the acid3 test while Firefox 3.5 only got 93/100. Unfortunately, there’s still the occasional need for IE when the browser needs to gain access to more protected systems (microsoft.com, nvidia.com, etc).

Hopefully Opera will continue to lead the pack in innovation. So far I’ve used the new Opera Unite feature very little but I am very excited about it’s DropBox-like features.

    Luqmaan - January 18, 2010

    Hello, thanks for your very comprehensive feedback on your take as to why opera is a better browser, it looks like you are an avid Opera supporter, personally I’d say the offline loading when you hit the back button would go in opera’s favor, as for all the other features you mentioned firefox has add-ons which perform the very same functions.

    The addition of several add-ons does tend to slightly hog the browser but this is pretty much negligible. I agree with you on gestures and I’ve covered a post on it where I share the exact same thing of not being able to use a browser without them. I use firegestures for firefox which takes care of gestures. Interestingly, the comments in this post have all shifted towards opera’s favor (even though the majority of visitors to Computer Realm is from Firefox and the poll on the right seems to be going in Firefox’s favor). I will be revising the post to include the latest features of opera and bring the comparison more in the balance.

Sanjay - February 1, 2010

You call this a review?

What you should do, is open 50 browser tabs and then see which one is easier to use.

Or faster.

It seems to me that Opera is faster and more efficient for many things. Little touches like moving the mouse over the blue dot on each tab and seeing a thumbnail of the page.

The multiplatform support that Opera has for other operating systems. FireFox is becoming more and more Linux and Windows and thats it. There are other operating systems and they are superior to both.

FireFox is pretty good, and I’m starting to like IE8 less and less.

    Luqmaan - February 1, 2010

    thanks for the comment, this is not a review, it is a comparison based on personal usage and reasonable amount of online feedback and comprehensive reviews from other online sources. With 50 browser tabs open it is understood that Opera would function better as it consumes less memory, but practically I doubt anyone would run 50 tabs at once. Opera seems faster as it displays content as it is loaded while Firefox loads more content before displaying it.

    I agree Opera has little features like thumbnail of the tab as you mentioned (i use the Tab Preview Firefox addon for that feature) by default but a quick search in the Firefox addon database and you are good to go with any feature that Opera has. I agree I’ve resented IE since the beginning specifically as it is very stubborn with rendering pages which makes it very difficult and time consuming for web developers. The other issues with IE have been the numerous security vulnerabilities over the years.

Son - February 15, 2010

i have been using opera for some quite time now, and i must say it is a better choice as you dont have to put that many plugins

Chris Holgate - February 23, 2010

I’ve been looking in to switching from Firefox for a little while as it seems to crash 50% of the time I open an PDF’s file from within a website (I have the Foxit plug-in installed). This appears to be common on half a dozen different machines I’ve tried it on; perhaps there’s something wrong with the Fox-It plugin?

Also, just recently I’ve noticed the computer running slowly, done a CTRL ALT Delete and found Firefox hugging half a gigabyte of physical memory.

On first impressions, Opera seems fairly good, it’s odd they’ve got so few users by comparison.

    Luqmaan - March 2, 2010

    The crashing is probably an issue with the plugin, I tried opening different PDF files within Firefox and it does not crash though there, though it does take a lot of memory.

    As for your memory of gigabytes it’s probably an addon or spyware, right now I have 6 tabs open and it is only using up 125 MB of RAM. As for opera being a good browser and having less users, Internet Explorer is crap but it is still the leader in the browser market so there you go. Thanks for the feedback.

Avery - March 5, 2010

I will admit that my first love was FF, cool, secure and faster. Then came along Opera, beautiful, couldn’t resist her on the side. I liked Opera for its cache style especially because my connection was not so good.

Then came the era of Facebook. At first it was OK, then FF became rife with bugs, crashing ever so often. I had to go and apologize to Opera my mistress and now there are no bugs. Until FF ups its game and eliminates bugs, I am at home with Opera.

    Luqmaan - March 5, 2010

    Nice metaphor, what would facebook be in the metaphor? 😉

Avery - March 5, 2010

Along came a girl child named Facebook and my mistress, Opera was a better mother to her? 🙂

SRChiP - March 7, 2010

Though the mother is caring for the child, It does not know what the future will be for the child.

[Although Opera seems fast it doesn’t support for the evolution of facebook (facebook addons in firefox)]

PC Security - March 28, 2010

Opera wins straight away if we compare both browsers just out of the box. Opera is more feature rich, aesthetically pleasing and memory efficient. Also, opera has beautifully implemented certain features like tabbed browsing and customization than any other browser in the market.
.-= PC Security´s last blog ..PC Security =-.

Imtiaz383 - April 3, 2010

I use opera because i need about 20-70 tabs…LOL!!! firefox is one of the most stressful web browsers i have ever used, similar to the internet explorer comparison to the google chrome as well.
Opera is a resonable browser, i prefer it and i recommend it to most.
However firefox supports more plugins than of opera, that’s the greatest thing of all….

Abhilash - April 3, 2010

Firefox is a really good browser ….. Its better with over 6000 + addons …. Far better than Opera!!!

Geek - April 26, 2010

As a webdeveloper, i have all browsers intalled on my PC, but still using Chrome for everyday browsing. Firefox helps to develop and test (Firebug rulez!), Opera lets me stay up-to-date with RSS reader. However, my vote goes to Firefox.

SRChiP - April 29, 2010

IE is the best!!!

just kidding..

PastWords - May 15, 2010

Personally, all my experiences with Mozilla products are negative. Before I had Opera Mail on my flash drive, I used Thunderbird, which required me to install so many add-ons (the original program was bare bones) that it took up a lot of resource. In the end, there were so many incompatible add-ons that the program wouldn’t close properly and I simply switched back to Windows Live Mail.

I don’t let Firefox touch my computer; with all those useless add-ons I’ll bet it is quite a resource hog! I remember the only few times I’ve used it. I had a teacher who was a Firefox fanatic and required us to use it instead of Internet Explorer. Firefox wouldn’t even load her home page; it was too busy initializing all of the add-ons. In the end, I gave up and did my project offline.

With all the problems I’ve had with Internet Explorer, I decided to get another browser. I went with Opera because I’m on dial-up and am a fan of “minimalistic” browsers (don’t really like Google Chrome’s interface, it’s TOO minimalistic). Opera is great on a slow network connection like mine. It renders quickly, and although it’s not always compatible with every website, it renders better than Internet Explorer does on most websites. I love 10.50’s interface; it reminds me of Microsoft Office with the Office Button.

Opera is a very secure browser. I’ve had no security breaches (my family couldn’t access my emails and passwords) on it. It’s got a reliable built-in email client, a great chat network, the wonderful Opera Link, and so much more! All these handy features come preinstalled, and you can choose to use them or not. They can be accessed from a tiny side-panel. Opera also alphabetizes and organizes your bookmarks, keeps track of events, takes notes, has a download manager, does security checks, has a form-filler, a zoomer, multiple skins, speed dial, a password manager, private browsing, a trash bin for storing closed tabs, and more still! The only thing I dislike are the Opera Widgets. I’d prefer that they were integrated with the browser, because they take up space on my start menu.

Another thing to love are the keyboard shortcuts and mouse gestures. I have to say that I’m hooked on the mouse gestures; I know them by heart and never have to use the navigation keys!

I have to say Opera wins for me. But that’s just my non-professional opinion. And I just have to mention Safari, because no one else has. It’s being neglected (and don’t laugh at me for saying it).

    Luqmaan - May 15, 2010

    Thanks for your very in-depth feedback. I should update this comparison ASAP incorporating all the latest improvements with opera. As for your thunderbird issue, you probably tried a very old beta version. I use 3.0 and it has pretty much all the features I need out-of-box. I must say opera is impressive with the multitude of features it supports out-of-box however I am still using firefox as there are a few add-ons on FF that I use.

John - May 23, 2010

Firefox faster than Opera, LMFAO, Opera leaves Firefox standing, its written in machine code for crying out loud

Ivan Smith/Web Developer - June 9, 2010

I have this to say; There’s somethings in firefox you can’t do without. Some of the sites I develop, I make using Joomla! and things like fireftp just saves and incredible amount of time. However, somehow Opera seems to use screen space better, it IS faster, and many things on Opera come standard.

My verdict: Opera for daily use and surfing, but firefox when I got a job to do.

Anand - June 9, 2010

Hey eveyone….
There are many who think that firefox is better…i gree that it is good but not fot the 1’s who download bigger files…
i have downloaded loads and loads of movies both from opera and firefox..guess what, opera is better and the best thing is that you can watch the movie when it is getting downloaded thru media player classic or VLC…but it is not so easy in firefox…
I am a Fan of Opera and alwys support opera….
If you dont believe me then you can try by yourself…

Let's be stupid - June 21, 2010

Why dis Firefox or Opera? you like something you use it..I like something I use it!

@ Anand: Ummm..which century are you in? You’re using your browser to download huge files???? What about bit torrent or using download managers for really huge files?

Besides, I’ve downloaded huge files with Firefox and have not faced any such problems. I would say that both browsers are equally good. Firefox slightly better since you can customize it whichever way you want, but then that’s my opinion!

Uptheirons - July 6, 2010

This is outdated
Opera is now so much faster than FF
So it wins for a mile
Better skins and interface…SPEED DIAL
Only thing FF has is Add-ons and Compatibility
Everything else is operas’ win!

Omid - July 15, 2010

I use Firefox For Surfing
And Use Opera For Downloading
Mozilla Said: Memory Leak Problem Will Sold On Firefox 4

myron - July 16, 2010

i’m trying to add a toolbar to the opera browser,,i’ve read everything and it tells me nothing,,i’ve got a toolbar that lets me download videos from youtube and a lot of other places,,when i used google,,no problem,,opera far exceeds google,,but i’m trying to add a toolbar to opera and am ready to SCREAM,,,cuz i’m not finding any where or any how i can do it

aelveon - July 22, 2010

You people need to explore all the capabilities of both Firefox and Opera before you choose. I did that and chose Opera, mostly for the better browsing experience.

MustafaJF - July 23, 2010

firefox is good BUT Opera is best of best
my choice is opera

Firefox fan - July 31, 2010

Firefox forever IMHO. First of all, it’s open source while Opera isn’t (although I suppose it doesn’t matter for the average user). Second, Firefox add-ons and plugins are much more diverse and can do much more than Opera widgets. Just take NoScript for example – Opera doesn’t have anything like that.

Well, overall I’d say choose Opera if you want a good browser “out of the box”, but go for Firefox if you don’t mind installing a few plugins to customize your browser and have 100% perfect experience according to your needs.

    caribala - October 10, 2010

    Hahaha, Opera doesn’t need an add on for that.

    Advance user can customize their mode. Create a css file for no script or flash.

    Have you try add blocker?

issac hager - September 12, 2010

both of these browser are hogs, opera has better a chance to make something of itself, but it falls into the firefox trap of being a resources hog, and crash prone aswell, not to mention they both crash flash consistantly, but what browser hasn’t since flash 9x all in all I wish some1 had the balls to really make a browser thats compatible with the windows os instead of always useing tricks that make the browser worser and worser once it catches on to the masses, In my opinon they firefox and opera have become nothing more than bullshit now.

Ikon - September 17, 2010

I am using Ubuntu and damn I was waiting for Opera to come out with the 10.x version. Still on the 10.62 version, when I am opening a Google Docs document it just gives segmentation fault. So well, back to FF and hack it down to spine to catch up with the big guys. (Though if you know how to hack FF it can be a really hasty bitch 🙂 )

Aakash - September 25, 2010

I agree whole-heartedly with Issac hager. The newer versions of opera are no better than any other browser. In its’ quest to grab a stake in browser market, opera has started bundling so many things up with the default installation, loaded with unnecessary stuff, it hogs memory at par with firefox and sometimes even more than that, crashes too often, fails to work with google docs and is no longer that charming as it once was.

Ferl - September 27, 2010

Opera +1

Ferl - September 27, 2010

firfox +1

Ferl - September 27, 2010

IE +1

Ferl - September 27, 2010

lol @ your face

jay - October 4, 2010

firefox is best hands down…opera might work slower for some only becuase fire fox runs at 1gb

jay - October 4, 2010

woops i meant firefox might work slower for some

Huck.Finn - November 15, 2010

I like both.
I use Firefox as a default and Opera as a backup if Firefox starts gettin’ a attitude with my computer.

jon - November 24, 2010

All I can say is firefox uses 100% of my cpu cycles within 15 minutes of using. I can use opera for hours and it will still use less than 10. Firefox is simply not an option. It’s pathetic to have something hog all of your system resources and hear it advertised as a great browser. It may be secure and customizable but what choice do you have when it bogs your computer down to the point where you have to repeatedly kill the program entirely.

Meh - January 7, 2011

I disagree Opera is nothing more than a Firefox wannabe, in fact IE even ripped off features from Firefox in more ways than many. Opera’s recent release is a direct rip of Firefox 4 beta they practically stole the look and claim BS.

    John - January 27, 2011

    Meh, Opera had that new look long before the Firefox 4 beta came out. It really would help to know what your talking about before jumping in.

    Also the tabs were an Opera creation stolen by FF!

    Saphlan - February 1, 2011

    Why do I think you’re the guy that started a thread I read once. It was some guy who believed opera ripped EVERYTHING off firefox. When everyone presented him evidence: Official web pages with date and time and screenshots of older operas he just got angry and started saying that everyone is arguing too much. Then he tried to end the thread 6 times. And some other guy came in and agreed with him(about opera ripping off firefox). And he’s like “Now this is the way I like the thread going”. Anyway it’s pretty obvious most common people don’t know about opera. So when they see it they’re like:”OMG, this browser ripped everything off Firefox!!!” Without considering that firefox may be the one ripping opera off.

    Anyway sharing is the way to advance ahead,unless you’re a politician or are into politics or economics.


wantsome - February 23, 2011

Been, using Opera since the beginning. Loved it, back in the early 90’s and still do.
Would not use anything else, for secure transactions. And, you got to love the ability to
just view text, all those fancy ads and pics are just a waste of my time, let alone a
security risk. Got to love simplicity.

Dave - February 26, 2011

Problem with FF though is that it kep taking up 50% or more of my CPU, sucked memory dry, kept wreaking havoc with ESET NOD32 AV and kep tlocking up the Windows System Tray. I like the Ad Block Plus addin but the browser lately has been buggy as hell.

brady - March 8, 2011

Opera is a very sleek Web Browser on Linux Mint. Firefox seems to get in the way when you have over 5 programs running at the same time. Most of the CPU is being hogged by Firefox, and I have 2GB of RAM. Opera only uses a small amount of CPU, so in return I can run more than 10 common programs at a time, which is more essential for work. On a Linux OS, Opera is the best choice, though Firefox is the “default” browser.

Sibax - April 26, 2011

I once tried Opera after being tired of internet explorer about 3 years ago.I also tried in 2 months ago and I got the same results as I got 3 years ago. It is good, has more speed and has very nice features. A few things that made me leave opera are,1. I could not connect my accounting software MAPI to Opera mail to send statements to my customers ; 2. I could not connect to internet banking using Opera. So I was concerned about the security. I tried the forums and doing the suggested fixes but I didn’t succeed. I decided to leave it.
On the other side, Firefox is very good and stable. I doesn’t crash as much as Opera did. An when I loaded both Opera and Firefox, cleaned all the cookies and history, and tested the speed, OK, opera is faster the first time, but when I tried it 2nd and 3rd time using the same website, Firefox was faster. And lastly I chose Firefox because I could easily scan web pages for virus etc using my antivirus software because it’s icon is on F/fox whereas with opera this doesn’t happen.

Debit - May 17, 2011

I think a more realistic comparison would be how one browser ‘behaves’ with respect to one’s own machine compared to another browser. I have had this problem since I purchased a new laptop.

I recently purchased a Gateway laptop. Because I have been using Firefox for years, one of the first thing I did was to install FF4. Unfortunately, it loads pages containing garbled graphics from time to time. Once I noticed this, as a test measure, I periodically surf to images.google.com to see how it performs. Not good! As a ‘Plan B’, I installed Opera and it does not suffer from the same problem my Firefox has. As a further comparison, my IE9 also does not have the same problem. I still have my old desktop (bought over 10 years ago, still running under Win98) which uses a pre-FF4 and it also does not have this problem. Weird!

Waffles - August 4, 2011

I prefer Opera, but one problem I have had with it is that it doesn’t always terminate its process when it the window is closed. A lot of the time I try to open opera and it tells me that it’s already open, so I’ve gotta go into my task manager to shut down the Opera Process. Also I don’t think it really supports having multiple windows open very well, multiple tabs are great on it. It lets you pin them and group them and do all sorts of things but it tends to act a little funny with extra windows.

Love the ‘copy to note’ and speed dial though, and the task bars take up less space than on firefox, so its a lot better on smaller screens – and as my laptop is widescreen and has a low height to its width ratio I like gaining that extra hight in web pages displayed, some browsers leave me scrolling too much, its just annyoing.

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