A BETTER BROWSER

opera browserWe thought we’d never stop using the Google Chrome web browser after switching to it ten years ago. But recently we switched to Firefox because Chrome was feeling buggy. Then Firefox started feeling buggy. So Joy has switched again, this time to Opera. It’s fun, fast and less buggy. You can call it up on a search and simply download it.

Here’s the bug that bugs us in Firefox: There’s often an exclamation point showing before the web address when we’re in Gmail. When it’s there, Gmail stalls and you won’t be able to reply to an email or an ad. Sometimes it even makes the keyboard go wild, typing extra characters. This hasn’t happened in Opera.

One of the advantages of less popular systems is that they are usually not worth a hacker’s time. One of the claims often given about the advantages of Apple computers, for example, is that they don’t get viruses or “blow up.” Bob has owned four Apple computers and is here to tell you this isn’t true; they definitely get viruses and can crash. The reason they get fewer attacks is they represent only around seven percent of the market: normally not worth a hacker’s time.

Opera’s latest version came out a couple of months ago and is a huge improvement over the first version we tried several years ago. The nicest improvement is that your bookmarks appear as thumbnail pictures when you choose “bookmarks” from the Opera orb in the left corner of the screen. This is especially handy if you bookmark recipes. As far as we can find out, no other browser has this.

Opera also has built-in folders for “Travel,” “Reading List,” “Shopping” and so on and lets you add your own. There’s even “Opera Turbo” for super fast web browsing. The downside of Opera is for Google Drive users. We got a message that Opera was not a supported browser and that we ran it at our own risk. We use Bullguard, an excellent anti-virus program, so we’re not worried. Another good one is AVG, which is free.

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