Firefox vs. Opera

Let me enter the browser wars. Here I go…

I am trying to figure out what I like from both of these browsers. I’ve used them both in the past, and now I’m comparing them by trying to use them equally each day. Here are my thoughts:

Firefox

I have been using Firefox since it was Firebird (maybe before that) and it was in 0.7 (maybe 0.6) beta testing. I like it. It is stable, quick, has tabbed browsing, etc. Most of the people who know me in this blog know that I’m a FF supporter.

I like the way I can get different extensions to increase the enjoyment of this browser. I like the WizzRSS reader, the flashblock extension, Nuke Anything, Adblock, bugmenot, and the google toolbar. They all increase the enjoyment of my web experiance. I used to have a LiveJournal extension, but I guess that’s not supported in the new version. :(

I like the themes, the way I can control what I see, and the fact that it works with all the sites I visit.

Opera

I had Opera a while ago, and had problems with the “Wand” feature. I was using it, and it messed up all my logins. I dumped it rather quickly afterwards, and used the Mozilla Suite, then quickly moved to FF (or FB at the time).

I just downloaded it (again) because my sorority sister Kristin speaks of it so highly. I used it again at her apartment a few times, and was pretty impressed. I decided to use it for a while on my home computer.

It has many of the same things that Firefox has: tabbed browsing, customisable toolbars, a google search box, skins to choose from, RSS reader (more on that later) and a nice interface. It has some stuff that Firefox doesn’t have, like the Wand feature (which I disabled as soon as I downloaded it, I didn’t want any frustrating issues to pop up) and the ability to save your session (I’m not sure if FF allows you to do this via an extension, correct me if I’m wrong!). Oh, and pop-up blocker. I almost forgot… I’m so used to it, that I forgot to mention it. The one in FF is a little better.

Now, it doesn’t have things that I wish it had, namely the flash blocker, the nuke anything and adblocker. It also has a terrible (IMHO) RSS reader. I’ve gotten used to the format of WizzRSS and I love it! I don’t think I can get rid of FF for that plugin alone. The RSS reader isn’t too bad, it does a reasonable job of getting the stories and alerting me to them (one thing WizzRSS doesn’t do), but the interface is a little clunky and looks too much like Outlook for me.

I like the way Opera looks. It’s quick and easy to set up (a quicker DL than FF), and handles webpages really well. It also has a “Identify as…” feature, so you can “pretend” it’s IE for a site that won’t co-operate. That is a nice feature that FF doesn’t have.

Opera also has an ad in the upper-right-hand corner. You can choose between Google ads or genaric flash ads. It doesn’t bother me much, but screen real estate is important to me as well as many other people. The ads aren’t too bad, they don’t flash and scroll and bug you much. But I think that space could be used to better use. If you want an ad-free version, you need to pay about 40$ for it. This also includes some sort of beefed up tech support, but I find that the boards and the help files are enough to point me in the right direction. If having an ad up in the corner is going to be irritating to you, then don’t go with Opera! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I guess I’m sticking with the old standby Firefox. It JustWorks (TM) and I really like the RSS reader. I guess that’s the defining thing. If WizzRSS was available for Opera, I would probably switch to Opera.

Everybody should make their own decision of what browser to use. Now, I have used both of these, along with IE and CrazyBrowser, and I just prefer FireFox. It has the customizability that I love, the quickness, the tabbed browsing, the very good popup blocker, and the awesome RSS reader.

Just my $0.02.

Extra note: Both browsers are free. Free download, free setup. See Opera and FireFox for the browsers.

What does everybody else think?

Edited for spelling and to add information about the adverts in Opera and the links.

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