Opera Vs Firefox

The Firefox web browser was released about 8 years after the Opera web browser was first released publicly, but it appears that Firefox is more popular than Opera. This is because Firefox is an open-source project while Opera is proprietary. Another reason for this can be attributed to the referral program Firefox had with Google, in which Firefox referrals earned a user credits in his Google Adsense account.

When choosing a browser, popularity should not be the only basis. Below is a list of comparison between the two.

1. Compatibility

When it comes to compatibility, Firefox is ahead of Opera. Both browsers work on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems so that is not where the difference lies. Though Opera has been around longer than Firefox, there a still web sites that do not support it. This means if a user puts in the URL of a web site, if it is not compatible with Opera, the site will not load and the user will get a message saying so, and would have to use another browser just to access the page.

2. Setup/Installation

Setup for both browsers is straight forward and quick. The only difference is that at the end of the installation, Firefox offers to import browser settings from Internet Explorer. This can come in pretty handy for those who have been using IE for a long time and have settings they want to keep, especially that IE is the only browser that comes with computers with Windows OS.

3. Startup Times and Performance

When it comes to speed, Opera has the upper hand. Though Firefox loads a little bit faster than Opera from a cold startup, they load about the same time from a warm startup. The weightier count here is that overall Opera operates faster than Firefox and does not use up as much memory. To top it off, Opera has a feature for speeding up website access for users on slow internet connections by about 80%.

4. Customization

Firefox wins this by a landslide. Because it is an open source project, and also more popular, there are more customizations available for it. It comes with a few default features, and a sea of add on applications, while Opera comes with a collection of handy features out of the box but fewer available add-ons.

5. Security

Firefox and Opera offer about the same security to their users. Sine Opera has a lower user base, this makes it less of a target for hackers and malware.

6. Development Tools

Both Opera and Firefox have development tools but Firefox wins this without question. It has comprehensive development tools, which may be because it is open source and many contribute development ideas to make the browser user and developer friendly.

Overall, Firefox trumps Opera by a small margin. To decide which to use, users have to take into account what matters to them most. This also means considering what they usually do online. If you require a basic and fast browser that provides adequate security, Opera is the best option. If you like customizing your browser, require additional applications to work with it, or if you are a developer, Firefox is the ideal browser for you.
December 30th, 2014 16:11  posted by Anon.
Software versions? Date information?

While this is a helpful comparison of the two browsers, is there any way you could post information about when these comparisons were made or using which version of each browser? Without that information, it's difficult to know how current this information actually is or to look what improvements/changes have been made since this was written.

May 8th, 2014 17:29  posted by TheOctoberMan
Opera seems faster but hangs

I have been using both Firefox and Opera. Opera loads up faster, and loads/opens most websites faster than Firefox does in our side-by-side comparison (identical PCs and configurations). However, Opera seems to hang frequently (almost as frequently as Chrome does). For development tools & needs, we say Firefox. For just normal browser activity, Opera (for the startup and browsing speed).

February 24th, 2014 17:39  posted by Anon.

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