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Firefox and Opera: User Opinions

Question: I am trying to figure out if Firefox is better than Opera. Version 7.54 of the Opera browser has done for years what Firefox is doing with v. 1.0. Is there something Firefox does that Opera doesn't?

Much of the press on Firefox appears quite biased in favor of Firefox. I haven't seen anything that offers a critical review, or comparison, of both browsers.

I have used Opera for several years and have switched my e-mail client to the built-in Opera browsers. I haven't tried Firefox, but it seems to me that Opera is smaller, more nimble, and more feature-rich than Firefox. Opera does falter with some Web pages. Notably, it seems that there are some Web page features that are not displayed, and certain types of links don't work. For example, Lexis works in Opera, but it works better with Internet Explorer. But VersusLaw will not work with Opera.

Answer: Sheri Lanza, editor of The CyberSkeptic's Guide to Internet Research and frequent author, Jeanne T. Ullian, a law librarian with Williams Mullen Hofheimer Nusbaum, and Dan MacMeekin, an attorney, respond.

Sheri: I just finished an article for Searcher where I discussed several browsers, including Firefox and Opera. But it won't appear until the July/August issue. Since I covered about seven browsers, I couldn't go into too much detail on any of them. But I did cover Opera and Firefox a bit more than the others.

Jeanne: I encountered Firefox when an attorney said Westlaw was not working on his machine. I finally figured out he was using this alternate browser, and it -- or some other program -- prevented the pop-up windows used by Westlaw. It's no big deal once you know, but troubleshooting issues like this takes time.

Dan: Opera -- the free version with the little ads that are easy to ignore -- is my default browser. I like it for its quick loading.

But Firefox is a close second. I use it when (1) a page doesn't load properly in Opera (This happens infrequently.), or (2) I want to riffle through a number of bookmarks in quick succession. For the latter, Firefox's sidebar display of bookmarks is very useful.

I've also used Avanta, and thought it was OK -- an improvement over Internet Explorer.

I think Opera and Firefox are both very good. I've long since abandoned IE and Netscape, although both are still available on my machine should I need them.

RELATED: Why I Love Firefox by Mary Ellen Bates, The Virtual Chase, 11 April 2005



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Created: 18 April 2005
URL: https://www.virtualchase.com/ask_answer/firefox_opera.html
Suggestions: Genie Tyburski, editor [at] virtualchase [dot] com