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Opera Turbo: surf the web at blazing speeds on a slow internet connection and on your smartphone (faster than an iPhone 3GS!)

Okay some of you may know this but some may not but I recently got a new phone. So with new technology comes new territory so I have been getting into Windows Mobile stuff lately.

Ever since I got my phone I have been jealous of my friend’s iPhone 3GS’s (comparatively) fast web surfing. No matter what I tried, his iPhone always had the one up on me in terms of web browsing. So recently I decided to give Opera Mobile 9.7 (currently available as Beta) a go and try my luck. In the time I spent messing around with Opera Mobile 9.7 I discovered Opera Mobile 9.7 has this new feature called “Opera Turbo” (okay I admit: to you smartphone enthusiasts this is anything but new news to you but it was for me). Opera’s desktop version Opera 10 (also currently in Beta) also includes “Opera Turbo”.

Technical brouhaha aside, Opera Turbo is a feature in where Opera compresses web traffic (by up to 80%) via their servers before delivering to your phone/desktop. Basically you use their servers as a proxy and that proxy relays a compressed, bandwidth light version of the website (very similar to how Skyfire works). The compression allows for faster access speeds and lower bandwidth usage. This is very handy for mobile phones, which are limited in their internet web surfing speeds by design, and people who have slow/limited internet connections for their computers (people with highspeed connections to their computer will not benefit very much, if at all, from Opera Turbo). Of course since it is compression, the quality of the web page (namely the images) will be deteriorated to an extent (not too much in my opinion) but that is something you sacrifice for speed. However take note that the web page it self is unaltered – it will be the exact same (structure wise) with or without Opera Turbo.

Since Opera Turbo uses Opera servers as a proxy, user privacy is the main issue here. To help put us users at rest, if you ever try to visit an encrypted page (SSL) such as logging into e-mail, your bank account, PayPal, etc. while you have Opera Turbo enabled, that traffic is not routed through Opera’s server and instead you communicate directly with the website you are trying to login to or purchase merchandise from. Therefore sensitive information is never at risk.

Here is a short video by Opera explaining this new feature (the video displays Opera Mobile 9.7 but Opera Turbo on Opera 10 is a similar concept):

As you can see Opera Turbo makes web browsing on a phone (and limited connection computers) very quick. For your Windows Mobile (or Symbian) phone Opera Mobile 9.7 is definite winner; to make things even better Opera Mobile 9.7 will support Flash (Lite) – a hard-to-get luxury on mobile phones currently. If you are on a limited internet connection on your desktop, you Opera 10 will definitely help you move things along quicker.

Now the title of this post states you will be able to surf the web faster using Opera Turbo (on Opera Mobile 9.7) than an iPhone 3GS. The proof [1] is in the pudding.

You can get Opera Mobile 9.7 (currently Beta) for your mobile phone from here [2]. You can get Opera 10 (currently in Beta) for your computer from here [3].

Update: Remember you have to manually enable “Opera Turbo” via settings/preferences before you can use it!