Opera is a browser that's turning some heads, and for good reason: it comes with a powerful e-mail program, a great chat client, tabbed browsing, and toolbars that let you quickly search the Internet for information. And at the heart of this feature-rich package is a browser that's been called the best web browser of 2004 — it's fast, secure, and easily customized to fit your browsing habits.

What's more, Opera runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and countless other platforms. Opera used to be a paid product but is now free.

The installation? A cinch:

  1. Browse to http://www.opera.com/download/.
  2. Click on the Download Now button at the bottom of the page. If you're redirected to another page after doing so, just be patient — the download should start shortly.
  3. Save the file to your desktop.
  4. Double-click on the file you just downloaded to start the installation wizard.
  5. Click “Next” on each step of the wizard until Opera is installed.
  6. If you like, you can set Opera to be your default browser, instead of Internet Explorer.
  7. Start up Opera, and browse happy.

Is your installation stuck in a rut? Opera's support page should be able to help you out.

People who have switched to Opera: