Opera 10.6 Arrives With More Speed, New Malware Protection
Opera software has released the newest version of its flagship Opera web browser. Opera 10.6 brings more speed, some bug fixes, support for more HTML5 elements, and it now includes AVG’s Web Threat Data Feed to help protect you against malicious websites.
The big news in this release is the inclusion of several new HTML5 features. Opera 10.6 adds support for Web Workers, the Geolocation API, improved support for offline web apps, and improved support for the Cross-Document Messaging spec.
Opera 10.6 also supports the new WebM video codec. WebM is a set of codecs (coder-decoders) for browsers to use to play video and audio content embedded on HTML5 web pages without the use of plug-ins. Unlike H.264, a competing codec, WebM is royalty-free and is now supported by all major web browsers except Apple’s Safari.
One new feature that was not in the beta we tested earlier is the AVG malware protection. Opera has long featured fraud protection based on data from Netcraft and PhishTank. Opera 10.6 adds AVG data to that list to help block sites known to host malware attacks, rootkits and other common attacks. AVG’s data feed is a real-time feed of malicious URLs, so you get to hear about new threats as they’re reported into AVG’s system.
While the added defense against suspicious sites is a nice extra, what most users will probably notice is how much faster the browser is. Opera claims a 50 percent speed increase over 10.5, which was already a very fast browser.
Opera’s Carakan rendering engine and the new Vega graphics engine in Opera 10.5 put it neck and neck Google Chrome in our informal tests. This time around we tested Opera 10.6 against Chrome 6 (a developer channel release) and found that the difference is slight, but Opera feels marginally faster.
Of course, at some point, speed tests become an exercise in splitting hairs. Suffice it to say that if speed is what you’re looking for above all else, Opera and Chrome are the browsers for you.
If you’d like to try Opera 10.6 for yourself, head on over to the downloads page and grab the update.