back to article Opera to take web back to the old days

Opera raised the browser feature ante today by announcing Opera Unite - placing a web server in every client and encouraging end users to share content from their own desktop with the world. Rather than compete with the cloud-based services that are currently so popular, Opera is proposing, and enabling, a return to how the …


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  1. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down


    Piracy? Can't see the Recording Ass. being happy with this.

    Security? Sounds like a handy little way of making a spam server.

  2. peter garner
    Thumb Down

    "Routing is handled by servers at Opera"

    I really have a big issue with this after I tried (for a while) Opera's latest mobile phone browser and found that everything was routed via their servers. The main problem was the lack of speed, even noticeable on my phone's 3G broadband and in the end I just gave up. If they're going to pitch this concept seriously they'd better make sure they have the resources to handle it..

  3. Kev K
    Thumb Down

    Not on any of my networks


    I shall just blacklist all opera sites in my firewalls

    Maybe Im stupid but I fail to see how that will make any BOFHs life anything but a nightmare

    though I can see the peados rubbing their hands

    Fail on so many levels

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    And VERY good it is too.

    My mum had no idea how to publish content to the internet. Even Picasa Web is too complicated and convoluted, however I showed her how to do it in Opera Unite, and she was more than happy with how it worked.


    I feel today Opera have truly reinvented the web. However too many people have blinkers on to not see it, and are so far up Mozillas ass, or simply too bogged down in default IE installs to ever see it.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    I've done most of these things myself, using apache, a domain name app to link my dynamic IP to a 'free' hostname as well as playing around with FTP clients, but this definately looks interesting. A all-in-one service that installs and just works out of the box :)

    I don't know how well their implementation is going to work, what the potential bottlenecks in resources and usability are, but I know I will be downloading this when I get home from work.

    If this is as good as it looks on the tin (I'm too old to believe in vendor-sqeak), I think we might expect to see something similar in firefox and chrome in a few years time :)

    If it does take off I hope opera agrees to open up their routing system or at least make the specs available so mozilla and google can make their implementations compatible, and we net doesn't suffer from browser segmentation :)

  6. frank ly

    Publishers and Consumers

    "..Conspiracy fans have long posited that the proliferation of NATs and Firewalls is part of a process to divide the internet into "publishers" and "consumers",...."

    If so, they really are paranoid. NATs is about getting around the inherent address space limitations (AFAIK, please correct me if wrong) and a firewall is about system protection from all the well documented 'nasties' out there.

    The ISPs are the ones who want us to be 'consumers', with the asymmetrical connections they provide (usually, download is about 10 times faster than upload speed). They hoped that we'd be 'consuming' from them, paying for news and entertainment, but Google/iPlayer/YouTube/bit-torrent etc beat them to it. The ISPs are now data-movers and no different from water and sewerage companies as regards what they do for us.

    If we had symmetrical speed connections, then the entire world could be a very distributed and robust cloud with people running a background app that stored and maintained a relatively small amount of data and running a distributed application, on behalf of a 'cloud provider'. (In exchange for which, a user would get a discount on cloud services).

  7. Warren G

    I don't know what's worse

    Either they are using this to make people think they are "running the web" when in fact the routing, terms etc will mean Opera finds out your interests, activities & secrets (cf Facebook, Google)...

    or they want to put a webserver on every computer, wasting bandwidth (on ADSL the upstream matters) and inviting a gigantic exploit.

    Not sounding good to me.

  8. Conrad Longmore

    What could...

    What could possibly go wrong?

  9. Chris Matchett

    Not very green IT is it?

    Won't this just lead to more desktops being left on 24/7? The reason I upload to a server is because it's already always on and then I can hibernate my desktop.

  10. Lionel Baden 1
    Thumb Up

    what was that i heard

    i think the uk goverment just had a unified heart attack !!!


  11. Matthew Glubb

    Planet Saving Technology

    One more reason for people to leave their computers on when they aren't using them...

  12. Jack Harrer

    Old days

    True, like old days of exchanging music and stuff on IRC ;) I wonder how MPAA/RIAA are going to respond to that "new" old threat.

    It is an interesting functionality although lots of websites provide pretty much the same stuff, not to mention IM clients. That can stop it in its infancy. Also Opera's market share is quite small (especially outside Europe) so that can also be a deal breaker.

  13. Charles 9

    Oh, great!

    "But the real concern to most technically-minded users will be the security implications of allowing every Opera user to run their own addressable web server - even if everything is being routed through Opera's servers."

    Just what the already-shaky Internet needs: a whole bunch of new servers the owners know nothing about, probably going to have a number of undocumented vulnerabilities that will end up with the lot of them turned into the next big botnet. And people wonder why client-side servers are strongly discouraged by most ISPs.

  14. Mick F
    Thumb Down

    another sad attempt

    to get noticed

  15. Anonymous Coward

    in the name of evolution

    Security (or lack of) never stopped evolution. So I think this will be quite popular, as it is indeed nifty for average people.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The whole NAT idea is outdated anyway

    "Conspiracy fans have long posited that the proliferation of NATs and Firewalls is part of a process to divide the internet into "publishers" and "consumers", and Opera is happy to play up their part in reversing this process"


    NATs are shot anyway, practically any service bypasses that little problem these days (want an example? What do you think Skype does?). But that's not the biggest issue - IPv6 is certain to put a stake through NAT once we've gone past the slow adopters phase where people NAT an IPv4 network onto an IPv6 ISP circuit..

  17. Gary F
    Thumb Down

    The web reinvented?

    To quote a certain Royal - "my arse!"

    Web servers have been built into Windows for about 12 years now, albeit as an option you have to enable yourself (PWS).

    What's the point in having a web server that's only available while your computer is switched on? Anyone who's interested in file sharing is already using one of the umpteen different ways of doing this, including ways that don't rely on your computer being on all the time. e.g. Dropbox.

    I can't see this doing anything to change the web or increasing Opera's market share.

  18. Joe K

    Some real paranoid fuckers here

    This is just fancy folder sharing, hardly an internet apocolypse.

    Seems there are Microsoft fanboys here too today.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Further thoughts on this...

    I think Opera just launched a modern BBS :o)

    That is not to say that I'm not excited as a kid on christmas eve.

    Time to dig out the floppys with the low res Samantha Fox gifs :D

    Does anyone have a copy of keen?

  20. Matthew Ellen

    I agree

    "But the real concern to most technically-minded users will be the security implications of allowing every Opera user to run their own addressable web server - even if everything is being routed through Opera's servers."

    This is the first thing that crossed my mind.

    This is just opening a can of worms, worms from troy.

  21. Pete 2 Silver badge

    P... fffffffffff...t!

    The sound of a damp squib (not) going off.

    So this is the thing that will change the internet? It's actually just another social networking attempt

    You've got "the lounge", photo sharing, a thing called "the fridge" - not an attempt to be cool, but a place to stick notes - and a file sharing system. I fully expect that the user group will go the way of pretty much every other similar effort: some narcissistic and easily-led types will give it a try, post a few things, then forget it forever - once they realise that no-one is even the remotely bit interested in them, what they are doing or who their "friends" are.

    Just about the only peple who WILL take an interest are the lawyers from all the suppression organisations who will keep a close eye on what files, pics and music they're sharing.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    @Kev K

    "though I can see the peados rubbing their hands"

    Hands? That's optimistic...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If UPnP is enabled then only the opera name server is used, otherwise data flows directly from computer to computer, and not through opera servers.

    For those with an open mind (and not shooting this idea down before investigating it), have a look at the Unite thread on Reddit, where one of the Unite devs was answering questions.

    Security is of foremost importance, and they realise this.

    Great browser, BTW, especially with Turbo mode on for slow connections.

  24. shaunm
    Jobs Horns

    next best thing? or not?

    Just installed and was up and running within seconds, it has an easy use interface but I do have security concerns. As this is only in alpha so far im not going to be hosting my own site any time soon but will wait and see.

    It does have the potential to save money and open up remote files for small companies with low IT budgets but again the security issue would need to be addressed.

  25. marc 9
    Thumb Up

    ICQ 99b did this

    Back in the day, IIRC, the bloatware that was ICQ had it's own web server, I'm sure of it.

  26. Joe K
    Thumb Up


    ...instead of whining like a little bitch about security i've just installed the thing and had a play around, pretty impressive stuff.

    Passwords are generated randomly by default, no open access, limited folder sharing, our work firewall blocks all access from internet, not bad at all.

    And i'd trust Opera when it comes to security more than ANY of the security-hole riddled other browser bods.

  27. SminkyBazzA

    Steady on...

    From what I've read it's not a whole server being bared to the internet, but a limited set of content services. I think it's great and will definitely open up the web for people like my parents who will never make their own website, but can understand the simple steps required to share some pics with faraway relatives.

    It's not made clear above but only the person 'serving' requires Opera, the content can be accessed through any browser. This isn't a lock-in technology.

    Can't wait to try it later

  28. Patrick O'Reilly

    @Charles 9

    "And people wonder why client-side servers are strongly discouraged by most ISPs."

    ISP's discourage client-side servers because their help desks don't want to be flooded with calls from grannys wondering why their Apache mod's aren't working.

  29. TeeCee Gold badge

    Nat and Firewalls.

    Apart from the numbering issues, yer NAT router with an inbuilt firewall is great protection against the gits out there.

    The sound of running boots in the background is that of scumbags trying to be the first to take advantage of all the Opera users having a discernable port open and forwarded to their PC.

    Still, I suppose that even if every single Opera user switches this on, the resulting botnet will still be quite small by usual standards.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm... Naah

    It'll be good for some people but the last time I put anything on the web was when it was too big to send via IM. This looked promising as a quicker and easier way to achieve this until I read the bit that says you have to wait for them to approve it.

    It'll be all the rage for a lot of bloggers no doubt.

  31. multipharious


    I try not to use the same browser all the time. After getting convinced to try Opera by a Norwegian friend, it has wound up on a number of friends' and family members' underpowered machines that cannot gracefully handle the bloat of modern browsers. Either upgrade the memory and/or processor or use Opera. One is free, and the other is not. Opera loads pain in the a$$ slow pages in short order. It is fast. It doesn't always render things so pretty since some sites are setup completely for IE and Firefox, but it makes up for it in speed.

    The performance of previous releases has impressed me, and I am looking forward to finding out what Unite has to offer. Nice to have the luxury of choice these days. Hats off to the Opera folks for the new Innovation. Looking forward to it.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I hear what you say about upload speeds, security and Opera's capacity issues. Nonetheless, this is a game changer - proper peer-to-peer sharing, seamless web and local resource delivery through a simple interface, and so on.

    Yes, you lose the data source when the remote PC is switched off - you don't need to leave it on 24x7, the end user can always cache it if it's that important - but that adds to your security, surely.

    Most importantly, it removes the big guns (esp. Google) from owning your stuff - and the right to search it and share it.

    Love it!

  33. John70

    Web Servers

    Most ISP don't allow you to run a web server (or any other server) from your home computer since the bandwidth will affect their networks.

    AFAIK ISP's also do port scans to make sure you are not running a web server.

  34. A B 3

    To further reinvent nature...

    Nature is the true master/mistress of effiency. Examine how a tree moves nutrients around and copy it.

  35. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Naysayers rejoice....

    It's the end of the web as we know it!!!!!!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It is interesting, just how much harder would the internets be to police for our lords and masters if this were to exist? Although as everything goes through central servers hmmm.

  37. HyperactiveSam
    Thumb Up

    P2P for everything!

    I posted about this on my blog

    We made an app called pixleyalbum a few years ago that involved the same type of technology - tiny web server on client machine - for sharing pictures.

  38. Bod
    Thumb Down

    Privacy, security, bandwidth, piracy, etc!

    So many things wrong with this.

    Essentially this is P2Ping the web. Aside from the privacy & security concerns. ISPs are going to get in a hump over the upstream bandwidth consumption and MPAA/RIAA etc are going to come down like a tonne of bricks just because your "server" is hosting something they object to. You could end up being sued because you legitimately listened to some music which you have a licence for downloading but you are not allowed to share (for example).

    And as anyone knows, P2P doesn't make things faster. Just makes it more available. Imagine waiting for your page to come down from someone's crappy 512kbps BT connection that's heavily overloaded and serving up files at slower than a snails pace.

    The reason it "worked in the old days" was because client and server were practically in the same room. Not to mention the web never worked like this in the old days anyway. X Terminals, yes, but not WWW.

  39. Christopher Ahrens
    Gates Halo

    Oh great, here we go again

    Now they are going to sue Microsoft because they are bundling IIS with Windows since it is 'Abusing their monopoly' and preventing Opera from having a bigger market share.

  40. Michael McLean

    oh dear god no!!!

    As someone said this is just opening people up wide to attacks, if people are too dumb to keep there computer updated how they gonna secure a web server

  41. tom 71

    Just because its hard

    Is not a reason to not try. If we never took a risk where would we be?

  42. WinHatter

    Many B(l)ogs & Twitts are annoying enough

    Now not only we will be treated to the garbage people are happy to put online and "share" with the rest of them but we'll have a sneak peak at their closets.


  43. Matthew Peddlesden
    Thumb Down

    Terms of Service...

    Not to mention that many ISP's state in the agreement that you can't run servers...

  44. John Savard

    Hey, wait a moment!

    If I'm browsing the web with dial-up, this isn't going to work too well.

    If I've got a high-speed connection, running file-sharing software or a web server, on my computer - even if I have DSL, instead of cable Internet, where the upstream path is much slower than the downstream path - is a violation of my terms of service.

    So exactly who is this browser supposed to be for? Grandmothers who have their own T1 connection?

    Most ISPs include a personal web page with their service, so the Internet is not a one-way thing.

  45. gjw


    And as dangerous as revolutions always are. Kudos for our Norwegian friends!

  46. Mark Wills
    Thumb Up

    Fidonet 2.0

    I for one welcome our new Opera loving overlords!

  47. ChrisInBelgium

    An accident waiting to happen

    That's what it looks like to me. Can you see all these people who can 'finally' have their own webserver at home - without knowing the first thing about it - opening up their computers to the outside, ready to be enlisted in the next spam-sending botnet...

    My computers are not visible on the internet, and that's how I want to keep it. If I want to take data on the road with me, I'll use a USB-stick.

  48. Robert Brockway

    @Publishers and Consumers

    The main problem with delivery from a non-business connection is the lack of a static address. A lot of ISPs specifically forbid the running of services on these links in the AUP and port scan to check for compliance (normally excluding ssh). While asymmetric bandwidth is a contributing factor the upload speeds for most broadband links is more than fast enough for the popularity most sites would achieve.

  49. Bernie 2

    They had me up until

    "Routing is handled by servers at Opera"

    sounds a bit crap really.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Doesn't matter

    None of this matters because nobody actually uses Opera do they? Apart from the mobile version which is okay there's no point in Opera still exisiting.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Kev K

    The UK is such an interesting nation, there seems to be an immediate assumption that peadophiles are everywhere and are just waiting for their next opportunity.

    This shows 2 stupidities,

    Number 1 they think that Peadophiles don't already have their own private networks and a reasonable level of competence, and that for such individuals this system will have much interest.

    Number 2 that there are peadophiles everywhere, showing that the UK really is rampent with paranoia - kind of place old men get burnt to death in their own flats becouse of rumours.

  52. Nic 3

    Sounds good

    Those of you moaning about security of a load of users with web servers have got it wrong. It's not a web server in the Apache / IIS category. You're not asking a user to get to grips with httpd.conf or anything! It's a simple sharing interface.

    The only concerns as far as I can see are inbuilt vulnerabilities in the Opera software and ISPs getting pissed off about people technically violating the terms.

    Opera may have to be careful not to use the term "Web server" to get around that problem.

  53. bfeist
    Thumb Down

    Brutal video

    OK, I'm going to assume that the copy written for that youtube video is emblematic of what the entire implementation will be like. "servers belonging to *strangers*". oooo, spoooky.

    I do like the idea of micro-serving though. But wasn't this an idea a few years ago with mobile phones where you could tune into what other people have on their ipod on the same subway car via bluetooth or wifi?

  54. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Worth a look

    Despite running several of my own servers I'm actually quite intrigued by this. It might provide a "reasonable" way of sharing ephemeral stuff with friends and family, ie. a small number of clients over a small time. Much better than the current dumping of "funny" stuff via e-mail and no need to worry about T&C's of Flickr, Google, etc. One of my accounts with the big boys recently lapsed (about six weeks inactivity) and it is easier to set up a new one than reactivate it, and all I want it for is to be able to see pictures of my nephew.

    As for the integration - this is so much better than the kludges offered by the social networkers. Google's wave is probably going in the same direction but I don't trust them with my data. The big question might be whether it will be possible to add online storage if desired. Something to think about.

    As for the rest of Opera 10 - it just gets better, pity the mail client is so underused as it's the best by far. I now have about 100,000 e-mails over various accounts and the full-text search is immediate. Miniatures in tabs was also activated for OS X in this build and like Speeddial it's just a great idea. Bound to be seen in the next Safari update which has just caught up to Speeddial.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not much of a departure from existing practice.

    Although I use Opera mostly as just a browser (and still will) it has always been more of a general net client thingy. So this adds a server thingy. Not a massive change.

  56. Bill Gould
    Gates Halo

    So all I need to publish... Joe AverageGuy is the name of my computer, and a username. Which, being Joe AverageGuy will be the name of the user I log in with. Which, being Joe AverageGuy will be a local admin.

    Opera found a legal way to create an opt-in botnet.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re : Webservers

    Don't know who your ISP is but mine is quite happy for me to run a webserver, they even support SMTP forwarding from their mail servers so you can run your own. Port scans for open relay email servers I can understand but my ISP doesn't even do that.

    Also I suspect that the Opera webserver isn't going to sit on port80 but will sit somewhere else

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    LOL, Clueless.

    LOL, look at all the clueless "admins" that really don't have a clue what they are talking about.

    Why not try downloading it and trying it BEFORE you make yourself look idiots.

  59. joe K 1

    Anticipation people, Anticipation!

    Why are there so many people whining about innovation on the basis that BT has bundled the vast majority of subscribers in the UK with piss poor connections? Japan already has close to 50% FTTH penetration, average download speeds around 100Mbps, and tested symmetric 1Gbps dsl. Innovation has to be forward thinking, but you'll always have some pessimistic Anglo-speaking IT techs ( Charles, Gary , etc... ) stuck in the past.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Power to the people !

    Power to the people ! But remember folks with power comes responsibility !(something the ploiticians (*) would be wise to remember ! )

    Well done Opera ! And keep on going, because choice is good and in my book you are by FAR the best browser on all counts !!

    *(an unintended typo - but I like it so much I'll leep it *GRINS*l)

    Oh and to ISPs:- Why can't there be variable upstream speed as required? Even if it meant balancing the downstream speed ?

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ADSL ... what do you think that A stands for? Asymmetric... which means that upload and download are not the same. The exchange I'm on supports SDSL if I really want to pay for it, and my ISP will support it too.

  62. shaunm
    Jobs Horns

    test run...

    Have installed and am running on independant Asus Eee box. I have just moved my personal web space on to it. To run for a few days to give a full test but this seems to suit what i'v been after with out all the hard work of power hungry un need time consuming servers.

    As for slow upload issues and ISP's not allowing you to run servers well you get what you pay for end off story.

  63. Annihilator
    Thumb Down


    "Apart from the numbering issues, yer NAT router with an inbuilt firewall is great protection against the gits out there"

    And UPnP is an even greater threat to said protection. Most DSL modems come with that enabled by default, y'know, to help things like Messenger work. Opera's fancy dan new system will happily exploit that no doubt.

  64. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up


    So basically you took the Apache code base, rammed it up your browser and now your claiming you have re-invented the web....hmmmm. OK, you just keep telling yourselves that....

    Can't wait for the ISP reaction to this. Should be fun when those support calls come in....

    "Yeah I turned on my Opera server and my mates can't get to it, what's wrong?"

    "Have you port forwarded your router?"

    "A what?"


    "What the little box thing you sent me when I joined?"


    "Ports? Oh the holes on the back where the cables go in?"


    Much sighing and a very long evening ahead for Mr/Mrs Support person!

  65. Mr Snrub
    Thumb Down

    Awful idea :/

    Security is the obvious one - making things "too easy" to share files in an unproven protocol will lead to botnets and DDoS.

    People won't realise that sharing files and having a number of other users dowloading from them will eat into their own upstream bandwidth, and complain to their ISPs that "my Internet is slow".

    We don't need yet more global bandwidth wasted on crap - let people understand file serving and social networking services better, that will fullfil all their needs I am sure.

    I for one hope ISPs block unite:// links unless expressly requested by their customers.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Correct the A does stand for Asymmetric. The point made however was why can't it be variable !. After all it does retrain according to the line/signal quality - typically downwards for the downstream ! And as for ADSL I'm not sure that cabled people are ADSL are they ?

    Paris cos she knows a thing or two about things going up and down.

  67. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    So...'s P2P file-sharing done right, then.

  68. Stevie


    This idea will be so much hot air until Opera introduces their ground-breaking WAIS and GOPHER service.

  69. captain veg Silver badge

    I've tried it. It works brilliantly


    It's a P2P platform with a handful of sample apps. One of them is a mini web server. None of them is "on" by default.

    Having used Opera since version 5, I can think of no other vendor I'd trust more on security. I'd worry much more about 3rd party apps on the platform., but that aside, I'm really impressed. And I say that as someone who runs personal web, FTP and SMTP servers.


  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Love it

    this is the real cloud.

  71. Stuart 17

    RE: frank ly

    Well said frankly!

    My biggest concern would be by far Security, there is after all 1 MASSIVE FLAW with this setup, say for example Hacker A finds a flaw or bug in Opera and publishes this onto the web, you then have Hackers A-Z and more who know just where to look for machines to infect or control.

    Currently if there is an Opera flaw it would not be feasable to scan for IPs on the net, then attempt this flaw on any one IP as there is no garrentees that this IP is even a PC or Server, it could be a router, firewall or even a media sharing device plus so many more these day, but for arguments sake lets say it is a Windows XP machine after all the majority of PCs are then there is still no garentees it is using Opera.

    So lets all welcome 1 domain name where security holes will be a constant and target that, on the plus side (hackers point of view) they know the users are not going to be very IT Litterate as if they were they would know of the 101 other solutions already available.


  72. Aidan Whitehall 1

    @Matthew Peddlesden

    "Not to mention that many ISP's state in the agreement that you can't run servers..."

    *blink* *blink* Do they?

    Can you name six and show your working?

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I Just Felt A Great Disturbance in the Force... if billions of malware authors suddenly had a collective orgasm...

  74. J 3

    placing a web server in every client

    Yeah, my ISP here in the USA also forbids servers in their T&Cs. They have never enforced it though.

  75. Bartelby-wasPiLS

    It's going to find its target

    Methink some people will find that very nice. I run the standalone, full-fledged servers I need already (and no, no Apache on my personnal machines, I don't personnally host websites that would need it!), but some users are going to love that!

    And the air-brained paranoid types here spouting stupid stuff about paedos, spam or botnets should think twice, learn how servers work, and probably RTFA too. As I understand, most of the traffic will be filtered by Opera (but for the P2P bit I suppose. Good luck exploiting that). It can raise privacy issues (yeah, booh-hoo, some people I don't personnaly know are going to see the content of my website, who woodafunkit?), but it should guarantee a quite decent security (especially against the ever trendy XSS-type attacks).

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    More useless bloat...

    Opera makes every other browser out there look well designed and bloat-free.

    Now where's that firefox icon?

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great news

    Sounds interesting. So far, the only browser that's seen improvement from the point of view of ordinary people is MSIE. What's been going on with Opera and Firefox has been too much about stuff to please techies. This innovation from Opera is very much in the same style as their RSS and Bit Torrent apps - ie, something old, simplified to the point where even your grandmother can use and configure it.

    Now we just have to wait for the flood of Firefox fanboys to start slagging it off royally because it's not nearly as good as Apache...

  78. A B 3

    Some people are missing the point

    Imagine accessing 'your' web server/P2P from your smartphone.

    I think that is what they are trying to do.

  79. James Butler

    @Aidan Whitehall 1

    In the USA, every cable network includes language that you can't run mail or web servers from your cable-enabled location. Some of them even monitor your bandwidth and types of traffic and inspect your packets. So if you're using cable access to the Internet, you are violating the terms of agreement, and they can just stop your access cold without refunding you a penny. For many people this would also impact the other cable services they receive, as in most cases someone with cable Internet access also has cable television and telephone, all provided as a bundled package. When the Internet access portion is removed, those people would no longer be able to obtain the bundled package, and would immediately begin to pay for cable television and phone service at the unbundled rates, typically quite a bit higher. And it's one cable provider per service area, around here ... you can't simply get another cable account from a different provider.

  80. orko McVelikovskyvez


    That's the sound of the approaching asteroid for all you clueless dinosaurs out there. Seriously, I have rarely encountered such idiotic dismissal of a new service. All the security cassandras almost certainly haven't even bothered to investigate what Unite is and how it works. People have a problem with Opera bundling THIS and yet continue purchasing,running and supporting the gaping holes that Microsoft calls software???

    Put it this way. Anyone who fails to see why Unite is a huge deal is probably on the wrong side of the future.

    PS I'm sick of morons on El Reg writing off new tech because it doesn't fit their extremely idiosyncratic needs. e.g. "What good is it for you if you're on dial up?" Who fucking cares????

    PPS Worms?? Botnets?? Stop your fucking whining and run linux.

  81. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    This really is a doddle.

    Had a play with it this evening - don't recommend media player unless you've got a thick pipe but it really is a dream for photos.

  82. jon 77

    um, correct me if wrong but.....

    is it not just a 'home web server' that you can get elsewhere???


    or more like Picasa, flickr, or just another 'cloud' app??

  83. geekguru

    Freedom from third party servers??

    all the traffic goes through opera servers. so how does it safeguard privacy? I use Tonido which looks much better!

  84. Bod

    Re: Re : Webservers & Re: RE-ADSL

    Re: Re : Webservers

    My ISP allows servers also (which is one of the main reasons I picked them). With some limits of course. However I'd say the majority of ISPs don't and/or block server ports.

    Re: RE-ADSL

    Yes Cable is Asymmetric also and the upstream is likewise limited (when I moved from NTL to BT, BT's upstream was actually larger at the time!). In fact people believe cable should be amazing because it's all fibre and all that, but it's only fibre to cabinet and then coax to the house with a downstream channel that's shared between neighbours and multiple smaller and heavily contended upstream channels. It was never designed to cope with a lot of upstream traffic, especially simultaneously, and the infrastructure was based on customers sharing the cable to provide TV pictures (and half the problems cable customers get with signal issues is down to shoddy connections elsewhere in the street. Often unterminated connectors in a neighbour's house!).

    Copper phone wire for broadband has a benefit in being a dedicate cable from exchange to subscriber. On that part of the the journey there's essentially no contention, unlike cable. From the exchange onwards though, that's another matter.

  85. Jon 52
    Gates Horns

    please please please don't let M$ copy this

    I hope to God that M$ don't copy and try to shoehorn this into IE. Security implications are just about aceptable for opera as:

    1. People who get opera tend to know more than those that just stick to "blue internet thingy"

    2. Opera has low market share so less reason for malware writers to go snooping

    3. M$ 'wonderful' security history and putting 'feel' before security.

  86. orko McVelikovskyvez

    Bloat? Bloat? I don't got no steenkin bloat

    @More useless bloat...

    By Anonymous Coward

    Opera 9.64 5.4MB download

    Firefox 3.0.11 7MB download

    Internet Explorer 8 for Windows XP 16.1MB

    Show me the bloat!!

    While I applaud and support Firefox in it's aims, to claim Firefox is well-designed compared to Opera is, well, laughable. Opera is the Ferrari of browsers.

  87. DZ-Jay

    Re: um, correct me if wrong but.....

    Ok, I'll bite:

    No, it is not just a 'home web server' that you can get elsewhere.

    The "web server" part that Opera mentions is that the browser supports two way HTTP transactions, so it can respond to requests as well as making them. In essence it is a Peer-to-Peer networking client/server application using HTTP as the transport protocol through port 80. Responding to HTTP requests makes it technically a "server". That's it--no magic, no Apache, no IIS.

    Moreover, it is not just another 'cloud' application. "Cloud computing" harks back to the elden days of yore when dumb terminals communicated with centralized mainframes which performed all the processing and storage for them. Or to the past "Online Services" which served as gatekeepers of information, and jealously controlled its access. The Internet and the World Wide Web--along with personal computers--were supposed to break us from those shackles and allow individuals to directly form part of the whole framework, sharing and connecting to each other directly. The Unite platform is a return to this original intent: Yes, it is a "cloud" but it is not in the shape of Google or Amazon or Microsoft, it is amorphous and comprised of each individual computer on the Web (the reason why it was originally called so, and not something like "World Wide ISP Network".

    However, it is more than this. It is a platform that exposes an API for extending the transport and sharing services. They call these "Unite Services", and are nothing but simple web applications built for the Unite platform. Once these are installed and turned on on a user's machine, these applications offer interactive services to the local and external users, and they do not need anything more than a regular web browser (any browser!) to access.

    Part of the genius of the whole thing is its simplicity: there is practically nothing to it, so for the average person this is a dream! If my mom wants to share her pictures with our family, why should she have to upload them to a third party server and be bound to their terms, which may even include property claims on the media assets themselves, when she has a perfectly good and reasonably fast computer and internet connection? All she needs is an easy-to-use interface that will allow her to share them from her own computer and send a link directly to us. This interface is what Unite provides.

    The security of the system so far seems to be an all-or-nothing affar at the moment: You either share publicly everything within the shared directory without a password, with a password, or you don't share at all. However, it is only in Beta stage, and the Opera developers have commented in the support forum that they are working on a more granular permission system. As before, Opera seem to have taken security as a major concern when designing this system.

    In any case, I hope you try the new Opera Unite browser for yourself and see what it's all about before making assumptions based on hearsay and prejudices. It is truly an innovative platform in that it fullfills promises heretofore forgotten by most, made at the inception of the World Wide Web itself.


  88. Anthony 13

    So basically it does what other ...

    ... similar products already do (ORB, WHS, MSN, Facebook, an actual web server, etc., etc.). So the claim of "reinventing the web" was, as expected, a load of crap. Perhaps it may make some things easier to do, but If you think this is revolutionary you need your head examined.

    Fair enough for them to have a go, but they have *many many* competitors and the probablities of this product making any major inroads appear at first glance to be virtually nil. Thankfully I say, as millions of machines being left on seems an awful waste of electrons!

  89. jon 77

    cnet has a good article on similar...

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @orko McVelikovskyvez

    So they use a smaller installer... There is still absolutely no need to have an IRC client, server, torrent application, etc etc etc in the browser, I have applications that do each of those WAY better. when I want to torrent stuff, I open uTorrent. When I want to go on IRC, I use mIRC. When I run a server, I use Apache. I do not need to do all that from a web browser...

  91. jon 77

    I guess your check is in the post, DZ-Jay...

    Anthony 13 has the better answer.... and sorry to say that Opera's rep. may be good, but the invisibly low marketshare is bad enough, without playing 'shouty liitle man' and making it worse in other areas too.... :(

    more answers, please, and please reduce the 'starry eyes' and OTT praise to a minimum..... (we are not on an Iphone section...)

  92. DZ-Jay

    Re: So basically it does what other ...

    Wrong again. Those services you mentioned exist in a *centralized* environment, where the host owns and controls the media and its access. If you want to send a message via Tweeter, or publish your pictures in MySpace, you'll have to adhere to their terms, and these include owning a large chunk of the intellectual property of the information you host on their system.

    With Unite you don't upload your pictures or music files anywhere: they are hosted on your own computer. You are right, this can already be done by any user with a web server; but that misses the point: it requires experience and understanding of the technologies. The same I can say for any other "innovation" on the web such as those you mentioned: it could already have been done with other technologies, but their genius comes from a new interface or way of integrating older technologies more effectively.

    Opera Unite is not revolutionary, and I never claimed it was. I said it fullfills the old promises of the WWW, perhaps because the technology and the state of the art has advanced enough for someone to put them together in a more cohesive and effective way.


  93. Chigaimasmaro
    Thumb Down

    Not really innovative...

    Is what one or two other people have seen. Its a modernized BBS... back in the days of 9600 and 14400 baud modems , we'd leave messages on BBS' and check for pictures. One problem that I see is that its going to create a new glut of webcontent. This took the idea of the WildCAT BBS software and updated it for 2009.

    But the problem I see is that the computer MUST be left ON for the content to stay active, just like any other webserver. I know Opera is concerned about security, but Spyware gangs are feriously greedy and will be pouncing all over Opera to see how the technology works. Opera has now made itself a viable platform that may be easier to exploit since the user by default will leave the machine constantly on so their friends, family and others can view their content.

    I know this is going to be a problem on larger networks since many software programs easily create UPNP ports through routers.

    I'm interested to see how this develops. The only advantage I see, is that it will allow people launch their own Facebook, Myspace or whatever page from their computer without relying on any other service. This may actually lead to less webpages that show up in search results. But how will Opera handle the sharing of content in the future? I'm sure lots of people will be embarassed , sued, or do more idiotic things because now no one is there to watch them over their shoulder like Facebook and Myspace has....

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