Strictly Opera

Opera SoftwareLong after the major software vendors which produce browsers and mail clients already supported the StartCom root certificate by default, users of the Opera browser couldn’t enjoy the benefits of free and cheap SSL certificates easily. And I myself had to postpone an article I intended to write about Opera for more than two years after I mentioned that I’ll write soon some more about this browser, since I believe that they are doing many things quite right.

For reasons not entirely known to me, but it appeared to be somehow connected to a possible new standard for regular SSL certificates which at some point was in the making at the CA/Browser forum, but eventually was never adopted or implemented, support for the StartCom root certificates was lacking with Opera beyond the expected time-frame. And the fans of the Opera browser became increasingly impatient with the time as complaints were increasingly heard.

Finally this week all that changed after the folks at Opera enabled the StartCom root with their software. And I expect that within short time Extended validated certificate will show the greeny glow in the address bar as well. That’s specially interesting, because Opera appears to be the only browser capable to enforce an all-EV policy by setting at opera:config the SecurityPrefs to StrictEVMode. And this is exactly one of the things where Opera excels.

But it’s not the only advantage of course. I recall to have encountered Opera for the first time more than a decade ago. It displayed advertisements in the free version unfortunately, but it became the first browser to support tabs long before their counterparts learned about this advantage. And Opera has always been available for many platforms including Linux. Not open source, but still, it was an alternative browser which worked very well and fast…

Speed appears to be also today still one of the stronger points with Opera. And whoever follows  Yngve’s blog, knows that security has been a high priority since ever. I was specially impressed by his uncompromising stance of “It ain’t EV ’til it’s EV, all EV, even though reality probably forced them to eventually give up on enforcing this idea. But it’s still available as an optional setting and for those that connect a lot through public WiFi’s it’s certainly recommended to restrict to all-EV for such web sites.

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Reader Comments

Congratulations !!!

About time! Was a real disappointment that Opera didn’t include your root there! Last step, getting Adobe on board so I can finally sign my PDFs!


I like StartCom’s SSL.