This weeks exciting new technology is Opera Unite, which is basically a Web server on the Web browser.
“ Opera Unite allows you to easily share your data: photos, music, notes and other files. You can even run chat rooms and host entire Web sites with Opera Unite. It puts the power of a Web server in your browser, giving you greater privacy and flexibility than other online services.
What if you use Opera at home, and a different Web browser at work? Opera Unite services can be accessed from any modern browser, including mobile browsers! At home, just select what you want to share, and you can view it later using your work Web browser without any problems.“
Potentially this could mark a significant change in the way we use Web services. Brian Kelly, in his post Who Needs Social Networks? I’ve Got Opera Unite, suggests that despite many IT service teams having reservations Opera Unite may be a move away from reliance on commercial companies such as Google and Facebook. Most of the comments on his post seem fairly positive, apart from those who have observed the need to keep your PC on all day!
The big question is how well will it work for those of us working from home? In the past home broadband and the use of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), which have meant a possible lack of bandwidth, have stopped people from locally hosting Web sites.
As Mashable explains when talking about challenges to of locally hosting a web site “a popular web site can suck a lot of bandwidth, and most home connections simply couldn’t deal with it.” Also upload speed is fairly limited – basically it’s a lot slower going up than it is going down! Mashable goes on to say “this web server also needs to be secure from intrusions and hacker attacks, it should have backup; in short, it should be a lot of things that the average user’s computer is not. ”
Mashable concludes that “Opera doesn’t really try to change all that, but they do count on the fact that internet connections offer way more bandwidth than they used to“.
Is this really the case? Despite the promise of super fast broadband roll out made in the Digital Britain report recent observations on the low quality of broadband may mean that for many of us running a Opera Unite effectively is still a pipe dream.
I have yet to try it out but would be interested in hearing about people’s experiences.