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Turn Your Computer into a File, Music, and Web Server with Opera Unite

Want an easy way to share documents, photos, and other files with people over the web?  Now you can with Opera Unite which is a new service to be included with the Opera 10 browser.  Today we take a look the new Unite feature and what it has to offer.

According to their website, “Opera Unite is a collaborative technology that uses a compact server inside the Opera desktop browser to share data and services.”  Essentially what this service does is turn your computer into a server where you can share documents and photos, stream music, create a chat room, host your own website and a lot more.  You can make files available to the public or with a password protected invite link and the really cool thing is the person accessing it can use any browser they want.

Installation

The first thing you will want to do is install Opera 10 which at the time of this writing we used Beta 3 Build 1708.  The Unite feature is still in the Alpha stage of development and needs to be installed separately from the Opera Labs site (we included the link below).  In fact at this stage of its development you can install just the Unite feature, but being a curious geek I figured seeing how it will operate with the new version of the browser would be best.

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To start using Unite you will be prompted to create create an Opera account.

4account

Customize settings and create a customized account based on where you will be using it from.

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Advanced settings let you specify upload speeds, default port, and global visibility.

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To complete the setup select a folder where you will keep the shared documents and files.

folder

You’ll access it from the sidebar and clicking the Unite tab.  Here you can turn the service on and off and there will be a list of other services you can add like Fridge, Media Player, Opera Messenger, Photo Sharing, The Lounge, and Web Server.

sidebar 

Unite Features

File Sharing allows you to easily share files and other documents.

sshot-2009-08-19-[20-39-43]

The Fridge is a neat place where others you invite can save notes on your computer.

fridge

Media Player lets you listen to your entire music collection anywhere there is an Internet connection.

music

Photo Sharing allows you to share photos with your friends and family without having to upload them to a separate service first.

photo

Each additional service or feature requires a quick installation…for example here we are installing Opera Messenger.

msgr

The Opera Unite Homepage will have a list of services that are running and it is where you will find the URL for friends can access the site.

unitehome 

You will probably want to set up separate directories for each of the services that you run to keep things organized an secure.  For instance you wouldn’t want everyone to access personal information in your My Documents folder.

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Here is an example of accessing another user’s Unite page where they’re sharing an eBook on their File Sharing page, you can view documents in the browser or download the file to your hard drive. 

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Conclusion

Opera Unite is a very cool feature that will be added to the new Opera Browser.  It allows anyone to become their own webmaster of sorts and makes it extremely simple.  One thing that raised concerns about this service is its level of security. According to their site and the Terms of Service, “Opera Unite runs in a “secured sandbox”, where only the files or folders you select can be accessed; nothing else on your computer is accessible to anyone else. You grant access to specified files, such as a directory of data you want to share, without allowing access to anything outside the specified area.”  Also, they do not keep a log of what files your sharing and do not claim any rights to it.  It is essentially up to you not to share unwanted data.

Opera definitely doesn’t get much love in the tech world but you might want to revisit it and check out the newest version as another alternative to Internet Explorer.   

Download Opera 10 Beta 

Download Opera Unite

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 08/26/09

Comments (5)

  1. NofancyName

    This is sweet. Is it available for Ubuntu or is there a comparable application for Ubuntu?

  2. thePeoplesGeed

    can i access the files from a browser other than opera???

  3. Ste_95

    The New Opera 10.10 includes Opera Unite. ;)

  4. Fire safety for children

    Does this really work? Im curious about. Iam somewhat new to this and I wanted to try it. Thak you for the info.

  5. Juan

    Can you have people add to the folder like a Craigslist time website?

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