Using Opera Unite to share files and media

Here is another really cool and fairly secure way to share files and or content with people you choose. Or even just access your own files whilst away. It is called Opera Unite. It is actually built into the Opera Web Browser!

I am still a huge fan of LiveSync/Skydrive as I have previously written about here and here. And I use them as my primary means of ‘cloud storage’.

But to just share some files with co-workers, family or friends Opera Unite looks really cool. And some might find it simpler.

With Opera Unite, your friends view the content that is sitting on your computer. You can stream music or video or share actual files. Since this is a ‘live’ connection to your system you will be using internet bandwidth; this may be a consideration if your ISP has very low limits. Also since it is a live connection to your system you should consider all the security implications.

To run Opera Unite applications (File Sharing, Photo Sharing, Media Player etc.), you need an Opera browser version 10.10 or later from and an Opera account.

To view or access most of your applications, your friends can use any browser.

Operating systems: You can use those supported by the Opera browser; Windows, Mac, or UNIX/Linux.

To get started with Opera Unite, you just need to install an Opera browser version 10.10 or later, start an application, and then you can begin sharing and collaborating.

Opera Unite applications make it quick and easy to share content. There is no need to upload anything; you share the content sitting on your computer. And, you do not need to configure anything else, such as DNS services or complex access controls. For example, you can install the Media Player application on your home computer for your favorite songs. When you get to work, you can visit your Media Player application and listen to the songs directly from your home computer. No download, no fuss.

How Opera Unite is different to traditional data sharing


With more traditional content sharing, you have to upload the content you want to share, and this is then stored on a central, third-party server, out of your control. Your friends access this stored content from the third-party server.


Enable Opera Unite

To enable Opera Unite for the first time:


From the menu, select "Enable Opera Unite". A welcome dialog displays.

Select "Next".

To use Opera Unite, you need to have an Opera account. This is an account that you use for My Opera, Dev Opera (Opera’s developer-community resource site), or Opera Link. Your existing username cannot contain any symbols or spaces to work with Opera Unite.

If you already have an Opera account that does not contain symbols or spaces, select "I already have an account", if necessary, and type your existing username and password. Go to step 4.

If you do not have an account, or have one that contains symbols or spaces, select "I do not have an account", if necessary, and complete your details to create one.

Choose a unique and easy-to-remember username without any symbols or spaces. The username will become part of the link (Web address) for your Opera Unite applications, which your friends will use to access your content or communicate with you.

Select "Show" to read the terms and conditions, and check the box to indicate that you agree with them.

Choose a computer name from the drop-down menu. This name identifies the computer you are using, to distinguish it from other computers you may use. It also becomes part of the link for your Opera Unite applications. Choose an option that best describes how you use your computer, or write your own.

Select "Finish".

In the panel at the left, highlight an application that you want to use, and select the Start button at the top of the panel. The application start


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The official guide is here:

And after creating all this I found this super video!


More on Cloud Storage, Backup, Synchronization and Sharing Using Dropbox, Livesync and now Office Live.

I have written previously about cloud storage and backup solutions and how to use those to synchronize data between your many systems at different locations on differing platforms. Most cloud storage and synchronization services can synchronize between differing operating systems too! You can share and access files from Windows, OS X, Linux and even Smartphones. With this post I’d like to just add update some information on how you can use Windows Live services (OfficeLive, and Skydrive) and Dropbox.

1st. OfficeLive.

There have been some exciting recent announcements regarding Microsoft’s cloud storage and synchronization services that have made their offering even more compelling than ever. If you’ve read my previous post (link above) you already know I am a fan of SkyDrive. You can use SkyDrive to upload, store and share photos, documents and data both privately and publicly -  it offers a whopping 25GB of free cloud storage and it integrates nicely with Office 2010. You can use this free service on both a Windows PC and a Mac computer.

Microsoft’s Office Web Application is now live on SkyDrive! It’s called Office Live. You can access Microsoft’s Office web version on your browser.

Office Live now provides for access to Microsoft’s Office suite of applications even if you don’t have MS Office installed on the system you are on! If you just use the Office Live portion you get a default 5GB of storage, but by using your SkyDrive account you get the full 25GB of storage.

While Goolge Docs has allowed for the sharing and publishing of individual documents to the web for a long time, Office Live(and SkyDrive) and Dropbox provide for true sharing of folders with individual, groups or the public. With Office Live you can create a truly amazing collaborative workspaces. Check out this video!

Instead of going through a long and detailed walk through I’ve put together a bunch of links and videos that YOU can go through. Suffice it to say I believe you should use at least one of these services to backup or synchronize your data across the ‘cloud’.

Here is a good how to on SkyDrive

And another.

You can get started with Office Live here.

Here are some very good Office Live and SkyDrive Links. I would highly recommend spending a few hours and going over these. The future of data storage and retrieval is tightly integrated to web services and the ‘cloud’.  Here are some links:

01, 02, 03, 04, 05, If you do a search for Office Live or SkyDrive you should find many more.

2nd. Dropbox.

I have also found this service highly useful for sharing files with other people with whom I am working.
What is Dropbox?
Dropbox  is a “cloud computing” Web2.0 file hosting service offering both free and paid services. The free version offers 2GB of “shared storage”. The difference between SkyDrive/OfficeLive and Dropbox is that Dropbox requires software to be installed onto your system. Something I am not always fond of but this does work well.

Dropbox is file hosting service which enable users to synchronize files and folders between computers across the internet.
This is done by installing a software and then picking a “shared folder” on your computer. From that moment on, that folder will be synced with any computer you choose to install the software on (for example, your home/work computer, your laptop – and so on).

DropBox also enables users to share some of their folders with other DropBox users. This seamless integration of the service with your OS file system (Windows, Mac or Linux) is what’s making this service so comfortable, by allowing me to work with co-workers and have the same “project tree” of folders, all of which are always synced.
You could also share a file “online”, by getting a link to it which you could share with others.

While I will always believe in ‘hard storage’ especially for highly sensitive and personal information you should also look into ‘cloud storage’. You should always have a rocks solid local backup solution but collaboration and the ability to have your information available nearly everywhere is invaluable. If not to store and backup your data, at least for it’s huge collaborative possibilities. That is what I primarily use it for.

I really hope some of you will use this information to make your life, and possibly jobs easier and more productive. As we head into the second decade of the 21st century it’s exciting to see how we can have our information available nearly everywhere and be able to usefully share that information with anyone in the world.