Vivaldi Browser Reviews

Great design, but not open source. But better than Chrome. 1 Helpful

Review by JohnFastman
about Vivaldi Browser and Chromium, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome Dec 2016

Vivaldi has a fast, innovative and highly customizable design, which many people will like. Vivaldi is also entirely compatible with all Chrome extensions. Vivaldi has reached a level of stabiliy and maturity that it can be used as the main browser without any major issues. However, Vivaldi's interface and elaborate options might not suit beginners or people who prefer something simpler.

Vivaldi is not open source, and has fewer controls in general than does Firefox in its about:config settings.

The most prominent is the lack of privacy controls. For example, Firefox lets you switch off WebRTC, which can leak your IP address form behind a VPN network. In reality, this is several settings (see privacytools.io for detailed instructions). Vivaldi has simply one tickbox option for swtiching WebRTC on/off and it doesn't work (it's permanently on). This is a result of Vivaldi being based on Chromium (the same code that runs under the hood of Chrome).

Other things Firefox lets you do is switch off the options that let websites track what you're copy/pasting, geolocation, pings and the status of your laptop battery (again, instructions here). The Chromium-based browsers (Chrome, Vivaldi, Opera) don't offer this and this. Having said that, Vivaldi is likely to be considerably better for your online privacy than Chrome for other reasons. Unlike Google's Chrome, there is no reason at the moment to suppose that Vivaldi's creators make money by harvesting your online browsing habits to create profiles on its users exploited to target advertising. By contrast, Chrome records all your Google searches, IP address, websites you visit, videos you watch, etc. and ties it all to your Google account (emails, contacts, devices, locations) in a way you can never undo and which you'd never in a million years think is ok for a person to follow you around and collect for their own profit. In this respect, Vivaldi is far superior to Chrome.

Overall, I still recommend Firefox over Vivaldi, but Vivaldi over Chrome by a long margin.

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