Vivaldi is my browser of choice for all my computers, Linux and Mac. (Sorry, I don’t have Windows, but I would use it on Win too.) It’s free.

Straight up, if you love minimalist browsers, Vivaldi might not be for you.  It’s a power users browser, it contains all the standard controls right onboard.  You can customize Vivaldi just about any way you want without addons.

Not surprising since Vivaldi was started by one of the same men that founded the original Opera browser.  Opera had the same feature rich philosophy until new owners went all minimalist and gutted Opera.

Stuff I like:

  • Vivaldi uses Chromium, the open source version of the Chrome rendering engine. So basically you get Chrome without all the Google spyware.
  • Most Chrome extensions work with Vivaldi just fine.  It gives you a big library of extensions to chose from.
  • You can do so many things with tabs you really need to try it to believe it.  You can have a heck of a lot of tabs open at once with tab stacking.
  • Lots of installed search engines to chose from. You can set two defaults: one search engine for regular browsing and a different one for private browsing windows if you want.  There are three privacy search engines available out of the box.
  • Easy screenshots built right in so I don’t have to remember the command.
  • A Start Page, these guys invented it when they did Opera and Vivaldi has it.

The feature list goes on but I don’t use a lot of the options.

Extras:  Vivaldi has an active community.  Forums to request features, discuss uses. You can get a free basic blog, and you can get your own webmail account which integrates with the browser.  A word on the webmail: Vivaldi’s servers and headquarters are located in Iceland which has some of best laws to protect both privacy and free speech.  That is not by accident.  They don’t have to do this, but it’s a nice touch.

But, you say, Vivaldi is not open source!  Strictly speaking that is true.  But Vivaldi is assembled from mostly open source parts: Chromium rendering engine is open source, the UI is HTML 5, and there is a boatload of other open source stuff Vivaldi lists. Google’s Chrome, and Apple’s Safari aren’t open source either.

Privacy: 1. Vivaldi contains no spyware, no ads. 2. Vivaldi does send anonymized crash reports back to Vivaldi but nobody can match them to you.  3. Vivaldi says they don’t track you nor do they give info to third parties. 4. Remember they are in Iceland, US Secret Warrants have no weight there, no US based company can say that.

I won’t use Google’s Chrome because of the privacy issues.  On Mac I chafe against Apple’s walled garden.  So, especially if you are a Google Chrome user, you should try Vivaldi.  It’s free and you have nothing to lose.  Even on the Mac where I like Safari, I still prefer Vivaldi.

 

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