Vivaldi Review

Vivaldi comes from the same team that developed Opera back in the day, and it shows. It's easy to use and fast, but has some of the nifty features that you're used to from Chrome as well. Add to that a great privacy policy, and you've got a winner. Check out our Vivaldi review for the details.

Aleksander Hougen
By Aleksander Hougen (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2021-02-02T16:52:44+00:00
(Editor)
Free
Best Browser Reviews

Vivaldi was created by a co-founder and former CEO of Opera and released in 2016. It’s intended for power users and provides an impressive level of control over the interface. Vivaldi is also fast and comes with several great features. Additionally, it gets top marks for security and privacy. Keep reading this Vivaldi review to see how it compares to other browsers.

Vivaldi is compatible with Windows 7 and later, Mac OS X 10.10 and later, and all major Linux distributions. Unfortunately, Vivaldi is not yet available for iOS, but a beta version for Android 5.0 and later was released in September 2019.

We used a laptop running Windows 10 and a Samsung Galaxy S8+ with Android 7.1.2 for testing. As it’s still in early beta, Vivaldi for Android is sure to change rapidly, and for this review we tested version 2.7.1624.219.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Fast
  • Customizable
  • Great privacy controls
  • Compatible with Google Chrome extensions

Weaknesses:

  • No iOS version

Alternatives for Vivaldi

Features

95 % – Excellent

Because Vivaldi is based on Chromium, it’s compatible with most Google Chrome extensions, with the exception of those that modify the interface (read our full Google Chrome review). That means you have access to a wide variety of extensions, from ad blockers to VPNs to almost anything else you can think of.

The browser has a built-in notes function that allows you to create text notes and connect them to a specific website or link as well as attach files or screengrabs to them.

Vivaldi-Notes

There’s a screen capture tool included in the browser that lets you capture a selection or the full page, regardless of length. You can save the image as a .jpg, .png or copy it to your clipboard.

Vivaldi-ScreenCapture

Where Vivaldi stands out is in the amount of control it allows you over the look and feel of the browser. You can change fonts, themes and colors at will, as well as move the interface elements, such as tabs and buttons, to any part of the screen. You can even set up a schedule that automatically adjusts the theme depending on the time of day.

Vivaldi-ThemeSettings

The customization doesn’t end there, though. Vivaldi gives you control over your keyboard and mouse shortcuts, letting you map any action to whichever button or mouse gesture you want.

Vivaldi-KeyboardSettings

It also comes with a reader view that strips a webpage of unrelated content to present the text in a clean manner. You can customize the view to suit your needs, as well, including text size, line spacing and fonts.

Vivaldi-Reader

You can set up multiple profiles, too, which lets you create different configurations depending on the task you’re using the browser for. That can be handy given the number of things you can change. It’s also useful for shared computers because you might want to set up the interface differently than other people using the device.

Vivaldi Sync

By signing up for an account, you can sync your bookmarks, settings and history between devices. Not only does this make browsing a seamless experience between mobile and desktop, but it also saves you the hassle of tweaking the huge number of available settings each time you set up Vivaldi on a new computer.

Vivaldi-SyncSettings

Having a Vivaldi account also gives you access to a Vivaldi email address and its webmail interface. It provides the basic features you’d expect from an online mail client, but the look and feel are dated, easily passing for something made over a decade ago. Have a look at our list of the best email hosting services for better alternatives.

Vivaldi-WebMail

Vivaldi lets you set up a blog with your account, too. Though basic, it’s a decent blogging framework, provided you’re not trying to do anything too fancy with it. That said, if you’re serious about blogging, you’ll probably want to go for a dedicated solution, and our list of the best web hosting providers can help with that.

Vivaldi also lets you block non-active tabs from playing audio. That’s an invaluable feature when you’re opening a lot of tabs at the same time, which can lead to mysterious audio that you have to hunt down and silence. On a similar note, you can force the browser to only play animated images once (or not at all), rather than looping them endlessly.

Features on Mobile

Vivaldi on Android is far sparser than it is on desktop when it comes to features. This isn’t entirely surprising, though, as this version of the browser is still in early beta, so there is probably more to come in the future on this front.

For some reason, Vivaldi didn’t include the option to add any search engine you want to its Android version. Instead, it limits you to seven choices: Bing, Google, DuckDuckGo, Startpage.com, Ecosia, Wikipedia and Qwant. 

Although these options will probably be sufficient for most people, being able to add ones like YouTube (like you can with Vivaldi for desktop) would be a big advantage.

Vivaldi Mobile Search Engines

Vivaldi’s Android version also comes with a screenshot capture tool, which is unusual for mobile, as you’re generally restricted to using the device’s standard shortcut for screenshots. The capture tool isn’t quite as flexible as it is on desktop, but you can still take a picture of the entire website, regardless of length, or just the part that’s in view.

Vivaldi Mobile Capture Tool

Ease of Use

95 % – Excellent

The default look of Vivaldi is similar to most browsers, with tabs, an address bar, navigation controls and bookmarks located at the top of the screen. The addition of a rewind button that takes you back to the previous domain you visited is a neat extra.

Next to the address bar, there’s a drop-down for your recent search history. A separate search bar lets you quickly switch between search engines, but you can still use the main address bar to search using your default search provider.

Vivaldi-BrowserTopArea

In the bottom right corner, there are buttons for the screen capture tool, turning off images, applying filters, such as grayscale, and a scrollbar for zooming.

Vivaldi Tab Management

Vivaldi offers a lot of control over tab management. By selecting multiple tabs, you can put them in a “stack,” which saves valuable real estate on the tab bar. Once in a stack, the tabs can be “tiled,” meaning the browser window is divided between the tabs, letting you work with several web pages simultaneously.

Vivaldi-TiledTabs

You can pin a tab, which moves it to the left side and prevents it from being closed, letting you close all tabs while keeping your pinned ones open. Tabs you’ve opened but haven’t looked at are marked as unread, and a preview of the tab is shown when you hover over it. You can also change the width of the active tab, forcing it to stay a minimum size when a lot of tabs are open.

By pressing ctrl + tab, you can open the tab cycler, which can be configured into list form or previews. If that isn’t enough of an overview, there’s a button on the left side of the screen that brings up a list of open and recently closed tabs.

Vivaldi-TabCycler

In the same bar on the left side of the screen, there are also buttons to open your download manager, notes, history and bookmarks. You can pin any website there to give you quick and easy access without opening a new tab, too.

Vivaldi-Pinned-Website

Ease of Use on Mobile

The Android version of Vivaldi looks and feels much like its bigger brother on desktop. This is excellent, though, as we had few complaints with the original’s interface. On startup you’re presented with a customizable speed-dial menu, which lets you organize your favorite and most used websites in the form of tiles that will be instantly accessible every time you open a new tab.

Vivaldi Mobile Speed Dial

There are four separate tab menus, one each for regular tabs, private ones, tabs open on other devices and those that you’ve recently closed. The Android version of Vivaldi has something unusual for mobile browsers, which is a tab bar across the top of the screen, in addition to the more traditional menu. 

This is especially nice for larger phones, as you can easily spare the extra real estate for quicker access to your tabs.

Vivaldi Mobile Tab Menu

Furthermore, you can quickly change between your private and regular tabs by clicking the shortcut in the top-right corner, saving you the hassle of going through the menu.

Performance

90 % – Excellent

Vivaldi is a fast browser, easily outperforming Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Microsoft Edge in our tests. It does so while using roughly 20 percent less RAM than Chrome or Opera at low and high loads, too. That said, on high load, it still uses quite a bit more than Firefox does (read our Firefox review for more on this).

On Android, the news is not quite as good, as this version of Vivaldi is on the slower end of the spectrum, and most major browsers, like Chrome or Firefox, are significantly faster. However, since Vivaldi for Android is still in its early beta stage, so we hope to see this improve as it gets closer to an official launch.

You also get the option to hibernate inactive tabs, which lowers resource consumption if you tend to keep a lot of tabs that you aren’t using open. That might not be ideal for users with limited connections, though, because opening hibernated tabs reloads them from scratch.

Security

95 % – Excellent

Like many browsers, Vivaldi uses Google Safe Browsing to protect you from known malware and phishing websites. That’s arguably the most effective security database, but it’s a trade-off with privacy because the service requires your browsing activity to be sent to Google. Vivaldi gives you the option to turn off the service, so you can decide what’s more important to you.

Update frequency is a crucial part of browser security, and it’s doubly so when the browser is based on Chromium. Fortunately, Vivaldi is updated roughly once a week, which is excellent. Because Chromium receives an update every two to three weeks, that means potential security flaws can be patched by Vivaldi quickly.

The browser also warns you when you’re accessing a website over an unsecure HTTP connection. The warning is easy to notice because it includes a warning sign and text saying “not secure” next to the address bar.

Vivaldi-HTTPSwarning

Privacy

95 % – Excellent

The only data Vivaldi collects from you is basic usage information. That includes the version of the browser you’re running, your CPU architecture, screen resolution and a randomized ID. The data is sent once every 24 hours, along with your IP address, which is anonymized by removing the last eight bits.

Vivaldi’s privacy policy is simple and easy to understand, which is more than you can say about Chrome or Opera (read our Opera review).

Vivaldi and Cookies

Vivaldi lets you block cookies, but the setting is bare-bones because you can only choose between blocking all cookies or blocking none. Other browsers, such as Firefox, break them into separate categories, such as cryptominers, trackers and cookies, which allows you greater control over what to block.

Vivaldi-CookieSettings

That said, Vivaldi uses several Google features, including safe browsing, auto-fill and search suggestions, all of which involve sending user data to Google. They’re easy to turn off, though, so if you don’t want to compromise on privacy you don’t have to.

Vivaldi-ThirdPartySettings

Though Vivaldi is excellent for privacy, there are several steps you can take to improve your online anonymity in general, as per our anonymous browsing guide.

The Verdict

Vivaldi is a great browser with few downsides. It features impressive customization and access to Chrome’s vast library of extensions while also being fast and light on RAM consumption compared to other browsers. It includes quite a few handy features, too, such as notes, tab stacking and tiling and the ability to permanently pin websites to the sidebar.

When it comes to security and privacy, Vivaldi again receives top marks. It updates frequently and does a good job blocking malicious websites. It also collects little data on you as a user and presents a clear overview of which third-party services you need to disable if you want to maximize your privacy.

The only drawback to the browser is its lack of an iOS version. The developers have stated this is something they’re working on, but due to Apple’s stringent requirements for browsers on the platform, it will take some time to be released.

What do you think of Vivaldi? Do you agree that the staggering flexibility and great performance makes it the best web browser on the market? Or are you an iOS user whose need to sync between devices outweighs all the other great things about Vivaldi? Let us know what you think in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

Vivaldi FAQ

  • What Is Vivaldi?

    Vivaldi is a web browser created by a co-founder and former CEO of Opera. It’s designed to allow the user to customize every aspect of the interface.

  • Where Can I Download Vivaldi?

    You can download Vivaldi from the download section of the company’s website here: https://vivaldi.com/download/

  • How Good Is Vivaldi Browser?

    Vivaldi is a great browser with few drawbacks. It’s fast and gives users tons of control over the browser experience while also packing quite a few handy features. In addition, it does well with both privacy and security.

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21 thoughts on “Vivaldi”

  1. I have been using Vivaldi for about a year now, it is pretty hard for me to use other browsers now. It is fast flexible and customizable. It is hard to believe this thing is free.

    Reply
  2. 2020 Stunning Browser for the future…it needs a better implementation in the VPN’s arena, but overall is 10 !! Superb Browser!

    Reply
  3. Excellent Browser! Palemoon is my default and Waterfox is a backup. Vivaldi has both beat for ease of use and customization. If Vivaldi had a password manger like palemoon and waterfox it would be my default. This browser is an incredible improvement , in my lowly opinion to the other big name browsers. The one thing that I really like is the ability to SHUT OFF search suggestions and the annoying drop down menu with ease. Stopped using firefox, edge and others because of this. Google Chrome Never Ever took a liken too. Opera is okay. There are some negatives sure, but all in all this reviewer is right on.

    Reply
    1. Chris Cummings, regarding your comments on Vivaldi password manager, on Windows, passwords are encrypted using a Windows API function for encrypting data. Data encrypted in this way can only be decrypted on the same machine and by the same user that encrypted it in the first place.

      However, be aware that passwords can be easily revealed by someone who has access to your computer account or computer password. As long as you aren’t giving untrusted users access to your computer account, the passwords are protected.

      On Linux and Mac, Vivaldi will typically use a keychain provided by the system. Here, users have more control over how the keychain is encrypted. For example, if the user chooses to be prompted for a password when the application tries to access it, that adds another layer of security. Once it is decrypted, they have the same level of safety as those using the Windows system encryption.

      Reply
  4. I cannot comfortably browse with any other browser than Vivaldi.

    Just like the old Opera (pre-Opera 15) before it, it is the only truly useful browser.

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    1. What do you mean clunky?
      What do you mean compared to Chrome?
      I’m genuinely curious.

      Reply
    2. It is true that the default UI is not one of the best, but the great advantage of Vivaldi is precisely that you can customize this UI more than in any other browser, adapting it to the millimeter to your personal preferences. No 2 users have the same Vivaldi

      Reply
  5. Hi , how to make my vivaldi zoom page for all pages at a standard size ..eg at 160% from the original every time it’s at 100% . When I close it , it becomes 100% . Please advice me . I’m using 2.11.1811.47 (Stable channel) (32-bit) as of 16 April 20

    Reply
  6. Theres s omething seriousily wrong with version 3.0.1874.23 for Mc on OS 10.13.6. All I get is a blank splash window. Then 3 minutes later a screen appears. This occurs on two separate computers.

    Reply
  7. Vivaldi webmail is awful. I used it for about a year to give it a fair chance. It has so many glitches and problems. During that year, I had to contact support 35 times (that’s almost 3 times per month). I spent more time with support trying to fix these problems with them than I did using the webmail service. Once, I accidentally used “Reply All” to respond to my university group and Vivaldi locked me out of my account without letting me know or providing a reason. All the people were in my contacts list. There were only about 20 people in the reply. When it works, it’s okay. There are also glitches in the calendar. For instance, if you create a weekly event and then try to delete it, the event does not delete. To those that think this would be a great service, think again. My Supervisor at the university told me to get rid of it because of the number of problems with the service.

    Reply
  8. Switched to Vivaldi some months ago primarily because: 1) it’s cross-device syncing is excellent, 2) UI takes a little getting used to – but very feature rich!, 3) I like the Page Tiling function, 4) Very fast on my Linux box compared with Chrome, (however mediocre speed on Android), and lastly 4) it’s not owned by the Chinese!
    On the down side: 1) the Android Speed Dial icons look absolutely terrible, compared to Opera, 2) web mail feature is too basic to be of any real-world use. 3) Bookmark manager can be confusing.

    Reply
  9. Setting ui looks very easy to use. Themes so awful to look, also not responsive/slow when changing from one tab to another tab. For now, im using Brave for my potato laptop.

    Reply
  10. Really very good browser, have ads block, anti threat and the design is perfect also the sync working well.
    I recommended Vivaldi Browser to all of you!

    Reply
  11. Bluetooth devices don’t work properly (or at all) in Vivaldi. So if you need to listen with Bluetooth earbuds, you’ll probably need to use another browser until they can figure it out. Search “Bluetooth” in the Vivaldi forums.

    Reply
  12. Creates junk files on your personal folder like the .vivaldi_reporting_data file

    Reply
  13. It’s good, but I hope that they have the Workspace feature though. I like that feature a lot😁

    Reply
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