Download the Vivaldi browser. At the moment. And in the painless few seconds that it takes to download and set up Vivaldi, let us convince you why This improves your browsing experience.
Running a secondary browser is one of the simplest and most powerful choices you can make on your computer. Why? Since you don’t actually have to switch browsers, downloading a second browser won’t change your existing configuration at all. Also, virtually every browser is free, including Vivaldi. And importing your bookmarks is almost instantaneous, so testing Vivaldi takes literally seconds of your day – if you don’t like it, no harm done. but You might find that it adds a new dimension to your browsing that you didn’t even know you were missing. Heck, you might even find yourself dropping Chrome entirely. So let’s try!
At press time, Vivaldi had released Vivaldi 5.2. The only “nuisance” is that like many other browsers, Vivaldi asks you to sign up and sign in with a custom account to save your bookmarks, reading lists, and more across multiple PCs. Vivaldi also offers an Android version of its browser that lets you share tabs between desktop and mobile browsing. (Note that you are absolute not required to even open an account to use Vivaldi.)
Privacy and Ad Blocker
Privacy isn’t what you probably think about when you download Vivaldi, but you’ll probably be surprised at how well it works out of the box. You know that Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge see ads as a source of income because by default everything is allowed without an ad blocker plugin. At Vivaldi are ads and inline videos clogged by default — no plugins or add-ons required. The result is a very slick, seamless experience that appears to intelligently block the ads you don’t want to see while leaving other content intact. Vivaldi tamed the most cluttered, media-heavy sites I visit, like ESPN.com or SFGate.com, with no bugs or errors.
Vivaldi is built on the open-source Chromium rendering engine, which Google Chrome is built on, which means you can use Google plugins from the Chrome Web Store. However, Vivaldi does not collect any user data.
Interestingly, Vivaldi also includes a “Reader’s View,” a deprecated control that appears in other browsers – the small “text” icon that appears to the right of the URL bar. “Reader View” typically reduces an article on the web to a plain background, minimal graphics and navigation, and absolutely no advertising. With Vivaldi, there is little reason to use Reader View, as Standard View is simply more effective. In some cases, Reader View added visual cruft as certain normally hidden elements were rendered on the page.
With Vivaldi you will immediately notice a difference in your browsing experience.
Vivaldi’s selling point: the side panel
Vivaldi intelligently recognizes that most larger monitors contain a lot of extra white space that goes unused. Vivaldi slices into this space to add a narrow column of icons that link to a range of utility functions, from RSS feeds to email and a well-organized calendar function. A tiny switch in the bottom right corner completely hides the control panel; Otherwise, you can click on one of the icons – bookmarks, for example – and the panel will slide out to reveal the full functionality. Figuring out what all the icons stand for and where they live is probably the unfriendliest part of Vivaldi, as it feels a bit like poking around the instrument panel in an unfamiliar car.
Not all panel options are particularly new. There’s a “reading list” for articles you want to save and dive into later, along with the default downloads and bookmarks, known as bookmarks. Unfortunately, I’ve exported my bookmarks enough times that they’re a bit of a mess, although it’s fairly easy to drag and drop them into either the Vivaldi bookmarks folder or the favorites bar at the top.
Certain features may not be as useful, e.g. B. a built-in Google Translate widget. (Vivaldi, like most other browsers, automatically translates a page into a foreign language.) A dedicated Wikipedia panel didn’t seem particularly useful to me, although you may disagree.
My personal favorite of all the options is the built-in Feeds panel, which lets you import RSS feeds and quickly browse what different websites have published. Sure, that’s a legacy feature for reporters like me who need to keep tabs on a variety of websites, but RSS typically requires a standalone service or app. The only thing I don’t like about it is that while you can drag and drop bookmarks anywhere, you can’t rearrange the RSS feeds for some reason.
If all this sounds like too much hassle, you can turn it off. Part of the Vivaldi setup process is deciding “how much Vivaldi” you want to start with.
Tabs, tabs, tabs
Speaking of tabs, tabs management is Vivaldi’s bread and butter. There really are almost too many options, even for power users! Not only does a Vivaldi user have the option of placing their tabs on the left, right, top and bottom, but there are also different ways to organize them: a traditional layout, but also in tab stacks, “accordion tabs”, sitting on top of each other and then pointing out to the side, or simply a double row with one on top of the other.
It’s almost ridiculous: you can use your thumbwheel to scroll back and forth between tabs, even horizontally; Stack tabs by host, close all tabs to the right or left of the current tab, clone a tab, and so on. You can even ctrl-click some tabs, right-click them and tell Vivaldi to open them in tile format – that tab then aligns them Miscellaneous Tabs as tiles but keep the formatting of your other tabs. Like I said: ridiculous!
Built-in mail and calendar
Another unique feature that Vivaldi offers is an optional integrated email reader and calendar, also built into the side panel. Vivaldi doesn’t allow you to sign in to Microsoft 365 or Exchange; It only supports POP3 and IMAP, which means it’s a better choice for personal email than for business contacts. That’s OK for me. In any case, the Vivaldi RSS feed reader filters through the email client, so I could keep my “real” emails in the Windows 11 Mail app and use the Vivaldi mail as a dedicated feed reader .
However, I feel a little guilty about this decision as I like the Vivaldi calendar. Organizing a calendar in a vertical column, like the Vivaldi app does, really lends itself to a quick, scannable overview of your day — but less so when you’re showing a week or a month. There you can open your monthly calendar in a special tab.
Unlike Google or Microsoft, Vivaldi doesn’t encourage you to look at the licensed content on the new tab pages like Chrome or Edge do. Instead, opening a new tab opens Speed Dial, a series of large icon shortcuts to popular websites. Of course you can add your own.
You may dismiss this as a bit simplistic, but fishing out a bookmark can take time. The ability to configure a new tab with handy bookmarks is a handy feature, although similar ones can be found in other browsers.
Bottom navigation bar controls
Vivaldi also includes a small row of shortcut icons at the bottom of the screen (if you’ve configured your tabs to appear at the top). I find this extremely useful. Not only are they the right size for my 4K monitor, they’re just plain useful. There’s a slider to zoom in and out, a quick button to take a snapshot of the page, and controls to turn the current page into a tile. I also like the little “trash can” icon in the top-right corner: if you accidentally closed a tab, you can click the trash can to bring it back.
As with virtually every other feature in this list, there is no obligation to use this one. And there’s more hidden in the settings menu that I don’t use: mouse gestures, keyboard shortcuts, and more. There are even “chains of commands” or in-browser macros that let you perform multiple tasks at once. These are for them real power user.
If you’re dying to customize your browsing experience, Vivaldi might be the browser for you. Take a few seconds and find out!