Is Vivaldi Safe? The Ins and Outs of This Customizable Browser

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Summary: Is Vivaldi Browser Safe?

Are you tired of invasive tracking? Do you want complete control over your browser? The Vivaldi browser may be what you need.

This pro-privacy browser blocks trackers and ads, and doesn’t store any personal data or monitor your browsing activities. Vivaldi comes with lots of customization options. You can tweak everything from your tabs to the themes, keyboard shortcuts, and more.

Thanks to Vivaldi’s arsenal of tools, you won’t need any additional extensions. But if you do, the browser is compatible with Chrome extensions.

While the Vivaldi browser is safe, it doesn’t stop your internet service provider (ISP) or other nosy parties from tracking you. We recommend using a virtual private network (VPN) like Surfshark to escape tracking completely and browse the web anonymously.

Continue reading the article below to learn more about the Vivaldi browser.

Vivaldi is a unique, fast, and highly customizable web browser that safeguards your privacy. Built on the Chromium engine, Vivaldi closely resembles the Opera browser. This is fitting, as it is the brainchild of former Opera CEO Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner.

Vivaldi is a perfect browser for you if you love multitasking. It comes with so many tools that you may not need any extensions. But is it safe?

In this article, we assess the safety, performance, and features of this browser and also compare Vivaldi vs. Chrome. You’ll discover what sets Vivaldi apart from other browsers and whether it’s worth replacing your default browser.

An Introduction to Vivaldi

Vivaldi browser logo

Tetzchner created the Vivaldi web browser with co-founder Tatsuki Tomita in 2016.

The duo, who previously worked with Opera Software, sought to make a browser that users have complete control over. As a result, Vivaldi is highly customizable. You can change almost everything — from tab positions to gesture mapping, and you can even create your own themes.

Thanks to its arsenal of tools, you can easily forgo any Chrome extensions. This is not only convenient but also makes the browser fast. Vivaldi’s website says its built-in apps “don’t eat your resources or sneakily steal your data.”

Vivaldi’s built-in tools include an ad blocker, pop-up blocker, calender, translator, mail client, screen capture, notes, contacts manager, and more.

The Vivaldi browser focuses on protecting your privacy. By default, Vivaldi does not track or store users’ browsing history, and its sync feature protects comes with end-to-end encryption to secure your data.

Vivaldi also blocks trackers, so you’re not profiled and served with ads based on your browsing history.

Until 2019, only the desktop version of Vivaldi was available. The browser is currently available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android devices. It is also compatible with the Android Automotive OS.

Why choose Vivaldi?

You might wonder why people opt for Vivaldi over more popular browsers, like Chrome or Firefox. Generally, there are two reasons: more privacy and better performance.

Privacy

Platform compatibility icon

One major difference between Vivaldi vs. Google is that Vivaldi doesn’t track your browsing history. Instead, it blocks trackers, pop-ups, and ads by default. Just like DuckDuckGo, Vivaldi protects users from tracking and data collection.

You can disable all third-party cookies on Vivaldi. Also, your browsing history and downloads are stored locally on your device in an encrypted format. Vivaldi can’t access this data.

Vivaldi is based in Oslo, Norway, and stores some non-personal metadata on its in-house servers. This eliminates exposure to unauthorized third parties. Also, Norway has privacy-friendly laws and is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Vivaldi is a good choice if you want a browser that won’t compromise your privacy. Many popular browsers, like Google Chrome, track users and create a detailed profile of you.

They collect information like your location, browsing history, and much more. The data is used to deliver targeted ads based on your interests. Vivaldi offers a welcome escape from invasive tracking and targeted advertising.

Speed and customization

Vivaldi is not just about safety but also performance. The new version of the browser is built to load faster, and you can configure it to boost your productivity.

A new window now opens up 26 percent faster than the previous version. This “will help you shave off seconds, even minutes of your day and potentially hours in a year,” Vivaldi explains.

There are numerous settings and features on Vivaldi you can tweak to make the browser fit your preferences. You can create custom keyboard shortcuts, mouse gestures, and quick commands. You can customize the interface, sync your browsing across devices, and do much more.

Vivaldi has more features than you’d find on the average browser.

How does Vivaldi make a profit?

Vivaldi doesn’t track you or sell user data to advertisers for a profit. It primarily makes money through partnership deals with search engines and bookmark partners.

Vivaldi comes pre-installed with different search engines, including Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Yelp, Neeva, Ecosia, Qwant, and Startpage. You can choose any to be your default search engine. Vivaldi earns some money each time you use any of these search engines.

Note: While Google Search is pre-installed on Vivaldi, the browser doesn’t earn a commission when you use Google.

When you launch the Vivaldi browser, you’ll find several bookmarked pages on the start page, such as Booking, Amazon, AliExpress, eBay, YouTube, Walmart, AliExpress, Yelp, and others. Vivaldi receives revenue every time you use one of these bookmarked pages.

Vivaldi Browser: Privacy & Features

Vivaldi is an excellent alternative to Google Chrome. It offers virtually everything you’ll find on Chrome, it’s compatible with all the extensions on the Chrome Web Store, and doesn’t violate your privacy.

Chrome seems to have a slight upper hand in ease of use. However, Vivaldi outranks Chrome for features, customization, and privacy.

We’ve summed up the essential features of the Vivaldi browser below.

Easy to use

Ease of use iconVivaldi is very simple to set up, like most web browsers. It is available for download at Vivaldi’s official website, Google’s Play Store, and Apple’s App Store.

While you do not need to create an account to enjoy most of the features on the browser, you need one for Vivaldi Sync. Vivaldi Sync allows you to sync your data across multiple devices, so you can easily switch between devices and pick up where you left off.

The Vivaldi browser user interface is visually appealing and easy to navigate. Although it’s packed with features, there’s no learning curve.

You can pin sites to your start page. The side panel allows you to access different features such as bookmarks manager, notes, reading lists, downloads, history, extensions, and more. You’ll also find a built-in mail client in the sidebar.

Private browsing

Private browsing iconUnlike insecure browsers like Wave Browser, Vivaldi doesn’t store your search or download history. There’s no tracking on this browser. Vivaldi also blocks ads and third-party trackers and protects you from phishing and malware-infected sites.

You can decide whether to allow or block third-party cookies and have control over how long Vivaldi stores your browsing history.

Vivaldi has no access to your account profile and browsing information, such as the URLs you visit, search terms, and the content you download. This data is encrypted and stored on your device.

While Vivaldi says it doesn’t collect any user data, its privacy policy indicates that it sends some metadata to its servers every 24 hours. The company uses this data to determine the total number of active users and their “geographical distribution.”

This metadata includes a user ID assigned to your device, your browser version, your CPU architecture, screen resolution, and your IP address. Vivaldi removes the last eight numbers in your IP address to anonymize it.

To support Vivaldi Sync, the browser also collects metadata like your user ID, date, time, and the last time you synced your device. Vivaldi Sync is protected with end-to-end encryption, so no one can access your data, even when it is in transit.

Just like Chrome, Vivaldi has a Private Window option. This is ideal for when you want to ensure the browser stores no data.

But, even with a Private Window, your internet service providers (ISP) can still see what websites you visit. Also, the websites you visit can get a fair idea of your location from your IP address.

We recommend using a virtual private network (VPN) to stay completely anonymous online and complement Vivaldi’s security. A VPN supports anonymity by encrypting your internet traffic and hiding your IP address.

A top VPN like Surfshark offers excellent speeds, fast servers, and advanced security features, so you’re safe and anonymous online.

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Stack tabs

Tab stacks iconDo you usually have a lot of tabs open on your device at once? Vivaldi’s Tab Stacks feature allows you to group tabs and declutter your browser. This can help to organize things and help you find information easily.

With Tab Stacks, you can group multiple open tabs into one and give them a name, group tabs according to websites, view tabs on a split screen, or even save tabs for later.

Vivaldi’s Tab Stacks feature also eases the load on your device’s memory and allows for a smoother browsing experience.

Uninterrupted reading

Vivaldi comes with a Reader View mode that blocks all the “noise” so you can focus on reading. When you activate Reader View on Vivaldi, all the design elements on a site disappear, leaving just the content for you to read without distractions.

Note: Not all web pages support Vivaldi Reader View. If a site supports this feature, you’ll find the Reader View icon in the address bar.

‘Ultra-customizable’ user interface

Customize user interface iconThe biggest selling point for Vivaldi is its customization options. You can customize your interface by adjusting the tab layout. There are settings to change the tab bar position, where new tabs appear, the minimum width of an active tab, how you stack tabs, and so much more.

Vivaldi also has a theme scheduler that allows you to set timers for specific themes. You can bounce back and forth between different themes. You can even create your own theme and share it with others.

You can set your browser’s colors to change according to the websites you visit, thanks to Vivaldi’s adaptive interface feature. For instance, visiting Twitter will turn the browser blue, while visiting Reddit will turn it orange.

Vivaldi is compatible with Chrome extensions. So, you can add many extensions to personalize the browser.

In 2019, Vivaldi partnered with Razer Chroma to support unique lighting effects on Chroma-enabled devices.

Note: The more customization you add, the more load you put on your PC and browser. Thankfully, Vivaldi also offers hibernation and lazy loading options for inactive tabs to keep your browser running smoothly.

While Vivaldi may not collect your data, when you install a third-party extension, you are bound to the developer’s privacy policy, and the extension may collect your data.

Customer service and support

Customer service iconVivaldi does not have a live chat or 24/7 customer support. However, it has Help Pages with helpful information on different topics. You can view entries about the various features, how-to guides, information about customization, recovering your account, and more.

Vivaldi also has a community forum with thousands of entries on different subjects.

Drawbacks of Using Vivaldi Browser

Some Google features on Vivaldi, such as auto-fill, search suggestions, and safe browsing, may share some non-personal data with Google. Thankfully, you can easily disable these features in the settings.

While Vivaldi’s customization options are its top selling point, they can be overwhelming for some users. The good news is that you don’t have to tweak any settings to use the browser — its default settings are optimized to provide both privacy and high performance.

Currently, Vivaldi is not available for iOS devices. This is a big drawback since the iPhone is the top-selling mobile device worldwide. Nonetheless, it is a good desktop browser and a good option for Android users.

Vivaldi Browser Alternatives

While Vivaldi offers more privacy than many other browsers, it may not be the best browser for everyone. If you are looking for other privacy-friendly browsers without the endless customization options on Vivaldi, here are some options.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo Logo SmallDuckDuckGo is one of the most popular privacy-friendly search engines. It also has a web browser for iOS and Android devices. In April 2022, DuckDuckGo introduced a browser for Mac devices.

DuckDuckGo’s browser provides the same privacy as its search engine and more, including a tracker blocker and website encryption. The browser is easy to use. It has the same basic features as Chrome, like a password manager, bookmarks, and more.

Opera

Opera logo miniOpera is an excellent option for anonymous browsing. It comes with some remarkable features like a built-in ad blocker, a built-in free VPN, and a crypto wallet.

You can also synchronize your browsing across devices with Opera. While its Workspaces feature allows you to organize tabs into groups, it’s not the same as Vivaldi’s Tab Stacks.

Opera is compatible with iOS, Mac, Android, Windows, and Linux devices.

Brave

Brave logo miniBrave is one of the top private browsers available today. It automatically blocks all ads and trackers, including cookies, bounce tracking, malware, ads, and even has phishing protection.

Brave is integrated with The Onion Router (TOR), so you can use it to access the dark web. Brave also has a built-in crypto wallet and its native cryptocurrency, BAT. You can earn BAT when you view ads and tip your favorite websites and content creators with BAT.

Brave supports private video calls, offline playlists, and a customizable news feed. This browser is compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.

Firefox

Firefox logo miniWhile Firefox doesn’t offer the same features you’ll find on the Vivaldi browser, it’s worth adding it to this list.
Firefox blocks trackers and browser fingerprinting by default. It also blocks ads and pop-ups. Mozilla has a VPN service that isn’t built into the browser.

Mozilla is only slightly less invasive than Google Chrome. It does not link the data it collects with a particular user or create profiles for each user.

Firefox has many other useful features like Reader Mode and an HTTPS-Only mode. This browser is compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux devices.

Conclusion: Is Vivaldi Worth the Switch?

Although it isn’t very popular, Vivaldi offers more useful features than you’ll find on most browsers. If you want a fast, private browsing experience and the ability to customize your browser according to your preference, Vivaldi is your best bet.

This browser is perfect for students, researchers, and anyone who needs to have several tabs at once or use a lot of tools.

While it protects your privacy, Vivaldi’s security has some gaps. You can get comprehensive protection by using a VPN like Surfshark alongside the Vivaldi browser.

Interested in learning more about how to stay safe and anonymous online? Check out these insightful articles below:

Is Vivaldi Browser Safe: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about the Vivaldi Browser? Check out our FAQ section below. Click on a question to see the answer.

Yes, Vivaldi is safer than Chrome. It doesn’t track your browsing activities or share your data with third parties. To learn more, check out our article on the Vivaldi browser.

Yes, Vivaldi prides itself on its privacy and customization options. It only collects some non-personal metadata and does not allow third-party trackers or malicious ads to compromise your privacy. However, we recommend using a VPN like Surfshark alongside the Vivaldi browser for complete anonymity online.

No, Vivaldi has a strict policy against collecting or sharing user data. Your search history and other data are encrypted and stored on your browser. This data isn’t sent to Vivaldi’s servers.

No, the Vivaldi browser was launched in 2016 by Norway-based Vivaldi Technologies.

Yes, Vivaldi is safe to download, provided you get it from official sources. Head to the official Vivaldi website, the Google Play Store, or Apple’s App Store to get it.

Tech researcher
Joseph is a former US Army IT communications specialist with over 10 years experience in the IT industry. He's a night owl, and a tech enthusiast who spends most of his downtime enthralled by online gaming and website building.