There’s a good chance you haven’t have heard of Vivaldi, or at least the browser rather than the 17th century Venetian composer. It’s a name you should familiarise yourself with though, as the company was started by Jón von Tetzchner, who co-founded Opera back in 1994.
Vivaldi has some two main focusses: privacy and customisation. So, if you want to take control of your browsing experience in a granular fashion then it may well be the grail at the end of your quest.
At its heart, Vivaldi is similar to Opera as it uses the Chromium engine. This gives it the advantage that you can use Chrome’s plugins. Where it differs is in its attitude to your data. Once you set up a password on your Mac you can sync your devices (only macOS, Windows, Linux or Android at present) knowing that everything in protected by end-to-end encryption that not even Vivaldi can see. Abusive ads that track you are blocked by default and there are various other settings to minimise any intrusions to your privacy.
Like Opera, Vivaldi has a side bar containing various options such as downloads, bookmarks, history, plus a few innovative options. One is Notes, which allows you to quickly jot down information without having to leave the browser and you can even include screenshots. This is great if you’re researching something or just want to remember a quote. You can also create tab groups and stack them on two levels in the menu bar. That’s not all though! Vivaldi lets you set whether the tab bar appears in the traditional vertical position at the top of the page or move it to the the flanks or along the bottom. You can also open multiple tabs at once in a split screen view, so you can work on them at the same time.
Web panels is another clever feature, in that it enables users to setup mini versions of webpages that can be accessed by clicking on its panel name. This is best suited to messaging services but also for Twitter and mobile optimised sites, as they will fit into the single column view.
You’ll also find further options in the bar across the bottom of the page, including the ability to capture a screenshot, adjust the zoom level via a slider, turning off images and videos on a page, as well as a comprehensive list of page actions you can instantly enable or disable by clicking a tickbox.
Vivaldi is now offering integrated Mail and Calendar apps that can help you stay organised without ever needing to leave the browser, plus the Vivaldi Translate feature means you can look up words and phrases not in your native tongue, but without Google getting to see what you’re translating.
Keeping the open source spirit alive is the recent integration of Mastodon, the federated alternative to the hate-filled Twitter bonfire of Elon Musk’s vanity.
There’s so much to explore in Vivaldi and it keeps growing at a steady pace. It might be one of the newest browsers around, but we think it could well be the way they all go in the future.