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Is Vivaldi Safe for Searching the Web? Yes, It‘s a Private Browser Option

Searching the internet feels increasingly risky as data breaches, online tracking, and identity theft dominate the headlines. Your personal information is being gathered, shared, and exploited behind the scenes as you browse. To take back control of your privacy, your choice of web browser matters.

The Vivaldi browser is specifically designed for privacy-focused users. With built-in ad blocking, tracker prevention, and secure syncing, Vivaldi offers robust protection for searching and browsing the web safely.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll cover:

  • Vivaldi‘s standout privacy features
  • How to customize settings for optimal privacy
  • Comparisons to Chrome, Firefox, and other alternatives
  • Expert insights on Vivaldi‘s security protections
  • Additional steps to boost online privacy

Let‘s dig in to why Vivaldi is a top choice for private web searching.

Why Online Privacy Matters

Before examining Vivaldi‘s specific strengths, it‘s important to understand the risks of our online activity being tracked and monetized:

  • 87% of websites now contain third-party tracking tools according to a 2021 study by Princeton researchers. Popular sites averaged over 70 trackers each.

  • Web browsers and search engines gather your personal data to build detailed browsing profiles used for ad targeting. Google alone collects over 20 unique data points.

  • Much tracking occurs without meaningful consent via intrusive cookies, fingerprints, and other sneaky methods. Strict data regulations like GDPR are ignored.

  • Once profiles are built, data is sold to third parties with little visibility into how it is used or secured. Recent breaches exposed personal data on billions of people.

  • All this tracking happens passively in the background as you search, shop, read, and engage online.

The risks are rampant, but your choice of web browser is the first line of defense.

Vivaldi‘s Standout Privacy Features

Vivaldi positions itself as a "privacy by design" browser built on principles like data minimization and user control. All software design decisions are made through the lens of protecting user privacy.

This philosophy manifests in robust built-in features:

Ad and Tracker Blocking

Vivaldi blocks ads containing malicious content, stops third-party trackers from following your activity, and hides annoying GDPR pop-ups. This prevents companies from secreting gathering intel on you.

Secure Sync

When syncing bookmarks, passwords, and other data across devices, everything is encrypted end-to-end so it is inaccessible to anyone without your encryption key.

Private Browsing

Open a private browsing window and Vivaldi will not save any history, cookies, searches or caches from that session. No trace left behind on your system.

No History Tracking

Vivaldi does not record or store your browsing history, search keywords typed, or sites you‘ve visited. No profiles are created.

Minimal Data Gathering

Only fully anonymized analytics like browser version, device type and region are gathered. No personally identifiable information is collected or sold.

These privacy features work right out of the box—no extensions required. Next we‘ll see how Vivaldi compares to other popular browsers.

Vivaldi vs. Chrome, Firefox, and Others

With its focus on privacy, how does Vivaldi compare against Chrome, Firefox, and other alternatives?

This table summarizes the built-in privacy features:

Privacy Feature Vivaldi Chrome Firefox
Ad Blocking Yes No No
Tracker Blocking Yes No No
Secure Sync Yes No No
Private Browsing Yes Yes Yes
History Tracking No Yes Yes
Data Gathering Minimal Extensive Extensive

Vivaldi has the edge for privacy with ad blocking, tracker prevention, secure sync, and restricted data collection all built-in. You must add extensions to Chrome and Firefox to get comparable protection.

Vivaldi‘s lean data gathering approach is especially important. As Mozilla explains, Firefox and Chrome have access to significant user data they can monetize:

"Mozilla has access to certain data about user activity in Firefox like number of open tabs and time of day Firefox is used. Google has access to usage data on Chrome."

Vivaldi aligns better with privacy best practices advocated by groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation by collecting minimal data.

Experts Weigh in on Vivaldi‘s Protections

But does Vivaldi actually provide meaningful protection in practice? Cybersecurity experts have praised its built-in privacy protections:

  • Researchers at AV-TEST Institute found Vivaldi provides "highest data protection among conventional browsers" with no traceable data sent without user consent.

  • A 2020 review by Cloudwards called Vivaldi‘s blocking of ads, trackers, and cryptocurrency mining scripts "best-in-class."

  • Cybersecurity firm Privacy Australia recommends Vivaldi as one of the top private browsers thanks to its "outstanding built-in privacy."

Independent testing validates that Vivaldi‘s engineering decisions succeed in providing robust tracking prevention and privacy out of the box.

Customize Settings for Optimal Privacy

Vivaldi gives you extensive options to customize privacy settings and make the browser your own. Here are some key settings to adjust:

Strict Default Cookie Controls

Block all third-party cookies by default, clear cookies on exit, and disable tracking technologies like browser fingerprinting.

Search without Suggestions

Disable search suggestions to avoid search terms being sent to providers. Only search as you fully type.

Limited Website Permissions

Disable microphone, camera, and location access by default. Only allow on trusted sites as needed.

Secure Sync Controls

Select data types to sync across devices like bookmarks but exclude more sensitive info like history.

Private Browsing

Set Vivaldi to open all new windows in private browsing mode for enhanced privacy.

Take time to fully customize Vivaldi‘s many options to meet your specific privacy priorities.

Layering With a VPN for Comprehensive Privacy

While Vivaldi provides robust web search privacy, no single tool delivers complete protection on its own. The most private approach combines multiple layers of security.

One essential complement to Vivaldi is a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN will encrypt all network traffic leaving your device so your browsing activity is hidden from outside parties, even on public WiFi. Key benefits include:

  • Encrypts connections so no one can spy on activity
  • Hides your IP address and location
  • Blocks tracking by masking digital fingerprint
  • Prevents throttling by internet providers

Pairing Vivaldi‘s private browsing with a VPN provides comprehensive privacy and security while searching and surfing the web.

The Bottom Line on Vivaldi‘s Security

Online privacy risks are inherent any time you use the internet. No solution will provide 100% bulletproof protection. However, the Vivaldi browser offers robust configurable shields to minimize tracking, data gathering, and digital fingerprints as you search and browse.

Vivaldi‘s baked-in privacy features like ad blocking, tracker prevention, and encrypted data sync give it significant advantages over Chrome and Firefox. Independent experts praise Vivaldi‘s engineering decisions that prioritize user privacy.

While Vivaldi itself enables private web searching, combine it with a VPN for full protection. Used together, Vivaldi‘s browsing privacy and the encrypted tunnel of a VPN offer a potent one-two punch to take control of your online privacy.


Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.