Opera vs Vivaldi: Which browser wins?

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from Windows to iOS and streaming services... Read more
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  • In this Opera vs Vivaldi browser face-off, we have compared the browser to different categories to help find the right browser.
  • Opera offers a built-in ad blocker, VPN, and built-in social media and streaming apps integration.
  • Vivaldi is a Chromium-based browser with an extensive set of features on offer.
  • Both the browsers have some similarities and many unique features that have been explained in detail below.
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Since the success of Google Chrome, many developers have switched to use the popular Chromium browser project. This open-source browser project now powers some of the most popular desktop browsers including Chrome, and Edge. Opera and Vivaldi are the latest addition to this battle and promise to be more than just tools to browse the web.

Opera is not a new name in the web of browsers. However, the newer version based on Chromium is gaining traction among desktop users. Vivaldi, although six years old now, is relatively new. But, due to its unique set of features, it can be a competition to the Opera browser.

Both the browsers are based on the principle of offering more. More features, highly customizable UI and optimized system resource usage. Even though not as popular as their counterparts from Microsoft and Google, the new set of features are enticing, specifically for power users who do most of their work from the web browser.

If you are considering making a switch to one of these browsers, this article should help. In this article, we have compared the two feature-rich browsers in terms of design, performance, 

Opera vs Vivaldi: the best browser for you!

Design 

Opera and Vivaldi are powered by the Blink rendering engine, which means you are most likely to find some bits that are similar, if not identical. The design language is one of those bits.

Opera, by default, uses a light theme that you can change from the personalization settings. Vivaldi has multiple themes on offer and uses a red theme right of the box. 

Opera vs Vivaldi

You can download more themes for your favourite browser from the store. However, Vivaldi takes the personalization aspect of the browser a notch higher. 

In the Vivaldi themes tab, you can select one of the nine predefined themes. Once you have the theme selected, you can customize the background with wallpapers, change the image position, make a colour adjustment, enable Razer Chroma and Philips Hue Integration and even schedule themes to change automatically after a specified time.

Opera vs Vivaldi

The URL and search bar on both browsers finds the right placement on the top left corner. Right-click on the tabs, and you will see the tab menu with some additional options than you usually see on other browsers. On Vivaldi, hovering over the open tabs will show a small preview window, making it easier to identify the right tab when juggling multiple tabs.

If you have used Opera or Vivaldi in the past, switching to another browser will notice a few differences in the layout, icons and overall design. Another difference is the default search engine these browsers use. 

While Opera has stuck with Google, Vivaldi uses Bing as the default search. Fortunately, you can change the search engine as per your preference in the search settings.

Opera browser has some speed dials on the start page that show some social media, ecommerce, entertainment and game sites. While it can be disabled, not having them in the first place can make the interface look much cleaner. Vivaldi is no different when it comes to starting page content as it shows identical speed dials. If you want, you can edit and add your favourite sites to the speed dials.

Performance 

Since the same rendering engine underpins both the browsers, you can expect it to perform similarly as well. Be it browsing the web page or streaming video; basic functions work smoothly on both browsers.

To compare the browser in-depth, we ran the browsers through some benchmarking websites to check the compatibility, speed and performance.

Opera vs Vivaldi

For our first test, we used the popular HTML5Test benchmarking website. It checks and scores the browser depending on how well the browser supports HTML5 on multiple categories. Opera scored 518 out of 555, and Vivaldi scored a tad bit better at 528. The minor increment in Vivaldi’s test is negligible as both browsers seem to use HTML5 equally well.

For the next test, we used JetStream2, a popular JavaScript and WebAssembly benchmark suite that scores the browser depending on how fast the browser starts up, executes code and runs smoothly. Here Opera browser narrowly beat Vivaldi after a rigorous test.

Similar patterns were also seen with the Kraken benchmark, where Opera managed to beat Vivaldi narrowly. However, in today’s use, you are unlikely to notice any difference on both browsers.

If you wonder which browser is a resource hog and will put your system under stress, none of them does. Instead, both browsers managed to utilize system resources without affecting the system performance. 

What also helps is the fact that Opera and Vivaldi come with a built-in ad blocker, which removes the need to add a third-party adblocker extension. We will cover more on this in the features section below.

Features 

If you have only used Chrome and Edge in the recent past, you will be surprised to see how Opera and Vivaldi have made a conscious decision to focus on the feature set of browsers. These browsers are not just web browsing tools as they have consistently pushed to include more and more productivity features into their browser.

Ad Blocker

Both the browsers have some identical features, such as the adblocker. You get a built-in ad blocker on both browsers, but none have it enabled by default. 

In Opera and Vivaldi, click the Shield icon to enable or disable the Adblocker for a current open webpage. To enable it for all the web pages, on Opera, click the Easy Setup icon on the top right corner and enable an ad blocker under the Privacy and Security section. 

On Vivaldi, you need to go a little deeper to access these settings. To enable ad blocker, open Settings, go to Privacy and choose Block Tracker and Ads option. You can also choose to block only the tracker and let the ads run if you prefer.

Power users can also create an exception list to manage blocking levels per site in Vivaldi and Opera.

Sync 

Making the switch from Chrome, Firefox or Edge browser to Opera or Vivaldi is as easy as it gets. You can import and sync all the data, including your password, URLs, bookmarks, history and more, to get started.

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Tab Management 

Opera has the traditional tab manager where all the open tabs are stacked on top of the browser. However, Vivaldi has tab customization options like no other.

To start with, you can change the tab bar position by stacking the tabs on the left or right sidebar or even at the bottom. You can also change the active tab minimum width, enable or disable popup thumbnails, detect page title notifications, customize the page load progress bar, and change new tab positions.

There is an option to change tab stacking to enable Two-Level stacking that allows tab grouping. This is a great way to organize the tabs on devices with smaller displays. In addition, clicking on the Trash icon on the toolbar will show you recently closed tabs that you can restore. 

Then there is the Tile tabs option to view all your tabs on a split-screen. Excellent for research work as you don’t have to juggle between two tabs consistently to gather the information. 

Vivaldi’s other tab management features include the option to search your open tabs, save tabs for later, hibernate tabs to reduce the load on your system resources, and more.

VPN and ad blocker

Opera has some features that Vivaldi doesn’t offer. One of them is the built-in VPN. It allows you to browse the web anonymously without being tracked by your internet service provider and unblock region-restricted websites.

Adblocker is available on both browsers. Although not enabled by default, you can easily enable it from the settings. 

Additional features 

You will find the ability to customize the basic keyboard shortcuts and customize the trackpad gesture on both browsers. You create new hotkeys as per your preference to add speed dial, navigate, create bookmarks, clear history and more.

Vivaldi has a dedicated tab to customize mouse gestures and keyboard shortcuts; You can reconfigure the gestures, adjust sensitivity and enable rocker gestures.

Opera vs Vivaldi

When you open Opera, you will notice a few apps stacked on the sidebar. It consists of integrated social media apps, streaming apps and entertainment apps. You can log in to Twitch, Reddit, Discord, stream audio from YouTube Music, Apple Music and even chat on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp directly from the web browser.

My Flow is another Oprea exclusive that you can access from the side panel. It allows you to connect all your devices with My Flow to send messages and files between your mobile and desktop.

Opera vs Vivaldi

Of course, you must have the Opera browser installed on your Android or iOS smartphone to use the service. It’s a convenient feature for those who keep switching between their smartphone and PCs frequently.

There are plenty of additional features Vivaldi offers that you will not find on Opera. Most of them are customization features that can improve your productivity.

The Quick Commands feature on Vivaldi allows you to execute commands with the F2 shortcut key. You can use it to open calculators, bookmarks, notes, browsing history, extension and page actions.

Another interesting feature in the Vivaldi browser is the ability to create a QR code for any web page. If you don’t want to spam people with links, create and download the QR code and then send it to your contacts. Scanning the QR code will open the webpage.

Vivaldi offers some pre-installed web panels on its sidebar that includes Wikipedia. These panels consist of shortcuts to your favorite websites that you can access alongside the open tabs without switching to a new tab. You can also create your own web panels to add shortcuts for services like YouTube and other social and streaming websites that you frequently use. 

Vivaldi’s history tab is far more elaborate than what we have seen on any other browser. It adds new ways to explore your browsing patterns, shows browsing activity, link transition type and top domains that you have visited in the recent past.

Cross Platform and Extension Support 

Irrespective of the browser you choose, you can find them on all the major platforms. Vivaldi supports Windows, OSX, Linux, iOS and Android platforms. Opera supports all these platforms plus offers a version for feature phones as well.

Extension support and availability is another strength for these browsers. Chrome Web Store was among the major reasons behind the success of Google’s browser. Chromium browsers like Opera and Vivaldi have access to almost all the Chrome Store extensions.

You can go to the Chrome Web Store on Vivaldi, search for an extension, and install it without any issues. However, Opera requires you to install a support extension to be able to install and use Chrome Store extensions. Opera also has its own extension store if you want more.

Privacy and Security 

Coming to one of the most important aspects of modern browsers, Opera may have an advantage over Vivaldi when it comes to privacy. These are among the only major browsers that come with a built-in adblocker. However, Opera also includes a built-in VPN client that you can use to browse the web without compromising sensitive information.

If having a VPN client is a prerequisite in a browser, Opera is a better choice. Apart from the shiny features under the hood, most of the privacy settings remain the same. You can control the site settings, and change tracker settings, but only Vivaldi offers three levels of tracking protection.

In an Opera vs Vivaldi battle, it is a matter of preference!

Opera and Vivaldi are excellent browsers and go neck to neck in performance, stability, security and privacy options. While Opera offers built-in VPN and integration with popular streaming, social media and entertainment apps, Vivaldi is yet to consider these options.

However, Vivaldi is no slouch either as it offers its own unique side panel where you can add favourite streaming services and any other website as a web app. That said, Vivaldi’s biggest advantage is its extensive set of features that is unseen on any other browser.

So which browser should you choose? Having a lot of features necessarily doesn’t make the browser a better choice. If you want a browser with social media and streaming app integration, VPN and a built-in ad blocker, Opera is a better choice. Take both the browsers for a spin to better understand which browser meets your requirement best.

Opera

Opera

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