Vivaldi 3.0 becomes the newest web browser to block ads and trackers

Vivaldi 3.0 becomes the newest web browser to block ads and trackers

Vivaldi browser logo

Vivaldi

Vivaldi now has built-in options for blocking online trackers and ads. This is a change of heart for a web browser manufacturer whose manufacturer hoped that regulators would intervene to protect privacy. The new features, which are also expected to improve performance, are expected to be available on Wednesday with the release of Vivaldi 3.0.

The development of a version of Vivaldi for Android phones, the first stable version of which was released on Wednesday together with an update for PCs, contributed to the change. Testers said Vivaldi that an ad blocker was “essential” to speed up page loading and reduce the use of mobile data on smartphones, the Norwegian browser maker said.

Vivaldi users are not struggling with monthly network data limits alone. Chrome statistics show declines in data usage and slower website load speeds towards the end of the month when people reach their monthly limits and are throttled to slower networks.

The second impetus for blocking ads is Google’s planned change in the way that extensions interact with Chrome, and with it browsers like Vivaldi based on them Open Source Chromium Foundation. Extension authors have warned that the change called Manifest v3 could severely limit their ability to block ads and trackers.

Vivaldi Technologies‘Shift embodies the more aggressive approach that browser manufacturers are taking to protect people from online advertising technology, which, while supporting free online services, has also had significant disadvantages in terms of privacy, performance, convenience and security.

Supporting websites

Blocking ads also blocks advertising revenue for publishers, an effect Vivaldi is sensitive to.

“Put yourself in the position of your favorite websites. No doubt you want them to continue producing your favorite content. You don’t want to prevent them from generating revenue,” the company said in a blog post. Vivaldi recommends donating to websites and whitelisting ads for websites you trust. Vivaldi has a shield icon in its address bar that allows you to allow trackers or ads and trackers from the website that you have loaded.

Vivaldi prides itself on functionality and configuration flexibility, and this priority remains with the mobile browser. Vivaldi for Android includes an entire website screenshot tool that lets you annotate websites, present websites with a clean reader view, and sync history and other personal information with Vivaldi for PCs.

Vivaldi has approximately 1.5 million users and 50 employees, said managing director and founder Jon von Tetzchner, who launched another alternative browser, Opera, in the 1990s. Vivaldi is not yet profitable.

Block ads and trackers

Ad blocking is not enabled by default in Vivaldi. But almost the first thing people see when they install the browser is a configuration screen with three big buttons: no blocking, block tracker and block tracker and ads.

Vivaldi 3.0 offers the possibility to block online ads and trackers.

Vivaldi 3.0 offers the possibility to block online ads and trackers.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland / CNET

Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Microsoft’s Edge block trackers by default to prevent publishers, advertisers, and data brokers from logging your online activity. Brave goes one step further and blocks ads and trackers by default. Google’s Chrome blocks ads on ad-financed sites and plans to make tracking more difficult in 2022 by blocking the use of a technology called third-party cookies.

Such steps threaten publishers’ earnings. Even if people choose to block trackers only, it can also block ads that come with tracking technology. For this reason, publishers are asked to opt out of blocking ads on their website or to sign up for subscriptions.

Browser manufacturers are also taking some active measures to help websites. Mozilla began a partnership in the U.S. with Startup Scroll, which offers ad-free access to multiple online news sites for a monthly subscription. Brave rewards is designed to send parts of the browser’s integrated advertising system to you, Brave and the websites you visit.

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