Everything you should know about private browsing

  • Vivaldi Team

    In our series on privacy and security, we look at how Private Windows work and give you some tips on how to use private browsing.

    Click here to see the full blog post

  • vivaldi needs more privacy-related features

    • separate sessions private tabs/windows (afair in chrome each private window has its own cookies/other stuff or you can choose which windows share which session as windows are marked with emoticons in taskbar)
    • private tabs maybe?
    • separate from system-wide proxy settings + separate proxy settings for private browsing

    Mozilla gets Tor integrated into some kind of superprivacy mode - that's nice too. Opera has built-in proxy (called "VPN", but that's not a VPN). Chrome has separate sessions as said before.

    It would be nice to have more features like others have.

  • uO Advanced, or better yet, uM.

  • Moderator

    I use private browsing when I need to temporarily manage two logins on the same site, or need to quickly view a site with extensions disabled.

    I see that this article doesn't mention that extensions are disabled by default in private windows - it might be worth adding that in case people use privacy-related extensions.

    Also, here you state:

    It tries – as much as possible – to only store website cache files in memory

    I'm guessing this means if you run out of allocatable memory it spills over on to the disk. In this case a special (optional) feature might be to prompt the user that this is about to happen and let them close tabs to free memory, instead of silently starting to write to disk. I'm not sure how feasible that would be though.

  • Vivaldi Team

    Chromium (the engine used by Vivaldi, Chrome and Opera) does not currently support the idea of multiple private sessions. Either the window is "private" or it is not. All private windows share the same session (that is the same in all of these browsers). You can use various command line switches (--profile-dir="anotherprofile" to use another profile with the same settings or --user-data-dir="C:\foo\bar" to use a completely different profile with its own settings) to open the browser with a different local profile, and you can then open a private browsing window which would be a different private browsing session from any that you already had open in your normal profile. It's a somewhat messy solution, but with the current Chromium limitations, it is useful to know it.

    But I totally agree, it would be lovely to have multiple private sessions - I have needed that functionality many times just for website testing. And I am personally quite fond of private tabs rather than private windows.

    As for VPN, this was discussed in a previous blog post in this series, and an interview with Jon covers our future desires in that area.

  • @lonm: Most of those extensions are not privacy related but anonymity related (I am talking in a room with another person/server vs I am wearing a metal bucket over my head in public so that the other person does not recognize who is talking) - and many of those extensions bring Google analytics with them inside.

  • A private windows is also a good way to test a site to see if it might be an extension or a cache or cookie issue when a site is not working right.


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