Why try to contact google-analytics?



  • Why is Vivaldi trying to contact google-analytics so frequently? I launch the browser, and it immediately tries to reach google-analytics on UDP. Given that goolge-analytics is a basic snoop, I am not going to allow that anyway.





  • @Streptococcus Also see the article:
    https://vivaldi.com/blog/decoding-network-activity-in-vivaldi/

    FYI here's a list of the connections Vivaldi makes after launch on my system:

    IPv4	TCP	downloads.vivaldi.netdna-cdn.com	[151.139.236.233]	443	https
    IPv4	TCP	login.vivaldi.net			[31.209.137.8]		443	https
    IPv4	TCP	www.gstatic.com				[172.217.21.163]	443	https
    IPv4	TCP	accounts.google.com			[216.58.207.205]	443	https
    IPv4	TCP	bifrost.vivaldi.com			[31.209.137.10]		443	https
    IPv4	TCP	bifrost.vivaldi.com			[31.209.137.10]		15674	https
    IPv4	TCP	update.googleapis.com			[172.217.20.35]		443	https
    

    So no Google Analytics over UDP. But those Google IPs are interchangeable (all 1e100.net aliases) so give different host names depending on DNS used, location and so on.

    Strange that you're detecting UDP traffic though. Maybe you have some extension that does this?

    Vivaldi does some UPnP/SSDP broadcast traffic over UDP on startup as well, I believe this is for discovering Chromecast devices on the local network only. Apparently this traffic can't be disabled even when setting flags to disable casting 😕



  • Those 3 links do not explain a connection to google-analytics. I was detecting that with an outbound firewall that I have on my Mac. I shall not be bothered with that item again because I blocked it with the firewall. I just want to know why Vivaldi should be contacting a tracker like google-analytics.
    Oh, another thing why does Vivaldi claim to need something like Vivaldi Helper? It seems to be able to contact websites without that.



  • @Streptococcus There is no connection to Google Analytics from Vivaldi during launch. Most likely this is one of your installed extensions. For the example hosts I gave above, the connections to www.gstatic.com and accounts.google.com are due to installed extensions. That only leaves update.googleapis.com which Vivaldi needs for updating extensions from the Chrome store and other things as explained in the blog post by Yngve.

    Since UDP is (usually) not encrypted, it would be easy to view the data sent using for instance WireShark.

    Also try disabling all your extensions and see if the traffic goes away.

    why does Vivaldi claim to need something like Vivaldi Helper?

    What is this exactly? There is no mention in the articles about such a thing? Is it an extension?


  • Moderator

    @Pathduck Some years back, in earlier versions, I used to see something called Vivaldi Helper in the Task Manager. I never knew exactly what it did.


  • Moderator

    @Pathduck There's something about it here, from 2016:

    https://forum.vivaldi.net/post/74459


  • Moderator

    @Pathduck The Chromium team had to implement some hacks on macOS to provide a way for the system to differentiate the main browser process from Chromium's child processes, and even more tricks to only display a single application icon in the Dock even though there are many browser processes running concurrently. Many Mac users still keep asking, "what the heck is Google Chrome Helper", and there is not a lot of technical documentation out there that provides a good explanation.

    Here's an interesting old blog post that describes some of the challenges that the Chromium developers faced when they first ported their code to the Mac: http://an.enduringcolumn.com/2011/03/of-hacks-and-helpers.html

    The Mac-specific Chomium code has evolved since then but "Google Chrome Helper" (and "Vivaldi Helper") still live to this day.

    -> why does Vivaldi claim to need something like Vivaldi Helper?
    What is this exactly? There is no mention in the articles about such a thing? Is it an extension?


  • Moderator

    @Streptococcus You have to be careful when looking at connections made to Google IP addresses because you can't always infer the correct context just by doing a reverse lookup on the address.

    Generally speaking, a Chromium-based browser can't avoid connections to Google and still function correctly; There are plenty of legitimate reasons why these connections occur and why they need to occur.

    In every case that I can think of, at least where I had been involved in analyzing (and replicating) users' reports of strange/unexpected connections to Google, the connections were either taking place for legitimate reasons or it had actually been the result of the user's actions and activities that caused those connections to occur.

    Why is Vivaldi trying to contact google-analytics so frequently? I launch the browser, and it immediately tries to reach google-analytics on UDP. Given that goolge-analytics is a basic snoop, I am not going to allow that anyway.


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