#1 start.me

start.me
example of a default start.me page

My favorite new tab alternative is start.me. I use it all the time. It’s fast, efficient, easy to personalize, and generally beautifully designed. It excels at managing bookmarks, but there are tons of other features. Discover alternative sites. Monitor RSS feeds, the weather, or your favorite social media channels. Because it’s a cloud solution, you can access the same page on all your browsers and devices.

The team responsible for this bookmark manager has launched its first version back in 2014, so you might call it a veteran player. You can tell this product has some history, as it runs smoothly and without delay. No glitches anywhere. Last year they launched a complete redesign so it doesn’t feel dated at all. They keep on improving their product too, which is great.

The only downside to this excellent tab manager is the fact that they decided to retire their lifetime PRO membership offer. At a ridiculously low price of 60 USD, you could use this product forever. I’m so glad to have caught that offer in time! The price is still reasonable, though, and they have kept true to their promise to keep it free too. 

Performance
start.me’s advanced caching strategies make it load almost instantly.

Features

  • Bookmark management
  • RSS feeds
  • Notes & To-do lists
  • Email & Calendar
  • 5,000+ other widgets
  • Extended Page sharing & collaboration features
  • Export your data at any time

Compatibility

  • Supports all major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer, and Edge)
  • Useful on Desktop & Mobile devices.

Price
Free to use. Premium subscription offered at $20/year.

#2 Momentum provides daily inspiration

Momentum Chrome Extension
Momentum Chrome Extension

Momentum provides daily inspiration on your new tab page. It does a wonderful job with stunning images, quotes, a main focus option for the day. There are also many integrations possible that link to several to do apps like Todoist and Google Tasks. You can add custom inks and see the time.

If you’re looking for inspiration, you can’t really go wrong. Still, some of the choices this developer makes are a bit curious. For example, on any computer you’ll see the date in some way or another, so placing this information center stage is really a waste of the most valuable screen real estate. And, even though it’s sympathetic to be greeted every time with your first name, this too gets annoying. Yes, it’s me again. Now, let’s get on with it!

And so we come to the all important BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). It’s a brave thing to put this center stage, really. This final thing might just be the redeeming quality for this alternative tab. It’s not as versatile or efficient as start.me, but it really isn’t bad at all. 

Performance:
Works fully offline and loads quickly.

UX:
The background images are truly inspirational and make this a wonderful app. Momentum provides a limited feature set and this makes the extension great if you are after a minimalistic new tab page.

Features:

  • To do list
  • Weather
  • Set a daily goal/focus/intention
  • New inspirational photo and quote each day
  • Subtle custom links and search
  • Return to default Chrome Tab from Links
  • Customize the dashboard by showing/hiding widgets
  • Feel good and get things done!

Export:
Not possible to export your data

Available for:
Chrome only

Pricing:
Free to use.

Try Momentum now!

#3 Speed Dial 2

speeddial2 screenshot

Speed dial 2 is an extension for Google Chrome and for Firefox, which replaces your new tab page with a customizable list of your favorite websites. In short, it allows you to access your bookmarks and browsing history quickly. In a time where 

It’s not as versatile as other new tab alternatives out there, but it’s easy to add bookmarks and be on your way.

 

Performance
Speed Dial 2 mainly runs locally on your computer, and therefore it loads very fast.

UX
Beautifully done. Simple, elegant, and intuitive.

Features

  • Favorite websites, apps, bookmarks, and browsing history
  • Clean and intuitive design
  • Beautiful themes and easy customization
  • Easily organize your favorite sites to boost productivity
  • Synchronization with other computers and mobile devices

Export:
Exporting your bookmarks is possible.

Available for:
For Chrome only

Pricing:
Free to use. Lifetime Premium account available for just $4.99.

Try Speed Dial 2 yourself!

#4 Netvibes

netvibes screenshot

Netvibes provides an advanced dashboard solution for your new tab page. The feature richness on a somewhat complex UX and slow performance.

Performance:
Takes a few seconds to load. When using this start page, the slowness is quite apparent, it isn’t the servers – being robust and able to handle traffic; it’s the extra widgets, special effects and functionality that really weight down on the platform, making it slow. It’s a heavy one.

UX:
The website is fairly clean, no ads, a whole bunch of links at the bottom of the page – but those are quite neatly organized and can also be hidden from view. A lot of space is wasted for no particularly good reason, with a tiny search bar in the middle of all this space at the top of the page.

The top bar is mismatched in color and style, and cannot be customized or hidden. Working with the platform is intuitive, but sometimes some basic functionality is missing (take for example re-organizing your bookmarks, it can’t be done!) – they can only be sorted. Also, some extra features that get in the way of useful features (take for example search by tag within your bookmarks – it’s easier to run a google search). All in all some of the UI is good, some is poor. Another disappointment is that tabs get stuck sometimes and page must be refreshed.

Features:

  • Large collection of gadgets to choose from – ranging from an email assistant, Facebook feed, Analytics feed, Todo list, Flight list, Weather, Alexa, Ebay, Calculator and thousands more.
  • Bookmarking is not that easy, and the bookmark tags & tag search functionality just gets in the way. Categories for bookmarks would have been much better. Bookmarks open in a new window, nice.
  • Advanced RSS capabilities

Export of your data
Super easy. Just click settings & download. Voila.

Available for:
All major browsers

Price:
Free to use. Premium version starts at $2 per month.

Try http://www.netvibes.com now!

#5 New Tab Plus is a fast speed dial option

X New Tab Page

New Tab Plus offers a speed dial like New Tab page with an additional cloud back up option. You can add new sites with no trouble at all. With readymade logo’s and recently visited sites you can make sure the page looks great too. And if you want a bit more color, you can even add an original background image to the mix. 

So, what does this new tab page offer, that other new tab pages don’t? In two words: dock and extensions. First, let’s highlight the dock. At the bottom of the window you get a series of icons you can use to get access to several other options. This series of icons looks a bit like a first generation Apple MacOS Dock. You can move the icons around, get quick access to all features of this versatile product. And it looks great too.

Second, the extensions you can add are the very same Browser extensions you’ve already got installed in the browser. Nothing original here, except for the fact that it’s fast. You can even find a quick link to the Chrome Web Store here.

Performance:
Very fast!

UX:
Nice, simple, easy. We still see a limit, though: there are no more than 12 tiles available in the default setting. This limits your option considerably.

Features:

  • Easy access to bookmarks and list of recent visited sites
  • Choose wallpapers
  • You can put search engines in the dial boxes. Therefore, you no longer need to open another tab to search something.
  • There are also various other plugins, like a weather report, calendar, IP detector and more.
  • Safe storage of data in the cloud.

Export:
Yes, this solution offers an export option, to make sure you’re not locked into one system.

Available for:
Chrome and Chromium only

Pricing:
Free to use.

Try New Tab Plus now!

#7 Symbaloo

symbaloo sceenshot

Symbaloo is an icon-based start page, where colorful images serve as links on a dark background.

Performance:
Loads quite quickly.

UX:
This start page has a nice and clean design. Background can be changed to white if the black is too gloomy after a while.
Playing with the tiles can be satisfying, but only to a point. It takes a long time to add each link, and there is a limit of 52 bookmarks per page.

The central 8-tile space is also a bad decision for usability purposes, because every time I want to read another RSS feed, I have to click it for it to appear in the center square. This defeats the purpose – might as well open in a new window. Search also appears there, but disappears when reading an RSS feed. At least links open in a new window.

Features:

  • Bookmarking
  • RSS feeds
  • A couple of basic widgets to choose from
  • Custom backgrounds
  • Pages can be shared

Export:
No export available

Available for:
All major platforms and browsers

Pricing:
Free to use. Paid versions available for Educational organizations and Businesses.

Try Symbaloo now.

Last update to this article: October 24, 2019.

#6 Awesome New Tab Page

Awesome New Tab Page

Awesome New Tab Page provides a highly customizable and powerful start page. The UX is quite tricky: you can add new widget, but you need to press Esc to release the widget. There is a shop of third-party widget builders you can integrate into your pages, which is nice, but also raises questions of privacy and security. Do the rights you grant these other developers extens to ANTP too? Or vice versa? Many questions for a product that’s still popular.

Performance:
Works fully locally on your machine and therefore loads very quickly.

UX
The interface feels both versatile and clunky at the same time. It’s easy to add and remove stuff on your page, but the design isn’t as elegant as some of the other alternatives mentioned on this page.

Features:

  • Dynamic widgets that do more than take you places
  • Rearrange, add and remove tiles to fit your needs
  • Create custom shortcuts (just like apps) anywhere on the web
  • Search websites directly from custom shortcuts
  • Resize apps, shortcuts, and even some widgets
  • If you’re a web developer, you can make your widgets using HTML/CSS/JavaScript
  • Sphere personalized content discovery experience

Export:
You cannot export your bookmarks or other data

Available for:
Chrome only

Pricing:
Free to use

Try Awesome New Tab Page!

#8 Protopage

protopage-11383062

Performance:
Quite fast, no complaints. A couple of seconds to load, but when loaded runs very fast & smooth.

UX:
The interface is mostly intuitive and fast. That’s awesome. Although the interface appears to be cluttered, most widgets can be quickly deleted and cleaned up, and theme & colors are configurable. Some functionality, however, is very poorly implemented. (Take for example adding bookmarks) If you’ve got quite a few bookmarks, you’re in for a nightmare. Another striking problem is the fluid state of everything: it’s like you’re always in edit mode, so half the time I’m changing my layout or my bookmarks without any intention to do so. True, it’s just as easy to change back, but why can’t everything stay in place once I set it right?

Features:

  • Extensive collection of gadgets available – including several user-designed gadgets
  • Bookmarking
  • RSS feeds
  • Export:
    No export functionality is available bookmarks? Forget it: no backup, no option to ever export them. If this start page dies, all your bookmarks die with it.

    Available for:
    All major browsers

    Pricing:
    Free to use. Paid version for $30 a year (to remove the ads).

    Try Protopage now.

#10 My Yahoo

My Yahoo - Personal dashboard

My Yahoo is a customizable web page with news, stock quotes, weather, and many other features. From all of the lists of New Tab Alternatives, it’s one of the oldest and most copied. Before the advent of the Google search page, it was surely one of the most important personalizable homepages. It’s still quite useful today.

Performance:
The loading speed is acceptable – though not very fast.

UX:
The user interface is clean and well designed. Rearranging your page content is done using drag and drop. Adding and removing content is easy, as well. All in all, My Yahoo provides an excellent user experience.

Are you looking for one place to go for updates from all of your favorite sites, blogs, scores, quotes, and other info? This version of a personal startpage is hugely customizable, and you can choose what you want to see.

Features:

  • Bookmarks
  • News
  • Stock quotes
  • Weather
  • Horoscopes
  • Custom Backgrounds

Export:
It’s not possible to export your bookmarks and feeds from your account.

Available for:
Web (all browsers)

Pricing:
Free to use.

Try My Yahoo now!

igHome

igHome

igHome tries to emulate and restore as much as possible of the old functionality and design of iGoogle (retired by Google in 2013).

Performance:
The website is a bit slow. Once you remove some of the default widgets and news feeds, it accelerates a bit.

UX:
There are a huge banner and a few lines of clutter on the bottom of the screen, other than that it’s mostly clean.

Edit processes are unnecessarily long and annoying. Adding widgets takes a long time, and even removing them takes too long (page has to be refreshed). Organizing bookmarks is impossible: can’t drag them or create categories. For a start page, I find this to be a big problem; The bookmarks auto-sort alphabetically. The color choices for most widgets are terrible and inconsistent, and the design is quite poor.

Features:

  • Bookmarking
  • RSS feeds
  • Lots of gadgets (e.g., weather, traffic, financial) to choose from

Export:
No export options for your bookmarks.

Available for:
All major platforms and browsers.

Pricing:
Free to use.

Try igHome now!