Wibki

wibki start page
Wibki start page

A grid with some tiles, that’s Wibki. It’s not bad for a New Tab Alternative. You don’t have to start from scratch if you don’t want to, even though you can quickly select the subjects you’re interested in during the signup process. It’s remarkably fast and useful for the discovery of new sites. They have called this section ‘Explore’. A great idea, if only they updated it more regularly. Like, we haven’t seen any update in about 5 years!

Performance

As far as we can tell, this site works great. You can add 54 sites to each page, and you can add all the sites you want to. They are ordered automatically, but you can drag and drop them too.

There are not many limits to your imagination here. You can add interests to get a hold of a lot of new interesting sites to explore. You’ll see them all in new tabs. If you want to delete them, that’s no problem too. And then there’s also the Weekly Picks section, where you can click some new interesting sites, whenever you want to. You can add these to your own tabs easily.

Features

  • Free account to manage your bookmarks.
  • Unlimited bookmarks and tabs.
  • Inspiration and bookmarks discovery based on areas of interest.
  • The privacy statement is available.

Price

Free to use. No payment options.

Searchall.net is a great way to start searching

searchall.net
searchall.net

The great thing about Searchall.net is that you have many options at once. You’re not limited to Google anymore; you can select the search engine you like. Once you type in a search term, you get it with every other option, in shopping, documents, image search, or videos. Everywhere. So, this is a useful addition to your browser, that’s for sure.

What are Searchall.net Advantages?

  • The main advantage is that you get many different options.
  • You can choose from several unknown or lesser-known options like WolframAlpha, Photopin, or OverDrive.
  • No need to retype a search term: the page will remember it for many search engines.
  • Fast loading time.
  • Available on desktop, laptop, and mobile devices.
  • Free to use, no hidden fees.

What are the disadvantages of Searchall.net?

Even though it’s definitely a fast loading and practical starting point of your online life, there are a few disadvantages to using this page.

  • You can’t personalize anything. So you’ll see a lot of links you won’t need or like.
  • Some links are dead (FileDiva) or unsafe (Rapid4me), and you can’t change this.
  • It’s totally text-drive: back to the nineties!
  • We see a lot of advertisements. Can we get rid of this?
  • How about tracking codes? We don’t see an obvious link to a Privacy Declaration or a Terms of Use.

Final verdict

Searchall s not a perfect solution, but it’s still an interesting one. If you’re looking for ways to add search engines to your startpage, you could change the Omnibox of your browser. If you want to add other sites too, we recommend using a New Tab Alternative like start.me. There you can add as many search engines as you like, including search options for all other sites. You can even add different Search widgets, to make the page appear exactly the same as in Searchall, only personalized and without dead links. Everything is explained in their support article about changing the Search Bar settings.

43Marks

43marks startpage
Typical 43Marks startpage

The creators of 43marks call it the ‘Ultimate Homepage.’ It’s quite a claim to stake. When you really look at what’s behind this claim, you see it’s a customizable homepage with a search bar, bookmarks, and RSS feeds. Once you log in, which is a painless process even though you can’t use any of your social accounts, you’ll get a grid where you can manage lists of your bookmarks. That’s basically it. Is it enough to convince us it’s ‘the ultimate one’?

Performance

It loads fast enough because it’s completely text-based. No logo or icon insight. Naomi Klein would be proud.

Features

  • Basic bookmarking features are available.
  • RSS feed widgets and search bar seem broken.
  • Free to use.
  • Easy sharing of bookmarks by page URL.

You can access the site with any online browser, including a smartphone’s. It’s not responsive, though. What is broken remains broken.

Advantages of 43marks.com

Easy to log in. You can make lists of your favorite bookmarks. Some of them are already available. It’s fast and dirty. The technique seems a reliable javascript from the nineties.

Problems

The product seems abandoned. The business model is not clear. What happens when the entire site goes offline? It only seems a matter of time.

Final verdict

Don’t waste your time on this one. Still, if you want to return to the early days of the Internet, go right ahead. This site is a remnant of the days before CSS. Especially useful when feeling nostalgic!

iChrome

Typical iChrome screenshot

iChrome is a New Tab Alternative you’ll grow to love. Eventually. First, you have to set it up, just the way you want to. You can add widgets with a drag and drop, change some settings, import bookmarks, get inspirational quotes. Adding widgets is easy, once you see how.

Performance

The site load locally, so it’s fast. You can detect some delays when refreshing an RSS feed, but this never really becomes cumbersome. It’s not clear how the news gets aggregated, but they still offer many different sources, like the New York Times. Everything seems designed for speed.

Features

  • Fast loading homepage you can personalize.
  • You get a few quick links. It’s not a viable bookmark manager.
  • You can follow the news with an RSS feed, even see it full screen.
  • There is a theme shop, to change the background image and other styling options.
  • When switching from grid to page layout, the site doesn’t respond well.
  • Limited personalization options to preset widgets.

Benefits iChrome

As with many New Tab Alternatives, this version offers a lot more functionality than Google. You can enable or disable the search box, add widgets, and generally make your homepage or new tab page functional again. Still, this slimmed-down version of a start.me page doesn’t really convince us since it also limits the user a lot. You can customize your page, but not with the powerful functionality of a bookmark manager. None the less, you could do a lot worse.

Drawbacks iChrome

We’ve mentioned the biggest drawback already: it’s functional, but not very practical. You get 8 quick links in the PRO version: this must be a joke! The other widgets are mostly shipped with a Windows computer or Mac too, so we don’t see a lot of added value.

Compatibility

Not responsive, and since it’s not possible to install an extension in a mobile version of the Chrome browser, it’s useless outside the Chrome desktop.

Price

For $ 4,99 per month or $ 29,99 per year, this seems like an expensive addition to your browser. Still, with over 200.000 registered users, they clearly offer a product worth considering.

Aboogy

Aboogy
Aboogy screenshot

With an account, you can log into Aboogy and use preset bookmarks to go to your favorite sites or add your own. This New Tab Alternative is not a bad one, even though we’ve seen better. The technology seems dated, there’s hardly any styling. It’s not even a fast site to load.

Performance

You can’t use Facebook or Google to log in, but the process is painless. You only need to confirm your inscription with your activation email. Once you’re in, you can add some new links and move them around. This doesn’t work flawlessly. All together, we can’t really endorse this product.

Features Aboogy

  • Easy login.
  • Most remarkable unique feature: inspirational quote.
  • Mostly text-based.
  • Some advertisements are present.
  • You can add bookmarklets to your bookmark bar, to send links, read later or quick save.

Compatibility

This site isn’t responsive, which makes it difficult to use on a mobile device. Logging in also took more time than we expected. Still, the fact that you see the same page on your mobile as on your desktop gives a familiar feeling.

Price

Fortunately, this service doesn’t charge any money. You can still donate some bitcoins if you want to. Is it worth trying out this service? Of course!

Blackhomepage

Blackhomepage
Blackhomepage

The Blackhomepage offers literally what’s in a name: a black background for your homepage. Easy on the eyes, they promise, and especially in dim-lit situations, this might be true. In real life, though, you might be happier with a bit of choice here. It’s no secret that Google only offers a white homepage, so there’s really nothing wrong with that.

Another less than obvious choice is the collection of links they provide. You see a lot of icons, some of them are the original ones, others are custom. The headings they use are also confusing: sometimes they use the original content, other times they use a more generic word like Weather, to link to the site Weathermetro. This choice feels arbitrary. At least, with 44 links, and no options to change any, and a promise of no tracking, this looks like a great basic homepage for anyone.

Performance

The great advantage of the radical choices behind the Blackhomepage is speed. It doesn’t take long to load it. also because it apparently uses a CDN service for quick delivery. Speed is guaranteed.

Features Blackhomepage

  • Dark theme.
  • 44 links to important websites.
  • Secure search through DuckDuckGo.
  • Clear Privacy statement, Cookie consent form, integration with social media.

Compatibility

This homepage seems designed to work on desktop or laptop computers only. On an iPhone, it loses most of its functionality, as the grid gets replaced by no more than 12 links. Not compatible.

Price

The price is right: this service is offered for free. It’s not entirely clear how this site makes its money, affiliate linking might be possible, but it’s not clear.

#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!