iGoogle Alternative Netvibes

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 4, 2012
Updated • Dec 11, 2012

With iGoogle being shut down by Google in November 2013 I thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of the Internet startpage alternatives that users of iGoogle may switch to when that time comes.

I first came into contact with Netvibes in 2006 and have used it for quite a while back then as my central hub for reading RSS feeds. I later on switched to desktop feed readers as I ran into several issues using the site that took too long to get fixed.


Netvibes at its core is a service that  lets you create your own personalized start page, just like iGoogle offers to do. It gives its users control over the layout of the page, the widgets that are added to it, themes, and other personalization options.

You can concentrate on a single startpage, or use tabs to create multiple pages for different purposes. A click on the plus icon in the upper left corner of the screen displays all available widgets. Here is a short list of widget types that you can add to your startpage on Netvibes:

  • RSS feed urls
  • News (e.g. Google News, Yahoo News, major newspapers like WSJ or LA Times
  • Email, including Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and Pop3 among others
  • Weather reports
  • Social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook
  • Finance related information
  • Games
  • Lifestyle and shopping related widgets
  • Travel guides, deals and maps

You can drag the widgets around on each tab to move them into the right location on the screen. Some require configuration before you can make use of them. To integrate an email account, you need to enter your login credentials for instance, while most social networking sites need to be linked to Netvibes before new notifications and messages are displayed on the site.

Netvibes supports themes which you can activate with a few clicks of the button. Here you find the usual assortment of dark and light themes.


One interesting new feature that I do not think was available before is the public page which is accessible without having to sign in first to the service. The widgets are limited though, as all that require authorization of some sort are not available for selection. If you are only interested in news, weather, information and the like, you could create a public page instead and use it without having to log in first every time you want to use the service.

If it is only feed reading and news that you are after, you can switch to reader view which offers a streamlined optimized news listing. Here you only see news and feed related contents, and not the widgets anymore. The layout is similar to other feed reading or messaging applications.


You do not find any ads listed on Netvibes. Even the free version ships without any kind of advertisement, and it appears that the operators are generating revenue from premium accounts that they make available. Premium users get access to additional features like alerts or analytics plus VIP support.


Netvibes is a solid alternative for iGoogle users. The service is fast and reliable, and it should not take long for iGoogle users to get accustomed to it. There are a few minor issues concerning drag and drop, and a few of the widgets that are offered. For the most time though, everything works fine and without larger issues.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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