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Netvibes review: Netvibes

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The Good Netvibes is easy to set up, loads quickly, and offers a tight interface sans ads that is easy to customize with news and e-mail messages from various accounts and that lets you share your content.

The Bad Netvibes' setup sends your password in a text e-mail; failed to upload OPML feeds and insert some modules; and lacks user support forums.

The Bottom Line If you want to fill a personal home page with dozens of individualized newsfeeds and tools, Netvibes does a cleaner job than rival services from bigger brand names.

Visit for details.

7.0 Overall
  • Setup 6
  • Features 9
  • Support 6

Review Sections

Netvibes is a custom home page service that lets you collect your favorite online content and access it all from any Web browser. For example, wouldn't it be more productive to log on to one Web page to read your newest e-mail in addition to the latest news from favorite wire services, magazines, and blogs, as well as see your calendar appointments and to-do lists? Why not throw in your most recent online bookmarks and photo galleries while you're at it? How about tossing in your city's weather and movie listings, as well as airfare lookups and maps for driving directions? Although the product's not perfect, Parisian start-up company Netvibes has created a clean, personal home page that is better than others we've tested, including Windows

We signed up for free at and, within moments, received a confirmation e-mail showing our selected login and password in clear text. Netvibes would be wiser, however, to send a confirmation URL, rather than spelling out a private password. Once you log in (to be safe, change your password immediately), you're ready to add content. Within a matter of minutes, we'd dragged in more than 20 modules of news and podcasts from major publications and niche blogs, in addition to widgets for weather, Flickr photos, eBay auctions, and an animated aquarium.

We like the elegant, compact layout of Netvibes, which lets you add copious content without making the home page cluttered.

Netvibes' Add Content link opens a left-hand menu of feeds and modules that you can then drag to the center of your page. The featured content list reads like a Web 2.0 menu du jour, with news sites including the Make and BoingBoing blogs, plus modules for, Writely, and so on. (Unfortunately, the Writely module didn't work for us.) You can add a Gmail feed in a snap, but you'll need to set up POP mail first to display Yahoo Mail messages. You should be able to click Netvibes' Add My Feed link to insert an RSS, ATOM, or Web site address or to import an OPML file, such as a list of links from a blog.

However, our OPML list of some 80 Web sites failed to import, as did more than half of the third-party newsfeeds and modules we attempted to add. You can look up all sorts of widgets and feeds and add them in two steps (when they work) from the Netvibes Ecosystem page. Another way to add content when you're out and about online is to click a Netvibes badge when you see one, à la Web site badges for or Digg This that litter the pages of many savvy content sites these days.

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