Solar irradiance varies on all timescales at which it has ever been observed. The interest in solar irradiance variability is by far not limited to the solar community but has been for a long time driven by solar-stellar and solar-terrestrial studies. In particular, the solar-stellar comparison studies have recently enjoyed a new lease on life. A large number of dedicated space missions and ground-based surveys launched over the last decade brought us data for millions of stars. These data finally allow an accurate comparison of the Sun to its peers and quantitatively addressing a fundamental question of how typical is our Sun as a variable star.
I review the recent progress in solar-stellar comparison and show how it can help us to better understand a violent solar past and its quieter future.