Although Google Chrome is the most popular as well as most used browsers of all the time, it is losing its charm because its relentless marketing and privacy invasion have started to bother the users. And why not? No one wants to allow the search engines to be pushy and peeky. For this reason, users have started looking for better and safe browsers.
The good news is, there are other promising browsers in the world of the Internet that are both safe and fast.
One such browser is Brave, which aims at providing privacy to its users by changing the working of online advertisements.
In this article, we are providing a complete review of the Brave web browser and will discuss everything you need to know about it! We will keep it as straightforward as we can. So, without any further delay, let’s dive into it!
What is Brave?
Brave is an open-source browser that does all the functions of your regular browser like allows you to navigate to websites, display what’s online, play games, download/upload data, and whatnot. The fascinating thing is, it is based on Chromium which is the open-source code which in turn is the building block of Google Chrome.
Similar to mainstream browsers, it is totally free to download. Its main function is to provide privacy and a faster browsing experience to its users. Brave does this by collecting the site authentication information and block the advertisement from appearing on the websites you visit.
Brave Browser Release Date: 13 November 2019
The initial release of the Brave browser took place just a few months back i.e on 13 November 2019. At present, it has about 8 million active users on a monthly basis and about 3 million daily active users.
A Brief History of Brave
Back in 2015, when Brendan Eich and Brian Bondy established Brave, their main aim was to solve the biggest issue with the Internet: invasive advertising.
As we all know, ads are like the backbone of the modern internet that fuels it by allowing the websites and online creators to monetize their content by charging the users to read the website content or watch the videos. Having said that, both the Brave creators felt and understood the downside of the modern internet which is the privacy-invasive nature of the advertising system and its poor impact on the user experience.
Then in 2019, they released the first version of Brave by incorporating the two powerful trends: The Cryptocurrency and Ad-blocking Technology.
During the past few years, the cryptocurrency revolution was taking over the market and was the hottest trend. Companies, as well as individuals, were racing by creating their own cryptocurrencies which quickly touched the top of the billion-dollar market. Next, ad-blocking technology has made its place in the world of the Internet. By this time, hordes of users have learned to block the ads on the website from their phones, computers, and desktops.
Brave secured its position among the browsers which included the built-in ad tracker and ad-blocker. It also included its very own cryptocurrency: BAT (Basic Attention Token) which can be used to tip the websites and creators they genuinely like.
The main focus of Brave was to reform the way the modern internet works on an economic level.
All in all, Brave is no less than the mainstream Google Chrome. The basis of this browser is a Blink rendering engine, the main motive of which is webpages should work as per the expectation of the user.
What Makes The Brave Browser Different From Other Browsers?
As you may get an idea by now, the thing that makes Brave different from its kind is its aggressive nature towards online ads.
It is created to bypass the ads from the websites and to replace them with the ads from its own network.
Brave also attacks the ad trackers used by advertisers and publishers to know about their users and the sites they have visited in order to show the products they’ve purchased or looked for. This is the reason why your feeds get flooded with the items you have just shown some interest in!
To conclude it, the following points make Brave stand out from the rest browsers:
- It eliminates ad tracking and replaces the pushy-ads with anonymous ads.
- By suppressing the online ads, it works much faster
- It aims at creating a community of users around it.
- It allows you to completely remove the ads on a paid basis. You can either pay with your preferred payment method or the payment you’ve generated by Brave’s ad replacement mode.
- It allows you to accrue income in bitcoins as a part of ad revenue.
Brave Web Browser Extensions and Unique Features
Chrome Extensions: Because it is built on the Chromium platform, it works perfectly fine with the chrome extensions. You can add almost all the chrome extensions from the Chrome web store and they will still run perfectly on Brave. This gives you the flexibility to import all your favorite extensions you’re using when you switch to Brave.
1. Twitter Tips
The recent and the most popular feature that is added to the Brave browser is the ability it provides its users to tip the users on Twitter. Within a single click, you can tip your favorite content creator on Twitter by transferring revenue from your BAT wallet.
For this purpose, you will find a BAT icon plus the word “TIP” at the lower-right corner of the tweet. Once you find it, all you need to do is hit the icon and select the amount you want to tip from the fresh window, and confirm.
Afterward, you will be automatically tagged in a follow-tweet which will let the content creator know about the amount and the source of the TIP.
Sounds interesting. Isn’t it?
2. Dark Mode
Dark mode has gained a huge likeness of the users and for this reason, almost all the platforms and applications have included it. Well, Brave is no different! It is also concerned about the potential damage white light can do to your eyes and that said, you will get a dark mode on this platform too.
In order to enable it, you need to go to the settings pane from the left side of the menu and select Appearance. After that, you can choose between the options: Dark, Light and Same as Windows.
To enable it, navigate to brave://settings/
In the left side, menu select Appearance.
Is Brave browser safe?
Now, the biggest question arises, whether or not Brave is a safe browser. Don’t worry as we will give answers to all your questions!
Brave is strongly designed to promote user privacy. The mechanism it uses to achieve this aim is known as the Brave Shields which works together with the ad-blocking as well as the ad tracking technology.
Know that, it is turned on by default in the browser but if you want, you can easily deactivate it from the Settings pane.
If you think that Brave blocks the ad trackers on the basis of their appearance on the public blocklists, then you’re wrong!
Instead, Brave uses cloud-based machine learning ability to find the trackers who might be bothering the users greatly along with the ones identified by the browser itself.
In addition to it, Brave Shields forces the websites to use HTTPs where you will get the encrypted as well as unencrypted option. It encourages users to enable the encrypted option which makes it tough for the trackers to incept the website visited by you and interfere with your privacy.
While it sounds a bit harsh at this time, this is a common mechanism used by the systems. For example, the WiFi hotspots on airports force their own ads to the websites visited by the users.
Apart from Shields, Brave also comes with an in-built TOR browser. It allows the users to avoid local censorship by means of directing the traffic from other systems on its own decentralized network.
About the TOR, it is primarily used by the insurgents under the government to bypass the surveillance as well as sensor ship and is funded by the US DoD (Department of Defence). Moreover, the well-known platforms like Facebook and the BBC include their own TOR – onion sites.
On the downside, TOR can also benefit the wrongdoers like hackers, robbers, drug dealers, security agents, and other illegal activities.
Coming to the main question i.e. whether or not Brave is safe, it is completely safe to use as of now. Nothing negative or suspicious has been reported by its users until now.
A Little About Brave’s Own Cryptocurrency: BAT
Now, let’s throw some light on Brave’s own cryptocurrency, BAT.
So, BAT is usually used for rewarding the sites and the creators whose content is genuinely liked and appreciated by the users. While tipping may seem like a new concept, it was introduced by Flattr already a decade ago.
First in foremost, Brave doesn’t force its users to use BAT. For this reason, it is turned off by default. So, can use it if you want otherwise leave it untouched.
In case you decide to go with it, first, you need to buy it via a cryptocurrency exchange platform. Alternatively, you can also earn BATs through the replacement ads which will be represented as push notifications. By viewing it, you will get a part of the ad revenue in your BAT wallet.
Know that Brave shares a huge chunk of its advertising revenue which is a whopping 70%, with its users. Moreover, Brave’s ad program is available only in the selected countries including the parts of Europe, the US, India, Israel, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand, Philippines, etc.
After earning or purchasing the BATs, you can use them for tipping the creators. You can either opt to do it automatically on an ad-hoc basis or do it when you want.
A number of popular sites support this feature of Brave browser. These include The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Register, Android Police, and Slate.
Moreover, you can also expect the Brave browser to allow using this cryptocurrency in more ways like gift cards, hotel stays, flight bookings, food vouchers, shopping vouchers, etc. in the upcoming days.
Overview of The Main Functions of Brave
Once you download Brave, you will be provided two modes of operation: ad removal and ad replacement.
By means of ad replacement mode, the browser will block all the undesirable ads as well as the tracking bots that are embedded on the websites. In turn, it replaces those ads with its own anonymous ads.
These include the advertisers within Brave’s community and network. They still have to pay on the basis of per impression but the websites get only 55% of the profit. Rest 45 id divides into three ways and is paid in bitcoins. From the other part, Brave takes 15%, fifteen percent goes to the ad-matching company, and finally, the remaining 15% is earned by the users.
Both users, as well as the publishers, receive their money in their respective bitcoin wallets and they have to claim the amount by verifying their identity. For this, they are required to have a verified phone number, email id as well as other proofs. This process is even strict for publishers.
Moreover, the users who fail to prove their identity will automatically end up giving their entire share to the websites they visit more frequently.
Next, in total ad removal mode, you have to pay Brave if you want to remove the ads completely from the websites you visit. It works for added privacy. You can either pay by linking your credit card to your wallet or pay via the rewards you have earned through the ad replacement mode.
Advantages of Brave
1. Offers You an Ad-Free Browsing Experience
Brave Web Browser is all about making your browsing experience better by removing the malicious and annoying ads as well as preventing you from the ad trackers.
And we already discussed it replaces those harmful ads with in-network ads that are free from tracking and malware.
In simple words, Brave takes full responsibility for its user-privacy and stops the third-party advertiser to track your activities, actions, and behaviors. Instead, it tracks its users itself. It sounds a bit complex at first but is more legit and simple in reality. It creates the user profile by tracking the user’s behavior in-depth but that data is never given to the privacy invaders. Therefore, you get relevant ads without letting the relentless marketers know about the websites you visit most.
2. Promotes The Open Web
Brave’s reward program is promoting a new vision on the modern internet. First and foremost, the web will be much secure, fast as well as user-friendly. The open web boasted by Brave browser rewards the content creators. It simply tells them there is no need to spam the users by flooding millions of intrusive ads into the websites they visit and collect their data.
In the near future, when the Open Web is completely achieved by Brave, the value and use of BAT is more likely to increase for your good. All this makes this browser a truly promising one.
3. Gives You The Opportunity To Earn Bitcoin
What’s better than earning while browsing?
You can earn 15% part of ad revenue by just seeing the ad in terms of bitcoins and the Brave wallet. While these micropayments may look very small, you can end up earning a fat amount.
4. Your Privacy Matters
We have already discussed how Brave offers privacy by blocking harmful ads but there is a lot more Brave does to protect the privacy of its users.
The first thing is, it incorporates HTTPS almost everywhere. For those who don’t know the extra ‘S’ in the HTTP is the SSL encryption certificate. The little lock icon you see in the address bar shows that the site you’re on is completely safe. Coming back to HTTPS, ensures that you’re browsing safely in a protected environment.
Another privacy protection hack offered by Brave is browser fingerprinting. Though it is turned off by default, you can enable it in no time through the settings. This feature stops the sites to forge a distinctive fingerprint which otherwise can be used to track your behavior.
These amazing features make it the best browser of this time. It has outpaced the legendary browser Google Chrome completely. It is undoubtedly the biggest rival of Google chrome.
5. Offers Faster Browsing Experience
Last but not the least, Brave browser is much faster than the other browsers including Google Chrome, Firefox, and others (Internet Explorer is not even inline). It offers high loading speeds because it doesn’t allow the third-party ads to pop from here and there on the websites. This results in less download of the content which in turn boosts the browsing speed.
6. How To Install The Brave Browser?
Installing the Brave browser is not rocket science. It is similar to installing other browsers. You can easily do it within two minutes. Here is what you need to do:
Installing Brave Browser on Windows
Step 1: Proceed to download the secure installation here
Step 2: Look for the download button at the top right corner and click to start the download.
On this page, you will find the versions for Windows 32-bit, Windows – 64 bit as well as for macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Download as per your system specifications.
Moreover, if you don’t know whether your computer is 64 bit or 32-bit then don’t worry. Goo to Settings and click on System and then, hit the About option. In doing so, all the information about your system will be displayed. Now, check your system type and download the suitable version.
Step 3: Select your operating system and let it download.
Step 4: Once the desired version is downloaded, look for the .exe file and open it.
Step 5: Make sure your internet is running well as .exe file may take some time. Once downloaded, the browser will be installed automatically.
That’s all you need to do.
Installing Brave Browser on Mac
You can easily download it on your Mac system too. Just follow the same procedure from step-1 to step-3 as mentioned above and proceed further as:
Step 1: Download the suitable version for your system.
Step 2: Next, open the downloaded file.
Step 3: Take Brave to the Application folder.
Step 4: Run Brave.
Step 5: Run Finder.
Step 6: Hit Eject from the sidebar.
That’s it. Your Brave browser will be installed and you can use it freely.
The Final Verdict
So, is it a good idea to switch to the Brave? Is it the browser for the modern internet? Will it take over the other browsers?
Well, the answers are definitely positive. Brave may be the way to future browsing.
Let’s recap its positives:
It is faster than mainstream browsers.
It helps you to save your time as well as data that would otherwise get wasted in downloading malicious content and watching useless ads.
Allows you to earn BAT revenue which means a source of money. Further, it allows you to mindfully tip the creators.
These are just a handful of benefits offered by the Brave web browser. In reality, the list is pretty long!
We have done our job by providing you with an in-depth view of the browser. Now, it’s your turn to try and test it. The good idea is, download yourself and use it. If you like it then good otherwise you can always get rid of it..!