The Brave browser

brave_browser

A browser unlike anything you’ve seen before

Putting that secret weapon aside for a minute, Brave is a pretty good and super accessible browser. Based on Chromium, the open source technology underlying Chrome, the vast majority of users will develop from home. Tabs, right click, options, bookmarks, and downloads all work pretty much the same.

Brave offers an easy and engaging setup and installation process where it will ask you the normal questions about importing settings from Chrome, etc., and will set your default browser. Of course, both can be ignored, if desired.

Download Brave browser

Download for PC

Once you start browsing, you’ll notice two things that differ with Chrome’s performance. First of all, it is very fast. This is a consequence of all the ad-blocking technology it uses, which we’ll talk about shortly. Without all the trackers and cookies, Brave can run much faster than its cousin Chrome.

Second, you will notice that the number of ads you see is reduced and the number of options for the ads you see is multiplied. Brave offers 3 ways to manage your privacy and security options. If you go to the settings, you can make significant changes to many options, including shields (ad blocking). Block social networks and privacy and security.

When you visit a website, the little Brave icon (a lion) lights up to the right of the search bar. Here you can change the settings for that particular page, rather than the global settings accessible from the main settings menu. You can also disable shields entirely if for some reason you don’t need protection on that particular website. Finally, when you go into Brave’s customization options (three bars on the far right of Chrome’s address bar, ie three dots), you can apply preconfigured and custom filters to tweak the components to your liking.

While using Brave, you’ll see several opportunities to learn more about Brave Rewards, the most controversial aspect of the browser. The basic idea here is that Brave wants to establish itself as a kind of firewall between you, the user, and the companies that run and manage the ads. It says that it will replace the ads with its own ads and show you original ads via desktop notifications only when you specifically allow them to appear. In exchange for your attention, you will be paid in a cryptocurrency called BAT, or Basic Attention Token.

Brave also promises not to send any of your data to the cloud, where it can be used to track you. Instead, it retains the data without sharing it and sends a non-identifiable indication that the ad has been viewed to the advertiser in question. The method and the browser are still in their infancy, but the overall concept is proving very, very popular with some Internet users. Time will tell if Brave really is the browser everyone has been waiting for, or if its complex rewards and privacy options have proven to be too much for the average user.

Where can this program be run?

You can use Brave on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and download it for iPhone and Android.

Is there a better alternative?

Just looking at the basic functionality of the browser, Chrome or even Edge is probably a bit more polished as Chrome supports more plugins. However, add ad blocking and privacy to the argument, and the number of competitors is significantly reduced. Realistically, Brave’s privacy powers are far superior to those of Chrome and Edge. and in fact only Epic finds them. Unfortunately, this latest browser is considered by many to be less refined and less user-friendly.

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