The Brief: Brave, a free, privacy-centric web browser is a potential alternative to browsers like Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
What Is Brave?
Brave is a downloadable free web browser advertised for its capabilities to protect privacy and minimize unnecessary ads while maintaining high browsing speeds. This browser automatically blocks trackers and third-party cookies that typically monitor user behavior during web searching and browsing. Brave automatically blocks all ads and allows users to customize settings to control the specifics of how the browser protects user data.
As Brave automatically blocks all ads, websites that depend on visitors viewing ads for revenue miss out when Brave users visit their site. The browser includes options for users to either anonymously tip websites with their own money, or to earn tokens by watching ads and allowing for some tracks, which they can then give to websites. In order for this to work, however, both individual users and websites must opt-into this system, which requires more steps than simply downloading and setting up Brave. People must opt-in to use Brave’s Basic Attention Tokens (BATs), which can transform ad viewing into monetary rewards for users that can be kept or distributed.
This browser, which launched out of beta in late 2019 also has capabilities for users to more privately access torrenting platforms and the Darknet. Brave also allows users to manage their cryptocurrency wallets.
Brave’s browser is a deviation of the Google-created open-source code Chromium, which also powers Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. The browser is compatible with extensions from the Chrome Web Store and comes with capabilities for users to cast to Chromecast from their device. Brave is available on Windows and Mac computers as well as on iOS devices and Androids.
Reviews & Reception
At the time of writing, Brave has been rated at 4.8/5 stars from over 30,000 reviews on The App Store. On the Google Play Store, Brave has received an average of 4.3/5 stars from over 140,000 reviews. Sources including PC World, The Verge, and Cnet laud Brave for its privacy protection capabilities and higher than usual speeds.