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Oct 06

Brave Browser Review – The number one adblock browser

By admin | Brave Review

META: This is a detailed comparison between Brave Browser and other products, especially in privacy. It also explains the BAT - a new ad network behind it.

The web market is currently crowded with Chrome and its clones, including Vivaldi and Microsoft's Edge, and one of the most complaints people have for these browsers is the data-harvesting practices that come with them. Mozilla Foundation promises to fix this issue with Firefox, but this browser, on the other hand, is known for poor performance daily uses.

Here comes the Brave Browser. Despite being a new player in this competitive market, it has gained a big momentum for its focus on privacy and blocking ads. You can even earn money while browsing with this new browser. So what is the difference between Brave and the established browsers and whether you should switch to it? Let's find out now.

What is Brave Brave?

Brave is a free, open-source web browser based on Chromium, the core codebase from which Google develops Chrome, with a focus on privacy and an innovative approach to monetization of web content.

Available in both mobile and desktop, it is just another standard web browser that you can use to visit websites, run web applications, and view other content on the Internet. And like most web browsers on the market, Brave is free to use and has a presence on multiple platforms, from PC to mobile.

Brendan Eich, the founder of Brave, is also the creator of the JavaScript programming language and former CEO of Mozilla. When he started the Brave project in 2015, Brendan Eich had two specific things in mind: speed and privacy, which both revolve around the ad-blocking feature.

According to him, most ad money is currently going through a few big players on the market, such as Facebook and Google, and creates an unhealthy unbalanced playing field. And Brave web browser wants to challenge this.

How does Brave Browser work?

Many popular browsers these days, including Vivaldi, Opera, Microsoft's Edge, and of course, Chrome itself, use Google's Chromium to make up most of their code base and features. This approach helps lighten the burden for the developers of those browsers. With the high-quality codebase of Chromium, they can now devote more resources to creating unique features for their products. And Brave is not an exception to this modern browser trend.

This privacy browser uses the same back-end components that power Chrome, such as the V8 JavaScript engine and the Blink rendering engine.

If you own an Android device, the Brave Browser Android still uses the same engine as the Chrome browser app. iOS is the only platform where Brave's developers can't take advantage of Google's technologies since Apple requires all third-party browsers in their platform to use its in-house WebKit browser engine.

Can I boost my income with Brave Browser?

Yes, you totally can. With the promise to help you take control, Brave has come up with a new approach when it comes to web browsing and monetization - Basic Attention Token, or BAT. Brave Software has claimed that over a half million publishers and creators have taken part in and earned their incomes from this program.

While tipping based on microtransaction isn't a new thing, Brave has taken a fresh approach that can be used on a large scale. As a result, both content creators and users can benefit from its advertising network while maintaining as much privacy as possible.

How does this BAT system work?

First of all, you may need to be reminded that this system is opt-in, meaning that it's completely optional and only you can choose to participate in it or not. By default, the BAT system is switched off while you can still enjoy improvements in performance and privacy shipped within Brave.

But if you like the idea of this micropayment system and join it, you can start by buying some BAT currency through an exchange like Coinbase. Another way to earn BAT is to view privacy-respecting ads from Brave's network. Unlike other traditional ads that use banners or text, these ads appear in the form of push notifications. Users can choose to view them in full-screen or dismiss them altogether.

As you might already know, traditional ad networks, such as Google, tracks and builds a profile of each individual user, even though they are not a registered account. When you browse the web or use the app on your smartphone, Google and Facebook will follow you around as long as that website or app has integrated ad trackers from those companies.

The Basic Attention Token system.

Unlike them, ads displayed on Brave Browser don't work based on your collected personal info. Instead, the calculations that determine what to show you are done right in your device, meaning even Brave's developers and advertisers can't build a specific ad profile of you.

The business model of Brave is to share 70% of ad revenue with users while keeping only 30% for itself. The BAT you purchase or earn through this sharing program can be used to contribute to content creators via their sites. You can choose to tip a specific Youtube channel or even a tweet.

Popular sites accepting tips with BAT include various technology and general news websites, such as Slate, The Register, Android Police, Ars Technica, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. In the future, Brave's developers plan to expand this program further and allow you to spend BAT on other tangible rewards, such as restaurant vouchers, gift cards, and hotel stays.

How much can I earn with Brave Browser?

As we have mentioned, you get 70% of total revenue that advertisers have spent to have their ads displayed in your Brave installation, so at the end of the day, your earning depends mostly on the number of ads you see each month. On top of that, Brave also gives an estimated number - around $5 a month for each user, which may vary based on a lot of factors like region.

You should also keep in mind that this program isn't available worldwide yet but just a few countries, mostly North America and Europe, plus New Zealand, Singapore, the Philippines, South Africa, Australia, India, and Israel. Quite a bitter pill to swallow to anyone residing anywhere outside these zones, but we are sure that Brave will have this improved in no time.

Is Brave Browser safe?

You don't need to worry about the safety of this browser as its source code has been published and constantly updated on GitHub. In addition to that, it’s trusted by millions of active users and a sizable number of Brave downloads.

In fact, its ability to stop trackers and block malicious scripts makes it even more secure than the vanilla Chrome browser. There is no chance a malware can go through this protection shield and infect your device. On top of that, Brave doesn't collect your information as Chrome does, so your data stays within your device and you do not risk getting it exposed to the Internet. This claim has been audited many times by various researchers in their Brave browser reviews.

A Comparison Between Brave and Other Popular Browsers

Brave vs. Firefox

Back-end Technologies

Brave internet browser utilizes the same open-source browser engine that Chrome uses - Chromium. If you look at this engine and Firefox from a raw performance perspective, you can see that Chromium is the best choice for the underlying core for Brave when it comes to efficiency and speed.

Firefox has always been known for its lags. While most users have said nice things about the smoothness of Brave and Chrome when they open new pages, scroll, or run complex web apps, you can't say the same things about Firefox.

Additionally, the back-end Chromium is currently maintained by Google itself with an enormous amount of resource and engineering efforts put into improving this engine. In other words, you can be assured that Brave will be always powered by one of the best browser engines from a leading technology company.

Security and Privacy

This is one of the primary selling points of Brave with numerous security features such as Brave Shields, HTTPs Everywhere and ad blocker added into the default installation. This high level of security is also what makes this browser so popular and gain such a big user base.

For example, if you visit a website with the insecure HTTP address format, Brave will automatically upgrade it to the more secure HTTPS version to make sure that all data and communications between it and web servers are encrypted.

In addition to that, Brave doesn't require you to install third-party extensions or extra settings to block ads and privately browser the web. Meanwhile, with other browsers, such as Firefox, you need to tweak many settings to delete data after each browsing session, Brave lets you do this in a more straightforward way.

Firefox needs extensions to become more secure.

More importantly, the Private mode of Brave takes advantage of the Tor network to maximize your privacy, making a startling contrast with Firefox that doesn't provide any extra measure on such scale.

With that being said, we don't mean Firefox is an insecure browser. It still offers a lot of protection against malicious behaviors of websites on the Internet, including pop-ups and phishing activities. Your Firefox installation will also automatically update itself to the latest version with the newest security features and fixes.

Firefox is also known for its extension library which consists of plenty of security and privacy add-ons, including ad and tracker blockers. You can choose which ones to install depending on which kind of protection you need from those extensions.

However, Firefox needs more effort from users to provide the safest Internet experience while Brave has taken this responsibility by itself

Speed

Even though Firefox has come a long way in terms of speed with its new Quantum engine, Brave still has the upper hand in this area with many years of optimization baked in the Chromium codebase.

Brave blocks trackers and ads out of the box, meaning web sites will load faster as Brave won't need to download and render these data anymore. On the other hand, Firefox has a bad reputation when it comes to speed and smoothness. This issue has been significantly resolved with the new multi-process architecture, but Firefox still falls behind in some speed tests compared to Chrome and Brave.

Brave vs. Chrome

Brave and Chrome share the majority of their code base and technologies, such as the built-in password managers and Brave extensions, but this doesn't mean they are completely similar. In fact, there are plenty of big differences between them that you should notice.

Data Collection

Since Google is the biggest digital ad provider in the world, it shouldn't come to a surprise that Chrome collects a lot of data from its users while they're browsing the Internet, including browsing history, search history, and other habits. Google’s business model is using this personal info to build a profile of users in order to target ads more accurately.

However, Brave doesn't use these data-collecting practices. Even when Brave users enable ads on their devices, this free web browser will never collect and send back any piece of private data to its server. Its dashboard even features a specific section where you can see how many trackers it has blocked to protect your privacy.

Chrome collects a lot of data when you browse the web.

Speed

Even though they use the same engine under the hood, Brave can load web pages faster than Chrome for a simple reason: it doesn't need to download and display ads, which can take up a huge amount of bandwidth and resources to render. Heavy and intrusive ads that can bog down your device are no longer the case.

You can totally achieve this in Chrome by installing some extensions in the web store and tweaking some settings, but this is still user-unfriendly and hard to do for many people. On the other hand, Brave takes care of all of this and provides the fastest web browser on the market out of the box.

Default Search Engine

While Brave uses Chromium from Google as its core engine, you aren't required to be tied to Google products on Brave. This privacy-focused browser will ask you which search engine you want to make the default choice. The selections include StartPage, Google, Bing, Qwant, and DuckDuckGo - which happens to be the default recommendation.

Verdict

Brave has the edge over Firefox when it comes to speed and performance while providing more default privacy features compared to Chrome. While you can customize the browsers from Google and Mozilla to add more layers of security and privacy protection, Brave is more user-friendly with its out-of-the-box experience. On top of that, you can even earn money simply by browsing and viewing ads.

Is Brave a great browser in the future?

This ad-blocking browser is a great choice from a long-term perspective. With more and more people becoming cautious about their privacy, we are seeing a trend of more privacy-focused products, which of course include Brave Browser. And by using the Chromium source base that is maintained by Google, Brave has the resources to commit to that purpose in the foreseeable future.

Is Brave the best browser for Android and iOS?

Brave is a top contender for this title on those mobile platforms. As it's equipped with ad-blocking by default, Brave runs fast on mobile and is also a better choice for battery life.

Should I switch for Brave right now?

If you care about speed, convenience, privacy, and some extra money, there is no better time for that. Brave has recently put out the stable 1.0 version. Even if you don't want to make a full transition right now, you can install it to try it out within minutes.

Final Words

Brave has clearly proved that it lives up to the promise of a more secure and private browser. Whether your main device is a PC or a smartphone, Brave browser can always offer a solution to common issues found on other competitors. Head to its website and download Brave browser to enjoy an enhanced browsing experience!