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What is Brave browser? All about the privacy-first browser

On the hunt for a more privacy-focussed web browser? Brave could be just what you’re looking for.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Brave browser.

What is Brave browser? 

Brave is a free web browser that focuses on privacy-first features like ad- and tracker-blocking, and hands out rewards to those who do choose to opt in to ads. The browser also claims to run three times faster than Google Chrome and is available with a (subscription-based) VPN.

The browser is owned by Brave Software Inc, an independent, privately-held company, and is built upon the open-source Chromium Web core. 

You can download Brave on an array of platforms, including Windows, macOS and Linux computers, as well as Android and iOS mobile devices. 

Is Brave browser safe? 

Brave has a reputation as one of the more secure browsers on the market. 

By default, the browser claims to block privacy-invasive ads and trackers, block third-party data storage, protect users from browser fingerprinting (cookie-less trackers) and upgrade every website possible to a secure https connection. 

So, what does this mean for your privacy? 

In 2020, Trinity College Dublin professor Douglas J. Leith conducted a series of tests on web browsers and concluded that, of the browsers he tested, Brave was “by far” the best for privacy. 

The study looked at Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Yandex and Brave. 

“In summary, based on our measurements we find that the browsers split into three distinct groups from this privacy perspective. In the first (most private) group lies Brave, in the second Chrome, Firefox and Safari and in the third (least private) group lie Edge and Yandex,” wrote Leith. 

“Used ‘out of the box’ with its default settings Brave is by far the most private of the browsers studied. We did not find any use of identifiers allowing tracking of IP address over time, and no sharing of the details of web pages visited with backend servers.”

According to Brave, by blocking ads and trackers, the browser has less to load on each webpage you visit and therefore is three times faster and easier on your battery life than Google Chrome. 

Does Brave browser have a VPN? 

Yes, Brave does offer a VPN. However, you’ll need to pay to get it. 

Brave Firewall + VPN offers protection on a network level, meaning it can protect your online activity even outside of the Brave browser, though you manage the VPN via the browser. The positive side to this is there’s no need to install any other apps on the side. 

Brave Firewall + VPN is priced at $9.99/month (or $99.99 a year) and is only available on Android and iOS right now. However, Brave says it’ll be coming to desktops soon.  

What are Brave Rewards? 

You may have come across the term “Brave Rewards” when doing your research on the web browser. 

Brave Rewards is essentially a reward system that pays you for opting in to see first-party, privacy-protecting ads in new browser tabs, your Brave News feed and push notification. 

This payment comes in the form of a BAT (or Basic Attention Token), a crypto asset stored in the Brave Wallet that can be withdrawn as a gift card or used to tip your favourite websites and content creators. 

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