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Brave browser has just been hailed “by far the most private” browser

Never heard of Brave browser? You’re not alone, but the privacy-focused web browser recently forced its way into the spotlight following an academic report that named it as the most private browser. 

What is Brave browser?

Simply, it’s a browser that focuses on privacy.

“You deserve a better internet” is the guiding statement, front and centre on Brave’s website. Seemingly, the browser is trying to deliver one, not just through security and privacy, but also by making the browser “up to eight times faster” – that’s what Brave claims.

Brave bemoans the fact that “access to your web activity is sold to the highest bidder” on other mainstream browsers, and it wants to change that. The site explains:

“We re-imagined what a browser should be. It begins with giving you back power. Get unmatched speed, security and privacy by blocking trackers. Earn rewards by opting into our privacy-respecting ads and help give publishers back their fair share of Internet revenue.”

Related: Best VPN

What is Brave Rewards – Can you earn cash from it?

In an unusual move, Brave has upended the traditional advertising model used in other browsers. Essentially you earn points by viewing ads and then give them to your favourite sites, which earn cash as a result.

“We put you first, and that means you’re included in the deal. When you view Brave Ads, you receive 70% of the ad revenue. Brave encourages you to pass this on to your favourite web content creators.”

Right now, you can’t turn the ‘Basic Attention Points’ (BAT) you earn into cash for yourself, instead you gift them to your favourite web creators. This is set to change soon though.

Brave explains:

“Creators will always need your support to make amazing things. Soon enough, you’ll be able to directly withdraw the BAT you earn rather than using it to support the sites you love. To do this, you’ll need to create a wallet using a partner of ours. Over time, we’ll add more options to connect your own wallet to Brave Rewards. Stay tuned for details; we’ll be announcing developments as they come.”

Is Brave browser safe?

Professor of computer systems at Trinity University, Douglas J. Leith, recently conducted a series of tests on web browsers in an attempt to determine the most private one. His report concluded that, of the browsers he tested, Brave was the “by far” the best for privacy.

The tests included Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Yandex and Brave and covered a range of metrics. Some of those tests are detailed by Leith below.

He wrote: “In these tests we evaluate the data shared: (i) on first startup of a fresh browser install, (ii) on browser close and restart, (iii) on pasting a URL into the top bar, (iv) on typing a URL into the top bar and (v) when a browser is sitting idle.”

After rigorous testing, the professor determined that there was a clear hierarchy between the browsers in terms of security. Take a look at the following excerpt from the study:

“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”

“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.”

How can I get access to Brave browser?

It’s simple to download the browser, completely free, from Brave.com.

Once, you’ve downloaded it, you can import your bookmarks from your previous preferred browser and you even get a running tally, on the homepage, of how much time you’ve saved and how many ads Brave has blocked.

Related: Best web browsers

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