Brave Browser: Review (Does it live up to the hype?)

brave browser review

Brave browser is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Softare Inc. The web browser is based on the Chromium web browser which is Google’s open-source web browser project. Brave promotes itself on being private, secure, and fast.

You may have heard about Brave over the last couple of months. Brave browser is becoming quite popular for being ad-free and offering a safe internet browsing experience. But does Brave live up to the hype?

brave browser

Speed

Various speed tests have concluded that Brave browser is faster than Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox on most websites. We also tested the Brave against Chrome and also found that it performed at a faster speed or the same speed. Websites simply load at a faster rate because Brave browser blocks ads and trackers by default without the use of third-party extensions that use resources which can slow things down.

The good: It’s fast!

The bad: None.

Brave has a built-in ad blocker

brave browser ad blocker

Brave browser has a built-in ad blocker that automatically blocks advertisements and tracking scripts. The ad-blocker “shield,” as they call it, can be manually turned off and on and shows you what it has blocked.

brave browser broken sites

In some cases, the ad-blocking feature can break a website as shown in the image above.

Disabling advertisements hurts the websites you visit, the content creators you love, and the internet in general. If the trend of blocking advertisements based on a false sense of security and privacy continues, the web is going to lose most of its charm and will no longer be secure. The quality of content we view will decline and the web will be taken over by those who seek to earn money online the illegal way.

It’s true that many advertising agencies and advertisers want to track you and that can be mad. However, bad advertising networks and advertisements are easy to avoid if you stay away from bad websites and prohibited content.

A lot of internet users see ad-blocking as a good thing, so Brave’s built-in ad blocker might be great for people who simply do not want to see advertisements.

  • The good: The built-in ad blocker blocks advertisements and trackers.
  • The bad: The built-in ad blocker can break websites and block ads which hurts your favorite websites and content creators.

Brave browser still shows advertisements if you sign up for the Brave Rewards program. The Brave Rewards program allows you to earn tokens for watching privacy-respecting advertisements.

Brave Rewards

The Brave Rewards program allows you to earn Basic Attention Tokens (BAT; Ethereum cryptocurrency) which are loaded to your Brave wallet when you view specific advertisements and add personal funds. With Brave Rewards you can earn tokens by viewing ads in Brave, automatically contribute to publishers and content creators, and send tips to a website. Keep in mind, you cannot send tips or contribute to sites that have not been verified. If you do, your funds will not reach them over an allotted amount of time and will be used elsewhere.

brave browser rewards

It’s not private for a website to sign up to receive payments from Brave. In order for a website to be verified, the website owner needs to be aware of Brave Rewards in the first place, make a Brave account to become a publisher, install a plugin developed by Brave to their website, copy a verification code into the plugin, verify the code has been added to the plugin, create an Uphold account, verify the Uphold account by surrendering all of their personal information, install a phone application called Authy 2-Factor Authentication, get a code from the app by surrendering personal information, connect the Uphold account to Brave, create a channel to add their website, and then finally the website is verified.

Once the website owner has completed all these steps and surrendered such information as their location, email address, name, and telephone number, and then connected a third-party plugin to their site and installed a third-party app, they can finally receive payments from Brave in the form of a prepaid card.

The good: Earn tokens.

The bad: Publishers must be aware of Brave Rewards and surrender their personal information.

Conclusion

Brave browser is great but it’s somewhat misleading and somewhat of a gimmick. It can basically do what other web browsers already do by blocking advertisements and trackers. Furthermore, tips (donations) that people sent to websites or content creators may not actually be given to the website or creator it’s intended for. It’s like donating to a specific charity only to find out your donation was used to support something you oppose.

Brave browser also violates the privacy of publishers and website owners by obtaining massive amounts of their personal information by forcing them to verify their accounts in order to obtain donations that people sent their way. But hey, the browser is fast, it blocks ads, it looks nice, has a cool logo, and is active on social media… so maybe it’s for you! Check it out at Brave.com.

Sean Doyle

Sean Doyle is an engineer from Los Angeles, California. Sean's primary focuses include Cyber Security, Web Spam, and Online Marketing.