August 25, 2021, 8:01 am
iYou can now browse the Internet faster than ever with the help of Brave, the next-generation Chromium-based browser that blocks trackers and protects your privacy online.
Brave has been around for some time now (officially launched in January 2016 ...
... after a long trial period), and is primarily regarded as a browser focused on security and privacy. While this is true, Brave offers so much more.
For example, one of the main missions of Brave is to revolutionize the current advertising model that currently plagues the Internet. It is a very good browser for the average user, and this is why.
When you start Brave for the first time, you come across a mini-tutorial that explains the basic philosophy of Brave very well. Its design is simplistic and very functional (very similar to Chrome) and it has a quite interesting New Tab section that shows a customizable Dashboard with a background image, some Brave statistics, news and a clock.
Speaking of stats, these include the total number of blocked ads and trackers, how much time and bandwidth this process has saved you. This brings us to the next point. The second thing you'll notice about Brave is how smooth it is. Websites load much faster than virtually any other browser. The difference is not astronomical, of course, but it shows from the beginning.
This is mainly because Brave blocks all ads, scripts, and trackers by default. If you want to see how efficient Brave is, use it for a couple of weeks and check out the measured stats in the New Tab section. Don't be surprised if you will see tens of thousands of blocked trackers and ads, and a couple of GB saved.
Strong security and privacy features
Most of the browser's security features are packaged within so-called "Shields". These shields are responsible for ad blocking, fingerprint prevention, cookie control, HTTPS update, and script blocking.
They have a unique advantage that is worth knowing: they can be configured globally (across the browser), as well as per site. Also, shields can be disabled for each individual website if you wish.
Continuing with the security features, Brave has a built-in password manager, auto-fill forms, a feature that sends "Do Not Track" with browsing requests, and blocks phishing, malware, and aggressive advertising attempts by default.
Then there's Brave Sync, a feature that allows you to encrypt all your bookmarks and preferred settings (using a 4-word opening phrase) before syncing them with other devices.
Unsurprisingly, Brave has a "Stealth Mode", called Private Window. The trick to this feature is that it also gives you direct access to Tor. Your traffic can be diverted through the Tor (Onion) anonymity network.
Brave Rewards explained
This is probably the most confusing aspect of Brave for some users, while others will just go about their daily browsing business and not mind too much.
Should you care? We thought - yes! The simple explanation is this: Brave Rewards is a program that allows you to earn tokens for watching occasional ads. These will typically appear as notifications or billboards in the New Tab section.
This means that while Brave blocks third-party ads, it does not block "own" ones. Before going any further, keep in mind that Brave doesn't shove this feature down your throat. You can completely deactivate Brave Rewards (and all its elements) if you wish.
There are two main elements of this business model: the BAT token (a cryptocurrency token, Brave Attention Token) and the ad network itself. Content creators can sign up to the ad network and their ads will eventually hit Brave as you browse.
These tokens can be used to pay ad creators on the network (the BAT amount is automatically sent to ad providers based on your attention and browsing time) or to buy gif cards via the TAP network.
To conclude, although Brave is on a straight path towards a kind of revolution, it really is up to you if you want to participate in it. And you can use Brave as your daily browser and enjoy all the benefits (awesome features, insane security, and access to most of the Google Chrome ecosystem, including extensions), or you can continue to use it with the rewards system turned off and see how. it works.